Single-nucleus transcriptomic analyses reveal microglial activation underlying cerebellar degeneration in Ataxia Telangiectasia

Citation:

Lai J, Kim J, Jeffries AM, Tolles A, Chittenden TW, Buckley PG, Yu TW, Lodato MA**, Lee EA**. Single-nucleus transcriptomic analyses reveal microglial activation underlying cerebellar degeneration in Ataxia Telangiectasia [Internet]. bioRxiv Submitted;

Abstract:

While ATM loss-of-function has long been identified as the genetic cause of Ataxia Telangiectasia (AT), how this genetic mutation leads to selective and progressive cerebellar degeneration of Purkinje and granule cells remains unknown. We performed single-nucleus RNA-sequencing of the human cerebellum and prefrontal cortex from individuals with AT and matched unaffected controls to identify AT-associated transcriptomic changes in a cell-type- and brain-region-specific manner. We provide the largest single-nucleus transcriptomic atlas of the adult human cerebellum to-date (126,356 nuclei), identify upregulation of apoptotic and ER stress pathways in Purkinje and granule neurons, and uncover strong downregulation of calcium ion homeostasis genes in Purkinje neurons. Our analysis reveals prominent inflammation of microglia in AT cerebellum with transcriptional signatures similar to aging and neurodegenerative microglia, and suggests that microglia activation precedes Purkinje and granule neuron death in disease progression. Our data implicates a novel role of microglial activation underlying cerebellar degeneration in AT.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 09/10/2021