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J Mol Neurosci. 2013 Jun;50(2):280-3. doi: 10.1007/s12031-013-0001-0. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

Analysis of gene expression pattern and neuroanatomical correlates for SLC20A2 (PiT-2) shows a molecular network with potential impact in idiopathic basal ganglia calcification ("Fahr's disease").

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Keizo Asami Laboratory, Federal University of Pernambuco, Av. Prof. Moraes Rego 1235, Cidade Universitária, Recife, Pernambuco 50670-901, Brazil.


Familial idiopathic basal ganglia calcification (FIBGC), also known as "Fahr's disease," is a neuropsychiatric disorder with motor and cognitive symptoms. It is characterized pathologically by bilateral calcification most commonly in the basal ganglia and also in other brain regions such as the thalamus and cerebellum. A recent report by Wang et al. (2012) discovered multiple families with FIBGC carrying mutations in the SLC20A2 gene, encoding the inorganic phosphate transporter PiT-2, which segregated in an autosomal dominant pattern. To understand further the role of SLC20A2 in FIBGC brain pathology, here we described the gene expression pattern across the whole brain for SLC20A2, using the Allen Institute Human Brain Atlas database. Microarray analysis provided evidence that the neuroanatomical pattern of expression for SLC20A2 is highest in the regions most commonly affected in FIBGC. Neuroanatomical regions that demonstrated high correlation or anti-correlation with SLC20A2 expression also showed a molecular network with potential to explain the limited neuroanatomical distribution of calcifications in IBGC. Lastly, these co-expression networks suggest additional further candidate genes for FIBGC.

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