Next Article in Journal
Efficacy of Dronabinol for Acute Pain Management in Adults with Traumatic Injury: Study Protocol of A Randomized Controlled Trial
Previous Article in Journal
Post-Ischaemic Immunological Response in the Brain: Targeting Microglia in Ischaemic Stroke Therapy
Open AccessOpinion

Purinergic Signaling and Related Biomarkers in Depression

Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, Via Cadore 48, 20900 Monza, Italy
Department of Mental Health & Addiction, ASST Nord Milano, Bassini Hospital, via Gorki 50, 20092 Cinisello Balsamo, Milano, Italy
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia
Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, Division of Psychiatry, University College London, 6thFloor, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T7NF, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(3), 160;
Received: 8 February 2020 / Revised: 9 March 2020 / Accepted: 11 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
It is established that purinergic signaling can shape a wide range of physiological functions, including neurotransmission and neuromodulation. The purinergic system may play a role in the pathophysiology of mood disorders, influencing neurotransmitter systems and hormonal pathways of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Treatment with mood stabilizers and antidepressants can lead to changes in purinergic signaling. In this overview, we describe the biological background on the possible link between the purinergic system and depression, possibly involving changes in adenosine- and ATP-mediated signaling at P1 and P2 receptors, respectively. Furthermore, evidence on the possible antidepressive effects of non-selective adenosine antagonist caffeine and other purinergic modulators is reviewed. In particular, A2A and P2X7 receptors have been identified as potential targets for depression treatment. Preclinical studies highlight that both selective A2A and P2X7 antagonists may have antidepressant effects and potentiate responses to antidepressant treatments. Consistently, recent studies feature the possible role of the purinergic system peripheral metabolites as possible biomarkers of depression. In particular, variations of serum uric acid, as the end product of purinergic metabolism, have been found in depression. Although several open questions remain, the purinergic system represents a promising research area for insights into the molecular basis of depression. View Full-Text
Keywords: purinergic system; adenosine; ATP; caffeine; biomarkers; depression; molecular psychiatry purinergic system; adenosine; ATP; caffeine; biomarkers; depression; molecular psychiatry
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Bartoli, F.; Burnstock, G.; Crocamo, C.; Carrà, G. Purinergic Signaling and Related Biomarkers in Depression. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 160.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop