Study: Integrative in situ mapping of single-cell transcriptional states and tissue histopathology in an Alzheimer disease model 72165 cells
Amyloid-β plaques and neurofibrillary tau tangles are the neuropathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but the spatiotemporal cellular responses and molecular mechanisms underlying AD pathophysiology remain poorly understood. Here we introduce STARmap PLUS to simultaneously map single-cell transcriptional states and disease marker proteins in brain tissues of AD mouse models at a voxel size of 95 x 95 x 350 nm. This high-resolution spatial transcriptomics map revealed a core-shell structure where disease-associated microglia (DAM) closely contact amyloid-β plaques, whereas disease-associated astrocyte-like cells (DAA-like) and oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC) are enriched in the outer shells surrounding the plaque-DAM complex. Hyperphosphorylated tau emerged mainly in excitatory neurons in the CA1 region accompanied by infiltration of oligodendrocyte subtypes into the axon bundles of hippocampal alveus. The integrative STARmap PLUS method bridges single-cell gene expression profiles with tissue histopathology at subcellular resolution, providing an unprecedented roadmap to pinpoint the molecular and cellular mechanisms of AD pathology and neurodegeneration.