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Single-cell transcriptomics of the aged mouse brain reveals convergent, divergent and unique aging signatures

By Methodios Ximerakis, Scott L. Lipnick, Sean K. Simmons, Xian Adiconis, Brendan T. Innes, Danielle Dionne, Lan Nguyen, Brittany A. Mayweather, Ceren Ozek, Zachary Niziolek, Vincent L. Butty, Ruth Isserlin, Sean M. Buchanan, Stuart R. Levine, Aviv Regev, Gary Bader, Joshua Z. Levin, Lee L. Rubin

Posted 11 Oct 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/440032 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41593-019-0491-3)

The mammalian brain is complex, with multiple cell types performing a variety of diverse functions, but exactly how the brain is affected with aging remains largely unknown. Here we performed a single-cell transcriptomic analysis of young and old mouse brains. We provide a comprehensive dataset of aging-related genes, pathways and ligand-receptor interactions in nearly all brain cell types. Our analysis identified gene signatures that vary in a coordinated manner across cell types and gene sets that are regulated in a cell type specific manner, even at times in opposite directions. Thus, our data reveals that aging, rather than inducing a universal program drives a distinct transcriptional course in each cell population. These data provide an important resource for the aging community and highlight key molecular processes, including ribosomal biogenesis, underlying aging. We believe that this large-scale dataset, which is publicly accessible online (aging-mouse-brain), will facilitate additional discoveries directed towards understanding and modifying the aging process.

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