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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2013 Jun;145(6):1654-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Adenosine A1 receptor activation attenuates lung ischemia-reperfusion injury.

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Department of Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.



Ischemia-reperfusion injury contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality in lung transplant patients. Currently, no therapeutic agents are clinically available to prevent ischemia-reperfusion injury, and treatment strategies are limited to maintaining oxygenation and lung function. Adenosine can modulate inflammatory activity and injury by binding to various adenosine receptors; however, the role of the adenosine A1 receptor in ischemia-reperfusion injury and inflammation is not well understood. The present study tested the hypothesis that selective, exogenous activation of the A1 receptor would be anti-inflammatory and attenuate lung ischemia-reperfusion injury.


Wild-type and A1 receptor knockout mice underwent 1 hour of left lung ischemia and 2 hours of reperfusion using an in vivo hilar clamp model. An A1 receptor agonist, 2-chloro-N6-cyclopentyladenosine, was administered 5 minutes before ischemia. After reperfusion, lung function was evaluated by measuring airway resistance, pulmonary compliance, and pulmonary artery pressure. The wet/dry weight ratio was used to assess edema. The myeloperoxidase and cytokine levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were measured to determine the presence of neutrophil infiltration and inflammation.


In the wild-type mice, 2-chloro-N6-cyclopentyladenosine significantly improved lung function and attenuated edema, cytokine expression, and myeloperoxidase levels compared with the vehicle-treated mice after ischemia-reperfusion. The incidence of lung ischemia-reperfusion injury was similar in the A1 receptor knockout and wild-type mice; and 2-chloro-N6-cyclopentyladenosine had no effects in the A1 receptor knockout mice. In vitro treatment of neutrophils with 2-chloro-N6-cyclopentyladenosine significantly reduced chemotaxis.


Exogenous A1 receptor activation improves lung function and decreases inflammation, edema, and neutrophil chemotaxis after ischemia and reperfusion. These results suggest a potential therapeutic application for A1 receptor agonists for the prevention of lung ischemia-reperfusion injury after transplantation.

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