Feb 23, 2020

Regulation and signaling of the GPR17 receptor in oligodendroglial cells

Davide LeccaMarta Fumagalli


Remyelination, namely, the formation of new myelin sheaths around denuded axons, counteracts axonal degeneration and restores neuronal function. Considerable advances have been made in understanding this regenerative process that often fails in diseases like multiple sclerosis, leaving axons demyelinated and vulnerable to damage, thus contributing to disease progression. The identification of the membrane receptor GPR17 on a subset of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), which mediate remyelination in the adult central nervous system (CNS), has led to a huge amount of evidence that validated this receptor as a new attractive target for remyelinating therapies. Here, we summarize the role of GPR17 in OPC function, myelination and remyelination, describing its atypical pharmacology, its downstream signaling, and the genetic and epigenetic factors modulating its activity. We also highlight crucial insights into GPR17 pathophysiology coming from the demonstration that oligodendrocyte injury, associated with inflammation in chronic neurodegenerative conditions, is invariably characterized by abnormal and persistent GPR17 upregulation, which, in turn, is accompanied by a block of OPCs at immature premyelinating stages. Finally, we...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Neurophysiology - Biologic Function
Traumatic Injury
Abnormal Degeneration
Central Nervous System
Multiple Sclerosis
GPR17 protein, human

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