Single-cell transcriptomics of the ocular anterior segment: a comprehensive review

Sofia Ahsanuddin, Albert Y. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Elucidating the cellular and genetic composition of ocular tissues is essential for uncovering the pathophysiology of ocular diseases. Since the introduction of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) in 2009, vision researchers have performed extensive single-cell analyses to better understand transcriptome complexity and heterogeneity of ocular structures. This technology has revolutionized our ability to identify rare cell populations and to make cross-species comparisons of gene expression in both steady state and disease conditions. Importantly, single-cell transcriptomic analyses have enabled the identification of cell-type specific gene markers and signalling pathways between ocular cell populations. While most scRNA-seq studies have been conducted on retinal tissues, large-scale transcriptomic atlases pertaining to the ocular anterior segment have also been constructed in the past three years. This timely review provides vision researchers with an overview of scRNA-seq experimental design, technical limitations, and clinical applications in a variety of anterior segment-related ocular pathologies. We review open-access anterior segment-related scRNA-seq datasets and illustrate how scRNA-seq can be an indispensable tool for the development of targeted therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


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