AbstractAdenosine has actions on smooth muscle similar to those of prostaglandin (PG) antagonists. Like some PG antagonists it is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor and seems to interfere with calcium effects. It has agonist/antagonist interactions with theophylline, a PG antagonist. In rat mesenteric vascular smooth muscle adenosine blocked responses to noradrenaline which depend on release of intracellular calcium but not those to potassium ions which depend on calcium entry from extracellular fluid. Partial inhibition of endogenous PG synthesis by indomethacin enhanced the adenosine effect. In preparations in which vascular reactivity had been abolished by indomethacin and then partly restored by 1 or 5 ng/ml PG2, adenosine also inhibited responses to noradrenaline: the curve for the 5 ng/ml PG2 concentration was to the right of and parallel to the 1 ng/ml curve consistent with a competitive interaction between adenosine and PG2. Similar interactions between adenosine and PG2 were shown in human lymphocytes in which activation also depends on calcium release. These findings suggest how calcium-dependent metabolic responses may be controlled and indicate further reasons for caution in the interpretation of cyclic AMP experiments.
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