Seven unrelated individuals (four pediatric, three adults) with the TUBB3 E410K syndrome, harboring identical de novo heterozygous TUBB3 c.1228 G>A mutations, underwent neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging. Despite the absence of cortical malformations, they have intellectual and social disabilities. To search for potential etiologies for these deficits, we compared their brain's structural and white matter organization to 22 controls using structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. Diffusion images were processed to calculate fractional anisotropy (FA) and perform tract reconstructions. Cortical parcellation-based network analysis and gyral topology-based FA analyses were performed. Major interhemispheric, projection and intrahemispheric tracts were manually segmented. Subjects had decreased corpus callosum volume and decreased network efficiency. While only pediatric subjects had diffuse decreases in FA predominantly affecting mid- and long-range tracts, only adult subjects had white matter volume loss associated with decreased cortical surface area. All subjects showed aberrant corticospinal tract trajectory and bilateral absence of the dorsal language network long segment. Furthermore, pediatric subjects had more tracts with decreased FA compared with controls than did adult subjects. These findings define a TUBB3 E410K neuroimaging endophenotype and lead to the hypothesis that the age-related changes are due to microscopic intrahemispheric misguided axons that are pruned during maturation.
Keywords: TUBB3; TUBB3 E410K syndrome; arcuate fasciculus (AF); autism; cingulum (Cing); corpus callosum (CC); corticospinal tract (CST); diffusion imaging; dorsal language network (DLN); genetics; inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF); inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF); intellectual disability, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); medial lemniscus (ML); misguidance; structural connectivity; superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF); tractography; uncinate fasciculus (UF); ventral language network (VLN).
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.