Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Adenosine


Methotrexate (MTX) exerts at least part of its anti-inflammatory effects through adenosine receptors (ADOR). The aims of this study were to determine the expression of all four adenosine receptor genes (ADORA1, ADORA2A, ADORA2B, ADORA3 and ADORA3variant) in rheumatoid synovial tissue and any influence of MTX exposure on this expression. Furthermore, we investigated whether polymorphisms within ADORA3 were associated with response and/or adverse effects associated with MTX.

Concepts: Rheumatoid arthritis, Adenosine receptor, Adenosine, Adenosine A2A receptor, Adenosine A1 receptor, Adenosine receptors


Phosphorylation of the nucleosides adenosine and uridine by the simple mixing and mild heating of aqueous solutions of the organic compounds with synthetic analogs of the meteoritic mineral schreibersite, (Fe,Ni)3P under slightly basic conditions (pH ~9) is reported. These results suggest a potential role for meteoritic phosphorus in the origin and development of early life.

Concepts: Adenosine triphosphate, Concentration, Chemistry, Nucleoside, Solutions, Adenosine, Nucleosides, Uridine


Differentiation between atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT) and atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT) can be sometimes challenging. Apical right ventricular (RV) entrainment can help in differentiation; however, it has some fallacies. We thought to compare the accuracy of anteroseptal basal RV entrainment to RV apical entrainment in identifying the mechanism of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).

Concepts: Supraventricular tachycardia, Adenosine, Tachycardia, AV nodal reentrant tachycardia


Multiple recent reports have detailed the presence of adenosine receptors in sweet sensitive taste cells of mice. These receptors are activated by endogenous adenosine in the plasma to enhance sweet signals within the taste bud, before reporting to the primary afferent. As we commonly consume caffeine, a powerful antagonist for such receptors, in our daily lives, an intriguing question we sought to answer was whether the caffeine we habitually consume in coffee can inhibit the perception of sweet taste in humans. 107 panelists were randomly assigned to 2 groups, sampling decaffeinated coffee supplemented with either 200 mg of caffeine, about the level found in a strong cup of coffee, or an equally bitter concentration of quinine. Participants subsequently performed sensory testing, with the session repeated in the alternative condition in a second session on a separate day. Panelists rated both the sweetened coffee itself and subsequent sucrose solutions as less sweet in the caffeine condition, despite the treatment having no effect on bitter, sour, salty, or umami perception. Panelists were also unable to discern whether they had consumed the caffeinated or noncaffeinated coffee, with ratings of alertness increased equally, but no significant improvement in reaction times, highlighting coffee’s powerful placebo effect. This work validates earlier observations in rodents in a human population.

Concepts: Coffee, Sense, Taste, Caffeine, Adenosine receptor, Adenosine, Taste bud, Decaffeination


One may wonder why methylxanthines are so abundant in beverages used by humans for centuries, or in cola-drinks that have been heavily consumed since their appearance. It is likely that humans have stuck to any brew containing compounds with psychoactive properties, resulting in a better daily life, i.e., more efficient thinking, exploring, hunting, etc., however, without the serious side effects of drugs of abuse. The physiological effects of methylxanthines have been known for a long time and they are mainly mediated by the so-called adenosine receptors. Caffeine and theobromine are the most abundant methylxanthines in cacao and their physiological effects are notable. Their health-promoting benefits are so remarkable that chocolate is explored as a functional food. The consequences of adenosine receptor blockade by natural compounds present in cacao/chocolate are here reviewed. Palatability and health benefits of methylxanthines, in general, and theobromine, in particular, have further contributed to sustain one of the most innocuous and pleasant habits: chocolate consumption.

Concepts: Caffeine, Adenosine receptor, Phosphodiesterase inhibitor, Adenosine, Chocolate, Xanthine, Theobromine, Theophylline



Caffeine is the most widely-consumed psychoactive drug in the world, but our understanding of how caffeine affects our brains is relatively incomplete. Most studies focus on effects of caffeine on adenosine receptors, but there is evidence for other, more complex mechanisms. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, which shows a robust diurnal pattern of sleep/wake activity, caffeine reduces nighttime sleep behavior independently of the one known adenosine receptor. Here, we show that dopamine is required for the wake-promoting effect of caffeine in the fly, and that caffeine likely acts presynaptically to increase dopamine signaling. We identify a cluster of neurons, the paired anterior medial (PAM) cluster of dopaminergic neurons, as the ones relevant for the caffeine response. PAM neurons show increased activity following caffeine administration, and promote wake when activated. Also, inhibition of these neurons abrogates sleep suppression by caffeine. While previous studies have focused on adenosine-receptor mediated mechanisms for caffeine action, we have identified a role for dopaminergic neurons in the arousal-promoting effect of caffeine.

Concepts: Caffeine, Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila, Dopamine, Adenosine receptor, Cocaine, Adenosine, Neuropsychopharmacology


Various studies have explored different ways to speed emergence from anesthesia. Previously, we have shown that three drugs that elevate intracellular cAMP (forskolin, theophylline and caffeine) accelerate emergence from anesthesia in rats. However, our earlier studies left two main questions unanswered. First, were cAMP elevating drugs effective at all anesthetic concentrations? Second, given that caffeine was the most effective of the drugs tested, why was caffeine more effective than forskolin since both drugs elevate cAMP? In our current study, emergence time from anesthesia was measured in adult rats exposed to 3% isoflurane for 60 minutes. Caffeine dramatically accelerated emergence from anesthesia, even at the high level of anesthetic employed. Caffeine has multiple actions including blockade of adenosine receptors. We show that the selective A2a adenosine receptor antagonist preladenant or the [cAMP]i-elevating drug forskolin, accelerated recovery from anesthesia. When preladenant and forskolin were tested together, the effect on anesthesia recovery time was additive indicating that these drugs operate via different pathways. Furthermore, the combination of preladenant and forskolin was about as effective as caffeine suggesting that both A2A receptor blockade and [cAMP]i elevation play a role in caffeine’s ability to accelerate emergence from anesthesia. Because anesthesia in rodents is thought to be similar to that in humans, these results suggest that caffeine might allow for rapid and uniform emergence from general anesthesia in humans at all anesthetic concentrations and that both the elevation of [cAMP]i and adenosine receptor blockade play a role in this response.

Concepts: Receptor, Receptor antagonist, Caffeine, Adenosine receptor, Adenosine, Adenosine A2A receptor, Adenosine A1 receptor, Theophylline


Like caffeine, theobromine crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to adenosine receptors, suggesting it might share caffeine’s beneficial effects on mood and vigilance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the effect of theobromine doses commonly found in foods on mood and vigilance parameters sensitive to caffeine. Caffeine was tested as a positive control. Twenty-four men (age, 23 [3] years) completed 6 double-blind trials during which they consumed experimental beverages, assessed their mood using standardized self-report questionnaires, and completed a 2-hour visual vigilance task. Three experimental doses (100, 200, and 400 mg theobromine) were delivered in a cocoa-based beverage; 3 matched control treatments (0 mg theobromine, 400 mg theobromine, and 100 mg caffeine) were delivered in a non-cocoa beverage. Mean salivary concentrations of theobromine exhibited significant dose-dependent differences (400 mg trials > 200 mg trial > 100 mg trial > 0 mg trials; P < 0.005). At every dose tested, theobromine failed to consistently affect mood state or vigilance (P > 0.05), but 100-mg caffeine significantly decreased lethargy/fatigue and increased vigor (P = 0.006 and 0.011, respectively). These findings indicate theobromine does not influence mood and vigilance when administered in nutritionally relevant doses, despite sharing many of caffeine’s structural characteristics.

Concepts: Experimental design, Effect, Coffee, Caffeine, Adenosine receptor, Phosphodiesterase inhibitor, Adenosine, Xanthine


Despite the success of anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1), anti-PD1 ligand 1 (PDL1) and anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) therapies in advanced cancer, a considerable proportion of patients remain unresponsive to these treatments (known as innate resistance). In addition, one-third of patients relapse after initial response (known as adaptive resistance), which suggests that multiple non-redundant immunosuppressive mechanisms coexist within the tumour microenvironment. A major immunosuppressive mechanism is the adenosinergic pathway, which now represents an attractive new therapeutic target for cancer therapy. Activation of this pathway occurs within hypoxic tumours, where extracellular adenosine exerts local suppression through tumour-intrinsic and host-mediated mechanisms. Preclinical studies in mice with adenosine receptor antagonists and antibodies have reported favourable antitumour immune responses with some definition of the mechanism of action. Currently, agents targeting the adenosinergic pathway are undergoing first-in-human clinical trials as single agents and in combination with anti-PD1 or anti-PDL1 therapies. In this Review, we describe the complex interplay of adenosine and adenosine receptors in the development of primary tumours and metastases and discuss the merits of targeting one or more components that compose the adenosinergic pathway. We also review the early clinical data relating to therapeutic agents inhibiting the adenosinergic pathway.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Protein, Cancer, Receptor, Receptor antagonist, Adenosine receptor, Adenosine