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Special Issue "The Role of P2X Receptors in Nociception, Pain and Neuronal Toxicity"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Toxicology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ralf Hausmann
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
Interests: biophysics and molecular dynamics of gating and ion conduction in P2X receptors (P2XR); biophysical effects of pain-associated mutations in voltage-gated sodium channels (NaV); drug screening at P2XR and NaV

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Extracellular ATP is an important co-transmitter and neuromodulator in numerous physiological and pathological processes. The targets of extracellular ATP are the nucleotide-activated P2 receptors that can be divided into ionotropic P2X receptors and metabotropic P2Y receptors. Strong evidence suggests that P2X receptors play important roles in sensory transmission and nociception as well as pain. Particularly well established is the crucial role of P2X3- and P2X2/3 receptors in primary sensory neurons or P2X4 receptors in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord in neuropathic and chronic inflammatory pain. P2X7 receptors play an important, but not entirely understood, role in chronic pain.

Some molecular mechanisms via which P2X receptors are involved in the detection and transmission of potentially painful stimuli or modulate nociception and pain have been uncovered, and mediators and signaling molecules involved have been identified. However, major receptor-specific molecular changes or differences in signaling pathways between acute and various chronic forms of pain remain unclear.

Furthermore, P2X receptors are involved in neuronal toxicity. For instance, the P2X7 receptor seems to amplify CNS damage in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms of neuronal and glial P2X receptor-mediated toxicity remain largely elusive, even though their overexpression in pathological states seems to be of importance.  

The aim and scope of this Special Issue is to present recent research findings or reviews that provide molecular insights into the role of P2X receptors in nociception, pain, and neuronal toxicity, in addition to the underlying molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways.

Dr. Ralf Hausmann
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • P2X receptors
  • Nociception and pain
  • Neuropathic and chronic inflammatory pain
  • Neuronal damage and toxicity
  • Sensory neurotransmission
  • Signaling pathways
  • Mediators, neurotransmitters and signaling molecules
  • Neuromodulation
  • P2X receptor antagonists
  • Molecular pharmacology

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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