The exploration of the relationship between gene expression profiles and neural response patterns known to be altered in major depressive disorder provides a unique opportunity to identify novel targets for diagnosis and therapy. Here, we estimated the spatial association between genome-wide transcriptome maps and brain activation patterns from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with two established paradigms of great relevance for mood disorders. While task-specific neural responses during emotion processing were primarily associated with expression patterns of genes involved in cellular transport, reward processing was related to neuronal development, synapse regulation, as well as gene transcription. Multimodal integration of single-site and meta-analytic imaging data with risk genes associated with depression revealed a regional susceptibility of functional activity, modulated by master regulators TCF4 and MEF2C. The identification of multiple subordinate genes correlated with fMRI maps and their corresponding regulators presumably will reshape the prospects for neuroimaging genetics.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience