Although heterogeneity is recognized within the murine satellite cell pool, a comprehensive understanding of distinct subpopulations and their functional relevance in human satellite cells is lacking. We used a combination of single cell RNA sequencing and flow cytometry to identify, distinguish, and physically separate novel subpopulations of human PAX7+ satellite cells (Hu-MuSCs) from normal muscles. We found that, although relatively homogeneous compared to activated satellite cells and committed progenitors, the Hu-MuSC pool contains clusters of transcriptionally distinct cells with consistency across human individuals. New surface marker combinations were enriched in transcriptional subclusters, including a subpopulation of Hu-MuSCs marked by CXCR4/CD29/CD56/CAV1 (CAV1+). In vitro, CAV1+ Hu-MuSCs are morphologically distinct, and characterized by resistance to activation compared to CAV1- Hu-MuSCs. In vivo, CAV1+ Hu-MuSCs demonstrated increased engraftment after transplantation. Our findings provide a comprehensive transcriptional view of normal Hu-MuSCs and describe new heterogeneity, enabling separation of functionally distinct human satellite cell subpopulations.
Single cell rna sequencing data were uploaded to Dryad and can be accessed under the doi: 10.7272/Q65X273X
Functionally heterogeneous human satellite cells identified by single cell RNA sequencingDryad Digital Repository, 10.7272/Q65X273X.
- Jason H Pomerantz
- Jason H Pomerantz
- Steven M Garcia
- Solomon Lee
- Alvin Wong
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All procedures were approved and performed in accordance with the UCSF Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (Protocols #181101).
Human subjects: This study was conducted under the approval of the Institutional Review Board at The University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects.
- Shahragim Tajbakhsh, Institut Pasteur, France
© 2020, Barruet et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The expression of Fibroblast growth factors (Fgf) ligands in a specialized epithelial compartment, the Apical Ectodermal Ridge (AER), is a conserved feature of limb development across vertebrate species. In vertebrates, Fgf 4, 8, 9, and 17 are all expressed in the AER. An exception to this paradigm is the salamander (axolotl) developing and regenerating limb, where key Fgf ligands are expressed in the mesenchyme. The mesenchymal expression of Amex.Fgf8 in axolotl has been suggested to be critical for regeneration. To date, there is little knowledge regarding what controls Amex.Fgf8 expression in the axolotl limb mesenchyme. A large body of mouse and chick studies have defined a set of transcription factors and canonical Wnt signaling as the main regulators of epidermal Fgf8 expression in these organisms. In this study, we address the hypothesis that alterations to one or more of these components during evolution has resulted in mesenchymal Amex.Fgf8 expression in the axolotl. To sensitively quantify gene expression with spatial precision, we combined optical clearing of whole-mount axolotl limb tissue with single molecule fluorescen in situ hybridization and a semi-automated quantification pipeline. Several candidate upstream components were found expressed in the axolotl ectoderm, indicating that they are not direct regulators of Amex.Fgf8 expression. We found that Amex.Wnt3a is expressed in axolotl limb epidermis, similarly to chicken and mouse. However, unlike in amniotes, Wnt target genes are activated preferentially in limb mesenchyme rather than in epidermis. Inhibition and activation of Wnt signaling results in downregulation and upregulation of mesenchymal Amex.Fgf8 expression respectively. These results implicate a shift in tissue responsiveness to canonical Wnt signaling from epidermis to mesenchyme as one step contributing to the unique mesenchymal Amex.Fgf8 expression seen in the axolotl.
Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by deficiencies in telomere maintenance leading to very short telomeres and the premature onset of certain age-related diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis (PF). PF is thought to derive from epithelial failure, particularly that of type II alveolar epithelial (AT2) cells, which are highly dependent on Wnt signaling during development and adult regeneration. We use human iPSC-derived AT2 (iAT2) cells to model how short telomeres affect AT2 cells. Cultured DC mutant iAT2 cells accumulate shortened, uncapped telomeres and manifest defects in the growth of alveolospheres, hallmarks of senescence, and apparent defects in Wnt signaling. The GSK3 inhibitor, CHIR99021, which mimics the output of canonical Wnt signaling, enhances telomerase activity and rescues the defects. These findings support further investigation of Wnt agonists as potential therapies for DC related pathologies.