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Int J Dev Neurosci. 1999 Apr;17(2):135-44.

Involvement of P2 purinoceptors in the regulation of DNA synthesis in the neural retina of chick embryo.

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Institute of Anatomy I, University of Freiburg, Germany.


The activation of P2 purinoceptors induces Ca2+ mobilization in the early embryonic chick neural retina. This purinergic Ca2+ response declines parallel with the decrease in mitotic activity during retinal development. To investigate the role of P2 purinoceptors in the regulation of retinal cell proliferation, we studied the effects of the P2 purinoceptor antagonists suramin and pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulphonic acid (PPADS), and of the agonist ATP on DNA synthesis in retinal organ cultures from embryonic day 3 (E3) chick. Suramin inhibited [3H]-thymidine incorporation in a dose-dependent manner (IC50: approximately 70 microM). PPADS also reduced [3H]-thymidine incorporation with maximum inhibition of 46% at 100 microM. Exogenous ATP enhanced [3H]-thymidine incorporation in a dose-dependent manner to maximally 200% of control (EC50: approximately 70 microM). In dissociated retinal cultures from E7 chick, both antagonists showed similar inhibitory effects on [3H]-thymidine incorporation without affecting cell viability. In line with these observations, the presence of extracellular ATP was demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo. In the medium of E3 retinal organ cultures, the concentration of ATP increased 25-fold within 1 h of incubation and this concentration was kept for at least 24 h. In the chick amniotic fluid, the ATP concentration was nearly 3 microM at E3 and declined to 0.15 microM at E7. The results indicate that P2 purinoceptors activated by autocrine or paracrine release of ATP are involved in the regulation of DNA synthesis in the neural retina at early embryonic stages.

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