Multifaceted genomic risk for brain function in schizophrenia

Jiayu Chen, Vince D. Calhoun, Godfrey D. Pearlson, Stefan Ehrlich, Jessica A. Turner, Beng Choon Ho, Thomas H. Wassink, Andrew M. Michael, Jingyu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Recently, deriving candidate endophenotypes from brain imaging data has become a valuable approach to study genetic influences on schizophrenia (SZ), whose pathophysiology remains unclear. In this work we utilized a multivariate approach, parallel independent component analysis, to identify genomic risk components associated with brain function abnormalities in SZ. 5157 candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were derived from genome-wide array based on their possible connections with SZ and further investigated for their associations with brain activations captured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a sensorimotor task. Using data from 92 SZ patients and 116 healthy controls, we detected a significant correlation (r=0.29; p=2.41×10 -5) between one fMRI component and one SNP component, both of which significantly differentiated patients from controls. The fMRI component mainly consisted of precentral and postcentral gyri, the major activated regions in the motor task. On average, higher activation in these regions was observed in participants with higher loadings of the linked SNP component, predominantly contributed to by 253 SNPs. 138 identified SNPs were from known coding regions of 100 unique genes. 31 identified SNPs did not differ between groups, but moderately correlated with some other group-discriminating SNPs, indicating interactions among alleles contributing toward elevated SZ susceptibility. The genes associated with the identified SNPs participated in four neurotransmitter pathways: GABA receptor signaling, dopamine receptor signaling, neuregulin signaling and glutamate receptor signaling. In summary, our work provides further evidence for the complexity of genomic risk to the functional brain abnormality in SZ and suggests a pathological role of interactions between SNPs, genes and multiple neurotransmitter pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)866-875
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 16 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • FMRI
  • Multivariate
  • Parallel-ICA
  • SNP
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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