Richard M Ransohoff

Biogen Idec, Уэстон, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (405)3202.5 Total impact

  • Frank L Heppner, Richard M Ransohoff, Burkhard Becher
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    ABSTRACT: The past two decades of research into the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD) have been driven largely by the amyloid hypothesis; the neuroinflammation that is associated with AD has been assumed to be merely a response to pathophysiological events. However, new data from preclinical and clinical studies have established that immune system-mediated actions in fact contribute to and drive AD pathogenesis. These insights have suggested both novel and well-defined potential therapeutic targets for AD, including microglia and several cytokines. In addition, as inflammation in AD primarily concerns the innate immune system - unlike in 'typical' neuroinflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis and encephalitides - the concept of neuroinflammation in AD may need refinement.
    Nature Reviews Neuroscience 05/2015; 16(6):358-72. DOI:10.1038/nrn3880 · 31.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by a robust inflammatory response elicited by the accumulation and subsequent deposition of amyloid (Aβ) within the brain. The brain's immune cells migrate to and invest their processes within Aβ plaques but are unable to efficiently phagocytose and clear plaques from the brain. Previous studies have shown that treatment of myeloid cells with nuclear receptor agonists increases expression of phagocytosis-related genes. In this study, we elucidate a novel mechanism by which nuclear receptors act to enhance phagocytosis in the AD brain. Treatment of murine models of AD with agonists of the nuclear receptors PPARγ, PPARδ, LXR, and RXR stimulated microglial phagocytosis in vitro and rapidly induced the expression of the phagocytic receptors Axl and MerTK. In murine models of AD, we found that plaque-associated macrophages expressed Axl and MerTK and treatment of the cells with an RXR agonist further induced their expression, coincident with the rapid reduction in plaque burden. Further characterization of MerTK(+)/Axl(+) macrophages revealed that they also expressed the phagocytic receptor TREM2 and high levels of CD45, consistent with a peripheral origin of these cells. Importantly, in an ex vivo slice assay, nuclear receptor agonist treatment reversed the AD-related suppression of phagocytosis through a MerTK-dependent mechanism. Thus, nuclear receptor agonists increase MerTK and Axl expression on plaque-associated immune cells, consequently licensing their phagocytic activity and promoting plaque clearance. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356532-12$15.00/0.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 04/2015; 35(16). DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4586-14.2015 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    Richard M. Ransohoff, Flavia Trettel
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 04/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2015.00132 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence suggests that Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis is not restricted to the neuronal compartment, but includes strong interactions with immunological mechanisms in the brain. Misfolded and aggregated proteins bind to pattern recognition receptors on microglia and astroglia, and trigger an innate immune response characterised by release of inflammatory mediators, which contribute to disease progression and severity. Genome-wide analysis suggests that several genes that increase the risk for sporadic Alzheimer's disease encode factors that regulate glial clearance of misfolded proteins and the inflammatory reaction. External factors, including systemic inflammation and obesity, are likely to interfere with immunological processes of the brain and further promote disease progression. Modulation of risk factors and targeting of these immune mechanisms could lead to future therapeutic or preventive strategies for Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    The Lancet Neurology 04/2015; 14(4):388-405. DOI:10.1016/S1474-4422(15)70016-5 · 21.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pathological aggregation of tau is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and related tauopathies. We have previously shown that the deficiency of the microglial fractalkine receptor (CX3CR1) led to the acceleration of tau pathology and memory impairment in an hTau mouse model of tauopathy. Here, we show that microglia drive tau pathology in a cell-autonomous manner. First, tau hyperphosphorylation and aggregation occur as early as 2 months of age in hTauCx3cr1(-/-) mice. Second, CD45(+) microglial activation correlates with the spatial memory deficit and spread of tau pathology in the anatomically connected regions of the hippocampus. Third, adoptive transfer of purified microglia derived from hTauCx3cr1(-/-) mice induces tau hyperphosphorylation within the brains of non-transgenic recipient mice. Finally, inclusion of interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (Kineret®) in the adoptive transfer inoculum significantly reduces microglia-induced tau pathology. Together, our results suggest that reactive microglia are sufficient to drive tau pathology and correlate with the spread of pathological tau in the brain. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
    Brain 03/2015; DOI:10.1093/brain/awv081 · 10.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The most abundant populations of non-neoplastic cells in the glioblastoma (GBM) microenvironment are resident microglia, macrophages and infiltrating monocytes from the blood circulation. The mechanisms by which monocytes infiltrate into GBM, their fate following infiltration, and their role in GBM growth are not known. Here we tested the hypothesis that loss of the fractalkine receptor CX3CR1 in microglia and monocytes would affect gliomagenesis. Deletion of Cx3cr1 from the microenvironment resulted in increased tumor incidence and shorter survival times in glioma-bearing mice. Loss of Cx3cr1 did not affect accumulation of microglia/macrophages in peri-tumoral areas, but instead indirectly promoted the trafficking of CD11b+CD45hiCX3CR1lowLy-6ChiLy-6G-F4/80-/low circulating inflammatory monocytes into the CNS, resulting in their increased accumulation in the perivascular area. Cx3cr1-deficient microglia/macrophages and monocytes demonstrated upregulation of IL1β expression that was inversely proportional to Cx3cr1 gene dosage. The Proneural subgroup of the TCGA GBM patient dataset with high IL1β expression showed shorter survival compared to patients with low IL1β. IL1β promoted tumor growth and increased the cancer stem cell phenotype in murine and human Proneural glioma stem cells (GSCs). IL1β activated the p38 MAPK signaling pathway and expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1/CCL2) by tumor cells. Loss of Cx3cr1 in microglia in a monocyte-free environment had no impact on tumor growth and did not alter microglial migration. These data suggest that enhancing signaling to CX3CR1 or inhibiting IL1β signaling in intra-tumoral macrophages can be considered as potential strategies to decrease the tumor-promoting effects of monocytes in Proneural GBM.
    Oncotarget 03/2015; · 6.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monocytes are recruited from the blood to sites of inflammation, where they contribute to wound healing and tissue repair. There are at least two subsets of monocytes: classical or proinflammatory (CCR2hiCX3CR1low) and nonclassical, patrolling, or alternative (CCR2lowCX3CR1hi) monocytes. Using spinning-disk confocal intravital microscopy and mice with fluorescent reporters for each of these subsets, we were able to track the dynamic spectrum of monocytes that enter a site of sterile hepatic injury in vivo. We observed that the CCR2hiCX3CR1low monocytes were recruited early and persisted for at least 48 h, forming a ringlike structure around the injured area. These monocytes transitioned, in situ, from CCR2hiCx3CR1low to CX3CR1hiCCR2low within the ringlike structure and then entered the injury site. This phenotypic conversion was essential for optimal repair. These results demonstrate a local, cytokine driven reprogramming of classic, proinflammatory monocytes into nonclassical or alternative monocytes to facilitate proper wound-healing.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 03/2015; · 13.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monocytes are recruited from the blood to sites of inflammation, where they contribute to wound healing and tissue repair. There are at least two subsets of monocytes: classical or proinflammatory (CCR2(hi)CX3CR1(low)) and nonclassical, patrolling, or alternative (CCR2(low)CX3CR1(hi)) monocytes. Using spinning-disk confocal intravital microscopy and mice with fluorescent reporters for each of these subsets, we were able to track the dynamic spectrum of monocytes that enter a site of sterile hepatic injury in vivo. We observed that the CCR2(hi)CX3CR1(low) monocytes were recruited early and persisted for at least 48 h, forming a ringlike structure around the injured area. These monocytes transitioned, in situ, from CCR2(hi)Cx3CR1(low) to CX3CR1(hi)CCR2(low) within the ringlike structure and then entered the injury site. This phenotypic conversion was essential for optimal repair. These results demonstrate a local, cytokine driven reprogramming of classic, proinflammatory monocytes into nonclassical or alternative monocytes to facilitate proper wound-healing. © 2015 Dal-Secco et al.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 03/2015; 212(4). DOI:10.1084/jem.20141539 · 13.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Variants in triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) confer high risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases. However, the cell types and mechanisms underlying TREM2's involvement in neurodegeneration remain to be established. Here, we report that TREM2 is up-regulated on myeloid cells surrounding amyloid deposits in AD mouse models and human AD tissue. TREM2 was detected on CD45(hi)Ly6C(+) myeloid cells, but not on P2RY12(+) parenchymal microglia. In AD mice deficient for TREM2, the CD45(hi)Ly6C(+) macrophages are virtually eliminated, resulting in reduced inflammation and ameliorated amyloid and tau pathologies. These data suggest a functionally important role for TREM2(+) macrophages in AD pathogenesis and an unexpected, detrimental role of TREM2 in AD pathology. These findings have direct implications for future development of TREM2-targeted therapeutics. © 2015 Jay et al.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 03/2015; 212(3). DOI:10.1084/jem.20142322 · 13.91 Impact Factor
  • Richard M Ransohoff, David A Hafler, Claudia F Lucchinetti
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) has been thought to be a complex and indecipherable disease, and poorly understood with regards to aetiology. Here, we suggest an emphatically positive view of progress over several decades in the understanding and treatment of MS, particularly focusing on advances made within the past 20 years. As with virtually all complex disorders, MS is caused by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. In recent years, formidable biochemical, bioinformatic, epidemiological and neuroimaging tools have been brought to bear on research into the causes of MS. While susceptibility to the disease is now relatively well accounted for, disease course is not and remains a salient challenge. In the therapeutic realm, numerous agents have become available, reflecting the fact that the disease can be attacked successfully at many levels and using varied strategies. Tailoring therapies to individuals, risk mitigation and selection of first-line as compared with second-line medications remain to be completed. In our view, the MS landscape has been comprehensively and irreversibly transformed by this progress. Here we focus on MS therapeutics-the most meaningful outcome of research efforts.
    Nature Reviews Neurology 02/2015; 11(5). DOI:10.1038/nrneurol.2015.14 · 14.10 Impact Factor
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    Richard M Ransohoff
    12/2014; 1(4):e44. DOI:10.1212/NXI.0000000000000044
  • Richard M Ransohoff
    Science 10/2014; 346(6205):36-7. DOI:10.1126/science.1260705 · 31.48 Impact Factor
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    Richard M Ransohoff
    10/2014; 1(3):e37. DOI:10.1212/NXI.0000000000000037
  • Atsuko Katsumoto, Haiyan Lu, Aline S Miranda, Richard M Ransohoff
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    ABSTRACT: Microglia, the only nonneuroepithelial cells found in the parenchyma of the CNS, originate during embryogenesis from the yolk sac and enter the CNS quite early (embryonic day 9.5-10 in mice). Thereafter, microglia are maintained independently of any input from the blood and, in particular, do not require hematopoietic stem cells as a source of replacement for senescent cells. Monocytes are hematopoietic cells, derived from bone marrow. The ontogeny of microglia and monocytes is important for understanding CNS pathologies. Microglial functions are distinct from those of blood-derived monocytes, which invade the CNS only under pathological conditions. Recent data reveal that microglia play an important role in managing neuronal cell death, neurogenesis, and synaptic interactions. In this article, we discuss the physiology of microglia and the functions of monocytes in CNS pathology. We address the roles of microglia and monocytes in neurodegenerative diseases as an example of CNS pathology.
    The Journal of Immunology 09/2014; 193(6):2615-2621. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1400716 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk genes are specifically expressed by microglia within the CNS. However, the mechanisms by which microglia regulate the pathological hallmarks of AD-extracellular deposition of β-amyloid (Aβ) and intraneuronal hyperphosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT)-remain to be established. Notably, deficiency for the microglial CX3CR1 receptor has opposing effects on Aβ and MAPT pathologies. CX3CL1, the neuronally derived cognate ligand for CX3CR1, signals both in membrane-anchored and soluble forms. In this study, we sought to determine the relative contribution on membrane-anchored versus soluble CX3CL1 in regulating the microglia-mediated amelioration of Aβ pathology, as well as provide insight into the potential downstream microglial-based mechanisms. As expected, CX3CL1 deficiency reduced Aβ deposition in APPPS1 animals in a similar manner to CX3CR1 deficiency. Surprisingly, however, CX3CL1-deficient APPPS1 animals exhibited enhanced neuronal MAPT phosphorylation despite reduced amyloid burden. Importantly, neither of these phenotypes was altered by transgenic expression of the soluble CX3CL1 isoform, suggesting that it is the membrane-anchored version of CX3CL1 that regulates microglial phagocytosis of Aβ and neuronal MAPT phosphorylation. Analysis of transcript levels in purified microglia isolated from APPPS1 mice with the various CX3CL1/CX3CR1 genotypes revealed increased expression of inflammatory cytokines and phagocytic markers, which was associated with activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and Aβ internalization within microglia. Together, these studies challenge the "frustrated phagocytosis" concept and suggest that neuronal-microglial communication link the two central AD pathologies.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 09/2014; 34(37):12538-46. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0853-14.2014 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    Cristina Limatola, Richard M Ransohoff
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    ABSTRACT: Since the initial cloning of fractalkine/CX3CL1, it was proposed that the only known member of the CX3C or δ subfamily of chemotactic cytokines could play some significant role in the nervous system, due to its high expression on neurons. The pivotal description of the localization of the unique CX3CL1 receptor, CX3CR1, on microglial cells, firmed up by the generation of cx3cr1(GFP/GFP) mice, opened the road to the hypothesis of some specific key interactions between microglia and neurons mediated by this pair. This expectation has been indeed supported by recent exciting evidence indicating that CX3CL1-mediated microglia-neuron interaction modulates basic physiological activities during development, adulthood and aging, including: synaptic pruning; promoting survival of neurons and neural precursors; modulating synaptic transmission and plasticity; enhancing synapse and network maturation; and facilitating the establishment of neuropathic pain circuits. Beyond playing such fascinating roles in physiological conditions, CX3CL1 signaling has been implicated in different neuropathologies. Early papers demonstrated that the levels of CX3CL1 may be modulated by various toxic stimuli in vitro and that CX3CL1 signaling is positively or negatively regulated in EAE and MS, in HIV infection and LPS challenge, in epilepsy, in brain tumors, and in other neuropathologies. In this review we focus on the experimental evidence of CX3CL1 involvement in neuroprotection and survey the common molecular and cellular mechanisms described in different brain diseases.
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 08/2014; 8:229. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2014.00229 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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    Richard M Ransohoff
    08/2014; 1(2):e23. DOI:10.1212/NXI.0000000000000023
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    ABSTRACT: Leukocyte transendothelial migration (TEM; diapedesis) is a critical event in immune surveillance and inflammation. Most TEM occurs at endothelial cell borders (paracellular). However, there is indirect evidence to suggest that, at the tight junctions of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), leukocytes migrate directly through the endothelial cell body (transcellular). Why leukocytes migrate through the endothelial cell body rather than the cell borders is unknown. To test the hypothesis that the tightness of endothelial cell junctions influences the pathway of diapedesis, we developed an in vitro model of the BBB that possessed 10-fold higher electrical resistance than standard culture conditions and strongly expressed the BBB tight junction proteins claudin-5 and claudin-3. We found that paracellular TEM was still the predominant pathway (≥98%) and TEM was dependent on PECAM-1 and CD99. We show that endothelial tight junctions expressing claudin-5 are dynamic and undergo rapid remodeling during TEM. Membrane from the endothelial lateral border recycling compartment is mobilized to the exact site of tight junction remodeling. This preserves the endothelial barrier by sealing the intercellular gaps with membrane and engaging the migrating leukocyte with unligated adhesion molecules (PECAM-1 and CD99) as it crosses the cell border. These findings provide new insights into leukocyte-endothelial interactions at the BBB and suggest that tight junctions are more dynamic than previously appreciated.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2014; 193(5). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1400700 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the human disorder multiple sclerosis (MS) and in the model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), macrophages predominate in demyelinated areas and their numbers correlate to tissue damage. Macrophages may be derived from infiltrating monocytes or resident microglia, yet are indistinguishable by light microscopy and surface phenotype. It is axiomatic that T cell-mediated macrophage activation is critical for inflammatory demyelination in EAE, yet the precise details by which tissue injury takes place remain poorly understood. In the present study, we addressed the cellular basis of autoimmune demyelination by discriminating microglial versus monocyte origins of effector macrophages. Using serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBF-SEM), we show that monocyte-derived macrophages associate with nodes of Ranvier and initiate demyelination, whereas microglia appear to clear debris. Gene expression profiles confirm that monocyte-derived macrophages are highly phagocytic and inflammatory, whereas those arising from microglia demonstrate an unexpected signature of globally suppressed cellular metabolism at disease onset. Distinguishing tissue-resident macrophages from infiltrating monocytes will point toward new strategies to treat disease and promote repair in diverse inflammatory pathologies in varied organs.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 07/2014; 211(8). DOI:10.1084/jem.20132477 · 13.91 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

25k Citations
3,202.50 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • Biogen Idec
      Уэстон, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1998–2015
    • Lerner Research Institute
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 1994–2014
    • Case Western Reserve University
      • Department of Molecular Medicine
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 1989–2014
    • Cleveland Clinic
      • • Department of Immunology
      • • Department of Neurosciences
      • • Department of Pathobiology
      • • Department of Neuroradiology
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
    • Cleveland Medical Devices Inc.
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
    • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
      • Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 2013
    • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
      Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
  • 2010–2013
    • Barrow Neurological Institute
      • Department of Neurology
      Phoenix, Arizona, United States
    • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
      • Cedars Sinai Medical Center
      Los Ángeles, California, United States
  • 2012
    • Osaka University
      • Experimental Immunology Group
      Ibaraki, Osaka-fu, Japan
  • 2011
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      • Department of Neurology
      Rochester, MN, United States
  • 2008–2010
    • University of Southern California
      • Department of Pathology
      Los Angeles, California, United States
    • Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada
      Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • 2009
    • Rowe Neuroscience Institute
      Lenexa, Kansas, United States
  • 2006
    • Concordia University–Ann Arbor
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
    • Brown University
      • Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
      Providence, Rhode Island, United States
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Division of Hospital Medicine
      San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 2005
    • University of California, Berkeley
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 1997–2005
    • University of Lodz
      • Department of Neurobiology
      Łódź, Łódź Voivodeship, Poland
  • 2000–2003
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Neurology
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2002
    • The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
      Maryland, United States
  • 1999
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1996–1997
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      • Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology (CDIB)
      Birmingham, AL, United States
    • Haukeland University Hospital
      Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
    • Bristol-Myers Squibb
      • Department of Experimental Pathology
      New York, New York, United States