Developmental sex differences in resting state functional connectivity of amygdala sub-regions

Gabriela Alarcón, Anita Cservenka, Marc D. Rudolph, Damien Fair, Bonnie Nagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During adolescence, considerable social and biological changes occur that interact with functional brain maturation, some of which are sex-specific. The amygdala is one brain area that has displayed sexual dimorphism, specifically in socio-affective (superficial amygdala [SFA]), stress (centromedial amygdala [CMA]), and learning and memory (basolateral amygdala [BLA]) processing. The amygdala has also been implicated in mood and anxiety disorders which display sex-specific features, most prominently observed during adolescence. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the present study examined the interaction of age and sex on resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) of amygdala sub-regions, BLA and SFA, in a sample of healthy adolescents between the ages 10 and 16. years (n = 122, 71 boys). Whole-brain, voxel-wise partial correlation analyses were conducted to determine RSFC of bilateral BLA and SFA seed regions, created using the Eickhoff-Zilles maximum probability maps based on cytoarchitectonic mapping and FMRIB's Integrated Registration and Segmentation Tool (FIRST). Monte Carlo simulation was implemented to correct for multiple comparisons (threshold of 53 contiguous voxels with a z-value. ≥ 2.25). Results indicated that with increasing age, there was a corresponding decrease in RSFC between both amygdala sub-regions and parieto-occipital cortices, with a concurrent increase in RSFC with medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Specifically, boys and girls demonstrated increased coupling of mPFC and left and right SFA with age, respectively; however, neither sex showed increased connectivity between mPFC and BLA, which could indicate relative immaturity of fronto-limbic networks that is similar across sex. A dissociation in connectivity between BLA- and SFA-parieto-occipital RSFC emerged, in which girls had weaker negative RSFC between SFA and parieto-occipital regions and boys had weaker negative RSFC of BLA and parieto-occipital regions with increased age, both standing in contrast to adult patterns of amygdala sub-regional RSFC. The present findings suggest relative immaturity of amygdala sub-regional RSFC with parieto-occipital cortices during adolescence, with unique patterns in both sexes that may support memory and socio-affective processing in boys and girls, respectively. Understanding the underlying normative functional architecture of brain networks associated with the amygdala during adolescence may better inform future research of the neural features associated with increased risk for internalizing psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-244
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroImage
Volume115
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 5 2015

Fingerprint

Amygdala
Sex Characteristics
Occipital Lobe
Prefrontal Cortex
Brain
Anxiety Disorders
Psychopathology
Mood Disorders
Basolateral Nuclear Complex
Seeds
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Learning

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Amygdala
  • Resting state functional connectivity
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology

Cite this

Developmental sex differences in resting state functional connectivity of amygdala sub-regions. / Alarcón, Gabriela; Cservenka, Anita; Rudolph, Marc D.; Fair, Damien; Nagel, Bonnie.

In: NeuroImage, Vol. 115, 05.07.2015, p. 235-244.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alarcón, Gabriela ; Cservenka, Anita ; Rudolph, Marc D. ; Fair, Damien ; Nagel, Bonnie. / Developmental sex differences in resting state functional connectivity of amygdala sub-regions. In: NeuroImage. 2015 ; Vol. 115. pp. 235-244.
@article{a068e921d909470c97efce551e196536,
title = "Developmental sex differences in resting state functional connectivity of amygdala sub-regions",
abstract = "During adolescence, considerable social and biological changes occur that interact with functional brain maturation, some of which are sex-specific. The amygdala is one brain area that has displayed sexual dimorphism, specifically in socio-affective (superficial amygdala [SFA]), stress (centromedial amygdala [CMA]), and learning and memory (basolateral amygdala [BLA]) processing. The amygdala has also been implicated in mood and anxiety disorders which display sex-specific features, most prominently observed during adolescence. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the present study examined the interaction of age and sex on resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) of amygdala sub-regions, BLA and SFA, in a sample of healthy adolescents between the ages 10 and 16. years (n = 122, 71 boys). Whole-brain, voxel-wise partial correlation analyses were conducted to determine RSFC of bilateral BLA and SFA seed regions, created using the Eickhoff-Zilles maximum probability maps based on cytoarchitectonic mapping and FMRIB's Integrated Registration and Segmentation Tool (FIRST). Monte Carlo simulation was implemented to correct for multiple comparisons (threshold of 53 contiguous voxels with a z-value. ≥ 2.25). Results indicated that with increasing age, there was a corresponding decrease in RSFC between both amygdala sub-regions and parieto-occipital cortices, with a concurrent increase in RSFC with medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Specifically, boys and girls demonstrated increased coupling of mPFC and left and right SFA with age, respectively; however, neither sex showed increased connectivity between mPFC and BLA, which could indicate relative immaturity of fronto-limbic networks that is similar across sex. A dissociation in connectivity between BLA- and SFA-parieto-occipital RSFC emerged, in which girls had weaker negative RSFC between SFA and parieto-occipital regions and boys had weaker negative RSFC of BLA and parieto-occipital regions with increased age, both standing in contrast to adult patterns of amygdala sub-regional RSFC. The present findings suggest relative immaturity of amygdala sub-regional RSFC with parieto-occipital cortices during adolescence, with unique patterns in both sexes that may support memory and socio-affective processing in boys and girls, respectively. Understanding the underlying normative functional architecture of brain networks associated with the amygdala during adolescence may better inform future research of the neural features associated with increased risk for internalizing psychopathology.",
keywords = "Adolescence, Amygdala, Resting state functional connectivity, Sex differences",
author = "Gabriela Alarc{\'o}n and Anita Cservenka and Rudolph, {Marc D.} and Damien Fair and Bonnie Nagel",
year = "2015",
month = "7",
day = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.04.013",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "115",
pages = "235--244",
journal = "NeuroImage",
issn = "1053-8119",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Developmental sex differences in resting state functional connectivity of amygdala sub-regions

AU - Alarcón, Gabriela

AU - Cservenka, Anita

AU - Rudolph, Marc D.

AU - Fair, Damien

AU - Nagel, Bonnie

PY - 2015/7/5

Y1 - 2015/7/5

N2 - During adolescence, considerable social and biological changes occur that interact with functional brain maturation, some of which are sex-specific. The amygdala is one brain area that has displayed sexual dimorphism, specifically in socio-affective (superficial amygdala [SFA]), stress (centromedial amygdala [CMA]), and learning and memory (basolateral amygdala [BLA]) processing. The amygdala has also been implicated in mood and anxiety disorders which display sex-specific features, most prominently observed during adolescence. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the present study examined the interaction of age and sex on resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) of amygdala sub-regions, BLA and SFA, in a sample of healthy adolescents between the ages 10 and 16. years (n = 122, 71 boys). Whole-brain, voxel-wise partial correlation analyses were conducted to determine RSFC of bilateral BLA and SFA seed regions, created using the Eickhoff-Zilles maximum probability maps based on cytoarchitectonic mapping and FMRIB's Integrated Registration and Segmentation Tool (FIRST). Monte Carlo simulation was implemented to correct for multiple comparisons (threshold of 53 contiguous voxels with a z-value. ≥ 2.25). Results indicated that with increasing age, there was a corresponding decrease in RSFC between both amygdala sub-regions and parieto-occipital cortices, with a concurrent increase in RSFC with medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Specifically, boys and girls demonstrated increased coupling of mPFC and left and right SFA with age, respectively; however, neither sex showed increased connectivity between mPFC and BLA, which could indicate relative immaturity of fronto-limbic networks that is similar across sex. A dissociation in connectivity between BLA- and SFA-parieto-occipital RSFC emerged, in which girls had weaker negative RSFC between SFA and parieto-occipital regions and boys had weaker negative RSFC of BLA and parieto-occipital regions with increased age, both standing in contrast to adult patterns of amygdala sub-regional RSFC. The present findings suggest relative immaturity of amygdala sub-regional RSFC with parieto-occipital cortices during adolescence, with unique patterns in both sexes that may support memory and socio-affective processing in boys and girls, respectively. Understanding the underlying normative functional architecture of brain networks associated with the amygdala during adolescence may better inform future research of the neural features associated with increased risk for internalizing psychopathology.

AB - During adolescence, considerable social and biological changes occur that interact with functional brain maturation, some of which are sex-specific. The amygdala is one brain area that has displayed sexual dimorphism, specifically in socio-affective (superficial amygdala [SFA]), stress (centromedial amygdala [CMA]), and learning and memory (basolateral amygdala [BLA]) processing. The amygdala has also been implicated in mood and anxiety disorders which display sex-specific features, most prominently observed during adolescence. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the present study examined the interaction of age and sex on resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) of amygdala sub-regions, BLA and SFA, in a sample of healthy adolescents between the ages 10 and 16. years (n = 122, 71 boys). Whole-brain, voxel-wise partial correlation analyses were conducted to determine RSFC of bilateral BLA and SFA seed regions, created using the Eickhoff-Zilles maximum probability maps based on cytoarchitectonic mapping and FMRIB's Integrated Registration and Segmentation Tool (FIRST). Monte Carlo simulation was implemented to correct for multiple comparisons (threshold of 53 contiguous voxels with a z-value. ≥ 2.25). Results indicated that with increasing age, there was a corresponding decrease in RSFC between both amygdala sub-regions and parieto-occipital cortices, with a concurrent increase in RSFC with medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Specifically, boys and girls demonstrated increased coupling of mPFC and left and right SFA with age, respectively; however, neither sex showed increased connectivity between mPFC and BLA, which could indicate relative immaturity of fronto-limbic networks that is similar across sex. A dissociation in connectivity between BLA- and SFA-parieto-occipital RSFC emerged, in which girls had weaker negative RSFC between SFA and parieto-occipital regions and boys had weaker negative RSFC of BLA and parieto-occipital regions with increased age, both standing in contrast to adult patterns of amygdala sub-regional RSFC. The present findings suggest relative immaturity of amygdala sub-regional RSFC with parieto-occipital cortices during adolescence, with unique patterns in both sexes that may support memory and socio-affective processing in boys and girls, respectively. Understanding the underlying normative functional architecture of brain networks associated with the amygdala during adolescence may better inform future research of the neural features associated with increased risk for internalizing psychopathology.

KW - Adolescence

KW - Amygdala

KW - Resting state functional connectivity

KW - Sex differences

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84937973483&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84937973483&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.04.013

DO - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.04.013

M3 - Article

VL - 115

SP - 235

EP - 244

JO - NeuroImage

JF - NeuroImage

SN - 1053-8119

ER -