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Purinergic Signal. 2012 Feb;8(Suppl 1):27-40. doi: 10.1007/s11302-011-9273-4. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

Measurement of purine release with microelectrode biosensors.

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  • 1School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, n.e.dale@warwick.ac.uk.

Abstract

Purinergic signalling departs from traditional paradigms of neurotransmission in the variety of release mechanisms and routes of production of extracellular ATP and adenosine. Direct real-time measurements of these purinergic agents have been of great value in understanding the functional roles of this signalling system in a number of diverse contexts. Here, we review the methods for measuring purine release, introduce the concept of microelectrode biosensors for ATP and adenosine and explain how these have been used to provide new mechanistic insight in respiratory chemoreception, synaptic physiology, eye development and purine salvage. We finish by considering the association of purine release with pathological conditions and examine the possibilities that biosensors for purines may one day be a standard part of the clinical diagnostic tool chest.

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