The coordinated spatial and temporal regulation of gene expression in the murine hindlimb determines the identity of mesenchymal progenitors and the development of diversity of musculoskeletal tissues they form. Hindlimb development has historically been studied with lineage tracing of individual genes selected a priori, or at the bulk tissue level, which does not allow for the determination of single cell transcriptional programs yielding mature cell types and tissues. To identify the cellular trajectories of lineage specification during limb bud development, we used single cell mRNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) to profile the developing murine hindlimb between embryonic days (E)11.5-E18.5. We found cell type heterogeneity at all time points, and the expected cell types that form the mouse hindlimb. In addition, we used RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to examine the spatial locations of cell types and cell trajectories to understand the ancestral continuum of cell maturation. This data provides a resource for the transcriptional program of hindlimb development that will support future studies of musculoskeletal development and generate hypotheses for tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMatrix Biology
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Bone
  • Cartilage
  • Hindlimb development
  • Limb bud
  • Muscle
  • Tendon


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