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Genetic Evidence Implicates the Immune System and Cholesterol Metabolism in the Aetiology of Alzheimer's Disease

Jones, L; Holmans, PA; Hamshere, ML; Harold, D; Moskvina, V; Ivanov, D; Pocklington, A; ... Williams, J; + view all (2010) Genetic Evidence Implicates the Immune System and Cholesterol Metabolism in the Aetiology of Alzheimer's Disease. PLOS ONE , 5 (11) , Article e13950. 10.1371/journal.pone.0013950. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Late Onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is the leading cause of dementia. Recent large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified the first strongly supported LOAD susceptibility genes since the discovery of the involvement of APOE in the early 1990s. We have now exploited these GWAS datasets to uncover key LOAD pathophysiological processes. Methodology: We applied a recently developed tool for mining GWAS data for biologically meaningful information to a LOAD GWAS dataset. The principal findings were then tested in an independent GWAS dataset.Principal Findings: We found a significant overrepresentation of association signals in pathways related to cholesterol metabolism and the immune response in both of the two largest genome-wide association studies for LOAD.Significance: Processes related to cholesterol metabolism and the innate immune response have previously been implicated by pathological and epidemiological studies of Alzheimer's disease, but it has been unclear whether those findings reflected primary aetiological events or consequences of the disease process. Our independent evidence from two large studies now demonstrates that these processes are aetiologically relevant, and suggests that they may be suitable targets for novel and existing therapeutic approaches.

Type: Article
Title: Genetic Evidence Implicates the Immune System and Cholesterol Metabolism in the Aetiology of Alzheimer's Disease
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013950
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0013950
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010 Jones et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Cardiff University was supported by the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council (MRC, UK), Alzheimer's Research Trust (ART) and the Welsh Assembly Government. ART supported sample collections at the Institute of Psychiatry, the South West Dementia Bank and the Universities of Cambridge, Nottingham, Manchester and Belfast. The Belfast group acknowledges support from the Alzheimer's Society, Ulster Garden Villages, Northern Ireland Research and Development Office and the Royal College of Physicians-Dunhill Medical Trust. The MRC and Mercer's Institute for Research on Ageing supported the Trinity College group. The South West Dementia Brain Bank acknowledges support from Bristol Research into Alzheimer's and Care of the Elderly. The Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust supported the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing (OPTIMA) group. A.A-C. and C.E.S. thank the Motor Neurone Disease Association and MRC for support. D.C.R. is a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Research Fellow. Washington University was funded by US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, the Barnes Jewish Foundation and the Charles and Joanne Knight Alzheimer's Research Initiative. The Mayo GWAS was supported by NIH grants, the Robert and Clarice Smith and Abigail Van Buren AD Research Program, and the Palumbo Professorship in AD Research. Patient recruitment for the MRC Prion Unit/University College London Department of Neurodegenerative Disease collection was supported by the UCL Hospital/UCL Biomedical Centre. London and the South East Region (LASER)-AD was funded by Lundbeck. The Bonn group was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Competence Network Dementia and Competence Network Degenerative Dementia, and by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung. The Kooperative gesundheitsforschung in der region Augsburg (KORA) F4 studies were financed by Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, BMBF, the German National Genome Research Network and the Munich Center of Health Sciences. The Heinz Nixdorf Recall cohort was funded by the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation (G. Schmidt, chairman) and BMBF. Coriell Cell Repositories is supported by the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Intramural Research Program (IRP) of the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Work on this sample was supported in part by the IRP of the NIA, NIH, Department of Health and Human Services; Z01 AG000950-06. The authors acknowledge use of DNA from the 1958 Birth Cohort collection, funded by the MRC and the Wellcome Trust, which was genotyped by the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium and the Type-1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium, sponsored by the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. The Antwerp site was supported by the VIB Genetic Service Facility, the Biobank of the Institute Born-Bunge, the Special Research Fund of the University of Antwerp, the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders, the Foundation for Alzheimer Research and the Interuniversity Attraction Poles program P6/43 of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office. K.S. is a postdoctoral fellow and K.B. a PhD fellow (Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders). The funders had no role in study design, data collectionand analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Profs Owen, J Williams and Dr Harold have a patent application in respect of genes identified in the GWAS Harold et al. Nature Genetics 2009;41(10):1088–93; this study provided data for this manuscript and was funded by the MRC and the Wellcome Trust. Dr Passmore has consulted for Pfizer and received compensation. Dr Hull has been funded by Wyeth and consulted for Pfizer, Wyeth and Merz; he has a patent pending for AD diagnostic tests. Dr Lynch has received travel expenses from Pfizer and Novartis. Prof Goate's work has been funded by NIH and AHAF. Prof Fox is a board member of the Alzheimer's Research Forum, has consulted for Abbott Laboratories and has received compensation for consulting for GE Healthcare. He has a patent for QA Box that did not arise from this work which contributes funds to his institution. Dr Morris is funded by NIA. Dr Livingston has received compensation from Lundbeck sa. Ms Stretton holds a CASE PhD studentship jointly funded by MRC and GSK. The remaining authors declare no potential conflict of interest. This does not alter the authors' adherence to all the PloS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.
Keywords: GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION, IDENTIFIES VARIANTS, APOLIPOPROTEIN-E, DEMENTIA, RISK, BETA, INFLAMMATION, POPULATION, MICROGLIA, PATHWAYS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Institute of Prion Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Institute of Prion Diseases > MRC Prion Unit at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/375228
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