Chronic caffeine consumption increases the number of brain adenosine receptors

Life Sci. 1983 Mar 7;32(10):1135-42. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(83)90119-4.


Caffeine, a potent central stimulant, is known to competitively inhibit the specific binding of both adenosine and benzodiazepine receptor ligands to brain membranes in vitro. In mice receiving a diet containing non-toxic doses of caffeine (200 or 400 mg/kg diet) for periods up to 40 days, a dose-related increase in the number of binding sites for [3H]-CHA and [3H] DPX was observed in whole brain membranes without modifications of the receptors' affinity. Furthermore, a transitory increase in the number of [3H]-DZP binding sites was observed. These preliminary data seem to confirm the involvement of the adenosine receptors in the mode of action of caffeine and may be relevant to the development of both tolerance and dependence to some of the central effects of this compound.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Adenosine / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Diazepam / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Purinergic
  • Xanthines / metabolism


  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Purinergic
  • Xanthines
  • 1,3-diethyl-8-phenylxanthine
  • N(6)-cyclohexyladenosine
  • Caffeine
  • Adenosine
  • Diazepam