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Shared genetic influences on adolescent body mass index and brain structure: A voxel-based morphometry study in twins.

Authors
  • Kennedy, James T1
  • Astafiev, Serguei V2
  • Golosheykin, Semyon2
  • Korucuoglu, Ozlem2
  • Anokhin, Andrey P2
  • 1 Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, United States. Electronic address: [email protected] , (United States)
  • 2 Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, United States. , (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
NeuroImage
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2019
Volume
199
Pages
261–272
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.05.053
PMID: 31163268
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated significant relationships between obesity and brain structure. Both phenotypes are heritable, but it is not known whether they are influenced by common genetic factors. We investigated the genetic etiology of the relationship between individual variability in brain morphology and BMIz using structural MRI in adolescent twins. The sample (n = 258) consisted of 54 monozygotic and 75 dizygotic twin pairs (mean(SD) age = 13.61(0.505), BMIz = 0.608(1.013). Brain structure (volume and density of gray and white matter) was assessed using VBM. Significant voxelwise heritability of brain structure was established using the Accelerated Permutation inference for ACE models (APACE) program, with structural heritability varying from 15 to 97%, depending on region. Bivariate heritability analyses were carried out comparing additive genetic and unique environment models with and without shared genetics on BMIz and the voxels showing significant heritability in the APACE analyses. BMIz was positively related to gray matter volume in the brainstem and thalamus and negatively related to gray matter volume in the bilateral uncus and medial orbitofrontal cortex, gray matter density in the cerebellum, prefrontal lobe, temporal lobe, and limbic system, and white matter density in the brainstem. Bivariate heritability analyses showed that BMIz and brain structure share ∼1/3 of their genes and that ∼95% of the phenotypic correlation between BMIz and brain structure is due to shared additive genetic influences. These regions included areas related to decision-making, motivation, liking vs. wanting, taste, interoception, reward processing/learning, caloric evaluation, and inhibition. These results suggested genetic factors are responsible for the relationship between BMIz and heritable BMIz related brain structure in areas related to eating behavior. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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