Spatially resolved transcriptomics and the kidney: Many opportunities
Defining changes in gene expression during health and disease is critical for the understanding of human physiology. In recent years, single cell/nuclei RNA sequencing (sc/snRNAseq) has revolutionized the definition and discovery of cell types and states, as well as the interpretation of organ and cell type specific signaling pathways. However, these advances require tissue dissociation to the level of the single cell or single nuclei level. Spatially resolved transcriptomics (SrT) now provides a platform to overcome this barrier in understanding the physiological contexts of gene expression and cellular microenvironment changes in development and disease. Some of these transcriptomic tools allow for high resolution mapping of hundreds of genes simultaneously in cellular and subcellular compartments. Other tools offer genome depth mapping, but at lower resolution. Here, we will review advances in SrT, considerations for using SrT in your own research, and applications for kidney biology.