Systematic gene expression mapping clusters nuclear receptors according to their function in the brain
Nuclear receptors (NRs) compose a large family of transcription factors that operate at the interface between genes and environment, acting as sensors and effectors that translate endocrine and metabolic cues into well-defined gene expression programs. We report here on a systematic quantitative and anatomical expression atlas of the 49 NR genes in 104 regions of the adult mouse brain, organized in the interactive MousePat database. MousePat defines NR expression patterns to cellular resolution, a requirement for functional genomic strategies to understand the function of a highly heterogeneous and complex organ such as the brain. Using MousePat data, NR expression patterns can be clustered into anatomical and regulatory networks that delineate the role of NRs in brain functions, like the control of feeding and learning/memory. Mining the MousePat resource will improve the understanding of NR function in the brain and elucidate hierarchical networks that control behavior and whole body homeostasis.