Publications by authors named "Anika Reifschneider"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Opposite microglial activation stages upon loss of PGRN or TREM2 result in reduced cerebral glucose metabolism.

EMBO Mol Med 2019 06;11(6)

Chair of Metabolic Biochemistry, Biomedical Center (BMC), Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany

Microglia adopt numerous fates with homeostatic microglia (HM) and a microglial neurodegenerative phenotype (MGnD) representing two opposite ends. A number of variants in genes selectively expressed in microglia are associated with an increased risk for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Among these genes are progranulin () and the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (). Both cause neurodegeneration by mechanisms involving loss of function. We have now isolated microglia from mice and compared their transcriptomes to those of Surprisingly, while loss of enhances the expression of genes associated with a homeostatic state, microglia derived from mice showed a reciprocal activation of the MGnD molecular signature and suppression of gene characteristic for HM The opposite mRNA expression profiles are associated with divergent functional phenotypes. Although loss of TREM2 and progranulin resulted in opposite activation states and functional phenotypes of microglia, FDG (fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose)-μPET of brain revealed reduced glucose metabolism in both conditions, suggesting that opposite microglial phenotypes result in similar wide spread brain dysfunction.
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June 2019

Early lysosomal maturation deficits in microglia triggers enhanced lysosomal activity in other brain cells of progranulin knockout mice.

Mol Neurodegener 2018 09 4;13(1):48. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Chair of Metabolic Biochemistry, Biomedical Center (BMC), Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Background: Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the progranulin gene (GRN) lead to frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) while the complete loss of progranulin (PGRN) function results in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), a lysosomal storage disease. Thus the growth factor-like protein PGRN may play an important role in lysosomal degradation. In line with a potential lysosomal function, PGRN is partially localized and processed in lysosomes. In the central nervous system (CNS), PGRN is like other lysosomal proteins highly expressed in microglia, further supporting an important role in protein degradation. We have previously reported that cathepsin (Cat) D is elevated in GRN-associated FTLD patients and Grn knockout mice. However, the primary mechanism that causes impaired protein degradation and elevated CatD levels upon PGRN deficiency in NCL and FTLD remains unclear.

Methods: mRNA expression analysis of selected lysosomal hydrolases, lysosomal membrane proteins and autophagy-related genes was performed by NanoString nCounter panel. Protein expression, maturation and in vitro activity of Cat D, B and L in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) and brains of Grn knockout mice were investigated. To selectively characterize microglial and non-microglial brain cells, an acutely isolated microglia fraction using MACS microbeads (Miltenyi Biotec) conjugated with CD11b antibody and a microglia-depleted fraction were analyzed for protein expression and maturation of selected cathepsins.

Results: We demonstrate that loss of PGRN results in enhanced expression, maturation and in vitro activity of Cat D, B and L in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and brain extracts of aged Grn knockout mice. Consistent with an overall enhanced expression and activity of lysosomal proteases in brain of Grn knockout mice, we observed an age-dependent transcriptional upregulation of certain lysosomal proteases. Thus, lysosomal dysfunction is not reflected by transcriptional downregulation of lysosomal proteases but rather by the upregulation of certain lysosomal proteases in an age-dependent manner. Surprisingly, cell specific analyses identified early lysosomal deficits in microglia before enhanced cathepsin levels could be detected in other brain cells, suggesting different functional consequences on lysosomal homeostasis in microglia and other brain cells upon lack of PGRN.

Conclusions: The present study uncovers early and selective lysosomal dysfunctions in Grn knockout microglia/macrophages. Dysregulated lysosomal homeostasis in microglia might trigger compensatory lysosomal changes in other brain cells.
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September 2018

The wide genetic landscape of clinical frontotemporal dementia: systematic combined sequencing of 121 consecutive subjects.

Genet Med 2018 02 27;20(2):240-249. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen Germany.

PurposeTo define the genetic spectrum and relative gene frequencies underlying clinical frontotemporal dementia (FTD).MethodsWe investigated the frequencies and mutations in neurodegenerative disease genes in 121 consecutive FTD subjects using an unbiased, combined sequencing approach, complemented by cerebrospinal fluid Aβ and serum progranulin measurements. Subjects were screened for C9orf72 repeat expansions, GRN and MAPT mutations, and, if negative, mutations in other neurodegenerative disease genes, by whole-exome sequencing (WES) (n = 108), including WES-based copy-number variant (CNV) analysis.ResultsPathogenic and likely pathogenic mutations were identified in 19% of the subjects, including mutations in C9orf72 (n = 8), GRN (n = 7, one 11-exon macro-deletion) and, more rarely, CHCHD10, TARDBP, SQSTM1 and UBQLN2 (each n = 1), but not in MAPT or TBK1. WES also unraveled pathogenic mutations in genes not commonly linked to FTD, including mutations in Alzheimer (PSEN1, PSEN2), lysosomal (CTSF, 7-exon macro-deletion) and cholesterol homeostasis pathways (CYP27A1).ConclusionOur unbiased approach reveals a wide genetic spectrum underlying clinical FTD, including 11% of seemingly sporadic FTD. It unravels several mutations and CNVs in genes and pathways hitherto not linked to FTD. This suggests that clinical FTD might be the converging downstream result of a delicate susceptibility of frontotemporal brain networks to insults in various pathways.
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February 2018