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

Expression of the P2Y6 purinergic receptor in human T cells infiltrating inflammatory bowel disease.

The human P2Y6 receptor is a member of the G-protein- coupled P2Y purinergic receptor family that responds to extracellular uridine diphosphate (UDP). In previous work, we cloned the human P2Y6 receptor from an activated T-cell library, and others have shown that it is expressed as a 1.9-kb transcript in several lymphoid tissues. This suggests a role for P2Y6 in T-cell function. However, the precise cellular expression pattern and regulation of P2Y6 in immune cells have not yet been established. In this study, we have examined the expression of P2Y6 in a range of tissues containing leukocytes by a combination of in situ hybridization ( ISH), Northern blot analysis, and RT-PCR. Northern hybridization revealed that activated peripheral T cells show increased levels of P2Y6 mRNA. Furthermore, RT-PCR analysis of CD4+ and CD8+ subsets illustrated strong expression in both activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Stimulation of resting and activated T cells with the P2Y6 ligand UDP caused a rise in the intracellular free calcium concentration in only the activated subset, indicating the presence of functional receptor. By ISH, P2Y6 expression was detected in the T cells of the thymic medulla and spleen, whereas no signal was detected in the bone marrow, fetal liver, or lymph nodes. T cells are thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and because a recent finding has suggested a role for extracellular nucleotides in mediating colonic epithelial cell damage in IBD, we speculated that the P2Y6 nucleotide receptor may be expressed in the T cells infiltrating IBD. ISH results reveal that P2Y6 is highly expressed in the T cells infiltrating active IBD, whereas P2Y6 expression was absent from the T cells of unaffected bowel. These results demonstrate expression and regulation of P2Y6 expression in T cells, and suggest a role for P2Y6 in the pathogenesis of IBD-mediated intestinal damage.[1]


  1. Expression of the P2Y6 purinergic receptor in human T cells infiltrating inflammatory bowel disease. Somers, G.R., Hammet, F.M., Trute, L., Southey, M.C., Venter, D.J. Lab. Invest. (1998) [Pubmed]
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