Three-dimensional spatial transcriptomics uncovers cell type localizations in the human rheumatoid arthritis synovium

Commun Biol. 2022 Feb 11;5(1):129. doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03050-3.


The inflamed rheumatic joint is a highly heterogeneous and complex tissue with dynamic recruitment and expansion of multiple cell types that interact in multifaceted ways within a localized area. Rheumatoid arthritis synovium has primarily been studied either by immunostaining or by molecular profiling after tissue homogenization. Here, we use Spatial Transcriptomics, where tissue-resident RNA is spatially labeled in situ with barcodes in a transcriptome-wide fashion, to study local tissue interactions at the site of chronic synovial inflammation. We report comprehensive spatial RNA-Seq data coupled to cell type-specific localization patterns at and around organized structures of infiltrating leukocyte cells in the synovium. Combining morphological features and high-throughput spatially resolved transcriptomics may be able to provide higher statistical power and more insights into monitoring disease severity and treatment-specific responses in seropositive and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / genetics
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Synovial Membrane / metabolism
  • Transcriptome*