Review Article

P2X7 Receptor as a Potential Target for Major Depressive Disorder

Author(s): Zeyi Huang and Sijie Tan*

Volume 22, Issue 10, 2021

Published on: 20 January, 2021

Page: [1108 - 1120] Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/1389450122666210120141908

Price: $65


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental disorder. Although the genetic, biochemical, and psychological factors have been related to the development of MDD, it is generally believed that a series of pathological changes in the brain caused by chronic stress is the main cause of MDD. However, the specific mechanisms underlying chronic stress-induced MDD are largely undermined. Recent investigations have found that increased pro-inflammatory cytokines and changes in the inflammatory pathway in the microglia cells in the brain are the potential pathophysiological mechanism of MDD. P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) and its mediated signaling pathway play a key role in microglia activation. The present review aimed to present and discuss the accumulating data on the role of P2X7R in MDD. Firstly, we summarized the research progress in the correlation between P2X7R and MDD. Subsequently, we presented the P2X7R mediated microglia activation in MDD and the role of P2X7R in increased blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability caused by chronic stress. Lastly, we also discussed the potential mechanism underlying-P2X7R expression changes after chronic stress. In conclusion, P2X7R is a key molecule regulating the activation of microglia. Chronic stress activates microglia in the hippocampus by secreting interleukin- 1β (IL-1β) and other inflammatory cytokines, and increasing the BBB permeability, thus promoting the occurrence and development of MDD, which indicated that P2X7R might be a promising therapeutic target for MDD.

Keywords: Major depressive disorder, P2X7 receptor, Microglia cells, Blood-brain barrier, chronic stress and inflammatory cytokines.

Graphical Abstract
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