Characterization of laminar zones in the mid-gestation primate brain with magnetic resonance imaging and histological methods

Xiaojie Wang, David R. Pettersson, Colin Studholme, Christopher D. Kroenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Distinct populations of progenitor and postmitotic neural and glial cells are stratified in the fetal primate brain across developmentally transient tissue zones between the ventricular and pial surfaces. These zones were originally identified by light microscopy. However, it has subsequently been shown that various forms of magnetic resonance image (MRI) contrast can be used to distinguish layers of developing neural tissue in ex vivo, as well as in vivo (including in utero) conditions. Here we compare mid-gestation rhesus macaque tissue zones identified using histological techniques to ex vivo as well as in utero MRI performed on the same brains. These data are compared to mid-gestation fetal human brain MRI results, obtained in utero. We observe strong similarity between MRIcontrast in vivo and post mortem, which facilitates interpretation of in utero images based on the histological characterization performed here. Additionally, we observe differential correspondence between the various forms of ex vivo MRI contrast and microscopy data, with maps of the water apparent diffusion coefficient providing the closest match to histologically-identified lamina of the nonhuman primate brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA147
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
Issue numberNovember
StatePublished - Nov 24 2015


  • Brain development
  • Cortical plate
  • Diffusion MRI
  • Fetal MRI
  • MRI validation
  • Rhesus macaque
  • Subplate
  • Subventricular zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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