Laser-assisted microdissection: methods for the molecular analysis of psychiatric disorders at a cellular resolution.
Burnet PWJ., Eastwood SL., Harrison PJ.
Gene expression arrays and proteomics together provide a great opportunity to reveal the molecular pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders; however, their potential will not be realized unless due attention is paid to the cellular heterogeneity of the brain and the likely differential neuropathological involvement of specific neuronal and glial cell types. Hence, methods are needed which can procure homogeneous populations of cells as a source of messenger RNA, protein, or DNA. Laser-assisted microdissection techniques provide such a tool. Here we briefly discuss the principles, applications, and limitations of laser-assisted microdissection in psychiatric research.