Purinergic signalling in the urinary bladder: When function becomes dysfunction

Chris H Fry*, Karen D McCloskey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Knowledge of the participation of ATP and related purines in urinary tract physiology has been established over the last five decades through the work of many independent groups, inspired by, and building on the pioneering studies of Professor Geoffrey Burnstock and his coworkers. As part of a series of reviews in this tribute edition, the present article summarises our current understanding of purines and purinergic signalling in modulating and regulating urinary tract function. Purinergic mechanisms underlying the origin of bladder pain; sensations of bladder filling and urinary tract motility; and regulation of detrusor smooth muscle contraction are described, encompassing the relevant history of discovery and consolidation of knowledge as methodologies and pharmacological tools have developed. We consider normal physiology, including development and ageing and then move to pathophysiology, discussing the causal and consequential contribution of purinergic signalling mechanism and their constituent components (receptors, signal transduction, effector molecules) to bladder dysfunction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102852
Number of pages10
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical
Early online date17 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Urinary bladder
  • ATP
  • Urothelium
  • Smooth muscle
  • Physiology


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