Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, and risk-influencing genetics implicates microglia and neuroimmunity in the pathogenesis of AD. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived microglia (iPSC-microglia) are increasingly used as a model of AD, but the relevance of historical immune stimuli to model AD is unclear. We performed a detailed cross-comparison over time on the effects of combinatory stimulation of iPSC-microglia, and in particular their relevance to AD. We used single-cell RNA sequencing to measure the transcriptional response of iPSC-microglia after 24 h and 48 h of stimulation with prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)+interferon gamma (IFN-γ), either alone or in combination with ATPγS. We observed a shared core transcriptional response of iPSC-microglia to ATPγS and to LPS+IFN-γ, suggestive of a convergent mechanism of action. Across all conditions, we observed a significant overlap, although directional inconsistency to genes that change their expression levels in human microglia from AD patients. Using a data-led approach, we identify a common axis of transcriptomic change across AD genetic mouse models of microglia and show that only LPS provokes a transcriptional response along this axis in mouse microglia and LPS+IFN-γ in human iPSC-microglia. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
Keywords: ATPγS; Alzheimer's disease; IFN-γ; LPS; PGE2; iPSC-microglia.
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