Ependymal cells act as neural stem cells in the adult spinal cord. They respond to spinal cord injury by generating more than half of the glial scar that is formed after spinal cord injury. Without the injury response by ependymal cells, spinal cord injuries grow deeper, more neurons die and a normally occurring slight recovery of function is attenuated.
Spinal cord ependymal cells are known to display molecular heterogeneity, but it has remained unknown if stem cell properties are shared between all ependymal cells or held only by some. We examine functional and molecular heterogeneity among ependymal cells using fate mapping and single cell RNA sequencing.