Adenosine is produced primarily by the metabolism of ATP and mediates its physiological actions by interacting primarily with adenosine receptors (ARs) on the plasma membranes of different cell types in the body. Activation of these G protein-coupled receptors promotes activation of diverse cellular signaling pathways that define their tissuespecific functions. One of the major actions of adenosine is cytoprotection, mediated primarily via two ARs - A1 (A1AR) and A3 (A3AR). These ARs protect cells exposed to oxidative stress and are also regulated by oxidative stress. Stressmediated regulation of ARs involves two prominent transcription factors - activator protein-1 (AP-1) and nuclear factor (NF)-κB – that mediate the induction of genes important in cell survival. Mice that are genetically deficient in the p50 subunit of NF-κB (i.e., p50 knock-out mice) exhibit altered expression of A1AR and A2AAR and demonstrate distinct behavioral phenotypes under normal conditions or after drug challenges. These effects suggest an important role for NF-κB in dictating the level of expression of ARs in vivo, in regulating the cellular responses to stress, and in modifying behavior.
Keywords: dopaminergic neurons, Adenine nucleotides, mice,, caffeine, sleep, NF-κB, p50 knockout mice, adenosine receptor, Adenosine
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