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Brain regions showing white matter loss in Huntington's Disease are enriched for synaptic and metabolic genes

McColgan, Peter, Gregory, Sarah, Seunarine, Kiran K., Razi, Adeel, Papoutsi, Marina, Johnson, Eileanoir, Durr, Alexandra, Roos, Raymund A.C., Leavitt, Blair R., Holmans, Peter ORCID:, Scahill, Rachael I., Clark, Chris A., Rees, Geraint, Tabrizi, Sarah J., Coleman, A., Decolongon, J., Fan, M., Petkau, T., Jauffret, C., Justo, D., Lehericy, S., Nigaud, K., Valabrègue, R., Schoonderbeek, A., 't Hart, E.P., Hensman Moss, D. J., Ghosh, R., Crawford, H., Papoutsi, M., Berna, C., Mahaleskshmi, D., Reilmann, R., Weber, N., Labuschagne, I., Stout, J., Landwehrmeyer, B., Orth, M., Mayer, I., Johnson, H. and Crawfurd, D. 2018. Brain regions showing white matter loss in Huntington's Disease are enriched for synaptic and metabolic genes. Biological Psychiatry 83 (5) , pp. 456-465. 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.10.019

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Background The earliest white matter changes in Huntington’s disease are seen before disease onset in the premanifest stage around the striatum, within the corpus callosum, and in posterior white matter tracts. While experimental evidence suggests that these changes may be related to abnormal gene transcription, we lack an understanding of the biological processes driving this regional vulnerability. Methods Here, we investigate the relationship between regional transcription in the healthy brain, using the Allen Institute for Brain Science transcriptome atlas, and regional white matter connectivity loss at three time points over 24 months in subjects with premanifest Huntington’s disease relative to control participants. The baseline cohort included 72 premanifest Huntington’s disease participants and 85 healthy control participants. Results We show that loss of corticostriatal, interhemispheric, and intrahemispheric white matter connections at baseline and over 24 months in premanifest Huntington’s disease is associated with gene expression profiles enriched for synaptic genes and metabolic genes. Corticostriatal gene expression profiles are predominately associated with motor, parietal, and occipital regions, while interhemispheric expression profiles are associated with frontotemporal regions. We also show that genes with known abnormal transcription in human Huntington’s disease and animal models are overrepresented in synaptic gene expression profiles, but not in metabolic gene expression profiles. Conclusions These findings suggest a dual mechanism of white matter vulnerability in Huntington’s disease, in which abnormal transcription of synaptic genes and metabolic disturbance not related to transcription may drive white matter loss.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA)
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0006-3223
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 December 2017
Date of Acceptance: 7 October 2017
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 05:31

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