Microglia control small vessel calcification via TREM2

Yvette Zarb, Sucheta Sridhar, Sina Nassiri, Sebastian Guido Utz, Johanna Schaffenrath, Upasana Maheshwari, Elisabeth J. Rushing, K. R. Peter Nilsson, Mauro Delorenzi, Marco Colonna, Melanie Greter, Annika Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Microglia participate in central nervous system (CNS) development and homeostasis and are often implicated in modulating disease processes. However, less is known about the role of microglia in the biology of the neurovascular unit (NVU). In particular, data are scant on whether microglia are involved in CNS vascular pathology. In this study, we use a mouse model of primary familial brain calcification, Pdgfbret/ret, to investigate the role of microglia in calcification of the NVU. We report that microglia enclosing vessel calcifications, coined calcification-associated microglia, display a distinct activation phenotype. Pharmacological ablation of microglia with the CSF1R inhibitor PLX5622 leads to aggravated vessel calcification. Mechanistically, we show that microglia require functional TREM2 for controlling vascular calcification. Our results demonstrate that microglial activity in the setting of pathological vascular calcification is beneficial. In addition, we identify a previously unrecognized function of microglia in halting the expansion of vascular calcification.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabc4898
JournalScience Advances
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 24 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Microglia control small vessel calcification via TREM2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this