Purinergic Signalling

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 367–374 | Cite as

Role of purinergic receptors in hepatobiliary carcinoma in Pakistani population: an approach towards proinflammatory role of P2X4 and P2X7 receptors

  • Arun Asif
  • Madiha Khalid
  • Sobia ManzoorEmail author
  • Hassam Ahmad
  • Aman Ur Rehman
Original Article


The primary malignancy of liver, known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), comprises 9% of all hepatobiliary carcinomas. A steady rise has also been observed in adenocarcinoma (ADC) of the liver and ampullary carcinoma (AMC), ascending to 0.5% of gastrointestinal malignancies. Hepatobiliary carcinomas consist of 13% of all cancer occurrences worldwide. Purinergic receptor–based signaling holds the therapeutic potential based on its role in cell proliferation of several carcinomas. An altered ATP concentration in nanomoles may lead towards crucial changes in cancer growth patterns in liver tissue. A total of 40 tissue samples were collected (20 samples of HCC, 10 samples of ADC, and 10 samples of AMC) from patients that underwent surgery. P2X4 and P2X7 receptors exhibited significantly increased expression in HCC, ADC, and AMC samples as compared with the control tissue samples. While ADC and AMC samples showed higher expression of P2X4 and P2X7 than the control, statistically, HCC samples exhibited the most significant expression of both P2X4 and P2X7 receptors than control tissues. It may be inferred that higher expression of P2X4 and P2X7 receptors is significantly associated with the upregulated cellular stress leading to inflammation and it is plausible that both these receptors may be used in diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools for carcinoma studies in the future.


Inflammatory precursor Purinergic signaling Hepatocellular carcinoma Cancer microenvironment 



We are thankful to the Higher Education Commission and NUST for providing the opportunity to conduct this research work. We are also thankful to Liver Transplant Unit of Shaikh Zayd Hospital, Lahore, in coordinating this research work.

Compliance with ethical standards

The designed study was duly reviewed and approved by the ethics committee of Shaikh Zayd Hospital, Lahore, and Atta ur Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, in accordance with the recommendations of the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki for biomedical experimentation involving human subjects.

Conflict of interest

Arun Asif declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Madiha Khalid declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Sobia Manzoor declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Hassam Ahmad declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Aman-ur-Rehman declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article involved liver biopsy samples from human participants, and does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arun Asif
    • 1
  • Madiha Khalid
    • 1
  • Sobia Manzoor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hassam Ahmad
    • 2
  • Aman Ur Rehman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Healthcare Biotechnology, Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied BiosciencesNational University of Sciences and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Hepato-pancreatobiliary Liver Transplant UnitShaikh Zayd HospitalLahorePakistan
  3. 3.Department of HistopathologyShaikh Zayd HospitalLahorePakistan

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