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Neurobiol Dis. 2018 Oct;118:142-154. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2018.07.014. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Inhibition of astrocytic adenosine receptor A2A attenuates microglial activation in a mouse model of Sandhoff disease.

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Department of Pharmacology, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Tokyo 204-8588, Japan. Electronic address:
Department of Pharmacology, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Tokyo 204-8588, Japan.
Department of Clinical Genetics, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Tokyo 204-8588, Japan.


Astrocyte-microglia communication influences the onset and progression of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. In this study, we determined how chronic inflammation by activated astrocytes affected and regulated CNS functions in Sandhoff disease (SD), a CNS lysosomal storage disorder. SD triggers intense CNS inflammation such as microglial activation and astrogliosis. It is caused by mutation of the HEXB gene, which reduces β-hexosaminidase (Hex) enzymatic activity in lysosomes, leading to accumulation of the substrate GM2 ganglioside in neuronal cells. Hexb-/- mice display a phenotype similar to human patients that suffer from chronic inflammation characterized by activation of astrocytes and microglia. In Hexb-/- mice, tremors and loss of muscle coordination begins at ~12 weeks. Interestingly, we found that reactive astrocytes expressed adenosine A2A receptor in the cerebral cortices of Hexb-/- mice at the later inflammatory phase. In cultured astrocytes, expression of A2A receptor could be induced by astrocyte defined medium, and then the activation of the A2A receptor induced ccl2 expression. In Hexb-/- mice, inhibition of the A2A receptor antagonized by istradefylline decreased the number of activated microglial cells and inflammatory cytokines/chemokines at 13 weeks. Thus, the astrocytic A2A receptor is an important sensor that regulates microglial activation in the late phase of inflammation.


Adenosine A(2A) receptor; Astrogliosis; HexB knockout mice; Istradefylline; Sandhoff disease


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