Dr.Zheng Wang: Brain-wide and cell-specific transcriptomic insights into MRI-derived cortical morphology in macaque monkeys


Integrative analyses of transcriptomic and neuroimaging data have generated a wealth of information about biological pathways underlying regional variability in imaging-derived brain phenotypes in humans, but rarely in nonhuman primates due to the lack of a comprehensive anatomically-defined atlas of brain transcriptomics. Here we generate complementary bulk RNA-sequencing dataset of 819 samples from 110 brain regions and single-nucleus RNA-sequencing dataset, and neuroimaging data from 162 cynomolgus macaques, to examine the link between brain-wide gene expression and regional variation in morphometry. We not only observe global/regional expression profiles of macaque brain comparable to human but unravel a dorsolateral-ventromedial gradient of gene assemblies within the primate frontal lobe. Furthermore, we identify a set of 971 protein-coding and 34 non-coding genes consistently associated with cortical thickness, specially enriched for neurons and oligodendrocytes. These data provide a unique resource to investigate nonhuman primate models of human diseases and probe cross-species evolutionary mechanisms.

Original link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-37246-w