Single-Cell Transcriptome Atlas of Murine Endothelial Cells

Cell. 2020 Feb 20;180(4):764-779.e20. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.01.015. Epub 2020 Feb 13.


The heterogeneity of endothelial cells (ECs) across tissues remains incompletely inventoried. We constructed an atlas of >32,000 single-EC transcriptomes from 11 mouse tissues and identified 78 EC subclusters, including Aqp7+ intestinal capillaries and angiogenic ECs in healthy tissues. ECs from brain/testis, liver/spleen, small intestine/colon, and skeletal muscle/heart pairwise expressed partially overlapping marker genes. Arterial, venous, and lymphatic ECs shared more markers in more tissues than did heterogeneous capillary ECs. ECs from different vascular beds (arteries, capillaries, veins, lymphatics) exhibited transcriptome similarity across tissues, but the tissue (rather than the vessel) type contributed to the EC heterogeneity. Metabolic transcriptome analysis revealed a similar tissue-grouping phenomenon of ECs and heterogeneous metabolic gene signatures in ECs between tissues and between vascular beds within a single tissue in a tissue-type-dependent pattern. The EC atlas taxonomy enabled identification of EC subclusters in public scRNA-seq datasets and provides a powerful discovery tool and resource value.

Keywords: endothelial metabolism; endothelial-cell heterogeneity; mouse endothelial atlas; single-cell RNA-seq.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Cardiovascular System / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / classification
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / cytology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscles / cytology
  • Organ Specificity
  • RNA-Seq
  • Single-Cell Analysis*
  • Testis / cytology
  • Transcriptome*