The P2X7R is a functionally distinct member of the P2X non-selective cation channels and has been implicated in the initiation of immune responses. One of the most extensively characterised immune responses of the receptor is to signal the rapid aggregation of the inflammasome complex and signal the release of IL-1β. These investigations have focused in providing direct comparisons of P2X7R-driven IL-1 responses between DC and mouse macrophages (peritoneal macrophages [PMΦ] and bone marrow derived macrophages [BM-MΦ]). Expression of the P2X7R has been identified in all three populations both at the transcriptional (P2X7A variant) and protein levels. Activation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (2h) induced a rapid dose dependent release of IL-6 but not of IL-1β in BM-DC. Rapid (2h) IL-1β release required both LPS priming and ATP activation. Both signals were also required for IL- 1β release in mouse ΒΜ-ΜΦ and PMΦ, however, at comparatively markedly lower levels. Furthermore, like with IL-1β, LPS did not induce IL-1alpha release in BM-DC. Interestingly, subsequent challenge with ATP evoked IL-1alpha release in BM-DC alone, with little or no detectable levels observed in activated BM-MΦ. This rapid IL-1β release (but not IL-6) was potently inhibited in both macrophages and DC with a P2X7R-specific inhibitor (A-740003) providing evidence that is predominantly a P2X7R-driven process. Treatment with A-740003 also potently inhibited IL-1alpha release from BM-DC suggesting that the ATP-P2X7R and caspase-1 activation might have a role in the release of the cytokine. Expression of gain-of-function P2X7K and loss-of- function P2X7J splice variants has been identified in both BM-DC and BM-MΦ, at the level of transcription. The possibility that a differential baseline or LPS-induced expression (at the transcriptional level) of P2X7J and P2X7K variants accounts for the diverse cytokine responses observed in BM-DC and BM-MΦ was also explored. However, the levels of expression for the various splice variants of interest (P2X7K and P2X7J) were found to be similar between the two cell types. The results of these investigations identify some subtle but intriguing differences in the mechanism of P2X7R activation and IL-1 release between DCs and macrophages. Purinergic signalling is increasing being implicated in the regulation of immune responses both in potentiating or suppressing inflammation. However, further work is required to decipher how the dynamic interplay between different purines can influence the immune activation of different cell types and indeed different cell subsets.