P2X3 receptors and sensory transduction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


It has been known for many years that exogenously administered adenosine 5 -triphosphate (ATP) evokes acute pain, but the physiological and pathophysiological roles of endogenous ATP in nociceptive signalling are only now becoming clear. ATP produces its effects through P2X and P2Y receptors, and the P2X3 receptor is of notable importance. It shows a selective expression, at high levels in nociceptive sensory neurons, where it forms functional receptors on its own and in combination with the P2X2 receptor. Recent studies have used gene knockout methods, antisense oligonucleotides, small interfering RNA technologies, and a novel selective P2X3 antagonist, A-317491, to show that P2X3 receptors play a prominent role in both chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Several other P2X subunits also appear to be expressed in sensory neurons and there is evidence for functional P2X1/5 or P2X2/6 heteromers in some of these. These data indicate that P2X receptors, particularly the P2X3 subtype, could be targetted in the search for new, effective analgesics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSensing with Ion Channels
Place of PublicationBerlin, Germany
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-72683-8
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameSpringer Series in Biophysics


  • P2X3 receptors
  • sensory transduction
  • biomedical sciences


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