Pannexin-1 channels as mediators of neuroinflammation

Joon Ho Seo, Miloni S. Dalal, Jorge E. Contreras

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Neuroinflammation is a major component of central nervous system (CNS) injuries and neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and brain trauma. The activation of innate immune cells at the damage site causes the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, which alter the functionality of nearby tissues and might mediate the recruitment of leukocytes to the injury site. If this process persists or is exacerbated, it prevents the adequate resolution of the inflammation, and ultimately enhances secondary damage. Adenosine 5 triphosphate (ATP) is among the molecules released that trigger an inflammatory response, and it serves as a chemotactic and endogenous danger signal. Extracellular ATP activates multiple purinergic receptors (P2X and P2Y) that have been shown to promote neuroinflammation in a variety of CNS diseases. Recent studies have shown that Pannexin-1 (Panx1) channels are the principal conduits of ATP release from dying cells and innate immune cells in the brain. Herein, we review the emerging evidence that directly implicates Panx-1 channels in the neuroinflammatory response in the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5189
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


  • Brain injury
  • Hemichannel
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Pannexin-1


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