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PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39772. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039772. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

Inhibition of hippocampal synaptic activity by ATP, hypoxia or oxygen-glucose deprivation does not require CD73.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


Adenosine, through activation of its A(1) receptors, has neuroprotective effects during hypoxia and ischemia. Recently, using transgenic mice with neuronal expression of human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (hENT1), we reported that nucleoside transporter-mediated release of adenosine from neurons was not a key mechanism facilitating the actions of adenosine at A(1) receptors during hypoxia/ischemia. The present study was performed to test the importance of CD73 (ecto-5'-nucleotidase) for basal and hypoxic/ischemic adenosine production. Hippocampal slice electrophysiology was performed with CD73(+/+) and CD73(-/-) mice. Adenosine and ATP had similar inhibitory effects in both genotypes, with IC(50) values of approximately 25 µM. In contrast, ATP was a less potent inhibitor (IC(50) = 100 µM) in slices from mice expressing hENT1 in neurons. The inhibitory effects of ATP in CD73(+/+) and CD73(-/-) slices were blocked by the adenosine A(1) receptor antagonist 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (DPCPX) and were enhanced by the nucleoside transport inhibitor S-(4-nitrobenzyl)-6-thioinosine (NBTI), consistent with effects that are mediated by adenosine after metabolism of ATP. AMP showed a similar inhibitory effect to ATP and adenosine, indicating that the response to ATP was not mediated by P2 receptors. In comparing CD73(-/-) and CD73(+/+) slices, hypoxia and oxygen-glucose deprivation produced similar depression of synaptic transmission in both genotypes. An inhibitor of tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) was found to attenuate the inhibitory effects of AMP and ATP, increase basal synaptic activity and reduce responses to oxygen-glucose deprivation selectively in slices from CD73(-/-) mice. These results do not support an important role for CD73 in the formation of adenosine in the CA1 area of the hippocampus during basal, hypoxic or ischemic conditions, but instead point to TNAP as a potential source of extracellular adenosine when CD73 is absent.

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