Role of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) in neurodegenerative dementias

Eur J Neurosci. 2021 May;53(10):3294-3310. doi: 10.1111/ejn.15215. Epub 2021 Apr 26.


Neurodegeneration is a debilitating condition that causes nerve cell degeneration or death. Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and Lewy body dementia (LBD) are posing a larger population burden of dementia worldwide. Neurodegenerative dementia is one of the main challenges in public health with its main characteristics being permanent loss of memory, impairment in cognition, and impaired daily functions. The published literature about genetic studies of these disorders suggests genetic underpinning in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative dementia. In the process of underlining the pathogenesis of NDD, growing evidence has related genetic variations in the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2). This review paper aims to provide a detailed information regarding the association of TREM2 and NDDs leading to dementia. A central consideration is AD that accounts for almost 50%-70% of all late-life dementias alone or in combination with other neurological disorders. Other prevalent neurodegenerative conditions that lead to dementia are also discussed. Such studies are important as they can give a comprehensive knowledge of TREM2's role in various NDDs, in order to maximize the potential for developing new therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease (AD); Lewy body dementia; Parkinson's disease (PD); dementia; frontotemporal dementia (FTD); microglia; neurodegeneration; neurodegenerative diseases; triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Frontotemporal Dementia* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Myeloid Cells
  • Parkinson Disease*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics


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