Adenosine in Central Nervous System Function

  • Michael F. Jarvis
  • Michael Williams
Part of the The Receptors book series (REC)


Brain adenosine receptors, like those in other tissues (Williams, 1989), can be delineated into two major subclasses, termed A1 and A2 (Hamprecht and Van Calker, 1985), and differentiated by pharmacological and functional activity as well as differences in regional distribution (Snyder, 1985; Williams, 1987; Jarvis, 1988). Adenosine receptors in brain tissue, like other receptors, occur in the greatest density in this organ as compared to their distribution in peripheral tissues. The precise physiological contribution of these receptors to central nervous system function remains unclear; however, the many documented inhibitory effects of adenosine on neurotransmitter release in mammalian tissue coupled with the psychomotor-stimulant effects of adenosine receptor antagonists (alkylxanthines) have led to the suggestion that adenosine mediates an “inhibitory tone” in the CNS (Harms et al., 1978).


Locomotor Activity Adenosine Receptor Central Nervous System Function Adenosine Receptor Antagonist Adenosine Receptor Agonist 
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© The Humana Press Inc. 1990

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  • Michael F. Jarvis
  • Michael Williams

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