Mosaic loss of Chromosome Y in aged human microglia

Author(s): Vermeulen, MC; Pearse, R; Young-Pearse, T; Mostafavi, S;
Year: 2022;  
Journal: Genome Research;  
Volume: 32;  
Issue: 10;  

Mosaic loss of Chromosome Y (LOY) is a common acquired structural mutation in the leukocytes of aging men that is correlated with several age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The molecular basis of LOY in brain cells has not been systematically investigated. Here, we present a large-scale analysis of single-cell and single-nuclei RNA brain data sets, yielding 851,674 cells, to investigate the cell type-specific burden of LOY. LOY frequencies differed widely between donors and CNS cell types. Among five well-represented neural cell types, LOY was enriched in microglia and rare in neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. In microglia, LOY was significantly enriched in AD subjects. Differential gene expression (DE) analysis in microglia found 172 autosomal genes, three X-linked genes, and 10 pseudoautosomal genes associated with LOY. To our knowledge, we provide the first evidence of LOY in the microglia and highlight its potential roles in aging and the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as AD.