Single-Cell Atlas of Human Pediatric Livers Across Diverse Ancestry
The liver performs essential functions such as coordinating metabolism, aiding digestion, producing blood products, processing chemicals and medications, and interfacing with host immunity. The essential role of the liver often goes unnoticed until injury limits its function, leading to symptoms that can include confusion, bleeding, blood clots, retention of fluid, jaundice, and increased sensitivity to infection. The activity of many individual cell types and how cells work together in the normal liver remains poorly understood.
Even less is known about the pediatric liver, which shifts in the third trimester from the primary site of hematopoiesis to take on the roles of the adult liver. The current understanding of a healthy liver excludes samples from donors from diverse ancestral communities. Such insights would provide further knowledge of how the liver reacts to medications, toxins, and infection. This project will establish an international collaboration to map healthy livers at single-cell resolution across pediatric development in diverse ancestries.
The project will define how the liver develops across different pediatric age groups using multiple single-cell approaches to create spatial maps in infancy, early childhood, and late childhood. This project will connect a team of pediatric clinicians and scientists to the collaborative community already analyzing normal adult and fetal liver tissue. All data, protocols, reagents, pipelines, and analysis methods developed will be shared to help build the Human Cell Atlas community.