TREM2 Alzheimer’s variant R47H causes similar transcriptional dysregulation to knockout, yet only subtle functional phenotypes in human iPSC-derived macrophages
ABSTRACT: Background TREM2 is a microglial cell surface receptor, with risk mutations linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), including R47H. TREM2 signalling via SYK aids phagocytosis, chemotaxis, survival, and changes to microglial activation state. In AD mouse models, knockout (KO) of TREM2 impairs microglial clustering around amyloid and prevents microglial activation. The R47H mutation is proposed to reduce TREM2 ligand binding. We investigated cell phenotypes of the R47H mutant and TREM2 KO in a model of human microglia, and compared their transcriptional signatures, to determine the mechanism by which R47H TREM2 disrupts function. Methods We generated human microglia-like iPSC-macrophages (pMac) from isogenic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines, with homozygous R47H mutation or TREM2 knockout (KO). We firstly validated the effect of the R47H mutant on TREM2 surface and subcellular localization in pMac. To assess microglial phenotypic function, we measured phagocytosis of dead neurons, cell morphology, directed migration, survival, and LPS-induced inflammation. We performed bulk RNA-seq, comparing significant differentially expressed genes (DEGs; p?
Project description:The R47H variant in the microglial triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cell 2 (TREM2) receptor is a strong risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). To characterize processes affected by R47H, we performed an integrative network analysis of genes expressed in brains of AD patients with R47H, sporadic AD without the variant, and patients with polycystic lipomembranous osteodysplasia with sclerosing leukoencephalopathy (PLOSL), systemic disease with early-onset dementia caused by loss-of-function mutations in TREM2 or its adaptor TYRO protein tyrosine kinase-binding protein (TYROBP). Although sporadic AD had few perturbed microglial and immune genes, TREM2 R47H AD demonstrated upregulation of interferon type I response and pro-inflammatory cytokines accompanied by induction of NKG2D stress ligands. In contrast, PLOSL had distinct sets of highly perturbed immune and microglial genes that included inflammatory mediators, immune signaling, cell adhesion, and phagocytosis. TREM2 knockout (KO) in THP1, a human myeloid cell line that constitutively expresses the TREM2- TYROBP receptor, inhibited response to the viral RNA mimetic poly(I:C) and phagocytosis of amyloid-beta oligomers; overexpression of ectopic TREM2 restored these functions. Compared with wild-type protein, R47H TREM2 had a higher stimulatory effect on the interferon type I response signature. Our findings point to a role of the TREM2 receptor in the control of the interferon type I response in myeloid cells and provide insight regarding the contribution of R47H TREM2 to AD pathology.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes late-onset dementia. The R47H variant of the microglial receptor TREM2 triples AD risk in genome-wide association studies. In mouse AD models, TREM2-deficient microglia fail to proliferate and cluster around the amyloid-? plaques characteristic of AD. In vitro, the common variant (CV) of TREM2 binds anionic lipids, whereas R47H mutation impairs binding. However, in vivo, the identity of TREM2 ligands and effect of the R47H variant remain unknown. We generated transgenic mice expressing human CV or R47H TREM2 and lacking endogenous TREM2 in the 5XFAD AD model. Only the CV transgene restored amyloid-?-induced microgliosis and microglial activation, indicating that R47H impairs TREM2 function in vivo. Remarkably, soluble TREM2 was found on neurons and plaques in CV- but not R47H-expressing 5XFAD brains, although in vitro CV and R47H were shed similarly via Adam17 proteolytic activity. These results demonstrate that TREM2 interacts with neurons and plaques duing amyloid-? accumulation and R47H impairs this interaction.
Project description:Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) is a microglial surface receptor that triggers intracellular protein tyrosine phosphorylation. Recent genome-wide association studies have shown that a rare R47H mutation of TREM2 correlates with a substantial increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). To address the basis for this genetic association, we studied TREM2 deficiency in the 5XFAD mouse model of AD. We found that TREM2 deficiency and haploinsufficiency augment ?-amyloid (A?) accumulation due to a dysfunctional response of microglia, which fail to cluster around A? plaques and become apoptotic. We further demonstrate that TREM2 senses a broad array of anionic and zwitterionic lipids known to associate with fibrillar A? in lipid membranes and to be exposed on the surface of damaged neurons. Remarkably, the R47H mutation impairs TREM2 detection of lipid ligands. Thus, TREM2 detects damage-associated lipid patterns associated with neurodegeneration, sustaining the microglial response to A? accumulation.
Project description:Loss-of-function genetic variants of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) are linked with an enhanced risk of developing dementias. Microglia, the resident immune cell of the brain, express TREM2, and microglial responses are implicated in dementia pathways. In a normal surveillance state, microglia use oxidative phosphorylation for their energy supply, but rely on the ability to undergo a metabolic switch to glycolysis to allow them to perform rapid plastic responses. We investigated the role of TREM2 on the microglial metabolic function in human patient iPSC-derived microglia expressing loss of function variants in TREM2. We show that these TREM2 variant iPSC-microglia, including the Alzheimer's disease R47H risk variant, exhibit significant metabolic deficits including a reduced mitochondrial respiratory capacity and an inability to perform a glycolytic immunometabolic switch. We determined that dysregulated PPAR?/p38MAPK signaling underlies the observed phenotypic deficits in TREM2 variants and that activation of these pathways can ameliorate the metabolic deficit in these cells and consequently rescue critical microglial cellular function such as ?-Amyloid phagocytosis. These findings have ramifications for microglial focussed-treatments in AD.
Project description:The hemizygous R47H variant of TREM2, a microglia-specific gene in the brain, increases risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Using transcriptomic analysis at the single-nuclei level from brain tissue of AD patients with the R47H mutation or the common variant (CV)-TREM2, we found that R47H-associated microglial subpopulations had enhanced inflammatory signatures reminiscent of previously-identified disease-associated microglia (DAM) and hyperactivation of AKT, one of the signaling pathways downstream of TREM2. We established a tauopathy mouse model with heterozygous knock-in of the human TREM2 with R47H mutation or CV, and found that R47H induced and exacerbated tau-mediated spatial memory deficits in female mice. Single-cell transcriptomic analysis of microglia from these mice also revealed transcriptomic changes induced by R47H that had significant overlaps with R47H microglia in human AD brains, including robust increases in proinflammatory cytokines, activation of Akt signaling, and elevation of a subset of disease-associated microglial signatures. Pharmacological Akt inhibition with MK-2206 largely reversed the enhanced inflammatory signatures in primary R47H microglia treated with tau fibrils. Strikingly, in R47H heterozygous tauopathy mice, MK-2206 treatment abolished a tauopathy-dependent microglial subcluster, and rescued tauopathy-induced synapse loss. By uncovering disease-enhancing mechanisms of the R47H mutation conserved in human and mouse, our study supports inhibitors of AKT signaling as a novel microglial modulating strategy to treat AD. Overall design: Bulk RNA sequencing of hippocampal tissue from female and male Trem2+/+;PS19, R47H-TREM2/+;PS19, and WT-TREM2/+;PS19 mice.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Down syndrome (DS; trisomy 21) individuals have a spectrum of hematopoietic and neuronal dysfunctions and by the time they reach the age of 40 years, almost all develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology which includes senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Inflammation and innate immunity are key players in AD and DS. Triggering receptor expressed in myeloid cells-2 (TREM2) variants have been identified as risk factors for AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. OBJECTIVE:To investigate the effects of TREM2 and the AD-associated R47H mutation on brain pathology and hematopoietic state in AD and DS. METHODS:We analyzed peripheral blood, bone marrow, and brain tissue from DS, AD, and age-matched control subjects by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. TREM2-related phagocytosis was investigated using a human myeloid cell line. RESULTS:TREM2 protein levels in brain and sera declined with age and disease progression in DS. We observed soluble TREM2 in brain parenchyma that may be carried by a subset of microglia, macrophages, or exosomes. Two DS cases had the AD-associated TREM2-R47H mutation, which manifested a morphologically extreme phenotype of megakaryocytes and erythrocytes in addition to impaired trafficking of TREM2 to the erythroid membrane. TREM2 was shown to be involved in phagocytosis of red blood cells. TREM2 was seen in early and late endosomes. Silencing TREM2 using siRNA in THP1 cells resulted in significant cell death. CONCLUSION:We provide evidence that peripheral TREM2 originating from erythromyeloid cells significantly determines AD neuropathology in DS subjects. Understanding the molecular signaling pathways mediated by TREM2 may reveal novel therapeutic targets.
Project description:The R47H variant in the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 gene (TREM2), a modulator of the immune response of microglia, is a strong genetic risk factor for Alzheimer disease (AD) and possibly other neurodegenerative disorders.To investigate a large family with late-onset AD (LOAD), in which R47H cosegregated with 75% of cases.This study includes genetic and pathologic studies of families with LOAD from 1985 to 2014. A total of 131 families with LOAD (751 individuals) were included from the University of Washington Alzheimer Disease Research Center. To identify LOAD genes/risk factors in the LOAD123 family with 21 affected members and 12 autopsies, we sequenced 4 exomes. Candidate variants were tested for cosegregation with the disease. TREM2 R47H was genotyped in an additional 130 families with LOAD. We performed clinical and neuropathological assessments of patients with and without R47H and evaluated the variant's effect on brain pathology, cellular morphology, and expression of microglial markers.We assessed the effect of TREM2 genotype on age at onset and disease duration. We compared Braak and Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease scores, presence of ?-synuclein and TAR DNA-binding protein 43 aggregates, and additional vascular or Parkinson pathology in TREM2 R47H carriers vs noncarriers. Microglial activation was assessed by quantitative immunohistochemistry and morphometry.Twelve of 16 patients with AD in the LOAD123 family carried R47H. Eleven patients with dementia had apolipoprotein E 4 (ApoE4) and R47H genotypes. We also found a rare missense variant, D353N, in a nominated AD risk gene, unc-5 homolog C (UNC5C), in 5 affected individuals in the LOAD123 family. R47H carriers demonstrated a shortened disease duration (mean [SD], 6.7 [2.8] vs 11.1 [6.6] years; 2-tailed t test; P?=?.04) and more frequent ?-synucleinopathy. The panmicroglial marker ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 was decreased in all AD cases and the decrease was most pronounced in R47H carriers (mean [SD], in the hilus: 0.114 [0.13] for R47H_AD vs 0.574 [0.26] for control individuals; 2-tailed t test; P?=?.005 and vs 0.465 [0.32] for AD; P?=?.02; in frontal cortex gray matter: 0.006 [0.004] for R47H_AD vs 0.016 [0.01] for AD; P?=?.04 and vs 0.033 [0.013] for control individuals; P?<?.001). Major histocompatibility complex class II, a marker of microglial activation, was increased in all patients with AD (AD: 2.5, R47H_AD: 2.7, and control: 1.0; P?<?.01).Our results demonstrate a complex genetic landscape of LOAD, even in a single pedigree with an apparent autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. ApoE4, TREM2 R47H, and rare variants in other genes, such as UNC5C D353N, are likely responsible for the notable occurrence of AD in this family. Our findings support the role of the TREM2 receptor in microglial clearance of aggregation-prone proteins that is compromised in R47H carriers and may accelerate the course of disease.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-2 (TREM2) is a microglial surface receptor involved in phagocytosis. Clearance of apoptotic debris after stroke represents an important mechanism to re-attain tissue homeostasis and thereby ensure functional recovery. The role of TREM2 following stroke is currently unclear.<h4>Methods and results</h4>As an experimental stroke model, the middle cerebral artery of mice was occluded for 30 minutes with a range of reperfusion times (duration of reperfusion: 6 h/12 h/24 h/2 d/7 d/28 d). Quantitative PCR (qPCR) revealed a greatly increased transcription of TREM2 after stroke. We subsequently analyzed the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and their receptors in TREM2-knockout (TREM2-KO) mice via qPCR. Microglial activation (CD68, Iba1) and CD3-positive T-cell invasion were analyzed via qPCR and immunohistochemistry. Functional consequences of TREM2 knockout were assessed by infarct volumetry. The acute inflammatory response (12 h reperfusion) was very similar between TREM2-KO mice and their littermate controls. However, in the sub-acute phase (7 d reperfusion) following stroke, TREM2-KO mice showed a decreased transcription of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF?, IL-1? and IL-1?, associated with a reduced microglial activity (CD68, Iba1). Furthermore, TREM2-KO mice showed a reduced transcription of chemokines CCL2 (MCP1), CCL3 (MIP1?) and the chemokine receptor CX3CR1, followed by a diminished invasion of CD3-positive T-cells. No effect on the lesion size was observed.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Although we initially expected an exaggerated pro-inflammatory response following ablation of TREM2, our data support a contradictory scenario that the sub-acute inflammatory reaction after stroke is attenuated in TREM2-KO mice. We therefore conclude that TREM2 appears to sustain a distinct inflammatory response after stroke.
Project description:The hemizygous R47H variant of TREM2, a microglia-specific gene in the brain, increases risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To understand its pathogenicity, we generated knock-in mice in which mouse Trem2 was replaced with wild-type or R47H human TREM2. One allele of R47H-hTREM2 was sufficient to induce cognitive deficits and alter synaptic transmission. In knock-in mice with tau inclusions, R47HhTREM2 exacerbated spatial learning and memory deficits only in female mice. Bulk and single-nuclei RNA-sequencing of hippocampal tissue from female tauopathy mice revealed R47H-induced upregulation of cytokine signaling and microglial clusters with unique R47H-associated signatures. Single-nuclei RNA-sequencing of cortex from AD patients with and without R47H-TREM2 established transcriptomic changes in glial populations that correlated significantly with those observed in the R47H tauopathy mouse model. By unraveling disease-enhancing properties of the R47H mutation, our findings provide new directions for developing potential AD therapies. Overall design: FACS and plate-based single cell RNA Smart-seq2 sequencing of microglia from tauopathy P301S and non transgenic control female mouse hippocampus with TREM2-R47H mutation and their age-matched mouse controls
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by plaques containing amyloid-? (A?) and neurofibrillary tangles composed of aggregated, hyperphosphorylated tau. Beyond tau and A?, evidence suggests that microglia play an important role in AD pathogenesis. Rare variants in the microglia-expressed triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) gene increase AD risk 2- to 4-fold. It is likely that these TREM2 variants increase AD risk by decreasing the response of microglia to A? and its local toxicity. However, neocortical A? pathology occurs many years before neocortical tau pathology in AD. Thus, it will be important to understand the role of TREM2 in the context of tauopathy. We investigated the impact of the AD-associated TREM2 variant (R47H) on tau-mediated neuropathology in the PS19 mouse model of tauopathy. We assessed PS19 mice expressing human TREM2CV (common variant) or human TREM2R47H. PS19-TREM2R47H mice had significantly attenuated brain atrophy and synapse loss versus PS19-TREM2CV mice. Gene expression analyses and CD68 immunostaining revealed attenuated microglial reactivity in PS19-TREM2R47H versus PS19-TREM2CV mice. There was also a decrease in phagocytosis of postsynaptic elements by microglia expressing TREM2R47H in the PS19 mice and in human AD brains. These findings suggest that impaired TREM2 signaling reduces microglia-mediated neurodegeneration in the setting of tauopathy.