Genome-Wide Association Analysis with Gray Matter Volume as a Quantitative Phenotype in First-Episode Treatment-Naïve Patients with Schizophrenia
Reduced Gray matter (GM) volume is a core feature of schizophrenia. Mapping genes that is associated with the heritable disease-related phenotypes may be conducive to elucidate the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. This study aims to identify the common genetic variants that underlie the deficits of GM volume in schizophrenia. High-resolution T1 images and whole genome genotyping data were obtained from 74 first-episode treatment-naïve patients with schizophrenia and 51 healthy controls in the Mental Health Centre of the West China Hospital, Sichuan University. All participants were scanned using a 3T MR imaging system and were genotyped using the HumanHap660 Bead Array. Reduced GM volumes in three brain areas including left hOC3v in the collateral sulcus of visual cortex (hOC3vL), left cerebellar vermis lobule 10 (vermisL10) and right cerebellar vermis lobule 10 (vermisR10) were found in patients with schizophrenia. There was a group by genotype interaction when genotypes from genome-wide scan were subsequently considered in the case-control analyses. SNPs from three genes or chromosomal regions (TBXAS1, PIK3C2G and HS3ST5) were identified to predict the changes of GM volume in hOC3vL, vermisL10 and vermisR10. These results also highlighted the usefulness of endophenotype in exploring the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia although further independent replication studies are needed in the future.