Construction of a human cell landscape at single-cell level

Nature. 2020 May;581(7808):303-309. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2157-4. Epub 2020 Mar 25.


Single-cell analysis is a valuable tool for dissecting cellular heterogeneity in complex systems1. However, a comprehensive single-cell atlas has not been achieved for humans. Here we use single-cell mRNA sequencing to determine the cell-type composition of all major human organs and construct a scheme for the human cell landscape (HCL). We have uncovered a single-cell hierarchy for many tissues that have not been well characterized. We established a 'single-cell HCL analysis' pipeline that helps to define human cell identity. Finally, we performed a single-cell comparative analysis of landscapes from human and mouse to identify conserved genetic networks. We found that stem and progenitor cells exhibit strong transcriptomic stochasticity, whereas differentiated cells are more distinct. Our results provide a useful resource for the study of human biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Asian People
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Separation
  • Cells / cytology*
  • Cells / metabolism*
  • China
  • Databases, Factual
  • Embryoid Bodies / cytology
  • Embryoid Bodies / metabolism
  • Ethnicity
  • Fetus / cytology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Organ Specificity
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Single-Cell Analysis / instrumentation
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*
  • Stochastic Processes


  • RNA, Messenger