Molecular Mechanisms of Adenosine Stress T1 Mapping

Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2021 Mar;14(3):e011774. doi: 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.120.011774. Epub 2021 Mar 12.


Background: Adenosine stress T1 mapping is an emerging magnetic resonance imaging method to investigate coronary vascular function and myocardial ischemia without application of a contrast agent. Using gene-modified mice and 2 vasodilators, we elucidated and compared the mechanisms of adenosine myocardial perfusion imaging and adenosine T1 mapping.

Methods: Wild-type (WT), A2AAR-/- (adenosine A2A receptor knockout), A2BAR-/- (adenosine A2B receptor knockout), A3AR-/- (adenosine A3 receptor knockout), and eNOS-/- (endothelial nitric oxide synthase knockout) mice underwent rest and stress perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (n=8) and T1 mapping (n=10) using either adenosine, regadenoson (a selective A2AAR agonist), or saline. Myocardial blood flow and T1 were computed from perfusion imaging and T1 mapping, respectively, at rest and stress to assess myocardial perfusion reserve and T1 reactivity (ΔT1). Changes in heart rate for each stress agent were also calculated. Two-way ANOVA was used to detect differences in each parameter between the different groups of mice.

Results: Myocardial perfusion reserve was significantly reduced only in A2AAR-/- compared to WT mice using adenosine (1.06±0.16 versus 2.03±0.52, P<0.05) and regadenoson (0.98±026 versus 2.13±0.75, P<0.05). In contrast, adenosine ΔT1 was reduced compared with WT mice (3.88±1.58) in both A2AAR-/- (1.63±1.32, P<0.05) and A2BAR-/- (1.55±1.35, P<0.05). Furthermore, adenosine ΔT1 was halved in eNOS-/- (1.76±1.46, P<0.05) versus WT mice. Regadenoson ΔT1 was approximately half of adenosine ΔT1 in WT mice (1.97±1.50, P<0.05), and additionally, it was significantly reduced in eNOS-/- mice (-0.22±1.46, P<0.05). Lastly, changes in heart rate was 2× greater using regadenoson versus adenosine in all groups except A2AAR-/-, where heart rate remained constant.

Conclusions: The major findings are that (1) although adenosine myocardial perfusion reserve is mediated through the A2A receptor, adenosine ΔT1 is mediated through the A2A and A2B receptors, (2) adenosine myocardial perfusion reserve is endothelial independent while adenosine ΔT1 is partially endothelial dependent, and (3) ΔT1 mediated through the A2A receptor is endothelial dependent while ΔT1 mediated through the A2B receptor is endothelial independent.

Keywords: adenosine; magnetic resonance imaging; myocardial ischemia; perfusion; regadenoson.