Structural properties of the human corpus callosum: Multimodal assessment and sex differences.

Published on May 15, 2017in NeuroImage5.902
· DOI :10.1016/J.NEUROIMAGE.2017.02.056
Lassi Björnholm5
Estimated H-index: 5
(OUH: Oulu University Hospital),
Juha Nikkinen23
Estimated H-index: 23
(OUH: Oulu University Hospital)
+ 7 AuthorsTomáš Paus108
Estimated H-index: 108
(MIND Institute)
A number of structural properties of white matter can be assessed in vivo using multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We measured profiles of R1 and R2 relaxation rates, myelin water fraction (MWF) and diffusion tensor measures (fractional anisotropy [FA], mean diffusivity [MD]) across the mid-sagittal section of the corpus callosum in two samples of young individuals. In Part 1, we compared histology-derived axon diameter (Aboitiz et al., 1992) to MRI measures obtained in 402 young men (19.55 ± 0.84 years) recruited from the Avon Longitudinal Study on Parents and Children. In Part 2, we examined sex differences in FA, MD and magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) across the corpus callosum in 433 young (26.50 ± 0.51 years) men and women recruited from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986. We found that R1, R2, and MWF follow the anterior-to-posterior profile of small-axon density. Sex differences in mean MTR were similar across the corpus callosum (males > females) while these in FA differed by the callosal segment (Body: M>F; Splenium: F>M). We suggest that the values of R1, R2 and MWF are driven by high surface area of myelin in regions with high density of “small axons”.
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