Comparison of schwann cell and sciatic nerve transcriptomes indicates that mouse is a valid model for the human peripheral nervous system

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High-throughput gene expression analyses of murine models of the peripheral nervous system (PNS), and its cellular components, have yielded enormous amounts of expression data of the PNS in various conditions. These data provided clues for future research directions to further decipher this complex organ in relation to acquired and inherited PNS diseases. Various studies addressing the validity of mouse models for human conditions in other tissues and cell types have indicated that in many cases the mouse model only poorly represents the human situation. To determine how well the mouse can serve as model to study the biological processes occurring in the PNS, we compared the gene expression profiles that we generated for mouse and human sciatic nerve and cultured Schwann cells derived thereof. A two-way analysis based on the differentially expressed genes between the sciatic nerve and the cultured Schwann cell, and which takes into account the differential expression between mouse and man, indicates that the human PNS is well represented by that of the mouse in terms of the “biological processes” ontology. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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