Mapping the origin and fate of myeloid cells in distinct compartments of the eye by single-cell profiling

Peter Wieghofer, Nora Hagemeyer, Roman Sankowski, Anja Schlecht, Ori Staszewski, Lukas Amann, Markus Gruber, Jana Koch, Annika Hausmann, Peipei Zhang, Stefaniya Boneva, Takahiro Masuda, Ingo Hilgendorf, Tobias Goldmann, Chotima Böttcher, Josef Priller, Fabio M.V. Rossi, Clemens Lange, Marco Prinz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Similar to the brain, the eye is considered an immune-privileged organ where tissue-resident macrophages provide the major immune cell constituents. However, little is known about spatially restricted macrophage subsets within different eye compartments with regard to their origin, function, and fate during health and disease. Here, we combined single-cell analysis, fate mapping, parabiosis, and computational modeling to comprehensively examine myeloid subsets in distinct parts of the eye during homeostasis. This approach allowed us to identify myeloid subsets displaying diverse transcriptional states. During choroidal neovascularization, a typical hallmark of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), we recognized disease-specific macrophage subpopulations with distinct molecular signatures. Our results highlight the heterogeneity of myeloid subsets and their dynamics in the eye that provide new insights into the innate immune system in this organ which may offer new therapeutic targets for ophthalmological diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere105123
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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