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NeuroExpresso: Web app enables exploration of brain cell types

November 20, 2017

An online database of gene expression profiles for 36 major types of brain cells from 12 brain regions, based on mouse data from multiple laboratories, is reported in a new paper published in eNeuro. The tool is provided as a resource for neuroscientists at http://neuroexpresso.org/ and will be presented on Wednesday November 15 at Neuroscience 2017, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

Brain cells can be described in many different ways depending on qualities such as location, electrical properties and the neurotransmitters they release. Identifying specific marker genes that are expressed by cells straddling these classifications can help to better define their functions and properties, which is necessary to understand their role in neurological disorders.

Paul Pavlidis and colleagues reanalyzed previously published data to create a comprehensive catalogue of brain cell type data in a web-based application called NeuroExpresso. The authors used the data to identify marker genes, which can be used to estimate cellular composition of mouse and human tissue using marker gene profiles. They demonstrate the agreement of their approach with experimental results from studies of human brain disorders including Parkinson's disease. An early version of NeuroExpresso has been used to interpret gene expression in the brains of suicide victims.
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Article: Cross-Laboratory Analysis of Brain Cell Type Transcriptomes with Applications to Interpretation of Bulk Tissue Data

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0212-17.2017 Corresponding author: Paul Pavlidis (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada), paul@msl.ubc.ca

About eNeuro

eNeuro, the Society for Neuroscience's new open-access journal launched in 2014, publishes rigorous neuroscience research with double-blind peer review that masks the identity of both the authors and reviewers, minimizing the potential for implicit biases. eNeuro is distinguished by a broader scope and balanced perspective achieved by publishing negative results, failure to replicate or replication studies. New research, computational neuroscience, theories and methods are also published.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide

Society for Neuroscience

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