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Importance - Polygenic risk scores comprising millions of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) could be useful for population-wide coronary heart disease (CHD) screening.
Objective - To determine whether a polygenic risk score improves prediction of CHD compared with a guideline-recommended clinical risk equation.
Design, Setting, and Participants - A retrospective cohort study of the predictive accuracy of a previously validated polygenic risk score was assessed among 4847 adults of white European ancestry, aged 45 through 79 years, participating in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study and 2390 participating in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) from 1996 through December 31, 2015, the final day of follow-up. The performance of the polygenic risk score was compared with that of the 2013 American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association pooled cohort equations.
Exposures - Genetic risk was computed for each participant by summing the product of the weights and allele dosage across 6 630 149 SNPs. Weights were based on an international genome-wide association study.
Main Outcomes and Measures - Prediction of 10-year first CHD events (including myocardial infarctions, fatal coronary events, silent infarctions, revascularization procedures, or resuscitated cardiac arrest) assessed using measures of model discrimination, calibration, and net reclassification improvement (NRI).
Results - The study population included 4847 adults from the ARIC study (mean [SD] age, 62.9 [5.6] years; 56.4% women) and 2390 adults from the MESA cohort (mean [SD] age, 61.8 [9.6] years; 52.2% women). Incident CHD events occurred in 696 participants (14.4%) and 227 participants (9.5%), respectively, over median follow-up of 15.5 years (interquartile range [IQR], 6.3 years) and 14.2 (IQR, 2.5 years) years. The polygenic risk score was significantly associated with 10-year CHD incidence in ARIC with hazard ratios per SD increment of 1.24 (95% CI, 1.15 to 1.34) and in MESA, 1.38 (95% CI, 1.21 to 1.58). Addition of the polygenic risk score to the pooled cohort equations did not significantly increase the C statistic in either cohort (ARIC, change in C statistic, -0.001; 95% CI, -0.009 to 0.006; MESA, 0.021; 95% CI, -0.0004 to 0.043). At the 10-year risk threshold of 7.5%, the addition of the polygenic risk score to the pooled cohort equations did not provide significant improvement in reclassification in either ARIC (NRI, 0.018, 95% CI, -0.012 to 0.036) or MESA (NRI, 0.001, 95% CI, -0.038 to 0.076). The polygenic risk score did not significantly improve calibration in either cohort.
Conclusions and Relevance - In this analysis of 2 cohorts of US adults, the polygenic risk score was associated with incident coronary heart disease events but did not significantly improve discrimination, calibration, or risk reclassification compared with conventional predictors. These findings suggest that a polygenic risk score may not enhance risk prediction in a general, white middle-aged population.
Literature suggests vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) is protective among those at highest risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele carriers represent a highly susceptible population for cognitive decline, and VEGF may confer distinct protection among APOE-ε4 carriers. We evaluated interactions between cortical expression of 10 VEGF gene family members and APOE-ε4 genotype to clarify which VEGF genes modify the association between APOE-ε4 and cognitive decline. Data were obtained from the Religious Orders Study and Rush Memory and Aging Project (N = 531). Linear regression assessed interactions on global cognition. VEGF genes NRP1 and VEGFA interacted with APOE-ε4 on cognitive performance (p.fdr < 0.05). Higher NRP1 expression correlated with worse outcomes among ε4 carriers but better outcomes among ε4 noncarriers, suggesting NRP1 modifies the risk for poor cognitive scores based on APOE-ε4 status. NRP1 regulates angiogenesis, and literature suggests vessels in APOE-ε4 brains are more prone to leaking, perhaps placing young vessels at risk for ischemia. Results suggest that future therapeutics targeting brain angiogenesis should also consider ε4 allele status.
Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The stress response system is disrupted in individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) as well as in those at elevated risk for developing MDD. We examined whether DNA methylation (DNAm) levels of CpG sites within HPA-axis genes predict the onset of MDD. Seventy-seven girls, approximately half (n = 37) of whom were at familial risk for MDD, were followed longitudinally. Saliva samples were taken in adolescence (M age = 13.06 years [SD = 1.52]) when participants had no current or past MDD diagnosis. Diagnostic interviews were administered approximately every 18 months until the first onset of MDD or early adulthood (M age of last follow-up = 19.23 years [SD = 2.69]). We quantified DNAm in saliva samples using the Illumina EPIC chip and examined CpG sites within six key HPA-axis genes (NR3C1, NR3C2, CRH, CRHR1, CRHR2, FKBP5) alongside 59 genotypes for tagging SNPs capturing cis genetic variability. DNAm levels within CpG sites in NR3C1, CRH, CRHR1, and CRHR2 were associated with risk for MDD across adolescence and young adulthood. To rule out the possibility that findings were merely due to the contribution of genetic variability, we re-analyzed the data controlling for cis genetic variation within these candidate genes. Importantly, methylation levels in these CpG sites continued to significantly predict the onset of MDD, suggesting that variation in the epigenome, independent of proximal genetic variants, prospectively predicts the onset of MDD. These findings suggest that variation in the HPA axis at the level of the methylome may predict the development of MDD.
Beta-arrestin-1 and -2 (Barr1 and Barr2, respectively) are intracellular signaling molecules that regulate many important metabolic functions. We previously demonstrated that mice lacking Barr2 selectively in pancreatic beta-cells showed pronounced metabolic impairments. Here we investigated whether Barr1 plays a similar role in regulating beta-cell function and whole body glucose homeostasis. Initially, we inactivated the Barr1 gene in beta-cells of adult mice (beta-barr1-KO mice). Beta-barr1-KO mice did not display any obvious phenotypes in a series of in vivo and in vitro metabolic tests. However, glibenclamide and tolbutamide, two widely used antidiabetic drugs of the sulfonylurea (SU) family, showed greatly reduced efficacy in stimulating insulin secretion in the KO mice in vivo and in perifused KO islets in vitro. Additional in vivo and in vitro studies demonstrated that Barr1 enhanced SU-stimulated insulin secretion by promoting SU-mediated activation of Epac2. Pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that Barr1 can directly interact with Epac2 and that SUs such as glibenclamide promote Barr1/Epac2 complex formation, triggering enhanced Rap1 signaling and insulin secretion. These findings suggest that strategies aimed at promoting Barr1 signaling in beta-cells may prove useful for the development of efficacious antidiabetic drugs.
The goal of this protocol is to describe a method for the dissection of mouse embryos and visualization of embryonic mouse ventricular chambers during heart development using ventricular specific fluorescent reporter knock-in mice (MLC-2v-tdTomato mice). Heart development involves a linear heart tube formation, the heart tube looping, and four chamber septation. These complex processes are highly conserved in all vertebrates. The mouse embryonic heart has been widely used for heart developmental studies. However, due to their extremely small size, dissecting mouse embryonic hearts is technically challenging. In addition, visualization of cardiac chamber formation often needs in situ hybridization, beta-galactosidase staining using LacZ reporter mice, or immunostaining of sectioned embryonic hearts. Here, we describe how to dissect mouse embryonic hearts and directly visualize ventricular chamber formation of MLC-2v-tdTomato mice using whole mount epifluorescent microscopy. With this method, it is possible to directly examine heart tube formation and looping, and four chamber formation without further experimental manipulation of mouse embryos. Although the MLC-2v-tdTomato reporter knock-in mouse line is used in this protocol as an example, this protocol can be applied to other heart-specific fluorescent reporter transgenic mouse lines.
Transcriptomic imputation approaches combine eQTL reference panels with large-scale genotype data in order to test associations between disease and gene expression. These genic associations could elucidate signals in complex genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci and may disentangle the role of different tissues in disease development. We used the largest eQTL reference panel for the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to create a set of gene expression predictors and demonstrate their utility. We applied DLPFC and 12 GTEx-brain predictors to 40,299 schizophrenia cases and 65,264 matched controls for a large transcriptomic imputation study of schizophrenia. We identified 413 genic associations across 13 brain regions. Stepwise conditioning identified 67 non-MHC genes, of which 14 did not fall within previous GWAS loci. We identified 36 significantly enriched pathways, including hexosaminidase-A deficiency, and multiple porphyric disorder pathways. We investigated developmental expression patterns among the 67 non-MHC genes and identified specific groups of pre- and postnatal expression.
Although the use of model systems for studying the mechanism of mutations that have a large effect is common, we highlight here the ways that zebrafish-model-system studies of a gene, GRIK5, that contributes to the polygenic liability to develop eye diseases have helped to illuminate a mechanism that implicates vascular biology in eye disease. A gene-expression prediction derived from a reference transcriptome panel applied to BioVU, a large electronic health record (EHR)-linked biobank at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, implicated reduced GRIK5 expression in diverse eye diseases. We tested the function of GRIK5 by depletion of its ortholog in zebrafish, and we observed reduced blood vessel numbers and integrity in the eye and increased vascular permeability. Analyses of EHRs in >2.6 million Vanderbilt subjects revealed significant comorbidity of eye and vascular diseases (relative risks 2-15); this comorbidity was confirmed in 150 million individuals from a large insurance claims dataset. Subsequent studies in >60,000 genotyped BioVU participants confirmed the association of reduced genetically predicted expression of GRIK5 with comorbid vascular and eye diseases. Our studies pioneer an approach that allows a rapid iteration of the discovery of gene-phenotype relationships to the primary genetic mechanism contributing to the pathophysiology of human disease. Our findings also add dimension to the understanding of the biology driven by glutamate receptors such as GRIK5 (also referred to as GLUK5 in protein form) and to mechanisms contributing to human eye diseases.
Copyright © 2019 American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder which is caused by a mutation of the huntingtin (HTT) gene. Although the pathogenesis of HD has been associated with inflammatory responses, if and how the immune system contributes to the onset of HD is largely unknown. Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are a group of innate-like regulatory T lymphocytes that can rapidly produce various cytokines such as IFN and IL4 upon stimulation with the glycolipid -galactosylceramide (-GalCer). By employing both R6/2 Tg mice (murine HD model) and J18 KO mice (deficient in iNKT cells), we investigated whether alterations of iNKT cells affect the development of HD in R6/2 Tg mice. We found that J18 KO R6/2 Tg mice showed disease progression comparable to R6/2 Tg mice, indicating that the absence of iNKT cells did not have any significant effects on HD development. However, repeated activation of iNKT cells with -GalCer facilitated HD progression in R6/2 Tg mice, and this was associated with increased infiltration of iNKT cells in the brain. Taken together, our results demonstrate that repeated -GalCer treatment of R6/2 Tg mice accelerates HD progression, suggesting that immune activation can affect the severity of HD pathogenesis.
BACKGROUND - There are few and conflicting data on the role of cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) polymorphisms in relation to risperidone adverse events (AEs) in children. This study assessed the association between CYP2D6 metabolizer status and risk for risperidone AEs in children.
METHODS - Children ≤18 years with at least 4 weeks of risperidone exposure were identified using BioVU, a de-identified DNA biobank linked to electronic health record data. The primary outcome of this study was AEs. After DNA sequencing, individuals were classified as CYP2D6 poor, intermediate, normal, or ultrarapid CYP2D6 metabolizers.
RESULTS - For analysis, the 257 individuals were grouped as poor/intermediate metabolizers (n = 33, 13%) and normal/ultrarapid metabolizers (n = 224, 87%). AEs were more common in poor/intermediate vs. normal/ultrarapid metabolizers (15/33, 46% vs. 61/224, 27%, P = 0.04). In multivariate analysis adjusting for age, sex, race, and initial dose, poor/intermediate metabolizers had increased AE risk (adjusted odds ratio 2.4, 95% confidence interval 1.1-5.1, P = 0.03).
CONCLUSION - Children with CYP2D6 poor or intermediate metabolizer phenotypes are at greater risk for risperidone AEs. Pre-prescription genotyping could identify this high-risk subset for an alternate therapy, risperidone dose reduction, and/or increased monitoring for AEs.