van Bruggen D, Pohl F, Langseth CM, Kukanja P, Lee H, Albiach AM, Kabbe M, Meijer M, Linnarsson S, Hilscher MM, Nilsson M, Sundström E, Castelo-Branco G
Dev. Cell 57 (11) 1421-1436.e5 [2022-06-06; online 2022-05-05]
Oligodendrogenesis in the human central nervous system has been observed mainly at the second trimester of gestation, a much later developmental stage compared to oligodendrogenesis in mice. Here, we characterize the transcriptomic neural diversity in the human forebrain at post-conception weeks (PCW) 8-10. Using single-cell RNA sequencing, we find evidence of the emergence of a first wave of oligodendrocyte lineage cells as early as PCW 8, which we also confirm at the epigenomic level through the use of single-cell ATAC-seq. Using regulatory network inference, we predict key transcriptional events leading to the specification of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs). Moreover, by profiling the spatial expression of 50 key genes through the use of in situ sequencing (ISS), we identify regions in the human ventral fetal forebrain where oligodendrogenesis first occurs. Our results indicate evolutionary conservation of the first wave of oligodendrogenesis between mice and humans and describe regulatory mechanisms involved in human OPC specification.