The cross-sectional interplay between neurochemical profile and brain connectivity
COHEN KADOSH R., ZACHAROPOULOS G., Emir U.
Neurochemical profile and brain connectivity are both critical aspects of brain function. However, our knowledge of their interplay across development is currently poor. We combined single-voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy and resting functional magnetic resonance imaging in a cross-sectional sample spanning from childhood to adulthood which was reassessed in ~1.5 years (N=293). We revealed the developmental trajectories of 20 neurochemicals in two key developmental brain regions (the intraparietal sulcus, IPS, and the middle frontal gyrus, MFG). We found that certain neurochemicals exhibited similar developmental trajectories across the two regions, while other trajectories were region-specific. Crucially, we mapped the connectivity of the brain regions IPS and MFG to the rest of the brain across development as a function of regional glutamate and GABA concentration. We demonstrated that glutamate concentration within the IPS is modulated by age in explaining IPS connectivity with frontal, temporal and parietal regions. In mature participants, higher glutamate within the IPS was related to more negative connectivity while the opposite pattern was found for younger participants. Our findings offer specific developmental insights on the interplay between the brain’s resting activity and glutamatergic system both of which are crucial for regulating normal functioning and are dysregulated in several clinical conditions.