Defining Inner Ear Cell Type Specification at Single-Cell Resolution in a Model of Human Cranial Development
58 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2021 Publication Status: Review CompleteMore...
Inner ear development requires the complex interaction of numerous cell types arising from multiple embryologic origins. Current knowledge of inner ear organogenesis is limited primarily to animal models. Although most mechanisms of cellular development show conservation between vertebrate species, there are uniquely human aspects of inner ear development which remain unknown. Our group recently described a model of in vitro human inner ear organogenesis using pluripotent stem cells in a 3D organoid culture system. This method promotes the formation of an entire sensorineural circuit, including hair cells, inner ear neurons, and Schwann cells. Our past work has characterized certain aspects of this culture system, however we have yet to fully define all the cell types which contribute to inner ear organoid assembly. Here, our goal was to reconstruct a time-based map of in vitro development during inner ear organoid induction to understand the developmental elements captured in this system. We analyzed inner ear organoid development using single-cell RNA sequencing at ten time points during the first 36 days of induction. We reconstructed the on-target progression of undifferentiated pluripotent stem cells to surface ectoderm, pre-placodal, and otic epithelial cells, including supporting cells, hair cells, and neurons, following treatment with FGF, BMP, and WNT signaling modulators. Our data revealed endogenous signaling pathway-related gene expression that may influence the course of on-target differentiation. In addition, we classified a diverse array of off-target ectodermal cell types encompassing the neuroectoderm, neural crest, and mesenchymal lineages. Our work establishes the Inner ear Organoid Developmental Atlas (IODA), which can provide insights needed for understanding human biology and refining the guided differentiation of in vitro inner ear tissue.
Keywords: Inner Ear, Organoid, Pluripotent Stem Cells, Differentiation, Single-cell RNA-seq, Cell Atlas
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