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Current Alzheimer Research


ISSN (Print): 1567-2050
ISSN (Online): 1875-5828

Review Article

Microglia and its Genetics in Alzheimer's Disease

Author(s): Xinyan Liang , Haijian Wu, Mark Colt , Xinying Guo, Brock Pluimer , Jianxiong Zeng, Shupeng Dong and Zhen Zhao*

Volume 18, Issue 9, 2021

Published on: 05 November, 2021

Page: [676 - 688] Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/1567205018666211105140732

open access plus


Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia across the world. While its discovery and pathological manifestations are centered on protein aggregations of amyloid- beta (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau protein, neuroinflammation has emerged in the last decade as a main component of the disease in terms of both pathogenesis and progression. As the main innate immune cell type in the central nervous system (CNS), microglia play a very important role in regulating neuroinflammation, which occurs commonly in neurodegenerative conditions, including AD. Under inflammatory response, microglia undergo morphological changes and status transition from homeostatic to activated forms. Different microglia subtypes displaying distinct genetic profiles have been identified in AD, and these signatures often link to AD risk genes identified from the genome-wide association studies (GWAS), such as APOE and TREM2. Furthermore, many AD risk genes are highly enriched in microglia and specifically influence the functions of microglia in pathogenesis, e.g. releasing inflammatory cytokines and clearing Aβ. Therefore, building up a landscape of these risk genes in microglia, based on current preclinical studies and in the context of their pathogenic or protective effects, would largely help us to understand the complex etiology of AD and provide new insight into the unmet need for effective treatment.

Keywords: Alzheimer's Disease, microglia, neuroinflammation, AD risk genes, APOE, GWAS.

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