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Direct Interhemispheric Cortical Communication via Thalamic Commissures: A New White-Matter Pathway in the Rodent Brain

Szczupak, Diego and Meneses Iack, Pamela and Liu, Cirong and Tovar-Moll, Fernanda and Lent, Roberto and Silva, Afonso C. (2021) Direct Interhemispheric Cortical Communication via Thalamic Commissures: A New White-Matter Pathway in the Rodent Brain. Cerebral Cortex, 31 (10). pp. 4642-4651. ISSN 1047-3211. PMCID PMC8408456. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab112.

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The corpus callosum (CC), the anterior (AC), and the posterior (PC) commissures are the principal axonal fiber bundle pathways that allow bidirectional communication between the brain hemispheres. Here, we used the Allen mouse brain connectivity atlas and high-resolution diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) to investigate interhemispheric fiber bundles in C57bl6/J mice, the most commonly used wild-type mouse model in biomedical research. We identified 1) commissural projections from the primary motor area through the AC to the contralateral hemisphere; and 2) intrathalamic interhemispheric fiber bundles from multiple regions in the frontal cortex to the contralateral thalamus. This is the first description of direct interhemispheric corticothalamic connectivity from the orbital cortex. We named these newly identified crossing points thalamic commissures. We also analyzed interhemispheric connectivity in the Balb/c mouse model of dysgenesis of the corpus callosum (CCD). Relative to C57bl6/J, Balb/c presented an atypical and smaller AC and weaker interhemispheric corticothalamic communication. These results redefine our understanding of interhemispheric brain communication. Specifically, they establish the thalamus as a regular hub for interhemispheric connectivity and encourage us to reinterpret brain plasticity in CCD as an altered balance between axonal reinforcement and pruning.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://www.irc5.orgRelated ItemIRC5
Szczupak, Diego0000-0003-0818-9613
Meneses Iack, Pamela0000-0003-1903-5169
Liu, Cirong0000-0002-7986-4615
Tovar-Moll, Fernanda0000-0002-0292-5985
Lent, Roberto0000-0002-8989-4009
Silva, Afonso C.0000-0002-6105-7567
Additional Information:© Published by Oxford University Press 2021. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US. Received: 26 January 2021; Revision received: 16 March 2021; Accepted: 07 April 2021; Published: 17 May 2021. We would like to thank Lisa Zhang for technical support. We also thank the members and affiliates of the International Research Consortium for the Corpus Callosum and Cerebral Connectivity (IRC5, for discussions and input. Conflict of Interest: None declared. This work was supported by the PA Department of Health SAP grant 4100083102 to A.C.S.; the Research Support Foundation of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ); the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); as well as by intramural grants from D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR). This research was also supported (in part) by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, National Insitute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (grant ZIANS003041 to A.C.S.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Pennsylvania Department of Health4100083102
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ)UNSPECIFIED
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)UNSPECIFIED
D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:aberrant bundles, Balb/c, corpus callosum, diffusion imaging, neuroplasticity
Issue or Number:10
PubMed Central ID:PMC8408456
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211123-182349897
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Diego Szczupak, Pamela Meneses Iack, Cirong Liu, IRC5 Consortium, Fernanda Tovar-Moll, Roberto Lent, Afonso C Silva, Direct Interhemispheric Cortical Communication via Thalamic Commissures: A New White-Matter Pathway in the Rodent Brain, Cerebral Cortex, Volume 31, Issue 10, October 2021, Pages 4642–4651,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112009
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Nov 2021 18:54
Last Modified:23 Nov 2021 18:54

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