Absence of microglia promotes diverse pathologies and early lethality in Alzheimer's disease mice.

Journal: 
Cell Rep
Publication Year: 
2022
Authors: 
Sepideh Kiani Shabestari
Samuel Morabito
Emma Pascal Danhash
Amanda McQuade
Jessica Ramirez Sanchez
Emily Miyoshi
Jean Paul Chadarevian
Christel Claes
Morgan Alexandra Coburn
Jonathan Hasselmann
Jorge Hidalgo
Kayla Nhi Tran
Alessandra C Martini
Winston Chang Rothermich
Jesse Pascual
Elizabeth Head
David A Hume
Clare Pridans
Hayk Davtyan
Vivek Swarup
Mathew Blurton-Jones
PubMed link: 
35705056
Public Summary: 
Microglia are strongly implicated in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD), yet their impact on pathology and lifespan remains unclear. Here we utilize a CSF1R hypomorphic mouse to generate a model of AD that genetically lacks microglia. The resulting microglial-deficient mice exhibit a profound shift from parenchymal amyloid plaques to cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), which is accompanied by numerous transcriptional changes, greatly increased brain calcification and hemorrhages, and premature lethality. Remarkably, a single injection of wild-type microglia into adult mice repopulates the microglial niche and prevents each of these pathological changes. Taken together, these results indicate the protective functions of microglia in reducing CAA, blood-brain barrier dysfunction, and brain calcification. To further understand the clinical implications of these findings, human AD tissue and iPSC-microglia were examined, providing evidence that microglia phagocytose calcium crystals, and this process is impaired by loss of the AD risk gene, TREM2.
Scientific Abstract: 
Microglia are strongly implicated in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD), yet their impact on pathology and lifespan remains unclear. Here we utilize a CSF1R hypomorphic mouse to generate a model of AD that genetically lacks microglia. The resulting microglial-deficient mice exhibit a profound shift from parenchymal amyloid plaques to cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), which is accompanied by numerous transcriptional changes, greatly increased brain calcification and hemorrhages, and premature lethality. Remarkably, a single injection of wild-type microglia into adult mice repopulates the microglial niche and prevents each of these pathological changes. Taken together, these results indicate the protective functions of microglia in reducing CAA, blood-brain barrier dysfunction, and brain calcification. To further understand the clinical implications of these findings, human AD tissue and iPSC-microglia were examined, providing evidence that microglia phagocytose calcium crystals, and this process is impaired by loss of the AD risk gene, TREM2.