Sunday, 30 September 2012

Research: More Big science of the Human Brain

Hawrylycz et al..An anatomically comprehensive atlas of the adult human brain transcriptome. Nature. 2012;489(7416):391-9. doi: 10.1038/nature11405.

Neuroanatomically precise, genome-wide maps of transcript distributions are critical resources to complement genomic sequence data and to correlate functional and genetic brain architecture. Here we describe the generation and analysis of a transcriptional atlas of the adult human brain, comprising extensive histological analysis and comprehensive microarray profiling of ∼900 neuroanatomically precise subdivisions in two individuals. Transcriptional regulation varies enormously by anatomical location, with different regions and their constituent cell types displaying robust molecular signatures that are highly conserved between individuals. Analysis of differential gene expression and gene co-expression relationships demonstrates that brain-wide variation strongly reflects the distributions of major cell classes such as neurons, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and microglia. Local neighbourhood relationships between fine anatomical subdivisions are associated with discrete neuronal subtypes and genes involved with synaptic transmission. The neocortex displays a relatively homogeneous transcriptional pattern, but with distinct features associated selectively with primary sensorimotor cortices and with enriched frontal lobe expression. Notably, the spatial topography of the neocortex is strongly reflected in its molecular topography-the closer two cortical regions, the more similar their transcriptomes. This freely accessible online data resource forms a high-resolution transcriptional baseline for neurogenetic studies of normal and abnormal human brain function


They have sequenced ( found the genetic code) of the genome (the DNA) but to make proteins the DNA has to be transcribed into RNA (the genetic code of the protein) and then translated in Protein such that amino acid building blocks of proteins are constructed into proteins. Finding the sequences of things being made is the transriptome. When things are done in biology alot of things can be being made at once so the transcriptome of one cell or one area will be different to another area. The transcriptome tells use what cells are are making (read more on this). This study maps the   transcriptome of the human brain, clearly what is and will happen further is the transcriptome of the brain during MS will be explored. This type of information is important to understand human brain function in health and disease.

More information can be obtained at the Allen Brain Atlas data Portal

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