Role of Microglia in Degradation and Trimming of Alzheimer’s Amyloid Beta


Microglia are the main type of immune cell in the central nervous system, and several genetic mutations associated with microglia are strongly linked with increased susceptibility to develop Alzheimer’s disease. We have characterized a novel process by which immune cells related to microglia (i.e., macrophages) degrade large objects outside the brain. We now have preliminary evidence that microglia can use this process to degrade large objects such as amyloid plaques. We will carry out studies of wild type and mutant microglia interacting with amyloid plaques in cell culture to determine how this process works in detail. A longer-term goal is to extend this study to microglia in Alzheimer’s disease model mice.

Funding to Date



Studies of Innate Immune Pathology, Translational


Frederick Maxfield, Ph.D.