Spatial transcriptomics: recent developments and insights in respiratory research

Mil Med Res. 2023 Aug 17;10(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s40779-023-00471-x.


The respiratory system's complex cellular heterogeneity presents unique challenges to researchers in this field. Although bulk RNA sequencing and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) have provided insights into cell types and heterogeneity in the respiratory system, the relevant specific spatial localization and cellular interactions have not been clearly elucidated. Spatial transcriptomics (ST) has filled this gap and has been widely used in respiratory studies. This review focuses on the latest iterative technology of ST in recent years, summarizing how ST can be applied to the physiological and pathological processes of the respiratory system, with emphasis on the lungs. Finally, the current challenges and potential development directions are proposed, including high-throughput full-length transcriptome, integration of multi-omics, temporal and spatial omics, bioinformatics analysis, etc. These viewpoints are expected to advance the study of systematic mechanisms, including respiratory studies.

Keywords: Lung; Spatial multi-omics; Spatial transcriptomics; Tumor.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Multiomics
  • Transcriptome*