P2X and P2Y receptors as possible targets of therapeutic manipulations in CNS illnesses

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Adenine and/or uridine nucleotide-sensitive receptors are classified into two types belonging to the ligand-gated ionotropic family (P2X) and the metabotropic, G-protein-coupled family (P2Y). In humans, seven different P2X receptors (P2X1-7) and eight different P2Y receptors (P2Y 1, P2Y2, P2Y4, P2Y6, P2Y 11-14) have been detected hitherto. All P2 receptors are expressed in the CNS, with the preferential expression of the P2X2, P2X 4, P2X6 and P2Y1 receptors in neurons. In addition to the neurotransmitter and modulator functions, neurite outgrowth, proliferation of glial cells and the expression of transmitter receptors at target cells have also been suggested to be regulated by extracellular nucleotides in the nervous system. In spite of the expanding knowledge in the purinergic research field, the present therapeutic utilization of P2 receptor ligands is mostly related to peripheral diseases such as thromboembolic disorders and cystic fibrosis. In this review we provide some evidence that P2 receptors play an important role in the regulation of CNS functions related to hippocampal activity, the mesolimbic dopaminergic system and the nociceptive system. The role of purinergic receptors located on astrocytes/microglia and implications of these receptors for neurodegenerative/neuroinflammatory disorders, CNS injury and epilepsy will be highlighted as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-101
Number of pages17
JournalDrug News and Perspectives
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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