Genetic mechanisms regulating CNS progenitor function and differentiation are not well understood. We have used microarrays derived from a representational difference analysis (RDA) subtraction in a heterogeneous stem cell culture system to systematically study the gene expression patterns of CNS progenitors. This analysis identified both known and novel genes enriched in progenitor cultures. In situ hybridization in a subset of clones demonstrated that many of these genes were expressed preferentially in germinal zones, some showing distinct ventricular or subventricular zone labeling. Several genes were also enriched in hematopoietic stem cells, suggesting an overlap of gene expression in neural and hematopoietic progenitors. This combination of methods demonstrates the power of using custom microarrays derived from RDA-subtracted libraries for both gene discovery and gene expression analysis in the central nervous system.