The P2X7 receptor is a member of the family of P2X purinergic receptors, which upon sustained activation forms large pores in the plasma membrane. In cells of hematopoietic origin, P2X7 receptor activation has been shown to lead to multiple downstream events, including cytokine release, cell permeabilization, and apoptosis. This receptor has also been implicated in the generation of multinucleated giant cells, polykaryons, and osteoclasts. We have recently demonstrated that a blockade of this receptor inhibits osteoclast formation in vitro; therefore, we examined mice deficient in the P2X7 receptor in the context of bone. These mice were healthy and displayed no overt skeletal problems. Furthermore, we were able to demonstrate their ability to form multinucleated cells, in particular osteoclasts, both in vivo and in vitro. We also demonstrate the ability of P2X7R-/- multinucleated osteoclasts, upon stimulation with maitotoxin (MTX), to form pores in the plasma membrane in vitro. These findings are consistent with the existence of an endogenous pore structure present in osteoclast precursor cells that can be activated either by the P2X7 receptor, or in its absence, by alternative signals to mediate fusion and pore formation. These data provide further insight into the mode of action of the P2X7 receptor.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|