Purinergic Signaling in the Pathophysiology and Treatment of Huntington's Disease.

Publication date: Jan 22, 2021

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a devastating, progressive, and fatal neurodegenerative disorder inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. This condition is characterized by motor dysfunction (chorea in the early stage, followed by bradykinesia, dystonia, and motor incoordination in the late stage), psychiatric disturbance, and cognitive decline. The neuropathological hallmark of HD is the pronounced neuronal loss in the striatum (caudate nucleus and putamen). The striatum is related to the movement control, flexibility, motivation, and learning and the purinergic signaling has an important role in the control of these events. Purinergic signaling involves the actions of purine nucleotides and nucleosides through the activation of P2 and P1 receptors, respectively. Extracellular nucleotide and nucleoside-metabolizing enzymes control the levels of these messengers, modulating the purinergic signaling. The striatum has a high expression of adenosine A receptors, which are involved in the neurodegeneration observed in HD. The P2X7 and P2Y2 receptors may also play a role in the pathophysiology of HD. Interestingly, nucleotide and nucleoside levels may be altered in HD animal models and humans with HD. This review presents several studies describing the relationship between purinergic signaling and HD, as well as the use of purinoceptors as pharmacological targets and biomarkers for this neurodegenerative disorder.

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Concepts Keywords
Huntington Striatum
Late P2RX7
Neurodegenerative Purinergic receptor
Pharmacological Ion channels
Stage Purinergic signalling
Cell signaling
G protein-coupled receptors
Branches of biology


Type Source Name
disease MESH neurodegenerative disorder
disease MESH chorea
disease MESH bradykinesia
disease MESH incoordination
disease MESH cognitive decline
drug DRUGBANK Adenosine

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