Presentation_1_A Guide to Single-Cell Transcriptomics in Adult Rodent Brain: The Medium Spiny Neuron Transcriptome Revisited.pdf
Recent advances in single-cell technologies are paving the way to a comprehensive understanding of the cellular complexity in the brain. Protocols for single-cell transcriptomics combine a variety of sophisticated methods for the purpose of isolating the heavily interconnected and heterogeneous neuronal cell types in a relatively intact and healthy state. The emphasis of single-cell transcriptome studies has thus far been on comparing library generation and sequencing techniques that enable measurement of the minute amounts of starting material from a single cell. However, in order for data to be comparable, standardized cell isolation techniques are essential. Here, we analyzed and simplified methods for the different steps critically involved in single-cell isolation from brain. These include enzymatic digestion, tissue trituration, improved methods for efficient fluorescence-activated cell sorting in samples containing high degree of debris from the neuropil, and finally, highly region-specific cellular labeling compatible with use of stereotaxic coordinates. The methods are exemplified using medium spiny neurons (MSN) from dorsomedial striatum, a cell type that is clinically relevant for disorders of the basal ganglia, including psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. We present single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq) data from D1 and D2 dopamine receptor expressing MSN subtypes. We illustrate the need for single-cell resolution by comparing to available population-based gene expression data of striatal MSN subtypes. Our findings contribute toward standardizing important steps of single-cell isolation from adult brain tissue to increase comparability of data. Furthermore, our data redefine the transcriptome of MSNs at unprecedented resolution by confirming established marker genes, resolving inconsistencies from previous gene expression studies, and identifying novel subtype-specific marker genes in this important cell type.
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