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The blood-brain barrier (BBB), the dynamic interface between the nervous tissue and the blood, is composed by endothelial cells, pericytes and astrocytes. Extracellular nucleotides and nucleosides and their receptors (the purinergic system) constitute a widely diffused signaling system involved in many pathophysiological processes. However, the role of this(More)
Brain injuries modulate activation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult brain. In pathological conditions, the concentrations of extracellular nucleotides (eNTs) raise several folds, contribute to reactive gliosis, and possibly directly affect subventricular zone (SVZ) cell functioning. Among eNTs and derived metabolites, the P2Y1 receptor agonist ADP(More)
As human life expectancy has improved rapidly in industrialized societies, age-related cognitive impairment presents an increasing challenge. Targeting histopathological processes that correlate with age-related cognitive declines, such as neuroinflammation, low levels of neurogenesis, disrupted blood-brain barrier and altered neuronal activity, might lead(More)
Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs, also called NG2 cells) are scattered throughout brain parenchyma, where they function as a reservoir to replace lost or damaged oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming cells. The hypothesis that, under some circumstances, OPCs can actually behave as multipotent cells, thus generating astrocytes and neurons as well, has(More)
The G protein-coupled receptor 17 (GPR17) plays crucial roles in myelination. It is highly expressed during transition of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells to immature oligodendrocytes, but, after this stage, it must be down-regulated to allow generation of mature myelinating cells. After endocytosis, GPR17 is sorted into lysosomes for degradation or(More)
Astrocytes are fascinating resident cells of the central nervous system (CNS). They overcome neurons in number, and they were long believed to play a mere structural and homeostatic function in the healthy brain and spinal cord. This shortsighted view has now profoundly changed and astrocytes are universally recognized as one of the major players in the(More)
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