PlexinA is a neuronal receptor protein that facilitates axon guidance during embryogenesis. This gene is associated with several neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and autism. However, the effect of variants of PlexinA on brain structure remains unclear. We demonstrate that single-nucleotide polymorphisms within the intron and 3′-untranslated region segments of several human PlexinA genes alter the post-natal developmental trajectory of corpus callosum microstructure. This is the first demonstration that PLXNA mediation of neuroanatomical traits can be detected in humans using in vivo neuroimaging techniques. This result should encourage future research that targets specific disease-related polymorphisms and their relevant neural pathways.
- human genetics