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See detailMicroglia phenotypes are associated with subregional patterns of concomitant tau, amyloid-β and α-synuclein pathologies in the hippocampus of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies
Fixemer, Sonja UL; Ameli, Corrado UL; Hammer, Gaël et al

in Acta Neuropathologica Communications (2022), 10(1), 36

The cellular alterations of the hippocampus lead to memory decline, a shared symptom between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) patients. However, the subregional deterioration ... [more ▼]

The cellular alterations of the hippocampus lead to memory decline, a shared symptom between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) patients. However, the subregional deterioration pattern of the hippocampus differs between AD and DLB with the CA1 subfield being more severely affected in AD. The activation of microglia, the brain immune cells, could play a role in its selective volume loss. How subregional microglia populations vary within AD or DLB and across these conditions remains poorly understood. Furthermore, how the nature of the hippocampal local pathological imprint is associated with microglia responses needs to be elucidated. To this purpose, we employed an automated pipeline for analysis of 3D confocal microscopy images to assess CA1, CA3 and DG/CA4 subfields microglia responses in post-mortem hippocampal samples from late-onset AD (n = 10), DLB (n = 8) and age-matched control (CTL) (n = 11) individuals. In parallel, we performed volumetric analyses of hyperphosphorylated tau (pTau), amyloid-β (Aβ) and phosphorylated α-synuclein (pSyn) loads. For each of the 32,447 extracted microglia, 16 morphological features were measured to classify them into seven distinct morphological clusters. Our results show similar alterations of microglial morphological features and clusters in AD and DLB, but with more prominent changes in AD. We identified two distinct microglia clusters enriched in disease conditions and particularly increased in CA1 and DG/CA4 of AD and CA3 of DLB. Our study confirms frequent concomitance of pTau, Aβ and pSyn loads across AD and DLB but reveals a specific subregional pattern for each type of pathology, along with a generally increased severity in AD. Furthermore, pTau and pSyn loads were highly correlated across subregions and conditions. We uncovered tight associations between microglial changes and the subfield pathological imprint. Our findings suggest that combinations and severity of subregional pTau, Aβ and pSyn pathologies transform local microglia phenotypic composition in the hippocampus. The high burdens of pTau and pSyn associated with increased microglial alterations could be a factor in CA1 vulnerability in AD. [less ▲]

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See detailA Specialized Method to Resolve Fine 3D Features of Astrocytes in Nonhuman Primate (Marmoset, Callithrix jacchus) and Human Fixed Brain Samples.
Quesseveur, Gael; Fouquier d'Hérouël, Aymeric UL; Murai, Keith K. et al

in Methods in Molecular Biology (2019), 1938

Astrocytes are among the most numerous cells in the brain and fulfill diverse functions in homeostasis and regulation of neuronal activity. Astrocytes also dramatically change their properties in response ... [more ▼]

Astrocytes are among the most numerous cells in the brain and fulfill diverse functions in homeostasis and regulation of neuronal activity. Astrocytes also dramatically change their properties in response to brain injury or disease, a process called reactive gliosis. Precisely how astrocytes contribute to healthy brain function and play differential roles in brain pathology and regeneration remain important areas of investigation. To better understand the properties of astrocytes, more sophisticated approaches for probing their rich and complex anatomical and molecular features are needed to fully determine their contribution to brain physiology. Here we present an efficient and straightforward immunolabeling protocol to obtain high-resolution fluorescence-based images from fixed nonhuman primate (common marmoset Callithrix jacchus) and human brain samples. Importantly, the protocol is useful for obtaining images from samples that have been stored in fixative solutions (such as formalin) for years. This approach is especially useful for three-dimensional, multichannel confocal microscopy and can be optimized for super-resolution techniques such as stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy. We also present a strategy for using specific combinations of markers to define the phenotypic variations and cellular/subcellular properties of astrocytes to better predict the function of these cells on their surrounding brain microenvironment. [less ▲]

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