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Purinergic Signalling

, 3:83

First Online: 12 January 2007Received: 28 December 2005Accepted: 13 January 2006DOI: 10.1007-s11302-006-9039-6

Cite this article as: Coutinho-Silva, R., Monteiro da Cruz, C., Persechini, P.M. et al. Purinergic Signalling 2007 3: 83. doi:10.1007-s11302-006-9039-6


A growing number of studies have demonstrated the importance of ATPe-signalling via P2 receptors as an important component of the inflammatory response to infection. More recent studies have shown that ATPe can also have a direct effect on infection by intracellular pathogens, by modulating membrane trafficking in cells that contain vacuoles that harbour intracellular pathogens, such as mycobacteria and chlamydiae. A conserved mechanism appears to be involved in controlling infection by both of these pathogens, as a role for phospholipase D in inducing fusion between lysosomes and the vacuoles has been demonstrated. Other P2-dependent mechanisms are most likely operative in the cases of pathogens, such as Leishmania, which survive in an acidic phagolysosomal-like compartment. ATPe may function as a ‘danger signal–that alerts the immune system to the presence of intracellular pathogens that damage the host cell, while different intracellular pathogens have evolved enzymes or other mechanisms to inhibit ATPe-mediated signalling, which should, thus, be viewed as virulence factors for these pathogens.

Key wordsapoptosis ATP infection inflammation necrosis purinergic receptors AbbreviationsATPeExtracellular ATP




PGE2Prostaglandin E2

PLDPhospholipase D

ROIReactive oxygen intermediates

RNIReactive nitrogen intermediates

TNF-αTumour necrosis factor-α

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Autor: Robson Coutinho-Silva - Cristiane Monteiro da Cruz - Pedro M. Persechini - David M. Ojcius


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