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Neuroscience. 2006;137(1):177-86. Epub 2005 Nov 23.

Molecular heterogeneity along the dorsal-ventral axis of the murine hippocampal CA1 field: a microarray analysis of gene expression.

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Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


There has been increasing interest in functional heterogeneity along the septotemporal, dorsal-ventral (D-V) axis of the hippocampus. Although anatomical connectivity and lesion studies point to discrete roles for these sub-regions, the contribution of differential gene expression across this axis has not been systematically studied. Here we present findings from an Affymetrix microarray screen aimed at identifying genes in the CA1 region of the adult murine hippocampus that show significant differential expression along the D-V axis. Our results indicate that the vast majority of monitored genes (>90%) had tissue expression levels that differed by less than 20% between regions, while less than 0.1% of genes had expression levels that varied more than three-fold by sub-region. Only 23 probes showed a CA1 dorsoventral signal intensity ratio greater than three: 18 enriched dorsally and five enriched ventrally. Probes with the greatest difference in expression levels represent a range of genes with known functions in patterning and signaling, as well as genes without known function. Selective screening with digoxigenin-labeled in situ hybridization confirms the existence of CA1 sub-regionalized expression, with some genes exhibiting a graded expression pattern across the D-V axis, and others restricted to a discrete region. Our findings demonstrate that there are gene expression differences across the D-V axis of the adult murine hippocampus within traditionally recognized cytoarchitecturally defined boundaries. Combined with the previously recognized differences in connectivity and results from lesion studies, our data further confirm the existence of functional heterogeneity along the D-V axis.

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