Embryonic liver developmental trajectory revealed by single-cell RNA sequencing in the Foxa2eGFP mouse

Tianhao Mu, Liqin Xu, Yu Zhong, Xinyu Liu, Zhikun Zhao, Chaoben Huang, Xiaofeng Lan, Chengchen Lufei, Yi Zhou, Yixun Su, Luang Xu, Miaomiao Jiang, Hongpo Zhou, Xinxin Lin, Liang Wu, Siqi Peng, Shiping Liu, Susanne Brix, Michael Dean, Norris R. DunnKenneth S. Zaret, Xin-Yuan Fu*, Yong Hou

*Corresponding author for this work

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The liver and gallbladder are among the most important internal organs derived from the endoderm, yet the development of the liver and gallbladder in the early embryonic stages is not fully understood. Using a transgenic Foxa2eGFP reporter mouse line, we performed single-cell full-length mRNA sequencing on endodermal and hepatic cells isolated from ten embryonic stages, ranging from E7.5 to E15.5. We identified the embryonic liver developmental trajectory from gut endoderm to hepatoblasts and characterized the transcriptome of the hepatic lineage. More importantly, we identified liver primordium as the nascent hepatic progenitors with both gut and liver features and documented dynamic gene expression during the epithelial-hepatic transition (EHT) at the stage of liver specification during E9.5-11.5. We found six groups of genes switched on or off in the EHT process, including diverse transcripitional regulators that had not been previously known to be expressed during EHT. Moreover, we identified and revealed transcriptional profiling of gallbladder primordium at E9.5. The present data provides a high-resolution resource and critical insights for understanding the liver and gallbladder development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number642
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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