A single cell transcriptional atlas of early synovial joint development
Synovial joint development begins with the formation of the interzone, a region of condensed mesenchymal cells at the site of the prospective joint. Recently, lineage tracing strategies have revealed that Gdf5-lineage cells native to and from outside the interzone contribute to most, if not all, of the major joint components. However, there is limited knowledge of the specific transcriptional and signaling programs that regulate interzone formation and fate diversification of synovial joint constituents. To address this, we have performed single cell RNA-Seq analysis of 6,202 synovial joint progenitor cells from the developing murine knee joint from E12.5 to E15.5. By using a combination of computational analytics, in situ hybridization, and functional analysis of prospectively isolated populations, we have inferred the underlying transcriptional networks of the major developmental paths for joint progenitors. Our freely available single cell transcriptional atlas will serve as a resource for the community to uncover transcriptional programs and cell interactions that regulate synovial joint development.
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