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Genetic approaches are increasingly advantageous in characterizing treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS). We aimed to identify TRS-associated functional brain proteins, providing a potential pathway for improving psychiatric classification and developing better-tailored therapeutic targets.
TRS-related proteome-wide association studies (PWAS) were conducted on genome-wide association studies (GWAS) from CLOZUK and the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC), which provided TRS individuals (n = 10,501) and non-TRS individuals (n = 20,325), respectively. The reference datasets for the human brain proteome were obtained from ROS/MAP and Banner, with 8,356 and 11,518 proteins collected, respectively. We then performed colocalization analysis and functional enrichment analysis to further explore the biological functions of the proteins identified by PWAS.
In PWAS, two statistically significant proteins were identified using the ROS/MAP and then replicated using the Banner reference dataset, including CPT2 (PPWAS-ROS/MAP = 4.15 × 10−2 and PPWAS-Banner = 3.38 × 10−3) and APOL2 (PPWAS-ROS/MAP = 4.49 × 10−3 and PPWAS-Banner = 8.26 × 10−3). Colocalization analysis identified three variants that were causally related to protein expression in the human brain, including CCDC91 (PP4 = 0.981), PRDX1 (PP4 = 0.894), and WARS2 (PP4 = 0.757). We extended PWAS results from gene-based analysis to pathway-based analysis, identifying 14 gene ontology (GO) terms and the only candidate pathway for TRS, metabolic pathways (all P < 0.05).
Our results identified two protein biomarkers, and cautiously support that the pathological mechanism of TRS is linked to lipid oxidation and inflammation, where mitochondria-related functions may play a role.
Depression is a debilitating mental disorder that often coexists with anxiety. The genetic mechanisms of depression and anxiety have considerable overlap, and studying depression in non-anxiety samples could help to discover novel gene. We assess the genetic variation of depression in non-anxiety samples, using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC).
The GWAS of depression score and self-reported depression were conducted using the UK Biobank samples, comprising 99,178 non-anxiety participants with anxiety score <5 and 86,503 non-anxiety participants without self-reported anxiety, respectively. Replication analysis was then performed using two large-scale GWAS summary data of depression from Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC). LDSC was finally used to evaluate genetic correlations with 855 health-related traits based on the primary GWAS.
Two genome-wide significant loci for non-anxiety depression were identified: rs139702470 (p = 1.54 × 10−8, OR = 0.29) locate in PIEZO2, and rs6046722 (p = 2.52 × 10−8, OR = 1.09) locate in CFAP61. These associated genes were replicated in two GWAS of depression from PGC, such as rs1040582 (preplication GWAS1 = 0.02, preplication GWAS2 = 2.71 × 10−3) in CFAP61, and rs11661122 (preplication GWAS1 = 8.16 × 10−3, preplication GWAS2 = 8.08 × 10−3) in PIEZO2. LDSC identified 19 traits genetically associated with non-anxiety depression (p < 0.001), such as marital separation/divorce (rg = 0.45, SE = 0.15).
Our findings provide novel clues for understanding of the complex genetic architecture of depression.
The role of neurological proteins in the development of bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) remains elusive now. The current study aims to explore the potential genetic correlations of plasma neurological proteins with BD and SCZ.
By using the latest genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary data of BD and SCZ (including 41,917 BD cases, 11,260 SCZ cases, and 396,091 controls) derived from the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium website (PGC) and a recently released GWAS of neurological proteins (including 750 individuals), we performed a linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC) analysis to detect the potential genetic correlations between the two common psychiatric disorders and each of the 92 neurological proteins. Two-sample Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis was then applied to assess the bidirectional causal relationship between the neurological proteins identified by LDSC, BD and SCZ.
LDSC analysis identified one neurological protein, NEP, which shows suggestive genetic correlation signals for both BD (coefficient = −0.165, p value = 0.035) and SCZ (coefficient = −0.235, p value = 0.020). However, those association did not remain significant after strict Bonferroni correction. Two sample MR analysis found that there was an association between genetically predicted level of NEP protein, BD (odd ratio [OR] = 0.87, p value = 1.61 × 10−6) and SCZ (OR = 0.90, p value = 4.04 × 10−6). However, in the opposite direction, there is no genetically predicted association between BD, SCZ, and NEP protein level.
This study provided novel clues for understanding the genetic effects of neurological proteins on BD and SCZ.
Gut microbiome and dietary patterns have been suggested to be associated with depression/anxiety. However, limited effort has been made to explore the effects of possible interactions between diet and microbiome on the risks of depression and anxiety.
Using the latest genome-wide association studies findings in gut microbiome and dietary habits, polygenic risk scores (PRSs) analysis of gut microbiome and dietary habits was conducted in the UK Biobank cohort. Logistic/linear regression models were applied for evaluating the associations for gut microbiome-PRS, dietary habits-PRS, and their interactions with depression/anxiety status and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)/Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) score by R software.
We observed 51 common diet–gut microbiome interactions shared by both PHQ score and depression status, such as overall beef intake × genus Sporobacter [hurdle binary (HB)] (PPHQ = 7.88 × 10−4, Pdepression status = 5.86 × 10−4); carbohydrate × genus Lactococcus (HB) (PPHQ = 0.0295, Pdepression status = 0.0150). We detected 41 common diet–gut microbiome interactions shared by GAD score and anxiety status, such as sugar × genus Parasutterella (rank normal transformed) (PGAD = 5.15 × 10−3, Panxiety status = 0.0347); tablespoons of raw vegetables per day × family Coriobacteriaceae (HB) (PGAD = 6.02 × 10−4, Panxiety status = 0.0345). Some common significant interactions shared by depression and anxiety were identified, such as overall beef intake × genus Sporobacter (HB).
Our study results expanded our understanding of how to comprehensively consider the relationships for dietary habits–gut microbiome interactions with depression and anxiety.
Birth weight influences not only brain development, but also mental health outcomes, including depression, but the underlying mechanism is unclear.
The phenotypic data of 12,872–91,009 participants (59.18–63.38% women) from UK Biobank were included to test the associations between the birth weight, depression, and brain volumes through the linear and logistic regression models. As birth weight is highly heritable, the polygenic risk scores (PRSs) of birth weight were calculated from the UK Biobank cohort (154,539 participants, 56.90% women) to estimate the effect of birth weight-related genetic variation on the development of depression and brain volumes. Finally, the mediation analyses of step approach and mediation analysis were used to estimate the role of brain volumes in the association between birth weight and depression. All analyses were conducted sex stratified to assess sex-specific role in the associations.
We observed associations between birth weight and depression (odds ratio [OR] = 0.968, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.957–0.979, p = 2.29 × 10−6). Positive associations were observed between birth weight and brain volumes, such as gray matter (B = 0.131, p = 3.51 × 10−74) and white matter (B = 0.129, p = 1.67 × 10−74). Depression was also associated with brain volume, such as left thalamus (OR = 0.891, 95% CI = 0.850–0.933, p = 4.46 × 10−5) and right thalamus (OR = 0.884, 95% CI = 0.841–0.928, p = 2.67 × 10−5). Additionally, significant mediation effects of brain volume were found for the associations between birth weight and depression through steps approach and mediation analysis, such as gray matter (B = –0.220, p = 0.020) and right thalamus (B = –0.207, p = 0.014).
Our results showed the associations among birth weight, depression, and brain volumes, and the mediation effect of brain volumes also provide evidence for the sex-specific of associations.
Psychiatric disorders are a group of complex psychological syndromes with high prevalence. Recent studies observed associations between altered plasma proteins and psychiatric disorders. This study aims to systematically explore the potential genetic relationships between five major psychiatric disorders and more than 3,000 plasma proteins.
The genome-wide association study (GWAS) datasets of attention deficiency/hyperactive disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), schizophrenia (SCZ) and major depressive disorder (MDD) were driven from the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium. The GWAS datasets of 3,283 human plasma proteins were derived from recently published study, including 3,301 study subjects. Linkage disequilibrium score (LDSC) regression analysis were conducted to evaluate the genetic correlations between psychiatric disorders and each of the 3,283 plasma proteins.
LDSC observed several genetic correlations between plasma proteins and psychiatric disorders, such as ADHD and lysosomal Pro-X carboxypeptidase (p value = 0.015), ASD and extracellular superoxide dismutase (Cu-Zn; p value = 0.023), BD and alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminide alpha-2,6-sialyltransferase 6 (p value = 0.007), MDD and trefoil factor 1 (p value = 0.011), and SCZ and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 6 (p value = 0.011). Additionally, we detected four common plasma proteins showing correlation evidence with both BD and SCZ, such as tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 1B (p value = 0.012 for BD, p value = 0.011 for SCZ).
This study provided an atlas of genetic correlations between psychiatric disorders and plasma proteome, providing novel clues for pathogenetic and biomarkers, therapeutic studies of psychiatric disorders.
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