Microglial microRNAs mediate sex-specific responses to tau pathology

Nat Neurosci. 2020 Feb;23(2):167-171. doi: 10.1038/s41593-019-0560-7. Epub 2019 Dec 23.


Sex is a key modifier of neurological disease outcomes. Microglia are implicated in neurological diseases and modulated by microRNAs, but it is unknown whether microglial microRNAs have sex-specific influences on disease. We show in mice that microglial microRNA expression differs in males and females and that loss of microRNAs leads to sex-specific changes in the microglial transcriptome and tau pathology. These findings suggest that microglial microRNAs influence tau pathogenesis in a sex-specific manner.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Microglia / metabolism*
  • Microglia / pathology
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Tauopathies / metabolism
  • Tauopathies / pathology*
  • Transcriptome
  • tau Proteins / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs
  • tau Proteins