Molecular physiology of P2X receptors and ATP signalling at synapses

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2001 Mar;2(3):165-74. doi: 10.1038/35058521.


ATP is found in every cell, where it is a major source of energy. But in the nervous system, ATP also has additional actions, which include its role in fast synaptic transmission and modulation. Here I discuss the 'fast' actions of ATP at synapses, the properties of the receptors that are activated by ATP and the physiology of ATP signalling, with emphasis on its role in pain processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Electrophysiology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pain / metabolism
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Synapses / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Purinergic P2
  • Adenosine Triphosphate