Developmental trajectories of macroanatomical structures in common marmoset brain

Fumiko Seki, Keigo Hikishima, Yuji Komaki, Junichi Hata, Akiko Uematsu, Norio Okahara, Masafumi Yamamoto, Haruka Shinohara, Erika Sasaki, Hideyuki Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Morphometry studies of human brain development have revealed characteristics of some growth patterns, such as gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM), but the features that make human neurodevelopment distinct from that in other species remain unclear. Studies of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), a small New World primate, can provide insights into unique features such as cooperative behaviors complementary to those from comparative analyses using mouse and rhesus monkey. In the present study, we analyzed developmental patterns of GM, WM, and cortical regions with volume measurements using longitudinal sample (23 marmosets; 11 male, 12 female) between the ages of one and 30 months. Regional analysis using a total of 164 magnetic resonance imaging datasets revealed that GM volume increased before puberty (5.4 months), but subsequently declined until adulthood, whereas WM volume increased rapidly before stabilizing around puberty (9.9 months). Cortical regions showed similar patterns of increase and decrease, patterns with global GM but differed in the timing of volume peak and degree of decline across regions. The progressive–regressive pattern detected in both global and cortical GM was well correlated to phases of synaptogenesis and synaptic pruning reported in previous marmoset studies. A rapid increase in WM in early development may represent a distinctive aspect of human neurodevelopment. These findings suggest that studies of marmoset brain development can provide valuable comparative information that will facilitate a deeper understanding of human brain growth and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-156
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 19


  • brain development
  • common marmoset
  • cortex
  • growth trajectory
  • longitudinal MRI
  • non-human primate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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