Dr. Zheng Wang: Noncoding transcripts are linked to brain resting-state activity in non-human primates


Brain-derived transcriptomes are known to correlate with resting-state brain activity in humans. Whether this association holds in nonhuman primates remains uncertain. Here, we search for such molecular correlates by integrating 757 transcriptomes derived from 100 macaque cortical regions with resting-state activity in separate conspecifics. We observe that 150 noncoding genes explain variations in resting-state activity at a comparable level with protein-coding genes. In-depth analysis of these noncoding genes reveals that they are connected to the function of nonneuronal cells such as oligodendrocytes. Co-expression network analysis finds that the modules of noncoding genes are linked to both autism and schizophrenia risk genes. Moreover, genes associated with resting-state noncoding genes are highly enriched in human resting-state functional genes and memory-effect genes, and their links with resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals are altered in the brains of patients with autism. Our results highlight the potential for noncoding RNAs to explain resting-state activity in the nonhuman primate brain.

Original link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211124723006630