Background & aims: Adenosine has been implicated as an important regulator of the inflammatory response. Four subtypes of adenosine receptors (A 1 , A 2A , A 2B , and A 3 ) have been described, of which A 2A potentially inhibits inflammation. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of A 2A in mucosal inflammation by administering a selective A 2A agonist (ATL-146e) to experimental models of inflammatory bowel disease.
Methods: The anti-inflammatory effects of ATL-146e were studied in the acute and chronic rabbit formalin-immune complex models of colitis and the SAMP1/YitFc mouse model of spontaneous ileitis.
Results: ATL-146e significantly reduced the acute inflammatory index and tissue necrosis compared with vehicle ( P < .01) in the acute model of rabbit immune colitis. In the chronic rabbit immune colitis model, ATL-146e significantly suppressed inflammatory cell infiltration into the colonic mucosa ( P < .05) and prevented mortality. The administration of ATL-146e significantly decreased the chronic inflammatory index ( P < .01) and villus distortion index ( P < .01) in the ileum of SAMP1/YitFc mice, and ameliorated adoptively transferred ileitis in severe combined immunodeficient mice injected with CD4 + T cells from SAMP1/Yit mice ( P < .05). Tumor necrosis factor, interferon gamma, and interleukin 4 concentrations were significantly suppressed by ATL-146e treatment in supernatants from cultures of mesenteric lymph node cells of SAMP1/YitFc mice ( P < .05 vs vehicle-treated mice).
Conclusions: A 2A adenosine receptor activation by ATL-146e significantly reduced inflammation in the intestinal mucosa. This effect was associated with decreased leukocyte infiltration and inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines. Activation of A 2A by selective agonism may therefore serve as a novel therapy for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.