Cross-species single-cell transcriptomic analysis reveals pre-gastrulation developmental differences among pigs, monkeys, and humans

Tianbin Liu, Jie Li, Leqian Yu, Hai Xi Sun, Jing Li, Guoyi Dong, Yingying Hu, Yong Li, Yue Shen, Jun Wu, Ying Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Interspecies blastocyst complementation enables organ-specific enrichment of xenogeneic pluripotent stem cell (PSC) derivatives, which raises an intriguing possibility to generate functional human tissues/organs in an animal host. However, differences in embryo development between human and host species may constitute the barrier for efficient chimera formation. Here, to understand these differences we constructed a complete single-cell landscape of early embryonic development of pig, which is considered one of the best host species for human organ generation, and systematically compared its epiblast development with that of human and monkey. Our results identified a developmental coordinate of pluripotency spectrum among pigs, humans and monkeys, and revealed species-specific differences in: (1) pluripotency progression; (2) metabolic transition; (3) epigenetic and transcriptional regulations of pluripotency; (4) cell surface proteins; and (5) trophectoderm development. These differences may prevent proper recognition and communication between donor human cells and host pig embryos, resulting in low integration and survival of human cells. These results offer new insights into evolutionary conserved and divergent processes during mammalian development and may be helpful for developing effective strategies to overcome low human–pig chimerism, thereby enabling the generation of functional human organs in pigs in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalCell Discovery
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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