Adenosine receptors and neurological disease: neuroprotection and neurodegeneration.Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2009HE
Adenosine receptors modulate neuronal and synaptic function in a range of ways that may make them relevant to the occurrence, development and treatment of brain ischemic damage and degenerative disorders. A(1) adenosine receptors tend to suppress neural activity by a predominantly presynaptic action, while A(2A) adenosine receptors are more likely to promote transmitter release and postsynaptic depolarization. A variety of interactions have also been described in which adenosine A(1) or A(2) adenosine receptors can modify cellular responses to conventional neurotransmitters or receptor agonists such as glutamate, NMDA, nitric oxide and P2 purine receptors. Part of the role of adenosine receptors seems to be in the regulation of inflammatory processes that often occur in the aftermath of a major insult or disease process. All of the adenosine receptors can modulate the release of cytokines such as interleukins and tumor necrosis factor-alpha from immune-competent leukocytes and glia. When examined directly as modifiers of brain damage, A(1) adenosine receptor (AR) agonists, A(2A)AR agonists and antagonists, as well as A(3)AR antagonists, can protect against a range of insults, both in vitro and in vivo. Intriguingly, acute and chronic treatments with these ligands can often produce diametrically opposite effects on damage outcome, probably resulting from adaptational changes in receptor number or properties. In some cases molecular approaches have identified the involvement of ERK and GSK-3beta pathways in the protection from damage. Much evidence argues for a role of adenosine receptors in neurological disease. Receptor densities are altered in patients with Alzheimer's disease, while many studies have demonstrated effects of adenosine and its antagonists on synaptic plasticity in vitro, or on learning adequacy in vivo. The combined effects of adenosine on neuronal viability and inflammatory processes have also led to considerations of their roles in Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Huntington's disease and multiple sclerosis, as well as the brain damage associated with stroke. In addition to the potential pathological relevance of adenosine receptors, there are earnest attempts in progress to generate ligands that will target adenosine receptors as therapeutic agents to treat some of these disorders.