A three-dimensional (3D) T1
-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at 7-Tesla system was acquired with a high spatial resolution from fixed brains of male and female ferrets at postnatal days (PDs) 4 to 90, and their age-related sexual difference and laterality were evaluated by MRI-based ex vivo volumetry. The volume of both left and right sides of cerebellar cortex was larger in males than in females on PD 10 and thereafter. When the cerebellar cortex was divided into four transverse domains, i.e., anterior zone (AZ; lobules I–V), central zone (CZ; lobules VI and VII), posterior zone (PZ; lobules VIII–IXa), and nodular zone (NZ; lobules IXb and X), an age-related significantly greater volume in males than in females was detected on either side of all four domains on PD 42 and of the AZ on PD 90, but only on the left side of the PZ on PD 90. Regarding the volume laterality, significant leftward asymmetry was obtained in the CZ and PZ volumes in males, but not in females on PD 90. From asymmetry quotient (AQ) analysis, AQ scores were rightward in the AZ in both sexes already on PD 21, but gradually left-lateralized only in males in the CZ, PZ, and NZ during PDs 42 to 90. The present study suggests that a characteristic counterclockwise torque asymmetry (rostrally right-biased, and caudally left-biased or symmetrical) is acquired in both sexes of ferrets during PDs 42 to 90, although the leftward laterality of the posterior half of the cerebellum was more enhanced in males.
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