Bryan McGill, MD, a researcher in the Milbrandt lab, had a paper published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience. The article, “Abnormal Microglia and Enhanced Inflammation-Related Gene Transcription in Mice with Conditional Deletion of Ctcf in Camk2a-Cre-Expressing Neurons,” looks at CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), an 11 zinc finger DNA-binding domain protein that regulates gene expression by modifying three dimensional chromatin structure. McGill and his fellow researchers found that inflammation and dysfunctional neuron-microglia interactions are factors in the pathology of CTCF deficiency.

“This project was interesting to me because knocking out a gene in neurons caused an unexpected and dramatic phenotype in another cell type, microglia. I really wasn’t expecting that,” McGill said. “It will be exciting to see if modulating microglial action has any effect on the phenotype that we see in animals.”

Read the study abstract here. You can read more about Dr. McGill and his work here.