Shared genetic background may explain phenotypic associations between depression and Type 2 diabetes (T2D). We aimed to study, on a genome-wide level, if genetic correlation and pleiotropic loci exist between depressive symptoms and T2D or glycemic traits.Methods
We estimated single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based heritability and analyzed genetic correlation between depressive symptoms and T2D and glycemic traits with the linkage disequilibrium score regression by combining summary statistics of previously conducted meta-analyses for depressive symptoms by CHARGE consortium (N = 51,258), T2D by DIAGRAM consortium (N = 34,840 patients and 114,981 controls), fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and homeostatic model assessment of β-cell function and insulin resistance by MAGIC consortium (N = 58,074). Finally, we investigated pleiotropic loci using a bivariate genome-wide association study approach with summary statistics from genome-wide association study meta-analyses and reported loci with genome-wide significant bivariate association p value (p < 5 × 10−8). Biological annotation and function of significant pleiotropic SNPs were assessed in several databases.Results
The SNP-based heritability ranged from 0.04 to 0.10 in each individual trait. In the linkage disequilibrium score regression analyses, depressive symptoms showed no significant genetic correlation with T2D or glycemic traits (p > 0.37). However, we identified pleiotropic genetic variations for depressive symptoms and T2D (in the IGF2BP2, CDKAL1, CDKN2B-AS, and PLEKHA1 genes), and fasting glucose (in the MADD, CDKN2B-AS, PEX16, and MTNR1B genes).Conclusions
We found no significant overall genetic correlations between depressive symptoms, T2D, or glycemic traits suggesting major differences in underlying biology of these traits. However, several potential pleiotropic loci were identified between depressive symptoms, T2D, and fasting glucose, suggesting that previously established phenotypic associations may be partly explained by genetic variation in these specific loci.