MEDICAL HYPOTHESES AND RESEARCH
VOL. 3, No. 1, January 2006
N. R. Jørgensen, et al.  Med Hypotheses Res 3: 615-622.
Role of P2 Purinergic Receptors in Bone Metabolism
and Their Therapeutic Potential
Niklas Rye Jørgensen*, Marie Solgaard and Peter Schwarz
Abstract. The role of purinergic P2 receptors in bone biology has been evaluated over
the last decade. These receptors have proven to be an interesting target for new
pharmacological agents with the ability to regulate bone metabolism. As the prevalence of
osteoporosis increases new efficient agents to treat the disease are sought for. The P2
receptors are activated by nucleotides and recently, studies have shown a possible role for
these in bone turnover and metabolism. P2 receptors can be divided further into P2X and
P2Y subtypes with strikingly different mechanisms of action. They are expressed both by
osteoblasts and by osteoclasts, and agonist binding affects cell proliferation, differentiation,
activity, and apoptosis of the cells. With the increasingly knowledge of the function and role
of these receptors in bone biology, they will undoubtedly be a potential target for designing
new drugs, which can be used for treatment of metabolic bone diseases, including
osteoporosis. This article is reviewing the studies documenting the effects of nucleotides and
P2 receptors in bone and bone cells.
*Address all correspondence to: Dr. Niklas Rye Jørgensen, Department of Clinical
Biochemistry, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Kettegård Allé 30, DK-2650
Hvidovre. Phone: +45 36 32 23 65. Fax: +45 36 75 09 77.
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