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J Neurosci. 2003 May 1;23(9):3607-15.

Single-cell microarray analysis in hippocampus CA1: demonstration and validation of cellular heterogeneity.

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  • 1Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development LLC, San Diego, California 92121, USA. fkamme@prdus.jnj.com


Laser capture microdissection in combination with microarrays allows for the expression analysis of thousands of genes in selected cells. Here we describe single-cell gene expression profiling of CA1 neurons in the rat hippocampus using a combination of laser capture, T7 RNA amplification, and cDNA microarray analysis. Subsequent cluster analysis of the microarray data identified two different cell types: pyramidal neurons and an interneuron. Cluster analysis also revealed differences among the pyramidal neurons, indicating that even a single cell type in vivo is not a homogeneous population of cells at the gene expression level. Microarray data were confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. We also report on the reproducibility and sensitivity of this combination of methods. Single-cell gene expression profiling offers a powerful tool to tackle the complexity of the mammalian brain.

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