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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Jun;939:74-84.

Adenosine extracellular brain concentrations and role of A2A receptors in ischemia.

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Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini 6, 50139 Florence, Italy.


Various experimental approaches have been used to determine the concentration of adenosine in extracellular brain fluid. The cortical cup technique or the microdialysis technique, when adenosine concentrations are evaluated 24 hours after implantation of the microdialysis probe, are able to measure adenosine in the nM range under normoxic conditions and in the microM range under ischemia. In vitro estimation of adenosine show that it can reach 30 microM at the receptor level during ischemia, a concentration able to stimulate all adenosine receptor subtypes so far identified. Although the protective role of A1 receptors in ischemia seems consistent, the protective role of A2A receptors appears to be controversial. Both A2A agonists and antagonists have been shown to be neuroprotective in various in vivo ischemia models. Although A2A agonists may be protective, mainly through peripherally mediated effects, A2A antagonists may be protective through local brain mediated effects. It is possible that A2A receptors are tonically activated following a prolonged increase of adenosine concentration, such as occurs during ischemia. A2A receptor activation desensitizes A1 receptors and reduces A1 mediated effects. Under these conditions A2A receptor antagonists may be protective by potentiating all the neuroprotective A1 mediated effects, including decreased neurotoxicity due to reduced ischemia induced glutamate outflow.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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