Purinergic G-protein-coupled receptors are ancient and the most abundant group of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The wide distribution of purinergic receptors in the cardiovascular system, together with the expression of multiple receptor subtypes in endothelial cells (ECs) and other vascular cells demonstrates the physiological importance of the purinergic signaling system in the regulation of the cardiovascular system. This review discusses the contribution of purinergic P2Y receptors to endothelial dysfunction (ED) in numerous cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Endothelial dysfunction can be defined as a shift from a "calm" or non-activated state, characterized by low permeability, anti-thrombotic, and anti-inflammatory properties, to a "activated" state, characterized by vasoconstriction and increased permeability, pro-thrombotic, and pro-inflammatory properties. This state of ED is observed in many diseases, including atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, sepsis, and pulmonary hypertension. Herein, we review the recent advances in P2Y receptor physiology and emphasize some of their unique signaling features in pulmonary endothelial cells.
Keywords: angiogenesis; cardiovascular diseases; endothelial cells; endothelial dysfunction; intracellular signaling; purinergic P2Y receptors; vasa vasorum; vascular injury; vascular permeability; vasoconstriction/vasodilation.