Astrocytes can have an impact on synapse formation and synaptic transmission, but also on blood-brain barrier formation, regulation of blood flow, as well as metabolic support of other brain resident cells. To investigate the true extent of astrocyte molecular diversity across forebrain regions, we used single-cell RNA sequencing and identified five transcriptomically distinct astrocyte subtypes in adult mouse cortex and hippocampus. Validating our data in situ revealed a distinct spatial distribution of these morphologically and physiologically distinct astrocyte populations.
Our findings demonstrate that different brain regions contain specialized astrocyte subtypes. The data are available through an online database (https://holt-sc.glialab.org/), providing a resource for further exploration of local astrocyte diversity and function in the brain.