The wound healing process that occurs after spinal cord injury is critical for maintaining tissue homeostasis and limiting tissue damage, but eventually results in a scar-like environment that is not conducive to regeneration and repair. A better understanding of this dichotomy is critical to developing effective therapeutics that target the appropriate pathobiology, but a major challenge has been the large cellular heterogeneity that results in immensely complex cellular interactions. In this study, we used single-cell RNA sequencing to assess virtually all cell types that comprise the mouse spinal cord injury site. In addition to discovering novel subpopulations, we used expression values of receptor–ligand pairs to identify signaling pathways that are predicted to regulate specific cellular interactions during angiogenesis, gliosis, and fibrosis. Our dataset is a valuable resource that provides novel mechanistic insight into the pathobiology of not only spinal cord injury but also other traumatic disorders of the CNS.
Single-cell analysis of the cellular heterogeneity and interactions in the injured mouse spinal cord
Disclosures: The authors declare no competing interests exist.
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Lindsay M. Milich, James S. Choi, Christine Ryan, Susana R. Cerqueira, Sofia Benavides, Stephanie L. Yahn, Pantelis Tsoulfas, Jae K. Lee; Single-cell analysis of the cellular heterogeneity and interactions in the injured mouse spinal cord. J Exp Med 2 August 2021; 218 (8): e20210040. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20210040
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