DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1507125112 ISSN:

A survey of human brain transcriptome diversity at the single cell level

Spyros Darmanis, Steven A. Sloan, Ye Zhang, Martin Enge, Christine Caneda, Lawrence M. Shuer, Melanie G. Hayden Gephart, Ben A. Barres, Stephen R. Quake
  • Multidisciplinary


The brain comprises an immense number of cells and cellular connections. We describe the first, to our knowledge, single cell whole transcriptome analysis of human adult cortical samples. We have established an experimental and analytical framework with which the complexity of the human brain can be dissected on the single cell level. Using this approach, we were able to identify all major cell types of the brain and characterize subtypes of neuronal cells. We observed changes in neurons from early developmental to late differentiated stages in the adult. We found a subset of adult neurons which express major histocompatibility complex class I genes and thus are not immune privileged.

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