The P2X7 receptor and intracellular pathogens: A continuing struggle

Robson Coutinho-Silva*, Gladys Corrêa, Ali Abdul Sater, David M. Ojcius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The purinergic receptor, P2X7, has recently emerged as an important component of the innate immune response against microbial infections. Ligation of P2X7 by ATP can stimulate inflammasome activation and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines, but it can also lead directly to killing of intracellular pathogens in infected macrophages and epithelial cells. Thus, while some intracellular pathogens evade host defense responses by modulating with membrane trafficking or cell signaling in the infected cells, the host cells have also developed mechanisms for inhibiting infection. This review will focus on the effects of P2X7 on control of infection by intracellular pathogens, microbial virulence factors that interfere with P2X7 activity, and recent evidence linking polymorphisms in human P2X7 with susceptibility to infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalPurinergic Signalling
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • ATP
  • Apoptosis
  • Ecto-ATPases
  • PLD
  • Purinergic receptors
  • SNPs


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