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Mol Psychiatry. 2020 Jan 3. doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0640-9. [Epub ahead of print]

A variant near DHCR24 associates with microstructural properties of white matter and peripheral lipid metabolism in adolescents.

Author information

1
The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
2
Departments of Physiology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
3
Center for Life-Course Health Research and Computational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, and Biocenter Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
4
Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada.
5
Department of Health Sciences, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, QC, Canada.
6
Clinical Lipidology and rare lipid disorders Unit, Community Genetic Medicine Center, Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal, ECOGENE-21, Chicoutimi, QC, Canada.
7
Neural Regeneration Laboratory, Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
8
Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
9
The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. zdenka.pausova@sickkids.ca.
10
Departments of Physiology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. zdenka.pausova@sickkids.ca.

Abstract

Visceral adiposity has been associated with altered microstructural properties of white matter in adolescents. Previous evidence suggests that circulating phospholipid PC(16:0/2:0) may mediate this association. To investigate the underlying biology, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the shared variance of visceral fat, PC(16:0/2:0), and white matter microstructure in 872 adolescents from the Saguenay Youth Study. We further studied the metabolomic profile of the GWAS-lead variant in 931 adolescents. Visceral fat and white matter microstructure were assessed with magnetic resonance imaging. Circulating metabolites were quantified with serum lipidomics and metabolomics. We identified a genome-wide significant association near DHCR24 (Seladin-1) encoding a cholesterol-synthesizing enzyme (rs588709, p = 3.6 × 10-8); rs588709 was also associated nominally with each of the three traits (white matter microstructure: p = 2.1 × 10-6, PC(16:0/2:0): p = 0.005, visceral fat: p = 0.010). We found that the metabolic profile associated with rs588709 resembled that of a TM6SF2 variant impacting very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) secretion and was only partially similar to that of a HMGCR variant. This suggests that the effect of rs588709 on VLDL lipids may arise due to altered phospholipid rather than cholesterol metabolism. The rs588709 was also nominally associated with circulating concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in interaction with visceral fat and PC(16:0/2:0), and these fatty acid measures showed robust associations with white matter microstructure. Overall, the present study provides evidence that the DHCR24 locus may link peripheral metabolism to brain microstructure, an association with implications for cognitive impairment.

PMID:
31900429
DOI:
10.1038/s41380-019-0640-9

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