Article

Molecular taxonomy of major neuronal classes in the adult mouse forebrain

Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, MS 008, 415 South Street, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454-9110, USA.
Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 02/2006; 9(1):99-107. DOI: 10.1038/nn1618
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Identifying the neuronal cell types that comprise the mammalian forebrain is a central unsolved problem in neuroscience. Global gene expression profiles offer a potentially unbiased way to assess functional relationships between neurons. Here, we carried out microarray analysis of 12 populations of neurons in the adult mouse forebrain. Five of these populations were chosen from cingulate cortex and included several subtypes of GABAergic interneurons and pyramidal neurons. The remaining seven were derived from the somatosensory cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and thalamus. Using these expression profiles, we were able to construct a taxonomic tree that reflected the expected major relationships between these populations, such as the distinction between cortical interneurons and projection neurons. The taxonomic tree indicated highly heterogeneous gene expression even within a single region. This dataset should be useful for the classification of unknown neuronal subtypes, the investigation of specifically expressed genes and the genetic manipulation of specific neuronal circuit elements.

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    • "The technique also identifies a series of 'marker' genes and proteins that can be used to subdivide, label, monitor, and manipulate subpopulations of interest. This procedure has proved valuable in other sensory processing nodes such as the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) (Sugino et al., 2005; Kodama et al., 2012). Gene expression profiling in the MVN identified six distinct neuronal subpopulations. "
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    • "Studies of transcriptional events involved in the development and function of neocortical layers have been greatly advanced with the emergence of high-throughput transcriptome-profiling techniques. A number of studies have analyzed the transcriptome of different mouse neocortical layers and/or areas at specific developmental time points (Arlotta et al., 2005; Belgard et al., 2011; Chen et al., 2005; Dillman et al., 2013; Han et al., 2011; Lein et al., 2007; Lyckman et al., 2008; Rossner et al., 2006; Sugino et al., 2006). Also, these studies have largely focused on the expression of protein-coding mRNA, providing limited information on noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), which play an important role in neural development and function (McNeill and Van Vactor, 2012). "
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