A high-resolution anatomical atlas of the transcriptome in the mouse embryo

Graciana Diez-Roux, Sandro Banfi, Marc Sultan, Lars Geffers, Santosh Anand, David Rozado, Alon Magen, Elena Canidio, Massimiliano Pagani, Ivana Peluso, Nathalie Lin-Marq, Muriel Koch, Marchesa Bilio, Immacolata Cantiello, Roberta Verde, Cristian De Masi, Salvatore A Bianchi, Juliette Cicchini, Elodie Perroud, Shprese MehmetiEmilie Dagand, Sabine Schrinner, Asja Nürnberger, Katja Schmidt, Katja Metz, Christina Zwingmann, Norbert Brieske, Cindy Springer, Ana Martinez Hernandez, Sarah Herzog, Frauke Grabbe, Cornelia Sieverding, Barbara Fischer, Kathrin Schrader, Maren Brockmeyer, Sarah Dettmer, Christin Helbig, Violaine Alunni, Marie-Annick Battaini, Carole Mura, Charlotte N Henrichsen, Raquel Garcia-Lopez, Diego Echevarria, Eduardo Puelles, Elena Garcia-Calero, Stefan Kruse, Markus Uhr, Christine Kauck, Guangjie Feng, Nestor Milyaev, Chuang Kee Ong, Lalit Kumar, MeiSze Lam, Colin A Semple, Attila Gyenesei, Stefan Mundlos, Uwe Radelof, Hans Lehrach, Paolo Sarmientos, Alexandre Reymond, Duncan R Davidson, Pascal Dollé, Stylianos E Antonarakis, Marie-Laure Yaspo, Salvador Martinez, Richard A Baldock, Gregor Eichele, Andrea Ballabio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

482 Citations (Scopus)


Ascertaining when and where genes are expressed is of crucial importance to understanding or predicting the physiological role of genes and proteins and how they interact to form the complex networks that underlie organ development and function. It is, therefore, crucial to determine on a genome-wide level, the spatio-temporal gene expression profiles at cellular resolution. This information is provided by colorimetric RNA in situ hybridization that can elucidate expression of genes in their native context and does so at cellular resolution. We generated what is to our knowledge the first genome-wide transcriptome atlas by RNA in situ hybridization of an entire mammalian organism, the developing mouse at embryonic day 14.5. This digital transcriptome atlas, the Eurexpress atlas (http://www.eurexpress.org), consists of a searchable database of annotated images that can be interactively viewed. We generated anatomy-based expression profiles for over 18,000 coding genes and over 400 microRNAs. We identified 1,002 tissue-specific genes that are a source of novel tissue-specific markers for 37 different anatomical structures. The quality and the resolution of the data revealed novel molecular domains for several developing structures, such as the telencephalon, a novel organization for the hypothalamus, and insight on the Wnt network involved in renal epithelial differentiation during kidney development. The digital transcriptome atlas is a powerful resource to determine co-expression of genes, to identify cell populations and lineages, and to identify functional associations between genes relevant to development and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1000582
JournalPLoS Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Atlases as Topic
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Internet
  • Mice/anatomy & histology
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organ Specificity


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