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The inner ear comprises four epithelial domains: the cochlea, vestibule, semicircular canals, and endolymphatic duct/sac. These structures are segregated at embryonic day 13.5 (E13.5). However, these four anatomical structures remain undefined at E10.5. Here, we aimed to identify lineage-specific genes in the early developing inner ear using published data obtained from single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) of embryonic mice. We downloaded 5000 single-cell transcriptome data, named 'auditory epithelial trajectory', from the Mouse Organogenesis Cell Atlas. The dataset was supposed to include otic epithelial cells at E9.5-13.5. We projected the 5000 ​cells onto a two-dimensional space encoding the transcriptional state and visualised the pattern of otic epithelial cell differentiation. We identified 15 clusters, which were annotated as one of the four components of the inner ear epithelium using known genes that characterise the four different tissues. Additionally, we classified 15 clusters into sub-regions of the four inner ear components. By comparing transcriptomes between these 15 clusters, we identified several candidates of lineage-specific genes. Characterising these new candidate genes will help future studies about inner ear development. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Ryosuke Yamamoto, Hiroe Ohnishi, Koichi Omori, Norio Yamamoto. In silico analysis of inner ear development using public whole embryonic body single-cell RNA-sequencing data. Developmental biology. 2021 Jan 01;469:160-171

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PMID: 33131705

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