Discovered in the brains of multiple animal species, piRNAs may contribute to the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric illnesses. The present study aimed to identify brain piRNAs across transcriptome that are associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Prefrontal cortical tissues of 6 AD cases and 6 controls were examined for piRNA expression levels using an Arraystar HG19 piRNA array (containing 23,677 piRNAs) and genotyped for 17 genome-wide significant and replicated risk SNPs. We examined whether piRNAs are expressed differently between AD cases and controls and explored the potential regulatory effects of risk SNPs on piRNA expression levels. We identified a total of 9453 piRNAs in human brains, with 103 nominally (p < 0.05) differentially (>1.5 fold) expressed in AD cases versus controls and most of the 103 piRNAs nominally correlated with genome-wide significant risk SNPs. We conclude that piRNAs are abundant in human brains and may represent risk biomarkers of AD.
Neurobiology of Aging – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2017
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