2018 Volume 7 Issue 4 Pages 251-257
Gamma-interferon-inducible lysosomal thiol reductase (GILT), expressed in antigen-presenting cells (APCs), facilitates the reduction of disulfide bonds of endocytosed proteins in the endocytic pathway and they are further processed for presentation of immunogenic peptides loaded on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II. Although the constitutive and IFNγ-inducible expression of GILT was observed in various APCs, such as dendritic cells, monocytes/macrophages, and B cells, GILT-expressing cell types remain unknown in the human central nervous system (CNS). Nasu-Hakola disease (NHD) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by sclerosing leukoencephalopathy and multifocal bone cysts, caused by a loss-of-function mutation of either TYROBP (DAP12) or TREM2, both of which are expressed on microglia. A rare heterozygous variant of the TREM2 gene encoding p.Arg47His causes a 3-fold increase in the risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), suggesting that both NHD and AD are induced by dysfunction of the microglial TREM2 signaling pathway in the brains. We studied by immunohistochemistry GILT expression in NHD and AD brains. GILT was expressed on amoeboid microglia with the highest levels of expression in AD brains, compared with those in non-neurological control (NC) brains and in NHD brains. In AD brains, the clusters of amoeboid microglia surrounding amyloid-beta (Aꞵ) deposition strongly expressed GILT. Furthermore, a human microglial cell line expressed GILT in response to IFNγ. These results indicate that microglia, expressing constitutively high levels of GILT, act as a principal cell type of APCs in AD brains, in contrast to baseline levels of GILT expression in NHD brains.