Pluto Bioinformatics

GSE111972: Transcriptional profiling of human microglia reveals grey-white matter heterogeneity and multiple sclerosis-associated changes

Bulk RNA sequencing

Microglia are brain-resident, myelin-phagocytosing cells, yet their role in lesion initiation in grey and white matter regions in multiple sclerosis (MS) is unclear. We isolated primary microglia from both, occipital cortex and corpus callosum, of 10 MS and 11 control donors and studied their transcriptional profile by RNA sequencing, thereby identifying regional and MS-associated changes. Identification of pathways underlying regional differences showed a relatively increased type I interferon response in cortical grey matter microglia, while white matter microglia more highly expressed NF-B pathway genes. In normal-appearing white matter MS tissue, lipid metabolism genes were increased, suggesting processing of myelin by microglia already in areas seemingly devoid of MS pathology. Normal-appearing grey matter MS microglia showed increased activation of glycolysis and metal ion homeostasis, possibly reflecting microglia reacting to iron depositions. Notably, expression of genes associated with microglia homeostasis were hardly changed, suggesting that subtle regional changes in MS-associated microglia do not yet affect their resting state. SOURCE: Joachim Schultze ( - LIMES (Life and Medical Sciences Center Genomics and Immunoregulation)

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