Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Human Protein Atlas (Neuropeptide Edition)

The more you study the brain, the more unknowable it becomes. The level of complexity is baffling, and this is true whether the brain belongs to a human or a crab.1 The latest uptick in human brain complexity was revealed from analysis of postmortem tissue in 17 subregions of prefrontal cortex (PFC). Zhong and colleagues (2022) found that 60 neuropeptides and 60 neuropeptide receptors are expressed in at least one of the PFC subregions.


All the data are freely available (links are in the open access article) and incorporated into the Human Protein Atlas which has about 15 million individual web pages (according to Wikipedia).


1 Marder et al., 2022:

There is a growing literature that suggests that circuits can have degenerate solutions, that is similar looking behavior with different underlying parameters across individuals. ...  Moreover, repeated performance of the same task is often associated with variable activity in the network generating this task [57∗∗].



Zhong, W., Barde, S., Mitsios, N., Adori, C., Oksvold, P., Feilitzen, K. V., ... & Hökfelt, T. (2022). The neuropeptide landscape of human prefrontal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(33), e2123146119. 

modified from Fig. 2 (Zhong et al., 2022). Expression levels of (A) Neuropeptides (NP) and (B) Neuropeptide Receptors (NPR) in human PFC. The color code indicates the type of genes (orange, precursor; green, NP; blue, NPR). Red arrows in A and B point to the transcripts studied with ISH (in situ hybridization).

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