Integrin Signaling in the Central Nervous System in Animals and Human Brain Diseases

Hiroko Ikeshima-Kataoka, Chikatoshi Sugimoto, Tatsuya Tsubokawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The integrin family is involved in various biological functions, including cell proliferation, differentiation and migration, and also in the pathogenesis of disease. Integrins are multifunctional receptors that exist as heterodimers composed of α and β subunits and bind to various ligands, including extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins; they are found in many animals, not only vertebrates (e.g., mouse, rat, and teleost fish), but also invertebrates (e.g., planarian flatworm, fruit fly, nematodes, and cephalopods), which are used for research on genetics and social behaviors or as models for human diseases. In the present paper, we describe the results of a phylogenetic tree analysis of the integrin family among these species. We summarize integrin signaling in teleost fish, which serves as an excellent model for the study of regenerative systems and possesses the ability for replacing missing tissues, especially in the central nervous system, which has not been demonstrated in mammals. In addition, functions of astrocytes and reactive astrocytes, which contain neuroprotective subpopulations that act in concert with the ECM proteins tenascin C and osteopontin via integrin are also reviewed. Drug development research using integrin as a therapeutic target could result in breakthroughs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and brain injury in mammals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1435
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 1


  • Astrocyte
  • Axon
  • CNS
  • Invertebrate
  • Mammal
  • Mouse
  • Neuron
  • Phylogenetic tree
  • Regeneration
  • Teleost fish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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