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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

P2 receptors in the thymus: expression of P2X and P2Y receptors in adult rats, an immunohistochemical and in situ hybridisation study.

The expression of the seven P2X receptor subtypes and of two P2Y receptors was examined immunohistochemically and by in situ hybridisation in thymi of adult male rats. P2X4, P2Y2 and 4 receptor mRNA colocalisation studies combining in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry were also carried out. P2X and P2Y receptors were found on thymocytes. P2X receptors were also abundant in cells of the thymic microenvironment, involved in control of T-cell maturation in vivo. We are the first to describe the expression of P2X4 receptors on thymocytes and confirm the finding of P2X1 and P2Y2 receptors on subpopulations of lymphocytes. P2X1,2,3,4 and 5 receptors were present in blood vessels of the thymus. P2X1,2 and 4 receptors were detected in vascular smooth muscle, while P2X3 receptors appeared to be associated with endothelial cells; some small arteries were positive for P2X5, possibly labelling vascular smooth muscle or fibroblasts in the adventitia. P2X2,3,6 and 7 receptors were found on thymic epithelial cells. P2X2 and 3 receptors were abundant on medullary epithelial cells, whilst P2X6 receptors were prominent in Hassall's corpuscles. P2X2 receptors were found on subcapsular and perivascular epithelial cells. P2X2,6 and 7 receptors were detected in epithelial cells along the thymic septa. Expression of P2X receptors was also investigated by Western blotting of crude thymic tissue extracts under reducing conditions. All seven P2X receptor subtypes were found to be dimers of approximately 70 kDa and 140 kDa molecular weight. ATP-mediated apoptosis and cell proliferation of thymocytes are discussed.[1]


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