[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Triglycerides are transported in plasma by specific triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; in epidemiological studies, increased triglyceride levels correlate with higher risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, it is unclear whether this association reflects causal processes. We used 185 common variants recently mapped for plasma lipids (P < 5 × 10(-8) for each) to examine the role of triglycerides in risk for CAD. First, we highlight loci associated with both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglyceride levels, and we show that the direction and magnitude of the associations with both traits are factors in determining CAD risk. Second, we consider loci with only a strong association with triglycerides and show that these loci are also associated with CAD. Finally, in a model accounting for effects on LDL-C and/or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, the strength of a polymorphism's effect on triglyceride levels is correlated with the magnitude of its effect on CAD risk. These results suggest that triglyceride-rich lipoproteins causally influence risk for CAD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol are heritable, modifiable risk factors for coronary artery disease. To identify new loci and refine known loci influencing these lipids, we examined 188,577 individuals using genome-wide and custom genotyping arrays. We identify and annotate 157 loci associated with lipid levels at P < 5 × 10(-8), including 62 loci not previously associated with lipid levels in humans. Using dense genotyping in individuals of European, East Asian, South Asian and African ancestry, we narrow association signals in 12 loci. We find that loci associated with blood lipid levels are often associated with cardiovascular and metabolic traits, including coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, waist-hip ratio and body mass index. Our results demonstrate the value of using genetic data from individuals of diverse ancestry and provide insights into the biological mechanisms regulating blood lipids to guide future genetic, biological and therapeutic research.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Personality traits are basic dimensions of behavioral variation, and twin, family, and adoption studies show that around 30% of the between-individual variation is due to genetic variation. There is rapidly growing interest in understanding the evolutionary basis of this genetic variation. Several evolutionary mechanisms could explain how genetic variation is maintained in traits, and each of these makes predictions in terms of the relative contribution of rare and common genetic variants to personality variation, the magnitude of nonadditive genetic influences, and whether personality is affected by inbreeding. Using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from > 8000 individuals, we estimated that little variation in the Cloninger personality dimensions (7.2% on average) is due to the combined effect of common, additive genetic variants across the genome, suggesting that most heritable variation in personality is due to rare variant effects and/or a combination of dominance and epistasis. Furthermore, higher levels of inbreeding were associated with less socially desirable personality trait levels in three of the four personality dimensions. These findings are consistent with genetic variation in personality traits having been maintained by mutation-selection balance.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ARTICLE TITLE AND BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: Dental x-rays and risk of meningioma. Claus EB, Calvocoressi L, Bondy ML, Schildkraut JM, Wiemels JL, Wrensch M. Cancer 2012. Epub ahead of print. REVIEWERS: Sotirios Tetradis, DDS, PhD, Stuart C. White, DDS, PhD, Susan K. Service, MS PURPOSE/QUESTION: To examine whether there is an association between age at receipt or frequency of dental radiographs and intracranial meningioma SOURCE OF FUNDING: The National Institutes of Health (R01 grants CA109468, CA109461, CA109745, CA108473, and CA109475), the Brain Science Foundation (nonprofit), and the Meningioma Mommas (nonprofit) TYPE OF STUDY/DESIGN: Case-control study LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level 2: Limited-quality, patient-oriented evidence STRENGTH OF RECOMMENDATION GRADE: Not applicable.
The journal of evidence-based dental practice 09/2012; 12(3):174-7.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a developmental disorder that has one of the highest familial recurrence rates among neuropsychiatric diseases with complex inheritance. However, the identification of definitive TS susceptibility genes remains elusive. Here, we report the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of TS in 1285 cases and 4964 ancestry-matched controls of European ancestry, including two European-derived population isolates, Ashkenazi Jews from North America and Israel and French Canadians from Quebec, Canada. In a primary meta-analysis of GWAS data from these European ancestry samples, no markers achieved a genome-wide threshold of significance (P<5 × 10(-8)); the top signal was found in rs7868992 on chromosome 9q32 within COL27A1 (P=1.85 × 10(-6)). A secondary analysis including an additional 211 cases and 285 controls from two closely related Latin American population isolates from the Central Valley of Costa Rica and Antioquia, Colombia also identified rs7868992 as the top signal (P=3.6 × 10(-7) for the combined sample of 1496 cases and 5249 controls following imputation with 1000 Genomes data). This study lays the groundwork for the eventual identification of common TS susceptibility variants in larger cohorts and helps to provide a more complete understanding of the full genetic architecture of this disorder.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 14 August 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.69.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The neuropathogenesis of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) is unclear. Candidate gene studies have implicated genetic susceptibility loci within immune-related genes; however, these have not been reliably validated. Here, we employed genome-wide association (GWA) methods to discover novel genetic susceptibility loci associated with HAND, and validate susceptibility loci implicated in prior candidate gene studies. Data from 1,287 participants enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study between 1985 and 2010 were used. Genotyping was conducted with Illumina 1M, 1MDuo, or 550K platform. Linear mixed models determined subject-specific slopes for change over time in processing speed and executive functioning, considering all visits including baseline and the most recent study visit. Covariates modeled as fixed effects included: time since the first visit, depression severity, nadir CD4+ T-cell count, hepatitis C co-infection, substance use, and antiretroviral medication regimen. Prevalence of HIV-associated dementia (HAD) and neurocognitive impairment (NCI) was also examined as neurocognitive phenotypes in a case-control analysis. No genetic susceptibility loci were associated with decline in processing speed or executive functioning among almost 2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) directly genotyped or imputed. No association between the SNPs and HAD or NCI were found. Previously reported associations between specific genetic susceptibility loci, HIV-associated NCI, and HAD were not validated. In this first GWAS of HAND, no novel or previously identified genetic susceptibility loci were associated with any of the phenotypes examined. Due to the relatively small sample size, future collaborative efforts that incorporate this dataset may still yield important findings.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 05/2012; 159B(6):669-83. · 3.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-human primates provide genetic model systems biologically intermediate between humans and other mammalian model organisms. Populations of Caribbean vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) are genetically homogeneous and large enough to permit well-powered genetic mapping studies of quantitative traits relevant to human health, including expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL). Previous transcriptome-wide investigation in an extended vervet pedigree identified 29 heritable transcripts for which levels of expression in peripheral blood correlate strongly with expression levels in the brain. Quantitative trait linkage analysis using 261 microsatellite markers identified significant (n = 8) and suggestive (n = 4) linkages for 12 of these transcripts, including both cis- and trans-eQTL. Seven transcripts, located on different chromosomes, showed maximum linkage to markers in a single region of vervet chromosome 9; this observation suggests the possibility of a master trans-regulator locus in this region. For one cis-eQTL (at B3GALTL, beta-1,3-glucosyltransferase), we conducted follow-up single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping and fine-scale association analysis in a sample of unrelated Caribbean vervets, localizing this eQTL to a region of <200 kb. These results suggest the value of pedigree and population samples of the Caribbean vervet for linkage and association mapping studies of quantitative traits. The imminent whole genome sequencing of many of these vervet samples will enhance the power of such investigations by providing a comprehensive catalog of genetic variation.
Human Molecular Genetics 05/2012; 21(15):3307-16. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Temperament has a strongly heritable component, yet multiple independent genome-wide studies have failed to identify significant genetic associations. We have assembled the largest sample to date of persons with genome-wide genotype data, who have been assessed with Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory. Sum scores for novelty seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence and persistence have been measured in over 11,000 persons collected in four different cohorts. Our study had >80% power to identify genome-wide significant loci (P<1.25 × 10(-8), with correction for testing four scales) accounting for ≥0.4% of the phenotypic variance in temperament scales. Using meta-analysis techniques, gene-based tests and pathway analysis we have tested over 1.2 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for association to each of the four temperament dimensions. We did not discover any SNPs, genes, or pathways to be significantly related to the four temperament dimensions, after correcting for multiple testing. Less than 1% of the variability in any temperament dimension appears to be accounted for by a risk score derived from the SNPs showing strongest association to the temperament dimensions. Elucidation of genetic loci significantly influencing temperament and personality will require potentially very large samples, and/or a more refined phenotype. Item response theory methodology may be a way to incorporate data from cohorts assessed with multiple personality instruments, and might be a method by which a large sample of a more refined phenotype could be acquired.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Investigation of the environmental influences on human behavioral phenotypes is important for our understanding of the causation of psychiatric disorders. However, there are complexities associated with the assessment of environmental influences on behavior.
We conducted a series of analyses using a prospective, longitudinal study of a nationally representative birth cohort from Finland (the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort). Participants included a total of 3,761 male and female cohort members who were living in Finland at the age of 16 years and who had complete temperament scores. Our initial analyses (Wessman et al., in press) provide evidence in support of four stable and robust temperament clusters. Using these temperament clusters, as well as independent temperament dimensions for comparison, we conducted a data-driven analysis to assess the influence of a broad set of life course measures, assessed pre-natally, in infancy, and during adolescence, on adult temperament.
Measures of early environment, neurobehavioral development, and adolescent behavior significantly predict adult temperament, classified by both cluster membership and temperament dimensions. Specifically, our results suggest that a relatively consistent set of life course measures are associated with adult temperament profiles, including maternal education, characteristics of the family's location and residence, adolescent academic performance, and adolescent smoking.
Our finding that a consistent set of life course measures predict temperament clusters indicate that these clusters represent distinct developmental temperament trajectories and that information about a subset of life course measures has implications for adult health outcomes.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e38065. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The object of this study was to identify temperament patterns in the Finnish population, and to determine the relationship between these profiles and life habits, socioeconomic status, and health.
A cluster analysis of the Temperament and Character Inventory subscales was performed on 3,761 individuals from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 and replicated on 2,097 individuals from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study. Clusters were formed using the k-means method and their relationship with 115 variables from the areas of life habits, socioeconomic status and health was examined.
Four clusters were identified for both genders. Individuals from Cluster I are characterized by high persistence, low extravagance and disorderliness. They have healthy life habits, and lowest scores in most of the measures for psychiatric disorders. Cluster II individuals are characterized by low harm avoidance and high novelty seeking. They report the best physical capacity and highest level of income, but also high rate of divorce, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Individuals from Cluster III are not characterized by any extreme characteristic. Individuals from Cluster IV are characterized by high levels of harm avoidance, low levels of exploratory excitability and attachment, and score the lowest in most measures of health and well-being.
This study shows that the temperament subscales do not distribute randomly but have an endogenous structure, and that these patterns have strong associations to health, life events, and well-being.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e33088. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Temperament has a strongly heritable component, yet multiple independent genome-wide studies have failed to identify significant genetic associations. We have assembled the largest sample to date of persons with genome-wide genotype data, who have been assessed with Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory. Sum scores for novelty seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence and persistence have been measured in over 11 000 persons collected in four different cohorts. Our study had >80% power to identify genome-wide significant loci (P<1.25 x 10(-8), with correction for testing four scales) accounting for >/=0.4% of the phenotypic variance in temperament scales. Using meta-analysis techniques, gene-based tests and pathway analysis we have tested over 1.2 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for association to each of the four temperament dimensions. We did not discover any SNPs, genes, or pathways to be significantly related to the four temperament dimensions, after correcting for multiple testing. Less than 1% of the variability in any temperament dimension appears to be accounted for by a risk score derived from the SNPs showing strongest association to the temperament dimensions. Elucidation of genetic loci significantly influencing temperament and personality will require potentially very large samples, and/or a more refined phenotype. Item response theory methodology may be a way to incorporate data from cohorts assessed with multiple personality instruments, and might be a method by which a large sample of a more refined phenotype could be acquired.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phenotype mining is a novel approach for elucidating the genetic basis of complex phenotypic variation. It involves a search of rich phenotype databases for measures correlated with genetic variation, as identified in genome-wide genotyping or sequencing studies. An initial implementation of phenotype mining in a prospective unselected population cohort, the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort (NFBC1966), identifies neurodevelopment-related traits-intellectual deficits, poor school performance and hearing abnormalities-which are more frequent among individuals with large (>500 kb) deletions than among other cohort members. Observation of extensive shared single nucleotide polymorphism haplotypes around deletions suggests an opportunity to expand phenotype mining from cohort samples to the populations from which they derive.
Human Molecular Genetics 07/2011; 20(13):2686-95. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asymmetry is a prominent feature of human brains with important functional consequences. Many asymmetric traits show population bias, but little is known about the genetic and environmental sources contributing to inter-individual variance. Anatomic asymmetry has been observed in Old World monkeys, but the evidence for the direction and extent of asymmetry is equivocal and only one study has estimated the genetic contributions to inter-individual variance. In this study we characterize a range of qualitative and quantitative asymmetry measures in structural brain MRIs acquired from an extended pedigree of Old World vervet monkeys (n = 357), and implement variance component methods to estimate the proportion of trait variance attributable to genetic and environmental sources. Four of six asymmetry measures show pedigree-level bias and one of the traits has a significant heritability estimate of about 30%. We also found that environmental variables more significantly influence the width of the right compared to the left prefrontal lobe.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(12):e28243. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified numerous loci associated with complex traits, imprecise modeling of the genetic relatedness within study samples may cause substantial inflation of test statistics and possibly spurious associations. Variance component approaches, such as efficient mixed-model association (EMMA), can correct for a wide range of sample structures by explicitly accounting for pairwise relatedness between individuals, using high-density markers to model the phenotype distribution; but such approaches are computationally impractical. We report here a variance component approach implemented in publicly available software, EMMA eXpedited (EMMAX), that reduces the computational time for analyzing large GWAS data sets from years to hours. We apply this method to two human GWAS data sets, performing association analysis for ten quantitative traits from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort and seven common diseases from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium. We find that EMMAX outperforms both principal component analysis and genomic control in correcting for sample structure.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide gene expression studies may provide substantial insight into gene activities and biological pathways differing between tissues and individuals. We investigated such gene expression variation by analyzing expression profiles in brain tissues derived from eight different brain regions and from blood in 12 monkeys from a biomedically important non-human primate model, the vervet (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus). We characterized brain regional differences in gene expression, focusing on transcripts for which inter-individual variation of expression in brain correlates well with variation in blood from the same individuals. Using stringent criteria, we identified 29 transcripts whose expression is measurable, stable, replicable, variable between individuals, relevant to brain function and heritable. Polymorphisms identified in probe regions could, in a minority of transcripts, confound the interpretation of the observed inter-individual variation. The high heritability of levels of these transcripts in a large vervet pedigree validated our approach of focusing on transcripts that showed higher inter-individual compared with intra-individual variation. These selected transcripts are candidate expression Quantitative Trait Loci, differentially regulating transcript levels in the brain among individuals. Given the high degree of conservation of tissue expression profiles between vervets and humans, our findings may facilitate the understanding of regional and individual transcriptional variation and its genetic mechanisms in humans. The approach employed here-utilizing higher quality tissue and more precise dissection of brain regions than is usually possible in humans-may therefore provide a powerful means to investigate variation in gene expression relevant to complex brain related traits, including human neuropsychiatric diseases.
Human Molecular Genetics 09/2009; 18(22):4415-27. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported linkage of bipolar disorder to 5q33-q34 in families from two closely related population isolates, the Central Valley of Costa Rica (CVCR) and Antioquia, Colombia (CO). Here we present follow up results from fine-scale mapping in large CVCR and CO families segregating severe bipolar disorder, BP-I, and in 343 population trios/duos from CVCR and CO. Employing densely spaced SNPs to fine map the prior linkage peak region increases linkage evidence and clarifies the position of the putative BP-I locus. We performed two-point linkage analysis with 1134 SNPs in an approximately 9 Mb region between markers D5S410 and D5S422. Combining pedigrees from CVCR and CO yields a LOD score of 4.9 at SNP rs10035961. Two other SNPs (rs7721142 and rs1422795) within the same 94 kb region also displayed LOD scores greater than 4. This linkage peak coincides with our prior microsatellite results and suggests a narrowed BP-I susceptibility regions in these families. To investigate if the locus implicated in the familial form of BP-I also contributes to disease risk in the population, we followed up the family results with association analysis in duo and trio samples, obtaining signals within 2 Mb of the peak linkage signal in the pedigrees; rs12523547 and rs267015 (P = 0.00004 and 0.00016, respectively) in the CO sample and rs244960 in the CVCR sample and the combined sample, with P = 0.00032 and 0.00016, respectively. It remains unclear whether these association results reflect the same locus contributing to BP susceptibility within the extended pedigrees.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 04/2009; 150B(7):998-1006. · 3.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The area and volume of brain structural features, as assessed by high-resolution three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are among the most heritable measures relating to the human CNS. We have conducted MRI scanning of all available monkeys >2 years of age (n = 357) from the extended multigenerational pedigree of the Vervet Research Colony (VRC). Using a combination of automated and manual segmentation we have quantified several correlated but distinct brain structural phenotypes. The estimated heritabilities (h(2)) for these measures in the VRC are higher than those reported previously for such features in humans or in other nonhuman primates: total brain volume (h(2) = 0.99, SE = 0.06), cerebral volume (h(2) = 0.98, SE = 0.06), cerebellar volume (h(2) = 0.86, SE = 0.09), hippocampal volume (h(2) = 0.95, SE = 0.07) and corpus callosum cross-sectional areas (h(2) = 0.87, SE = 0.07). These findings indicate that, in the controlled environment and with the inbreeding structure of the VRC, additive genetic factors account for almost all of the observed variance in brain structure, and suggest the potential of the VRC for genetic mapping of quantitative trait loci underlying such variance.
Journal of Neuroscience 04/2009; 29(9):2867-75. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of longitudinal birth cohorts enable joint investigation of environmental and genetic influences on complex traits. We report GWAS results for nine quantitative metabolic traits (triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein, body mass index, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure) in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC1966), drawn from the most genetically isolated Finnish regions. We replicate most previously reported associations for these traits and identify nine new associations, several of which highlight genes with metabolic functions: high-density lipoprotein with NR1H3 (LXRA), low-density lipoprotein with AR and FADS1-FADS2, glucose with MTNR1B, and insulin with PANK1. Two of these new associations emerged after adjustment of results for body mass index. Gene-environment interaction analyses suggested additional associations, which will require validation in larger samples. The currently identified loci, together with quantified environmental exposures, explain little of the trait variation in NFBC1966. The association observed between low-density lipoprotein and an infrequent variant in AR suggests the potential of such a cohort for identifying associations with both common, low-impact and rarer, high-impact quantitative trait loci.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-human primates (NHP) provide crucial research models. Their strong similarities to humans make them particularly valuable for understanding complex behavioral traits and brain structure and function. We report here the genetic mapping of an NHP nervous system biologic trait, the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentration of the dopamine metabolite homovanillic acid (HVA), in an extended inbred vervet monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) pedigree. CSF HVA is an index of CNS dopamine activity, which is hypothesized to contribute substantially to behavioral variations in NHP and humans. For quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, we carried out a two-stage procedure. We first scanned the genome using a first-generation genetic map of short tandem repeat markers. Subsequently, using >100 SNPs within the most promising region identified by the genome scan, we mapped a QTL for CSF HVA at a genome-wide level of significance (peak logarithm of odds score >4) to a narrow well delineated interval (<10 Mb). The SNP discovery exploited conserved segments between human and rhesus macaque reference genome sequences. Our findings demonstrate the potential of using existing primate reference genome sequences for designing high-resolution genetic analyses applicable across a wide range of NHP species, including the many for which full genome sequences are not yet available. Leveraging genomic information from sequenced to nonsequenced species should enable the utilization of the full range of NHP diversity in behavior and disease susceptibility to determine the genetic basis of specific biological and behavioral traits.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2007; 104(40):15811-6. · 9.74 Impact Factor