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Cereb Cortex. 2019 Jul 22;29(8):3351-3362. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy204.

Maturation of the Human Cerebral Cortex During Adolescence: Myelin or Dendritic Arbor?

Author information

1
Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2
Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
3
The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
5
Department of Physiology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
6
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
7
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Previous in vivo studies revealed robust age-related variations in structural properties of the human cerebral cortex during adolescence. Neurobiology underlying these maturational phenomena is largely unknown. Here we employ a virtual-histology approach to gain insights into processes associated with inter-regional variations in cortical microstructure and its maturation, as indexed by magnetization transfer ratio (MTR). Inter-regional variations in MTR correlate with inter-regional variations in expression of genes specific to pyramidal cells (CA1) and ependymal cells; enrichment analyses indicate involvement of these genes in dendritic growth. On the other hand, inter-regional variations in the change of MTR during adolescence correlate with inter-regional profiles of oligodendrocyte-specific gene expression. Complemented by a quantitative hypothetical model of the contribution of surfaces associated with dendritic arbor (1631 m2) and myelin (48 m2), these findings suggest that MTR signals are driven mainly by macromolecules associated with dendritic arbor while maturational changes in the MTR signal are associated with myelination.

KEYWORDS:

magnetic resonance imaging; magnetization transfer; membrane model; neurons; virtual histology

PMID:
30169567
PMCID:
PMC6644857
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bhy204

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