Sex-biased trajectories of amygdalo-hippocampal morphology change over human development.
|Title||Sex-biased trajectories of amygdalo-hippocampal morphology change over human development.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2019|
|Authors||Fish AM, Nadig A, Seidlitz J, Reardon PK, Mankiw C, McDermott CL, Blumenthal JD, Clasen LS, Lalonde F, Lerch JP, Chakravarty MM, Shinohara RT, Raznahan A|
|Date Published||2019 Aug 27|
The amygdala and hippocampus are two adjacent allocortical structures implicated in sex-biased and developmentally-emergent psychopathology. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of amygdalo-hippocampal development remain poorly understood in healthy humans. The current study defined trajectories of volume and shape change for the amygdala and hippocampus by applying a multi-atlas segmentation pipeline (MAGeT-Brain) and semi-parametric mixed-effects spline modeling to 1,529 longitudinally-acquired structural MRI brain scans from a large, single-center cohort of 792 youth (403 males, 389 females) between the ages of 5 and 25 years old. We found that amygdala and hippocampus volumes both follow curvilinear and sexually dimorphic growth trajectories. These sex-biases were particularly striking in the amygdala: males showed a significantly later and slower adolescent deceleration in volume expansion (at age 20 years) than females (age 13 years). Shape analysis localized significant hot-spots of sex-biased anatomical development in sub-regional territories overlying rostral and caudal extremes of the CA1/2 in the hippocampus, and the centromedial nuclear group of the amygdala. In both sexes, principal components analysis revealed close integration of amygdala and hippocampus shape change along two main topographically-organized axes - low vs. high areal expansion, and early vs. late growth deceleration. These results bring greater resolution to our spatiotemporal understanding of amygdalo-hippocampal development in healthy males and females and discover focal sex-differences in the structural maturation of the brain components that may contribute to differences in behavior and psychopathology that emerge during adolescence.