microglia RNA-seq

employing RNA-seq and CRISPR to identify microglial responses after a brain injury

Following on from my previous project which highlighted a neuroprotective role for rapid microglial recruitment to an injury site in the brain of larval zebrafish, I aimed to identify potentially neuroprotective pathways.

Using RNA-seq of sorted microglial cells after an injury, we identified profound gene expression changes. When perturbing some of these pathways using CRISPR/Cas9, neuroprotection was reduced and secondary neuronal cell death was exacerbated, highlighting a potentially neuroprotective role for several identified transcripts. Further work will be required to assess the role of these secreted neuroprotective molecules in a mammalian context.

Microglia/macrophages (green) are rapidly recruited to an injury site in the zebrafish brain and phagocytose debris (pink).

This work is featured in:


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    RNA-seq analysis and compound screening highlight multiple signalling pathways regulating secondary cell death after acute CNS injury in vivo
    Chiara Herzog, David Greenald, Juan Larraz, and 2 more authors
    Biology open, 2020