Brain and blood single-cell transcriptomics in acute and subacute phases after experimental stroke.

TitleBrain and blood single-cell transcriptomics in acute and subacute phases after experimental stroke.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsGarcia-Bonilla L, Shahanoor Z, Sciortino R, Nazarzoda O, Racchumi G, Iadecola C, Anrather J
Date Published2023 Apr 03

Cerebral ischemia triggers a powerful inflammatory reaction involving both peripheral leukocytes and brain resident cells. Recent evidence indicates that their differentiation into a variety of functional phenotypes contributes to both tissue injury and repair. However, the temporal dynamics and diversity of post-stroke immune cell subsets remain poorly understood. To address these limitations, we performed a longitudinal single-cell transcriptomic study of both brain and mouse blood to obtain a composite picture of brain-infiltrating leukocytes, circulating leukocytes, microglia and endothelium diversity over the ischemic/reperfusion time. Brain cells and blood leukocytes isolated from mice 2 or 14 days after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion or sham surgery were purified by FACS sorting and processed for droplet-based single-cell transcriptomics. The analysis revealed a strong divergence of post-ischemic microglia, macrophages, and neutrophils over time, while such diversity was less evident in dendritic cells, B, T and NK cells. Conversely, brain endothelial cells and brain associated-macrophages showed altered transcriptomic signatures at 2 days post-stroke, but low divergence from sham at day 14. Pseudotime trajectory inference predicted the in-situ longitudinal progression of monocyte-derived macrophages from their blood precursors into day 2 and day 14 phenotypes, while microglia phenotypes at these two time points were not connected. In contrast to monocyte-derived macrophages, neutrophils were predicted to be continuously de-novo recruited from the blood. Brain single-cell transcriptomics from both female and male aged mice did not show major changes in respect to young mice, but aged and young brains differed in their immune cell composition. Furthermore, blood leukocyte analysis also revealed altered transcriptomes after stroke. However, brain-infiltrating leukocytes displayed higher transcriptomic divergence than their circulating counterparts, indicating that phenotypic diversification into cellular subsets occurs within the brain in the early and the recovery phase of ischemic stroke. In addition, this resource report contains a searchable database to allow user-friendly access to our data. The StrokeVis tool constitutes a comprehensive gene expression atlas that can be interrogated at the gene and cell type level to explore the transcriptional changes of endothelial and immune cell subsets from mouse brain and blood after stroke.

Alternate JournalbioRxiv
PubMed ID37066298
PubMed Central IDPMC10103945