P2X receptors and kidney function

Matthew A. Bailey*, Robert J. Unwin, David G. Shirley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accumulating evidence indicates that the ATP/P2 receptor system, acting in an autocrine or paracrine manner, can affect a wide range of renal functions. P2X receptor subunits have been identified in most renal vessels and in every nephron segment; ATP is released from renal epithelial cells; and enzymes responsible for ATP degradation are expressed in the vasculature and tubules. Stimulation of P2X1 receptors in the afferent arterioles by ATP released from renal nerve terminals or from adjacent macula densa cells induces vasoconstriction and contributes to the regulation of renal haemodynamics. In the tubule, there is evidence for a variety of P2X-mediated effects: inhibition of proximal tubular reabsorption; inhibition of Na+K+2Cl- cotransporter activity (via increased nitric oxide synthesis) in the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle; inhibition of magnesium reabsorption in the distal tubule; and modulation of sodium and water reabsorption in the collecting duct. Finally, P2X receptors, particularly P2X7 subunits, appear to play an important role in renal pathology, specifically for cyst formation in polycystic kidney disease and in renal inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Membrane Transport and Signaling
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'P2X receptors and kidney function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this