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Front Biosci. 2008 Jan 1;13:2614-32.

Adenosine receptor antagonists for cognitive dysfunction: a review of animal studies.

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Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Campus Trindade, Florianopolis-SC 88049-900, Brazil.


Over the last decade, adenosine receptors in the central nervous system have been implicated in the modulation of cognitive functions. Despite the general view that endogenous adenosine modulates cognition through the activation of adenosine A1 receptors, evidence is now emerging on a possible role of A2A receptors in learning and memory. The present review attempts to examine results reported in different studies using diverse animal models, to provide a comprehensive picture of the recent evidence of a relationship between adenosinergic function and memory deficits. The present data suggest that caffeine (a nonselective adenosine receptor antagonist) and selective adenosine A2A receptor antagonists can improve memory performance in rodents evaluated through different tasks. They might also afford protection against memory dysfunction elicited in experimental models of aging, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and, in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), a putative genetic model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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