Data_Sheet_1_Detection of Synaptic Proteins in Microglia by Flow Cytometry.docx
Datasets usually provide raw data for analysis. This raw data often comes in spreadsheet form, but can be any collection of data, on which analysis can be performed.
A growing body of evidence indicates that microglia actively remove synapses in vivo, thereby playing a key role in synaptic refinement and modulation of brain connectivity. This phenomenon was mainly investigated in immunofluorescence staining and confocal microscopy. However, a quantification of synaptic material in microglia using these techniques is extremely time-consuming and labor-intensive. To address this issue, we aimed to quantify synaptic proteins in microglia using flow cytometry. With this approach, we first showed that microglia from the healthy adult mouse brain contain a detectable level of VGLUT1 protein. Next, we found more than two-fold increased VGLUT1 immunoreactivity in microglia from the developing brain (P15) as compared to adult microglia. These data indicate that microglia-mediated synaptic pruning mostly occurs during the brain developmental period. We then quantified the VGLUT1 staining in microglia in two transgenic models characterized by pathological microglia-mediated synaptic pruning. In the 5xFAD mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) microglia exhibited a significant increase in VGLUT1 immunoreactivity before the onset of amyloid pathology. Moreover, conditional deletion of TDP-43 in microglia, which causes a hyper-phagocytic phenotype associated with synaptic loss, also resulted in increased VGLUT1 immunoreactivity within microglia. This work provides a quantitative assessment of synaptic proteins in microglia, under homeostasis, and in mouse models of disease.
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