Comprehensive single-cell transcriptional profiling defines shared and unique epithelial injury responses during kidney fibrosis

Haikuo Li, Eryn E. Dixon, Haojia Wu, Benjamin D. Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

The underlying cellular events driving kidney fibrogenesis and metabolic dysfunction are incompletely understood. Here, we employed single-cell combinatorial indexing RNA sequencing to analyze 24 mouse kidneys from two fibrosis models. We profiled 309,666 cells in one experiment, representing 50 cell types/states encompassing epithelial, endothelial, immune, and stromal populations. Single-cell analysis identified diverse injury states of the proximal tubule, including two distinct early-phase populations with dysregulated lipid and amino acid metabolism, respectively. Lipid metabolism was defective in the chronic phase but was transiently activated in the very early stages of ischemia-induced injury, where we discovered increased lipid deposition and increased fatty acid β-oxidation. Perilipin 2 was identified as a surface marker of intracellular lipid droplets, and its knockdown in vitro disrupted cell energy state maintenance during lipid accumulation. Surveying epithelial cells across nephron segments identified shared and unique injury responses. Stromal cells exhibited high heterogeneity and contributed to fibrogenesis by epithelial-stromal crosstalk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1977-1998.e9
JournalCell metabolism
Volume34
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 6 2022

Keywords

  • PLIN2
  • acute kidney injury
  • cell differentiation
  • chronic kidney disease
  • fibrosis
  • kidney
  • lipid droplet
  • lipid metabolism
  • single-cell combinatorial indexing
  • tissue regeneration

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