Single-cell immune repertoire and transcriptome sequencing reveals that clonally expanded and transcriptionally distinct lymphocytes populate the aged central nervous system in mice.
Yermanos A., Neumeier D., Sandu I., Borsa M., Waindok AC., Merkler D., Oxenius A., Reddy ST.
Neuroinflammation plays a crucial role during ageing and various neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and infection. Technical limitations, however, have prevented an integrative analysis of how lymphocyte immune receptor repertoires and their accompanying transcriptional states change with age in the central nervous system. Here, we leveraged single-cell sequencing to simultaneously profile B cell receptor and T cell receptor repertoires and accompanying gene expression profiles in young and old mouse brains. We observed the presence of clonally expanded B and T cells in the central nervous system of aged male mice. Furthermore, many of these B cells were of the IgM and IgD isotypes, and had low levels of somatic hypermutation. Integrating gene expression information additionally revealed distinct transcriptional profiles of these clonally expanded lymphocytes. Our findings implicate that clonally related T and B cells in the CNS of elderly mice may contribute to neuroinflammation accompanying homeostatic ageing.