Early developmental asymmetries in cell lineage trees in living individuals

Liana Fasching, Yeongjun Jang, Simone Tomasi, Jeremy Schreiner, Livia Tomasini, Melanie V. Brady, Taejeong Bae, Vivekananda Sarangi, Nikolaos Vasmatzis, Yifan Wang, Anna Szekely, Thomas V. Fernandez, James F. Leckman, Alexej Abyzov, Flora M. Vaccarino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Mosaic mutations can be used to track cell lineages in humans. We used cell cloning to analyze embryonic cell lineages in two living individuals and a postmortem human specimen. Of 10 reconstructed postzygotic divisions, none resulted in balanced contributions of daughter lineages to tissues. In both living individuals, one of two lineages from the first cleavage was dominant across tissues, with 90% frequency in blood. We propose that the efficiency of DNA repair contributes to lineage imbalance. Allocation of lineages in postmortem brain correlated with anterior-posterior axis, associating lineage history with cell fate choices in embryos. We establish a minimally invasive framework for defining cell lineages in any living individual, which paves the way for studying their relevance in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1245-1248
Number of pages4
Issue number6535
StatePublished - Mar 19 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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