(PROJECT 3) The molecular mechanisms underlying cellular vulnerability in Alzheimer?s disease are unclear. The objective of this project is to clarify the molecular mechanisms responsible for select cell vulnerability and pathogenesis by applying spatial methods for highly multiplexed RNA and protein analysis in Alzheimer?s-affected tissue sections. We will optimize and standardize platforms for multiplexed fluorescence in situ hybridization (mFISH) to examine AD-linked gene sets derived from single nucleus transcriptome analysis, as well as immunohistochemistry (IHC) to examine pathological protein markers in the context of cell type populations in intact human brain tissue. These methods will then be applied to Alzheimer?s disease tissues from brain regions affected in different levels of disease severity to understand 1) the spatial organization of transcriptomically-defined cell types in these brain regions and changes in this organization with disease severity (e.g. selective vulnerability or proliferation), 2) molecular pathways disrupted in Alzheimer?s disease in the context of specific cell types, and 3) the relationship between these affected cell types and the markers of Alzheimer?s pathology, such as amyloid precursor protein and hyperphosphorylated tau. These data generated by mFISH and IHC together will provide a high-resolution map of the cellular and molecular consequences of clinically typical Alzheimer?s disease and an enhanced view of Alzheimer?s pathology, as well as a powerful technology platform for future analyses of larger and more varied cohorts.
(PROJECT 3) Alzheimer?s disease involves a predictable progression of neuropathological protein aggregation across brain regions. New highly multiplexed methods for fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), combined with detailed transcriptome-based classifications of cell types, offer a new high-resolution approach to understand selective vulnerability and resistance of different cell types to AD pathology. The goal of this project is to develop and apply highly multiplexed RNA combined with IHC methods to study quantitative changes in specific cell types with increasing AD severity, dysregulated molecular pathways in specific cell types, and relationships between pathological protein deposition and specific cell types in Alzheimer?s disease.