Transcriptomic and macroscopic architectures of intersubject functional variability in human brain white-matter

Jiao Li, Guo Rong Wu, Bing Li, Feiyang Fan, Xiaopeng Zhao, Yao Meng, Peng Zhong, Siqi Yang, Bharat B. Biswal, Huafu Chen, Wei Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Intersubject variability is a fundamental characteristic of brain organizations, and not just “noise”. Although intrinsic functional connectivity (FC) is unique to each individual and varies across brain gray-matter, the underlying mechanisms of intersubject functional variability in white-matter (WM) remain unknown. This study identified WMFC variabilities and determined the genetic basis and macroscale imaging in 45 healthy subjects. The functional localization pattern of intersubject variability across WM is heterogeneous, with most variability observed in the heteromodal cortex. The variabilities of heteromodal regions in expression profiles of genes are related to neuronal cells, involved in synapse-related and glutamic pathways, and associated with psychiatric disorders. In contrast, genes overexpressed in unimodal regions are mostly expressed in glial cells and were related to neurological diseases. Macroscopic variability recapitulates the functional and structural specializations and behavioral phenotypes. Together, our results provide clues to intersubject variabilities of the WMFC with convergent transcriptomic and cellular signatures, which relate to macroscale brain specialization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1417
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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