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Science. 2017 Oct 6;358(6359):64-69. doi: 10.1126/science.aan6827.

The promise of spatial transcriptomics for neuroscience in the era of molecular cell typing.

Author information

1
Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, WA 98109, USA. edl@alleninstitute.org sten.linnarsson@ki.se.
2
Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Science for Life Laboratory, 171 21 Solna, Sweden.
4
Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. edl@alleninstitute.org sten.linnarsson@ki.se.

Abstract

The stereotyped spatial architecture of the brain is both beautiful and fundamentally related to its function, extending from gross morphology to individual neuron types, where soma position, dendritic architecture, and axonal projections determine their roles in functional circuitry. Our understanding of the cell types that make up the brain is rapidly accelerating, driven in particular by recent advances in single-cell transcriptomics. However, understanding brain function, development, and disease will require linking molecular cell types to morphological, physiological, and behavioral correlates. Emerging spatially resolved transcriptomic methods promise to fill this gap by localizing molecularly defined cell types in tissues, with simultaneous detection of morphology, activity, or connectivity. Here, we review the requirements for spatial transcriptomic methods toward these goals, consider the challenges ahead, and describe promising applications.

PMID:
28983044
DOI:
10.1126/science.aan6827
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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