Myeloid Cells

A role for macrophages in Rett syndrome

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Science  08 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6235, pp. 645
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6235.645-a

Mutations in meningeal macrophages may contribute to the generation of Rett syndrome

PHOTO: J. C. CRONK ET AL. IMMUNITY 42, 4 (21 APRIL 2015) © 2015 ELSEVIER INC.

Scientists previously implicated microglia, a macrophage subset in the brain, in the pathogenesis of the neurodegenerative disease Rett syndrome. To better understand how microglia and other types of macrophages might contribute to the development of the disease, Cronk et al. examined MECP2-deficient mice. Multiple types of macrophages express MECP2 in normal mice, and several of these populations, including microglia, are lost in MECP2-deficient mice. MECP2 regulated a pro-inflammatory gene expression signature in macrophages. When the authors selectively reexpressed MECP2 in macrophages, they were able to extend the lives of MECP2-deficient mice, which suggests that macrophages probably contribute to disease pathogenesis.

Immunity 42, 679 (2015).

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