Sequence Variation Associated with SLC12A5 Gene Expression Is Linked to Brain Structure and Function in Healthy Adults

Michael D. Gregory, J. Shane Kippenhan, Joseph H. Callicott, Daniel Y. Rubinstein, Venkata S. Mattay, Richard Coppola, Karen F. Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the promoter region of the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) gene, rs3918242, has been shown to affect MMP9 expression in macrophages and was associated with schizophrenia by two independent groups. However, rs3918242's effects on MMP9 expression were not replicable in cell lines or brain tissue. Additionally, publically available data indicate that rs3918242 genotype is related not to MMP9 expression, but rather to expression of SLC12A5, a nearby gene coding for a K+/Cl-cotransporter, whose expression has also been related to schizophrenia. Here, we studied brain structure and function in healthy participants stratified by rs3918242 genotype using structural MRI (N = 298), functional MRI during an N-back working memory task (N = 554), and magnetoencephalography (MEG) during the same task (N = 190). We found rs3918242 was associated with gray matter volume (GMV) in the insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex bilaterally, closely replicated in discovery and replication samples; and with inferior parietal lobule (IPL) GMV when the samples were meta-analytically combined. Additionally, using both fMRI and MEG, rs3918242 was associated with right IPL working memory-related activation, replicated in two cohorts and across imaging modalities. These convergent results provide further impetus for examinations of the relationship of SLC12A5 with brain structure and function in neuropsychiatric disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4654-4661
Number of pages8
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 17 2019


  • MEG
  • MMP9
  • fMRI
  • rs3918242
  • voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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