Table1_Single-Cell Transcriptome Integration Analysis Reveals the Correlation Between Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Fibroblasts.XLS (111.85 kB)

Table1_Single-Cell Transcriptome Integration Analysis Reveals the Correlation Between Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Fibroblasts.XLS

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posted on 2022-03-07, 09:36 authored by Chuiqin Fan, Maochuan Liao, Lichun Xie, Liangping Huang, Siyu Lv, Siyu Cai, Xing Su, Yue Wang, Hongwu Wang, Manna Wang, Yulin Liu, Yu Wang, Huijie Guo, Hanhua Yang, Yufeng Liu, Tianyou Wang, Lian Ma

Background: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and fibroblasts show similar morphology, surface marker expression, and proliferation, differentiation, and immunomodulatory capacities. These similarities not only blur their cell identities but also limit their application.

Methods: We performed single-cell transcriptome sequencing of the human umbilical cord and foreskin MSCs (HuMSCs and FSMSCs) and extracted the single-cell transcriptome data of the bone marrow and adipose MSCs (BMSCs and ADMSCs) from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. Then, we performed quality control, batch effect correction, integration, and clustering analysis of the integrated single-cell transcriptome data from the HuMSCs, FMSCs, BMSCs, and ADMSCs. The cell subsets were annotated based on the surface marker phenotypes for the MSCs (CD105+, CD90+, CD73+, CD45, CD34, CD19, HLA-DRA, and CD11b), fibroblasts (VIM+, PECAM1, CD34, CD45, EPCAM, and MYH11), and pericytes (CD146+, PDGFRB+, PECAM1, CD34, and CD45). The expression levels of common fibroblast markers (ACTA2, FAP, PDGFRA, PDGFRB, S100A4, FN1, COL1A1, POSTN, DCN, COL1A2, FBLN2, COL1A2, DES, and CDH11) were also analyzed in all cell subsets. Finally, the gene expression profiles, differentiation status, and the enrichment status of various gene sets and regulons were compared between the cell subsets.

Results: We demonstrated 15 distinct cell subsets in the integrated single-cell transcriptome sequencing data. Surface marker annotation demonstrated the MSC phenotype in 12 of the 15 cell subsets. C10 and C14 subsets demonstrated both the MSC and pericyte phenotypes. All 15 cell subsets demonstrated the fibroblast phenotype. C8, C12, and C13 subsets exclusively demonstrated the fibroblast phenotype. We identified 3,275 differentially expressed genes, 305 enriched gene sets, and 34 enriched regulons between the 15 cell subsets. The cell subsets that exclusively demonstrated the fibroblast phenotype represented less primitive and more differentiated cell types.

Conclusion: Cell subsets with the MSC phenotype also demonstrated the fibroblast phenotype, but cell subsets with the fibroblast phenotype did not necessarily demonstrate the MSC phenotype, suggesting that MSCs represented a subclass of fibroblasts. We also demonstrated that the MSCs and fibroblasts represented highly heterogeneous populations with distinct cell subsets, which could be identified based on the differentially enriched gene sets and regulons that specify proliferating, differentiating, metabolic, and/or immunomodulatory functions.