Purinergic signaling in atherosclerosis

Davide Ferrari, Laura Vitiello, Marco Idzko, Andrea la Sala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell surface expression of specific receptors and ecto-nucleotidases makes extracellular nucleotides such as ATP, ADP, UTP, and adenosine suitable as signaling molecules for physiological and pathological events, including tissue stress and damage. Recent data have revealed the participation of purinergic signaling in atherosclerosis, depicting a scenario in which, in addition to some exceptions reflecting dual effects of individual receptor subtypes, adenosine and most P1 receptors, as well as ecto-nucleotidases, show a protective, anti-atherosclerotic function. By contrast, P2 receptors promote atherosclerosis. In consideration of these findings, modulation of purinergic signaling would represent an innovative and valuable tool to counteract atherosclerosis. We summarize recent developments on the participation of the purinergic network in atheroma formation and evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-192
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Adenosine
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Ecto-nucleotidases
  • Extracellular ATP
  • P1 receptors
  • P2 receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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