Purinergic signaling in neural development

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Apr;22(2):194-204. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.02.007. Epub 2011 Feb 12.


Extracellular purine and pyrimidine compounds induce a multiplicity of cellular signal pathways that can induce multiple trophic functions. They interact with other low molecular weight messengers, growth factors, and extracellular matrix components. An increasing number of studies now provide evidence for a role of purinergic signaling in neural development, including progenitor cell proliferation, cell migration, neuronal and glial maturation and differentiation, and cell death and survival. This brief overview highlights recent developments supporting a contribution of purinergic signaling to embryonic and adult neurogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Purines / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Purinergic P1 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Purines
  • Receptors, Purinergic P1
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2
  • purine