Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of brain tumor with poor therapeutic response and prognosis. Passage of systemically delivered pharmacological agents into the brain is largely blocked by the blood-brain-barrier (BBB), an organotypic specialization of brain endothelial cells (EC). Tumor vessels in GBM are abnormal and more permeable, but the heterogeneity of BBB breakdown in different parts of the tumor vasculature and at the tumor’s invasive front is largely unknown. Here, through single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of freshly isolated ECs from human glioblastoma and paired tumor peripheral tissues, we have constructed a molecular atlas of human brain ECs providing unprecedented molecular insight into the heterogeneity of the human BBB and its molecular alteration in glioblastoma. We identified 5 distinct EC phenotypes representing different states of EC activation and BBB impairment, and associated with different anatomical locations within and around the tumor. This unique data resource provides key information for designing rational therapeutic regimens and optimizing drug delivery.
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