Heritability of regional brain volumes in large-scale neuroimaging and genetic studies
Joseph G. Ibrahim,
Paul M Thompson,
Pediatric Imaging, Neurocognition and Genetics (PING),
Peter Van Zijl,
Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI),
Clifford R. Jack,
John Q. Trojanowki,
Arthur W Toga,
Robert C. Green,
Andrew J. Saykin,
Leslie M. Shaw,
M. Marcel Mesulman,
Peter J. Snyder,
Ronald G. Thomas,
Robert A. Koeppe,
Eric M Reiman,
Nigel J. Cairns,
Virginia M.Y. Lee,
Tatiana M. Foroud,
Posted 25 Oct 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/208496 (published DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhy157)
Posted 25 Oct 2017
Brain genetics is an active research area. The degree to which genetic variants impact variations in brain structure and function remains largely unknown. We examined the heritability of regional brain volumes (p ~ 100) captured by single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in UK Biobank (n ~ 9000). We found that regional brain volumes are highly heritable in this study population. We observed omni-genic impact across the genome as well as enrichment of SNPs in active chromatin regions. Principal components derived from regional volume data are also highly heritable, but the amount of variance in brain volume explained by the component did not seem to be related to its heritability. Heritability estimates vary substantially across large-scale functional networks and brain regions. The variation in heritability across regions was not related to measurement reliability. Heritability estimates exhibit a symmetric pattern across left and right hemispheres and are consistent in females and males. Our main findings in UK Biobank are consistent with those in Alzheimers Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (n ~ 1100), Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (n ~ 600), and Pediatric Imaging, Neurocognition, and Genetics (n ~ 500) datasets, with more stable estimates in UK Biobank.
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