Metabotropic P2 receptor activation regulates oligodendrocyte progenitor migration and development

C. Agresti, M. E. Meomartini, S. Amadio, E. Ambrosini, B. Serafini, L. Franchini, C. Volonté, F. Aloisi, S. Visentin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To gain insights into the role of purinergic receptors in oligodendrocyte development, we characterized the expression and functional activity of P2 receptors in cultured rat oligodendrocyte progenitors and investigated the effects of ATP and its breakdown products on the migration and proliferation of this immature glial cell population. Using Western blot analysis, we show that oligodendrocyte progenitors express several P2X (P2X1,2,3,4,7) and P2Y (P2Y1,2,4) receptors. Intracellular Ca2+ recording by Fura-2 video imaging allowed to determine the rank potency order of the P2 agonists tested: ADPβS = ADP = Benzoyl ATP > ATP > ATPγS > UTP, α,β-meATP ineffective. Based on the above findings, on pharmacological inhibition by the antagonists oxATP and MRS2179, and on the absence of α,βmeATP-induced inward current in whole-cell recording, P2X7 and P2Y1 were identified as the main ionotropic and metabotropic P2 receptors active in OPs. As a functional correlate of these findings, we show that ATP and, among metabotropic agonists, ADP and the P2Y1-specific agonist ADPβS, but not UTP, induce oligodendrocyte progenitor migration. Moreover, ATP and ADP inhibited the proliferation of oligodendrocyte progenitors induced by platelet-derived growth factor, both in purified cultures and in cerebellar tissue slices. The effects of ATP and ADP on cell migration and proliferation were prevented by the P2Y1 antagonist MRS2179. By confocal laser scanning microscopy, P2Y1 receptors were localized in NG2-labeled oligodendrocyte progenitors in the developing rat brain. These data indicate that ATP and ADP may regulate oligodendrocyte progenitor functions by a mechanism that involves mainly activation of P2Y1 receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-144
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2005


  • ATP
  • Cell motility
  • Intracellular calcium
  • P2X
  • P2Y
  • Remyelination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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    Agresti, C., Meomartini, M. E., Amadio, S., Ambrosini, E., Serafini, B., Franchini, L., Volonté, C., Aloisi, F., & Visentin, S. (2005). Metabotropic P2 receptor activation regulates oligodendrocyte progenitor migration and development. GLIA, 50(2), 132-144.