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Single-cell RNA sequencing reveals the mesangial identity and species diversity of glomerular cell transcriptomes

Molecular characterization of the individual cell types in human kidney as well as model organisms are critical in defining organ function and understanding translational aspects of biomedical research. Previous studies have uncovered gene expression profiles of several kidney glomerular cell types, however, important cells, including mesangial (MCs) and glomerular parietal epithelial cells (PECs), were missing or incompletely described, and a systematic comparison between mouse and human kidney is lacking. To this end, we used Smart-seq2 to profile 4332 individual glomerulus-associated cells isolated from human living donor renal biopsies and mouse kidney. The analysis revealed genetic programs for all four glomerular cell types (podocytes, glomerular endothelial cells, MCs and PECs) as well as rare glomerulus-associated macula densa cells (MDCs). Importantly, we detected heterogeneity in glomerulus-associated Pdgfrb-expressing cells, including bona fide intraglomerular MCs with the functionally active phagocytic molecular machinery, as well as a unique mural cell type located in the central stalk region of the glomerulus tuft. Furthermore, we observed remarkable species differences in the individual gene expression profiles of defined glomerular cell types that highlight translational challenges in the field and provide a guide to design translational studies.

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
EGAD00001006861 Illumina HiSeq 3000 766
Publications Citations
Single-cell RNA sequencing reveals the mesangial identity and species diversity of glomerular cell transcriptomes.
Nat Commun 12: 2021 2141
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