Genes & Genomics

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 459–465 | Cite as

Protective effects of P2X7 receptor deletion on aging-related memory alterations

  • Sang-Rim Lee
  • Woo-Hyun Cho
  • Jae-Ran Lee
  • Jung-Soo HanEmail author
Research Article


Neuroinflammation is one of the factors implicated in cognitive aging. Recent studies have shown that the P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) is a major inflammatory regulator in microglia. The present study examined the effects of deletion of P2X7R on cognitive aging. Cognitive status was examined in 5-month-old (young) and 11- to 14-month-old (middle-aged) mice with P2X7R deletion (P2X7R knockout (KO)), and in age-matched control wild type mice, using the Morris water maze task. No differences were observed between the performances of young control mice and young P2X7R KO mice in the Morris water maze task. However, middle-aged P2X7R KO mice demonstrated better performance than middle-aged control mice. No differences were observed in hippocampal interleukin-1β levels and the number of microglial cells in the cornus ammonis (CA1) region of the hippocampus during microglial activation in young and middle-aged P2X7R KO mice, and control mice. Hippocampal levels of the inhibitory form of glycogen synthase kinase-3β were lower in young control mice than in mice in the other groups. These results suggest that the inhibition of P2X7R might have beneficial effects on aging-related cognitive impairments.


P2X7 receptor Memory Microglia Inflammation GSK3-β 



This paper was supported by Konkuk University in 2015.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest in relation to this study.

Ethical standards

The research described in the experiment is in compliance with IACUC ethical standards in the treatment of animal subjects and was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea and Springer-Science and Media 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sang-Rim Lee
    • 1
  • Woo-Hyun Cho
    • 1
  • Jae-Ran Lee
    • 2
  • Jung-Soo Han
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesKonkuk UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and BiotechnologyDaejeonRepublic of Korea

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