A molecular blueprint of gene expression in hippocampal subregions CA1, CA3, and DG is conserved in the brain of the common marmoset

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Hippocampus, Volume 19, Number 8, p.739-752 (2009)


1098-1063 (Electronic)10

DOI Name (links to online publication)



Animals; Callithrix/*genetics/*metabolism; Cluster Analysis; Dentate Gyrus/*metabolism; *Gene Expression; Hippocampus/*metabolism; In Situ Hybridization; Lasers; Microdissection; Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis; Polymerase Chain Reaction; Pyramida


Recent studies in rodents have shown that there are significant differences in gene expression profiles between the hippocampal subregions CA1, CA3, and DG. These differences in molecular make-up within the hippocampus most likely underlie the differences in morphology, physiology, and vulnerability to insults that exist between the subregions of the hippocampus and are as such part of the basic molecular architecture of the hippocampus. The aim of this study was to investigate at large scale whether these subregional differences in gene expression are conserved in the hippocampus of a nonhuman primate, the common marmoset. This study is very timely, given the recent development of the first marmoset-specific DNA microarray, exclusively containing sequences targeting transcripts derived from the marmoset hippocampus. Hippocampal subregions CA1, CA3, and DG were isolated by laser microdissection and RNA was isolated, amplified, and hybridized to the marmoset-specific microarray (EUMAMA) containing more than 1,500 transcripts expressed in the adult marmoset hippocampus. Large differences in expression were observed in particular between the DG region and both pyramidal subregions. Moreover, the subregion-specific patterns of gene expression showed a remarkable conservation with the rodent brain both in terms of individual genes and degree of differential expression. To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating large scale hippocampal gene expression in a nonhuman primate. The obtained expression profiles not only provide novel data on the expression of more than 1,500 transcripts per hippocampal subregion but also are of potential interest to neuroscientists interested in the role of the different subregions in learning and memory in the nonhuman primate brain.