Single-cell multiomics of human fetal hematopoiesis define a developmental-specific population and a fetal signature.

Sommarin MNE, Olofzon R, Palo S, Dhapola P, Soneji S, Karlsson G, Böiers C

Blood Adv 7 (18) 5325-5340 [2023-09-26; online 2023-06-28]

Knowledge of human fetal blood development and how it differs from adult blood is highly relevant to our understanding of congenital blood and immune disorders and childhood leukemia, of which the latter can originate in utero. Blood formation occurs in waves that overlap in time and space, adding to heterogeneity, which necessitates single-cell approaches. Here, a combined single-cell immunophenotypic and transcriptional map of first trimester primitive blood development is presented. Using CITE-seq (cellular indexing of transcriptomes and epitopes by sequencing), the molecular profile of established immunophenotype-gated progenitors was analyzed in the fetal liver (FL). Classical markers for hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), such as CD90 and CD49F, were largely preserved, whereas CD135 (FLT3) and CD123 (IL3R) had a ubiquitous expression pattern capturing heterogenous populations. Direct molecular comparison with an adult bone marrow data set revealed that the HSC state was less frequent in FL, whereas cells with a lymphomyeloid signature were more abundant. An erythromyeloid-primed multipotent progenitor cluster was identified, potentially representing a transient, fetal-specific population. Furthermore, differentially expressed genes between fetal and adult counterparts were specifically analyzed, and a fetal core signature was identified. The core gene set could separate subgroups of acute lymphoblastic leukemia by age, suggesting that a fetal program may be partially retained in specific subgroups of pediatric leukemia. Our detailed single-cell map presented herein emphasizes molecular and immunophenotypic differences between fetal and adult blood cells, which are of significance for future studies of pediatric leukemia and blood development in general.

Clinical Genomics Lund [Service]

PubMed 37379274

DOI 10.1182/bloodadvances.2023009808

Crossref 10.1182/bloodadvances.2023009808

pmc: PMC10506049
pii: 496594

Publications 9.5.0