Polygenic associations of neurodevelopmental genes in suicide attempt.

Sokolowski M, Wasserman J, Wasserman D

Mol. Psychiatry 21 (10) 1381-1390 [2016-10-00; online 2015-12-17]

The risk for suicidal behavior (SB) is elevated in schizophrenia (SCZ), bipolar disorder (BPD) and major depressive disorder (MDD), but also occurs in subjects without psychiatric diagnoses. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on SB may help to understand this risk, but have been hampered by low power due to limited sample sizes, weakly ascertained SB or a reliance on single-nucleotide protein (SNP)-by-SNP analyses. Here, we tried to mitigate such issues with polygenic risk score (PRS) association tests combined with hypothesis-driven strategies using a family-based sample of 660 trios with a well-ascertained suicide attempt (SA) outcome in the offspring (Genetic Investigation of Suicide and SA, GISS). Two complementary sources of PRS information were used. First, a PRS that was discovered and validated in the GISS SA revealed the polygenic association of SNPs in 750 neurodevelopmental genes, which was driven by the SA phenotype, rather than the major psychiatric diagnoses. Second, a PRS based on three different genome-wide association studies (on SCZ, BPD or MDD) from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) showed an association of the PGC-SCZ PRS in the SA subjects with and without major psychiatric diagnoses. We characterized the PGC-SCZ overlap in the SA subjects without diagnoses. The extended major histocompatibility complex region did not contribute to the overlap, but we delineated the genic overlap to neurodevelopmental genes that partially overlapped with those identified by the GISS PRS. Among the 590 SA polygenes implicated here, there were several developmentally important functions (cell adhesion/migration, small GTPase and receptor tyrosine kinase signaling), and 16 of the SA polygenes have previously been studied in SB (BDNF, CDH10, CDH12, CDH13, CDH9, CREB1, DLK1, DLK2, EFEMP1, FOXN3, IL2, LSAMP, NCAM1, nerve growth factor (NGF), NTRK2 and TBC1D1). These novel genome-wide insights, supported by two lines of evidence, suggested the importance of a polygenic neurodevelopmental etiology in SB, even in the absence of major psychiatric diagnoses.

NGI Uppsala (SNP&SEQ Technology Platform) [Service]

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PubMed 26666204

DOI 10.1038/mp.2015.187

Crossref 10.1038/mp.2015.187