External forces applied to cells are converted into biochemical signals, such as the release of ATP, known as the primary source of energy for a cell. In order to compare quantitative estimates, the effects of different mechanical stimuli and pathophysiological changes on ATP release, Svetlana Komarova and colleagues (Mikolajewicz et al., 2018) set out to perform a meta-analysis of studies on mechanically stimulated ATP release (MSAR). They found large heterogeneity in the quantifications of ATP release among studies; however, relative MSAR consistently leads to a 4.3-fold increase of ATP release. Interestingly, the authors report that the different ATP release routes are mediated by shared intracellular signalling pathways and this synergistic interaction appears to be specific to the cell type. Furthermore, the analysis of MSAR in pathological conditions revealed that ATP release is increased upon inflammation and injury, but decreased in hereditary and metabolic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and type II diabetes. Taken together, this systematic meta-analysis characterizes the amounts and mechanisms of MSAR in mammalian cells, and provides a framework for investigating the pathophysiological consequences of MSAR.