Purinergic Signalling

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 381–392 | Cite as

Lipid metabolism modulation by the P2X7 receptor in the immune system and during the course of infection: new insights into the old view

  • Helio Miranda Costa-Junior
  • Camila Marques-da-Silva
  • Flávia Sarmento Vieira
  • Leonardo Campos Monção-Ribeiro
  • Robson Coutinho-Silva
Original Article


For decades, scientists have described numerous protein pathways and functions. Much of a protein’s function depends on its interactions with different partners, and those partners can change depending on the cell type or system. The P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) is one such multifunctional protein that is related to multiple partners and signaling pathways. The relationship between P2X7R and different enzymes involved in lipid metabolism represents a relatively new field in P2X7R research. This field of research began in epithelial cells and currently includes immune and nervous cells. The P2X7R-lipid metabolism pathway is related to many biological functions of P2X7R, such as cell death and pathogen clearance, and this signaling pathway may be involved in many functions that are dependent on bioactive lipids. In the present review, we will attempt to summarize data related to the P2X7R-lipid metabolism pathway, focusing on signaling pathways and their biological relevance to the immune system and infection.


P2X7 receptor Phospholipids Ceramide Phospholipases Sphingomyelinases Lipid metabolism Intracellular signaling 


Funding support

This work was supported by funds from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnológico do Brasil (CNPq), the Programa de Núcleos de Excelência, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, and the Instituto Nacional para Pesquisa Translacional em Saúde e Ambiente na Região Amazônica (INCT-INPeTAm/CNPq/MCT).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helio Miranda Costa-Junior
    • 1
    • 2
  • Camila Marques-da-Silva
    • 1
  • Flávia Sarmento Vieira
    • 1
  • Leonardo Campos Monção-Ribeiro
    • 1
  • Robson Coutinho-Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de ImunofisiologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho-UFRJRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Gama Filho, Ciências BiomédicasRio de JaneiroBrazil

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