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Redefining microglia states in health and disease

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Romina Vuono.

Short bio:

Tim received his Ph.D. from George Washington University in Washington, DC where he worked in the lab of Dr. Vittorio Gallo to investigate glial signaling in white matter disorders. He then joined the lab of Dr. Beth Stevens as a postdoc at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston where he has been investigating microglia development, signaling and state changes using single cell RNAseq and high throughput spatial mapping of novel microglia populations.


Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, rapidly change states in response to their environment, but we lack molecular and functional signatures of different microglial populations. In this study, we analyzed the RNA expression patterns of more than 76,000 individual microglia during development, old age and after brain injury. Analysis uncovered at least nine transcriptionally distinct microglial states, which expressed unique sets of genes and were localized in the brain using specific markers. The greatest microglial heterogeneity was found at young ages; however, several states including chemokine-enriched inflammatory microglia persisted throughout the lifespan or increased in the aged brain. Multiple reactive microglial subtypes were also found following demyelinating injury in mice, at least one of which was also found in human MS lesions. These unique microglia signatures can be used to better understand microglia function and to identify and manipulate specific subpopulations in health and disease.

This talk is part of the Clinical Neurosciences Seminars series.

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