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

Purinergic P2 receptors as targets for novel analgesics.

Following hints in the early literature about adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) injections producing pain, an ion-channel nucleotide receptor was cloned in 1995, P2X3 subtype, which was shown to be localized predominantly on small nociceptive sensory nerves. Since then, there has been an increasing number of papers exploring the role of P2X3 homomultimer and P2X2/3 heteromultimer receptors on sensory nerves in a wide range of organs, including skin, tongue, tooth pulp, intestine, bladder, and ureter that mediate the initiation of pain. Purinergic mechanosensory transduction has been proposed for visceral pain, where ATP released from epithelial cells lining the bladder, ureter, and intestine during distension acts on P2X3 and P2X2/3, and possibly P2Y, receptors on subepithelial sensory nerve fibers to send messages to the pain centers in the brain as well as initiating local reflexes. P1, P2X, and P2Y receptors also appear to be involved in nociceptive neural pathways in the spinal cord. P2X4 receptors on spinal microglia have been implicated in allodynia. The involvement of purinergic signaling in long-term neuropathic pain and inflammation as well as acute pain is discussed as well as the development of P2 receptor antagonists as novel analgesics.[1]


  1. Purinergic P2 receptors as targets for novel analgesics. Burnstock, G. Pharmacol. Ther. (2006) [Pubmed]
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