Title: Shared molecular neuropathology across major psychiatric disorders parallels polygenic overlap


Recent large-scale studies have identified multiple genetic risk factors for mental illness and indicate a complex, polygenic, and pleiotropic genetic architecture for neuropsychiatric disease. However, little is known about how genetic variants yield brain dysfunction or pathology. We use transcriptomic profiling as an unbiased, quantitative readout of molecular phenotypes across 5 major psychiatric disorders, including autism (ASD), schizophrenia (SCZ), bipolar disorder (BD), depression (MDD), and alcoholism (AAD), compared with carefully matched controls. We identify a clear pattern of shared and distinct gene-expression perturbations across these conditions, identifying neuronal gene co-expression modules downregulated across ASD, SCZ, and BD, and astrocyte related modules most prominently upregulated in ASD and SCZ. Remarkably, the degree of sharing of transcriptional dysregulation was strongly related to polygenic (SNP-based) overlap across disorders, indicating a significant genetic component. These findings provide a systems-level view of the neurobiological architecture of major neuropsychiatric illness and demonstrate pathways of molecular convergence and specificity. One Sentence Summary: Autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder share global gene expression patterns, characterized by astrocyte activation and disrupted synaptic processes. peer-reviewed) is the author/funder. All rights reserved. No reuse allowed without permission. The copyright holder for this preprint (which was not . http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/040022 doi: bioRxiv preprint first posted online Feb. 18, 2016;

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@inproceedings{Gandal2016TitleSM, title={Title: Shared molecular neuropathology across major psychiatric disorders parallels polygenic overlap}, author={Michael J. Gandal and Jillian R. Haney and Neelroop Parikshak and Virpi M Leppa and Steve Horvath and Daniel H. Geschwind and David E. Geffen and Charles E. Young}, year={2016} }