P2X7 receptors in oligodendrocytes: a novel target for neuroprotection

Mol Neurobiol. 2008 Oct;38(2):123-8. doi: 10.1007/s12035-008-8028-x. Epub 2008 Aug 14.


Intense ATP signaling through P2X7 purinergic receptors can lead to excitotoxicity, a feature which initiates neuronal demise in experimental paradigms relevant to ischemia and to traumatic injury. In addition, recent data provide evidence that oligodendrocytes also express P2X7 receptors that are activated under experimental pathological conditions involving white matter demise. Thus, this receptor subtype is a promising target for the development of new drugs to prevent white matter damage in acute and chronic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / metabolism*
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2 / genetics
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2 / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X7
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • P2RX7 protein, human
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X7
  • Adenosine Triphosphate