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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2013 Oct;63:14-25. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2013.06.008. Epub 2013 Jul 6.

Involvement of CD73, equilibrative nucleoside transporters and inosine in rhythm and conduction disturbances mediated by adenosine A1 and A2A receptors in the developing heart.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, CH-1005, Switzerland.


We previously established that exogenous adenosine (ADO) induces transient arrhythmias in the developing heart via the adenosine A1 receptor (A1AR) and downstream activation of NADPH oxidase/ERK and PLC/PKC pathways. Here, we investigated the mechanisms by which accumulation of endogenous ADO and its derived compound inosine (INO) in the interstitial compartment induce rhythm and conduction troubles. The validated model of the spontaneously beating heart obtained from 4-day-old chick embryos was used. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that enzymes involved in ADO and INO metabolism (CD39, CD73 and eADA) as well as equilibrative (ENT1, -3, -4) and concentrative (CNT3) nucleoside transporters were differentially expressed in atria, ventricle and outflow tract. Inactivation of ENTs by dipyridamole, 1) increased myocardial ADO level, 2) provoked atrial arrhythmias and atrio-ventricular blocks (AVB) in 70% of the hearts, 3) prolonged P wave and QT interval without altering contractility, and 4) increased ERK2 phosphorylation. Blockade of CD73-mediated phosphohydrolysis of AMP to ADO, MEK/ERK pathway inhibition or A1AR inhibition prevented these arrhythmias. Exposure to exogenous INO also caused atrial ectopy associated with AVB and ERK2 phosphorylation which were prevented by A1AR or A2AAR antagonists exclusively or by MEK/ERK inhibitor. Inhibition of ADA-mediated conversion of ADO to INO increased myocardial ADO and decreased INO as expected, but slightly augmented heart rate variability without provoking AVB. Thus, during cardiogenesis, disturbances of nucleosides metabolism and transport, can lead to interstitial accumulation of ADO and INO and provoke arrhythmias in an autocrine/paracrine manner through A1AR and A2AAR stimulation and ERK2 activation.


ADO; AR; AVB; Adenosine; Arrhythmias; Autocrine/paracrine; Embryo; INO; Inosine; Nucleoside transporters; adenosine; adenosine receptor; atrio-ventricular block; eADA; ecto adenosine deaminase; inosine

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