Acute adenosinergic cardioprotection in ischemic-reperfused hearts

John P. Headrick*, Ben Hack, Kevin J. Ashton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

154 Citations (Scopus)


Cells of the cardiovascular system generate and release purine nucleoside adenosine in increasing quantities when constituent cells are "stressed" or subjected to injurious stimuli. This increased adenosine can interact with surface receptors in myocardial, vascular, fibroblast, and inflammatory cells to modulate cellular function and phenotype. Additionally, adenosine is rapidly reincorporated back into 5′-AMP to maintain the adenine nucleotide pool. Via these receptor-dependent and independent (metabolic) paths, adenosine can substantially modify the acute response to ischemic insult, in addition to generating a more sustained ischemia-tolerant phenotype (preconditioning). However, the molecular basis for acute adenosinergic cardioprotection remains incompletely understood and may well differ from more widely studied preconditioning. Here we review current knowledge and some controversies regarding acute cardioprotection via adenosine and adenosine receptor activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1797-H1818
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


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