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Gene expression changes during murine postnatal brain development

M Clinton1*, J Manson2, D McBride1 and G Miele1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gene Expression and Development, The Roslin Instituite, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PS, UK

2 Department of Biochemistry, Neuropathogenesis Unit, The Institute of Animal Health, West Mains Rd, Edinburgh EH9 3JF, UK

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Genome Biology 2000, 1:research0005-research0005.11  doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-3-research0005

Published: 1 September 2000



For most vertebrate organs and tissues, the majority of development occurs during embryogenesis, and postnatal changes are primarily concerned with growth. The central nervous system is unusual in that a considerable amount of morphological development, cell differentiation and acquisition of function, takes place during postnatal development. As yet, the molecular mechanisms underlying these complex developmental processes are not well understood. In order to identify markers for these developmental processes, we have analyzed the expression profiles, during postnatal murine brain development, of approximately 25,000 transcripts. This analysis, performed at day 1, day 10, day 20 and day 42 of postnatal development, identified a large number of developmentally regulated genes which we have assigned into three broad expression categories.


Expression levels at four timepoints during postnatal murine brain development were established for approximately 25,000 gene transcripts. Approximately 1% of the genes examined displayed a developmentally regulated pattern of expression and we provide all the necessary information required to easily obtain molecular markers for a subset of these developmentally regulated transcripts. Of this subset, 61 showed increasing expression during development, 61 showed decreasing expression during development, and 9 exhibited a peak of expression during this period.


A small percentage of the genes expressed in the postnatal developing brain show changes in expression level during the newborn to adult phase of development. It is likely that these developmentally regulated transcripts represent molecular markers for the complex developmental process occurring in the postnatal brain.