Astrocytes become activated in response to brain injury, as characterized by increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and increased rates of cell migration and proliferation. Damage to brain cells causes the release of cytoplasmic nucleotides, such as ATP and uridine 5′- triphosphate (UTP), ligands for P2 nucleotide receptors. Results in this study with primary rat astrocytes indicate that activation of a G protein-coupled P2Y2 receptor for ATP and UTP increases GFAP expression and both chemotactic and chemokinetic cell migration. UTP-induced astrocyte migration was inhibited by silencing of P2Y2 nucleotide receptor (P2Y 2R) expression with siRNA of P2Y2R (P2Y2R siRNA). UTP also increased the expression in astrocytes of α vβ3/5 integrins that are known to interact directly with the P2Y2R to modulate its function. Anti-αv integrin antibodies prevented UTP-stimulated astrocyte migration, suggesting that P2Y2R/αv interactions mediate the activation of astrocytes by DTP. P2Y2R-mediated astrocyte migration required the activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3-K)/protein kinase B (Akt) and the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK/ERK) signaling pathways, responses that also were inhibited by anti-αv integrin antibody. These results suggest that P2Y 2Rs and their associated signaling pathways may be important factors regulating astrogliosis in brain disorders.
- Astrocyte migration
- P2 nucleotide receptors
- Uridine 5′-triphosphate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience