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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


LAZAROWSKI, Eduardo R  and  SCHWARZBAUM, Pablo J. Purinergic signals. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2009, vol.69, n.2, pp.267-276. ISSN 0025-7680.

In the last decade evidence accumulated that nucleosides and nucleotides of both uridine and adenine can act as extracellular signaling factors. Their action is mediated by two main types of surface receptors commonly known as purinergic. P1 receptors are metabotropic and activated by adenosine, whereas receptors for nucleotides (ATP, ADP, UTP and UDP) and nucleotide-sugars (UDP-glucose and UDP-galactose) can be either metabotropic (P2Y) or ionotropic (P2X). The importance and complexity of this signaling system is evidenced by various mechanisms of nucleotide release, as well as by the ibiquitous distribution of various types of ectonucleotidases which catalyze and convert extracellular nucleotides. Up to now about twenty receptors have been cloned and found to modulate the nerve impulse, inflammatory response, insuline secretion, the regulation of the vascular tone and nociception, among other processes. In the present review we describe the main structural and pharmacological features of purinergic receptors, and analyze how the dynamic interaction between these receptors, nucleotides and nucleosides, and ectonucleotidases modulate several biological responses. Particular focus is given to platelet aggregation and thrombus formation, the immune response and the hydration of the mucosal linings of the respiratory tract.

Keywords : Purinergic receptors; Ecto-apyrase; CFTR; Signal transduction.

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