Purinergic Signalling

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 157–187 | Cite as

Purinergic signalling in the reproductive system in health and disease

Review Article


There are multiple roles for purinergic signalling in both male and female reproductive organs. ATP, released as a cotransmitter with noradrenaline from sympathetic nerves, contracts smooth muscle via P2X1 receptors in vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate and uterus, as well as in blood vessels. Male infertility occurs in P2X1 receptor knockout mice. Both short- and long-term trophic purinergic signalling occurs in reproductive organs. Purinergic signalling is involved in hormone secretion, penile erection, sperm motility and capacitation, and mucous production. Changes in purinoceptor expression occur in pathophysiological conditions, including pre-eclampsia, cancer and pain.


Vas deferens Testes Penile erection Ovary Uterus Placenta 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Autonomic Neuroscience CentreUniversity College Medical SchoolLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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