P2Y2 nucleotide receptor interaction with αV integrin mediates astrocyte migration


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Gary A. Weisman, Department of Biochemistry, 540E Life Sciences Center, 1201 Rollins Road, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO, 65211–7310, USA. E-mail: weismang@missouri.edu


Astrocytes become activated in response to brain injury, as characterized by increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and increased rates of cell migration and proliferation. Damage to brain cells causes the release of cytoplasmic nucleotides, such as ATP and uridine 5′-triphosphate (UTP), ligands for P2 nucleotide receptors. Results in this study with primary rat astrocytes indicate that activation of a G protein-coupled P2Y2 receptor for ATP and UTP increases GFAP expression and both chemotactic and chemokinetic cell migration. UTP-induced astrocyte migration was inhibited by silencing of P2Y2 nucleotide receptor (P2Y2R) expression with siRNA of P2Y2R (P2Y2R siRNA). UTP also increased the expression in astrocytes of αVβ3/5 integrins that are known to interact directly with the P2Y2R to modulate its function. Anti-αV integrin antibodies prevented UTP-stimulated astrocyte migration, suggesting that P2Y2R/αV interactions mediate the activation of astrocytes by UTP. P2Y2R-mediated astrocyte migration required the activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3-K)/protein kinase B (Akt) and the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK/ERK) signaling pathways, responses that also were inhibited by anti-αV integrin antibody. These results suggest that P2Y2Rs and their associated signaling pathways may be important factors regulating astrogliosis in brain disorders.