Microarray technology provides a unique tool for the determination of gene expression at the level of messenger RNA (mRNA). The simultaneous measurement of the entire human genome (thousands of genes) will facilitate the uncovering of specific gene expression patterns that are associated with disease. One important application of microarray technology, within the context of neurotoxicological studies, is its use as a screening tool for the identification of molecular mechanisms of toxicity. Such approaches enable researchers to identify those genes and their products (either single or whole pathways) that are involved in conferring resistance or sensitivity to toxic substances. This review addresses: (1) the potential uses of array data; (2) the various array platforms, highlighting both their advantages and disadvantages; (3) insights into data analysis and presentation strategies; and (4) concrete examples of DNA array studies in neurotoxicological research.
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