NEURODEGENERATION

A microglia type associated with AD

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Science  14 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6347, pp. 160-161
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6347.160-c

The role of specific subsets of immune cell in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is poorly understood. Keren-Shaul et al. profiled the entire immune cell population in the brains of wild-type and AD-transgenic (Tg-AD) mice. They identified a microglial cell type (DAM) that is associated with neurodegenerative diseases. The DAM cells contained internalized amyloid-β—presumably promoting its clearance. One key player was the AD-associated risk factor Trem2. Single-cell analysis of DAM in Tg-AD and Trem2−/− Tg-AD mice suggested that activating the DAM program involved two steps. An initial Trem2-independent step involved down-regulation of microglia checkpoints, followed by subsequent activation of a Trem2-dependent program. Activating these disease-associated microglia could possibly help in the future treatment of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Cell 169, 1276 (2017).

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