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Identification of visual cortex cell types and species differences using single-cell RNA sequencing.

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Wei, Jia-Ru 
Hao, Zhao-Zhe 
Xu, Chuan 
Huang, Mengyao 
Tang, Lei 


The primate neocortex exerts high cognitive ability and strong information processing capacity. Here, we establish a single-cell RNA sequencing dataset of 133,454 macaque visual cortical cells. It covers major cortical cell classes including 25 excitatory neuron types, 37 inhibitory neuron types and all glial cell types. We identified layer-specific markers including HPCAL1 and NXPH4, and also identified two cell types, an NPY-expressing excitatory neuron type that expresses the dopamine receptor D3 gene; and a primate specific activity-dependent OSTN + sensory neuron type. Comparisons of our dataset with humans and mice show that the gene expression profiles differ between species in relation to genes that are implicated in the synaptic plasticity and neuromodulation of excitatory neurons. The comparisons also revealed that glutamatergic neurons may be more diverse across species than GABAergic neurons and non-neuronal cells. These findings pave the way for understanding how the primary cortex fulfills the high-cognitive functions.


Funder: Natural Science Foundation of China 82201231; the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation 2022M713609

Funder: the Major Project on Brain Science and Brain-Like Computing of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China 2021ZD0200103

Funder: The Wellcome Sanger core funding WT206194

Funder: The Wellcome BioResource for a ‘Single Cell Gene Expression Atlas’ WT108437/Z/15/Z; the Open Targets grant OTAR2067

Funder: Natural Science Foundation of China 81870682, 81961128021; the National Key R&D Program of China 2018YFA0108300, 2022YEF0203200; the Guangdong Provincial Key R&D Programs 2018B030335001, 2018B030337001; the Local Innovative and Research Teams Project of Guangdong Pearl River Talents Program 2017BT01S138; the Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou 202007030011, 202007030010


Mice, Humans, Animals, Species Specificity, Visual Cortex, GABAergic Neurons, Neuronal Plasticity, Sequence Analysis, RNA, Muscle Proteins, Transcription Factors

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC