Wiring cost and topological participation of the mouse brain connectome

Mikail Rubinov, Rolf J.F. Ypma, Charles Watson, Edward T. Bullmore, Marcus E. Raichle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Brain connectomes are topologically complex systems, anatomically embedded in 3D space. Anatomical conservation of "wiring cost" explains many but not all aspects of these networks. Here, we examined the relationship between topology and wiring cost in the mouse connectome by using data from 461 systematically acquired anterograde- tracer injections into the right cortical and subcortical regions of the mouse brain. We estimated brain-wide weights, distances, and wiring costs of axonal projections and performed a multiscale topological and spatial analysis of the resulting weighted and directed mouse brain connectome. Our analysis showed that the mouse connectome has small-world properties, a hierarchical modular structure, and greater-than-minimalwiring costs. High-participation hubs of this connectome mediated communication between functionally specialized and anatomically localized modules, had especially high wiring costs, and closely corresponded to regions of the default mode network. Analyses of independently acquired histological and geneexpression data showed that nodal participation colocalized with low neuronal density and high expression of genes enriched for cognition, learning and memory, and behavior. The mouse connectome contains high-participation hubs, which are not explained by wiring-cost minimization but instead reflect competitive selection pressures for integrated network topology as a basis for higher cognitive and behavioral functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10032-10037
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 11 2015


  • Conservation law
  • Cytoarchitectonics
  • Graph theory
  • Transcriptomics
  • Viral tracing


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