Genetic variation and neuroimaging measures in Alzheimer disease.
ABSTRACT: To investigate whether genome-wide association study (GWAS)-validated and GWAS-promising candidate loci influence magnetic resonance imaging measures and clinical Alzheimer's disease (AD) status.Multicenter case-control study of genetic and neuroimaging data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.Multicenter GWAS. Patients A total of 168 individuals with probable AD, 357 with mild cognitive impairment, and 215 cognitively normal control individuals recruited from more than 50 Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative centers in the United States and Canada. All study participants had APOE and genome-wide genetic data available.We investigated the influence of GWAS-validated and GWAS-promising novel AD loci on hippocampal volume, amygdala volume, white matter lesion volume, entorhinal cortex thickness, parahippocampal gyrus thickness, and temporal pole cortex thickness.Markers at the APOE locus were associated with all phenotypes except white matter lesion volume (all false discovery rate-corrected P values < .001). Novel and established AD loci identified by prior GWASs showed a significant cumulative score-based effect (false discovery rate P = .04) on all analyzed neuroimaging measures. The GWAS-validated variants at the CR1 and PICALM loci and markers at 2 novel loci (BIN1 and CNTN5) showed association with multiple magnetic resonance imaging characteristics (false discovery rate P < .05).Loci associated with AD also influence neuroimaging correlates of this disease. Furthermore, neuroimaging analysis identified 2 additional loci of high interest for further study.
Project description:OBJECTIVES: To understand the relation between risk genes for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and their influence on biomarkers for AD, we examined the association of AD in the Finnish cohort with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from top AlzGene loci, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and candidate gene studies; and tested the correlation between these SNPs and AD markers A?(1-42), total tau (t-tau), and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). METHODS: We tested 25 SNPs for genetic association with clinical AD in our cohort comprised of 890 AD patients and 701-age matched healthy controls using logistic regression. For the correlational study with biomarkers, we tested 36 SNPs in a subset of 222 AD patients with available CSF using mixed models. Statistical analyses were adjusted for age, gender and APOE status. False discovery rate for multiple testing was applied. All participants were from academic hospital and research institutions in Finland. RESULTS: APOE-?4, CLU rs11136000, and MS4A4A rs2304933 correlated with significantly decreased A?(1-42) (corrected p<0.05). At an uncorrected p<0.05, PPP3R1 rs1868402 and MAPT rs2435211 were related with increased t-tau; while SORL1 rs73595277 and MAPT rs16940758, with increased p-tau. Only TOMM40 rs2075650 showed association with clinical AD after adjusting for APOE-?4 (p = 0.007), but not after multiple test correction (p>0.05). CONCLUSIONS: We provide evidence that APOE-?4, CLU and MS4A4A, which have been identified in GWAS to be associated with AD, also significantly reduced CSF A?1-42 in AD. None of the other AlzGene and GWAS loci showed significant effects on CSF tau. The effects of other SNPs on CSF biomarkers and clinical AD diagnosis did not reach statistical significance. Our findings suggest that APOE-?4, CLU and MS4A4A influence both AD risk and CSF A?1-42.
Project description:A genome-wide, whole brain approach to investigate genetic effects on neuroimaging phenotypes for identifying quantitative trait loci is described. The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 1.5 T MRI and genetic dataset was investigated using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and FreeSurfer parcellation followed by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). One hundred forty-two measures of grey matter (GM) density, volume, and cortical thickness were extracted from baseline scans. GWAS, using PLINK, were performed on each phenotype using quality-controlled genotype and scan data including 530,992 of 620,903 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 733 of 818 participants (175 AD, 354 amnestic mild cognitive impairment, MCI, and 204 healthy controls, HC). Hierarchical clustering and heat maps were used to analyze the GWAS results and associations are reported at two significance thresholds (p<10(-7) and p<10(-6)). As expected, SNPs in the APOE and TOMM40 genes were confirmed as markers strongly associated with multiple brain regions. Other top SNPs were proximal to the EPHA4, TP63 and NXPH1 genes. Detailed image analyses of rs6463843 (flanking NXPH1) revealed reduced global and regional GM density across diagnostic groups in TT relative to GG homozygotes. Interaction analysis indicated that AD patients homozygous for the T allele showed differential vulnerability to right hippocampal GM density loss. NXPH1 codes for a protein implicated in promotion of adhesion between dendrites and axons, a key factor in synaptic integrity, the loss of which is a hallmark of AD. A genome-wide, whole brain search strategy has the potential to reveal novel candidate genes and loci warranting further investigation and replication.
Project description:The Plexin-A 4 (PLXNA4) gene, has recently been identified in genome wide association studies (GWAS), as a novel genetic player associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Additionally, PLXNA4 genetic variations were also found to increase AD risk by tau pathology in vitro. However, the potential roles of PLXNA4 variants in the amyloid-β (Aβ) pathology, were not evaluated. Five targeted loci capturing the top common variations in PLXNA4, were extracted using tagger methods. Multiple linear regression models were used to explore whether these variations can affect the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (Aβ1-42, T-tau, and P-tau) phenotypes in the Alzheimer's disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) dataset. We detected that two loci (rs6467431, rs67468325) were significantly associated with CSF Aβ1-42 levels in the hybrid population (rs6467431: P = 0.01376, rs67468325: P = 0.006536) and the significance remained after false discovery rate (FDR) correction (rs6467431: Pc = 0.03441, rs67468325: Pc = 0.03268). In the subgroup analysis, we further confirmed the association of rs6467431 in the cognitively normal (CN) subgroup (P = 0.01904, Pc = 0.04761). Furthermore, rs6467431-A carriers and rs67468325-G carriers showed higher CSF Aβ1-42 levels than non-carriers. Nevertheless, we did not detect any significant relationships between the levels of T-tau, P-tau and these PLXNA4 loci. Our findings provided preliminary evidence that PLXNA4 variants can confer AD risk through modulating the Aβ deposition.
Project description:Variants in the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Specifically, the APOE ?4 allele is an established genetic risk factor for AD, while the APOE ?2 allele is a protective factor against AD. However, the mechanism underlying this impact of APOE genotype on the pathogenesis of AD remain unclear. This study sought to investigate the influence of APOE genotype on cognition and neuroimaging features in cognitively normal (CN) elderly individuals and patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A total of 177 participants were selected from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database, including 101 MCI patients and 76 CN individuals. A 2 × 3 (consisting of two groups and three APOE genotypes) analysis of covariance was carried out to measure the influences of diagnosis and APOE genotype on cognition and brain features, assessed based on global functional connectivity density (gFCD) and hippocampal volume. In addition, a mediation analysis was carried out to investigate the indirect influence of neuroimaging features on the relationship between APOE genotype and cognitive performance in the MCI group. This analysis revealed that APOE genotype had an influence on brain function in the bilateral precentral gyrus, right thalamus, and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). In addition, an interactive influence between diagnosis and APOE genotype was found on general cognition, immediate memory, executive function, hippocampal volume, and gFCD in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). Finally, this mediation analysis revealed that hippocampal volume and gFCD in the thalamus may mediate the relationship between APOE genotype and cognitive performance in the MCI group. Taken together, our findings provide novel insights into the neural mechanisms underlying the genetically guided pathogenic mechanisms of AD.
Project description:Membrane-spanning 4-domains, subfamily A, member 6A (MS4A6A) has been identified as susceptibility loci of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by several recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS), whereas little is known about the potential roles of these variants in the brain structure and function of AD. In this study, we included a total of 812 individuals from the Alzheimer's disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. Using multiple linear regression models, we found MS4A6A genotypes were strongly related to atrophy rate of left middle temporal (rs610932: Pc = 0.017, rs7232: Pc = 0.022), precuneus (rs610932: Pc = 0.015) and entorhinal (rs610932, Pc = 0.022) on MRI in the entire group. In the subgroup analysis, MS4A6A SNPs were significantly accelerated the percentage of volume loss of middle temporal, precuneus and entorhinal, especially in the MCI subgroup. These findings reveal that MS4A6A genotypes affect AD specific brain structures which supported the possible role of MS4A6A polymorphisms in influencing AD-related neuroimaging phenotypes.
Project description:In recent years, several promising susceptibility loci for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) were discovered, by implementing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) approach. Recent GWAS meta-analysis has demonstrated the association of 19 loci (in addition to the APOE locus) with AD in the European ancestry population at genome-wide significance level. Since Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is a substantial risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia, the 19 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that represent the 19 AD loci were studied for association with performance in episodic memory, a primary cognitive domain affected by AD, in a sample of 848 cognitively normal elderly Israeli Jewish T2D patients. We found a suggestive association of SNP rs6733839, located near the bridging integrator 1 (BIN1) gene, with this phenotype. Controlling for demographic (age, sex, education, disease duration and ancestry) covariates, carriers of two copies of the AD risk allele T (TT genotype) performed significantly worse (p=0.00576; p=0.00127 among Ashkenazi origin sub-sample) in episodic memory compared to carriers of the C allele (CT+CC genotypes). When including additional potential covariates (clinical and APOE genotype), results remained significant (p=0.00769; p=0.00148 among Ashkenazi). Interestingly, as validated in multiple large studies, BIN1 is one of the most established AD risk loci, with a high odds ratio. Although preliminary and require further replications, our findings support a contribution of BIN1 to individual differences in episodic memory performance among T2D patients.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative condition with significant genetic heritability. Several genes have been implicated in the onset of AD with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene being the strongest single genetic risk loci. Evidence suggests that the effect of APOE alters with age during disease progression. Here, we aim to investigate the impact of APOE and other variants outside the APOE region on AD risk in younger and older participants. Using data from both the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and the UK Biobank, we computed the polygenic risk score of each individual informed by the latest genetic study from the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project. Our analysis showed that the effect of APOE on the disease risk is greater in younger participants and reduces as participants' age increases. Our findings indicate the increased impact of polygenic risk score as participants' age increases. Therefore, AD in older individuals can potentially be triggered by the cumulative effect of genes which are outside the APOE region.
Project description:The strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the Apolipoprotein E type 4 allele (ApoE ε4). The interaction between sex and ApoE ε4 carrier status on AD risk remains an area of intense investigation. We hypothesized that sex modulates the relationship between ApoE ε4 carrier status and brain tau deposition (a quantitative endophenotype in AD) in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Methods: Preprocessed 18F-AV-1451 tau and 18F-AV-45 amyloid PET images, T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, demographic information, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) total tau (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) measurements from 108 MCI subjects in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database were included. After downloading pre-processed images from ADNI, an iterative reblurred Van Cittertiteration partial volume correction (PVC) method was applied to all PET images. MRIs were used for PET spatial normalization. Regions of interest (ROIs) were defined in standard space, and standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) images relative to cerebellum were computed. ApoE ε4 by sex interaction analyses on 18F-AV-1451 and CSF tau (t-tau, p-tau) were assessed using generalized linear models. The association between 18F-AV-1451 SUVR and CSF tau (t-tau, p-tau) was assessed. Results: After applying PVC and controlling for age, education level and global cortical 18F-AV-45 SUVR, we found that the entorhinal cortex, amygdala, parahippocampal gyrus, posterior cingulate, and occipital ROIs exhibited a significant ApoE ε4 by sex interaction effect (false discovery rate P < 0.1) among MCI individuals. We also found a significant ApoE ε4 by sex interaction effect on CSF t-tau and p-tau. 18F-AV-1451 SUVR in the 5 ROIs with ApoE ε4 by sex interaction was significantly correlated with CSF p-tau and t-tau. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that women are more susceptible to ApoE ε4-associated accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles in MCI compared to males. Both CSF tau (p-tau, t-tau) and brain tau PET are robust quantitative biomarkers for studying ApoE ε4 by sex effects on brain tau deposition in MCI participants.
Project description:Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully identified several risk loci for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nonetheless, these loci do not explain the entire susceptibility of the disease, suggesting that other genetic contributions remain to be identified. Here, we performed a meta-analysis combining data of 4,569 individuals (2,540 cases and 2,029 healthy controls) derived from three publicly available GWAS in AD and replicated a broad genomic region (>248,000 bp) associated with the disease near the APOE/TOMM40 locus in chromosome 19. To detect minor effect size contributions that could help to explain the remaining genetic risk, we conducted network-based pathway analyses either by extracting gene-wise p-values (GW), defined as the single strongest association signal within a gene, or calculated a more stringent gene-based association p-value using the extended Simes (GATES) procedure. Comparison of these strategies revealed that ontological sub-networks (SNs) involved in glutamate signaling were significantly overrepresented in AD (p<2.7×10(-11), p<1.9×10(-11); GW and GATES, respectively). Notably, glutamate signaling SNs were also found to be significantly overrepresented (p<5.1×10(-8)) in the Alzheimer's disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study, which was used as a targeted replication sample. Interestingly, components of the glutamate signaling SNs are coordinately expressed in disease-related tissues, which are tightly related to known pathological hallmarks of AD. Our findings suggest that genetic variation within glutamate signaling contributes to the remaining genetic risk of AD and support the notion that functional biological networks should be targeted in future therapies aimed to prevent or treat this devastating neurological disorder.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. Although genome-wide association study (GWAS) have reported hundreds of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genes linked to AD, the mechanisms about how these SNPs modulate the development of AD remain largely unknown. In this study, we performed GWAS for three traits in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and one clinical trait in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) cohort. Our analysis identified five most significant AD related SNPs (FDR < 0.05) within or proximal to APOE, APOC1, and TOMM40. One of the SNPs was co-inherited with APOE allele 4, which is the most important genetic risk factor for AD. Three of the five SNPs were located in promoter or enhancer regions, and transcription factor (TF) binding affinity calculations showed dramatic changes (| Log2FC| > 2) of three TFs (PLAG1, RREB1, and ZBTB33) for two motifs containing SNPs rs2075650 and rs157580. In addition, our GWAS showed that both rs2075650 and rs157580 were significantly associated with the poliovirus receptor-related 2 (PVRL2) gene (FDR < 0.25), which is involved in spreading of herpes simplex virus (HSV). The altered regulation of PVRL2 may increase the susceptibility AD patients to HSV and other virus infections of the brain. Our work suggests that AD is a type of immune disorder driven by viral or microbial infections of the brain during aging.