Genome-wide association studies have implicated thousands of non-coding variants across human phenotypes. However, they cannot directly inform the cellular context in which disease-associated variants act. Here, we use open chromatin profiles from discrete mouse cell populations to address this challenge. We applied stratified linkage disequilibrium score regression and evaluated heritability enrichment in 64 genome-wide association studies, emphasizing schizophrenia. We provide evidence that mouse-derived human open chromatin profiles can serve as powerful proxies for difficult to obtain human cell populations, facilitating the illumination of common disease heritability enrichment across an array of human phenotypes. We demonstrate signatures from discrete subpopulations of cortical excitatory and inhibitory neurons are significantly enriched for schizophrenia heritability with maximal enrichment in discrete cortical layer V excitatory neurons. We also show differences between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are concentrated in excitatory neurons in layers II-III, IV, V as well as the dentate gyrus. Finally, we use these data to fine-map variants in 177 schizophrenia loci, nominating variants in 104/177 loci, and place them in the cellular context where they may modulate risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)