Adenosine Receptors in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Maternal Obesity in Pregnancy

  • Fabián Pardo
  • Luis SobreviaEmail author
Part of the The Receptors book series (REC, volume 34)


Regulation of blood flow depends on the systemic and local release of vasoactive molecules including the endogenous nucleoside adenosine. Vasodilation caused by adenosine results from the activation of adenosine receptors (ARs) at the vascular endothelium and smooth muscle. Adenosine receptors are four subtypes, i.e. A1AR, A2AAR, A2BAR and A3AR, of which A2AAR and A2BAR activation in the endothelium lead to increased generation of nitric oxide and relaxation of the underlying smooth muscle cell layer. Adenosine also causes vasoconstriction via a mechanism involving A1AR activation by increasing the release of vasoconstrictors. Adenosine increases the sensitivity of vascular tissues from diseases coursing with insulin resistance, including gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and obesity. ARs also play a role in obesity since they modulate D-glucose homeostasis, inflammation and adipogenesis. Agonists and/or antagonists of high selectivity for ARs may result in reversing the obesity state since normalises lipolysis and insulin sensitivity. A considerable fraction of pregnant women with GDM show with pregestational obesity and/or supraphysiological gestational weight gain. These conditions associated with reduced vascular responsiveness to adenosine and insulin. However, it is unclear whether GDM plus obesity in pregnancy could worsen these alterations in the foetoplacental vascular function. This chapter summarises available findings that address the potential involvement of ARs to modulate human foetoplacental vasculature in GDM and obesity in pregnancy.


Adenosine Diabetes Obesity Vascular Human endothelium Smooth muscle 



Authors thank Mrs. Amparo Pacheco from CMPL, PUC, for technical and secretarial assistance. This work was supported by Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT) (grant numbers 1150377 and 11150083), Chile.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cellular and Molecular Physiology Laboratory (CMPL), Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Medicine, Faculty of MedicinePontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Metabolic Diseases Research Laboratory, Center of Research, Development and Innovation in Health – Aconcagua Valley, San Felipe Campus, School of Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversidad de ValparaísoSan FelipeChile
  3. 3.Department of Physiology, Faculty of PharmacyUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain
  4. 4.University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR), Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical SciencesUniversity of QueenslandHerstonAustralia

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