Maria P. Abbracchio (1) and Geoffrey Burnstock (2,*)
(1) Institute of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan, Italy
(2) Autonomic Neuroscience Institute, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Rowland Hill Street, London, NW3 2PF, UK
(*) To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Abstract: In this review, after a summary of the history and current status of the receptors involved in purinergic signalling, we focus on the distribution and physiological roles of purines and pyrimidines in both short-term events such as neurotransmission, exocrine and endocrine secretion and regulation of immune cell function, and long-term events such as cell growth, differentiation and proliferation in development and regeneration. Finally, the protective roles of nucleosides and nucleotides in events such as cancer, ischemia, wound healing, drug toxicity, inflammation and pain are explored and some suggestions made for future developments in this rapidly expanding field, with particular emphasis on the involvement of selective agonists and antagonists for purinergic receptor subtypes in therapeutic strategies.
Keywords: Neurotransmission, P1 receptor, P2 receptor, Pathophysiology