Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The Molnar group, in particular Dr Anna Hoerder-Saubedissen participated in a multinational consortium led by the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle.  Their research focused particularly on the differences in the first generated largely transient neurons in the cerebral cortex, the subplate cells.

 A new atlas of gene expression in the pre- and postnatal primate brain is revealed online this week in Nature. It is hoped that the high-resolution map will shed light, not just on how the brain develops, but also on the processes that underpin neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.

Ed Lein and colleagues created a high-resolution atlas of rhesus monkey brain development that uncovers, in fine levels of anatomical detail, how gene expression changes across time, from early gestation to young adulthood. The atlas shows that the most dynamic changes happen prenatally then decline in the months after birth, and that cortical areas acquire their adult-like molecular profiles surprisingly late in postnatal development. Genes previously linked to neurodevelopmental disorders are shown to be co-expressed in disease-specific patterns within the developing neocortex.

The study also indicates that human developmental gene expression patterns are more similar to those of monkeys than to those of rodents, with around 9% of genes showing human-specific patterns of gene expression during brain development. This confirms the value of the rhesus monkey as a non-human primate model of human brain development and disease, and of the atlas to help to highlight the unique patterns of gene expression underlying human brain organization. 

The paper can be found here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature18637

DOI: 10.1038/nature18637

Similar stories

New evidence for how our brains handle surprise

A new study from the Bruno Group is challenging our perceptions of how the different regions of the cerebral cortex function. A group of ‘quiet’ cells in the somatosensory cortex that rarely respond to touch have been found to react mainly to surprising circumstances. The results suggest their function is not necessarily driven by touch, but may indicate an important and previously unidentified role across all the major cortices.

Professor Dame Sue Black to deliver 2022 Christmas Lectures

In the 2022 Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution, DPAG's Visiting Professor of Forensic Anatomy Dame Sue Black will share secrets of forensic science.

Researchers describe how cancer cells can defend themselves from the consequences of certain genetic defects

Swietach Group scientists have identified a rescue mechanism that allows cancers to overcome the consequences of inactivating mutations in critically important genes.

Randy Bruno and Scott Waddell receive Wellcome Discovery Awards

Congratulations are in order for Professors Randy Bruno and Scott Waddell who have each been awarded a prestigious Wellcome Trust Discovery Award to significantly enhance our understanding of higher cognitive functions.

Researchers discover novel form of adaptation in the auditory system

DPAG’s auditory neuroscience researchers have found that the auditory system adapts to the changing acoustics of reverberant environments by temporally shifting the inhibitory tuning of cortical neurons to remove reverberation.