Polygenic architecture of human neuroanatomical diversity
Benjamin S. Aribisala,
Mark E. Bastin,
Simon R Cox,
Ian J Deary,
Saskia P Hagenaars,
Natalie A. Royle,
Maria Valdes Hernandez,
Joanna M. Wardlaw,
Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative,
Posted 28 Mar 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/592337 (published DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhz241)
Posted 28 Mar 2019
We analysed the genomic architecture of neuroanatomical diversity using magnetic resonance imaging and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from >26,000 individuals from the UK Biobank project and 5 other projects that had previously participated in the ENIGMA consortium. Our results confirm the polygenic architecture of neuroanatomical diversity, with SNPs capturing from 40% to 54% of regional brain volume variance. Chromosomal length correlated with the amount of phenotypic variance captured, r∼0.64 on average, suggesting that at a global scale causal variants are homogeneously distributed across the genome. At a local scale, SNPs within genes (∼51%) captured ∼1.5 times more genetic variance than the rest; and SNPs with low minor allele frequency (MAF) captured less variance than the rest: the 40% of SNPs with MAF<5% captured <1/4th of the genetic variance. We also observed extensive pleiotropy across regions, with an average genetic correlation of rG∼0.45. Genetic correlations were similar to phenotypic and environmental correlations, however, genetic correlations were often larger than phenotypic correlations for the left/right volumes of the same region. The heritability of differences in left/right volumes was generally not statistically significant, suggesting an important influence of environmental causes in the variability of brain asymmetry. Our code is available at <https://github.com/neuroanatomy/genomic-architecture>.
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