Topological gene-expression networks recapitulate brain anatomy and function.

Published in Network Neuroscience, 3:3, 744-762, 2019

Patania, A., Selvaggi, P., Veronese, M., DiPasquale, O., Expert, P., & Petri, G. (2019). Network Neuroscience, 3:3, 744-762.

Understanding how gene expression translates to and affects human behaviour is one of the ultimate aims of neuroscience. In this paper, we present a pipeline based on Mapper, a topological simplification tool, to produce and analyze genes co-expression data. We first validate the method by reproducing key results from the literature on the Allen Human Brain Atlas, and the correlations between resting-state fMRI and gene co-expression maps. We then analyze a dopamine-related gene-set and find that co-expression networks produced by Mapper returned a structure that matches the well-known anatomy of the dopaminergic pathway. Our results suggest that topological network descriptions can be a powerful tool to explore the relationships between genetic pathways and their association with brain function and its perturbation due to illness and/or pharmacological challenge. Download paper here