Intrinsic and extrinsic factors driving the development and function of tissue macrophages in the CNS: from yolk sac to disease

Prof. Dr. Marco Prinz (CIBSS-PI), Institute of Neuropathology  (University Medical Center Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine)

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The innate immune cell compartment is functionally highly diverse in the healthy central nervous system (CNS), consisting of parenchymal (microglia) and non-parenchymal macrophage subsets. While non-parenchymal macrophages constitute an immunological barrier at CNS interfaces, microglia fulfil various context-dependent immune functions during development and adulthood. However, it is currently unclear when macrophage specification in the CNS occurs, including their specific family ties, regional differences during development, individual cell dynamics and transcriptional profiles, as well as their modes of expansion and clonality during development and homoeostasis.

Here, we will combine novel fate mapping, deep single-cell transcriptomics, RNAscope, in vivo imaging and clonal analysis to comprehensively characterize CNS macrophage specificity and diversity as part of the brain-endogenous immune system from the yolk sac through embryogenesis until adulthood.