Cellular heterogeneity of human fallopian tubes in normal and hydrosalpinx disease states identified using scRNA-seq

Dev Cell. 2022 Apr 11;57(7):914-929.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2022.02.017. Epub 2022 Mar 22.


Fallopian tube (FT) homeostasis requires dynamic regulation of heterogeneous cell populations and is disrupted in infertility and ovarian cancer. Here, we applied single-cell RNA-seq to profile 59,738 FT cells from four healthy, pre-menopausal subjects. The resulting cell atlas contains 12 major cell types representing epithelial, stromal, and immune compartments. Re-clustering of epithelial cells identified four ciliated and six non-ciliated secretory epithelial subtypes, two of which represent potential progenitor pools: one leading to mature secretory cells and the other contributing to either ciliated cells or one of the stromal cell types. To understand how FT cell numbers and states change in a disease state, we analyzed 17,798 cells from two hydrosalpinx samples and observed shifts in epithelial and stromal populations and cell-type-specific changes in extracellular matrix and TGF-β signaling; this underscores fibrosis pathophysiology. This resource is expected to facilitate future studies aimed at expanding understanding of fallopian tube homeostasis in normal development and disease.

Keywords: EMT; fallopian tube; female infertility; hydrosalpinx; ovarian cancer; progenitor cells; single-cell RNA-seq; stem cell.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Fallopian Tubes* / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Single-Cell Analysis