The Role of MGnD-neurodegenerative Clec7a+ Microglia in an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model


Microglia are the primary immune cells and surveillance sensors of the brain. These cells play a vital role in the maintenance of brain health by “pruning” areas of injury. When microglia lose their function, they can exacerbate conditions during the course of aging that lead to neurodegenerative diseases. There is a gap in our knowledge about how microglial function is maintained in the healthy brain, and how it is prone to dysregulation in Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent form of senile dementia, accounting for up to 80% of all dementias. Although recent studies have distinguished and described characteristics of microglia in neurodegenerative diseases, the signatures necessary to determine their exact functions and whether they are protective or destructive are not well understood. This project seeks to investigate the role of neurodegenerative microglia as a potential therapeutic target in Alzheimer’s disease. The role of disease-associated microglia will be studied using an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model created by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. This mouse model enables the specific targeting of microglia, with the goal of restoring proper function in the mouse brain. The aim of this project is to create a basis for new approaches for immune-based therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.

Funding to Date



Studies of Innate Immune Pathology, Translational


Oleg Butovsky, Ph.D.