eATP/P2X7R Axis: An Orchestrated Pathway Triggering Inflammasome Activation in Muscle Diseases

Chiara Panicucci, Lizzia Raffaghello, Santina Bruzzone, Serena Baratto, Elisa Principi, Carlo Minetti, Elisabetta Gazzerro, Claudio Bruno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In muscle ATP is primarily known for its function as an energy source and as a mediator of the "excitation-transcription" process, which guarantees muscle plasticity in response to environmental stimuli. When quickly released in massive concentrations in the extracellular space as in presence of muscle membrane damage, ATP acts as a damage-associated molecular pattern molecule (DAMP). In experimental murine models of muscular dystrophies characterized by membrane instability, blockade of eATP/P2X7 receptor (R) purinergic signaling delayed the progression of the dystrophic phenotype dampening the local inflammatory response and inducing Foxp3+ T Regulatory lymphocytes. These discoveries highlighted the relevance of ATP as a harbinger of immune-tissue damage in muscular genetic diseases. Given the interactions between the immune system and muscle regeneration, the comprehension of ATP/purinerigic pathway articulated organization in muscle cells has become of extreme interest. This review explores ATP release, metabolism, feedback control and cross-talk with members of muscle inflammasome in the context of muscular dystrophies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInt J Mol Sci
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Aug 19 2020


  • Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Inflammasomes/metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism
  • Muscular Dystrophies/metabolism
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X7/metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


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