Atlas of genetic effects in human microglia transcriptome across brain regions, aging and disease pathologies
Katia de Paiva Lopes,
Gijsje J. L. Snijders,
Brian M. Schilder,
Ricardo A. Vialle,
Welmoed van Zuiden,
Amber Berdenis van Berlekom,
Rene S Kahn,
Lot D. de Witte,
Posted 28 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.27.356113
Posted 28 Oct 2020
Microglial cells have emerged as potential key players in brain aging and pathology. To capture the heterogeneity of microglia across ages and regions, and to understand how genetic risk for neurological and psychiatric brain disorders is related to microglial function, large transcriptome studies are essential. Here, we describe the transcriptome analysis of 255 primary human microglia samples isolated at autopsy from multiple brain regions of 100 human subjects. We performed systematic analyses to investigate various aspects of microglial heterogeneities, including brain region, age and sex. We mapped expression and splicing quantitative trait loci and showed that many neurological disease susceptibility loci are mediated through gene expression or splicing in microglia. Fine-mapping of these loci nominated candidate causal variants that are within microglia-specific enhancers, including novel associations with microglia expression of USP6NL for Alzheimer′s disease, and P2RY12 for Parkinson′s disease. In summary, we have built the most comprehensive catalog to date of genetic effects on the microglia transcriptome and propose molecular mechanisms of action of candidate functional variants in several neurological and psychiatric diseases. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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