ERIC Number: EJ1026101
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Gene × Smoking Interactions on Human Brain Gene Expression: Finding Common Mechanisms in Adolescents and Adults
Wolock, Samuel L.; Yates, Andrew; Petrill, Stephen A.; Bohland, Jason W.; Blair, Clancy; Li, Ning; Machiraju, Raghu; Huang, Kun; Bartlett, Christopher W.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v54 n10 p1109-1119 Oct 2013
Background: Numerous studies have examined gene × environment interactions (G × E) in cognitive and behavioral domains. However, these studies have been limited in that they have not been able to directly assess differential patterns of gene expression in the human brain. Here, we assessed G × E interactions using two publically available datasets to assess if DNA variation is associated with post-mortem brain gene expression changes based on smoking behavior, a biobehavioral construct that is part of a complex system of genetic and environmental influences. Methods: We conducted an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) study on two independent human brain gene expression datasets assessing G × E for selected psychiatric genes and smoking status. We employed linear regression to model the significance of the Gene × Smoking interaction term, followed by meta-analysis across datasets. Results: Overall, we observed that the effect of DNA variation on gene expression is moderated by smoking status. Expression of 16 genes was significantly associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms that demonstrated G × E effects. The strongest finding (p = 1.9 × 10[superscript -11]) was neurexin 3-alpha ("NRXN3"), a synaptic cell-cell adhesion molecule involved in maintenance of neural connections (such as the maintenance of smoking behavior). Other significant G × E associations include four glutamate genes. Conclusions: This is one of the first studies to demonstrate G × E effects within the human brain. In particular, this study implicated "NRXN3" in the maintenance of smoking. The effect of smoking on "NRXN3" expression and downstream behavior is different based upon SNP genotype, indicating that DNA profiles based on SNPs could be useful in understanding the effects of smoking behaviors. These results suggest that better measurement of psychiatric conditions, and the environment in post-mortem brain studies may yield an important avenue for understanding the biological mechanisms of G × E interactions in psychiatry.
Descriptors: Genetics, Smoking, Regression (Statistics), Brain, Environmental Influences, Cytology, Health Behavior, Correlation, Mental Disorders, Biology, Psychiatry, Cognitive Processes, Adults, Adolescents, Behavior Patterns
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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