Gene expression links functional networks across cortex and striatum

Kevin M. Anderson, Fenna M. Krienen, Eun Young Choi, Jenna M. Reinen, B. T.Thomas Yeo, Avram J. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The human brain is comprised of a complex web of functional networks that link anatomically distinct regions. However, the biological mechanisms supporting network organization remain elusive, particularly across cortical and subcortical territories with vastly divergent cellular and molecular properties. Here, using human and primate brain transcriptional atlases, we demonstrate that spatial patterns of gene expression show strong correspondence with limbic and somato/motor cortico-striatal functional networks. Network-associated expression is consistent across independent human datasets and evolutionarily conserved in non-human primates. Genes preferentially expressed within the limbic network (encompassing nucleus accumbens, orbital/ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and temporal pole) relate to risk for psychiatric illness, chloride channel complexes, and markers of somatostatin neurons. Somato/motor associated genes are enriched for oligodendrocytes and markers of parvalbumin neurons. These analyses indicate that parallel cortico-striatal processing channels possess dissociable genetic signatures that recapitulate distributed functional networks, and nominate molecular mechanisms supporting cortico-striatal circuitry in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1428
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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