Large-scale cellular-resolution gene profiling in human neocortex reveals species-specific molecular signatures

Hongkui Zeng, Elaine H. Shen, John G. Hohmann, Seung Wook Oh, Amy Bernard, Joshua J. Royall, Katie J. Glattfelder, Susan M. Sunkin, John A. Morris, Angela L. Guillozet-Bongaarts, Kimberly A. Smith, Amanda J. Ebbert, Beryl Swanson, Leonard Kuan, Damon T. Page, Caroline C. Overly, Ed S. Lein, Michael J. Hawrylycz, Patrick R. Hof, Thomas HydeJoel E. Kleinman, Allan R. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


Although there have been major advances in elucidating the functional biology of the human brain, relatively little is known of its cellular and molecular organization. Here we report a large-scale characterization of the expression of ∼1,000 genes important for neural functions by in situ hybridization at a cellular resolution in visual and temporal cortices of adult human brains. These data reveal diverse gene expression patterns and remarkable conservation of each individual gene's expression among individuals (95%), cortical areas (84%), and between human and mouse (79%). A small but substantial number of genes (21%) exhibited species-differential expression. Distinct molecular signatures, comprised of genes both common between species and unique to each, were identified for each major cortical cell type. The data suggest that gene expression profile changes may contribute to differential cortical function across species, and in particular, a shift from corticosubcortical to more predominant corticocortical communications in the human brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-496
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 13 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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