Profiling Cell Types in the Brain Vasculature 2

Profiling Cell Types in the Brain Vasculature 2

Francisco J. Garcia
Heiman Lab

Picower Institute for Learning and Memory

These images are part of my thesis work to perform a profiling of cell types comprising the brain vasculature in humans. Given that there are known species-specific differences between animal models and humans, we wanted to generate a molecular atlas for these specific cell types in the human brain. Previously, this had not been done given the sparsity of the cells and lack of adequate tools for profiling. We discovered many novel genes expressed only in human brain vasculature cell types and also how they change in the context of Huntington’s disease, which is known to exhibit breakdown of the blood-brain barrier.

Several of the images are showing novel markers for cell types that comprise the human brain vasculature and others use viral techniques to label the blood vessels or associated cells in the mouse brain vasculature. With this profiling completed and published, we are now utilizing the large datasets generated to develop therapeutic strategies for targeting the brain vasculature to repair and possibly improve neurodegenerative phenotypes in Huntington’s disease. 

A cloud of green fluorescent cells surrounded by tubes of red and blue clusters. The middle glows more solid than the rest.

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