Large-scale gene expression profiling of discrete brain regions: potential, limitations, and application in genetics of aggressive behavior

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Behav Genet, Volume 33, Number 5, p.537-48 (2003)


0001-8244 (Print)0001-82

DOI Name (links to online publication)



*Aggression; Animals; Brain/*physiology; DNA; Complementary/genetics; Gene Expression Profiling/*methods; Gene Expression Regulation/physiology; Mice; *Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis; RNA; Messenger/genetics/isolation; &; purification; Reproduc


Many behavioral geneticists are interested in unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying aggressive behavior. So far, most scientists have based their search for aggression-related genes on a preliminary functional hypothesis. Large-scale gene expression profiling techniques, such as serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) and DNA microarrays, now enable the screening of expression levels of thousands of genes simultaneously, allowing the identification of new candidate aggression-related genes expressed in brain and thus the generation of new hypotheses. However, expression profiling in the brain is challenging, as brain is a complex heterogeneous tissue where large numbers of genes are expressed and relatively small changes in gene expression occur. In this special issue, we focus on the principles of SAGE and DNA microarrays, as well as their advantages and disadvantages and application to analysis in brain tissue in order to identify aggression-related genes.