Single Cell Analysis

Understanding lineage choices of stem cells in context of development and differentiation is commonly assessed using bulk samples masking cellular heterogeneity and dynamics. Addressing this challenge, profiling of individual cells serves a rapidly developing state-of-the arte technique to more precisely define stem cell populations as well as differentiated and intermediate cell types with great implications for understanding development and disease progression. Among the huge variety of adult human stem cells, neural crest derived inferior turbinate stem cells (ITSCs) reveal a remarkably high differentiation potential into neuro-ectodermal an mesodermal cell-types. Nestin-positive ITSCs can be easily isolated from the inferior turbinate of the human nasal cavity and were reported to be capable of functionally recovering a PD rat model, showing their great regenerative potential in vivo.

To successfully analyse single ITSCs and nuclei, we apply flow cytometric fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) followed by molecular biological analyses like transcriptional profiling using SMARTSeq2 and RNA-Seq. We are particularly interested in comparing transcriptional data of single ITSCs in the context of differentiation into neuronal cell types and mesodermal derivates. Single cell profiling methods will allow us to investigate cell-to-cell variability during differentiation processes of adult human neural crest derived stem cells for addressing developmental questions and designing accurate disease models.