In response to peripheral nerve injury, Schwann cells adopt a migratory phenotype and modify the extracellular matrix to make it permissive for cell migration and axonal re-growth. Uridine 5'-triphosphate (UTP) and other nucleotides are released during nerve injury and activate purinergic receptors expressed on the Schwann cell surface, but little is known about the involvement of purine signalling in wound healing. We studied the effect of UTP on Schwannoma cell migration and wound closure and the intracellular signaling pathways involved. We found that UTP treatment induced Schwannoma cell migration through activation of P2Y2 receptors and through the increase of extracellular matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activation and expression. Knockdown P2Y2 receptor or MMP-2 expression greatly reduced wound closure and MMP-2 activation induced by UTP. MMP-2 activation evoked by injury or UTP was also mediated by phosphorylation of all 3 major mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs): JNK, ERK1/2, and p38. Inhibition of these MAPK pathways decreased both MMP-2 activation and cell migration. Interestingly, MAPK phosphorylation evoked by UTP exhibited a biphasic pattern, with an early transient phosphorylation 5 min after treatment, and a late and sustained phosphorylation that appeared at 6 h and lasted up to 24 h. Inhibition of MMP-2 activity selectively blocked the late, but not the transient, phase of MAPK activation. These results suggest that MMP-2 activation and late MAPK phosphorylation are part of a positive feedback mechanism to maintain the migratory phenotype for wound healing. In conclusion, our findings show that treatment with UTP stimulates in vitro Schwannoma cell migration and wound repair through a MMP-2-dependent mechanism via P2Y2 receptors and MAPK pathway activation.
Glial cells in the peripheral nervous system, such as Schwann cells, respond to nucleotides, which play an important role in axonal regeneration and myelination. Metabotropic P2Y receptor agonists are promising therapeutic molecules for peripheral neuropathies. Nevertheless, the proteomic mechanisms involved in nucleotide action on Schwann cells remain unknown. Here, we studied intracellular protein changes in RT4-D6P2T Schwann cells after treatment with nucleotides and Nucleo CMP Forte (CMPF), a nucleotide-based drug. After treatment with CMPF, 2-D DIGE revealed 11 differential gel spots, which were all upregulated. Among these, six different proteins were identified by MS. Some of these proteins are involved in actin remodelling (actin-related protein, Arp3), membrane vesicle transport (Rab GDP dissociation inhibitor ?, Rab GDI), and the endoplasmic reticulum stress response (protein disulfide isomerase A3, PDI), which are hallmarks of a possible P2Y receptor signalling pathway. Expression of P2Y receptors in RT4-D6P2T cells was demonstrated by RT-PCR and a transient elevation of intracellular calcium measured in response to UTP. Actin reorganisation was visualized after UTP treatment using phalloidin-FITC staining and was blocked by the P2Y antagonist suramin, which also inhibited Arp3, Rab GDI, and PDI protein upregulation. Our data indicate that extracellular UTP interacts with Schwann P2Y receptors and activates molecular machinery that induces changes in the glial cell cytoskeleton.
Schwann cells (SCs) are peripheral myelinating glial cells that express the neuronal Ca(2+)-dependent cell adhesion molecule, neural cadherin (N-cadherin). N-cadherin is involved in glia-glia and axon-glia interactions and participates in many key events, which range from the control of axonal growth and guidance to synapse formation and plasticity. Extracellular UTP activates P2Y purinergic receptors and exerts short- and long-term effects on several tissues to promote wound healing. Nevertheless, the contribution of P2Y receptors in peripheral nervous system functions is not completely understood. The current study demonstrated that UTP induced a dose- and time-dependent increase in N-cadherin expression in SCs. Furthermore, N-cadherin expression was blocked by the P2 purinoceptor antagonist suramin. The increased N-cadherin expression induced by UTP was mediated by phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), such as Jun N-terminal kinase, extracellular-regulated kinase and p38 kinase. Moreover, the Rho kinase inhibitor Y27632, the phospholipase C inhibitor U73122 and the protein kinase C inhibitor calphostin C attenuated the UTP-induced activation of MAPKs significantly. Extracellular UTP also modulated increased in the expression of the early transcription factors c-Fos and c-Jun. We also demonstrated that the region of the N-cadherin promoter between nucleotide positions -3698 and -2620, which contained one activator protein-1-binding site, was necessary for UTP-induced gene expression. These results suggest a novel role for P2Y purinergic receptors in the regulation of N-cadherin expression in SCs.
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