Increased adenosine formation by rat myocardium with acute aortic constriction

Duane H. Foley, Jeremiah T. Herlihy, Carl I. Thompson, Rafael Rubio, Robert M. Berne

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35 Scopus citations


Based primarily on the observations that adenosine release by the heart is inversely related to oxygen supply to the myocardium, it has been proposed that adenosine serves as a metabolic regulator of coronary vascular resistance. The present study was undertaken to determine to what extent adenosine formation is influenced by increases in mean aortic pressure, which is known to elevate myocardial oxygen requirements. In pentobarbital-anesthetized rats, aortic pressure and aortic blood flow were measured during control periods and during constriction of the thoracic aorta. The hearts were frozen in situ and assayed for adenosine and its breakdown products, inosine and hypoxanthine. In a control group of 16 rats, cardiac adenosine levels were 3.6±0.2 nmol/g tissue. In a second group of seven rats, aortic constriction elevated aortic pressure by 108% without a reduction in cardiac output, and tissue adenosine levels were 5.6±0.8 nmol/g (P < 0.005). The experimental group also demonstrated an increase in the sum of hypoxanthine, inosine and adenosine from 8.2±0.8 nmol/g observed in controls to 17.2±1.7 nmol/g (P < 0.001). In contrast, no significant difference was observed in adenosine, inosine and hypoxanthine contents of hearts allowed to recover after release of aortic constriction compared to hearts in parallel time-control experiments. These results suggest a direct relationship between myocardial oxygen consumption and the formation of adenosine during acute aortic constriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1978
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic constriction
  • Coronary blood flow regulation
  • Metabolic regulation of blood flow
  • Myocardial oxygen requirements
  • Myocardial purine metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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