A single-cell transcriptome atlas of glial diversity in the human hippocampus across the postnatal lifespan

Cell Stem Cell. 2022 Nov 3;29(11):1594-1610.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2022.09.010.


The molecular diversity of glia in the human hippocampus and their temporal dynamics over the lifespan remain largely unknown. Here, we performed single-nucleus RNA sequencing to generate a transcriptome atlas of the human hippocampus across the postnatal lifespan. Detailed analyses of astrocytes, oligodendrocyte lineages, and microglia identified subpopulations with distinct molecular signatures and revealed their association with specific physiological functions, age-dependent changes in abundance, and disease relevance. We further characterized spatiotemporal heterogeneity of GFAP-enriched astrocyte subpopulations in the hippocampal formation using immunohistology. Leveraging glial subpopulation classifications as a reference map, we revealed the diversity of glia differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells and identified dysregulated genes and pathological processes in specific glial subpopulations in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Together, our study significantly extends our understanding of human glial diversity, population dynamics across the postnatal lifespan, and dysregulation in AD and provides a reference atlas for stem-cell-based glial differentiation.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; astrocytes; brain disorders; brain organoids; glial cell diversity; glial differentiation; human hippocampus; microglia; oligodendrocytes; single-nucleus transcriptomics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Astrocytes / pathology
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Neuroglia / pathology
  • Transcriptome* / genetics