Sexually dimorphic distribution of orbitofrontal sulcogyral pattern in schizophrenia

Uehara-Aoyama K, Nakamura M, Asami T, Yoshida T, Hayano F, Roppongi T, Fujiwara A, Inoue T, Shenton ME, Hirayasu Y

Psychiatry Clin. Neurosci. 2011 Aug;65(5):483-9

PMID: 21851457


AIM: The sulcogyral pattern of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is characterized by a remarkable inter-individual variability that likely reflects neurobehavioral traits and genetic aspects of neurodevelopment. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the OFC sulcogyral pattern of patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and healthy controls (HC) to determine group differences in OFC sulcogyral pattern as well as gender differences between groups.

METHODS: Forty-seven SZ patients (M/F, 23/24) and forty-seven HC (M/F, 17/30), matched on age and gender, were analyzed using magnetic resonance imaging. The sulcogyral pattern was classified into type I, II, or III based on the guidelines set by Chiavaras and Petrides in a previous paper. Chi-squared analysis was used to investigate group and gender differences in the sulcogyral pattern distribution, and categorical regression was used to explore clinical correlations.

RESULTS: The distribution of OFC sulcogyral pattern in HC replicated the results found in the previous study (left, χ(2) = 0.02, P = 0.989; right, χ(2) = 0.97, P = 0.616), in that there were no gender differences. Moreover, the distribution in SZ-M was in accordance with that in the previous study (left, χ(2) = 1.59, P = 0.451; right, χ(2) = 0.14, P = 0.933). Additionally, within SZ-M, patients with the type III pattern had a higher total positive and negative syndrome scale score (β = 0.902, F = 14.75, P = 0.001). In contrast, the distribution in the right hemisphere in the SZ-F group differed significantly from that observed in SZ-M (χ(2) = 6.017, P = 0.046), but did not differ from HC (χ(2) = 2.557, P = 0.110).

CONCLUSION: OFC sulcogyral pattern is altered in SZ-M but not in SZ-F, possibly reflecting gender differences in early neurodevelopment.