Spatial mapping of single cells in fibrotic diseases
Organ fibrosis is the formation of scar tissue and is the common end of nearly all chronic diseases in all organ systems. Estimates suggest that nearly 50% of mortality in the developed world is related to organ fibrosis. However, there are currently no therapies approved to specifically treat fibrosis in most organs. The FibroMap consortium aims to use novel methods of single-cell RNA sequencing and DNA accessibility sequencing in mouse and human genetic tracking models along with multiplex imaging. We aim to create a map of healthy and fibrotic tissue by imposing single-cell transcriptome and epigenome data in a three-dimensional tissue. FibroMap focuses on kidney and bone marrow in this project but our data shows that the fibrosis process is similar in many organs, so we think our models will be important for other organs as well. The aim is to identify new therapeutic target structures and predictive biomarkers At the end of the project, the aim is to answer the following important clinical questions: 1) Identification of cells present in early fibrosis stages to develop new diagnostic criteria 2) development of methods for potential risk stratification of patients 3) identification of new therapeutic target structures, as the first step towards precision medicine in fibrotic diseases.