Single-cell RNA-seq survey of the developmental landscape of the human prefrontal cortex

5:00pm - 6:00pm
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Xiaoqun Wang -

The human brain contains billions of neurons that were originally generated from neuroepithelial cells. The cerebral cortex can be divided into the following lobes: the frontal lobe (FL), parietal lobe (PL), occipital lobe (OL) and temporal lobe (TL), with each showing specialized functions in sensory and motor control and having specific projections to different targets of the nervous system. Our previous study revealed the developmental process of the human prefrontal cortex, which is the most uniquely expanded region of the human nervous system5. However, spatial and temporal regulation of different brain region at single-cell resolution at a serial of embryonic time points has not yet been performed systemically. We identified 29 cell sub-clusters, which showed different proportions in each region and the pons showed especially high percentage of astrocytes. Embryonic neurons were not as diverse as adult neurons, although they possessed important features of their destinies in adults. Neuron development was unsynchronized in the cerebral cortex, as dorsal regions appeared to be more mature than ventral regions at this stage. Region-specific genes were comprehensively identified in each neuronal sub-cluster, and a large proportion of these genes were neural disease related. Our results present a systematic landscape of the regionalized gene expression and neuron maturation of the human cerebral cortex.


Z. Gao