Publication Details

Chye, Y., Solowij, N., Ganella, E., Suo, C., Yucel, M., Batalla, A., Cousijn, J., Goudriaan, A., Martin-Santos, R., Whittle, S., Bartholomeusz, C. & Lorenzetti, V. (2017). Role of orbitofrontal sulcogyral pattern on lifetime cannabis use and depressive symptoms. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 79 392-400.


Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) sulcogyral patterns are stable morphological variations established early in life. They consist of three distinct pattern types, with Type III in particular being associated with poor regulatory control (e.g., high sensation seeking and negative emotionality, low constraint), which may confer risk for earlier onset of cannabis (CB) use and greater use in later life. The OFC sulcogyral pattern may therefore be a stable trait marker in understanding individual differences in substance-use vulnerability and associated affective disturbances in users. In a large multisite cross-sectional study, we compared OFC pattern type distribution between 128 healthy controls (HC) and 146 CB users. Within users (n = 140), we explored the association between OFC pattern type and CB use level, and subsequently if level of CB use informed by OFC pattern type may mediate disturbances in affective tone, as indexed by depressive symptoms. While OFC pattern distribution did not distinguish between HC and CB groups, it informed greater lifetime use within users. Specifically, CB users with pattern Type III in the right OFC tended to use more CB over their lifetime, than did CB users with pattern Type I or II. Greater lifetime CB use was subsequently associated with higher depressive symptoms, such that it mediated an indirect association between right OFC pattern Type III and higher depressive symptoms. The present study provides evidence for neurobiological differences, specifically sulcogyral pattern of the OFC, to modulate level of CB use, which may subsequently influence the expression of depressive symptoms.

Grant Number

HNMRC/INS459111, ARC/APP1117188