TREM2 variants: new keys to decipher Alzheimer disease pathogenesis

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Apr;17(4):201-7. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2016.7. Epub 2016 Feb 25.


Genome-wide association studies have identified rare variants of the gene that encodes triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) - an immune receptor that is found in brain microglia - as risk factors for non-familial Alzheimer disease (AD). Furthermore, animal studies have indicated that microglia have an important role in the brain response to amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and that TREM2 variants may have an impact on such a function. We discuss how TREM2 may control the microglial response to Aβ and its impact on microglial senescence, as well as the interaction of TREM2 with other molecules that are encoded by gene variants associated with AD and the hypothetical consequences of the cleavage of TREM2 from the cell surface.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Genetic Variation / genetics*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • TREM2 protein, human