Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 9 January 2002
Vol. 2002, Issue 1, p. re1
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2002.1.re1]


Single-Cell Antisense RNA Amplification and Microarray Analysis as a Tool for Studying Neurological Degeneration and Restoration

Max B. Kelz, Gersham W. Dent, Stavros Therianos, Paolo G. Marciano, Tracy K. McIntosh, Paul D. Coleman, and James H. Eberwine

M. B. Kelz, G. W. Dent, T. K. McIntosh, and J. H. Eberwine are in the Department of Pharmacology; M. B. Kelz is in the Department of Anesthesiology; and P. G. Marciano and T. K. McIntosh are in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. S. Therianos and P. D. Coleman are at the Center on Aging and Developmental Biology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA. E-mail: eberwine{at} (J.H.E.);2002/1/re1

Key Words: antisense RNA • microarray • Alzheimer's • Huntington's disease • stem cells • neurodegenerative

Abstract: Neurodegenerative diseases typically affect subpopulations of neurons. Characterizing these vulnerable cells and identifying the factors that make them susceptible to damage while neighboring cells remain resistant are essential to the understanding of molecular pathogenesis that underlies neurodegenerative diseases. Classically, molecular analysis of the central nervous system involves the identification and isolation of an anatomic region of interest; next, the relevant tissue is pulverized, and the resulting homogenate is analyzed. Although this method provides useful data, its effectiveness diminishes when used in areas of high cellular diversity or in instances in which one cell type is lost as a consequence of selective cell death or quiescence. A technique that affords the ability to assess molecular events in a very precise anatomical site would provide a powerful tool for this research discipline. In this review, we discuss the amplification of messenger RNA from single neural cells and the subsequent use of the RNA to probe DNA microarrays in an effort to create cell-specific molecular profiles. Specifically, recent work in single-cell expression profiling in Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases is discussed. We also review some new work with neural stem cells and their application to restorative neurobiology. Finally, we discuss the use of cell-specific molecular profiles to better understand the basics of neuronal cell biology.

Citation: M. Kelz, G. Dent, S. Therianos, P. Marciano, T. McIntosh, P. Coleman, J. Eberwine, Single-Cell Antisense RNA Amplification and Microarray Analysis as a Tool for Studying Neurological Degeneration and Restoration. Science's SAGE KE (9 January 2002),;2002/1/re1

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