Genomic Connectivity Networks in the Developing Human Brain

In this work, we construct connectivity networks between brain regions based on the similarity of their gene expression signature, termed "Genomic Connectivity Networks" (GCNs). Genomic connectivity networks were constructed using data from the BrainSpan transcriptional atlas of the developing human brain with the aim to understand how the genetic signatures of anatomically distinct brain regions relate to each other across development. We assessed the neurodevelopmental changes in connectivity patterns of brain regions when networks were constructed with genes implicated in the neurodevelopmental disorder autism (autism spectrum disorder; ASD). Using graph theory metrics to characterize the GCNs, we show that ASD-GCNs are relatively less connected later in development with the cerebellum showing a very distinct expression of ASD-associated genes compared to other brain regions.

Associated Researchers

  • Ahmed Mahfouz
  • Mark N. Ziats (NIH, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Cambridge)
  • Owen M. Rennert (NIH)
  • Boudewijn P.F. Lelieveldt
  • Marcel J.T. Reinders (TU Delft)

Publications

  • Mahfouz A, Ziats MN, Rennert OM, Lelieveldt BPF, Reinders MJT (2014) Genomic connectivity networks based on the BrainSpan atlas of the developing human brain. SPIE Medical Imaging, p 90344G–90344G.