RONS (reactive oxygen and nitrogen species) have traditionally been perceived to be detrimental to the physiology of the cell, with reports citing mechanisms by which a range of proteins, lipids and DNA are damaged. Consequently, their action has been attributed to many pathologies and the aging process. Opposing these actions are the protective functions held by RONS, as highlighted in microbial destruction, and their role as important cellular signalling molecules. The present paper will focus on the newly emerging field of P2X7R (P2X7 receptor)-induced RONS generation and the current understanding of the signalling pathways from receptor to RONS generators.

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