About this Research Topic
Neurodegenerative diseases include a variety of hereditary conditions as well as sporadic disorders characterized by progressive dysfunction of the nervous system, leading to inflammation, gliosis, and degeneration of neurons in the brain and/or the spinal cord.
The beginning of neuronal degeneration (ND) is usually marked by mild symptoms such as problems related to coordination or memory. As neurodegeneration accelerates, symptoms worsen progressively.
In addition to aging, abnormal protein aggregation in the cytoplasm or nucleus of brain cells represents a common hallmark in degenerative pathologies. For example, both Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), which are the two most common neurodegenerative disorders affecting around 50 and 6 million people worldwide respectively, are characterized by abnormal protein deposits in neurons and progressive loss of function or structure of the central nervous system (CNS), leading to trigger inflammatory responses in several cases.
Studies have shown that the purinergic system is involved in several mechanisms associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as AD, PD, and others. In particular, the P2X7 receptor, belonging to the family of ATP-activated purinergic receptors, induces an inflammatory response and cell death, and has been described as a relevant target within the CNS. P2X7 receptor is over-expressed and its stimulation is crucial for microglia activation in AD patients, resulting in an elevated release of the proinflammatory cytokines.
On the other hand, inhibition of the P2X7 receptor reduces the inflammatory state in transgenic mouse models of the AD, resulting in reduced gliosis levels. Therefore, P2X7 receptor modulation has proven to be a promising option for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
This Research Topic aims to collect high-quality review and original research articles, investigating the P2X7 receptor and its involvement in the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases.
Topics will include but won’t be limited to:
- P2X7 receptor modulation of the inflammatory response and cell death on the central nervous system (CNS);
- P2X7 receptor in neurodegeneration: potential therapeutic application based on basic to clinic approaches
- P2X7 receptor modulation of the inflammatory response and cell death in Alzheimer’s disease (AD);
- P2X7 receptor modulation of the inflammatory response in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and PD-related disorders;
- P2X7 receptor modulation of cell death in motor neuron diseases (MND);
- P2X7 receptor modulation of the inflammatory response and cell death in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- P2X7 receptor modulation of the inflammatory response and cell death in dementia.
Keywords: P2X7 receptor, neurodegenerative disease, inflammatory response, cell death, Purinergic system
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