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Transl Psychiatry. 2019 Feb 25;9(1):103. doi: 10.1038/s41398-019-0433-6.

Pubertal maturation and sex effects on the default-mode network connectivity implicated in mood dysregulation.

Author information

1
NIMH/NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA. ernstm@mail.nih.gov.
2
NIMH/NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.
3
INSERM, UMR 1000, Research unit "Neuroimaging and Psychiatry", DIGITEO Labs, University Paris-Saclay, and University Paris Descartes, Gif sur Yvette, France.
4
INSERM, UMR 1000, Faculté de médecine, University Paris-Saclay, DIGITEO Labs, Gif sur Yvette, France.
5
University Paris Descartes, Paris, France.
6
Center for Neuroimaging Research (CENIR), Brain & Spine Institute, Paris, France.
7
Psychiatry Department 91G16, Orsay Hospital, Paris, France.
8
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.
9
Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Trinity College Institute of Neurosciences, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
10
University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, House W34, 3.OG, Hamburg, Germany.
11
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Abbestr. 2 - 12, Berlin, Germany.
12
Medical Research Council - Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
13
Department of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
14
Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal, CHU Ste Justine Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada.
15
Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, 68131, Mannheim, Germany.
16
Neurospin, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, CEA-Saclay Center, Saclay, France.
17
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistr. 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.
18
Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Vermont, 05405, Burlington, VT, USA.
19
Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
20
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus CharitéMitte, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, Germany.
21
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, Campus CharitéMitte, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, Germany.
22
Department of Social and Health Care, Psychosocial Services Adolescent Outpatient Clinic, University of Tampere, Kauppakatu 14, Lahti, Finland.
23
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
24
Department of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
25
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
26
Department of Psychology, University College, Dublin, Ireland.
27
AP-HP, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France.
28
Sorbonne Universités, Paris, France.

Abstract

This study examines the effects of puberty and sex on the intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) of brain networks, with a focus on the default-mode network (DMN). Consistently implicated in depressive disorders, the DMN's function may interact with puberty and sex in the development of these disorders, whose onsets peak in adolescence, and which show strong sex disproportionality (females > males). The main question concerns how the DMN evolves with puberty as a function of sex. These effects are expected to involve within- and between-network iFC, particularly, the salience and the central-executive networks, consistent with the Triple-Network Model. Resting-state scans of an adolescent community sample (n = 304, male/female: 157/147; mean/std age: 14.6/0.41 years), from the IMAGEN database, were analyzed using the AFNI software suite and a data reduction strategy for the effects of puberty and sex. Three midline regions (medial prefrontal, pregenual anterior cingulate, and posterior cingulate), within the DMN and consistently implicated in mood disorders, were selected as seeds. Within- and between-network clusters of the DMN iFC changed with pubertal maturation differently in boys and girls (puberty-X-sex). Specifically, pubertal maturation predicted weaker iFC in girls and stronger iFC in boys. Finally, iFC was stronger in boys than girls independently of puberty. Brain-behavior associations indicated that lower connectivity of the anterior cingulate seed predicted higher internalizing symptoms at 2-year follow-up. In conclusion, weaker iFC of the anterior DMN may signal disconnections among circuits supporting mood regulation, conferring risk for internalizing disorders.

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