Welcome to the glia Portal.

Maintaining homeostasis in peripheral nerves is a unique challenge due to the extreme length of the axons, their large surface area, and the substantial energy demands of nerve impulse conduction. In both the PNS and CNS, glia are required for proper signal transduction along axons, and for metabolic support. These glia, called Schwann cells (SCs) are the predominant cell type in peripheral nerve, and have traditionally been classified as either myelinating (mSCs) or non-myelinating (nmSCs), reflecting the elaboration of myelin sheathes around large caliber axons, or the ensheathment of smaller caliber axons into Remak bundles. Other cellular components of the nerve have received less attention, but nevertheless play important roles in nerve function. In this study, we used snRNA-seq to obtain unbiased nuclei atlases of mouse peripheral nerves. This allowed us to identify more than 20 cell types encompassing glial, immune, and stromal populations in peripheral nerves. More importantly, our transcriptional profiling study provides the first high resolution identification of SCs, revealing novel markers and six new SC subtypes. These observations confirm the existence of SC subtypes extending beyond conventional myelinating and non-myelinating SCs and suggest that there is functional divergence within different SC subtypes. We have made our dataset readily accessible through our glia portal and anticipate it will stimulate future discoveries and serve as a resource for peripheral neuropathy studies.

The glia Portal

This portal contains three single-nuclei atlases – the sciatic nerve atlas, the immune atlas and the Schwann cell atlas, that unbiasedly represent the cellular landscape of the peripheral nerves. The analysis was performed using Seurat v3.2.3 and both the sequencing data (in BAM format) and the RDS files can be accessed on GEO (GSE182098).

We have also included a quick tutorial in explaining some key features:

Portal Tutorial (PDF)

Data availability

The 12 single-nuclei and single-cell RNA-seq libraries, together with 5 processed data using Seurat (RDS files) for single-cell and single nuclei atlases, has been deposited onto the GEO repository under the reference series ID GSE182099. The single-nuclei and single-cell RNA-seq data can be obtained through GSE182098.