Nature Neuroscience publication on microglia.

17 July 2017

On the 3th of July Prof. dr. Bart Eggen and colleagues published a paper in Nature Neuroscience with the title Transcriptomic analysis of purified human cortical microglia reveals age-associated changes.

During embryonic development, microglia are involved in neural development; in adults, microglia are the resident tissue macrophages of the central nervous system important for tissue homeostasis. Microglia dysfunction is increasingly implicated in CNS pathologies, including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and neurodevelopmental disorders.

To date, only mouse microglia gene expression profiles were available. In this study, human microglia were isolated from post mortem human brain tissue (39 samples) and their expression profiles were generated. The key findings are that microglia of mice and humans are very similar, and that these cells share many biological properties. However, the effect of aging on microglia gene expression is very different between mice and men. The overlap in age-associated changes in gene expression between mouse and human microglia is negligible. This is a remarkable research result that underlines the importance of human tissue research in addition to animal material.

The human microglia gene expression data are accessible through GEO (GSE99074) and will be available shortly on, the paper itself is open access during the month of July on the Nature Neuroscience website.





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