A human microglia-like cellular model for assessing the effects of neurodegenerative disease gene variants.
Microglia are emerging as a key cell type in neurodegenerative diseases, yet human microglia are challenging to study in vitro. We developed an in vitro cell model system composed of human monocyte-derived microglia-like (MDMi) cells that recapitulated key aspects of microglia phenotype and function. We then used this model system to perform an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) study examining 94 genes from loci associated with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. We found six loci (, , , , , and ) in which the risk haplotype drives the association with both disease susceptibility and altered expression of a nearby gene (cis-eQTL). In the and loci, the cis-eQTL was found in the MDMi cells but not in human peripheral blood monocytes, suggesting that differentiation of monocytes into microglia-like cells led to the acquisition of a cellular state that could reveal the functional consequences of certain genetic variants. We further validated the effect of risk haplotypes at the protein level for and , and we confirmed that the risk haplotype altered phagocytosis by the MDMi cells. We propose that increased gene expression by MDMi cells could be a functional outcome of , a single-nucleotide polymorphism in the locus that is associated with Parkinson's disease.
|Year of Publication
Sci Transl Med
2017 Dec 20
|PubMed Central ID
R56 NS089674 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
RF1 AG015819 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG043617 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG048015 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS089674 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States