Toxoplasmosis is a neglected disease caused by infection by the protozoan Toxoplasma
gondii. One-third of the global population is expected to be by infected T. gondii. In Europe and North
America, most infections do not induce disease, except in the context of immunosuppression. However,
in endemic regions such Central and South America, infections induce severe ocular and potentially lethal
disease, even in immunocompetent individuals.
The immune response against T. gondii infection involves components of innate immunity even in the
chronic phase of the disease, including dangerous signal molecules such as extracellular nucleotides.
Purinergic signaling pathways include ionotropic and metabotropic receptors activated by extracellular
nucleotides that are divided into P2X, P2Y, and A1 receptor families. The activation of purinergic signaling
impacts biological systems by modulating immune responses to intracellular pathogens such as T.
gondii. Ten years ago, purinergic signaling in the T. gondii infection was reported for the first time. In
this review, we update and summarize the main findings regarding the role of purinergic signaling in T.
gondii infection; these include in vitro findings: the microbicidal effect of P2Y and P2X7 activation
phagocytic cells and parasite control by P2X7 activation in non-phagocytic cells; and in vivo findings:
the promotion of early pro-inflammatory events that protect the host in acute and chronic models.