Single-Cell RNA Sequencing of Cerebrospinal Fluid as an Advanced Form of Liquid Biopsy for Neurological Disorders

Brain Sci. 2022 Jun 22;12(7):812. doi: 10.3390/brainsci12070812.


Diagnosis and longitudinal monitoring of neurological diseases are limited by the poor specificity and limited resolution of currently available techniques. Analysis of circulating cells in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has emerged as a promising strategy for the diagnosis, molecular characterization, and monitoring of neurological disease. In comparison to bulk sequencing analysis, single-cell sequencing studies can provide novel insights into rare cell populations and uncover heterogeneity in gene expression at a single-cell resolution, which has several implications for understanding disease pathology and treatment. Parallel development of standardized biofluid collection protocols, pre-processing strategies, reliable single-cell isolation strategies, downstream genomic analysis, and robust computational analysis is paramount for comprehensive single-cell sequencing analysis. Here we perform a comprehensive review of studies focusing on single-cell sequencing of cells in the CSF of patients with oncological or non-oncological diseases of the central nervous system.

Keywords: RNA-Seq; neuroinflammation; neurological disease; scRNA sequencing; single-cell RNA sequencing; transcriptome.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

JRT is an NINDS R25 training grant awardee (5R25NS065729).