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  1. Peyrot WJ, Van der Auwera S, Milaneschi Y, Dolan CV, Madden PAF, Sullivan PF, et al.
    Biol. Psychiatry, 2018 07 15;84(2):138-147.
    PMID: 29129318 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.09.009
    BACKGROUND: The heterogeneity of genetic effects on major depressive disorder (MDD) may be partly attributable to moderation of genetic effects by environment, such as exposure to childhood trauma (CT). Indeed, previous findings in two independent cohorts showed evidence for interaction between polygenic risk scores (PRSs) and CT, albeit in opposing directions. This study aims to meta-analyze MDD-PRS × CT interaction results across these two and other cohorts, while applying more accurate PRSs based on a larger discovery sample.

    METHODS: Data were combined from 3024 MDD cases and 2741 control subjects from nine cohorts contributing to the MDD Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. MDD-PRS were based on a discovery sample of ∼110,000 independent individuals. CT was assessed as exposure to sexual or physical abuse during childhood. In a subset of 1957 cases and 2002 control subjects, a more detailed five-domain measure additionally included emotional abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect.

    RESULTS: MDD was associated with the MDD-PRS (odds ratio [OR] = 1.24, p = 3.6 × 10-5, R2 = 1.18%) and with CT (OR = 2.63, p = 3.5 × 10-18 and OR = 2.62, p = 1.4 ×10-5 for the two- and five-domain measures, respectively). No interaction was found between MDD-PRS and the two-domain and five-domain CT measure (OR = 1.00, p = .89 and OR = 1.05, p = .66).

    CONCLUSIONS: No meta-analytic evidence for interaction between MDD-PRS and CT was found. This suggests that the previously reported interaction effects, although both statistically significant, can best be interpreted as chance findings. Further research is required, but this study suggests that the genetic heterogeneity of MDD is not attributable to genome-wide moderation of genetic effects by CT.

  2. Adityanjee, Singh S, Subramaniam M
    Biol. Psychiatry, 1989 Jun;26(2):199-202.
    PMID: 2567611
  3. Coleman JRI, Gaspar HA, Bryois J, Bipolar Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Major Depressive Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Breen G
    Biol. Psychiatry, 2019 Nov 01.
    PMID: 31926635 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.10.015
    BACKGROUND: Mood disorders (including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder) affect 10% to 20% of the population. They range from brief, mild episodes to severe, incapacitating conditions that markedly impact lives. Multiple approaches have shown considerable sharing of risk factors across mood disorders despite their diagnostic distinction.

    METHODS: To clarify the shared molecular genetic basis of major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder and to highlight disorder-specific associations, we meta-analyzed data from the latest Psychiatric Genomics Consortium genome-wide association studies of major depression (including data from 23andMe) and bipolar disorder, and an additional major depressive disorder cohort from UK Biobank (total: 185,285 cases, 439,741 controls; nonoverlapping N = 609,424).

    RESULTS: Seventy-three loci reached genome-wide significance in the meta-analysis, including 15 that are novel for mood disorders. More loci from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium analysis of major depression than from that for bipolar disorder reached genome-wide significance. Genetic correlations revealed that type 2 bipolar disorder correlates strongly with recurrent and single-episode major depressive disorder. Systems biology analyses highlight both similarities and differences between the mood disorders, particularly in the mouse brain cell types implicated by the expression patterns of associated genes. The mood disorders also differ in their genetic correlation with educational attainment-the relationship is positive in bipolar disorder but negative in major depressive disorder.

    CONCLUSIONS: The mood disorders share several genetic associations, and genetic studies of major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder can be combined effectively to enable the discovery of variants not identified by studying either disorder alone. However, we demonstrate several differences between these disorders. Analyzing subtypes of major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder provides evidence for a genetic mood disorders spectrum.

  4. Glanville KP, Coleman JRI, Hanscombe KB, Euesden J, Choi SW, Purves KL, et al.
    Biol. Psychiatry, 2020 Mar 01;87(5):419-430.
    PMID: 31570195 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.06.031
    BACKGROUND: The prevalence of depression is higher in individuals with autoimmune diseases, but the mechanisms underlying the observed comorbidities are unknown. Shared genetic etiology is a plausible explanation for the overlap, and in this study we tested whether genetic variation in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which is associated with risk for autoimmune diseases, is also associated with risk for depression.

    METHODS: We fine-mapped the classical MHC (chr6: 29.6-33.1 Mb), imputing 216 human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and 4 complement component 4 (C4) haplotypes in studies from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Major Depressive Disorder Working Group and the UK Biobank. The total sample size was 45,149 depression cases and 86,698 controls. We tested for association between depression status and imputed MHC variants, applying both a region-wide significance threshold (3.9 × 10-6) and a candidate threshold (1.6 × 10-4).

    RESULTS: No HLA alleles or C4 haplotypes were associated with depression at the region-wide threshold. HLA-B*08:01 was associated with modest protection for depression at the candidate threshold for testing in HLA genes in the meta-analysis (odds ratio = 0.98, 95% confidence interval = 0.97-0.99).

    CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence that an increased risk for depression was conferred by HLA alleles, which play a major role in the genetic susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, or C4 haplotypes, which are strongly associated with schizophrenia. These results suggest that any HLA or C4 variants associated with depression either are rare or have very modest effect sizes.

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