A single-cell guide to retinal development: Cell fate decisions of multipotent retinal progenitors in scRNA-seq

Dev Biol. 2021 Oct;478:41-58. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2021.06.005. Epub 2021 Jun 17.


Recent advances in high throughput single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) technology have enabled the simultaneous transcriptomic profiling of thousands of individual cells in a single experiment. To investigate the intrinsic process of retinal development, researchers have leveraged this technology to quantify gene expression in retinal cells across development, in multiple species, and from numerous important models of human disease. In this review, we summarize recent applications of scRNA-seq and discuss how these datasets have complemented and advanced our understanding of retinal progenitor cell competence, cell fate specification, and differentiation. Finally, we also highlight the outstanding questions in the field that advances in single-cell data generation and analysis will soon be able to answer.

Keywords: Cell fate specification; Competence; Neurogenesis; Retinal development; Retinal progenitor cells; Review; Single-cell; Single-cell rna-sequencing; scRNA-seq.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neurogenesis
  • RNA-Seq*
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / embryology
  • Retina / growth & development*
  • Retinal Diseases / genetics
  • Retinal Diseases / metabolism
  • Retinal Diseases / pathology
  • Retinal Neurons / cytology*
  • Retinal Neurons / metabolism
  • Single-Cell Analysis*
  • Transcriptome