Oxidative phosphorylation and lacunar stroke: Genome-wide enrichment analysis of common variants.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) abnormalities were associated with lacunar stroke, hypothesizing that these would be more strongly associated in patients with multiple lacunar infarcts and leukoaraiosis (LA). METHODS: In 1,012 MRI-confirmed lacunar stroke cases and 964 age-matched controls recruited from general practice surgeries, we investigated associations between common genetic variants within the OXPHOS pathway and lacunar stroke using a permutation-based enrichment approach. Cases were phenotyped using MRI into those with multiple infarcts or LA (MLI/LA) and those with isolated lacunar infarcts (ILI) based on the number of subcortical infarcts and degree of LA, using the Fazekas grading. Using gene-level association statistics, we tested for enrichment of genes in the OXPHOS pathway with all lacunar stroke and the 2 subtypes. RESULTS: There was a specific association with strong evidence of enrichment in the top 1% of genes in the MLI/LA (subtype p = 0.0017) but not in the ILI subtype (p = 1). Genes in the top percentile for the all lacunar stroke analysis were not significantly enriched (p = 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: Our results implicate the OXPHOS pathway in the pathogenesis of lacunar stroke, and show the association is specific to patients with the MLI/LA subtype. They show that MRI-based subtyping of lacunar stroke can provide insights into disease pathophysiology, and imply that different radiologic subtypes of lacunar stroke subtypes have distinct underlying pathophysiologic processes.