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Modest changes in Spi1 dosage reveal the potential for altered microglial function as seen in Alzheimer's disease

Jones, Ruth E., Andrews, Robert, Holmans, Peter, Hill, Matthew and Taylor, Philip R. 2021. Modest changes in Spi1 dosage reveal the potential for altered microglial function as seen in Alzheimer's disease. Scientific Reports 11 (1) , 14935. 10.1038/s41598-021-94324-z

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Genetic association studies have identified multiple variants at the SPI1 locus that modify risk and age of onset for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Reports linking risk variants to gene expression suggest that variants denoting higher SPI1 expression are likely to have an earlier AD onset, and several other AD risk genes contain PU.1 binding sites in the promoter region. Overall, this suggests the level of SPI1 may alter microglial phenotype potentially impacting AD. This study determined how the microglial transcriptome was altered following modest changes to Spi1 expression in primary mouse microglia. RNA-sequencing was performed on microglia with reduced or increased Spi1/PU.1 expression to provide an unbiased approach to determine transcriptomic changes affected by Spi1. In summary, a reduction in microglial Spi1 resulted in the dysregulation of transcripts encoding proteins involved in DNA replication pathways while an increased Spi1 results in an upregulation of genes associated with immune response pathways. Additionally, a subset of 194 Spi1 dose-sensitive genes was identified and pathway analysis suggests that several innate immune and interferon response pathways are impacted by the concentration of Spi1. Together these results suggest Spi1 levels can alter the microglial transcriptome and suggests interferon pathways may be altered in individuals with AD related Spi1 risk SNPs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2045-2322
Funders: MRC, Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 August 2021
Date of Acceptance: 7 July 2021
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2022 07:43

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