Purinergic signaling is a sophisticated system of elements in which ATP and related molecules function as intercellular messengers. When ATP is released into the extracellular space, it activates specific receptors that belong to the P2 family. In parallel, ectonucleotidases transform ATP in its dephosphorylated metabolites including adenosine, which stimulates P1 receptors. The activity of both receptors influences various cellular processes. Moreover, metabolic conditions are concatenated with purine signaling to conform a dynamic and continuous informational network. The role of purinergic signaling in ovarian cells has been investigated, for instance, it is known that cells conforming the follicle express functional receptors that modulate basic cellular process such as proliferation, induction of apoptotic cell death, and steroidogenesis. In this chapter, we review contemporary information on purinergic action in ovarian cell physiology and state its relevance in this field.
Part of the book: Adenosine Triphosphate in Health and Disease