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    Gyrification of the cerebral cortex is a developmentally important process, but the mechanisms that drive cortical folding are not fully known. Theories propose that changes within the cortical plate (CP) cause gyrification, yet differences between the CP below gyri and sulci have not been investigated. Here we report genetic and microstructural differences in the CP below gyri and sulci assessed before (at 70 days of gestational age [GA] 70), during (GA 90), and after (GA 110) gyrification in fetal sheep. The areal density of BDNF, CDK5, and NeuroD6 immunopositive cells were increased, and HDAC5 and MeCP2 mRNA levels were decreased in the CP below gyri compared with sulci during gyrification, but not before. Only the areal density of BDNF-immunopositive cells remained increased after gyrification. MAP2 immunoreactivity and neurite outgrowth were also increased in the CP below gyri compared with sulci at GA 90, and this was associated with microstructural changes assessed via diffusion tensor imaging and neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging at GA 98. Differential neurite outgrowth may therefore explain the localized changes in CP architecture that result in gyrification. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


    Sebastian Quezada, Yohan van de Looij, Nadia Hale, Shreya Rana, Stéphane V Sizonenko, Courtney Gilchrist, Margie Castillo-Melendez, Mary Tolcos, David W Walker. Genetic and microstructural differences in the cortical plate of gyri and sulci during gyrification in fetal sheep. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). 2020 Nov 03;30(12):6169-6190

    PMID: 32609332

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