Shifts in myeloarchitecture characterise adolescent development of cortical gradients

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Casey, Paquola 
Jakob, Seidlitz 
Konrad, Wagstyl 
Rafael, Romero-Garcia 

We studied an accelerated longitudinal cohort of adolescents and young adults (n=223, two time points) to investigate dynamic reconfigurations in myeloarchitecture. Intracortical profiles were generated using magnetization transfer (MT) data, a myelin-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging contrast. Mixed-effect models of depth specific intracortical profiles demonstrated two separate processes i) overall increases in MT, and ii) flattening of the MT profile related to enhanced signal in mid-to-deeper layers, especially in heteromodal and unimodal association cortices. This development was independent of morphological changes. Enhanced MT in mid-to-deeper layers was found to spatially co-localise specifically with gene expression markers of oligodendrocytes. Interregional covariance analysis revealed that these intracortical changes contributed to a gradual differentiation of higher-order from lower-order systems. Depth-dependent trajectories of intracortical myeloarchitectural development contribute to the maturation of structural hierarchies in the human neocortex, providing a model for adolescent development that bridges microstructural and macroscopic scales of brain organisation.

MRI, adolescence, developmental biology, gradients, hierarchy, human, microstructure, neuroscience, transcriptomics, Adolescent, Adolescent Development, Adult, Cerebral Cortex, Female, Healthy Volunteers, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Models, Neurological, Surface Properties, Young Adult
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eLife Sciences Publications Ltd
British Academy (PFO\170517)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (via McGill University) (Unknown)
Wellcome Trust (095844/Z/11/Z)
Alan Turing Institute (AT/120001/005)
Medical Research Council (MR/K020706/1)
Medical Research Council (MR/M009041/1)
Medical Research Council (MR/M024873/1)
MQ: Transforming Mental Health (MQ17-24 Vertes)
MRC, Wellcome Trust, Cambridge-MNI exhchange, Guarantors of Brain, Alan Turing Institute, NSERC, CIHR, ACAR, NIHR