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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2010 Dec;299(6):H2082-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00511.2010. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Differential effects of adenosine A2a and A2b receptors on cardiac contractility.

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Department of Physiology and Cardiovascular Research Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, USA.


The mammalian myocardium expresses four adenosine receptor (AR) subtypes: A(1)AR, A(2a)AR, A(2b)AR, and A(3)AR. The A(1)AR is well known for its profound antiadrenergic effects, but the roles of other AR subtypes in modulating contractility remain inconclusive. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the direct and indirect effects of A(2a)AR and A(2b)AR on cardiac contractility. Experiments were conducted in paced, constant pressure-perfused isolated hearts from wild-type (WT), A(2a)AR knockout (KO), and A(2b)AR KO mice. The A(2a)AR agonist CGS-21680 did not alter basal contractility or β-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol (Iso)-mediated positive inotropic responses, and Iso-induced effects were unaltered in A(2a)AR KO hearts. However, A(2a)AR gene ablation resulted in a potentiation of the antiadrenergic effects mediated by the A(1)AR agonist 2-chloro-N-cyclopentyladenosine. The nonselective AR agonist 5'-N-ethylcarboxamido adenosine and the selective A(2b)AR agonist BAY 60-6583 induced coronary flow-independent increases in contractility, but BAY 60-6583 did not alter Iso-induced contractile responses. The A(1)AR antiadrenergic effect was not potentiated in A(2b)AR KO hearts. The expression of all four AR subtypes in the heart and ventricular myocytes was confirmed using real-time quantitative PCR. Taken together, these results indicate that A(2a)AR does not increase cardiac contractility directly but indirectly alters contractility by modulating the A(1)AR antiadrenergic effect, whereas A(2b)AR exerts direct contractile effects but does not alter β-adrenergic or A(1)AR antiadrenergic effects. These results indicate that multiple ARs differentially modulate cardiac function.

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