You are hereOctober 11, 2021 | Neural Stem Cells
Adenosinergic Signaling and BDNF Combine to Control Hippocampal Neurogenesis
Review of “Regulation of hippocampal postnatal and adult neurogenesis by adenosine A2A receptor: Interaction with brain-derived neurotrophic factor” from STEM CELLS by Stuart P. Atkinson
Functioning through the high affinity G-protein-coupled A2A receptor (A2AR) subtype, adenosine regulates critical neuronal functions that include regulating brain development  and neuronal plasticity . Interestingly, recent research has suggested that A2ARs also play crucial roles during postnatal neurogenesis [3, 4] and control the facilitatory fast actions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) at hippocampal synapses, with consequences for synaptic transmission and plasticity [5-8].
With this knowledge in hand, researchers led by Sara Xapelli (Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes, Lisbon, Portugal) sought to fully explore the A2AR-mediated regulation of BDNF-mediated actions during adult neurogenesis. The results of this study, reported recently in STEM CELLS, broaden our appreciation of adenosinergic signaling in the brain and may support the development of novel brain repair strategies for a range of pathological conditions .
Ribeiro et al. discovered that activation of A2ARs in postnatal rat dentate gyrus-neurosphere cultures and six-week-old rats via treatment with a selective agonist enhanced hippocampal neurogenesis, as evidenced by the increased self-renewal and differentiation of neural stem/progenitor cells and production of newborn neurons and the reduced level of neural apoptosis. Overall, these outcomes contributed to the appearance of a higher density of immature and mature neuronal cells and glutamatergic neurons, in particular. Furthermore, the authors established that A2AR activation prompted BDNF secretion and that the BDNF-mediated increase in cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation (but not self-renewal) required the endogenous activation of A2AR.
While these findings suggest a tight interplay between BDNF and A2AR, future studies will be required to reveal the precise nature of this interaction. Furthermore, the authors hope to explore the potential relevance of adenosinergic signaling on learning and memory formation and the possible application of this knowledge to neuronal repair and regeneration.
For more on how adenosinergic signaling and BDNF combine to control hippocampal neurogenesis, stay tuned to the Stem Cells Portal!
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- Fontinha BM, Diogenes MJ, Ribeiro JA, et al., Enhancement of long-term potentiation by brain-derived neurotrophic factor requires adenosine A2A receptor activation by endogenous adenosine. Neuropharmacology 2008;54:924-33.
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- Ribeiro FF, Ferreira F, Rodrigues RS, et al., Regulation of hippocampal postnatal and adult neurogenesis by adenosine A2A receptor: Interaction with brain-derived neurotrophic factor. STEM CELLS 2021;39:1362-1381.