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Cross-Species Single-Cell Analysis Reveals Divergence of the Primate Microglia Program


Geirsdottir, Laufey; David, Eyal; Keren-Shaul, Hadas; et al; Peri, Francesca (2019). Cross-Species Single-Cell Analysis Reveals Divergence of the Primate Microglia Program. Cell, 179(7):1609-1622.e16.

Abstract

Microglia, the brain-resident immune cells, are critically involved in many physiological and pathological brain processes, including neurodegeneration. Here we characterize microglia morphology and transcriptional programs across ten species spanning more than 450 million years of evolution. We find that microglia express a conserved core gene program of orthologous genes from rodents to humans, including ligands and receptors associated with interactions between glia and neurons. In most species, microglia show a single dominant transcriptional state, whereas human microglia display significant heterogeneity. In addition, we observed notable differences in several gene modules of rodents compared with primate microglia, including complement, phagocytic, and susceptibility genes to neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Our study provides an essential resource of conserved and divergent microglia pathways across evolution, with important implications for future development of microglia-based therapies in humans.

Abstract

Microglia, the brain-resident immune cells, are critically involved in many physiological and pathological brain processes, including neurodegeneration. Here we characterize microglia morphology and transcriptional programs across ten species spanning more than 450 million years of evolution. We find that microglia express a conserved core gene program of orthologous genes from rodents to humans, including ligands and receptors associated with interactions between glia and neurons. In most species, microglia show a single dominant transcriptional state, whereas human microglia display significant heterogeneity. In addition, we observed notable differences in several gene modules of rodents compared with primate microglia, including complement, phagocytic, and susceptibility genes to neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Our study provides an essential resource of conserved and divergent microglia pathways across evolution, with important implications for future development of microglia-based therapies in humans.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Language:English
Date:1 December 2019
Deposited On:07 Feb 2020 15:15
Last Modified:07 Feb 2020 15:16
Publisher:Cell Press (Elsevier)
ISSN:0092-8674
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.11.010

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