Genome-wide analysis of carotid plaque burden suggests a role of IL5 in men.


BACKGROUND: Carotid artery plaque is an established marker of subclinical atherosclerosis with pronounced sex-dimorphism. Here, we aimed to identify genetic variants associated with carotid plaque burden (CPB) and to examine potential sex-specific genetic effects on plaque sizes. METHODS AND RESULTS: We defined six operationalizations of CPB considering plaques in common carotid arteries, carotid bulb, and internal carotid arteries. We performed sex-specific genome-wide association analyses for all traits in the LIFE-Adult cohort (n = 727 men and n = 550 women) and tested significantly associated loci for sex-specific effects. In order to identify causal genes, we analyzed candidate gene expression data for correlation with CPB traits and corresponding sex-specific effects. Further, we tested if previously reported SNP associations with CAD and plaque prevalence are also associated with CBP. We found seven loci with suggestive significance for CPB (p<3.33x10-7), explaining together between 6 and 13% of the CPB variance. Sex-specific analysis showed a genome-wide significant hit for men at 5q31.1 (rs201629990, beta = -0.401, p = 5.22x10-9), which was not associated in women (beta = -0.127, p = 0.093) with a significant difference in effect size (p = 0.008). Analyses of gene expression data suggested IL5 as the most plausible candidate, as it reflected the same sex-specific association with CPBs (p = 0.037). Known plaque prevalence or CAD loci showed no enrichment in the association with CPB. CONCLUSIONS: We showed that CPB is a complementary trait in analyzing genetics of subclinical atherosclerosis. We detected a novel locus for plaque size in men only suggesting a role of IL5. Several estrogen response elements in this locus point towards a functional explanation of the observed sex-specific effect.

PubMed ID: 32469969

Projects: Genetical Statistics and Systems Biology

Publication type: Journal article

Journal: PLoS One

Human Diseases: Cardiovascular system disease, Atherosclerosis

Citation: PLoS One. 2020 May 29;15(5):e0233728. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0233728. eCollection 2020.

Date Published: 30th May 2020

Registered Mode: by PubMed ID

Authors: J. Pott, F. Beutner, K. Horn, H. Kirsten, K. Olischer, K. Wirkner, M. Loeffler, M. Scholz

help Submitter

Views: 2565

Created: 2nd Jun 2020 at 06:45

Last updated: 7th Dec 2021 at 17:58

help Attributions


Related items

Powered by
Copyright © 2008 - 2021 The University of Manchester and HITS gGmbH
Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology, University of Leipzig

By continuing to use this site you agree to the use of cookies