Development of a BACarray translational profiling approach for the molecular characterization of CNS cell types

Development of a BACarray translational profiling approach for the molecular characterization of CNS cell types by Myriam Heiman et. al. published in Cell, 2008 November 14; 135(4): 738–748.

Abstract

The cellular heterogeneity of the brain confounds efforts to elucidate the biological properties of distinct neuronal populations. We have now developed a new ‘BACarray’ methodology, based on affinity purification of polysomal mRNAs from genetically defined cell populations.

The utility of this approach is illustrated by the comparative analysis of four types of neurons, revealing hundreds of genes that distinguish these four cell populations. Even two morphologically indistinguishable subclasses of MSNs display vastly different translational profiles. Striatopallidal neurons are characterized by a strong and cell-specific release of intracellular Ca2+ in response to sphingosine 1-phosphate, consistent with their selective expression of Gpr6.

In contrast, striatonigral neurons demonstrate a selective cell-specific increase in GABAA receptor subunits in response to chronic cocaine treatment. BACarray translational profiling is a generalizable method useful for the identification of molecular changes in any genetically defined cell type in response to genetic alterations, disease, or pharmacological perturbations.