Journal article

Cortical morphology at birth reflects spatiotemporal patterns of gene expression in the fetal human brain

Gareth Ball, Jakob Seidlitz, Jonathan O'Muircheartaigh, Ralica Dimitrova, Daphna Fenchel, Antonios Makropoulos, Daan Christiaens, Andreas Schuh, Jonathan Passerat-Palmbach, Jana Hutter, Lucilio Cordero-Grande, Emer Hughes, Anthony Price, Jo Hajnal, Daniel Rueckert, Emma C Robinson, A David Edwards

PLoS Biology | PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE | Published : 2020


Interruption to gestation through preterm birth can significantly impact cortical development and have long-lasting adverse effects on neurodevelopmental outcome. We compared cortical morphology captured by high-resolution, multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in n = 292 healthy newborn infants (mean age at birth = 39.9 weeks) with regional patterns of gene expression in the fetal cortex across gestation (n = 156 samples from 16 brains, aged 12 to 37 postconceptional weeks [pcw]). We tested the hypothesis that noninvasive measures of cortical structure at birth mirror areal differences in cortical gene expression across gestation, and in a cohort of n = 64 preterm infants (mean age at..

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Awarded by European Research Council under the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/ERC

Awarded by Flemish Research Foundation

Awarded by Royal Children's Hospital Foundation

Funding Acknowledgements

Neuroimaging data were provided by the developing Human Connectome Project, KCL-Imperial-Oxford Consortium funded by the European Research Council under the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/ERC Grant Agreement no. [319456]. We are grateful to the families who generously supported this trial. DC is supported by the Flemish Research Foundation [FWO/12ZV420N]. RNA-seq data were made available via the PsychENCODE consortium supported by the NIMH. This research was conducted within the Developmental Imaging research group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the Children's MRI Centre, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria. It was supported by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, the Royal Children's Hospital, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne and the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program. The project was generously supported by RCH1000, a unique arm of The Royal Children's Hospital Foundation devoted to raising funds for research at The Royal Children's Hospital. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.