Region-Specific Neural Stem Cell Lineages Revealed by Single-Cell RNA-Sequences from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Study ID Alternative Stable ID Type
phs001205 Single Cell Analysis

Study Description

During development of the human brain, multiple cell types with diverse regional identities are generated. Here we report a system to generate early human brain forebrain and mid/hindbrain cell types from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and infer and experimentally confirm a lineage tree for the generation of these types based on single-cell RNA-Seq analysis. We engineered SOX2Cit/+ and DCXCit/Y hESC lines to target progenitors and neurons throughout neural differentiation for single-cell transcriptomic profiling, then identified discrete cell types consisting of both rostral (cortical) and caudal (mid/hindbrain) identities. Direct comparison of the cell types were made to primary tissues using gene expression atlases and fetal human brain single-cell gene expression data, and this established that the cell types resembled early human brain cell types, including preplate cells. From the single-cell transcriptomic data a Bayesian algorithm generated a unified lineage tree, and predicted novel regulatory transcription factors. The lineage tree highlighted a prominent bifurcation between cortical and mid/hindbrain cell types, confirmed by clonal analysis experiments. We demonstrated that cell types from either branch could preferentially be generated by manipulation of the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. In summary, we present an experimentally validated lineage tree that encompasses multiple brain regions, and our work sheds light on the molecular regulation of region-specific neural lineages during human brain development.

Archive Link Archive Accession
dbGaP phs001205

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