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Open AccessArticle

Patterns of Expression of Purinergic Receptor P2RY12, a Putative Marker for Non-Activated Microglia, in Aged and Alzheimer’s Disease Brains

1
Molecular Neuroscience Research Center, Shiga University of Medical Science, Seta-Tsukinowa-cho, Otsu 520-0072, Japan
2
Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
3
Civin Neuropathology Laboratory, Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, AZ 85351, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020678
Received: 11 December 2019 / Revised: 10 January 2020 / Accepted: 11 January 2020 / Published: 20 January 2020
Neuroinflammation is considered a key pathological process in neurodegenerative diseases of aging, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Many studies have defined phenotypes of reactive microglia, the brain-resident macrophages, with different antigenic markers to identify those potentially causing inflammatory damage. We took an alternative approach with the goal of characterizing the distribution of purinergic receptor P2RY12-positive microglia, a marker previously defined as identifying homeostatic or non-activated microglia. We examined the expression of P2RY12 by dual-color light and fluorescence immunohistochemistry using sections of middle temporal gyrus from AD, high plaque and low plaque non-demented cases in relation to amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques and phosphorylated tau, markers of pathology, and HLA-DR, IBA-1, CD68, and progranulin, microglial phenotype markers. In low plaque cases, P2RY12-positive microglia mostly had non-activated morphologies, while the morphologies of P2RY12-positive microglia in AD brains were highly variable, suggesting its expression could encompass a wider range of phenotypes than originally hypothesized. P2RY12 expression by microglia differed depending on the types of plaques or tangles they were associated with. Areas of inflammation characterized by lack of P2RY12-positive microglia around mature plaques could be observed, but many diffuse plaques showed colocalization with P2RY12-positive microglia. Based on these results, P2RY12 expression by microglia should not be considered solely a marker of resting microglia as P2RY12 immunoreactivity was identifying microglia positive for CD68, progranulin and to a limited extent HLA-DR, markers of activation. View Full-Text
Keywords: activation phenotypes; microglia; neuroinflammation; immunohistochemistry; temporal cortex; Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid activation phenotypes; microglia; neuroinflammation; immunohistochemistry; temporal cortex; Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid
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Walker, D.G.; Tang, T.M.; Mendsaikhan, A.; Tooyama, I.; Serrano, G.E.; Sue, L.I.; Beach, T.G.; Lue, L.-F. Patterns of Expression of Purinergic Receptor P2RY12, a Putative Marker for Non-Activated Microglia, in Aged and Alzheimer’s Disease Brains. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 678.

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