Single-cell mass cytometry reveals complex myeloid cell composition in active lesions of progressive multiple sclerosis

C. Böttcher, M. van der Poel, C. Fernández-Zapata, S. Schlickeiser, J.K.H. Leman, C.-C. Hsiao, M.R. Mizee, Adelia, M.C.J. Vincenten, D. Kunkel, I. Huitinga, J. Hamann, J. Priller

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Myeloid cells contribute to inflammation and demyelination in the early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS), but it is still unclear to what extent these cells are involved in active lesion formation in progressive MS (PMS). Here, we have harnessed the power of single-cell mass cytometry (CyTOF) to compare myeloid cell phenotypes in active lesions of PMS donors with those in normal-appearing white matter from the same donors and control white matter from non-MS donors. CyTOF measurements of a total of 74 targeted proteins revealed a decreased abundance of homeostatic and TNFhi microglia, and an increase in highly phagocytic and activated microglia states in active lesions of PMS donors. Interestingly, in contrast to results obtained from studies of the inflammatory early disease stages of MS, infiltrating monocyte-derived macrophages were scarce in active lesions of PMS, suggesting fundamental differences of myeloid cell composition in advanced stages of PMS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136
Pages (from-to)136
Number of pages18
JournalActa neuropathologica communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2020


  • Active lesion
  • Mass cytometry
  • Microglia
  • Myeloid cells
  • Progressive multiple sclerosis

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