Volumetric GWAS of medial temporal lobe structures identifies an ERC1 locus using ADNI high-resolution T2-weighted MRI data

UK Brain Expression Consortium, Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Medial temporal lobe (MTL) consists of hippocampal subfields and neighboring cortices. These heterogeneous structures are differentially involved in memory, cognitive and emotional functions, and present nonuniformly distributed atrophy contributing to cognitive disorders. This study aims to examine how genetics influences Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis via MTL substructures by analyzing high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. We performed genome-wide association study to examine the associations between 565,373 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 14 MTL substructure volumes. A novel association with right Brodmann area 36 volume was discovered in an ERC1 SNP (i.e., rs2968869). Further analyses on larger samples found rs2968869 to be associated with gray matter density and glucose metabolism measures in the right hippocampus, and disease status. Tissue-specific transcriptomic analysis identified the minor allele of rs2968869 (rs2968869-C) to be associated with reduced ERC1 expression in the hippocampus. All the findings indicated a protective role of rs2968869-C in AD. We demonstrated the power of high-resolution MRI and the promise of fine-grained MTL substructures for revealing the genetic basis of AD biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume95
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • BA36
  • ERC1
  • Genome-wide association study (GWAS)
  • High-resolution T2-weighted MRI
  • Medial temporal lobe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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