AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease Linked to a Network of Genes Associated With Myeloid Cells

Many genes linked to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are expressed in myeloid cells and regulated by a single protein, according to research conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai researchers led an international, genome-wide study of more than 40,000 people with and without the disease and found that innate immune cells of the myeloid lineage play an even more central role in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis than previously thought. Specifically, the research team identified a network of genes that are implicated in AD and expressed by myeloid cells, innate immune cells that include microglia and macrophages. Furthermore, researchers identified the transcription factor PU.1, a protein that regulates gene expression and, thus, cell identity and function, as a master regulator of this gene network.

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