Extracellular ATP acts as a neurotransmitter in the central and peripheral nervous systems. In this review, the role of purinergic receptors in neuronal signaling and bi-directional glial-neuronal communication in the retina will be considered. There is growing evidence that a range of P2X and P2Y receptors are expressed on most classes of retinal neurons and that activation of P2 receptors modulates retinal function. Furthermore, neuronal control of glial function is achieved through neuronal release of ATP and activation of P2Y receptors expressed by Müller cells. Altered purinergic signaling in Müller cells has been implicated in gliotic changes in the diseased retina and furthermore, elevations in extracellular ATP may lead to apoptosis of retinal neurons.