The P2×7 receptor is a master regulator of microparticle and mitochondria exchange in mouse microglia

Simonetta Falzoni, Valentina Vultaggio-Poma, Paola Chiozzi, Mario Tarantini, Elena Adinolfi, Paola Boldrini, Anna Lisa Giuliani, Giampaolo Morciano, Yong Tang, Darek Gorecki, Francesco Di Virgilio

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Microparticles (MPs) are secreted by all cells where they play a key role in intercellular communication, differentiation, inflammation, and cell energy transfer. P2×7 receptor (P2×7R) activation by extracellular ATP (eATP) causes a large MP release and affects their contents in a cell-specific fashion. We investigated MP release and functional impact in microglial cells from P2×7R-WT or P2×7R-KO mice, as well as mouse microglial cell lines characterized for high (N13-P2×7RHigh) or low (N13-P2×7RLow) P2×7R expression. P2×7R stimulation promoted release of a mixed MP population enriched with naked mitochondria. Released mitochondria were taken up and incorporated into the mitochondrial network of the recipient cells in a P2×7R-dependent fashion. NLRP3 and the P2×7R itself were also delivered to the recipient cells. MP transfer increased the energy level of the recipient cells and conferred a pro-inflammatory phenotype. These data show that the P2×7R is a master regulator of intercellular organelle and MP trafficking in immune cells.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date17 Apr 2024
Publication statusEarly online - 17 Apr 2024


  • P2X7 receptor
  • microparticles
  • mitochondria
  • microglia
  • inflammation

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