Variants in the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) gene are associated with increased risk for late-onset AD. Genetic loss of or decreased TREM2 function impairs the microglial response to amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques, resulting in more diffuse Aβ plaques and increased peri-plaque neuritic dystrophy and AD-tau seeding. Thus, microglia and TREM2 are at a critical intersection of Aβ and tau pathologies in AD. Since genetically decreasing TREM2 function increases Aβ-induced tau seeding, we hypothesized that chronically increasing TREM2 signaling would decrease amyloid-induced tau-seeding and spreading. Using a mouse model of amyloidosis in which AD-tau is injected into the brain to induce Aβ-dependent tau seeding/spreading, we found that chronic administration of an activating TREM2 antibody increases peri-plaque microglial activation but surprisingly increases peri-plaque NP-tau pathology and neuritic dystrophy, without altering Aβ plaque burden. Our data suggest that sustained microglial activation through TREM2 that does not result in strong amyloid removal may exacerbate Aβ-induced tau pathology, which may have important clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20220654
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2023


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