Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Mar;129(3):241-59. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2010.09.010. Epub 2010 Oct 21.

Single cell transcriptomics of hypothalamic warm sensitive neurons that control core body temperature and fever response Signaling asymmetry and an extension of chemical neuroanatomy.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States.


We report on an 'unbiased' molecular characterization of individual, adult neurons, active in a central, anterior hypothalamic neuronal circuit, by establishing cDNA libraries from each individual, electrophysiologically identified warm sensitive neuron (WSN). The cDNA libraries were analyzed by Affymetrix microarray. The presence and frequency of cDNAs were confirmed and enhanced with Illumina sequencing of each single cell cDNA library. cDNAs encoding the GABA biosynthetic enzyme Gad1 and of adrenomedullin, galanin, prodynorphin, somatostatin, and tachykinin were found in the WSNs. The functional cellular and in vivo studies on dozens of the more than 500 neurotransmitters, hormone receptors and ion channels, whose cDNA was identified and sequence confirmed, suggest little or no discrepancy between the transcriptional and functional data in WSNs; whenever agonists were available for a receptor whose cDNA was identified, a functional response was found. Sequencing single neuron libraries permitted identification of rarely expressed receptors like the insulin receptor, adiponectin receptor 2 and of receptor heterodimers; information that is lost when pooling cells leads to dilution of signals and mixing signals. Despite the common electrophysiological phenotype and uniform Gad1 expression, WSN transcriptomes show heterogeneity, suggesting strong epigenetic influence on the transcriptome. Our study suggests that it is well-worth interrogating the cDNA libraries of single neurons by sequencing and chipping.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center