The Relationship Between Axon Density, Myelination, and Fractional Anisotropy in the Human Corpus Callosum.

Published on Apr 14, 2020in Cerebral Cortex5.043
· DOI :10.1093/CERCOR/BHZ221
Patrick Friedrich11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Paris),
Christoph Fraenz8
Estimated H-index: 8
(RUB: Ruhr University Bochum)
+ 4 AuthorsErhan Genç16
Estimated H-index: 16
(RUB: Ruhr University Bochum)
Sources
Abstract
The corpus callosum serves the functional integration and interaction between the two hemispheres. Many studies investigate callosal microstructure via diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fractional anisotropy (FA) in geometrically parcellated segments. However, FA is influenced by several different microstructural properties such as myelination and axon density, hindering a neurobiological interpretation. This study explores the relationship between FA and more specific measures of microstructure within the corpus callosum in a sample of 271 healthy participants. DTI tractography was used to assess 11 callosal segments and gain estimates of FA. We quantified axon density and myelination via neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) to assess intra-neurite volume fraction and a multiecho gradient spin-echo sequence estimating myelin water fraction. The results indicate three common factors in the distribution of FA, myelin content and axon density, indicating potentially shared rules of topographical distribution. Moreover, the relationship between measures varied across the corpus callosum, suggesting that FA should not be interpreted uniformly. More specific magnetic resonance imaging-based quantification techniques, such as NODDI and multiecho myelin water imaging, may thus play a key role in future studies of clinical trials and individual differences.
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