Macrophages are key regulators of brain homeostasis and inflammation. While the functions of microglia are gradually being uncovered, other tissue-resident brain macrophages remain largely unstudied. An important example are macrophages in the choroid plexus (CP), a multifunctional structure and gateway for brain leukocyte trafficking. By relying on cutting edge technologies, we aim to unravel the heterogeneity, dynamics and functions of CP macrophages during homeostasis and disease. We will rely on single-cell RNA sequencing to dissect CP macrophage heterogeneity, identify distinct subsets and provide relevant new markers for their identification. We have recently developed a genetic system for brain macrophage targeting. This allows for the differential fluorescent labeling of microglia versus CP macrophages, which we will use to elucidate the in vivo dynamics of CP macrophages via 2-photon microscopy. In addition, we will build on and extend our genetic toolbox and generate a system for the chronic or timed ablation of CP macrophages. Using these tools, we will investigate the role of macrophages in CP development and homeostasis. In addition, we will assess the functions and dynamics of tissue-resident CP macrophages in a highly relevant model of non-sterile inflammation, using experimental Trypansoma brucei brucei infections. Together, this pioneering work will for the first time offer insights into the functions of CP macrophages and provide new tools for their study.
|Effective start/end date||1/10/17 → 30/09/21|
Flemish discipline codes
- Medical biophysics