Common genetic substrates of alcohol and substance use disorder severity revealed by pleiotropy detection against GWAS catalog in two populations.

Addict Biol. 2020 Feb 06;:e12877

Authors: Peng Q, Wilhelmsen KC, Ehlers CL

Alcohol and other substance use disorders (AUD and SUD) are complex diseases that are postulated to have a polygenic inheritance and are often comorbid with other disorders. The comorbidities may arise partially through genetic pleiotropy. Identification of specific gene variants accounting for large parts of the variance in these disorders has yet to be accomplished. We describe a flexible strategy that takes a variant-trait association database and determines if a subset of disease/straits are potentially pleiotropic with the disorder under study. We demonstrate its usage in a study of use disorders in two independent cohorts: alcohol, stimulants, cannabis (CUD), and multi-substance use disorders (MSUD) in American Indians (AI) and AUD and CUD in Mexican Americans (MA). Using a machine learning method with variants in GWAS catalog, we identified 229 to 246 pleiotropic variants for AI and 153 to 160 for MA for each SUD. Inflammation was the most enriched for MSUD and AUD in AIs. Neurological disorder was the most significantly enriched for CUD in both cohorts, and for AUD and stimulants in AIs. Of the select pleiotropic genes shared among substances-cohorts, multiple biological pathways implicated in SUD and other psychiatric disorders were enriched, including neurotrophic factors, immune responses, extracellular matrix, and circadian regulation. Shared pleiotropic genes were significantly up-regulated in brain regions playing important roles in SUD, down-regulated in esophagus mucosa, and differentially regulated in adrenal gland. This study fills a gap for pleiotropy detection in understudied admixed populations and identifies pleiotropic variants that may be potential targets of interest for SUD.

PMID: 32027075 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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