Macrophage Response Driven by Extracellular ATP

Biol Pharm Bull. 2021;44(5):599-604. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b20-00831.


The purine nucleotide ATP is a fundamental unit in cellular energy metabolism. Extracellular ATP and its metabolites are also ligands for a family of receptors, known as purinergic receptors, which are expressed ubiquitously in almost every cell type. In the immune system, extracellular ATP and its signals regulate the migration and activation of immune cells to orchestrate the induction and resolution of inflammation. In this review, we provide an overview of purinergic receptors and their downstream signaling related to macrophage activation. We also discuss the roles of purinergic signaling for macrophage functions in physiological and pathological conditions.

Keywords: ATP; cytokine; inflammation; macrophage; purinergic receptor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Receptors, Purinergic / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Purinergic
  • Adenosine Triphosphate