Title: Interdisciplinary training network on the purinergic P2X7 receptor to control neuroinflammation and hyperexcitability in brain diseases
Obejectives: Brain disorders affect ~179 million people and their families in Europe alone, with an annual cost to the taxpayer estimated at €800 billion- a greater economic burden than cardiovascular disease and cancer combined. Despite diverse etiology, overlap in clinical symptoms and comorbidities between brain disorders suggests shared patho-mechanisms. In particular, hyperexcitible states driven by glial activation and neuroinflammation appear near ubiquitous. Targeting these mechanisms offers the potential to ameliorate symptoms and reverse disease progression across a broad span of brain disorders. Functioning as a gatekeeper to neuroinflammation and mechanistic link between neuronal hyperexcitability and glial activation, the ATP-gated, ionotropic purinergic P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) offers the most promising target for pharmacological intervention in the neuroinflammation-hyperexcitability pathway, to date. With breakthroughs in understanding P2X7R function, highly promising effects demonstrated for antagonists in models of brain disease and vast investment in P2X7Rrelated drug development programmes, now is the perfect time to pool resources. PurinesDX brings together global leaders in translational research in purinergic signalling, Europe’s leading clinical specialists in a broad range of brain diseases, and industrial partners specializing in drug and biomarker development.