Selective up-regulation of P2X4-receptor gene expression by interferon-gamma in vascular endothelial cells

J Pharmacol Sci. 2008 Aug;107(4):419-27. doi: 10.1254/jphs.08073fp. Epub 2008 Aug 2.


Extracellular nucleotides are involved in the development of vascular inflammation. However, little is known about whether effects of nucleotides are modulated under inflammatory states. We investigated effects of interferon-gamma (INF-gamma) on ATP-induced responses in vascular endothelial cells. Treatment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with IFN-gamma for 24 h resulted in an enhancement of the ATP-induced increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) without affecting the UTP-induced one. The increased Ca2+ response to ATP in IFN-gamma-treated cells was dependent on the extracellular Ca2+, and was not inhibited by the phospholipase C inhibitor U73122. RT-PCR and Western blotting revealed that HUVECs dominantly expressed P2X4 receptor. IFN-gamma increased P2X4-receptor mRNA and protein, accompanied by an increase in ATP-triggered membrane current. IFN-gamma did not affect P2X4-receptor mRNA stability, but increased P2X4-receptor gene transcription in a cycloheximide-insensitive manner. IFN-gamma stimulated phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 (STAT1). Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an inhibitor of STAT1-mediated signaling, and AG490, a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor, impaired P2X4-receptor mRNA up-regulation by IFN-gamma. These results indicate that INF-gamma selectively increases P2X4-receptor gene expression, leading to an up-regulation of purinergic signaling in vascular endothelial cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Blotting, Western
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology*
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2 / drug effects
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2 / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X4
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects
  • Umbilical Veins / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects*
  • Uridine Triphosphate / metabolism


  • P2RX4 protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X4
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Calcium
  • Uridine Triphosphate