Understanding early mouse embryonic development using single-cell mRNA-sequencing

René Dirks, Hendrik Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


Biomedical research often involves the use of cell lines that can be cultured in a laboratory. Individual cells within such cell lines often share a similar morphology. A remarkable exception are in vitro cultured mouse Embryonic Stem Cells (mESCs) - pluripotent cells derived from the blastocyst stage of the mouse developing embryo. Different from many other cell lines, mESCs show heterogeneity in morphology and gene expression between the individual cells within a population. This heterogeneity makes it challenging to characterise mESCs at a molecular level, since global profiling methods generally require large numbers of cells. However, new methods and technologies allow global transcriptome profiling of individual cells. By capturing the global transcriptome of many individual cells using single-cell next-generation mRNA-sequencing, our research focuses on the identification of novel transcription factor modules that contribute to the unique pluripotent state of mESCs, as well as to the differentiation of mESCs, as a model for early mouse embryonic development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-59
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Pharmaceutical Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

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