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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006 Jan;316(1):71-8. Epub 2005 Sep 27.

Activation of the adenosine A3 receptor in RAW 264.7 cells inhibits lipopolysaccharide-stimulated tumor necrosis factor-alpha release by reducing calcium-dependent activation of nuclear factor-kappaB and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2.

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  • 1Dept. of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 19230, Springfield, IL 62794-1222, USA.


Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activates the immune system and promotes inflammation via Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4, which regulates the synthesis and release of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and other inflammatory cytokines. Previous studies have shown that the nucleoside adenosine suppresses LPS-stimulated TNF-alpha release in human UB939 macrophages by activating an adenosine A(3) receptor (A(3)AR) subtype on these cells. In this study, we examined the mechanism(s) underlying A(3)AR-dependent inhibition of TNF-alpha release in a mouse (RAW 264.7) cell line. Treatment of RAW 264.7 cells with LPS (3 mug/ml) increased TNF-alpha release, which was reduced in a dose-dependent manner by adenosine analogs N(6)-(3-iodobenzyl)-adenosine-5'-N-methyluronamide (IB-MECA) and R-phenylisopropyladenosine and reversed by selective A(3)AR blockade. The increase in TNF-alpha release was preceded by an increase in intracellular Ca(2+) levels. Inhibition of intracellular Ca(2+) release by IB-MECA, a selective agonist of the A(3)AR, or with BAPTA-AM, an intracellular Ca(2+) chelator, reduced LPS-stimulated TNF-alpha release. Activation of the A(3)AR or inhibition of intracellular Ca(2+) release also reduced LPS-stimulated nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation. Similar inhibition by A(3)AR was observed for LPS-stimulated inducible nitric-oxide synthase. These data support the contention that inhibition of LPS-stimulated release of inflammatory molecules, such as TNF-alpha and NO via the A(3)AR, involves suppression of intracellular Ca(2+)signaling, leading to suppression of NF-kappaB and ERK1/2 pathways.

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