Mapping primary gyrogenesis during fetal development in primate brains: High-resolution in utero structural MRI of fetal brain development in pregnant baboons

Peter Kochunov, Carlos Castro, Duff Davis, Donald Dudley, Jordan Brewer, Yi Zhang, Christopher D. Kroenke, David Purdy, Peter T. Fox, Calvin Simerly, Gerald Schatten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The global and regional changes in the fetal cerebral cortex in primates were mapped during primary gyrification (PG; weeks 17-25 of 26 weeks total gestation). Studying pregnant baboons using high-resolution MRI in utero, measurements included cerebral volume, cortical surface area, gyrification index and length and depth of 10 primary cortical sulci. Seven normally developing fetuses were imaged in two animals longitudinally and sequentially. We compared these results to those on PG that from the ferret studies and analyzed them in the context of our recent studies of phylogenetics of cerebral gyrification. We observed that in both primates and non-primates, the cerebrum undergoes a very rapid transformation into the gyrencephalic state, subsequently accompanied by an accelerated growth in brain volume and cortical surface area. However, PG trends in baboons exhibited some critical differences from those observed in ferrets. For example, in baboons, the growth along the long (length) axis of cortical sulci was unrelated to the growth along the short (depth) axis and far outpaced it. Additionally, the correlation between the rate of growth along the short sulcal axis and heritability of sulcal depth was negative and approached significance (r = -0.60; p < 0.10), while the same trend for long axis was positive and not significant (p = 0.3; p = 0.40). These findings, in an animal that shares a highly orchestrated pattern of PG with humans, suggest that ontogenic processes that influence changes in sulcal length and depth are diverse and possibly driven by different factors in primates than in non-primates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume4
Issue numberMAY
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Cortical morphology
  • Depth
  • Gyrification
  • In utero MRI
  • Pregnancy imaging
  • Sulcal length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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