Effect of adenosine and its metabolites on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis

Joseph Szabö, Emma Kósa, Ida E. Tóth, Géza G. Bruckner

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Adenosine (ADO) plays a key role in maintaining the energy charge of the cell and has been shown in vivo to stimulate hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) activity. The question arises as to whether these effects are related exclusively to ADO and/or its metabolic produces). Therefore, the present study was designed to test the in vivo effect of ADO and its phosphorylated or deaminated derivatives on plasma corticosterone concentration (PCC) in rats. ATP, ADP, AMP, ADO, inosine (INO), hypoxanthine (HYP), xanthine (XAN), and urate (URA) in solutions (40 μmol/100 g of metabolic body weight) were injected intraperitoneally, then 30 min later the animals were decapitated and the plasma samples were collected for corticosterone radioimmunoassay (RIA). Dose response curves for ADO and URA as well as a time course response for plasma URA and PCC following ADO administration were obtained. In addition, the effect of URA on the adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) secretion of AtT-20 pituitary cells in culture was determined. The results showed that not only ADO but the adenine nucleotides (AMP, ADP, ATP) and also the deaminated end-products (INO, XAN, URA) significantly increased PCC. HYP did not have any significant effect. The dose dependent effects of ADO and URA on PCC were significantly and highly correlated. URA stimulated ACTH secretion significantly in vitro in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that ADO metabolites increase PCC via ACTH release. The possibility that ADO metabolites, principally URA, could be important signals for the HP A axis is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-339
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1995



  • ACTH
  • adenosine
  • corticosterone
  • inosine
  • uric acid
  • xanthine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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