Adenosine plays an important role in biochemical processes, such as energy transfer - as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine diphosphate (ADP) - as well as in signal transduction as cyclic adenosine monophosphate, cAMP. It is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter, believed to play a role in promoting sleep and suppressing arousal, with levels increasing with each hour an organism is awake.
Extracellular adenosine concentrations from normal cells are approximately 300 nM; however, in response to cellular damage (e.g. in inflammatory or ischemic tissue), these concentrations are quickly elevated (600-1,200 nM). Thus, in regards to stress or injury, the function of adenosine is primarily that of cytoprotection preventing tissue damage during instances of hypoxia, ischemia, and seizure activity. Activation of A2A receptors produces a constellation of responses that in general can be classified as anti-inflammatory.
In individuals suspected of suffering from a supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), adenosine is used to help identify the rhythm. Certain SVTs can be successfully terminated with adenosine. This includes any re-entrant arrhythmias that require the AV node for the re-entry (e.g., AV reentrant tachycardia (AVRT), AV nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT). In addition, atrial tachycardia can sometimes be terminated with adenosine.
Adenosine has an indirect effect on atrial tissue causing a shortening of the refractory period. When administered via a central lumen catheter, adenosine has been shown to initiate atrial fibrillation because of its effect on atrial tissue. In individuals with accessory pathways, the onset of atrial fibrillation can lead to a life threatening ventricular fibrillation.
Fast rhythms of the heart that are confined to the atria (e.g., atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter) or ventricles (e.g., monomorphic ventricular tachycardia) and do not involve the AV node as part of the re-entrant circuit are not typically converted by adenosine. However, the ventricular response rate is temporarily slowed with adenosine in such cases.
Because of the effects of adenosine on AV node-dependent SVTs, adenosine is considered a class V antiarrhythmic agent. When adenosine is used to cardiovert an abnormal rhythm, it is normal for the heart to enter ventricular asystole for a few seconds. This can be disconcerting to a normally conscious patient, and is associated with angina-like sensations in the chest.
By nature of caffeine's purine structure it binds to some of the same receptors as adenosine. The pharmacological effects of adenosine may therefore be blunted in individuals who are taking large quantities of methylxanthines (e.g., caffeine, found in coffee and tea, or theobromine, as found in chocolate).
The recommended dose may be increased in patients on theophylline since methylxanthines prevent binding of adenosine at receptor sites. The dose is often decreased in patients on dipyridamole (Persantine) and diazepam (Valium) because adenosine potentiates the effects of these drugs. The recommended dose is also reduced by half in patients who are presenting Congestive Heart Failure, Myocardial Infarction, shock, hypoxia, and/or hepatic or renal insufficiency, and in elderly patients.
In Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome adenosine may be administered if equipment for cardioversion is immediately available as a backup.
Adenosine A^sub 1^, A^sub 2a^, A^sub 2b^, and A^sub 3^ Receptors in Hematopoiesis. 2. Expression of Receptor mRNA in Resting and Lipopolysaccharide-Activated Mouse RAW 264.7 Macrophages
Jan 01, 2010; Summary Expression of mRNA for adenosine receptor subtypes A^sub 1^, A^sub 2a^, A^sub 2b^, and A^sub 3^ in normal and...
Adenosine Potentiates Stimulatory Effects on Granulocyte-Macrophage Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells in Vitro of IL-3 and SCF, but Not Those of G-CSF, GM-CSF and IL-11
Sep 01, 2006; Summary The aim of the studies was to ascertain if adenosine is able to co-operate with selected hematopoietic growth...