Single-cell transcriptome provides novel insights into antler stem cells, a cell type capable of mammalian organ regeneration
Antler regeneration, a stem cell–based epimorphic process, has a potential as a valuable model for regenerative medicine. A pool of antler stem cells (ASCs) for antler development is located in the antlerogenic periosteum (AP). However, whether this ASC pool is homogenous or heterogeneous has not been fully evaluated. In this study, we produced a comprehensive transcriptome dataset at the single-cell level for the ASCs based on the 10× Genomics platform (scRNA-seq). A total of 4565 ASCs were sequenced and classified into a large cell cluster, indicating that the ASC resident in the AP are likely to be a homogeneous population. The scRNA-seq data revealed that tumor-related genes were highly expressed in these homogeneous ASCs, i.e., TIMP1, TMSB10, LGALS1, FTH1, VIM, LOC110126017, and S100A4. Results of screening for stem cell markers suggest that the ASCs may be considered as a special type of stem cell between embryonic (CD9) and adult (CD29, CD90, NPM1, and VIM) stem cells. Our results provide the first comprehensive transcriptome analysis at the single-cell level for the ASCs and identified only one major cell type resident in the AP and some key stem cell genes, which may hold the key to why antlers, the unique mammalian organ, can fully regenerate once lost.
KeywordsAntler Stem cell Antlerogenic periosteum Single cell Transcriptome scRNA-seq
We wish to thank Drs. Peter Fennessy and Eric Lord for reading through the paper and giving valuable comments.
H.B., D.W., and C.L. conceived the experiment. D.W. collected the samples and performed molecular- and cell-related experiments. H.S. cultured the cell lines. W.W. extracted the RNA samples and prepared them for single-cell 3′ library construction and sequencing. H.B. performed QC and data analysis. H.B., W.W., and C.L. wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This work was funded by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA16010403), Natural Science Foundation of Jilin Province (No. 20170101003JC) and Central Public-Interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund (No. 1610342019026).
Compliance with ethical standards
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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