TREM2 is upregulated in amyloid plaque-associated microglia in aged APP23 transgenic mice

Institute of Clinical Neuroanatomy, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Glia (Impact Factor: 5.47). 10/2008; 56(13):1438-47. DOI: 10.1002/glia.20710
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by extracellular deposits of amyloid-beta protein which attract dense clusters of microglial cells. Here, we analyzed amyloid plaque-associated areas in aged APP23 transgenic mice, an animal model of AD, by combining laser microdissection with microarray analysis and quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR). By comparing gene expression profiles, we found that 538 genes (1.3% of a total of 41,234 analyzed genes) were differentially expressed in plaque-associated versus plaque-free tissue of aged APP23 transgenic mice. One of these genes is the microglia-associated triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM2) which enhances phagocytosis, but abrogates cytokine production as well as TLR and Fc receptor-mediated induction of TNF secretion. Western Blot analysis demonstrated an upregulation of TREM2 protein in APP23 transgenic compared with nontransgenic mice. Confocal imaging studies, furthermore, confirmed colocalization of TREM2 protein with microglia. Thus, when TREM2 is induced on microglia in plaque-loaded brain areas the respective signaling may prevent inflammation-induced bystander damage of neurons. At the same time, TREM2 signaling may also account for the failure to sufficiently eliminate extracellular amyloid with the help of a systemic immune response.

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