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Purinergic Signal. 2013 Sep;9(3):285-306. doi: 10.1007/s11302-013-9357-4. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Purinergic signaling in inflammatory cells: P2 receptor expression, functional effects, and modulation of inflammatory responses.

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Upper Airways Research Laboratory, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.


Extracellular ATP and related nucleotides promote a wide range of pathophysiological responses via activation of cell surface purinergic P2 receptors. Almost every cell type expresses P2 receptors and/or exhibit regulated release of ATP. In this review, we focus on the purinergic receptor distribution in inflammatory cells and their implication in diverse immune responses by providing an overview of the current knowledge in the literature related to purinergic signaling in neutrophils, macrophages, dendritic cells, lymphocytes, eosinophils, and mast cells. The pathophysiological role of purinergic signaling in these cells include among others calcium mobilization, actin polymerization, chemotaxis, release of mediators, cell maturation, cytotoxicity, and cell death. We finally discuss the therapeutic potential of P2 receptor subtype selective drugs in inflammatory conditions.

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