Lineage tracking


Lineage tracking methods follow the position and behaviour of cells and their descendents over time. Cells are typically labelled and/or imaged in real time or at frequent time intervals to determine their lineage.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Hepatocytes are highly specialized cells and their fate is determined by their position in the liver as either periportal or perivenous hepatocytes. Here, Pu et al. show through genetic lineage tracing for Mfsd2 that periportal hepatocytes proliferate and reprogram into pericentral hepatocytes during liver regeneration and injury.

    • Wenjuan Pu
    • , Hui Zhang
    • , Xiuzhen Huang
    • , Xueying Tian
    • , Lingjuan He
    • , Yue Wang
    • , Libo Zhang
    • , Qiaozhen Liu
    • , Yan Li
    • , Yi Li
    • , Huan Zhao
    • , Kuo Liu
    • , Jie Lu
    • , Yingqun Zhou
    • , Pengyu Huang
    • , Yu Nie
    • , Yan Yan
    • , Lijian Hui
    • , Kathy O. Lui
    •  & Bin Zhou
  • Reviews |

    The persistent production of extracellular matrix during fibrosis leads to impaired organ function. Myofibroblasts are considered the predominant effector cell during fibrosis; however, the exact origin of myofibroblasts during kidney disease is widely debated. Here, the authors describe the evidence supporting the various potential origins of renal myofibroblasts as well as the techniques used to trace and identify these progenitor cells. They discuss the therapeutic methods that might prevent the transition of precursors to a myofibroblast phenotype, thereby inhibiting fibrosis.

    • Lucas L. Falke
    • , Shima Gholizadeh
    • , Roel Goldschmeding
    • , Robbert J. Kok
    •  & Tri Q. Nguyen
  • Reviews |

    Lineage tracing is a sophisticated technique to track cells in vivo. Here, Paola Romagnani and colleagues describe how lineage tracing can be used to track the fate of cells involved in renal development, pathophysiological changes and regeneration. The authors discuss considerations in selecting an appropriate reporter, promoter, and activating switch for lineage tracing experiments, and approaches to data interpretation.

    • Paola Romagnani
    • , Yuval Rinkevich
    •  & Benjamin Dekel
  • Research |

    Adipocytes have been suggested to arise from prospective progenitors of endothelial or haematopoietic origin. Rödeheffer and colleagues use lineage tracing to rule out that this is the case for white adipocytes, and show that they instead arise from CD24+ cells that are characterized by the expression of PdgfR (platelet-derived growth factor receptor).

    • Ryan Berry
    •  & Matthew S. Rodeheffer
    Nature Cell Biology 15, 302–308

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    Using DNA barcoding, Lan et al. investigated the clonal evolution and dynamics of glioblastoma cells, and propose a model whereby proliferative heterogeneity is derived from stochastic fate decisions made by a homogeneous population of glioblastoma stem cells and their progeny.

    • Conor A. Bradley
    Nature Reviews Cancer 17, 574–575
  • News and Views |

    Skeletal muscles are composed of different types of fibres. Can these be thought of as distinct lineages with specific lineage-restricted progenitors? A provocative study now proposes that mesenchymal cells expressing the transcription factor Twist2 act as myogenic progenitors with selective type IIb fibre-differentiation potential.

    • Natalya A. Goloviznina
    •  & Michael Kyba
    Nature Cell Biology 19, 153–154
  • News and Views |

    Delineating the behaviour of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in vivo has thus far proven challenging. Two studies in zebrafish and mouse models now track HSCs in vivo using fate mapping with multicolour approaches to provide further insights into clonal events that regulate blood development, HSC function and differentiation during homeostasis and stress conditions.

    • Trista E. North
    •  & Wolfram Goessling