The action of extracellular nucleotides is mediated by ionotropic P2X receptors and G-protein coupled P2Y receptors. The human genome contains 7 P2X and 8 P2Y receptor genes. Knockout mice strains are available for most of them. As their phenotypic analysis is progressing, bone abnormalities have been observed in an impressive number of these mice: distinct abnormalities in P2X7-/- mice, depending on the gene targeting construct and the genetic background, decreased bone mass in P2Y1-/- mice, increased bone mass in P2Y2-/- mice, decreased bone resorption in P2Y6-/- mice, decreased bone formation and bone resorption in P2Y13-/- mice. These findings demonstrate the unexpected importance of extracellular nucleotide signalling in the regulation of bone metabolism via multiple P2 receptors and distinct mechanisms involving both osteoblasts and osteoclasts.