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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1998 Dec;76(12):1132-8.

Effects of propentofylline on adenosine receptor activity in Chinese hamster ovary cell lines transfected with human A1, A2A, or A2B receptors and a luciferase reporter gene.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


Propentofylline is neuroprotective in vivo, but its mechanism of action is not completely understood. Previously, propentofylline was shown to block adenosine transport processes, to inhibit three adenosine receptor subtypes, and to inhibit cAMP phosphodiesterase. We tested the effect of propentofylline on adenosine receptor function in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells transfected with human adenosine A1, A2A, or A2B receptors and a luciferase reporter gene under control of a promoter sequence containing several copies of the cAMP response element. We investigated the concentration-dependent inhibitory effects of propentofylline on cAMP phosphodiesterase, adenosine transport processes, and adenosine A1, A2A, and A2B receptors. At concentrations > or = 1 mM, propentofylline increased luciferase activity probably as a result of inhibition of cAMP phosphodiesterase. Inhibition of [3H]adenosine uptake by propentofylline was concentration dependent, with IC50 values of 37-39 microM for the three cell types. Agonist-activated adenosine A1 receptors were antagonized by 100 microM propentofylline, but inhibition of agonist-stimulated A2A or A2B receptors was not observed. In contrast, A1 and A2A receptor mediated effects of adenosine were enhanced by propentofylline at concentrations of 1 and 100 microM, respectively. These data indicate that the net effects of propentofylline in vivo will be dependent on the concentrations of propentofylline and adenosine available and on the subtypes of adenosine receptors, phosphodiesterases, and nucleoside transporters present.

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