, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 1-20,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 21 Sep 2007

P2 receptors in cardiovascular regulation and disease


The role of ATP as an extracellular signalling molecule is now well established and evidence is accumulating that ATP and other nucleotides (ADP, UTP and UDP) play important roles in cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology, acting via P2X (ion channel) and P2Y (G protein-coupled) receptors. In this article we consider the dual role of ATP in regulation of vascular tone, released as a cotransmitter from sympathetic nerves or released in the vascular lumen in response to changes in blood flow and hypoxia. Further, purinergic long-term trophic and inflammatory signalling is described in cell proliferation, differentiation, migration and death in angiogenesis, vascular remodelling, restenosis and atherosclerosis. The effects on haemostasis and cardiac regulation is reviewed. The involvement of ATP in vascular diseases such as thrombosis, hypertension and diabetes will also be discussed, as well as various heart conditions. The purinergic system may be of similar importance as the sympathetic and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone systems in cardiovascular regulation and pathophysiology. The extracellular nucleotides and their cardiovascular P2 receptors are now entering the phase of clinical development.