Kidney and organoid single-cell transcriptomics: the end of the beginning

Pediatr Nephrol. 2020 Feb;35(2):191-197. doi: 10.1007/s00467-018-4177-y. Epub 2019 Jan 4.


Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) technologies are increasingly being applied to reveal cellular heterogeneity in kidney development and disease. In just the last year, multiple scRNA-seq datasets have been generated from kidney organoids, developing mouse and human kidney, adult kidney, and kidney cancer. The data generated enables a much deeper understanding of biological processes within and between cells. It has also elucidated unforeseen cell lineage relationships, defined the presence of off-target cell types in kidney organoids, and revealed a diverse inflammatory response in a human kidney allograft undergoing rejection. This review summarizes the recent rapid progress in scRNA-seq of the kidney and outlines future directions for single-cell technologies as applied to the kidney.

Keywords: Informatics; Next-generation sequencing; Organoids; Single cell; Stem cell; Transcriptomics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / cytology*
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Organoids / cytology
  • Single-Cell Analysis*
  • Transcriptome*