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Altered oligodendrocyte heterogeneity in Multiple sclerosis revealed by single nuclei RNA sequencing

This study is currently hosted by the European Nucleotide Archive. To access the data contained within the Study please follow the link below: Oligodendrocyte (OL) pathology is increasingly implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, as they are involved in metabolic support of axons and functional cross-talk with other brain cells. Rodent OLs are heterogeneous, with developmental and biological differences, but the extent of heterogeneity in the normal human brain and its contribution to any changes to disease remains unknown. Here we performed single nuclei RNA-sequencing (snRNA-seq) from white matter (WM) areas of post mortem human brain both in control (Ctr) and multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. We identified several sub-clusters of oligodendroglia in the Ctr human WM, some similar to those in mouse, and defined new markers for these cell states. Strikingly, some of these sub-clusters were under-represented in MS tissue, while others were more prevalent than in controls. We found a lack of OL precursor cells (OPCs) and an OL subcluster in an intermediate stage of differentiation in MS lesions and in normal appearing white matter (NAWM), suggesting either depletion by the disease or by a regenerative response. The differences in mature OL sub-clusters indicate different functional states of OLs in MS tissue and, as this is similar in NAWM to lesions, that MS is a more diffuse brain disease than the focal demyelinating lesions suggest. We were also able to identify new putative markers of different MS lesion subtypes. Our findings of an altered heterogeneity of oligodendroglia in MS may have an important contribution to our understanding of disease progression and may alter therapeutic approaches to MS.

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001004544 Illumina HiSeq 2500 20
EGAD00001008653 Illumina HiSeq 2500 Illumina NovaSeq 6000 9
Publications Citations
Altered human oligodendrocyte heterogeneity in multiple sclerosis.
Nature 566: 2019 543-547
Exploring reported genes of microglia RNA-sequencing data: Uses and considerations.
Glia 69: 2021 2933-2946