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ARUK 2021 | Identifying innate immune system genes linked to AD

Dervis Salih, PhD, University College London, London, UK, describes how 60-70 newly identified loci expressed by the innate immune system are linked to the amyloid cascade in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Transgenic mice with either amyloid or tau pathologies and RNA sequencing were used to evaluate whether these risk genes were involved in responding to amyloid plaques, or tau. Co-expression networks, which consist of genes responding to amyloid or tau, were consequently identified. There was an increased presence of AD-associated genes in the network responding to amyloid, as opposed to tau, suggesting that the amyloid responsive microglial network is regulating the step between the amyloid and tau pathologies. This interview took place during the Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) Conference 2021.