Adenosine Signaling in Mast Cells and Allergic Diseases

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 14;22(10):5203. doi: 10.3390/ijms22105203.


Adenosine is a nucleoside involved in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. Its effects are mediated through its binding to G protein-coupled receptors: A1, A2a, A2b and A3. The receptors differ in the type of G protein they recruit, in the effect on adenylyl cyclase (AC) activity and the downstream signaling pathway triggered. Adenosine can produce both an enhancement and an inhibition of mast cell degranulation, indicating that adenosine effects on these receptors is controversial and remains to be clarified. Depending on the study model, A1, A2b, and A3 receptors have shown anti- or pro-inflammatory activity. However, most studies reported an anti-inflammatory activity of A2a receptor. The precise knowledge of the adenosine mechanism of action may allow to develop more efficient therapies for allergic diseases by using selective agonist and antagonist against specific receptor subtypes.

Keywords: G protein; adenosine; adenosine receptors; allergic diseases; asthma; mast cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Hypersensitivity / metabolism
  • Hypersensitivity / pathology
  • Mast Cells / immunology*
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2B / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2B
  • Adenosine