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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Apr 24;98(9):5270-5.

Amygdala-enriched genes identified by microarray technology are restricted to specific amygdaloid subnuclei.

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  • 1Division of Biology 216-76, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125,USA.


Microarray technology represents a potentially powerful method for identifying cell type- and regionally restricted genes expressed in the brain. Here we have combined a microarray analysis of differential gene expression among five selected brain regions, including the amygdala, cerebellum, hippocampus, olfactory bulb, and periaqueductal gray, with in situ hybridization. On average, 0.3% of the 34,000 genes interrogated were highly enriched in each of the five regions, relative to the others. In situ hybridization performed on a subset of amygdala-enriched genes confirmed in most cases the overall region-specificity predicted by the microarray data and identified additional sites of brain expression not examined on the microarrays. Strikingly, the majority of these genes exhibited boundaries of expression within the amygdala corresponding to cytoarchitectonically defined subnuclei. These results define a unique set of molecular markers for amygdaloid subnuclei and provide tools to genetically dissect their functional roles in different emotional behaviors.

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