Adenosine receptor ligands: differences with acute versus chronic treatment

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 1996 Mar;17(3):108-13. doi: 10.1016/0165-6147(96)10002-x.


Adenosine receptors have been the target of intense research with respect to potential use of selective ligands in a variety of therapeutic areas. Caffeine and theophylline are adenosine receptor antagonists, and over the past three decades a wide range of selective agonists and antagonists for adenosine receptor subtypes have been developed. A complication to the therapeutic use of adenosine receptor ligands is the observation that the effects of acute administration of a particular ligand can be diametrically opposite to the chronic effects of the same ligand. This 'effect inversion' is discussed here by Ken Jacobson and colleagues, and has been observed for effects on cognitive processes, seizures and ischaemic damage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Purinergic P1 Receptor Antagonists*
  • Time Factors


  • Ligands
  • Purinergic P1 Receptor Antagonists