Upon central nervous system injury, the extracellular concentrations of nucleotides and cysteinyl-leukotrienes, two unrelated families of endogenous signalling molecules, are markedly increased at the site of damage, suggesting that they may act as ''danger signals'' to alert responses to tissue damage and start repair. Here we show that, in non-injured spinal cord parenchyma, GPR17, a P2Y-like receptor responding to both uracil nucleotides (e.g. UDP-glucose) and cysteinyl-leukotrienes (e.g. LTD4 and LTC4), is present on a subset of neurons and of oligodendrocytes at different stages of maturation, whereas it is not expressed by astrocytes. GPR17 immunoreactivity was also found on ependymal cells lining the central canal that still retain some of the characteristics of stem/progenitor cells during adulthood. Induction of spinal cord injury (SCI) by acute compression resulted in marked cell death of GPR17+ neurons and oligodendrocytes inside the lesion followed by the appearance of proliferating GPR17+ microglia/macrophages migrating to and infiltrating into the lesioned area. Moreover, 72 h after SCI, GPR17+ ependymal cells started to proliferate and to express GFAP, suggesting their activation and ''de-differentiation'' to pluripotent progenitor cells. The in vivo knock down of GPR17 by an antisense oligonucleotide strategy during SCI induction markedly reduced tissue damage and related histological and motor deficits, thus confirming the crucial role played by this receptor in the early phases of tissue damage development. Taken together, our findings suggest a dual and spatiotemporal-dependent role for GPR17 in SCI. At very early times after injury, GPR17 mediates neuronal and oligodendrocyte death inside the lesioned area. At later times, GPR17+ microglia/macrophages are recruited from distal parenchymal areas and move toward the lesioned zone, to suggest a role in orchestrating local remodelling responses. At the same time, the induction of the stem cell marker GFAP in GPR17+ ependymal cells suggests initiation of repair mechanisms. Thus, GPR17 may act as a ''sensor'' of damage that is activated by nucleotides and cysteinyl-leukotrienes released in the lesioned area, and could also participate in post-injury responses. Moreover, its presence on spinal cord pre-oligodendrocytes and precursor-like cells suggests GPR17 as a novel target for therapeutic manipulation to foster remyelination and functional repair in SCI.
|Titolo:||The P2Y-like receptor GPR17 as a sensor of damage and a new potential target in spinal cord injury|
CERUTI, STEFANIA MARIA (Primo)
ABBRACCHIO, MARIA PIA (Ultimo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/14 - Farmacologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1093/brain/awp147|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|