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Purinergic nerves: A new type of nerve 

Purinergic nerves: A new type of nerve
Chapter:
Purinergic nerves: A new type of nerve
Author(s):

Guy Rousseau

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198834359.003.0009
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date: 16 January 2021

It was in 1972 that Burnstock laid the foundation of a new nerve type that he called ‘purinergic nerves’. In this article, he presented experimental data using five criteria to establish that adenosine triphosphate can be considered to be a neurotransmitter, including (1) the release of a purinergic molecule from terminal axons, (2) the structures of purinergic nerves, (3) the electrophysiological properties of purinergic transmission, (4) the pharmacology of adenyl compounds and purinergic transmission, and (5) the distribution and evolution of the purinergic nerves. However, in spite of convincing data, it took more than 20 years for the scientific community to accept this hypothesis. Since then, it has been recognized that the purinergic system is involved in multiple short-term actions such as cell proliferation and pain.

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