Overexpression of A3 adenosine receptors decreases heart rate, preserves energetics, and protects ischemic hearts

Heather R. Cross, Elizabeth Murphy, Richard G. Black, John Auchampach, Charles Steenbergen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine whether A3 adenosine receptor (A3AR) signaling modulates myocardial function, energetics, and cardioprotection, hearts from wild-type and A3AR-overexpressor mice were subjected to 20-min ischemia and 40-min reperfusion while 31P NMR spectra were acquired. Basal heart rate and left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) were lower in A3AR-overexpressor hearts than wild-type hearts. Ischemic ATP depletion was delayed and postischemic recoveries of contractile function, ATP, and phosphocreatine were greater in A3AR-hearts. To determine the role of depressed heart rate and to confirm A3AR-specific signaling, hearts were paced at 480 beats/min with or without 60 nmol/l MRS-1220 (A3AR-specific inhibitor) and then subjected to ischemia-reperfusion. LVDP was similar in paced A3AR-overexpressor and paced wild-type hearts. Differences in ischemic ATP depletion and postischemic contractile and energetic dysfunction remained in paced A3AR-overexpressor hearts versus paced wild-type hearts but were abolished by MRS-1220. In summary, A3AR overexpression decreased basal heart rate and contractility, preserved ischemic ATP, and decreased postischemic dysfunction. Pacing abolished the decreased contractility but not the ATP preservation or cardioprotection. Therefore, A3AR overexpression results in cardioprotection via a specific A3AR effect, possibly involving preservation of ATP during ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1562-H1568
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4 52-4
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardioprotection
  • Ischemia
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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