[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common and disabling condition with well-established heritability and environmental risk factors. Gene-environment interaction studies in MDD have typically investigated candidate genes, though the disorder is known to be highly polygenic. This study aims to test for interaction between polygenic risk and stressful life events (SLEs) or childhood trauma (CT) in the aetiology of MDD.
The RADIANT UK sample consists of 1605 MDD cases and 1064 controls with SLE data, and a subset of 240 cases and 272 controls with CT data. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were constructed using results from a mega-analysis on MDD by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. PRS and environmental factors were tested for association with case/control status and for interaction between them.
PRS significantly predicted depression, explaining 1.1% of variance in phenotype (p = 1.9 × 10-6). SLEs and CT were also associated with MDD status (p = 2.19 × 10-4 and p = 5.12 × 10-20, respectively). No interactions were found between PRS and SLEs. Significant PRSxCT interactions were found (p = 0.002), but showed an inverse association with MDD status, as cases who experienced more severe CT tended to have a lower PRS than other cases or controls. This relationship between PRS and CT was not observed in independent replication samples.
CT is a strong risk factor for MDD but may have greater effect in individuals with lower genetic liability for the disorder. Including environmental risk along with genetics is important in studying the aetiology of MDD and PRS provide a useful approach to investigating gene-environment interactions in complex traits.
Psychological Medicine 11/2015; DOI:10.1017/S0033291715002172 · 5.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lithium is the mainstay prophylactic treatment for bipolar disorder (BD), but treatment response varies considerably across individuals. Patients who respond well to lithium treatment might represent a relatively homogeneous subtype of this genetically and phenotypically diverse disorder. Here, we performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify (i) specific genetic variations influencing lithium response and (ii) genetic variants associated with risk for lithium-responsive BD. Patients with BD and controls were recruited from Sweden and the United Kingdom. GWAS were performed on 2698 patients with subjectively defined (self-reported) lithium response and 1176 patients with objectively defined (clinically documented) lithium response. We next conducted GWAS comparing lithium responders with healthy controls (1639 subjective responders and 8899 controls; 323 objective responders and 6684 controls). Meta-analyses of Swedish and UK results revealed no significant associations with lithium response within the bipolar subjects. However, when comparing lithium-responsive patients with controls, two imputed markers attained genome-wide significant associations, among which one was validated in confirmatory genotyping (rs116323614, P=2.74 × 10−8). It is an intronic single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) on chromosome 2q31.2 in the gene SEC14 and spectrin domains 1 (SESTD1), which encodes a protein involved in regulation of phospholipids. Phospholipids have been strongly implicated as lithium treatment targets. Furthermore, we estimated the proportion of variance for lithium-responsive BD explained by common variants (‘SNP heritability’) as 0.25 and 0.29 using two definitions of lithium response. Our results revealed a genetic variant in SESTD1 associated with risk for lithium-responsive BD, suggesting that the understanding of BD etiology could be furthered by focusing on this subtype of BD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Strategies to dissect phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of major depressive disorder (MDD) have mainly relied on subphenotypes, such as age at onset (AAO) and recurrence/episodicity. Yet, evidence on whether these subphenotypes are familial or heritable is scarce. The aims of this study are to investigate the familiality of AAO and episode frequency in MDD and to assess the proportion of their variance explained by common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP heritability).
For investigating familiality, we used 691 families with 2-5 full siblings with recurrent MDD from the DeNt study. We fitted (square root) AAO and episode count in a linear and a negative binomial mixed model, respectively, with family as random effect and adjusting for sex, age and center. The strength of familiality was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). For estimating SNP heritabilities, we used 3468 unrelated MDD cases from the RADIANT and GSK Munich studies. After similarly adjusting for covariates, derived residuals were used with the GREML method in GCTA (genome-wide complex trait analysis) software.
Significant familial clustering was found for both AAO (ICC = 0.28) and episodicity (ICC = 0.07). We calculated from respective ICC estimates the maximal additive heritability of AAO (0.56) and episodicity (0.15). SNP heritability of AAO was 0.17 (p = 0.04); analysis was underpowered for calculating SNP heritability of episodicity.
AAO and episodicity aggregate in families to a moderate and small degree, respectively. AAO is under stronger additive genetic control than episodicity. Larger samples are needed to calculate the SNP heritability of episodicity. The described statistical framework could be useful in future analyses.
Psychological Medicine 02/2015; 45(10):1-11. DOI:10.1017/S0033291715000215 · 5.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Converging evidence implicates immune abnormalities in schizophrenia (SCZ), and recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified immune-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with SCZ. Using the conditional false discovery rate (FDR) approach, we evaluated pleiotropy in SNPs associated with SCZ (n=21 856) and multiple sclerosis (MS) (n=43 879), an inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Because SCZ and bipolar disorder (BD) show substantial clinical and genetic overlap, we also investigated pleiotropy between BD (n=16 731) and MS. We found significant genetic overlap between SCZ and MS and identified 21 independent loci associated with SCZ, conditioned on association with MS. This enrichment was driven by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Importantly, we detected the involvement of the same human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles in both SCZ and MS, but with an opposite directionality of effect of associated HLA alleles (that is, MS risk alleles were associated with decreased SCZ risk). In contrast, we found no genetic overlap between BD and MS. Considered together, our findings demonstrate genetic pleiotropy between SCZ and MS and suggest that the MHC signals may differentiate SCZ from BD susceptibility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Previous research has suggested the clinical profile of individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) differs according to the presence or absence of comorbid migraine. We aimed to determine the clinical characteristics that differentiate individuals with BD with and without comorbid migraine in a large, representative, clinically well-characterised UK sample. Methods The lifetime clinical characteristics of 1488 individuals with BD (BPI n=1120, BPII n=368) with and without comorbid migraine were compared (n=375 vs. n=1113 respectively). Results Individuals with BD and comorbid migraine had a distinctive set of lifetime clinical characteristics. A multivariate model showed that consistent with previous studies those with comorbid migraine were significantly more likely to be female (OR=2.099, p=0.005) and have comorbid panic attacks (OR=1.842, p=0.004). A novel finding was that even after controlling for other differences, the individuals with BD and comorbid migraine were more likely to have a rapid cycling illness course (OR=1.888, p=0.002). Limitations Presence of migraine was assessed using self report measures. Cross-sectional study design limits investigations of bidirectional associations between migraine and bipolar disorder. Conclusions Comorbid migraine in BD may represent a more homogenous subtype of BD with an unstable rapid cycling course. Identifying individuals with BD and comorbid migraine may be of use in a clinical setting and this subgroup could be the focus of future aetiological studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large (>100 kb), rare (<1% in the population) copy number variants (CNVs) have been shown to confer risk for schizophrenia (SZ), but the findings for bipolar disorder (BD) are less clear. In a new BD sample from the United Kingdom (n=2591), we have examined the occurrence of CNVs and compared this with previously reported samples of 6882 SZ and 8842 control subjects. When combined with previous data, we find evidence for a contribution to BD for three SZ-associated CNV loci: duplications at 1q21.1 (P=0.022), deletions at 3q29 (P=0.03) and duplications at 16p11.2 (P=2.3 × 10(-4)). The latter survives multiple-testing correction for the number of recurrent large CNV loci in the genome. Genes in 20 regions (total of 55 genes) were enriched for rare exonic CNVs among BD cases, but none of these survives correction for multiple testing. Finally, our data provide strong support for the hypothesis of a lesser contribution of very large (>500 kb) CNVs in BD compared with SZ, most notably for deletions >1 Mb (P=9 × 10(-4)).Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 6 January 2015; doi:10.1038/mp.2014.174.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE We investigated the variation in neuropsychological function explained by risk alleles at the psychosis susceptibility gene ZNF804A and its interacting partners using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), polygenic scores, and epistatic analyses. Of particular importance was the relative contribution of the polygenic score vs epistasis in variation explained. OBJECTIVES To (1) assess the association between SNPs in ZNF804A and the ZNF804A polygenic score with measures of cognition in cases with psychosis and (2) assess whether epistasis within the ZNF804A pathway could explain additional variation above and beyond that explained by the polygenic score. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Patients with psychosis (n = 424) were assessed in areas of cognitive ability impaired in schizophrenia including IQ, memory, attention, and social cognition. We used the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium 1 schizophrenia genome-wide association study to calculate a polygenic score based on identified risk variants within this genetic pathway. Cognitive measures significantly associated with the polygenic score were tested for an epistatic component using a training set (n = 170), which was used to develop linear regression models containing the polygenic score and 2-SNP interactions. The best-fitting models were tested for replication in 2 independent test sets of cases: (1) 170 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and (2) 84 patients with broad psychosis (including bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and other psychosis). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Participants completed a neuropsychological assessment battery designed to target the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia including general cognitive function, episodic memory, working memory, attentional control, and social cognition. RESULTS Higher polygenic scores were associated with poorer performance among patients on IQ, memory, and social cognition, explaining 1% to 3% of variation on these scores (range, P = .01 to .03). Using a narrow psychosis training set and independent test sets of narrow phenotype psychosis (schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder), broad psychosis, and control participants (n = 89), the addition of 2 interaction terms containing 2 SNPs each increased the R2 for spatial working memory strategy in the independent psychosis test sets from 1.2% using the polygenic score only to 4.8% (P = .11 and .001, respectively) but did not explain additional variation in control participants. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE These data support a role for the ZNF804A pathway in IQ, memory, and social cognition in cases. Furthermore, we showed that epistasis increases the variation explained above the contribution of the polygenic score.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiological and genetic data support the notion that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder share genetic risk factors. In our previous genome-wide association study, meta-analysis and follow-up (totaling as many as 18 206 cases and 42 536 controls), we identified four loci showing genome-wide significant association with schizophrenia. Here we consider a mixed schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (psychosis) phenotype (addition of 7469 bipolar disorder cases, 1535 schizophrenia cases, 333 other psychosis cases, 808 unaffected family members and 46 160 controls). Combined analysis reveals a novel variant at 16p11.2 showing genome-wide significant association (rs4583255[T]; odds ratio=1.08; P=6.6 × 10(-11)). The new variant is located within a 593-kb region that substantially increases risk of psychosis when duplicated. In line with the association of the duplication with reduced body mass index (BMI), rs4583255[T] is also associated with lower BMI (P=0.0039 in the public GIANT consortium data set; P=0.00047 in 22 651 additional Icelanders).Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 20 November 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.157.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A number of large, rare copy number variants (CNVs) are deleterious for neurodevelopmental disorders, but large, rare, protective CNVs have not been reported for such phenotypes. Here we show in a CNV analysis of 47 005 individuals, the largest CNV analysis of schizophrenia to date, that large duplications (1.5–3.0 Mb) at 22q11.2—the reciprocal of the well-known, risk-inducing deletion of this locus—are substantially less common in schizophrenia cases than in the general population (0.014% vs 0.085%, OR=0.17, P=0.00086). 22q11.2 duplications represent the first putative protective mutation for schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the comorbidity rates of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in bipolar disorder (BD) and to explore possible sources of heterogeneity.
Studies were identified through database searches. Meta-analytic techniques were employed to aggregate data on lifetime comorbidity and to explore possible sources of heterogeneity. Funnel plots were used to detect publication bias.
In clinical studies, AUDs affected more than one in three subjects with BD. Significant heterogeneity was found, which was largely explained by the geographical location of study populations and gender ratio of participants. AUDs affected more than one in five women and two in five men.
AUDs are highly prevalent in BD. Our study revealed a substantial heterogeneity across studies. Further research including control groups is needed. Patients with BD should be assessed for current and previous AUDs.
European Psychiatry 09/2013; 29(3). DOI:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2013.07.004 · 3.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congenital muscular dystrophies with hypoglycosylation of α-dystroglycan (α-DG) are a heterogeneous group of disorders often associated with brain and eye defects in addition to muscular dystrophy. Causative variants in 14 genes thought to be involved in the glycosylation of α-DG have been identified thus far. Allelic mutations in these genes might also cause milder limb-girdle muscular dystrophy phenotypes. Using a combination of exome and Sanger sequencing in eight unrelated individuals, we present evidence that mutations in guanosine diphosphate mannose (GDP-mannose) pyrophosphorylase B (GMPPB) can result in muscular dystrophy variants with hypoglycosylated α-DG. GMPPB catalyzes the formation of GDP-mannose from GTP and mannose-1-phosphate. GDP-mannose is required for O-mannosylation of proteins, including α-DG, and it is the substrate of cytosolic mannosyltransferases. We found reduced α-DG glycosylation in the muscle biopsies of affected individuals and in available fibroblasts. Overexpression of wild-type GMPPB in fibroblasts from an affected individual partially restored glycosylation of α-DG. Whereas wild-type GMPPB localized to the cytoplasm, five of the identified missense mutations caused formation of aggregates in the cytoplasm or near membrane protrusions. Additionally, knockdown of the GMPPB ortholog in zebrafish caused structural muscle defects with decreased motility, eye abnormalities, and reduced glycosylation of α-DG. Together, these data indicate that GMPPB mutations are responsible for congenital and limb-girdle muscular dystrophies with hypoglycosylation of α-DG.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/2013; 93(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.05.009 · 10.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
An association between bipolar disorder and cognitive impairment has repeatedly been described, even for euthymic patients. Findings are inconsistent both across primary studies and previous meta-analyses. This study reanalysed 31 primary data sets as a single large sample (N = 2876) to provide a more definitive view.
Individual patient and control data were obtained from original authors for 11 measures from four common neuropsychological tests: California or Rey Verbal Learning Task (VLT), Trail Making Test (TMT), Digit Span and/or Wisconsin Card Sorting Task.
Impairments were found for all 11 test-measures in the bipolar group after controlling for age, IQ and gender (Ps ≤ 0.001, E.S. = 0.26-0.63). Residual mood symptoms confound this result but cannot account for the effect sizes found. Impairments also seem unrelated to drug treatment. Some test-measures were weakly correlated with illness severity measures suggesting that some impairments may track illness progression.
This reanalysis supports VLT, Digit Span and TMT as robust measures of cognitive impairments in bipolar disorder patients. The heterogeneity of some test results explains previous differences in meta-analyses. Better controlling for confounds suggests deficits may be smaller than previously reported but should be tracked longitudinally across illness progression and treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Schizophrenia Psychiatric Genome-Wide Association Study Consortium (PGC) highlighted 81 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with moderate evidence for association to schizophrenia. After follow-up in independent samples, seven loci attained genome-wide significance (GWS), but multi-locus tests suggested some SNPs that did not do so represented true associations. We tested 78 of the 81 SNPs in 2640 individuals with a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia attending a clozapine clinic (CLOZUK), 2504 cases with a research diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and 2878 controls. In CLOZUK, we obtained significant replication to the PGC-associated allele for no fewer than 37 (47%) of the SNPs, including many prior GWS major histocompatibility complex (MHC) SNPs as well as 3/6 non-MHC SNPs for which we had data that were reported as GWS by the PGC. After combining the new schizophrenia data with those of the PGC, variants at three loci (ITIH3/4, CACNA1C and SDCCAG8) that had not previously been GWS in schizophrenia attained that level of support. In bipolar disorder, we also obtained significant evidence for association for 21% of the alleles that had been associated with schizophrenia in the PGC. Our study independently confirms association to three loci previously reported to be GWS in schizophrenia, and identifies the first GWS evidence in schizophrenia for a further three loci. Given the number of independent replications and the power of our sample, we estimate 98% (confidence interval (CI) 78–100%) of the original set of 78 SNPs represent true associations. We also provide strong evidence for overlap in genetic risk between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent advances in high-throughput genotyping have made possible genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in which hundreds of thousands of common DNA variants spread across all the chromosomes are examined in a large number of individuals rapidly and for a realistic cost. The GWAS approach has been successfully used to identify common susceptibility variants involved in many non-psychiatric diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, Crohn's disease, and in normal traits such as height. The typical finding is numerous susceptibility loci, each of which has a small effect size. Genome-wide association studies are similarly providing robust and replicable evidence for genes and, hence, proteins and biological systems/pathways that are involved in the aetiology and pathogenesis of major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and Alzheimer's disease. This article outlines for the busy psychiatrist some of the key messages emerging from this line of research.
Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 03/2013; 19(2):82-88. DOI:10.1192/apt.bp.110.007906
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several lines of evidence suggest that genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have the potential to explain more of the "missing heritability" of common complex phenotypes. However, reliable methods for identifying a larger proportion of SNPs are currently lacking. Here, we present a genetic-pleiotropy-informed method for improving gene discovery with the use of GWAS summary-statistics data. We applied this methodology to identify additional loci associated with schizophrenia (SCZ), a highly heritable disorder with significant missing heritability. Epidemiological and clinical studies suggest comorbidity between SCZ and cardiovascular-disease (CVD) risk factors, including systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, low- and high-density lipoprotein, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and type 2 diabetes. Using stratified quantile-quantile plots, we show enrichment of SNPs associated with SCZ as a function of the association with several CVD risk factors and a corresponding reduction in false discovery rate (FDR). We validate this "pleiotropic enrichment" by demonstrating increased replication rate across independent SCZ substudies. Applying the stratified FDR method, we identified 25 loci associated with SCZ at a conditional FDR level of 0.01. Of these, ten loci are associated with both SCZ and CVD risk factors, mainly triglycerides and low- and high-density lipoproteins but also waist-to-hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, and body mass index. Together, these findings suggest the feasibility of using genetic-pleiotropy-informed methods for improving gene discovery in SCZ and identifying potential mechanistic relationships with various CVD risk factors.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 01/2013; 298. DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.01.001 · 10.93 Impact Factor