Editor-in-Chief: Dimitri P. Mikhailidis Academic Head, Department of Clinical Biochemistry Royal Free Hospital Campus University College London Medical School University College London (UCL) Pond Street London, NW3 2QG UK
Affiliation: Department of Physiology, Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University, 1120 15th Street, Augusta, Georgia 30912-3000.
Autoregulation of renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate is an essential function of the renal microcirculation. While the existence of this phenomenon has been known for many years, the exact mechanisms that underlie this regulatory system remain poorly understood. The work of many investigators has provided insights into many aspects of the autoregulatory mechanism, but many critical components remain elusive. This review is intended to update the reader on the role of P2 purinoceptors as a postulated mechanism responsible for renal autoregulatory resistance adjustments. It will summarize recent advances in normal function and it will touch on more recent ideas regarding autoregulatory insufficiency in hypertension and inflammation. Current thoughts on the nature of the mechanosensor responsible for myogenic behavior will be also be discussed as well as current thoughts on the mechanisms involved in ATP release to the extracellular fluid space.