Polygenic Overlap Between C-Reactive Protein, Plasma Lipids, and Alzheimer Disease

Rahul S. Desikan, Andrew J. Schork, Yunpeng Wang, Wesley K. Thompson, Abbas Dehghan, Paul M. Ridker, Daniel I. Chasman, Linda K. Mcevoy, Dominic Holland, Chi Hua Chen, David S. Karow, James B. Brewer, Christopher P. Hess, Julie Williams, Rebecca Sims, Michael C. O'donovan, Seung Hoan Choi, Joshua C. Bis, M. Arfan Ikram, Vilmundur GudnasonAnita L. Destefano, Sven J. Van Der Lee, Bruce M. Psaty, Cornelia M. Van Duijn, Lenore Launer, Sudha Seshadri, Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Richard Mayeux, Jonathan L. Haines, Lindsay A. Farrer, John Hardy, Ingun Dina Ulstein, Dag Aarsland, Tormod Fladby, Linda R. White, Sigrid B. Sando, Arvid Rongve, Aree Witoelar, Srdjan Djurovic, Bradley T. Hyman, Jon Snaedal, Stacy Steinberg, Hreinn Stefansson, Kari Stefansson, Gerard D. Schellenberg, Ole A. Andreassen, Anders M. Dale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Background - Epidemiological findings suggest a relationship between Alzheimer disease (AD), inflammation, and dyslipidemia, although the nature of this relationship is not well understood. We investigated whether this phenotypic association arises from a shared genetic basis. Methods and Results - Using summary statistics (P values and odds ratios) from genome-wide association studies of >200 000 individuals, we investigated overlap in single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with clinically diagnosed AD and C-reactive protein (CRP), triglycerides, and high- and low-density lipoprotein levels. We found up to 50-fold enrichment of AD single-nucleotide polymorphisms for different levels of association with C-reactive protein, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, and triglyceride single-nucleotide polymorphisms using a false discovery rate threshold <0.05. By conditioning on polymorphisms associated with the 4 phenotypes, we identified 55 loci associated with increased AD risk. We then conducted a meta-analysis of these 55 variants across 4 independent AD cohorts (total: n=29 054 AD cases and 114 824 healthy controls) and discovered 2 genome-wide significant variants on chromosome 4 (rs13113697; closest gene, HS3ST1; odds ratio=1.07; 95% confidence interval=1.05-1.11; P=2.86×10-8) and chromosome 10 (rs7920721; closest gene, ECHDC3; odds ratio=1.07; 95% confidence interval=1.04-1.11; P=3.38×10-8). We also found that gene expression of HS3ST1 and ECHDC3 was altered in AD brains compared with control brains. Conclusions - We demonstrate genetic overlap between AD, C-reactive protein, and plasma lipids. By conditioning on the genetic association with the cardiovascular phenotypes, we identify novel AD susceptibility loci, including 2 genome-wide significant variants conferring increased risk for AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2061-2069
Number of pages9
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Genome-wide association study
  • Inflammation
  • Lipids


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