The expression of human purinergic P2 receptors (P2X1-7 and P2Y1-11) as well as the ecto-enzymes apyrase (CD39) and 5'-nucleotidase (CD73) was investigated on the nucleic acid level during granulocytic and monocytic differentiation of HL60 cells and on peripheral human blood leukocytes. RT-PCR and dot-blot hybridization assays indicated that mRNA transcripts of all analyzed P2 receptors apart from the P2X3 receptor were expressed during myeloid development of HL60 cells, showing a distinct regulation during the course of differentiation. In blood leukocytes, transcripts of P2X5, P2X7 and all P2Y receptors, except for P2Y6, receptor were found. CD39 and CD73 showed a marked upregulation during myeloid maturation. Functional analysis of P2 receptor-mediated intracellular Ca(2+)-increase after stimulation with ATP revealed no change during granulocytic differentiation, but showed a strong attenuation in both potency and efficacy during monocytic development of HL60 cells.