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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2007 Jan;27(1):1-5. Epub 2006 May 10.

Transgenic overexpression of adenosine kinase aggravates cell death in ischemia.

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Robert S Dow Neurobiology Laboratories, Legacy Research, Portland, Oregon 97232, USA.


Adenosine is an endogenous neuromodulator with anticonvulsive and neuroprotective activity. Adenosine levels are normally kept in the range of 20 to 200 nmol/L by low basal expression of its main metabolic enzyme, adenosine kinase (ADK). Dysfunction of the adenosinergic system has been demonstrated to contribute to epileptogenesis. To investigate whether upregulation of ADK may render the brain more susceptible to ischemic cell death, mutant mice overexpressing an Adk transgene in brain were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). One day after either 15 or 60 mins of MCAO, wild-type (WT) animals had infarct areas encompassing about 5% and 50% of their ischemic hemisphere, respectively. In marked contrast, the volume of the infarcts increased three-fold in Adk transgenic mutants after 15 mins of MCAO, and after 60 mins of MCAO all mutants died within 24 h. Pretreatment of the mutants with the ADK inhibitor 5-iodotubercidin led to lesions similar to those in WT mice. Thus, low levels of ADK are essential to maintain adenosine-mediated neuroprotection. We conclude that pathologic overexpression of ADK as in epilepsy may also render the brain more susceptible to injury from ischemia. Consequently, ADK emerges as a rational therapeutic target to enhance neuroprotection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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