Multi-omics analyses reveal unexpected effects of PLCg2 deficiency in the brain

Juan Pablo Palavicini, Henry E. Miller, Sabrina Smith, Gabriela Campos, Sarah C. Hopp

Producción científica: Comment/debaterevisión exhaustiva


Background: Plcg2 polymorphisms are associated with both reduced (P522R) and increased (M28L) risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The normal function of phospholipase C-gamma-2 (PLCg2) protein is to catalyze the hydrolysis of the membrane phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) to form diacylglycerol (DAG) and inositol trisphosphate (IP3), which subsequently feed into downstream signaling pathways involving protein kinase C (PKC) activation, lipid homeostasis, and calcium regulation. In the brain, Plcg2 is primarily expressed by microglia. The Plcg2 P522R protective variant is a functional hypermorph, while it is predicted that M28L is a loss-of-function variant. The specific consequences of PLCg2 loss of function in the brain are unknown. We predicted that reduction of PLCg2 would lead to disrupted PIP2 and DAG metabolism, and that these changes would be associated with decreased PKC and calcium signaling resulting in changes in microglia phenotype. Methods: At 3 months of age, PLCg2 knockout (KO), PLCg2 heterozygous, and wild-type (WT) littermate mice were euthanized. We analyzed their brains using, shotgun lipidomics, proteomics, gene expression analysis by a Nanostring Glia Profiling panel, and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Results: Lipidomic analyses revealed expected but sex-specific changes in total brain PIP2 and DAG content in KOs compared to WTs. Surprisingly, significant decreases in myelin-specific lipids (e.g., cerebrosides) were identified in both sexes. Unexpectedly, Nanostring gene expression analysis revealed sex-specific changes in myelin-related genes, as well as subtle effects on microglia phenotype in KOs compared to WTs, suggestive of reduced microglia. Surprisingly, exploratory proteomics analyses revealed subtle changes in KO females compared to WTs, primarily related to amino acid metabolism. IHC for microglial markers confirmed subtle differences in microglia (Iba1 density and area) in KOs compared to WTs. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that loss of PLCg2 in the brain generally leads to subtle differences in microglia phenotype in the absence of inflammatory stimuli (suggestive of reduced microglial reactivity) and a surprising potential role for PLCg2 in myelin and amino acid homeostasis that requires further investigation. Overall, our data indicate that loss of PLCg2 function has subtle effects on brain homeostasis that may underlie enhanced vulnerability to AD pathology via microglia and myelin dysfunction.

Idioma originalEnglish (US)
Número de artículoe069302
PublicaciónAlzheimer's and Dementia
EstadoPublished - dic 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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