Fate mapping via CCR2-CreER mice reveals monocyte-to-microglia transition in development and neonatal stroke.
ABSTRACT: Whether monocytes contribute to the brain microglial pool in development or after brain injury remains contentious. To address this issue, we generated CCR2-CreER mice to track monocyte derivatives in a tamoxifen-inducible manner. This method labeled Ly6Chi and Ly6Clo monocytes after tamoxifen dosing and detected a surge of perivascular macrophages before blood-brain barrier breakdown in adult stroke. When dosed by tamoxifen at embryonic day 17 (E17), this method captured fetal hematopoietic cells at E18, subdural Ki67+ ameboid cells at postnatal day 2 (P2), and perivascular microglia, leptomeningeal macrophages, and Iba1+Tmem119+P2RY12+ parenchymal microglia in selective brain regions at P24. Furthermore, this fate mapping strategy revealed an acute influx of monocytes after neonatal stroke, which gradually transformed into a ramified morphology and expressed microglial marker genes (Sall1, Tmem119, and P2RY12) for at least 62 days after injury. These results suggest an underappreciated level of monocyte-to-microglia transition in development and after neonatal stroke.
Project description:As the resident macrophages of the brain and spinal cord, microglia are crucial for the phagocytosis of infectious agents, apoptotic cells and synapses. During brain injury or infection, bone-marrow derived macrophages invade neural tissue, making it difficult to distinguish between invading macrophages and resident microglia. In addition to circulation-derived monocytes, other non-microglial central nervous system (CNS) macrophage subtypes include border-associated meningeal, perivascular and choroid plexus macrophages. Using immunofluorescent labeling, flow cytometry and Cre-dependent ribosomal immunoprecipitations, we describe P2ry12-CreER, a new tool for the genetic targeting of microglia. We use this new tool to track microglia during embryonic development and in the context of ischemic injury and neuroinflammation. Because of the specificity and robustness of microglial recombination with P2ry12-CreER, we believe that this new mouse line will be particularly useful for future studies of microglial function in development and disease.
Project description:Monocytes/macrophages have begun to emerge as key cellular modulators of brain homeostasis and central nervous system (CNS) disease. In the healthy brain, resident microglia are the predominant macrophage cell population; however, under conditions of blood-brain barrier leakage, peripheral monocytes/macrophages can infiltrate the brain and participate in CNS disease pathogenesis. Distinguishing these two populations is often challenging, owing to a paucity of universally accepted and reliable markers. To identify discriminatory marker sets for microglia and peripheral monocytes/macrophages, we employed a large meta-analytic approach using five published murine transcriptional datasets. Following hierarchical clustering, we filtered the top differentially expressed genes (DEGs) through a brain cell type-specific sequencing database, which led to the identification of eight microglia and eight peripheral monocyte/macrophage markers. We then validated their differential expression, leveraging a published single cell RNA sequencing dataset and quantitative RT-PCR using freshly isolated microglia and peripheral monocytes/macrophages from two different mouse strains. We further verified the translation of these DEGs at the protein level. As top microglia DEGs, we identified P2ry12, Tmem119, Slc2a5 and Fcrls, whereas Emilin2, Gda, Hp and Sell emerged as the best DEGs for identifying peripheral monocytes/macrophages. Lastly, we evaluated their utility in discriminating monocyte/macrophage populations in the setting of brain pathology (glioma), and found that these DEG sets distinguished glioma-associated microglia from macrophages in both RCAS and GL261 mouse models of glioblastoma. Taken together, this unbiased bioinformatic approach facilitated the discovery of a robust set of microglia and peripheral monocyte/macrophage expression markers to discriminate these monocyte populations in both health and disease.
Project description:<b>Background:</b>The ability to distinguish resident microglia from infiltrating myeloid cells by flow cytometry-based surface phenotyping is an important technique for examining age-related neuroinflammation. The most commonly used surface markers for the identification of microglia include CD45 (low-intermediate expression), CD11b, Tmem119, and P2RY12.<br><br><b>Methods:</b>In this study, we examined changes in expression levels of these putative microglia markers in in vivo animal models of stroke, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), and aging as well as in an ex vivo LPS-induced inflammation model.<br><br><b>Results:</b>We demonstrate that Tmem119 and P2RY12 expression is evident within both CD45<sup>int</sup> and CD45<sup>high</sup> myeloid populations in models of stroke, CAA, and aging. Interestingly, LPS stimulation of FACS-sorted adult microglia suggested that these brain-resident myeloid cells can upregulate CD45 and downregulate Tmem119 and P2RY12, making them indistinguishable from peripherally derived myeloid populations. Importantly, our findings show that these changes in the molecular signatures of microglia can occur without a contribution from the other brain-resident or peripherally sourced immune cells.<br><br><b>Conclusion:</b>We recommend future studies approach microglia identification by flow cytometry with caution, particularly in the absence of the use of a combination of markers validated for the specific neuroinflammation model of interest. The subpopulation of resident microglia residing within the "infiltrating myeloid" population, albeit small, may be functionally important in maintaining immune vigilance in the brain thus should not be overlooked in neuroimmunological studies.
Project description:Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common cause of acquired neurological disability in young adults, pathologically characterized by leukocyte infiltration of the central nervous system, demyelination of the white and grey matter, and subsequent axonal loss. Microglia are proposed to play a role in MS lesion formation, however previous literature has not been able to distinguish infiltrated macrophages from microglia. Therefore, in this study we utilize the microglia-specific, homeostatic markers TMEM119 and P2RY12 to characterize their immunoreactivity in MS grey matter lesions in comparison to white matter lesions. Furthermore, we assessed the immunological status of the white and grey matter lesions, as well as the responsivity of human white and grey matter derived microglia to inflammatory mediators. We are the first to show that white and grey matter lesions in post-mortem human material differ in their immunoreactivity for the homeostatic microglia-specific markers TMEM119 and P2RY12. In particular, whereas immunoreactivity for TMEM119 and P2RY12 is decreased in the center of WMLs, immunoreactivity for both markers is not altered in GMLs. Based on data from post-mortem human microglia cultures, treated with IL-4 or IFN?+LPS and on counts of CD3+ or CD20+ lymphocytes in lesions, we show that downregulation of TMEM119 and P2RY12 immunoreactivity in MS lesions corresponds with the presence of lymphocytes and lymphocyte-derived cytokines within the parenchyma but not in the meninges. Furthermore, the presence of TMEM119+ and partly P2RY12+ microglia in pre-active lesions as well as in the rim of active white and grey matter lesions, in addition to TMEM119+ and P2RY12+ rod-like microglia in subpial grey matter lesions suggest that blocking the entrance of lymphocytes into the CNS of MS patients may not interfere with all possible effects of TMEM119+ and P2RY12+ microglia in both white and grey matter MS lesions.
Project description:To investigate miR-155 in the SOD1 mouse model and human sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).NanoString microRNA, microglia and immune gene profiles, protein mass spectrometry, and RNA-seq analyses were measured in spinal cord microglia, splenic monocytes, and spinal cord tissue from SOD1 mice and in spinal cord tissue of familial and sporadic ALS. miR-155 was targeted by genetic ablation or by peripheral or centrally administered anti-miR-155 inhibitor in SOD1 mice.In SOD1 mice, we found loss of the molecular signature that characterizes homeostatic microglia and increased expression of miR-155. There was loss of the microglial molecules P2ry12, Tmem119, Olfml3, transcription factors Egr1, Atf3, Jun, Fos, and Mafb, and the upstream regulators Csf1r, Tgfb1, and Tgfbr1, which are essential for microglial survival. Microglia biological functions were suppressed including phagocytosis. Genetic ablation of miR-155 increased survival in SOD1 mice by 51 days in females and 27 days in males and restored the abnormal microglia and monocyte molecular signatures. Disease severity in SOD1 males was associated with early upregulation of inflammatory genes, including Apoe in microglia. Treatment of adult microglia with apolipoprotein E suppressed the M0-homeostatic unique microglia signature and induced an M1-like phenotype. miR-155 expression was increased in the spinal cord of both familial and sporadic ALS. Dysregulated proteins that we identified in human ALS spinal cord were restored in SOD1(G93A) /miR-155(-/-) mice. Intraventricular anti-miR-155 treatment derepressed microglial miR-155 targeted genes, and peripheral anti-miR-155 treatment prolonged survival.We found overexpression of miR-155 in the SOD1 mouse and in both sporadic and familial human ALS. Targeting miR-155 in SOD1 mice restores dysfunctional microglia and ameliorates disease. These findings identify miR-155 as a therapeutic target for the treatment of ALS.
Project description:Microglia and macrophages accumulate at the sites of active demyelination and neurodegeneration in the multiple sclerosis brain and are thought to play a central role in the disease process. We used recently described markers to characterize the origin and functional states of microglia/macrophages in acute, relapsing and progressive multiple sclerosis. We found microglia activation in normal white matter of controls and that the degree of activation increased with age. This microglia activation was more pronounced in the normal-appearing white matter of patients in comparison to controls and increased with disease duration. In contrast to controls, the normal-appearing white matter of patients with multiple sclerosis showed a significant reduction of P2RY12, a marker expressed in homeostatic microglia in rodents, which was completely lost in active and slowly expanding lesions. Early stages of demyelination and neurodegeneration in active lesions contained microglia with a pro-inflammatory phenotype, which expressed molecules involved in phagocytosis, oxidative injury, antigen presentation and T cell co-stimulation. In later stages, the microglia and macrophages in active lesions changed to a phenotype that was intermediate between pro- and anti-inflammatory activation. In inactive lesions, the density of microglia/macrophages was significantly reduced and microglia in part converted to a P2RY12+ phenotype. Analysis of TMEM119, which is expressed on microglia but not on recruited macrophages, demonstrated that on average 45% of the macrophage-like cells in active lesions were derived from the resident microglia pool. Our study demonstrates the loss of the homeostatic microglial signature in active multiple sclerosis with restoration associated with disease inactivity.
Project description:Inflammatory mechanisms, involving granulocytes, T-cells, B-cells, macrophages and activated microglia, have been suggested to play a pathogenic role in experimental models of stroke and may be targets for therapeutic intervention. However, knowledge on the inflammatory response in human stroke lesions is limited. Here, we performed a quantitative study on the inflammatory reaction in human ischemic infarct lesions. We found increased numbers of T-lymphocytes, mainly CD8+ cells, but not of B-lymphocytes. Their number was very low in comparison to that seen in inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system and they did not show signs of activation. Polymorphonuclear leukocytes were present in meninges and less prominently in the perivascular space in early lesions, but their infiltration into the lesioned tissue was sparse with the exception of a single case. Microglia were lost in the necrotic core of fresh lesions, their number was increased in the surrounding penumbra, apparently due to proliferation. Using TMEM119 as a marker for the resident microglia pool, macrophages in lesions were in part derived from the original microglia pool, depending on the lesion stage. Most microglia and macrophages revealed a pro-inflammatory activation pattern, expressing molecules involved in phagocytosis, oxidative injury, antigen presentation and iron metabolism and had partially lost the expression of P2RY12, an antigen expressed on homeostatic ("resting") microglia in rodents. At later lesion stages, the majority of macrophages showed intermediate activation patterns, expressing pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers. Microglia in the normal white matter of controls and stroke patients were already partly activated toward a pro-inflammatory phenotype. Our data suggest that the direct contribution of lymphocytes and granulocytes to active tissue injury in human ischemic infarct lesions is limited and that stroke therapy that targets pro-inflammatory microglia and macrophage activation may be effective.
Project description:The aim of the present study was a refined analysis of neuroinflammation including TMEM119 as a useful microglia-specific marker in forensic assessments of traumatic causes of death, e.g., traumatic brain injury (TBI). Human brain tissue samples were obtained from autopsies and divided into cases with lethal TBI (n =?25) and subdivided into three groups according to their trauma survival time and compared with an age-, gender-, and postmortem interval-matched cohort of sudden cardiovascular fatalities as controls (n =?23). Brain tissue samples next to cortex contusions and surrounding white matter as well as samples of the ipsilateral uninjured brain stem and cerebellum were collected and stained immunohistochemically with antibodies against TMEM119, CD206, and CCR2. We could document the highest number of TMEM119-positive cells in acute TBI death with highly significant differences to the control numbers. CCR2-positive monocytes showed a significantly higher cell count in the cortex samples of TBI cases than in the controls with an increasing number of immunopositive cells over time. The number of CD206-positive M2 microglial cells increased survival time-dependent. After 3 days of survival, the cell number increased significantly in all four regions investigated compared with controls. In sum, we validate a specific and robustly expressed as well as fast reacting microglia marker, TMEM119, which distinguishes microglia from resident and infiltrating macrophages and thus offers a great potential for the estimation of the minimum survival time after TBI.
Project description:Here we report the transcriptional profile of human microglia, isolated from normal-appearing grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) of multiple sclerosis (MS) and non-neurological control donors, to find possible early changes related to MS pathology. Microglia show a clear region-specific profile, indicated by higher expression of type-I interferon genes in GM and higher expression of NF-?B pathway genes in WM. Transcriptional changes in MS microglia also differ between GM and WM. MS WM microglia show increased lipid metabolism gene expression, which relates to MS pathology since active MS lesion-derived microglial nuclei show similar altered gene expression. Microglia from MS GM show increased expression of genes associated with glycolysis and iron homeostasis, possibly reflecting microglia reacting to iron depositions. Except for ADGRG1/GPR56, expression of homeostatic genes, such as P2RY12 and TMEM119, is unaltered in normal-appearing MS tissue, demonstrating overall preservation of microglia homeostatic functions in the initiation phase of MS.
Project description:Differently from other myeloid cells, microglia derive exclusively from precursors originating within the yolk sac and migrate to the CNS under development, without any contribution from fetal liver or postnatal hematopoiesis. Consistent with their unique ontology, microglia may express specific physiological markers, which have been partly described in recent years. Here we wondered whether profiles distinguishing microglia from peripheral macrophages vary with age and under pathology. To this goal, we profiled transcriptomes of microglia throughout the lifespan and included a parallel comparison with peripheral macrophages under physiological and neuroinflammatory settings using age- and sex-matched wild-type and bone marrow chimera mouse models. This comprehensive approach demonstrated that the phenotypic differentiation between microglia and peripheral macrophages is age-dependent and that peripheral macrophages do express some of the most commonly described microglia-specific markers early during development, such as Fcrls, P2ry12, Tmem119, and Trem2. Further, during chronic neuroinflammation CNS-infiltrating macrophages and not peripheral myeloid cells acquire microglial markers, indicating that the CNS niche may instruct peripheral myeloid cells to gain the phenotype and, presumably, the function of the microglia cell. In conclusion, our data provide further evidence about the plasticity of the myeloid cell and suggest caution in the strict definition and application of microglia-specific markers.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding the respective role of microglia and infiltrating monocytes in neuroinflammatory conditions has recently seemed possible by the identification of a specific microglia signature. Here instead we provide evidence that peripheral macrophages may express some of the most commonly described microglia markers at some developmental stages or pathological conditions, in particular during chronic neuroinflammation. Further, our data support the hypothesis about phenotypic plasticity and convergence among distinct myeloid cells so that they may act as a functional unit rather than as different entities, boosting their mutual functions in different phases of disease. This holds relevant implications in the view of the growing use of myeloid cell therapies to treat brain disease in humans.