UNIT 11.9 Electrophysiological Characterization of Recombinant and Native P2X Receptors

  1. Wende Niforatos,
  2. Michael F. Jarvis

Published Online: 1 OCT 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471141755.ph1109s26

Current Protocols in Pharmacology

Current Protocols in Pharmacology

How to Cite

Niforatos, W. and Jarvis, M. F. 2004. Electrophysiological Characterization of Recombinant and Native P2X Receptors. Current Protocols in Pharmacology. 26:11.9:11.9.1–11.9.28.

Author Information

  1. Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 OCT 2004
  2. Published Print: SEP 2004


ATP acts as a fast neurotransmitter by activating a family of ligand-gated ion channels, the P2X receptors. Functional homomeric P2X3 and heteromeric P2X2/3 receptors are highly localized on primary sensory afferent neurons that transmit nociceptive sensory information. Activation of these P2X3-containing channels may provide a specific mechanism whereby ATP, released via synaptic transmission or by cellular injury, elicits pain. The experimental procedures described in this unit are useful for the electorphysiological characterization of P2X receptors. In addition, these protocols provide methods for the evaluation of ligands that interact with P2X receptors that are either natively expressed on excitable cells or cloned and expressed in heterologous cell systems. These methods are derived from standard electrophysiological principles and procedures that are applicable to a wide variety of ligand-gated ion channels. Specific attention is given here to the reliable electrophysiological measurement of both quickly (P2X3) and more slowly (P2X2 and P2X2/3) desensitizing receptors.


  • P2X3;
  • P2X2/3;
  • oocyte;
  • ATP;
  • receptors;
  • dorsal root ganglia;
  • DRG;
  • voltage clamp