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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Mechanisms of constitutive and ATP-evoked ATP release in neonatal mouse olfactory epithelium

Sébastien Hayoz, Cuihong Jia and CC Hegg*

Author affiliations

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, B439 Life Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Neuroscience 2012, 13:53  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-53

Published: 28 May 2012

Abstract

Background

ATP is an extracellular signaling molecule with many ascribed functions in sensory systems, including the olfactory epithelium. The mechanism(s) by which ATP is released in the olfactory epithelium has not been investigated. Quantitative luciferin-luciferase assays were used to monitor ATP release, and confocal imaging of the fluorescent ATP marker quinacrine was used to monitor ATP release via exocytosis in Swiss Webster mouse neonatal olfactory epithelial slices.

Results

Under control conditions, constitutive release of ATP occurs via exocytosis, hemichannels and ABC transporters and is inhibited by vesicular fusion inhibitor Clostridium difficile toxin A and hemichannel and ABC transporter inhibitor probenecid. Constitutive ATP release is negatively regulated by the ATP breakdown product ADP through activation of P2Y receptors, likely via the cAMP/PKA pathway. In vivo studies indicate that constitutive ATP may play a role in neuronal homeostasis as inhibition of exocytosis inhibited normal proliferation in the OE. ATP-evoked ATP release is also present in mouse neonatal OE, triggered by several ionotropic P2X purinergic receptor agonists (ATP, αβMeATP and Bz-ATP) and a G protein-coupled P2Y receptor agonist (UTP). Calcium imaging of P2X2-transfected HEK293 “biosensor” cells confirmed the presence of evoked ATP release. Following purinergic receptor stimulation, ATP is released via calcium-dependent exocytosis, activated P2X1,7 receptors, activated P2X7 receptors that form a complex with pannexin channels, or ABC transporters. The ATP-evoked ATP release is inhibited by the purinergic receptor inhibitor PPADS, Clostridium difficile toxin A and two inhibitors of pannexin channels: probenecid and carbenoxolone.

Conclusions

The constitutive release of ATP might be involved in normal cell turn-over or modulation of odorant sensitivity in physiological conditions. Given the growth-promoting effects of ATP, ATP-evoked ATP release following injury could lead to progenitor cell proliferation, differentiation and regeneration. Thus, understanding mechanisms of ATP release is of paramount importance to improve our knowledge about tissue homeostasis and post-injury neuroregeneration. It will lead to development of treatments to restore loss of smell and, when transposed to the central nervous system, improve recovery following central nervous system injury.