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J Exp Med. 2018 Jun 4;215(6):1649-1663. doi: 10.1084/jem.20171487. Epub 2018 May 3.

P2Y1 receptor blockade normalizes network dysfunction and cognition in an Alzheimer's disease model.

Author information

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn, Germany.
Institute of Cellular Neurosciences, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, England, UK.
Department of Neuropathology, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn, Germany
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


Astrocytic hyperactivity is an important contributor to neuronal-glial network dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have previously shown that astrocyte hyperactivity is mediated by signaling through the P2Y1 purinoreceptor (P2Y1R) pathway. Using the APPPS1 mouse model of AD, we here find that chronic intracerebroventricular infusion of P2Y1R inhibitors normalizes astroglial and neuronal network dysfunction, as measured by in vivo two-photon microscopy, augments structural synaptic integrity, and preserves hippocampal long-term potentiation. These effects occur independently from β-amyloid metabolism or plaque burden but are associated with a higher morphological complexity of periplaque reactive astrocytes, as well as reduced dystrophic neurite burden and greater plaque compaction. Importantly, APPPS1 mice chronically treated with P2Y1R antagonists, as well as APPPS1 mice carrying an astrocyte-specific genetic deletion (Ip3r2-/-) of signaling pathways downstream of P2Y1R activation, are protected from the decline of spatial learning and memory. In summary, our study establishes the restoration of network homoeostasis by P2Y1R inhibition as a novel treatment target in AD.

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