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Targeting the A2B adenosine receptor during gastrointestinal ischemia and inflammation

University of Colorado, Mucosal Inflammation Program, Department of Medicine, Denver, 12700 E 19th Avenue, Mailstop B112, Research Complex 2, Room 7124, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.
Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets (Impact Factor: 4.9). 09/2009; 13(11):1267-77. DOI: 10.1517/14728220903241666
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Extracellular adenosine functions as an endogenous distress signal via activation of four distinct adenosine receptors (A1, A2A, A2B and A3). Conditions of limited oxygen availability or acute inflammation lead to elevated levels of extracellular adenosine and enhanced signaling events. This relates to a combination of four mechanisms: i) increased production of adenosine via extracellular phosphohydrolysis of precursor molecules (particularly ATP and ADP); ii) increased expression and signaling via hypoxia-induced adenosine receptors, particularly the A2B adenosine receptor; iii) attenuated uptake from the extracellular towards the intracellular compartment; and iv) attenuated intracellular metabolism. Due to their large surface area, mucosal organs are particularly prone to hypoxia and ischemia associated inflammation. Therefore, it is not surprising that adenosine production and signaling plays a central role in attenuating tissue inflammation and injury during intestinal ischemia or inflammation. In fact, recent studies combining pharmacological and genetic approaches demonstrated that adenosine signaling via the A2B adenosine receptor dampens mucosal inflammation and tissue injury during intestinal ischemia or experimental colitis. This review outlines basic principles of extracellular adenosine production, signaling, uptake and metabolism. In addition, we discuss the role of this pathway in dampening hypoxia-elicited inflammation, specifically in the setting of intestinal ischemia and inflammation.

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