The mammalian central nervous system (CNS) contains a remarkable array of neural cells, each with a complex pattern of connections that together generate perceptions and higher brain functions. Here we describe a large-scale screen to create an atlas of CNS gene expression at the cellular level, and to provide a library of verified bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) vectors and transgenic mouse lines that offer experimental access to CNS regions, cell classes and pathways. We illustrate the use of this atlas to derive novel insights into gene function in neural cells, and into principal steps of CNS development. The atlas, library of BAC vectors and BAC transgenic mice generated in this screen provide a rich resource that allows a broad array of investigations not previously available to the neuroscience community.
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We are grateful to the staff of GENSAT who generated this data, including C. Grevstad, A. Sung, P. Dyer, H. Zhu, S. M. Ehta, C. Wang, T. Allanson, C. Madden, Y. Huang, H. Sherman and H. Feng; to N. Adams who helped to write the macros for the image-acquisition system and who provided advice on histological methods; to D. Birchfield and B. Dittmer-Roche who helped to write the database programs; and to J. Walsh who helped with the preparation of the manuscript. The GENSAT project is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. N.H. and A.J. are investigators of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.
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Gong, S., Zheng, C., Doughty, M. et al. A gene expression atlas of the central nervous system based on bacterial artificial chromosomes. Nature 425, 917–925 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02033
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