Giese A-K, Schirmer MD, Donahue KL, Cloonan L, Irie R, Winzeck S, Bouts MJRJ, McIntosh EC, Mocking SJ, Dalca AV, Sridharan R, Xu H, Frid P, Giralt-Steinhauer E, Holmegaard L, Roquer J, Wasselius J, Cole JW, McArdle PF, Broderick JP, Jimenez-Conde J, Jern C, Kissela BM, Kleindorfer DO, Lemmens R, Lindgren A, Meschia JF, Rundek T, Sacco RL, Schmidt R, Sharma P, Slowik A, Thijs V, Woo D, Worrall BB, Kittner SJ, Mitchell BD, Rosand J, Golland P, Wu O, Rost NS. Design and rationale for examining neuroimaging genetics in ischemic stroke: The MRI-GENIE study. Neurol Genet 2017;3(5):e180.Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: To describe the design and rationale for the genetic analysis of acute and chronic cerebrovascular neuroimaging phenotypes detected on clinical MRI in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) within the scope of the MRI-GENetics Interface Exploration (MRI-GENIE) study. METHODS: MRI-GENIE capitalizes on the existing infrastructure of the Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN). In total, 12 international SiGN sites contributed MRIs of 3,301 patients with AIS. Detailed clinical phenotyping with the web-based Causative Classification of Stroke (CCS) system and genome-wide genotyping data were available for all participants. Neuroimaging analyses include the manual and automated assessments of established MRI markers. A high-throughput MRI analysis pipeline for the automated assessment of cerebrovascular lesions on clinical scans will be developed in a subset of scans for both acute and chronic lesions, validated against gold standard, and applied to all available scans. The extracted neuroimaging phenotypes will improve characterization of acute and chronic cerebrovascular lesions in ischemic stroke, including CCS subtypes, and their effect on functional outcomes after stroke. Moreover, genetic testing will uncover variants associated with acute and chronic MRI manifestations of cerebrovascular disease. CONCLUSIONS: The MRI-GENIE study aims to develop, validate, and distribute the MRI analysis platform for scans acquired as part of clinical care for patients with AIS, which will lead to (1) novel genetic discoveries in ischemic stroke, (2) strategies for personalized stroke risk assessment, and (3) personalized stroke outcome assessment.
    Rannikmäe K, Sivakumaran V, Millar H, Malik R, Anderson CD, Chong M, Dave T, Falcone GJ, Fernandez-Cadenas I, Jimenez-Conde J, Lindgren A, Montaner J, O'Donnell M, Paré G, Radmanesh F, Rost NS, Slowik A, Söderholm M, Traylor M, Pulit SL, Seshadri S, Worrall BB, Woo D, Markus HS, Mitchell BD, Dichgans M, Rosand J, Sudlow CLM. COL4A2 is associated with lacunar ischemic stroke and deep ICH: Meta-analyses among 21,500 cases and 40,600 controls. Neurology 2017;89(17):1829-1839.Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether common variants in familial cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) genes confer risk of sporadic cerebral SVD. METHODS: We meta-analyzed genotype data from individuals of European ancestry to determine associations of common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 6 familial cerebral SVD genes (COL4A1, COL4A2, NOTCH3, HTRA1, TREX1, and CECR1) with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) (deep, lobar, all; 1,878 cases, 2,830 controls) and ischemic stroke (IS) (lacunar, cardioembolic, large vessel disease, all; 19,569 cases, 37,853 controls). We applied data quality filters and set statistical significance thresholds accounting for linkage disequilibrium and multiple testing. RESULTS: A locus in COL4A2 was associated (significance threshold p < 3.5 × 10-4) with both lacunar IS (lead SNP rs9515201: odds ratio [OR] 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11-1.24, p = 6.62 × 10-8) and deep ICH (lead SNP rs4771674: OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.13-1.44, p = 5.76 × 10-5). A SNP in HTRA1 was associated (significance threshold p < 5.5 × 10-4) with lacunar IS (rs79043147: OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.10-1.37, p = 1.90 × 10-4) and less robustly with deep ICH. There was no clear evidence for association of common variants in either COL4A2 or HTRA1 with non-SVD strokes or in any of the other genes with any stroke phenotype. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide evidence of shared genetic determinants and suggest common pathophysiologic mechanisms of distinct ischemic and hemorrhagic cerebral SVD stroke phenotypes, offering new insights into the causal mechanisms of cerebral SVD.
    Loci associated with ischaemic stroke and its subtypes (SiGN): a genome-wide association study. Lancet Neurol 2016;15(2):174-184.Abstract
    BACKGROUND: The discovery of disease-associated loci through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) is the leading genetic approach to the identification of novel biological pathways underlying diseases in humans. Until recently, GWAS in ischaemic stroke have been limited by small sample sizes and have yielded few loci associated with ischaemic stroke. We did a large-scale GWAS to identify additional susceptibility genes for stroke and its subtypes. METHODS: To identify genetic loci associated with ischaemic stroke, we did a two-stage GWAS. In the first stage, we included 16 851 cases with state-of-the-art phenotyping data and 32 473 stroke-free controls. Cases were aged 16 to 104 years, recruited between 1989 and 2012, and subtypes of ischaemic stroke were recorded by centrally trained and certified investigators who used the web-based protocol, Causative Classification of Stroke (CCS). We constructed case-control strata by identifying samples that were genotyped on nearly identical arrays and were of similar genetic ancestral background. We cleaned and imputed data by use of dense imputation reference panels generated from whole-genome sequence data. We did genome-wide testing to identify stroke-associated loci within each stratum for each available phenotype, and we combined summary-level results using inverse variance-weighted fixed-effects meta-analysis. In the second stage, we did in-silico lookups of 1372 single nucleotide polymorphisms identified from the first stage GWAS in 20 941 cases and 364 736 unique stroke-free controls. The ischaemic stroke subtypes of these cases had previously been established with the Trial of Org 10 172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) classification system, in accordance with local standards. Results from the two stages were then jointly analysed in a final meta-analysis. FINDINGS: We identified a novel locus (G allele at rs12122341) at 1p13.2 near TSPAN2 that was associated with large artery atherosclerosis-related stroke (first stage odds ratio [OR] 1·21, 95% CI 1·13-1·30, p=4·50 × 10-8; joint OR 1·19, 1·12-1·26, p=1·30 × 10-9). Our results also supported robust associations with ischaemic stroke for four other loci that have been reported in previous studies, including PITX2 (first stage OR 1·39, 1·29-1·49, p=3·26 × 10-19; joint OR 1·37, 1·30-1·45, p=2·79 × 10-32) and ZFHX3 (first stage OR 1·19, 1·11-1·27, p=2·93 × 10-7; joint OR 1·17, 1·11-1·23, p=2·29 × 10-10) for cardioembolic stroke, and HDAC9 (first stage OR 1·29, 1·18-1·42, p=3·50 × 10-8; joint OR 1·24, 1·15-1·33, p=4·52 × 10-9) for large artery atherosclerosis stroke. The 12q24 locus near ALDH2, which has previously been associated with all ischaemic stroke but not with any specific subtype, exceeded genome-wide significance in the meta-analysis of small artery stroke (first stage OR 1·20, 1·12-1·28, p=6·82 × 10-8; joint OR 1·17, 1·11-1·23, p=2·92 × 10-9). Other loci associated with stroke in previous studies, including NINJ2, were not confirmed. INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest that all ischaemic stroke-related loci previously implicated by GWAS are subtype specific. We identified a novel gene associated with large artery atherosclerosis stroke susceptibility. Follow-up studies will be necessary to establish whether the locus near TSPAN2 can be a target for a novel therapeutic approach to stroke prevention. In view of the subtype-specificity of the associations detected, the rich phenotyping data available in the Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN) are likely to be crucial for further genetic discoveries related to ischaemic stroke. FUNDING: US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health.
    Meschia JF, Arnett DK, Ay H, Brown RD, Benavente OR, Cole JW, de Bakker PIW, Dichgans M, Doheny KF, Fornage M, Grewal RP, Gwinn K, Jern C, Conde JJ, Johnson JA, Jood K, Laurie CC, Lee J-M, Lindgren A, Markus HS, McArdle PF, McClure LA, Mitchell BD, Schmidt R, Rexrode KM, Rich SS, Rosand J, Rothwell PM, Rundek T, Sacco RL, Sharma P, Shuldiner AR, Slowik A, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Sudlow C, Thijs VNS, Woo D, Worrall BB, Wu O, Kittner SJ. Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN) study: design and rationale for a genome-wide association study of ischemic stroke subtypes. Stroke 2013;44(10):2694-702.Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Meta-analyses of extant genome-wide data illustrate the need to focus on subtypes of ischemic stroke for gene discovery. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke SiGN (Stroke Genetics Network) contributes substantially to meta-analyses that focus on specific subtypes of stroke. METHODS: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke SiGN includes ischemic stroke cases from 24 genetic research centers: 13 from the United States and 11 from Europe. Investigators harmonize ischemic stroke phenotyping using the Web-based causative classification of stroke system, with data entered by trained and certified adjudicators at participating genetic research centers. Through the Center for Inherited Diseases Research, the Network plans to genotype 10,296 carefully phenotyped stroke cases using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism arrays and adds to these another 4253 previously genotyped cases, for a total of 14,549 cases. To maximize power for subtype analyses, the study allocates genotyping resources almost exclusively to cases. Publicly available studies provide most of the control genotypes. Center for Inherited Diseases Research-generated genotypes and corresponding phenotypes will be shared with the scientific community through the US National Center for Biotechnology Information database of Genotypes and Phenotypes, and brain MRI studies will be centrally archived. CONCLUSIONS: The Stroke Genetics Network, with its emphasis on careful and standardized phenotyping of ischemic stroke and stroke subtypes, provides an unprecedented opportunity to uncover genetic determinants of ischemic stroke.