Animal Models for the Investigation of P2X7 Receptors

Publication Name

International Journal of Molecular Sciences


The P2X7 receptor is a trimeric ligand-gated cation channel activated by extracellular adenosine 5′-triphosphate. The study of animals has greatly advanced the investigation of P2X7 and helped to establish the numerous physiological and pathophysiological roles of this receptor in human health and disease. Following a short overview of the P2X7 distribution, roles and functional properties, this article discusses how animal models have contributed to the generation of P2X7-specific antibodies and nanobodies (including biologics), recombinant receptors and radioligands to study P2X7 as well as to the pharmacokinetic testing of P2X7 antagonists. This article then outlines how mouse and rat models have been used to study P2X7. These sections include discussions on preclinical disease models, polymorphic P2X7 variants, P2X7 knockout mice (including bone marrow chimeras and conditional knockouts), P2X7 reporter mice, humanized P2X7 mice and P2X7 knockout rats. Finally, this article reviews the limited number of studies involving guinea pigs, rabbits, monkeys (rhesus macaques), dogs, cats, zebrafish, and other fish species (seabream, ayu sweetfish, rainbow trout and Japanese flounder) to study P2X7.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access





Article Number


Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Health and Medical Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)