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Cortex. 2015 Jan;62:41-55. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2014.07.015. Epub 2014 Aug 7.

Asymmetry within and around the human planum temporale is sexually dimorphic and influenced by genes involved in steroid hormone receptor activity.

Author information

1
Language and Genetics Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
2
Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
3
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Greifswald, Germany.
4
Interfaculty Institute for Genetics and Functional Genomics, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.
5
Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Department of Psychiatry, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
6
Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
7
Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Neurobiology of Language Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
8
Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
9
Department of Psychiatry, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
10
Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
11
Institute of Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany.
12
Institute for Community Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany.
13
Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Department of Psychiatry, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
14
Language and Genetics Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition & Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
15
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Greifswald, Germany; Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, HELIOS Hospital Stralsund, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.
16
Language and Genetics Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition & Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: clyde.francks@mpi.nl.

Abstract

The genetic determinants of cerebral asymmetries are unknown. Sex differences in asymmetry of the planum temporale (PT), that overlaps Wernicke's classical language area, have been inconsistently reported. Meta-analysis of previous studies has suggested that publication bias established this sex difference in the literature. Using probabilistic definitions of cortical regions we screened over the cerebral cortex for sexual dimorphisms of asymmetry in 2337 healthy subjects, and found the PT to show the strongest sex-linked asymmetry of all regions, which was supported by two further datasets, and also by analysis with the FreeSurfer package that performs automated parcellation of cerebral cortical regions. We performed a genome-wide association scan (GWAS) meta-analysis of PT asymmetry in a pooled sample of 3095 subjects, followed by a candidate-driven approach which measured a significant enrichment of association in genes of the 'steroid hormone receptor activity' and 'steroid metabolic process' pathways. Variants in the genes and pathways identified may affect the role of the PT in language cognition.

KEYWORDS:

Asymmetry; Genome-wide association scan; Planum temporale; Sexual dimorphism; Steroid hormones

PMID:
25239853
DOI:
10.1016/j.cortex.2014.07.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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