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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Oct 2022 - 4 Nov 2022

Animal Studies

2022 Oct 27

Nat Neurosci

A developmental atlas of somatosensory diversification and maturation in the dorsal root ganglia by single-cell mass cytometry.


Keeler AB, Van Deusen AL, Gadani IC, Williams CM, Goggin SM, Hirt AK, Vradenburgh SA, Fread KI, Puleo EA, Jin L, Calhan YO, Deppmann CD, Zunder ER
Nat Neurosci. 2022 Oct 27.
PMID: 36303068.


Precisely controlled development of the somatosensory system is essential for detecting pain, itch, temperature, mechanical touch and body position. To investigate the protein-level changes that occur during somatosensory development, we performed single-cell mass cytometry on dorsal root ganglia from C57/BL6 mice of both sexes, with litter replicates collected daily from embryonic day 11.5 to postnatal day 4. Measuring nearly 3 million cells, we quantified 30 molecularly distinct somatosensory glial and 41 distinct neuronal states across all timepoints. Analysis of differentiation trajectories revealed rare cells that co-express two or more Trk receptors and over-express stem cell markers, suggesting that these neurotrophic factor receptors play a role in cell fate specification. Comparison to previous RNA-based studies identified substantial differences between many protein-mRNA pairs, demonstrating the importance of protein-level measurements to identify functional cell states. Overall, this study demonstrates that mass cytometry is a high-throughput, scalable platform to rapidly phenotype somatosensory tissues.