Multiomics uncovers developing immunological lineages in human

Eur J Immunol. 2021 Apr;51(4):764-772. doi: 10.1002/eji.202048769. Epub 2021 Mar 10.


The development of the human immune system during embryonic and fetal life has historically been difficult to research due to limited access to human tissue. Experimental animal models have been widely used to study development but cellular and molecular programmes may not be conserved across species. The advent of multiomic single-cell technologies and an increase in human developmental tissue biobank resources have facilitated single-cell multiomic studies focused on human immune development. A critical question in the near future is "How do we best reconcile scientific findings across multiple omic modalities, developmental time, and organismic space?" In this review, we discuss the application of single-cell multiomic technologies to unravel the major cellular lineages in the prenatal human immune system. We also identify key areas where the combined power of multiomics technologies can be leveraged to address specific immunological gaps in our current knowledge and explore new research horizons in human development.

Keywords: bioinformatics; developmental immunology; prenatal immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Lineage / genetics
  • Cell Lineage / immunology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / embryology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / immunology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Embryonic Development / genetics
  • Embryonic Development / immunology*
  • Epigenomics / methods*
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Genomics / methods*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods
  • Humans
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*