Spatiotemporal molecular dynamics of the developing human thalamus

Chang N Kim, David Shin, Albert Wang, Tomasz J Nowakowski
bioRxiv (2023)


The thalamus plays a central coordinating role in the brain. Thalamic neurons are organized into spatially-distinct nuclei, but the molecular architecture of thalamic development is poorly understood, especially in humans. To begin to delineate the molecular trajectories of cell fate specification and organization in the developing human thalamus, we used single cell and multiplexed spatial transcriptomics. Here we show that molecularly-defined thalamic neurons differentiate in the second trimester of human development, and that these neurons organize into spatially and molecularly distinct nuclei. We identify major subtypes of glutamatergic neuron subtypes that are differentially enriched in anatomically distinct nuclei. In addition, we identify six subtypes of GABAergic neurons that are shared and distinct across thalamic nuclei.