Implicating causal brain imaging endophenotypes in Alzheimer's disease using multivariable IWAS and GWAS summary data

Katherine A. Knutson, Yangqing Deng, Wei Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests the existence of many undiscovered heritable brain phenotypes involved in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) pathogenesis. This finding necessitates methods for the discovery of causal brain changes in AD that integrate Magnetic Resonance Imaging measures and genotypic data. However, existing approaches for causal inference in this setting, such as the univariate Imaging Wide Association Study (UV-IWAS), suffer from inconsistent effect estimation and inflated Type I errors in the presence of genetic pleiotropy, the phenomenon in which a variant affects multiple causal intermediate risk phenotypes. In this study, we implement a multivariate extension to the IWAS model, namely MV-IWAS, to consistently estimate and test for the causal effects of multiple brain imaging endophenotypes from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) in the presence of pleiotropic and possibly correlated SNPs. We further extend MV-IWAS to incorporate variant-specific direct effects on AD, analogous to the existing Egger regression Mendelian Randomization approach, which allows for testing of remaining pleiotropy after adjusting for multiple intermediate pathways. We propose a convenient approach for implementing MV-IWAS that solely relies on publicly available GWAS summary data and a reference panel. Through simulations with either individual-level or summary data, we demonstrate the well controlled Type I errors and superior power of MV-IWAS over UV-IWAS in the presence of pleiotropic SNPs. We apply the summary statistic based tests to 1578 heritable imaging derived phenotypes (IDPs) from the UK Biobank. MV-IWAS detected numerous IDPs as possible false positives by UV-IWAS while uncovering many additional causal neuroimaging phenotypes in AD which are strongly supported by the existing literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117347
JournalNeuroImage
Volume223
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP) for providing summary results data for these analyses. The investigators within IGAP contributed to the design and implementation of IGAP and/or provided data but did not participate in analysis or writing of this report. IGAP was made possible by the generous participation of the control subjects, the patients, and their families. The iSelect chips was funded by the French National Foundation on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. EADI was supported by the LABEX (laboratory of excellence program investment for the future) DISTALZ grant, Inserm, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Universite de Lille 2 and the Lille University Hospital. GERAD was supported by the Medical Research Council (Grant n 503480), Alzheimer’s Research UK (Grant n 503176), the Wellcome Trust (Grant n 082604/2/07/Z) and German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): Competence Network Dementia (CND) grant n 01GI0102, 01GI0711, 01GI0420. CHARGE was partly supported by the NIH/NIA grant R01 AG033193 and the NIA AG081220 and AGES contract N01-AG-12100, the NHLBI grant R01 HL105756, the Icelandic Heart Association, and the Erasmus Medical Center and Erasmus University. ADGC was supported by the NIH/NIA grants: U01 AG032984, U24 AG021886, U01 AG016976, and the Alzheimer’s Association grant ADGC-10-196728.

Funding Information:
Data collection and sharing for this project was funded by the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) (National Institutes of Health Grant U01 AG024904) and DOD ADNI (Department of Defense award number W81XWH-12-2-0012). ADNI is funded by the National Institute on Aging , the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and through generous contributions from the following: AbbVie, Alzheimer’s Association; Alzheimers Drug Discovery Foundation; Araclon Biotech; BioClinica, Inc.; Biogen; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; CereSpir, Inc.; Cogstate; Eisai Inc.; Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; EuroImmun; F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and its affiliated company Genentech, Inc.; Fujirebio; GE Healthcare; IXICO Ltd.; Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research and Development, LLC.; Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development LLC.; Lumosity; Lundbeck; Merck and Co., Inc.; Meso Scale Diagnostics, LLC.; NeuroRx Research; Neurotrack Technologies; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; Piramal Imaging; Servier; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company; and Transition Therapeutics. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is providing funds to support ADNI clinical sites in Canada. Private sector contributions are facilitated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health ( www.fnih.org ). The grantee organization is the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, and the study is coordinated by the Alzheimers Therapeutic Research Institute at the University of Southern California. ADNI data are disseminated by the Laboratory for Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grants T32GM108557, R01AG065636, R01HL116720, R01GM113250 and R01GM126002, by NSF grant DMS 1711226, and by the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute at the University of Minnesota. KK was supported by a University of Minnesota MnDRIVE Fellowship. Data collection and sharing for this project was funded by the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) (National Institutes of Health Grant U01 AG024904) and DOD ADNI (Department of Defense award number W81XWH-12-2-0012). ADNI is funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and through generous contributions from the following: AbbVie, Alzheimer's Association; Alzheimers Drug Discovery Foundation; Araclon Biotech; BioClinica, Inc.; Biogen; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; CereSpir, Inc.; Cogstate; Eisai Inc.; Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; EuroImmun; F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and its affiliated company Genentech, Inc.; Fujirebio; GE Healthcare; IXICO Ltd.; Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research and Development, LLC.; Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development LLC.; Lumosity; Lundbeck; Merck and Co. Inc.; Meso Scale Diagnostics, LLC.; NeuroRx Research; Neurotrack Technologies; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; Piramal Imaging; Servier; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company; and Transition Therapeutics. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is providing funds to support ADNI clinical sites in Canada. Private sector contributions are facilitated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (www.fnih.org). The grantee organization is the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, and the study is coordinated by the Alzheimers Therapeutic Research Institute at the University of Southern California. ADNI data are disseminated by the Laboratory for Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California. We thank the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP) for providing summary results data for these analyses. The investigators within IGAP contributed to the design and implementation of IGAP and/or provided data but did not participate in analysis or writing of this report. IGAP was made possible by the generous participation of the control subjects, the patients, and their families. The iSelect chips was funded by the French National Foundation on Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. EADI was supported by the LABEX (laboratory of excellence program investment for the future) DISTALZ grant, Inserm, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Universite de Lille 2 and the Lille University Hospital. GERAD was supported by the Medical Research Council (Grant n 503480), Alzheimer's Research UK (Grant n 503176), the Wellcome Trust (Grant n 082604/2/07/Z) and German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): Competence Network Dementia (CND) grant n 01GI0102, 01GI0711, 01GI0420. CHARGE was partly supported by the NIH/NIA grant R01 AG033193 and the NIA AG081220 and AGES contract N01-AG-12100, the NHLBI grant R01 HL105756, the Icelandic Heart Association, and the Erasmus Medical Center and Erasmus University. ADGC was supported by the NIH/NIA grants: U01 AG032984, U24 AG021886, U01 AG016976, and the Alzheimer's Association grant ADGC-10-196728. This research has been conducted using the UK Biobank Resource. We thank the authors and contributors in the analysis of Elliott et al. (2018) and the Oxford Brain Imaging Genetics (BIG) browser, including the lab of Dr. Benjamin Neale, for providing the summary data used in these analyses.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grants T32GM108557, R01AG065636, R01HL116720, R01GM113250 and R01GM126002, by NSF grant DMS 1711226, and by the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute at the University of Minnesota. KK was supported by a University of Minnesota MnDRIVE Fellowship.

Keywords

  • Causal inference
  • Genetic pleiotropy
  • Instrumental variable
  • MRI
  • MV-IWAS
  • Mendelian randomization
  • TWAS

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