October 30, 2020

Microglial signalling pathway deficits associated with the R47H TREM2 variant linked to AD indicate inability to activate inflammasome

The R47H variant of the microglial membrane receptor TREM2 is linked to increased risk of late onset Alzheimers disease. Human induced pluripotent stem cell derived microglia, iPS-Mg, from patient iPSC lines expressing the AD-linked R47Hhet TREM2 variant, common variant, Cv, or an R47Hhom CRISPR edited line and its isogeneic control, demonstrated that R47H-expressing iPS-Mg expressed a deficit in signal transduction in response to the TREM2 endogenous ligand phosphatidylserine with reduced pSYK-pERK1/2 signalling and a reduced NLRP3 inflammasome response, including ASC speck formation, Caspase-1 activation and IL-1beta secretion. Apoptotic cell phagocytosis and soluble TREM2 shedding were unaltered, suggesting a disjoint between these pathways and the signalling cascades downstream of TREM2 in R47H-expressing iPS-Mg, whilst metabolic deficits in glycolytic capacity and maximum respiration were reversed when R47H expressing iPS-Mg were exposed to PS+ expressing cells. These findings suggest that R47H-expressing microglia are unable to respond fully to cell damage signals such as phosphatidylserine, which may contribute to the progression of neurodegeneration in late-onset AD.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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