Increased Release of ATP From Endothelial Cells During Acute Inflammation

Inflamm Res. 1998 Aug;47(8):351-4. doi: 10.1007/s000110050341.


Objective and design: The effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a potent inflammatory mediator, on the shear stress stimulated release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) were investigated on endothelial cells from human umbilical vein in primary culture.

Methods: Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in primary cultures were subjected to shear stress using a cone and plate apparatus. ATP released by the cells was measured by luminometry, using a luciferin-luciferase assay.

Results: Under conditions of shear stress alone (25dyn/cm2), ATP accumulates into the culture medium and reaches a maximum after 3 to 5 min of stimulation (121.7+/-13.2 pmol/ml). The shear stress-stimulated release of ATP was significantly increased after a 4 h pre-incubation of endothelial cells with 50 microg/ml (314.4+/-26.7 pmol/ml) and 10microg/ml lipopolysaccharide (207.7+/-22.2 pmol/ml). Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid, inhibited the effects of lipopolysaccharide.

Conclusions: These results show that non-damaged endothelial cells release ATP under experimental inflammatory conditions and support an early role of extracellular ATP in the inflammatory process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Umbilical Cord / cytology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Dexamethasone
  • Adenosine Triphosphate