Purkinje Cell Patterning-Insights from Single-Cell Sequencing.
Apsley EJ., Becker EBE.
Despite their homogeneous appearance, Purkinje cells are remarkably diverse with respect to their molecular phenotypes, physiological properties, afferent and efferent connectivity, as well as their vulnerability to insults. Heterogeneity in Purkinje cells arises early in development, with molecularly distinct embryonic cell clusters present soon after Purkinje cell specification. Traditional methods have characterized cerebellar development and cell types, including Purkinje cell subtypes, based on knowledge of selected markers. However, recent single-cell RNA sequencing studies provide vastly increased resolution of the whole cerebellar transcriptome. Here we draw together the results of multiple single-cell transcriptomic studies in developing and adult cerebellum in both mouse and human. We describe how this detailed transcriptomic data has increased our understanding of the intricate development and function of Purkinje cells and provides first clues into features specific to human cerebellar development.