Molecular atlas of the adult mouse brain

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  26 Jun 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 26, eabb3446
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb3446


Brain maps are essential for integrating information and interpreting the structure-function relationship of circuits and behavior. We aimed to generate a systematic classification of the adult mouse brain based purely on the unbiased identification of spatially defining features by employing whole-brain spatial transcriptomics. We found that the molecular information was sufficient to deduce the complex and detailed neuroanatomical organization of the brain. The unsupervised (non-expert, data-driven) classification revealed new area- and layer-specific subregions, for example in isocortex and hippocampus, and new subdivisions of striatum. The molecular atlas further supports the characterization of the spatial identity of neurons from their single-cell RNA profile, and provides a resource for annotating the brain using a minimal gene set—a brain palette. In summary, we have established a molecular atlas to formally define the spatial organization of brain regions, including the molecular code for mapping and targeting of discrete neuroanatomical domains.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances