Topological gene-expression networks recapitulate brain anatomy and function

Topological gene-expression networks recapitulate brain anatomy and function

Abstract

Understanding how gene expression translates to and affects human behaviour is one of the ultimate goals of neuroscience. In this paper, we present a pipeline based on Mapper, a topological simplification tool, to analyze genes co-expression data. We first validate the method by reproducing key results from the literature on the Allen Human Brain Atlas and the correlations between resting-state fMRI and gene co-expression maps. We then analyze a dopamine-related gene-set and find that co-expression networks produced by Mapper returns a structure that matches the well-known anatomy of the dopaminergic pathway. Our results suggest that network based descriptions can be a powerful tool to explore the relationships between genetic pathways and their association with brain function and its perturbation due to illness and/or pharmacological challenges.

Publication
Network Neuroscience