Human data suggest susceptibility and resilience to features of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) such as microglia activation and synaptic dysfunction are under genetic control. However, causal relationships between these processes, and how genomic diversity modulates them remain systemically underexplored in mouse models.
AD-vulnerable hippocampal neurons were virally labeled in inbred (C57BL/6J) and wild-derived (PWK/PhJ) APP/PS1 and wild-type mice, and brain microglia depleted from 4 to 8 months of age. Dendrites were assessed for synapse plasticity changes by evaluating spine densities and morphologies.
In C57BL/6J, microglia depletion blocked amyloid-induced synaptic density and morphology changes. At a finer scale, synaptic morphology on individual branches was dependent on microglia–dendrite physical interactions. Conversely, synapses from PWK/PhJ mice showed remarkable stability in response to amyloid, and no evidence of microglia contact-dependent changes on dendrites.
These results demonstrate that microglia-dependent synaptic alterations in specific AD-vulnerable projection pathways are differentially controlled by genetic context.
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This post is Copyright: Sarah E. Heuer,
Kelly J. Keezer,
Amanda A. Hewes,
Kristen D. Onos,
Kourtney C. Graham,
Gareth R. Howell,
Erik B. Bloss | September 27, 2023