Adenosine has been implicated as an important endogenous regulator of various tissue functions. In diabetes, the responsiveness of several tissues to adenosine is altered. The aim of this study was to investigate the activities of enzymes metabolizing adenosine in tissues of diabetic rats. The cytosolic activity (V(max)) of adenosine kinase (AK) was decreased by 50% in the kidney and by 40% in the heart and liver of diabetic rats. A decrease in the V(max) of AK in diabetic tissues was not associated with a change in the K(m) for adenosine. Evaluation of AK gene transcript status showed significantly lower levels of AK mRNA in diabetic tissues as compared to normal tissues. In diabetic kidneys, the level of AK gene transcript was lowered by 50% on first day after streptozotocin administration, and these reduced levels were sustained declined during the next 10 days. Smaller changes in AK gene transcript levels were observed in the heart and liver than in the kidney. The cytosolic activities of 5'-nucleotidase, AMP deaminase, and adenosine deaminase were unchanged in kidney, heart, and liver of diabetic rats. These results suggest that the turnover of the AMP-adenosine metabolic cycle might be impaired in diabetic tissues due to the reduced activity of adenosine kinase.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.