Defining functional gene-circuit interfaces in the mouse nervous system

Genes Brain Behav. 2014 Jan;13(1):2-12. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12082. Epub 2013 Sep 30.


Complexity in the nervous system is established by developmental genetic programs, maintained by differential genetic profiles and sculpted by experiential and environmental influence over gene expression. Determining how specific genes define neuronal phenotypes, shape circuit connectivity and regulate circuit function is essential for understanding how the brain processes information, directs behavior and adapts to changing environments. Mouse genetics has contributed greatly to current percepts of gene-circuit interfaces in behavior, but considerable work remains. Large-scale initiatives to map gene expression and connectivity in the brain, together with advanced techniques in molecular genetics, now allow detailed exploration of the genetic basis of nervous system function at the level of specific circuit connections. In this review, we highlight several key advances for defining the function of specific genes within a neural network.

Keywords: Canine adenovirus; Cre; circuits; combinatorial; conditional; genes; genetics; mice; molecular; nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Connectome / methods*
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Genome*
  • Mice
  • Nerve Net / physiology*