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Purinergic cotransmission

Burnstock, G; (2009) Purinergic cotransmission. In: EXP PHYSIOL. (pp. 20 - 24). BLACKWELL PUBLISHING

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Adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) is a cotransmitter with classical transmitters in most nerves in the peripheral and central nervous systems, although the proportions vary between tissues and species and in different developmental and pathophysiological circumstances. There was early evidence that ATP was released together with acetylcholine (ACh) from motor nerves supplying skeletal muscle, although it was considered at the time as a molecule involved in the vesicular uptake and storage of ACh. Later it was shown that in the developing neuromuscular junction, released ATP acted on P2X receptor ion channels as a genuine cotransmitter with ACh. Adenosine triphosphate was shown to be released from sympathetic nerves supplying the guinea-pig taenia coli in 1971. Soon after, the possibility was raised that ATP was coreleased with noradrenaline from sympathetic nerves to guinea-pig seminal vesicle, cat nictitating membrane and guinea-pig vas deferens. Sympathetic purinergic cotransmission has also been demonstrated in many blood vessels. Parasympathetic nerves supplying the urinary bladder use ACh and ATP as cotransmitters; ATP acts through P2X ionotropic receptors, whereas the slower component of the response is mediated by the metabotropic muscarinic receptor. Adenosine triphosphate and glutamate appear to be cotransmitters in primary afferent sensory neurons. Adenosine triphosphate, calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P coexist in some sensory-motor nerves. A subpopulation of intramural enteric nerves provides non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic inhibitory innervation of gut smooth muscle. Three cotransmitters are involved, namely ATP, nitric oxide and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. In recent years, studies have shown that ATP is released with ACh, noradrenaline, glutamate, gamma-aminobutyric acid, 5-hyroxytryptamine and dopamine in different subpopulations of neurons in the central nervous system.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Purinergic cotransmission
DOI: 10.1113/expphysiol.2008.043620
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/21656
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