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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2002 Feb;19(2):272-80.

Purinergic (P2X7) receptor activation of microglia induces cell death via an interleukin-1-independent mechanism.

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Division of Neuroscience, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, United Kingdom.


Activation of purinergic P2X7 receptors, principally by extracellular ATP, promotes the processing and release of the cytokine interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and induces cell death in activated microglia and macrophages. The objective of this study was to determine if IL-1beta release contributes directly to this cell death in microglia. Exposure of microglia to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and ATP induced release of IL-1beta and IL-1alpha, as well as cell death. Neither cell death nor IL-1 release was observed in microglia lacking the P2X7 receptor. Microglia from mice lacking the IL-1beta gene demonstrated a profile of death identical to that of wild-type microglia in response to LPS and ATP. Thus, IL-1beta is not required for P2X7 receptor-stimulated microglial death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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