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Nat Rev Immunol. 2011 Mar;11(3):201-12. doi: 10.1038/nri2938. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Immune cell regulation by autocrine purinergic signalling.

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Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Stimulation of almost all mammalian cell types leads to the release of cellular ATP and autocrine feedback through a diverse array of purinergic receptors. Depending on the types of purinergic receptors that are involved, autocrine signalling can promote or inhibit cell activation and fine-tune functional responses. Recent work has shown that autocrine signalling is an important checkpoint in immune cell activation and allows immune cells to adjust their functional responses based on the extracellular cues provided by their environment. This Review focuses on the roles of autocrine purinergic signalling in the regulation of both innate and adaptive immune responses and discusses the potential of targeting purinergic receptors for treating immune-mediated disease.

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