Application of laser microdissection to uncover regional transcriptomics in human kidney tissue

Kidney Precision Medicine Project

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gene expression analysis of human kidney tissue is an important tool to understand homeostasis and disease pathophysiology. Increasing the resolution and depth of this technology and extending it to the level of cells within the tissue is needed. Although the use of single nuclear and single cell RNA sequencing has become widespread, the expression signatures of cells obtained from tissue dissociation do not maintain spatial context. Laser microdissection (LMD) based on specific fluorescent markers would allow the isolation of specific structures and cell groups of interest with known localization, thereby enabling the acquisition of spatially-anchored transcriptomic signatures in kidney tissue. We have optimized an LMD methodology, guided by a rapid fluorescence-based stain, to isolate five distinct compartments within the human kidney and conduct subsequent RNA sequencing from valuable human kidney tissue specimens. We also present quality control parameters to enable the assessment of adequacy of the collected specimens. The workflow outlined in this manuscript shows the feasibility of this approach to isolate sub-segmental transcriptomic signatures with high confidence. The methodological approach presented here may also be applied to other tissue types with substitution of relevant antibody markers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere61371
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number160
StatePublished - 2020


  • Biology
  • Glomerulus
  • Issue 160
  • Kidney
  • LMD
  • Laser Microdissection
  • Protocol
  • Tubular sub-segment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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