Adenosine: An endogenous regulator of innate immunity

György Haskó, Bruce N. Cronstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

640 Citations (Scopus)


Although inflammatory and immunological reactions protect the host from invasion by microorganisms and eliminate debris at sites of tissue injury, they can also be responsible for significant tissue damage. Thus, regulatory mechanisms that limit damage from an overly exuberant immune response have evolved. It is increasingly apparent that adenosine, a purine nucleoside that is elaborated at injured and inflamed sites, has a central role in the regulation of inflammatory responses and in limiting inflammatory tissue destruction. Adenosine, called a 'retaliatory metabolite' because it is a regulatory autocoid that is generated as a result of cellular injury or stress, interacts with specific G protein-coupled receptors on inflammatory and immune cells to regulate their function. The effects of adenosine, acting at its receptors, on the functions of the cells that mediate innate immune responses, will be reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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