Oligodendrocytes express P2Y12 metabotropic receptor in adult rat brain

S. Amadio, G. Tramini, A. Martorana, M. T. Viscomi, G. Sancesario, G. Bernardi, C. Volonté

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the CNS, nucleotide receptors termed P2 receptors are identified on neurons and glial cells, mediating neuron-neuron, glia-glia and glia-neuron communication. In the present work, we qualify in vivo in the adult rat CNS the cellular/subcellular distribution of P2Y12 receptor protein in cerebral cortex, white matter and subcortical nuclei (striatum and substantia nigra), by means of immunofluorescence-confocal, electron microscopy and Western blot analysis. P2Y12 receptor immunoreactivity colocalizes neither with markers such as neuronal nuclei, neurofilament light chain, calbindin and tyrosine hydroxylase, nor with glial fibrillary acidic protein and isolectin B4, but with myelin basic protein and the oligodendrocyte marker RIP, in both cell bodies and processes, indicating therefore oligodendrocyte localization. Electron microscopy identifies P2Y12 receptors in both the perikaryon and under the plasmalemma of oligodendrocyte cell bodies and radiating processes, until the paranodal region of fibers. By Western blot analysis, P2Y12 receptor shows a specific band of 42-44 kDa, matching the molecular mass predicted from amino acid sequencing. Since in platelets P2Y12 receptor is known to regulate adhesion/activation and thrombus growth/stability, from our results we could speculate by analogy that, in oligodendrocytes, P2Y12 receptor signaling might contribute to the migration and adhesion of the glial processes to axons to be myelinated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1180
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • cerebral cortex
  • myelin basic protein
  • purinergic receptors
  • subcortical nuclei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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