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Manifestations of genetic risk for Alzheimer's Disease in the blood: a cross-sectional multi-omic analysis in healthy adults aged 18-90+

By Laura M Heath, John C Earls, Andrew T. Magis, Sergey A Kornilov, Jennifer C. Lovejoy, Cory C Funk, Noa Rappaport, Benjamin A Logsdon, Lara M. Mangravite, Brian W. Kunkle, Eden Martin, Adam C Naj, Nilufer Ertekin-Taner, Todd Golde, Leroy Hood, Nathan D Price, Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium

Posted 28 Mar 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.26.437267

Deeply phenotyped cohort data can elucidate differences associated with genetic risk for common complex diseases across an age spectrum. Previous work has identified genetic variants associated with Alzheimers disease (AD) risk from large-scale genome-wide association study meta-analyses. To explore effects of known AD-risk variants, we performed a phenome-wide association study on ~2000 clinical, proteomic, and metabolic blood-based analytes obtained from 2,831 cognitively normal adult clients of a consumer-based scientific wellness company. Results uncovered statistically significant SNP-analyte associations for five genetic variants after correction for multiple testing (for SNPs in or near NYAP1, ABCA7, INPP5D, and APOE). These effects were detectable from early adulthood. Sex modified the effects of four genetic variants, with multiple interrelated immune-modulating effects associated with the PICALM variant. Sex-stratified GWAS results from an independent AD case-control meta-analysis supported sexspecific disease effects of the PICALM variant, highlighting the importance of sex as a biological variable. These analyses support evidence from previous functional genomics studies in the identification of a causal variant within the PILRA gene. Taken together, this study highlights clues to the earliest effects of AD genetic risk variants in individuals where disease symptoms have not (yet) arisen.

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