Effect of adenosine and inosine on ureagenesis in hepatocytes

Biochem J. 1987 Jul 15;245(2):371-4. doi: 10.1042/bj2450371.


Adenosine and inosine produced a dose-dependent stimulation of ureagenesis in isolated rat hepatocytes. Hypoxanthine, xanthine and uric acid were without effect. Half-maximally effective concentrations were 0.08 microM for adenosine and 5 microM for inosine. Activation of ureagenesis by both nucleosides had the following characteristics: (a) it was observed with either glutamine or (NH4)2CO3, provided that glucose was present; (b) it was not detected when glucose was replaced by lactate plus oleate; (c) it was mutually antagonized by glucagon, but not by adrenaline; and (d) it was dependent on Ca2+. We suggest that the action of adenosine and inosine on ureagenesis might be of physiological significance.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / pharmacology*
  • Ammonia / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epinephrine / pharmacology
  • Glucagon / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Inosine / pharmacology*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Stimulation, Chemical
  • Urea / biosynthesis*


  • Inosine
  • Ammonia
  • Urea
  • Glucagon
  • Adenosine
  • Epinephrine