Altered Sex Chromosome Dosage Induces Coordinated Shifts in Cortical Anatomy and Anatomical Covariance

Cereb Cortex. 2020 Apr 14;30(4):2215-2228. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhz235.


Sex chromosome dosage (SCD) variation increases risk for neuropsychiatric impairment, which may reflect direct SCD effects on brain organization. Here, we 1) map cumulative X- and Y-chromosome dosage effects on regional cortical thickness (CT) and investigate potential functional implications of these effects using Neurosynth, 2) test if this map is organized by patterns of CT covariance that are evident in health, and 3) characterize SCD effects on CT covariance itself. We modeled SCD effects on CT and CT covariance for 308 equally sized regions of the cortical sheet using structural neuroimaging data from 301 individuals with varying numbers of sex chromosomes (169 euploid, 132 aneuploid). Mounting SCD increased CT in the rostral frontal cortex and decreased CT in the lateral temporal cortex, bilaterally. Regions targeted by SCD were associated with social functioning, language processing, and comprehension. Cortical regions with a similar degree of SCD-sensitivity showed heightened CT covariance in health. Finally, greater SCD also increased covariance among regions similarly affected by SCD. Our study both 1) develops novel methods for comparing typical and disease-related structural covariance networks in the brain and 2) uses these techniques to resolve and identify organizing principles for SCD effects on regional cortical anatomy and anatomical covariance.

Trial registration: NCT00001246.

Keywords: Klinefelter’s; anatomical coupling; aneuploidy; development; structural magnetic resonance imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gene Dosage / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Sex Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Young Adult

Associated data