Enhancers integrate transcription factor signaling pathways that drive cell fate specification in the developing brain. We used single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) to capture enhancer activity at single cell resolution and delineate specification of cells labeled by enhancers in mouse medial, lateral, and caudal ganglionic eminences (MGE, LGE, and CGE) at embryonic day (E)11.5. We combine enhancer-based reporter labeling with single-cell transcriptional readout to characterize enhancer activity and define cell populations in vivo. Seven enhancers had diverse activities in specific progenitor and neuronal populations within the GEs. We then applied enhancer-based labeling, scRNA-seq, and analysis of in situ hybridization (ISH) data to distinguish subtypes of MGE-derived GABAergic and cholinergic projection neurons and interneurons. This work demonstrates how the power of scRNA-seq can be extended by enhancer-based labelling and leveraging ISH data and reveals novel lineage specification paths underlying patterning of developing mouse brain.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience