Early asymmetry of gene transcription in embryonic human left and right cerebral cortex.
ABSTRACT: The human left and right cerebral hemispheres are anatomically and functionally asymmetric. To test whether human cortical asymmetry has a molecular basis, we studied gene expression levels between the left and right embryonic hemispheres using serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE). We identified and verified 27 differentially expressed genes, which suggests that human cortical asymmetry is accompanied by early, marked transcriptional asymmetries. LMO4 is consistently more highly expressed in the right perisylvian human cerebral cortex than in the left and is essential for cortical development in mice, suggesting that human left-right specialization reflects asymmetric cortical development at early stages.
Project description:Thirty-six VLBW infants who underwent F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (F-18 FDG) brain PET and MRI were prospectively enrolled, while infants with evidence of parenchymal brain injury on MRI were excluded. The regional glucose metabolic ratio and asymmetry index were calculated. The asymmetry index more than 10% (right > left asymmetry) or less than -10% (left > right asymmetry) were defined as abnormal. Regional cerebral glucose metabolism were compared between right and left cerebral hemispheres, and between the following subgroups: multiple gestations, premature rupture of membrane, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and low-grade intraventricular hemorrhage.In the individual analysis, 21 (58.3%) of 36 VLBW infants exhibited asymmetric cerebral glucose metabolism. Fifteen infants (41.7%) exhibited right > left asymmetry, while six (16.7%) exhibited left > right asymmetry. In the regional analysis, right > left asymmetry was more extensive than left > right asymmetry. The metabolic ratio in the right frontal, temporal, and occipital cortices and right thalamus were significantly higher than those in the corresponding left regions. In the subgroup analyses, the cerebral glucose metabolism in infants with multiple gestations, premature rupture of membrane, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or low-grade intraventricular hemorrhage were significantly lower than those in infants without these.VLBW infants without structural abnormalities have asymmetry of cerebral glucose metabolism. Decreased cerebral glucose metabolism are noted in infants with neurodevelopmental risk factors. F-18 FDG PET could show microstructural abnormalities not detected by MRI in VLBW infants.
Project description:Bilateral symmetry is a fundamental property of the vertebrate central nervous system. Local deviations from symmetry provide various types of information about the development, evolution, and function of elements within the CNS, especially the cerebral hemispheres. Here, we quantify the pattern and extent of asymmetry in cortical folding within the cerebrum of Papio baboons and assess the evolutionary and developmental implications of the findings. Analyses of directional asymmetry show a population-level trend in length measurements indicating that baboons are genetically predisposed to be asymmetrical, with the right side longer than the left in the anterior cerebrum while the left side is longer than the right posteriorly. We also find a corresponding bias to display a right frontal petalia (overgrowth of the anterior pole of the cerebral cortex on the right side). By quantifying fluctuating asymmetry, we assess canalization of brain features and the susceptibility of the baboon brain to developmental perturbations. We find that features are differentially canalized depending on their ontogenetic timing. We further deduce that development of the two hemispheres is to some degree independent. This independence has important implications for the evolution of cerebral hemispheres and their separate specialization. Asymmetry is a major feature of primate brains and is characteristic of both brain structure and function.
Project description:Human brains are markedly asymmetric in structure and lateralized in function, which suggests a relationship between these two properties. The brains of other closely related primates, such as chimpanzees, show similar patterns of asymmetry, but to a lesser degree, indicating an increase in anatomical and functional asymmetry during hominin evolution. We analysed the heritability of cerebral asymmetry in chimpanzees and humans using classic morphometrics, geometric morphometrics, and quantitative genetic techniques. In our analyses, we separated directional asymmetry and fluctuating asymmetry (FA), which is indicative of environmental influences during development. We show that directional patterns of asymmetry, those that are consistently present in most individuals in a population, do not have significant heritability when measured through simple linear metrics, but they have marginally significant heritability in humans when assessed through three-dimensional configurations of landmarks that reflect variation in the size, position, and orientation of different cortical regions with respect to each other. Furthermore, genetic correlations between left and right hemispheres are substantially lower in humans than in chimpanzees, which points to a relatively stronger environmental influence on left-right differences in humans. We also show that the level of FA has significant heritability in both species in some regions of the cerebral cortex. This suggests that brain responsiveness to environmental influences, which may reflect neural plasticity, has genetic bases in both species. These results have implications for the evolvability of brain asymmetry and plasticity among humans and our close relatives.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Clinically, Parkinson's disease (PD) presents with asymmetric motor symptoms. The left nigrostriatal system appears more susceptible to early degeneration than the right, and a left-lateralized pattern of early neuropathological changes is also described in several neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and Huntington's disease. In this study, we evaluated hemispheric differences in estimated rates of atrophy in a large, well-characterized cohort of PD patients. METHODS:Our cohort included 205 PD patients who underwent clinical assessments and T1-weighted brain MRI's. Patients were classified into Early (n = 109) and Late stage (n = 96) based on disease duration, defined as greater than or less than 10 years of motor symptoms. Cortical thickness was determined using FreeSurfer, and a bootstrapped linear regression model was used to estimate differences in rates of atrophy between Early and Late patients. RESULTS:Our results show that patients classified as Early stage exhibit a greater estimated rate of cortical atrophy in left frontal regions, especially the left insula and olfactory sulcus. This pattern was replicated in left-handed patients, and was not influenced by the degree of motor symptom asymmetry (i.e., left-sided predominant motor symptoms). Patients classified as Late stage exhibited greater atrophy in the bilateral occipital, and right hemisphere-predominant cortical areas. CONCLUSIONS:We show that cortical degeneration in PD differs between cerebral hemispheres, and findings suggest a pattern of early left, and late right hemisphere with posterior cortical atrophy. Further investigation is warranted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of this asymmetry and pathologic implications.
Project description:We identified and mapped an anatomically localized failure of cortical maturation in Williams syndrome (WS), a genetic condition associated with deletion of approximately 20 contiguous genes on chromosome 7. Detailed three-dimensional (3D) maps of cortical thickness, based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of 164 brain hemispheres, identified a delimited zone of right hemisphere perisylvian cortex that was thicker in WS than in matched controls, despite pervasive gray and white matter deficits and reduced total cerebral volumes. 3D cortical surface models were extracted from 82 T1-weighted brain MRI scans (256 x 192 x 124 volumes) of 42 subjects with genetically confirmed WS (mean +/- SD, 29.2 +/- 9.0 years of age; 19 males, 23 females) and 40 age-matched healthy controls (27.5 +/- 7.4 years of age; 16 males, 24 females). A cortical pattern-matching technique used 72 sulcal landmarks traced on each brain as anchors to align cortical thickness maps across subjects, build group average maps, and identify regions with altered cortical thickness in WS. Cortical models were remeshed in frequency space to compute their fractal dimension (surface complexity) for each hemisphere and lobe. Surface complexity was significantly increased in WS (p < 0.0015 and p < 0.0014 for left and right hemispheres, respectively) and correlated with temporoparietal gyrification differences, classified via Steinmetz criteria. In WS, cortical thickness was increased by 5-10% in a circumscribed right hemisphere perisylvian and inferior temporal zone (p < 0.002). Spatially extended cortical regions were identified with increased complexity and thickness; cortical thickness and complexity were also positively correlated in controls (p < 0.03). These findings visualize cortical zones with altered anatomy in WS, which merit additional study with techniques to assess function and connectivity.
Project description:<label>BACKGROUND</label>While brain asymmetry has been a fascinating issue in neuroscience, the critical mechanism remains to be elucidated. Based on some index cases with asymmetric 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) uptake in leucine-rich glioma-inactivated 1 (LGI1)-antibody encephalitis, we hypothesized LGI1 expression could be asymmetrically distributed in the human brain.<label>METHODS</label>We enrolled 13 patients who were diagnosed with LGI1-antibody encephalitis between June 2012 and January 2018 at Seoul National University Hospital. Their pretreatment 18F-FDG-PET images were analyzed to find asymmetry between the left and right hemispheres. Guided by these observations, expression of LGI1 in the human hippocampus and the globus pallidus of both cerebral hemispheres was studied in nine post-mortem human brains.<label>RESULTS</label>Eleven of the 13 LGI1-antibody encephalitis patients (84.6%) showed asymmetrical FDG high uptake in the hippocampus: nine (81.8%) on the left hippocampus and two (18.2%) on the right. In the basal ganglia, seven patients (53.8%) showed asymmetry: four (57.1%) on the left and three (42.9%) on the right. The asymmetry was not evident in the laterality of faciobrachial dystonic seizures, brain MRI, and EEG. When the expression of LGI1 protein was analyzed in nine post-mortem human brains by western blotting, LGI1 expression was higher on eight left globus pallidus samples (88.89%, P?=?0.019) and on four left hippocampal samples (44.44%, P?=?0.652), compared to their right hemisphere samples.<label>CONCLUSIONS</label>Imaging parameters from patients with LGI1-antibody encephalitis and studies of LGI1 protein expression suggest that LGI1 is asymmetrically distributed in the human brain. These observations have implications for our understanding of human brain development.
Project description:Despite the well established role of the frontal and posterior perisylvian cortices in many facets of human-cognitive specializations, including language, little is known about the developmental patterning of these regions in the human brain. We performed a genome-wide analysis of human cerebral patterning during midgestation, a critical epoch in cortical regionalization. A total of 345 genes were identified as differentially expressed between superior temporal gyrus (STG) and the remaining cerebral cortex. Gene ontology categories representing transcription factors were enriched in STG, whereas cell-adhesion and extracellular matrix molecules were enriched in the other cortical regions. Quantitative RT-PCR or in situ hybridization was performed to validate differential expression in a subset of 32 genes, most of which were confirmed. LIM domain-binding 1 (LDB1), which we show to be enriched in the STG, is a recently identified interactor of LIM domain only 4 (LMO4), a gene known to be involved in the asymmetric pattering of the perisylvian region in the developing human brain. Protocadherin 17 (PCDH17), a neuronal cell adhesion molecule, was highly enriched in focal regions of the human prefrontal cortex. Contactin associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2), in which mutations are known to cause autism, epilepsy, and language delay, showed a remarkable pattern of anterior-enriched cortical expression in human that was not observed in mouse or rat. These data highlight the importance of expression analysis of human brain and the utility of cross-species comparisons of gene expression. Genes identified here provide a foundation for understanding molecular aspects of human-cognitive specializations and the disorders that disrupt them.
Project description:Asymmetrical specialization of cognitive processes across the cerebral hemispheres is a hallmark of healthy brain development and an important evolutionary trait underlying higher cognition in humans. While previous research, including studies of priming, divided visual field presentation, and split-brain patients, demonstrates a general pattern of right/left asymmetry of form-specific versus form-abstract visual processing, little is known about brain organization underlying this dissociation. Here, using repetition priming of complex visual scenes and high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we demonstrate asymmetrical form specificity of visual processing between the right and left hemispheres within a region known to be critical for processing of visual spatial scenes (parahippocampal place area [PPA]). Next, we use resting-state functional connectivity MRI analyses to demonstrate that this functional asymmetry is associated with differential intrinsic activity correlations of the right versus left PPA with regions critically involved in perceptual versus conceptual processing, respectively. Our results demonstrate that the PPA comprises lateralized subregions across the cerebral hemispheres that are engaged in functionally dissociable yet complementary components of visual scene analysis. Furthermore, this functional asymmetry is associated with differential intrinsic functional connectivity of the PPA with distinct brain areas known to mediate dissociable cognitive processes.
Project description:Although the allocation of brain functions across the two cerebral hemispheres has aroused public interest over the past century, asymmetric interhemispheric cooperation under attentional modulation has been scarcely investigated. An example of interhemispheric cooperation is visual spatial perception. During this process, visual information from each hemisphere is integrated because each half of the visual field predominantly projects to the contralateral visual cortex. Both egocentric and allocentric coordinates can be employed for visual spatial representation, but they activate different areas in primate cerebral hemispheres. Recent studies have determined that egocentric representation affects the reaction time of allocentric perception; furthermore, this influence is asymmetric between the two visual hemifields. The egocentric-allocentric incompatibility effect and its asymmetry between the two hemispheres can produce this phenomenon. Using an allocentric position judgment task, we found that this incompatibility effect was reduced, and its asymmetry was eliminated on an attentional task rather than a neutral task. Visual attention might activate cortical areas that process conflicting information, such as the anterior cingulate cortex, and balance the asymmetry between the two hemispheres. Attention may enhance and balance this interhemispheric cooperation because this imbalance may also be caused by the asymmetric cooperation of each hemisphere in spatial perception.
Project description:Just as typical development of anatomical asymmetries in the human brain has been linked with normal lateralization of motor and cognitive functions, disruption of asymmetry has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). No study has examined the development of cortical asymmetry using longitudinal neuroanatomical data.To delineate the development of cortical asymmetry in children with and without ADHD.Longitudinal study.Government Clinical Research Institute.A total of 218 children with ADHD and 358 typically developing children, from whom 1133 neuroanatomical magnetic resonance images were acquired prospectively.Cortical thickness was estimated at 40 962 homologous points in the left and right hemispheres, and the trajectory of change in asymmetry was defined using mixed-model regression.In right-handed typically developing individuals, a mean (SE) increase in the relative thickness of the right orbitofrontal and inferior frontal cortex with age of 0.011 (0.0018) mm per year (t(337) = 6.2, P < .001) was balanced against a relative left-hemispheric increase in the occipital cortical regions of 0.013 (0.0015) mm per year (t(337) = 8.1, P < .001). Age-related change in asymmetry in non-right-handed typically developing individuals was less extensive and was localized to different cortical regions. In ADHD, the posterior component of this evolving asymmetry was intact, but the prefrontal component was lost.These findings explain the way that, in typical development, the increased dimensions of the right frontal and left occipital cortical regions emerge in adulthood from the reversed pattern of childhood cortical asymmetries. Loss of the prefrontal component of this evolving asymmetry in ADHD is compatible with disruption of prefrontal function in the disorder and demonstrates the way that disruption of typical processes of asymmetry can inform our understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders.