Adenosine receptors in wound healing, fibrosis and angiogenesis

Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2009;(193):383-97. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-89615-9_13.


Wound healing and tissue repair are critical processes, and adenosine, released from injured or ischemic tissues, plays an important role in promoting wound healing and tissue repair. Recent studies in genetically manipulated mice demonstrate that adenosine receptors are required for appropriate granulation tissue formation and in adequate wound healing. A(2A) and A(2B) adenosine receptors stimulate both of the critical functions in granulation tissue formation (i.e., new matrix production and angiogenesis), and the A(1) adenosine receptor (AR) may also contribute to new vessel formation. The effects of adenosine acting on these receptors is both direct and indirect, as AR activation suppresses antiangiogenic factor production by endothelial cells, promotes endothelial cell proliferation, and stimulates angiogenic factor production by endothelial cells and other cells present in the wound. Similarly, adenosine, acting at its receptors, stimulates collagen matrix formation directly. Like many other biological processes, AR-mediated promotion of tissue repair is critical for appropriate wound healing but may also contribute to pathogenic processes. Excessive tissue repair can lead to problems such as scarring and organ fibrosis and adenosine, and its receptors play a role in pathologic fibrosis as well. Here we review the evidence for the involvement of adenosine and its receptors in wound healing, tissue repair and fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / physiology
  • Animals
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Fibrosis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Receptors, Purinergic P1 / physiology*
  • Wound Healing*


  • Receptors, Purinergic P1
  • Collagen
  • Adenosine