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2014 Grants - Lamb
The Role of TREM2 on Inflammatory Monocytes in Alzheimer’s Disease
Bruce T. Lamb, Ph.D.
2014 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant: Biological Underpinnings of Genetic Risk Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease
In recent years, increasing evidence suggests that the immune system may play an important role in Alzheimer’s disease. The most common immune cells in the brain are known as microglia. However, another type of immune cell, known as monocytes, which circulate throughout the body, can also enter the brain where they may influence disease development and progression.
TREM2 (triggering receptor expressed in myeloid cells 2) is a protein found on the surface of microglia and monocytes. Recent studies have found evidence that some variations in the TREM2 gene are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other nervous system diseases including Parkinson’s disease. However, the function of TREM2 and its possible role in Alzheimer’s disease is not yet well understood.
Bruce T. Lamb, Ph.D., and colleagues have been studying the role of TREM2 on both microglia and monocytes in Alzheimer’s disease. They have found preliminary evidence that the location of TREM2 in the brain occurs mostly in monocytes near amyloid plaques, one of the characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Lamb and colleagues have proposed more extensive studies of TREM2 on microglia and monocytes in the brains of mice genetically altered to have an Alzheimer’s-like condition. These studies could help lead to the development of novel treatments to slow or halt disease progression.