Using a recently invented technique for gene expression mapping in the whole-anatomy context, termed transcriptome tomography, we have generated a dataset of 36,000 maps of overall gene expression in the adult-mouse brain. Here, using an informatics approach, we identified a broad co-expression network that follows an inverse power law and is rich in functional interaction and gene-ontology terms. Our framework for the integrated analysis of expression maps and graphs of co-expression networks revealed that groups of combinatorially expressed genes, which regulate cell differentiation during development, were present in the adult brain and each of these groups was associated with a discrete cell types. These groups included non-coding genes of unknown function. We found that these genes specifically linked developmentally conserved groups in the network. A previously unrecognized robust expression pattern covering the whole brain was related to the molecular anatomy of key biological processes occurring in particular areas.
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