New frontiers in probing the dynamics of purinergic transmitters in vivo

Neurosci Res. 2020 Mar:152:35-43. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2020.01.008. Epub 2020 Jan 17.


Purinergic transmitters such as adenosine, ADP, ATP, UTP, and UDP-glucose play important roles in a wide range of physiological processes, including the sleep-wake cycle, learning and memory, cardiovascular function, and the immune response. Moreover, impaired purinergic signaling has been implicated in various pathological conditions such as pain, migraine, epilepsy, and drug addiction. Examining the function of purinergic transmission in both health and disease requires direct, sensitive, non-invasive tools for monitoring structurally similar purinergic transmitters; ideally, these tools should have high spatial and temporal resolution in in vivo applications. Here, we review the recent progress with respect to the development and application of new methods for detecting purinergic transmitters, focusing on optical tools; in addition, we provide discussion regarding future perspectives.

Keywords: ATP; Adenosine; Imaging; Purinergic transmitters; Sensors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Optical Imaging / methods*
  • Purinergic Agents / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Purinergic / metabolism*


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Purinergic Agents
  • Receptors, Purinergic