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Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2001 Feb;47(1):19-31.

Characterization of P2 receptors in thymic epithelial cells.

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Laboratório de Pesquisas sobre o Timo, Departamento de Imunologia, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The presence of P2 receptors was investigated in three distinct preparations of murine thymic epithelial cells (TEC): 2BH4 murine cell line, IT45-R1 rat cell line, and a primary murine cell derived from the Nurse cell lympho-epithelial complex. In all preparations, application of ATP to the extracellular milieu triggered intracellular calcium signals indicating the presence of P2 receptor(s) in these cells. After an initial peak of calcium concentration, a plateau phase that could last more than 10 min was frequently observed. Ion replacement and channel blockage experiments indicated that the initial peak was associated with the release of calcium from intracellular stores, while the plateau phase was associated with an influx from the extracellular medium. ATP and UTP induced similar calcium signals, suggesting the presence of P2Y2 receptors in all three cell types. The murine 2BH4 cells also expressed P2X7/P2Z receptor, since under exposure to millimolar concentrations of ATP, a continuous rise in intracellular calcium concentration was observed and their plasma membranes became permeabilized to the fluorescent dyes Lucifer yellow and ethidium bromide. In addition, this permeabilization phenomenon was blocked by the P2Z-specific antagonist, oxidized ATP. RT-PCR assays confirmed the presence of mRNAs for the P2Y2 molecule in all TEC, while mRNA for the P2X7 molecule was detected only in 2BH4 cells. Our data indicate that P2Y2 purinergic receptors are widely expressed by thymic epithelial cells, whereas the expression of the P2X7 receptor appears to be more restricted, raising the possibility that its expression is related only to a particular epithelial microenvironment within/the thymus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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