Mar 17, 2020

Single-cell transcriptomic analysis of the adult mouse spinal cord

Jacob BlumAaron D Gitler


The spinal cord is a fascinating structure responsible for coordinating all movement in vertebrates. Spinal motor neurons control the activity of virtually every organ and muscle throughout the body by transmitting signals that originate in the spinal cord. These neurons are remarkably heterogeneous in their activity and innervation targets. However, because motor neurons represent only a small fraction of cells within the spinal cord and are difficult to isolate, the full complement of motor neuron subtypes remains unknown. Here we comprehensively describe the molecular heterogeneity of motor neurons within the adult spinal cord. We profiled 43,890 single-nucleus transcriptomes using fluorescence-activated nuclei sorting to enrich for spinal motor neuron nuclei. These data reveal a transcriptional map of the adult mammalian spinal cord and the first unbiased characterization of all transcriptionally distinct autonomic and somatic spinal motor neuron subpopulations. We identify 16 sympathetic motor neuron subtypes that segregate spatially along the spinal cord. Many of these subtypes selectively express specific hormones and receptors, suggesting neuromodulatory signaling within the autonomic nervous system. We describe skeleta...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting
Nerve Supply
Body Structure
Transcription, Genetic
Biological Markers
Isolate - Microorganism
Cell Nucleus

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