Published on Wed Jul 07 2021

A single-cell transcriptomic atlas characterizes liver non-parenchymal cells in healthy and diseased mice

Wang, Z., Qian, J., Lu, X., Zhang, P., Guo, R., Lou, H., Zhang, S., Yang, J., Fan, X.

Liver non-parenchymal cells (NPCs) are essential for liver structure and function. The current understanding of liver NPCs, especially in different liver diseases, remains incompletely elucidated. A single-cell transcriptome atlas of 171,814 NPCs from healthy and 5 typical liver disease mouse models

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Abstract

The heterogeneity of liver non-parenchymal cells (NPCs) is essential for liver structure and function. However, the current understanding of liver NPCs, especially in different liver diseases, remains incompletely elucidated. Here, a single-cell transcriptome atlas of 171,814 NPCs from healthy and 5 typical liver disease mouse models, including alcoholic liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), drug-induced liver injury, cholestatic, and ischemia-reperfusion liver injury is constructed. The inter- and intra-group heterogeneity of 12 types (and numerous subtypes) of NPCs involving endothelial cells, hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), neutrophils, T cells, and mononuclear phagocytes (MPs) are summarized. A protective subtype of neutrophils characterized by Chil3high is validated and found significantly increasing only in drug-induced and cholestatic liver injury models. Transcriptional regulatory network analysis reveals disease-specific transcriptional reprogramming. Metabolic activity analysis indicates that fibrosis is accompanied by increases in glycolysis and retinol metabolism in activated HSCs and MPs. Moreover, we found that cell-cell interactions between cholangiocytes and immune cells contribute more to cholestatic liver fibrosis compared with NASH, while HSCs are more important for NASH fibrosis. Our atlas, together with an interactive website provides a systematic view of highly heterogeneous NPCs and a valuable resource to better understand pathological mechanisms underlying liver diseases.