Olig2-Targeted G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Gpr17 Regulates Oligodendrocyte Survival in Response to Lysolecithin-Induced Demyelination

Olig2-Targeted G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Gpr17 Regulates Oligodendrocyte Survival in Response to Lysolecithin-Induced Demyelination

Abstract

Demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, are known to result from acute or chronic injury to the myelin sheath and inadequate remyelination; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we performed genome occupancy analysis by chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing in oligodendrocytes in response to lysolecithin-induced injury and found that Olig2 and its downstream target Gpr17 are critical factors in regulating oligodendrocyte survival. After injury to oligodendrocytes, Olig2 was significantly upregulated and transcriptionally targeted the Gpr17 locus. Gpr17 activation inhibited oligodendrocyte survival by reducing the intracellular cAMP level and inducing expression of the pro-apoptotic gene Xaf1. The protein kinase A signaling pathway and the transcription factor c-Fos mediated the regulatory effects of Gpr17 in oligodendrocytes. We showed that Gpr17 inhibition elevated Epac1 expression and promoted oligodendrocyte differentiation. The loss of Gpr17, either globally or specifically in oligodendrocytes, led to an earlier onset of remyelination after myelin injury in mice. Similarly, pharmacological inhibition of Gpr17 with pranlukast promoted remyelination. Our findings indicate that Gpr17, an Olig2 transcriptional target, is activated after injury to oligodendrocytes and that targeted inhibition of Gpr17 promotes oligodendrocyte remyelination.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Genome occupancy analysis of oligodendrocytes in response to lysolecithin-mediated demyelination injury revealed that Olig2 and its downstream target Gpr17 are part of regulatory circuitry critical for oligodendrocyte survival. Gpr17 inhibits oligodendrocyte survival through activation of Xaf1 and cell differentiation by reducing Epac1 expression. The loss of Gpr17 in mice led to precocious myelination and an earlier onset of remyelination after demyelination. Pharmacological inhibition of Gpr17 promoted remyelination, highlighting the potential for Gpr17-targeted therapeutic approaches in demyelination diseases.

Authors: Zhimin Ou, Yuxia Sun, Li Lin, Nachun You, Xue Liu, Hongchao Li, Yanchen Ma, Lei Cao, Ying Han, Min Liu, Yaqi Deng, Luming Yao, Q. Richard Lu and Ying Chen

Influence Factor: 5.97

Citation: J Neurosci 36, 10560-10573 (2016).

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