Background: While the functional disconnectivity hypothesis of schizophrenia has received considerable attention, fewer studies have investigated the contribution of genotype to structural connectivity between brain regions either in schizophrenia patients or in healthy controls. In this study, we obtained diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data and genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from 74 cases and 87 age- and gender-matched controls. Methods: We used independent component analysis (ICA) to analyze fractional anisotropy (FA) values and correlated FA values with 121 SNPs in genes associated with myelination and/or schizophrenia risk. Results: Using ICA, we identified 6 maximally independent components in which the majority of the voxels corresponded to known white matter (WM) tracts. Among these WM-enriched components, two had FA values that were significantly decreased in patients. In addition, we examined the relationship between FA values and genotype and found that a SNP located in the intronic region of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 3 gene, GRM3, shows a significant correlation with FA values in a component containing tracts from the cortico-cerebellar-thalamic-cortical circuit of patients but not controls. Conclusions: Our findings strengthen the evidence for an association between GRM3 genotype and schizophrenia and suggest a role for glutamate neurotransmission in the establishment and maintenance of myelinated fibers.
- Cortico-cerebellar-thalamic-cortical circuit
- Independent component analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry