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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014, Article ID 320906, 11 pages
Review Article

Purinergic Receptors in Ocular Inflammation

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology IV, Faculty of Optics and Optometry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, C/Arcos de Jalón 118, 28037 Madrid, Spain
2Spanish Cooperative Thematic Research Network in Ocular Prevalent and Chronic Pathology (RETIC), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
3Neurophysiology Lab, Department of Physiological Sciences I, Medical School, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
4Biomedical Research Institute August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain
5Ocular Surface Group, Institute for Applied Ophthalmobiology (IOBA), University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain
6Biomedical Research Networking Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Spain

Received 25 April 2014; Accepted 17 June 2014; Published 14 July 2014

Academic Editor: Mireia Martín-Satué

Copyright © 2014 Ana Guzman-Aranguez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Inflammation is a complex process that implies the interaction between cells and molecular mediators, which, when not properly “tuned,” can lead to disease. When inflammation affects the eye, it can produce severe disorders affecting the superficial and internal parts of the visual organ. The nucleoside adenosine and nucleotides including adenine mononucleotides like ADP and ATP and dinucleotides such as P1,P4-diadenosine tetraphosphate (Ap4A), and P1,P5-diadenosine pentaphosphate (Ap5A) are present in different ocular locations and therefore they may contribute/modulate inflammatory processes. Adenosine receptors, in particular adenosine receptors, present anti-inflammatory action in acute and chronic retinal inflammation. Regarding the A3 receptor, selective agonists like N6-(3-iodobenzyl)-5′-N-methylcarboxamidoadenosine (CF101) have been used for the treatment of inflammatory ophthalmic diseases such as dry eye and uveoretinitis. Sideways, diverse stimuli (sensory stimulation, large intraocular pressure increases) can produce a release of ATP from ocular sensory innervation or after injury to ocular tissues. Then, ATP will activate purinergic P2 receptors present in sensory nerve endings, the iris, the ciliary body, or other tissues surrounding the anterior chamber of the eye to produce uveitis/endophthalmitis. In summary, adenosine and nucleotides can activate receptors in ocular structures susceptible to suffer from inflammatory processes. This involvement suggests the possible use of purinergic agonists and antagonists as therapeutic targets for ocular inflammation.