P2X7 Receptors in Astrocytes: A Switch for Ischemic Tolerance

Molecules. 2022 Jun 7;27(12):3655. doi: 10.3390/molecules27123655.


A sub-lethal ischemic episode (preconditioning [PC]) protects neurons against a subsequent lethal ischemic injury. This phenomenon is known as ischemic tolerance. PC itself does not cause brain damage, but affects glial responses, especially astrocytes, and transforms them into an ischemia-resistant phenotype. P2X7 receptors (P2X7Rs) in astrocytes play essential roles in PC. Although P2X7Rs trigger inflammatory and toxic responses, PC-induced P2X7Rs in astrocytes function as a switch to protect the brain against ischemia. In this review, we focus on P2X7Rs and summarize recent developments on how astrocytes control P2X7Rs and what molecular mechanisms they use to induce ischemic tolerance.

Keywords: P2X7 receptor; astrocytes; ischemic tolerance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytes*
  • Brain Ischemia* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Ischemia
  • Neurons
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X7 / genetics


  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X7