Connectivity and network analysis in neuroscience has been applied to multiple spatial scales, but the links between these different scales have rarely been investigated. In tumor-related epilepsy, altered network topology is related to behavior, but the molecular basis of these observations is unknown. We elucidate the associations between microscopic features of brain tumors, local network topology, and functional patient status. We hypothesize that expression of proteins related to tumor-related epilepsy is directly correlated with network characteristics of the tumor area. Glioma patients underwent magnetoencephalography, and functional network topology of the tumor area was used to predict tissue protein expression patterns of tumor tissue collected during neurosurgery. Protein expression and network topology were interdependent; in particular between-module connectivity was selectively associated with two epilepsy-related proteins. Total number of seizures was related to both the role of the tumor area in the functional network and to protein expression. Importantly, classification of protein expression was predicted by between-module connectivity with up to 100% accuracy. Thus, network topology may serve as an intermediate level between molecular features of tumor tissue and symptomatology in brain tumor patients, and can potentially be used as a non-invasive marker for microscopic tissue characteristics.
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