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

Effects of extracellular ATP and adenosine on different thymocyte subsets: possible role of ATP-gated channels and G protein- coupled purinergic receptor.

To explore the possible role of purinergic receptors in thymocyte development and in pathogenesis of adenosine deaminase SCID, we studied effects of extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP(ext)) and adenosine on TCR- and steroid hormone-triggered processes in mouse thymocytes. Reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis confirms the mRNA expression of several types of purinergic receptors, while the functioning of ATP receptors in thymocytes is reflected by ATP(ext)-induced intracellular calcium increases and by thymocyte subset-specific sensitivity to the effects of ATP(ext) and adenosine. Only ATP(ext), but not the ATP catabolites, adenosine, dexamethasone, or TCR cross-linking, was efficient in triggering rapid protein synthesis independent lysis of CD4+8- thymocytes and peripheral CD4+ T cells. In contrast, extracellular adenosine specifically induced the apoptosis of CD4+8+ thymocytes. ATP(ext) also induced a slower process of DNA fragmentation and protein synthesis-dependent apoptosis in all thymocyte subsets. ATP(ext) had an additive effect with TCR cross-linking in the induction of thymocyte death, but, unexpectedly, the effects of ATP(ext) at high concentration were antagonistic to steroid-induced apoptosis. Described here, the properties of ATP(ext) and adenosine are consistent with their involvement in the regulation of T cell development due to differential expression and signaling through purinergic receptors in different thymocyte subsets. The possible role of purinergic receptor signaling in T cell differentiation and adenosine deaminase SCID is discussed.[1]


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