All Publications

  • Proteo-genomics of soluble TREM2 in cerebrospinal fluid provides novel insights and identifies novel modulators for Alzheimer's disease. Molecular neurodegeneration Wang, L., Nykänen, N. P., Western, D., Gorijala, P., Timsina, J., Li, F., Wang, Z., Ali, M., Yang, C., Liu, M., Brock, W., Marquié, M., Boada, M., Alvarez, I., Aguilar, M., Pastor, P., Ruiz, A., Puerta, R., Orellana, A., Rutledge, J., Oh, H., Greicius, M. D., Le Guen, Y., Perrin, R. J., Wyss-Coray, T., Jefferson, A., Hohman, T. J., Graff-Radford, N., Mori, H., Goate, A., Levin, J., Sung, Y. J., Cruchaga, C. 2024; 19 (1): 1


    Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) plays a critical role in microglial activation, survival, and apoptosis, as well as in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. We previously reported the MS4A locus as a key modulator for soluble TREM2 (sTREM2) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). To identify additional novel genetic modifiers of sTREM2, we performed the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) and identified four loci for CSF sTREM2 in 3,350 individuals of European ancestry. Through multi-ethnic fine mapping, we identified two independent missense variants (p.M178V in MS4A4A and p.A112T in MS4A6A) that drive the association in MS4A locus and showed an epistatic effect for sTREM2 levels and AD risk. The novel TREM2 locus on chr 6 contains two rare missense variants (rs75932628 p.R47H, P=7.16×10-19; rs142232675 p.D87N, P=2.71×10-10) associated with sTREM2 and AD risk. The third novel locus in the TGFBR2 and RBMS3 gene region (rs73823326, P=3.86×10-9) included a regulatory variant with a microglia-specific chromatin loop for the promoter of TGFBR2. Using cell-based assays we demonstrate that overexpression and knock-down of TGFBR2, but not RBMS3, leads to significant changes of sTREM2. The last novel locus is located on the APOE region (rs11666329, P=2.52×10-8), but we demonstrated that this signal was independent of APOE genotype. This signal colocalized with cis-eQTL of NECTIN2 in the brain cortex and cis-pQTL of NECTIN2 in CSF. Overexpression of NECTIN2 led to an increase of sTREM2 supporting the genetic findings. To our knowledge, this is the largest study to date aimed at identifying genetic modifiers of CSF sTREM2. This study provided novel insights into the MS4A and TREM2 loci, two well-known AD risk genes, and identified TGFBR2 and NECTIN2 as additional modulators involved in TREM2 biology.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s13024-023-00687-4

    View details for PubMedID 38172904

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10763080

  • Organ aging signatures in the plasma proteome track health and disease. Nature Oh, H. S., Rutledge, J., Nachun, D., Pálovics, R., Abiose, O., Moran-Losada, P., Channappa, D., Urey, D. Y., Kim, K., Sung, Y. J., Wang, L., Timsina, J., Western, D., Liu, M., Kohlfeld, P., Budde, J., Wilson, E. N., Guen, Y., Maurer, T. M., Haney, M., Yang, A. C., He, Z., Greicius, M. D., Andreasson, K. I., Sathyan, S., Weiss, E. F., Milman, S., Barzilai, N., Cruchaga, C., Wagner, A. D., Mormino, E., Lehallier, B., Henderson, V. W., Longo, F. M., Montgomery, S. B., Wyss-Coray, T. 2023; 624 (7990): 164-172


    Animal studies show aging varies between individuals as well as between organs within an individual1-4, but whether this is true in humans and its effect on age-related diseases is unknown. We utilized levels of human blood plasma proteins originating from specific organs to measure organ-specific aging differences in living individuals. Using machine learning models, we analysed aging in 11 major organs and estimated organ age reproducibly in five independent cohorts encompassing 5,676 adults across the human lifespan. We discovered nearly 20% of the population show strongly accelerated age in one organ and 1.7% are multi-organ agers. Accelerated organ aging confers 20-50% higher mortality risk, and organ-specific diseases relate to faster aging of those organs. We find individuals with accelerated heart aging have a 250% increased heart failure risk and accelerated brain and vascular aging predict Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression independently from and as strongly as plasma pTau-181 (ref. 5), the current best blood-based biomarker for AD. Our models link vascular calcification, extracellular matrix alterations and synaptic protein shedding to early cognitive decline. We introduce a simple and interpretable method to study organ aging using plasma proteomics data, predicting diseases and aging effects.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-023-06802-1

    View details for PubMedID 38057571

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10700136

  • Proteomics of brain, CSF, and plasma identifies molecular signatures for distinguishing sporadic and genetic Alzheimer's disease. Science translational medicine Sung, Y. J., Yang, C., Norton, J., Johnson, M., Fagan, A., Bateman, R. J., Perrin, R. J., Morris, J. C., Farlow, M. R., Chhatwal, J. P., Schofield, P. R., Chui, H., Wang, F., Novotny, B., Eteleeb, A., Karch, C., Schindler, S. E., Rhinn, H., Johnson, E. C., Oh, H. S., Rutledge, J. E., Dammer, E. B., Seyfried, N. T., Wyss-Coray, T., Harari, O., Cruchaga, C. 2023; 15 (703): eabq5923


    Proteomic studies for Alzheimer's disease (AD) are instrumental in identifying AD pathways but often focus on single tissues and sporadic AD cases. Here, we present a proteomic study analyzing 1305 proteins in brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and plasma from patients with sporadic AD, TREM2 risk variant carriers, patients with autosomal dominant AD (ADAD), and healthy individuals. We identified 8 brain, 40 CSF, and 9 plasma proteins that were altered in individuals with sporadic AD, and we replicated these findings in several external datasets. We identified a proteomic signature that differentiated TREM2 variant carriers from both individuals with sporadic AD and healthy individuals. The proteins associated with sporadic AD were also altered in patients with ADAD, but with a greater effect size. Brain-derived proteins associated with ADAD were also replicated in additional CSF samples. Enrichment analyses highlighted several pathways, including those implicated in AD (calcineurin and Apo E), Parkinson's disease (α-synuclein and LRRK2), and innate immune responses (SHC1, ERK-1, and SPP1). Our findings suggest that combined proteomics across brain tissue, CSF, and plasma can be used to identify markers for sporadic and genetically defined AD.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.abq5923

    View details for PubMedID 37406134

  • Proteogenomic analysis of human cerebrospinal fluid identifies neurologically relevant regulation and informs causal proteins for Alzheimer's disease. Research square Cruchaga, C., Western, D., Timsina, J., Wang, L., Wang, C., Yang, C., Ali, M., Beric, A., Gorijala, P., Kohlfeld, P., Budde, J., Levey, A., Morris, J., Perrin, R., Ruiz, A., Marquié, M., Boada, M., de Rojas, I., Rutledge, J., Oh, H., Wilson, E., Guen, Y. L., Alvarez, I., Aguilar, M., Greicius, M., Pastor, P., Pulford, D., Ibanez, L., Wyss-Coray, T., Sung, Y. J., Phillips, B. 2023


    The integration of quantitative trait loci (QTL) with disease genome-wide association studies (GWAS) has proven successful at prioritizing candidate genes at disease-associated loci. QTL mapping has mainly been focused on multi-tissue expression QTL or plasma protein QTL (pQTL). Here we generated the largest-to-date cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pQTL atlas by analyzing 7,028 proteins in 3,107 samples. We identified 3,373 independent study-wide associations for 1,961 proteins, including 2,448 novel pQTLs of which 1,585 are unique to CSF, demonstrating unique genetic regulation of the CSF proteome. In addition to the established chr6p22.2-21.32 HLA region, we identified pleiotropic regions on chr3q28 near OSTN and chr19q13.32 near APOE that were enriched for neuron-specificity and neurological development. We also integrated this pQTL atlas with the latest Alzheimer's disease (AD) GWAS through PWAS, colocalization and Mendelian Randomization and identified 42 putative causal proteins for AD, 15 of which have drugs available. Finally, we developed a proteomics-based risk score for AD that outperforms genetics-based polygenic risk scores. These findings will be instrumental to further understand the biology and identify causal and druggable proteins for brain and neurological traits.

    View details for DOI 10.21203/

    View details for PubMedID 37333337

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10275048

  • Cerebrospinal fluid immune dysregulation during healthy brain aging and cognitive impairment. Cell Piehl, N., van Olst, L., Ramakrishnan, A., Teregulova, V., Simonton, B., Zhang, Z., Tapp, E., Channappa, D., Oh, H., Losada, P. M., Rutledge, J., Trelle, A. N., Mormino, E. C., Elahi, F., Galasko, D. R., Henderson, V. W., Wagner, A. D., Wyss-Coray, T., Gate, D. 2022


    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contains a tightly regulated immune system. However, knowledge is lacking about how CSF immunity is altered with aging or neurodegenerative disease. Here, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing on CSF from 45 cognitively normal subjects ranging from 54 to 82 years old. We uncovered an upregulation of lipid transport genes in monocytes with age. We then compared this cohort with 14 cognitively impaired subjects. In cognitively impaired subjects, downregulation of lipid transport genes in monocytes occurred concomitantly with altered cytokine signaling to CD8 Tcells. Clonal CD8T effector memory cells upregulated C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 6 (CXCR6) in cognitively impaired subjects. The CXCR6 ligand, C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 16 (CXCL16), was elevated in the CSF of cognitively impaired subjects, suggesting CXCL16-CXCR6 signaling as a mechanism for antigen-specific Tcell entry into the brain. Cumulatively, these results reveal cerebrospinal fluid immune dysregulation during healthy brain aging and cognitive impairment.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2022.11.019

    View details for PubMedID 36516855

  • Measuring biological age using omics data. Nature reviews. Genetics Rutledge, J., Oh, H., Wyss-Coray, T. 2022


    Age is the key risk factor for diseases and disabilities of the elderly. Efforts to tackle age-related diseases and increase healthspan have suggested targeting the ageing process itself to 'rejuvenate' physiological functioning. However, achieving this aim requires measures of biological age and rates of ageing at the molecular level. Spurred by recent advances in high-throughput omics technologies, a new generation of tools to measure biological ageing now enables the quantitative characterization of ageing at molecular resolution. Epigenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic data can be harnessed with machine learning to build 'ageing clocks' with demonstrated capacity to identify new biomarkers of biological ageing.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41576-022-00511-7

    View details for PubMedID 35715611

  • CD4+ T cells contribute to neurodegeneration in Lewy body dementia. Science (New York, N.Y.) Gate, D., Tapp, E., Leventhal, O., Shahid, M., Nonninger, T. J., Yang, A. C., Strempfl, K., Unger, M. S., Fehlmann, T., Oh, H., Channappa, D., Henderson, V. W., Keller, A., Aigner, L., Galasko, D. R., Davis, M. M., Poston, K. L., Wyss-Coray, T. 2021: eabf7266


    [Figure: see text].

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.abf7266

    View details for PubMedID 34648304

  • Methods to investigate intrathecal adaptive immunity in neurodegeneration. Molecular neurodegeneration Oh, H. n., Leventhal, O. n., Channappa, D. n., Henderson, V. W., Wyss-Coray, T. n., Lehallier, B. n., Gate, D. n. 2021; 16 (1): 3


    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) provides basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain. Historically, analysis of CSF has focused on protein changes, yet recent studies have shed light on cellular alterations. Evidence now exists for involvement of intrathecal T cells in the pathobiology of neurodegenerative diseases. However, a standardized method for long-term preservation of CSF immune cells is lacking. Further, the functional role of CSF T cells and their cognate antigens in neurodegenerative diseases are largely unknown.We present a method for long-term cryopreservation of CSF immune cells for downstream single cell RNA and T cell receptor sequencing (scRNA-TCRseq) analysis. We observe preservation of CSF immune cells, consisting primarily of memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. We then utilize unbiased bioinformatics approaches to quantify and visualize TCR sequence similarity within and between disease groups. By this method, we identify clusters of disease-associated, antigen-specific TCRs from clonally expanded CSF T cells of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.Here, we provide a standardized approach for long-term storage of CSF immune cells. Additionally, we present unbiased bioinformatic approaches that will facilitate the discovery of target antigens of clonally expanded T cells in neurodegenerative diseases. These novel methods will help improve our understanding of adaptive immunity in the central nervous system.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s13024-021-00423-w

    View details for PubMedID 33482851