Abstract: We have compared the characteristics of receptors for nucleotide analogues and the involvement of phospholipase C (PLC) in the effector mechanism in NG108-15 neuroblastoma and C6 glioma cells. The relative potency of these analogues to stimulate inositol phosphate (IP) formation is UTP > UDP ≫ 2-methylthio-ATP (2-MeSATP), GTP > ATP, CTP > ADP > UMP in NG108-15 cells and ATP > UTP > ADP > GTP > UDP ≫ 2Me-SATP, CTP, UMP in C6 glioma cells. α,β-Methylene-ATP, β,γ-methylene-ATP, AMP, and adenosine had little or no effect in both types of cells. The EC50 values were 3 and 106 µM for UTP in NG108-15 and C6 glioma cells, respectively. The EC50 value for ATP in C6 glioma cells was 43 µM. 2-MeSATP was threefold more potent than ATP in NG108-15 cells but had little effect in C6 glioma cells at 1 mM. In NCB-20 cells, a similar rank order of potency to that found in NG108-15 cells, i.e., UTP ≫ GTP > ATP > CTP, was observed. In both NG108-15 and C6 glioma cells, preincubation with ATP or UTP caused a pronounced cross-desensitization of subsequent nucleotide-stimulated IP production. ATP and UTP displayed no additivity in terms of IP formation at maximally effective concentrations. In contrast, endothelin-1, bradykinin, and NaF interacted in an additive manner with either nucleotide in stimulating PI hydrolysis. Pretreatment with pertussis toxin did not affect ATP-, UTP-, and GTP-stimulated IP generation in these cells, indicating that nucleotide receptors coupled to PLC by a pertussis toxin-resistant G protein in both cell types. Short-term treatment of the cells with protein kinase C (PKC) activators [phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and octylindolactam V] produced a dose-dependent inhibition of ATP- and UTP-induced IP formation with a greater extent and higher susceptibility in C6 glioma cells than in NG108-15 cells. Furthermore, a 24-h exposure of the cells to PMA resulted in an obvious attenuation of nucleotide-induced IP formation in C6 glioma cells but failed to change the response in NG108-15 cells. These results suggest that distinct nucleotide receptors that respond to ATP and UTP with different selectivity exist in NG108-15 and C6 glioma cells. These heterogeneous nucleotide receptors coupled to PLC undergo discriminative modulation by PKC. NG108-15 and NCB-20 neuroblastoma are two cell lines that showed the highest specificity to extracellular UTP rather than ATP among the nucleotide receptors so far studied in various cells, suggesting the presence of a pyrimidine receptor in these cells.