Single-cell peripheral immunoprofiling of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

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Science Advances  25 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 48, eabd5575
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd5575


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) may provide insight into the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or Parkinson’s disease (PD). We investigated PBMC samples from 132 well-characterized research participants using seven canonical immune stimulants, mass cytometric identification of 35 PBMC subsets, and single-cell quantification of 15 intracellular signaling markers, followed by machine learning model development to increase predictive power. From these, three main intracellular signaling pathways were identified specifically in PBMC subsets from people with AD versus controls: reduced activation of PLCγ2 across many cell types and stimulations and selectively variable activation of STAT1 and STAT5, depending on stimulant and cell type. Our findings functionally buttress the now multiply-validated observation that a rare coding variant in PLCG2 is associated with a decreased risk of AD. Together, these data suggest enhanced PLCγ2 activity as a potential new therapeutic target for AD with a readily accessible pharmacodynamic biomarker.

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