Purinergic signalling is involved in the control of vascular tone and remodelling. Endothelial
cells release purines and pyrimidines in response to changes in blood flow (evoking shear stress)
and hypoxia. They then act on P2Y, P2X and P1 receptors on endothelial cells leading to release of
EDRF mediated by nitric oxide and prostaglandins and EDHF, resulting in vasodilatation. The therapeutic
potential of purinergic compounds for the treatment of vascular diseases, including hypertension,
ischaemia, atherosclerosis, migraine and coronary artery and diabetic vascular disease as well as
vasospasm is discussed.
Keywords: Purinoceptors, nitric oxide, ATP, angiogenesis, atherosclerosis, hypertension, ischaemia, migraine.
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