Functional neurogenomics is the interface between neurosciences knowledge and Omics sciences data. It characterizes, identifies, and analyzes expression of genes involved in the function of several structures of brain and cognition. Its major goal is to understand the main pathways of brain function, plasticity, and the etiopathogenesis of brain diseases. We have done an integrate analysis of global brain gene expression linked to cognitive disability in Down syndrome. It is a new approach to better understand the control of complex brain networks of gene expression involved in this syndrome. The objective of the chapter is to present computationally simulate data of global expression of 108 genes associated with cognitive disability and neuroplasticity from DNA microarray experiments of postmortem brain from normal controls and patients with Down syndrome. Some genes that were studied are involved in metabolic process and also promote hippocampal plasticity; interventions reawaken the neural plasticity may permit improved cognition. One of the striking findings was that some of the causes of dysregulation appear to result in the brain being trapped in an immature state of synaptic development. Understanding the functional neurogenomics of Down syndrome brain, emerge a new scenario to partially overcome cognitive disability through new prospective genomic therapies.
Part of the book: Advances in Research on Down Syndrome
Studying the dysregulation of expression of glutamate receptors is crucial to better understand the mechanisms associated with cognitive disabilities in Down syndrome (DS) patients. By using data of microarray experiments previously deposited in GEO Dataset, we studied the expression of 26 glutamate receptor genes in DS brain samples since prenatal to adult age in several brain structures. Overall, our results showed a complexity in the expression of the genes which were dependent mainly on the brain structure analyzed; especially, the hippocampus showed a different expression pattern. While in the general brain analysis the overexpressed genes were GRIN3A and GRIN2C, higher expression levels of GRM1, GRID2, and GRIK1 gene receptors were recorded in hippocampus. Our results suggest that the glutamatergic system in association with other neurotransmitter systems in the human brain would associate with glutamatergic receptor alterations to bring upon synaptic changes and cognitive deficits in DS models.
Part of the book: Gene Regulation