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

The neural-glial purinergic receptor ensemble in chronic pain states.

Chronic pain is characterized by enhanced sensory neurotransmission that underlies increased sensitivity to noxious stimuli and the perception of non-noxious stimuli as painful. Evidence from neurophysiological and pharmacological studies demonstrates that ATP produces pain by directly enhancing neuronal excitability via the activation of specific ligand-gated ion channels, the P2X3 and P2X2/3 receptors. In addition, ATP activates CNS glial cells (e.g. microglia) in response to persistent nociceptive stimulation. This latter effect involves several distinct receptor-mediated signaling pathways linked to the P2X4, P2X7 and P2Y(12) receptors. This review summarizes new data that places these purinergic signaling events in a mechanistic context that illustrates the ability of ATP to initiate and maintain states of heightened sensory neuron excitability associated with persistent pain.[1]


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