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Cell atlas of human uterus

By Bingbing Wu, Li, Yanshan Liu, Kaixiu Jin, Kun Zhao, Chengrui An, Qikai Li, Lin Gong, Wei Zhao, Jinghui Hu, Jianhua Qian, HongWei Ouyang, XiaoHui Zou

Posted 19 Feb 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/267849

The human uterus is a highly dynamic tissue that undergoes repeated damage repair and regeneration during the menstrual cycle, which make it ideal model to study tissue regeneration and pathological process. Stem/progenitors were speculated to be involved in the regeneration of endometrial epithelial and pathogenesis of endometriosis. But the identity, microenvironment and regulatory mechanisms of the uterus epithelial stem/progenitors in vivo remain unclear. Here, we dissected the cell heterogeneities of the full-thickness human uterus epithelial cells (11 clusters), stroma cells (6 clusters), endothelial cells (5 clusters), smooth muscle cells (2 clusters), myofibroblasts (2 clusters) and immune cells (6 clusters) from 2735 single cell by single cell RNA-seq. Further analysis identified a unique ciliated epithelial cell cluster showing characteristics of stem/progenitors with properties of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that mainly localized in the upper functionalis of the endometrium. Ordering the cell subpopulations along the pseudo-space revealed cell clusters possess cellular states of stress, inflammation and apoptosis in the upper functionalis cellular ecosystem of the endometrium. Connectivity map between the human uterus subpopulations revealed potential inflammatory (cytokines and chemokines) and developmental (WNT, FGF, VEGF) signals within the upper functionalis cellular ecosystem of the endometrium, especially from other epithelial clusters, regulating cell plasticity of the EMT-epithelial clusters. This study reconstructed the heterogeneities, space-specific distribution and connectivity map of human uterus atlas, which would provide insight in the regeneration of uterus endometria and reference for the pathogenesis of uterus.

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