, Volume 3, Issue 1-2, pp 27-38,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 03 Jan 2007

P2 purinergic receptor modulation of cytokine production


Cytokines serve important functions in controlling host immunity. Cells involved in the synthesis of these polypeptide mediators have evolved highly regulated processes to ensure that production is carefully balanced. In inflammatory and immune disorders, however, mis-regulation of the production and/or activity of cytokines is recognized as a major contributor to the disease process, and therapeutics that target individual cytokines are providing very effective treatment options in the clinic. Leukocytes are the principle producers of a number of key cytokines, and these cells also express numerous members of the purinergic P2 receptor family. Studies in several cellular systems have provided evidence that P2 receptor modulation can affect cytokine production, and mechanistic features of this regulation have emerged. This review highlights three separate examples corresponding to (1) P2Y6 receptor mediated impact on interleukin (IL)-8 production, (2) P2Y11 receptor-mediated affects on IL-12/23 output, and (3) P2X7 receptor mediated IL-1β posttranslational processing. These examples demonstrate important roles of purinergic receptors in the modulation of cytokine production. Extension of these cellular observations to in vivo situations may lead to new therapeutic strategies for treating cytokine-mediated diseases.