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An investigation of a genomewide supported psychosis variant in ZNF804A and white matter integrity in the human brain

Magnetic Resonance Imaging
DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2012.05.013
  • Znf804A
  • White Matter
  • Structural Connectivity
  • Diffusion Tensor Mri
  • Intermediate Phenotype
  • Genetic Risk
  • Biology


Abstract ZNF804A, a genomewide supported susceptibility gene for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, has been associated with task-independent functional connectivity between the left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. Several lines of evidence have converged on the hypothesis that this effect may be mediated by structural connectivity. We tested this hypothesis using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging in three samples: one German sample of 50 healthy individuals, one Scottish sample of 83 healthy individuals and one Scottish sample of 84 unaffected relatives of bipolar patients. Voxel-based analysis and tract-based spatial statistics did not detect any fractional anisotropy (FA) differences between minor allele carriers and individuals homozygous for the major allele at rs1344706. Similarly, region-of-interest analyses and quantitative tractography of the genu of the corpus callosum revealed no significant FA differences between the genotype groups. Examination of effect sizes and confidence intervals indicated that this negative finding is very unlikely to be due to a lack of statistical power. In summary, despite using various analysis techniques in three different samples, our results were strikingly and consistently negative. These data therefore suggest that it is unlikely that the effects of genetic variation at rs1344706 on functional connectivity are mediated by structural integrity differences in large, long-range white matter fiber connections.

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