Astrocytes play an essential role in the maintenance and protection of the brain, which we reported was diminished with age. Here, we demonstrate that activation of a purinergic receptor (P2Y-R) signaling pathway, in astrocytes, significantly increases the resistance of astrocytes and neurons to oxidative stress. Interestingly, P2Y-R activation in old astrocytes increased their resistance to oxidative stress to levels that were comparable with stimulated young astrocytes. P2Y-R enhanced neuroprotection was blocked by oligomycin and by Xestospongin C, inhibitors of the ATP synthase and of inositol (1,4,5) triphosphate (IP3) binding to the IP3 receptor, respectively. Treatment of astrocytes with a membrane permeant analog of IP 3 also protected astrocytes against oxidative stress. These data indicate that P2Y-R enhanced astrocyte neuroprotection is mediated by aCa 2+-dependent increase in mitochondrial metabolism. These data also reveal a signaling pathway that can rapidly respond to central energy needs throughout the aging process.
- Intracellular Ca
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