P2X7 receptor: An emerging target in central nervous system diseases

Beáta Sperlágh, Peter Illes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

192 Citations (Scopus)


The ATP-sensitive homomeric P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) has received particular attention as a potential drug target because of its widespread involvement in inflammatory diseases as a key regulatory element of the inflammasome complex. However, it has only recently become evident that P2X7Rs also play a pivotal role in central nervous system (CNS) pathology. There is an explosion of data indicating that genetic deletion and pharmacological blockade of P2X7Rs alter responsiveness in animal models of neurological disorders, such as stroke, neurotrauma, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease. Moreover, recent studies suggest that P2X7Rs regulate the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, implicating P2X7Rs as drug targets in a variety of CNS pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-547
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • ATP
  • P2X7 receptor
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • psychiatric disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology

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