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Cell. 2018 May 3;173(4):1045-1057.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.063.

Single-Cell Transcriptomics and Fate Mapping of Ependymal Cells Reveals an Absence of Neural Stem Cell Function.

Author information

1
Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada; Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada.
2
Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada; Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada; Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada.
3
Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada.
4
Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada; Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada; Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada. Electronic address: jeff.biernaskie@ucalgary.ca.

Abstract

Ependymal cells are multi-ciliated cells that form the brain's ventricular epithelium and a niche for neural stem cells (NSCs) in the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ). In addition, ependymal cells are suggested to be latent NSCs with a capacity to acquire neurogenic function. This remains highly controversial due to a lack of prospective in vivo labeling techniques that can effectively distinguish ependymal cells from neighboring V-SVZ NSCs. We describe a transgenic system that allows for targeted labeling of ependymal cells within the V-SVZ. Single-cell RNA-seq revealed that ependymal cells are enriched for cilia-related genes and share several stem-cell-associated genes with neural stem or progenitors. Under in vivo and in vitro neural-stem- or progenitor-stimulating environments, ependymal cells failed to demonstrate any suggestion of latent neural-stem-cell function. These findings suggest remarkable stability of ependymal cell function and provide fundamental insights into the molecular signature of the V-SVZ niche.

KEYWORDS:

V-SVZ; VEGF; ependymal cell; neural stem cell; neurogenesis; single cell RNA-seq; stroke; transcriptomics

PMID:
29727663
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.063

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