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. 2018 Aug 20;46(4):504-517.e7.
doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.07.005. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Transcriptional Convergence of Oligodendrocyte Lineage Progenitors During Development

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Free PMC article

Transcriptional Convergence of Oligodendrocyte Lineage Progenitors During Development

Sueli Marques et al. Dev Cell. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Pdgfra+ oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) arise in distinct specification waves during embryogenesis in the central nervous system (CNS). It is unclear whether there is a correlation between these waves and different oligodendrocyte (OL) states at adult stages. Here, we present bulk and single-cell transcriptomics resources providing insights on how transitions between these states occur. We found that post-natal OPCs from brain and spinal cord present similar transcriptional signatures. Moreover, post-natal OPC progeny of E13.5 Pdgfra+ cells present electrophysiological and transcriptional profiles similar to OPCs derived from subsequent specification waves, indicating that Pdgfra+ pre-OPCs rewire their transcriptional network during development. Single-cell RNA-seq and lineage tracing indicates that a subset of E13.5 Pdgfra+ cells originates cells of the pericyte lineage. Thus, our results indicate that embryonic Pdgfra+ cells in the CNS give rise to distinct post-natal cell lineages, including OPCs with convergent transcriptional profiles in different CNS regions.

Keywords: myelin; neural development; neural progenitors; oligodendrocyte; oligodendrocyte precursor cell; pericyte; platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha; single-cell RNA-seq; transcription factors; transcriptomics.

Figures

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Figure 1
Figure 1
Temporal and Spatial Transcriptional Heterogeneity of Pdgfra/GFP+ Cells (A) Schematic of Pdgfra/GFP+ cell purification for bulk RNA sequencing. (B) Volcano plots of Gencode-annotated genes depicting differential expression between (fore) brain versus spinal cord, and E13.5 versus P7. (C) Hierarchical clustering of bulk samples based on normalized gene expression (cpmm) of transcription factors annotated in animalTFDB. (D) Principal-component analysis of bulk RNA-seq of Pdgfra/GFP+ cells from E13.5 and P7 (fore) brain and spinal cord. (E and F) Gene ontology analysis of enriched biological functions overrepresented in either (fore) brain versus spinal cord (E), or E13.5 versus P7 (F). See also Figures S1, S2 and Tables S1.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Single-Cell RNA-Seq Reveals Similar Transcriptional Profiles of OPCs in the Post-natal Spinal Cord and Brain (A) Scheme of Pdgfra/GFP+ cell purification for single-cell RNA-seq. (B and C) t-SNE of single-cell RNA-seq of E13.5, P7 Pdgfra/GFP+ cells, and P20–30, and P60 cells from Marques et al., highlighting age and region (B) and identified clusters (C). (D) Single-cell expression of the most relevant marker genes in all identified populations. (E) Fraction of OPC1a, 1b and OPCcyc in each P7, juvenile/adult tissues. (F) Single-cell expression of cluster-specific genes for OPCs, overlayed in t-SNE from Figure 2C. See also Figures S1, S3, S4 and Tables S2 and S3.
Figure 3
Figure 3
NP1a Constitutes a Pre-OPC Neural Progenitor Population (A–C) Heatmaps with correlation analysis between all identified populations (A), of all the populations compared to La Manno et al. (2016) dataset (B) and of all the populations compared to Marques et al. (2016) dataset (C). (D and E) SCN3E network analysis of (fore) brain (D) and spinal cord (E) E13.5 and P7 Pdgfra/GFP+ cells, with juvenile/adult OPCs, COPs, and VLMCs from Marques et al. (2016) Brain SCN3E also includes cells from E17.5 scRNA-seq experiment. On the right, overlay of gene expression levels of a subset of genes on the SCN3E graphs, with gradient from yellow (low expression) to red (high expression). (F and G) Heatmaps of pseudo-time iterations from the SCN3E analysis of brain (F) and spinal cord (G), representing the 50 most variable genes along pseudo-time with at least p < 0.01 computed using MAST. Arrows illustrate transitions between pre-OPCs (NP1a), OPCs, and COPs/NFOLs. An additional transition is observed in (fore) brain, corresponding to E17.5 to P7 OPCs. See also Figures S5 and S6.
Figure 4
Figure 4
E13.5 Pdgfra+ Cells Give Rise to OPCs and Cells of the VLMC/Pericyte Lineage (A) Scheme of lineage tracing experiments in Pdgfra-CreERT-RCE mice; E13.5 Pdgfra+ cells progeny was followed until P21 by GFP expression. (B–D) Immunohistochemistry targeting Pdgfra+ cells (B and D), CC1+ mature oligodendrocytes (C) and cells of the VLMC/pericyte lineage (Col1a1+, D) in E13.5 Pdgfra+ progeny (GFP+) in corpus callosum and spinal cord (dorsal horn). B - White arrows, double positive Pdgfra/GFP cells. C - White arrows, double positive CC1/GFP cells. D -White arrows, double positive Pdgfra/GFP cells; yellow arrows, double positive Col1a1/GFP cells; arrowhead, GFP+/Pdgfra-/Col1a1- cell. (E) Quantification of OPCs, VLMCs/pericytes, and other cells derived from E13.5 Pdgfra+ cells in the corpus callosum and dorsal horn; one-way ANOVA with Tukey’s multiple comparisons test. (F) Quantification of OPCs derived from the first wave (GFP+/ PDGFRa+) and subsequent waves (GFP−/ PDGFRa+) in the corpus callosum and dorsal horn. Two-tailed unpaired t test. All results are expressed as means ± SEM. For quantifications, 3 animals were used in each time point and 4–5 slices were photographed per animal. An average of 33 and 46 photos in CC and dorsal horn, respectively, were counted per animal. , p value < 0.05; ∗∗, p value < 0.01; ∗∗∗, p value < 0.001.
Figure 5
Figure 5
Similar Single-Cell Transcriptomic Profiles of Cells Derived from the First and Subsequent Waves of Oligodendrogenesis (A) Scheme of lineage tracing experiments in Pdgfra-CreERT-RCE mice; E12.5-13.5 and P3-5 Pdgfra+ cells progeny was identified by GFP expression at P7-8 when single-cell RNA-seq was performed. (B) t-SNE (from Figure 2) illustrating GFP+ cells from the lineage tracing of E12-5-13.5 or P3-P5 Pdgfra+ cells in the PdgfraCreERT-RCE mice at P7. (C) Fraction of OPC1a, 1b and OPCcyc in each lineage tracing experiment. (D) t-SNE clustered using glutamate receptor, potassium channel, voltage gated ion channel, and GABA receptor genes, illustrating homogeneous distribution of E13.5 and P3 lineage traced OPCs. (E) Hierarchically clustered heatmap showing the expression of glutamate receptor, potassium channel, voltage-gated ion channel, and GABA receptor genes in E13.5 and P3 lineage traced OPCs.
Figure 6
Figure 6
Similar Electrophysiological Profiles of Cells Derived from the First and Subsequent Waves of Oligodendrogenesis (A) Scheme of lineage tracing experiments in Pdgfra-CreERT-RCE mice; E12.5-13.5 and P3-5 Pdgfra+ cells progeny was identified by GFP expression at P7-8 when electrophysiological recordings were performed. (B) Representative image showing a recorded cell labeled with biocytin-streptavidin (blue) and expression of NG2 (red); Scale bar represents 5 μm. (C) Representative voltage-clamp traces of OPCs (held at −70 mV) showing inward spontaneous post-synaptic currents. (D) Frequency of events in seven txE12.5-cells (dark green) and fifteen txP3-cells (red). Tetrodotoxin (TTX) strongly reduced frequency spontaneous of events, shown as txE12.5+TTX (five cells) and txP3+TTX (three cells). Blockage of glutamatergic receptors with CNQX/MK801 showed similar effect (txP3-CM, four cells). (E) Cumulative distribution of events’ amplitudes and on the right side insert with average amplitudes for each cell. p values correspond to two-tailed Student’s t test for independent (between groups) or paired-samples (for pharmacology experiments). (F) Model for transcriptional convergence of the different waves of progenitors of oligodendrocyte lineage cells.

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