3D modelling, gene expression mapping and post-mapping image analysis in the developing human brain

Subrot Sarma, Janet Kerwin, Luis Puelles, Mark Scott, Tom Strachan, Guangjie Feng, James Sharpe, Duncan Davidson, Richard Baldock, Susan Lindsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

As human brain development proceeds, there are complex changes in size and shape, most notably in the developing forebrain. Molecular technologies enable us to characterise the gene expression patterns that underlie these changes. To interpret these patterns the location of expression must be identified and, often, gene expression patterns compared for several genes or across several developmental stages. To facilitate interpretation we have generated a set of three-dimensional models using a recently developed technique, optical projection tomography. The models act as a framework onto which gene expression patterns are mapped and anatomical domains identified using custom-designed software, MAPaint. Here, we demonstrate their use to compare forebrain development at two embryonic stages (Carnegie stages 18 and 21; 44 and 52 days post conception, respectively) and as a means of recording, storing and visualising gene expression data for three example genes EMX1, EMX2 and OTX2. Anatomical domains were also mapped to the models and the comparison of gene expression and anatomical data is demonstrated at Carnegie stage 21. The three-dimensional models and sophisticated software facilitate the analysis and visualisation of morphological changes and gene expression patterns during early brain development and can be applied to the development of other complex structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-53
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2005

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Mediator Complex
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Humans
  • Brain
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Brain Mapping
  • Transcription Factors
  • Otx Transcription Factors
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Trans-Activators
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Models, Anatomic


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