Microglia Proliferation

Project details

Under neurodegenerative conditions, chronically activated microglia show enhanced proliferation and cell death together leading to an accelerated turnover of the microglial cell pool. We hypothesized that new-born microglia will find themselves in a neuroinflammatory and degenerating environment, as in the beta-amyloid (Aβ)-and tau-laden Alzheimer’s (AD) brain, and will unlikely adopt the phenotype of homeostatic microglia that initially populated the brain under healthy conditions. These new subpopulations of microglia are likely to contribute to the transition from acute to chronic neuroinflammation. Our aim is to assess the functional and transcriptional changes of proliferating microglia in a context of AD.

Our results pointed out key genes involved in the phenotype and function of proliferating microglia in AD. We will further analyze these key gene and whether they might serve as targets for new therapeutic approaches, not only in AD but also in other CNS disorders harboring a chronic inflammatory component, as microglia proliferation is a recurrent event in both acute injuries and neurodegeneration.

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Michael Heneka Lab

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