Single cell and spatial transcriptomic analyses reveal microglia-plasma cell crosstalk in the brain during Trypanosoma brucei infection.
IF: 17.694
Cited by: 12


Human African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei and induces profound reactivity of glial cells and neuroinflammation when the parasites colonise the central nervous system. However, the transcriptional and functional responses of the brain to chronic T. brucei infection remain poorly understood. By integrating single cell and spatial transcriptomics of the mouse brain, we identify that glial responses triggered by infection are readily detected in the proximity to the circumventricular organs, including the lateral and 3rd ventricle. This coincides with the spatial localisation of both slender and stumpy forms of T. brucei. Furthermore, in silico predictions and functional validations led us to identify a previously unknown crosstalk between homeostatic microglia and Cd138+ plasma cells mediated by IL-10 and B cell activating factor (BAFF) signalling. This study provides important insights and resources to improve understanding of the molecular and cellular responses in the brain during infection with African trypanosomes.


Spatial Transcriptomics

MeSH terms

B-Cell Activating Factor
Plasma Cells
Trypanosoma brucei brucei
Trypanosomiasis, African


Quintana, Juan F
Chandrasegaran, Praveena
Sinton, Matthew C
Briggs, Emma M
Otto, Thomas D
Heslop, Rhiannon
Bentley-Abbot, Calum
Loney, Colin
de Lecea, Luis
Mabbott, Neil A
MacLeod, Annette