Coupling Diffusion Imaging with Histological and Gene Expression Analysis to Examine the Dynamics of Cortical Areas across the Fetal Period of Human Brain Development

Hao Huang, Tina Jeon, Goran Sedmak, Mihovil Pletikos, Lana Vasung, Xuming Xu, Paul Yarowsky, Linda J. Richards, Ivica Kostović, Nenad Šestan, Susumu Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As a prominent component of the human fetal brain, the structure of the cerebral wall is characterized by its laminar organization which includes the radial glial scaffold during fetal development. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is useful to quantitatively delineate the microstructure of the developing brain and to clearly identify transient fetal layers in the cerebral wall. In our study, the spatio-temporal microstructural changes in the developing human fetal cerebral wall were quantitatively characterized with high-resolution DTI data of postmortem fetal brains from 13 to 21 gestational weeks. Eleven regions of interest for each layer in the entire cerebral wall were included. Distinctive time courses of microstructural changes were revealed for 11 regions of the neocortical plate. A histological analysis was also integrated to elucidate the relationship between DTI fractional anisotropy (FA) and histology. High FA values correlated with organized radial architecture in histological image. Expression levels of 17565 genes were quantified for each of 11 regions of human fetal neocortex from 13 to 21 gestational weeks to identify transcripts showing significant correlation with FA change. These correlations suggest that the heterogeneous and regionally specific microstructural changes of the human neocortex are related to different gene expression patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2620-2631
Number of pages12
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume23
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • development
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • gene expression
  • histology
  • human fetal brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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    Huang, H., Jeon, T., Sedmak, G., Pletikos, M., Vasung, L., Xu, X., Yarowsky, P., Richards, L. J., Kostović, I., Šestan, N., & Mori, S. (2013). Coupling Diffusion Imaging with Histological and Gene Expression Analysis to Examine the Dynamics of Cortical Areas across the Fetal Period of Human Brain Development. Cerebral Cortex, 23(11), 2620-2631. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhs241