Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neuroscience. 2016 Dec 3;338:1-18. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.10.031. Epub 2015 Oct 21.

Adenosine receptor targets for pain.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada. Electronic address: jana.sawynok@dal.ca.

Abstract

The main focus for the development of adenosine targets as analgesics to date has been A1Rs due to its antinociceptive profile in various preclinical pain models. The usefulness of systemic A1R agonists may be limited by other effects (cardiovascular, motor), but enhanced selectivity for pain might occur with partial agonists, potent and highly selective agonists, or allosteric modulators. A2AR agonists exhibit some peripheral pronociceptive effects, but also act on immune cells to suppress inflammation and on spinal glia to suppress pain signaling and may be useful for inflammatory and neuropathic pain. A2BR agonists exhibit peripheral proinflammatory effects on immune cells, but also spinal antinociceptive effects similar to A2AR agonists. A3Rs are now demonstrated to produce antinociception in several preclinical neuropathic pain models, with mechanistic actions on glial cells, and may be useful for neuropathic pain. Endogenous adenosine levels can be augmented by inhibition of metabolism (via adenosine kinase) or increased generation (via nucleotidases), and these approaches have implications for pain. Endogenous adenosine contributes to antinociception by several pharmacological agents, herbal remedies, acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, exercise, joint mobilization, and water immersion via spinal and/or peripheral effects, such that this system appears to constitute a major pain regulatory system. Finally, caffeine inhibits A1-, A2A- and A3Rs with similar potency, and dietary caffeine intake will need attention in trials of: (a) agonists and/or modulators acting at these receptors, (b) some pharmacological and herbal analgesics, and (c) manipulations that enhance endogenous adenosine levels, all of which are inhibited by caffeine and/or A1R antagonists in preclinical studies. All adenosine receptors have effects on spinal glial cells in regulating nociception, and gender differences in the involvement of such cells in chronic neuropathic pain indicate gender may also need attention in preclinical and human trials evaluating the efficacy of adenosine-based analgesics.

KEYWORDS:

acupuncture; adenosine; antinociception; caffeine; inflammatory pain; neuropathic pain

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center