The mammalian nervous system is extreme in its cellular diversity, reflecting the many specialised functions that need to be executed to serve its complex behaviour.
In the past, the description of cell types was limited to observations under the microscope, or measurements of the cells’ electrophysiological properties.
Recently, gene expression studies of single cells have begun to shed light on the details of the brain’s cellular complexity. In this study, we systematically measured the gene expression of roughly 500,000 single cells across 19 regions of the mouse nervous system.
Analysis of this dataset – which is one of the largest of its kind today – required the development of a tailor-made pipeline with the aim to find even rare cell types, while avoiding false calling due to technical artefacts. The analysis provided a unique data-driven taxonomy of the 265 cell types we found to make the nervous system. For each cell type detailed molecular phenotypes and spatial distribution was provided.
The format of the published article is limited in presenting our complete findings, so to make this resource most useful for the wide community of researchers we encourage readers to explore our brain encyclopaedia mousebrain.org. There, you can look for your favourite gene or cell type and learn how to find your way around the brain.
The Atlas of the Mouse Nervous System is the last chapter of Amit Zeisel postdoc work with Sten Linnarsson at Karolinska Institute.
Link to the Atlas of the Mouse Nervous System that was published in Cell: http://bit.ly/2MmzcKC