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Adenosine as a constituent of the brain and of isolated cerebral tissues, and its relationship to the generation of adenosine 3′:5′-cyclic monophosphate

  • Michael Newman
  • Henry McIlwain
Publication Date
Apr 15, 1977


1. Adenosine was determined in rapidly frozen rat and guinea-pig brain and in guinea-pig cerebral tissues after incubation in vitro. Adenosine concentrations were approx. 2nmol/g wet wt. in frozen tissue, diminished at room temperature, and returned to 2nmol/g on incubation in oxygenated glucose/salines. 2. Superfusion with noradrenaline then increased the tissue's adenosine concentration 2.5-fold, and hypoxia caused an 8-fold increase. 3. Electrical stimulation alone or in the presence of noradrenaline or histamine increased the tissue's adenosine and cyclic AMP, but adenosine concentrations reached their peak later and were maintained for longer than those of cyclic AMP. 4. Superfusion with l-glutamate with and without electrical excitation raised adenosine concentrations to 15–34nmol/g. The increases in cyclic AMP on electrical stimulation, superfusion with glutamate or a combination of these treatments were diminished by addition of adenosine deaminase or theophylline. 5. It is concluded that adenosine can be produced endogenously in cerebral systems, in sufficient concentrations to accelerate an adenosine-activated adenylate cyclase, and by this route can contribute to the cerebral actions of electrical stimulation and of the neurohumoral agents. In certain instances cyclic AMP as substrate contributes to an increase in adenosine.

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