Purinoceptors on Neuroglia

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Abstract

Purinergic transmission is one of the most ancient and widespread extracellular signalling systems. In the brain, purinergic signalling plays a unique role in integrating neuronal and glial cellular circuits, as virtually every type of glial cell possesses receptors to purines and pyrimidines. These receptors, represented by metabotropic P1 adenosine receptors, metabotropic P2Y purinoceptors and ionotropic P2X purinoceptors, control numerous physiological functions of glial cells and are intimately involved in virtually every form of neuropathology. In this essay, we provide an in depth overview of purinoceptor distribution in two types of CNS glia—in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes—and discuss their physiological and pathophysiological roles.

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