Transcriptional profiling of macaque microglia reveals an evolutionary preserved gene expression program

M L Dubbelaar, C Misrielal, J J Bajramovic, S M Burm, E A Zuiderwijk-Sick, N Brouwer, C Grit, S M Kooistra, S M O Shinjo, S K N Marie, H W G M Boddeke, B J L Eggen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Microglia are tissue-resident macrophages of the central nervous system (CNS), and important for CNS development and homeostasis. In the adult CNS, microglia monitor environmental changes and react to tissue damage, cellular debris, and pathogens. Here, we present a gene expression profile of purified microglia isolated from the rhesus macaque, a non-human primate, that consists of 666 transcripts. The macaque microglia transcriptome was intersected with the transcriptional programs of microglia from mouse, zebrafish, and human CNS tissues, to determine (dis)similarities. This revealed an extensive overlap of 342 genes between the transcriptional profile of macaque and human microglia, and showed that the gene expression profile of zebrafish is most distant when compared to other species. Furthermore, an evolutionair core based on the overlapping gene expression signature from all four species was identified. This study presents a macaque microglia transcriptomics profile, and identifies a gene expression program in microglia that is preserved across species, underscoring their CNS-tailored tissue macrophage functions as innate immune cells with CNS-surveilling properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100265
Number of pages8
JournalBrain, behavior, & immunity - health
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2021

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