Members of the P2X family of ligand-gated cation channels (P2RX) are expressed by various cell types including neurons, smooth- and cardiac muscle cells, and leukocytes. The channels mediate signalling in response to extracellular ATP. Seven subunit isoforms (P2RX1-P2RX7) have been identified and these can assemble as homo- and heterotrimeric molecules. In humans, P2RX5 exists as a natural deletion mutant lacking amino acids 328-349 of exon 10, which are part of transmembrane (TM) 2 and pre-TM2 regions in other organisms like rat, chicken and zebrafish. We show that P2RX5 gene expression of human T lymphocytes is upregulated during activation. P2RX5 is recruited to the cell surface. P2RX5-siRNA-transfected CD4+ T cells produced twofold more IL-10 than controls. Surface and intracellular P2RX5 expression was upregulated in activated antigen-specific CD4+ T cell clones. These data indicate a functional role of the human P2RX5 splice variant in T cell activation and immunoregulation.