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Mol Pharmacol. 2000 Nov;58(5):1075-84.

Influence of receptor number on functional responses elicited by agonists acting at the human adenosine A(1) receptor: evidence for signaling pathway-dependent changes in agonist potency and relative intrinsic activity.

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Institute of Cell Signalling and School of Biomedical Sciences, Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom.


Activation of A(1) adenosine receptors leads to the inhibition of cAMP accumulation and the stimulation of inositol phosphate accumulation via pertussis toxin-sensitive G-proteins. In this study we have investigated the signaling of the A(1) adenosine receptor in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, when expressed at approximately 203 fmol/mg (CHOA1L) and at approximately 3350 fmol/mg (CHOA1H). In CHOA1L cells, the agonists N(6)-cyclopentyladenosine (CPA), (R)-N(6)-(2-phenylisopropyl)adenosine, and 5'-(N-ethylcarboxamido)adenosine (NECA) inhibited cAMP production in a concentration-dependent manner. After pertussis toxin treatment, the agonist NECA produced a stimulation of cAMP production, whereas CPA and (R)-N(6)-(2-phenylisopropyl)adenosine were ineffective. In CHOAIH cells, however, all three agonists produced both an inhibition of adenylyl cyclase and a pertussis toxin-insensitive stimulation of adenylyl cyclase. All three agonists were more potent at inhibiting adenylyl cyclase in CHOA1H cells than in CHOA1L cells. In contrast, A(1) agonists (and particularly NECA) were less potent at stimulating inositol phosphate accumulation in CHOA1H cells than in CHOA1L cells. After pertussis toxin treatment, agonist-stimulated inositol phosphate accumulation was reduced in CHOA1H cells and abolished in CHOA1L cells. The relative intrinsic activity of NECA in stimulating inositol phosphate accumulation, compared to CPA (100%), was much greater in the presence of pertussis toxin (289.6%) than in the absence of pertussis toxin (155.2%). These data suggest that A(1) adenosine receptors can couple to both pertussis toxin-sensitive and -insensitive G-proteins in an expression level-dependent manner. These data also suggest that the ability of this receptor to activate different G-proteins is dependent on the agonist present.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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