Somatic copy number variant load in neurons of healthy controls and Alzheimer’s disease patients

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Turan Z. G., Richter V., Bochmann J., Parvizi P., Yapar E., Işıldak U., ...More

Acta Neuropathologica Communications, vol.10, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s40478-022-01452-2
  • Journal Name: Acta Neuropathologica Communications
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Single-cell whole-genome sequencing, Copy number variation, Alzheimer's disease, Brain, Laser capture microdissection, Fluorescence-activated cell sorting, Denoising
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022, The Author(s).The possible role of somatic copy number variations (CNVs) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) aetiology has been controversial. Although cytogenetic studies suggested increased CNV loads in AD brains, a recent single-cell whole-genome sequencing (scWGS) experiment, studying frontal cortex brain samples, found no such evidence. Here we readdressed this issue using low-coverage scWGS on pyramidal neurons dissected via both laser capture microdissection (LCM) and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) across five brain regions: entorhinal cortex, temporal cortex, hippocampal CA1, hippocampal CA3, and the cerebellum. Among reliably detected somatic CNVs identified in 1301 cells obtained from the brains of 13 AD patients and 7 healthy controls, deletions were more frequent compared to duplications. Interestingly, we observed slightly higher frequencies of CNV events in cells from AD compared to similar numbers of cells from controls (4.1% vs. 1.4%, or 0.9% vs. 0.7%, using different filtering approaches), although the differences were not statistically significant. On the technical aspects, we observed that LCM-isolated cells show higher within-cell read depth variation compared to cells isolated with FACS. To reduce within-cell read depth variation, we proposed a principal component analysis-based denoising approach that significantly improves signal-to-noise ratios. Lastly, we showed that LCM-isolated neurons in AD harbour slightly more read depth variability than neurons of controls, which might be related to the reported hyperploid profiles of some AD-affected neurons.