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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Oct;30(10):528-35. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Sep 15.

Adenosine receptors as targets for therapeutic intervention in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Institute of Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology, University of Catania, Catania 95124, Italy.


Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are pulmonary disorders characterized by various degrees of inflammation and tissue remodeling. Adenosine is a signaling molecule that is elevated in the lungs of patients with asthma and COPD. Adenosine elicits its actions by engaging cell surface adenosine receptors, and substantial preclinical evidence suggests that targeting these receptors will provide novel approaches for the treatment of asthma and COPD. Studies in animal models of airway disease suggest that there may be clinical benefit to the use of A(1), A(3) and A(2B) adenosine receptor antagonists in the treatment of features of asthma and/or COPD, while A(2A) agonists may also prove effective. Several adenosine receptor based pharmacologic agents have entered clinical development for the treatment of asthma and COPD; however, the studies have been limited and the efficacy of such approaches is not yet clear.

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