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Accession IconGSE22521

Gene expression in primate postnatal brain through lifespan - prefrontal cortex

Organism Icon Pan troglodytes, Homo sapiens, Macaca mulatta
Sample Icon 55 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0 ST Array (hugene10st)

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We investigated molecular changes during human, chimpanzee, and rhesus macaque postnatal brain development at the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome levels in two brain regions: the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that is involved in several human-specific cognitive processes, and the cerebellar cortex (CBC) that may be functionally more conserved. We find a nearly three-fold excess of human-specific gene expression changes in PFC compared to CBC. The most prominent human-specific mRNA expression pattern in the PFC is a developmental delay of approximately 5 years in the expression of genes associated with learning and memory, such as synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation. This pattern is supported by correlated changes in concentrations of proteins and the respective neurotransmitters and its magnitude is beyond the shift expected from the life-histories of the species. Mechanistically, it might be driven by change in timing of expression of four or more transcription factors. We speculate that delayed synaptic maturation in PFC may play a role in the emergence of human-specific cognitive abilities.
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