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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007 Aug;64(16):2153-69.

Caffeine analogs: biomedical impact.

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Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0820, USA.


Caffeine, widely consumed in beverages, and many xanthine analogs have had a major impact on biomedical research. Caffeine and various analogs, the latter designed to enhance potency and selectivity toward specific biological targets, have played key roles in defining the nature and role of adenosine receptors, phosphodiesterases, and calcium release channels in physiological processes. Such xanthines and other caffeine-inspired heterocycles now provide important research tools and potential therapeutic agents for intervention in Alzheimer's disease, asthma, cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease. Such compounds also have activity as analgesics, antiinflammatories, antitussives, behavioral stimulants, diuretics/natriuretics, and lipolytics. Adverse effects can include anxiety, hypertension, certain drug interactions, and withdrawal symptoms.

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