The immune system is composed of a complex hierarchy of cell types that protect the organism against disease and maintain homeostasis. Identifying heterogeneity of immune cells is the key to understanding the immune system. Advanced single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) technologies are revolutionizing our ability to study immunology. By measuring transcriptomes at the single-cell level, scRNA-seq enables identification of cellular heterogeneity in far greater detail than conventional methods. In this review, we introduce the existing scRNA-seq technologies and present their strengths and weaknesses. We also discuss potential applications and future innovations of scRNA-seq in immunology.
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We thank Z Tian, X Cao, and F Gao for suggestions. This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (91842301, 31722027, and 81770188).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Chen, H., Ye, F. & Guo, G. Revolutionizing immunology with single-cell RNA sequencing. Cell Mol Immunol 16, 242–249 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41423-019-0214-4
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