P2X7 Purinergic Receptor Is Involved in the Pathophysiology of Mania: a Preclinical Study Academic Article uri icon

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  • The pathophysiology of bipolar disorder remains incompletely elucidated. The purinergic receptor, P2X7 (P2X7R), plays a central role in neuroinflammation, the establishment, and maintenance of microglial activation and neuronal damage/death, all characteristics of bipolar disorder pathology. The present study aims to explore the participation of the P2X7R in a preclinical pharmacological model of mania. We analyzed the modulatory effects of the P2X7R antagonist, brilliant blue, on behavior, monoamines, gene expression, serum purine levels, and cell typing in a pharmacological model of mania induced by D-amphetamine (AMPH) in mice. Our results corroborate an association between the P2X7 receptor and the preclinical animal model of mania, as demonstrated by the decreased responsiveness to AMPH in animals with pharmacologically blocked P2X7R. This study further suggests a possible dopaminergic mechanism for the action of P2X7 receptor antagonism. Additionally, we observed increased peripheral levels of adenosine, a neuroprotective molecule, and increased central expression of Entpd3 and Entpd1 leading to the hydrolysis of ATP, a danger signal, possibly as an attempt to compensate for the damage induced by AMPH. Lastly, P2X7R antagonism in the AMPH model was found to potentially modulate astrogliosis. Our results support the hypothesis that P2X7R plays a vital role in the pathophysiology of mania, possibly by modulating the dopaminergic pathway and astrogliosis, as reflected in the behavioral changes observed. Taken together, this study suggests that a purinergic system imbalance is associated with the AMPH-induced preclinical animal model of mania. P2X7R may represent a promising molecular therapeutic target for bipolar disorder.


  • Gubert, Carolina
  • Andrejew, Roberta
  • Leite, Carlos Eduardo
  • Moritz, Cesar Eduardo Jacintho
  • Scholl, Juliete
  • Figueiro, Fabricio
  • Kapczinski, Flavio
  • da Silva Magalhães, Pedro Vieira
  • Battastini, Ana Maria Oliveira

publication date

  • March 2020