Comparison of histological delineations of medial temporal lobe cortices by four independent neuroanatomy laboratories

Anika Wuestefeld, Hannah Baumeister, Jenna N Adams, Robin de Flores, Carl J Hodgetts, Negar Mazloum-Farzaghi, Rosanna K Olsen, Vyash Puliyadi, Tammy T Tran, Arnold Bakker, Kelsey L Canada, Marshall A Dalton, Ana M Daugherty, Renaud La Joie, Lei Wang, Madigan L Bedard, Esther Buendia, Eunice Chung, Amanda Denning, María Del Mar Arroyo-JiménezEmilio Artacho-Pérula, David J Irwin, Ranjit Ittyerah, Edward B Lee, Sydney Lim, María Del Pilar Marcos-Rabal, Maria Mercedes Iñiguez de Onzoño Martin, Monica Munoz Lopez, Carlos de la Rosa Prieto, Theresa Schuck, Winifred Trotman, Alicia Vela, Paul Yushkevich, Katrin Amunts, Jean C Augustinack, Song-Lin Ding, Ricardo Insausti, Olga Kedo, David Berron, Laura E M Wisse

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The medial temporal lobe (MTL) cortex, located adjacent to the hippocampus, is crucial for memory and prone to the accumulation of certain neuropathologies such as Alzheimer's disease neurofibrillary tau tangles. The MTL cortex is composed of several subregions which differ in their functional and cytoarchitectonic features. As neuroanatomical schools rely on different cytoarchitectonic definitions of these subregions, it is unclear to what extent their delineations of MTL cortex subregions overlap. Here, we provide an overview of cytoarchitectonic definitions of the entorhinal and parahippocampal cortices as well as Brodmann areas (BA) 35 and 36, as provided by four neuroanatomists from different laboratories, aiming to identify the rationale for overlapping and diverging delineations. Nissl-stained series were acquired from the temporal lobes of three human specimens (two right and one left hemisphere). Slices (50 μm thick) were prepared perpendicular to the long axis of the hippocampus spanning the entire longitudinal extent of the MTL cortex. Four neuroanatomists annotated MTL cortex subregions on digitized slices spaced 5 mm apart (pixel size 0.4 μm at 20× magnification). Parcellations, terminology, and border placement were compared among neuroanatomists. Cytoarchitectonic features of each subregion are described in detail. Qualitative analysis of the annotations showed higher agreement in the definitions of the entorhinal cortex and BA35, while the definitions of BA36 and the parahippocampal cortex exhibited less overlap among neuroanatomists. The degree of overlap of cytoarchitectonic definitions was partially reflected in the neuroanatomists' agreement on the respective delineations. Lower agreement in annotations was observed in transitional zones between structures where seminal cytoarchitectonic features are expressed less saliently. The results highlight that definitions and parcellations of the MTL cortex differ among neuroanatomical schools and thereby increase understanding of why these differences may arise. This work sets a crucial foundation to further advance anatomically-informed neuroimaging research on the human MTL cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2024

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