Crosstalk between the equilibrative nucleoside transporter ENT2 and alveolar Adora2b adenosine receptors dampens acute lung injury

Tobias Eckle, Kelly Hughes, Heidi Ehrentraut, Kelley S. Brodsky, Peter Rosenberger, Doo Sup Choi, Katya Ravid, Tingting Weng, Yang Xia, Michael R. Blackburn, Holger K. Eltzschig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The signaling molecule adenosine has been implicated in attenuating acute lung injury (ALI). Adenosine signaling is terminated by its uptake through equilibrative nucleoside transporters (ENTs). We hypothesized that ENT-dependent adenosine uptake could be targeted to enhance adenosine-mediated lung protection. To address this hypothesis, we exposed mice to high-pressure mechanical ventilation to induce ALI. Initial studies demonstrated time-dependent repression of ENT1 and ENT2 transcript and protein levels during ALI. To examine the contention that ENT repression represents an endogenous adaptive response, we performed functional studies with the ENT inhibitor dipyridamole. Dipyridamole treatment (1 mg/kg; EC50=10 μM) was associated with significant increases in ALI survival time (277 vs. 395 min; P<0.05). Subsequent studies in gene-targeted mice for Ent1 or Ent2 revealed a selective phenotype in Ent2-/-mice, including attenuated pulmonary edema and improved gas exchange during ALI in conjunction with elevated adenosine levels in the bronchoalveolar fluid. Furthermore, studies in genetic models for adenosine receptors implicated the A2B adenosine receptor (Adora2b) in mediating ENTdependent lung protection. Notably, dipyridamole-dependent attenuation of lung inflammation was abolished in mice with alveolar epithelial Adora2b gene deletion. Our newly identified crosstalk pathway between ENT2 and alveolar epithelial Adora2b in lung protection during ALI opens possibilities for combined therapies targeted to this protein set.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3078-3089
Number of pages12
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • A2B
  • Apyrase
  • CD39
  • CD73
  • Dipyridamole
  • Ecto-nucleotidase
  • Hypoxia-inducible factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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