RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT : Microbiome Influences Prenatal and Adult Microglia in a Sex-Specific Manner

ENP team leader Sonia GAREL and coll. using extensive experimental methods for evaluating for instance gene expression level, chromatin accessibility or cellular density now reveal that microglia exhibit sex- and age-dependent modifications in response to the microbiome in mice. At embryonic stages, both transcriptomic and cellular colonization analyses support sex/age-specific modifications of microglia in germ-free mice (with males being more impacted than females). In adults, acute microbiome elimination and long-term microbiome depletion (using antibiotic treatment and germ-free axenic mice, respectively) reveal sexually-biaised dynamic changes in transcriptomic analyses. These findings are important regarding well known sexually-biaised human chronic neuroinflammatory pathologies due to constant activated microglia. Besides, sexually dimorphic responses of microglia to the gut flora in mice plead for a better concern of the sex parameter in interpreting clinical results in human patients. 

Thion MS, Low D, Silvin A, Chen J, Grisel P, Schulte-Schrepping J, Blecher R, Ulas T, Squarzoni P, Hoeffel G, Coulpier F, Siopi E, David FS, Scholz C, Shihui F, Lum J, Amoyo AA, Larbi A, Poidinger M, Buttgereit A, Lledo PM, Greter M, Chan JKY, Amit I, Beyer M, Schultze JL, Schlitzer A, Pettersson S, Ginhoux F, Garel S. Cell. 2018 Jan 25;172(3):500-516.e16. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.11.042. READ MORE