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J Biol Chem. 2000 Feb 11;275(6):4429-34.

Disruption of the A(3) adenosine receptor gene in mice and its effect on stimulated inflammatory cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pennsylvania 19486, USA.


The A(3) adenosine receptor (A3AR) is one of four receptor subtypes for adenosine and is expressed in a broad spectrum of tissues. In order to study the function of A3AR, a mouse line carrying a mutant A(3) allele was generated. Mice homozygous for targeted disruption of the A3AR gene, A3AR(-/-), are fertile and visually and histologically indistinguishable from wild type mice. The lack of a functional receptor in the A3AR(-/-) mice was confirmed by molecular and pharmacological analyses. The absence of A3AR protein expression in the A3AR(-/-) mice was demonstrated by lack of N(6)-(4-amino-3-[(125)I]iodobenzyl)adenosine binding to bone marrow-derived mast cell membranes that were found to express high levels of A3AR in wild type mice. In A3AR(-/-) mice, the density of A(1) and A(2A) adenosine receptor subtypes was the same as in A3AR(+/+) mice as determined by radioligand binding to brain membranes. Additionally, A(2B) receptor transcript expression was not affected by ablation of the A3AR gene. A3AR(-/-) mice have basal heart rates and arterial blood pressures indistinguishable from A3AR(+/+) mice. Functionally, in contrast to wild type mice, adenosine and the A3AR-specific agonist, 2-chloro-N(6)-(3-iodobenzyl)-adenosine-5'-N-methyl-carboxamide (2-Cl-IB-MECA), elicit no potentiation of antigen-dependent degranulation of bone marrow-derived mast cells from A3AR(-/-) mice as measured by hexosaminidase release. Also, the ability of 2Cl-IB-MECA to inhibit lipopolysaccharide-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha production in vivo was decreased in A3AR(-/-) mice in comparison to A3AR(+/+) mice. The A(2A) adenosine receptor agonist, 2-p-(2-carboxyethyl)phenylamino)-5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine, produced inhibition of lipopolysaccharide-stimulated tumor necrosis factor-alpha production in both A3AR(-/-) and A3AR(+/+) mice. These results show that the inhibition in vivo can be mediated by multiple subtypes, specifically the A(3) and A(2A) adenosine receptors, and A3AR activation plays an important role in both pro- and anti-inflammatory responses.

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