Myeloid Cells in Alzheimer’s Disease: Culprits, Victims or Innocent Bystanders?

Several recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in patients with neurodegenerative disorders have shed new light on the brain immune system, suggesting that it plays a pivotal role in disease pathogenesis. Mononuclear phagocytes are blatantly involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) of the central nervous system (CNS), but the specific functions of resident microglia, perivascular or meningeal macrophages, and circulating myeloid cells have not yet been fully resolved. Next-generation sequencing, high-throughput immune profiling technologies, and novel genetic tools have recently revolutionized the characterization of innate immune responses during AD. These studies advocate selective and non-redundant roles for myeloid subsets, which could be a target for novel disease-modifying therapies in AD.

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