PAR1 activation affects the neurotrophic properties of Schwann cells

Elena Pompili, Cinzia Fabrizi, Francesca Somma, Virginia Correani, Bruno Maras, Maria Eugenia Schininà, Viviana Ciraci, Marco Artico, Francesco Fornai, Lorenzo Fumagalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1) is the prototypic member of a family of four G-protein-coupled receptors that signal in response to extracellular proteases. In the peripheral nervous system, the expression and/or the role of PARs are still poorly investigated. High PAR1 mRNA expression was found in the rat dorsal root ganglia and the signal intensity of PAR1 mRNA increased in response to sciatic nerve transection. In the sciatic nerve, functional PAR1 receptor was reported at the level of non-compacted Schwann cell myelin microvilli of the nodes of Ranvier. Schwann cells are the principal population of glial cells of the peripheral nervous system which myelinate axons playing an important role during axonal regeneration and remyelination. The present study was undertaken in order to determine if the activation of PAR1 affects the neurotrophic properties of Schwann cells. Our results suggest that the stimulation of PAR1 could potentiate the Schwann cell ability to favour nerve regeneration. In fact, the conditioned medium obtained from Schwann cell cultures challenged with a specific PAR1 activating peptide (PAR1 AP) displays increased neuroprotective and neurotrophic properties with respect to the culture medium from untreated Schwann cells. The proteomic analysis of secreted proteins in untreated and PAR1 AP-treated Schwann cells allowed the identification of factors differentially expressed in the two samples. Some of them (such as macrophage migration inhibitory factor, matrix metalloproteinase-2, decorin, syndecan 4, complement C1r subcomponent, angiogenic factor with G patch and FHA domains 1) appear to be transcriptionally regulated after PAR1 AP treatment as shown by RT-PCR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Protease-activated receptor-1
  • Regeneration
  • Schwann cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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