August 29, 2020

New Publication by Emily Holloway (Spence Lab)!



Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived intestinal organoids (HIOs) lack some cellular populations found in the native organ, including vasculature. Using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), we have identified a population of endothelial cells (ECs) present early in HIO differentiation that declines over time in culture. Here, we developed a method to expand and maintain this endogenous population of ECs within HIOs (vHIOs). Given that ECs possess organ-specific gene expression, morphology, and function, we used bulk RNA-seq and scRNA-seq to interrogate the developing human intestine, lung, and kidney in order to identify organ-enriched EC gene signatures. By comparing these gene signatures and validated markers to HIO ECs, we find that HIO ECs grown in vitro share the highest similarity with native intestinal ECs relative to kidney and lung. Together, these data demonstrate that HIOs can co-differentiate a native EC population that is properly patterned with an intestine-specific EC transcriptional signature in vitro.