Microglia, the main immune cells of the central nervous system, are increasingly implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Manifold transcriptomic studies in the brain have not only highlighted microglia’s role in AD pathogenesis, but also mapped crucial pathological processes and identified new therapeutic targets. An important component of many of these transcriptomic studies is the investigation of gene expression networks in AD brain, which has provided important new insights into how coordinated gene regulatory programs in microglia (and other cell types) underlie AD pathogenesis. Given the rapid technological advancements in transcriptional profiling, spanning from microarrays to single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), tools used for mapping gene expression networks have evolved to keep pace with the unique features of each transcriptomic platform. In this article, we review the trajectory of transcriptomic network analyses in AD from brain to microglia, highlighting the corresponding methodological developments. Lastly, we discuss examples of how transcriptional network analysis provides new insights into AD mechanisms and pathogenesis.
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