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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2019 Apr 4:ATVBAHA119312399. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.312399. [Epub ahead of print]

Adventitial Cell Atlas of wt (Wild Type) and ApoE (Apolipoprotein E)-Deficient Mice Defined by Single-Cell RNA Sequencing.

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From the School of Cardiovascular Medicine and Sciences, King's College London British Heart Foundation Centre, United Kingdom (W.G., Z.N., J.D., Y.H., Q.X.).
Key Lab of Pulmonary Vascular Medicine and FuWai Hospital, State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing (Y.-Q.T., S.-J.Z., Z.-C.L., X.-J.W., Z.-C.J.).
Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University, China (T.C., Q.X.).


Objective- Vascular adventitia encompasses progenitors and is getting recognized as the major site of inflammation in early stage of atherosclerosis. However, the cellular atlas of the heterogeneous adventitial cells, the intercellular communication, the cellular response of adventitia to hyperlipidemia, and its contribution to atherosclerosis have been elusive. Approach and Results- Single-cell RNA sequencing was applied to wt (wild type) and ApoE (apolipoprotein E)-deficient aortic adventitia from 12-week-old C57BL/6J mice fed on normal laboratory diet with early stage of atherosclerosis. Unbiased clustering analysis revealed that the landscape of adventitial cells encompassed adventitial mesenchyme cells, immune cells (macrophages, T cells, and B cells), and some types of rare cells, for example, neuron, lymphatic endothelial cells, and innate lymphoid cells. Seurat clustering analysis singled out 6 nonimmune clusters with distinct transcriptomic profiles, in which there predominantly were stem/progenitor cell-like and proinflammatory population (Mesen II). In ApoE-deficient adventitia, resident macrophages were activated and related to increased myeloid cell infiltration in the adventitia. Cell communication analysis further elucidated enhanced interaction between a mesenchyme cluster and inflammatory macrophages in ApoE-deficient adventitia. In vitro transwell assay confirmed the proinflammatory role of SCA1+ Mesen II population with increased CCL2 secretion and thus increased capacity to attract immune cells in ApoE-deficient adventitia. Conclusions- Cell atlas defined by single-cell RNA sequencing depicted the heterogeneous cellular landscape of the adventitia and uncovered several types of cell populations. Furthermore, resident cell interaction with immune cells appears crucial at the early stage of atherosclerosis.


adventitia; animals; atherosclerosis; mice; stem cells


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