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Translating Basic Research Into Clinical Practice |

Extracellular Adenosine 5'-Triphosphate in Obstructive Airway Diseases

Amir Pelleg, PhD; Edward S. Schulman, MD; Peter J. Barnes, DM, Master FCCP
Author and Funding Information

aCollege of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

bAirway Disease Section, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Amir Pelleg, PhD, Drexel University, College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, 245 N 25th St, NCB Mail Stop #470, Philadelphia, PA 19102


Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2016;150(4):908-915. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.06.045
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In recent years, numerous studies have generated data supporting the hypothesis that extracellular adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) plays a major role in obstructive airway diseases. Studies in animal models and human subjects have shown that increased amounts of extracellular ATP are found in the lungs of patients with COPD and asthma and that ATP has effects on multiple cell types in the lungs, resulting in increased inflammation, induction of bronchoconstriction, and cough. These effects of ATP are mediated by cell surface P2 purinergic receptors and involve other endogenous inflammatory agents. Recent clinical trials reported promising treatment with P2X3R antagonists for the alleviation of chronic cough. The purpose of this review was to describe these studies and outline some of the remaining questions, as well as the potential clinical implications, associated with the pharmacologic manipulation of ATP signaling in the lungs.

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