Effect of adenosine A2A receptor agonist (CGS) on ischemia/reperfusion injury in isolated rat liver

Z. Ben-Ari*, O. Pappo, J. Sulkes, Y. Cheporko, B. A. Vidne, E. Hochhauser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ischemia/reperfusion injury during liver transplantation is a major cause of primary nonfunctioning graft for which there is no effective treatment other than retransplantation. Adenosine prevents ischemia-reperfusion-induced hepatic injury via its A2A receptors. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of A2A receptor agonist on apoptotic ischemia/reperfusion-induced hepatic injury in rats. Isolated rat livers within University of Wisconsin solution were randomly divided into four groups: (1) continuous perfusion of Krebs-Henseleit solution through the portal vein for 165 minutes (control); (2) 30-minute perfusion followed by 120 minutes of ischemia and 15 minutes of reperfusion; (3) like group 2, but with the administration of CGS 21680, an A2A receptor agonist, 30 μ g/100 ml, for 1 minute before ischemia; (4) like group 3, but with administration of SCH 58261, an A2A receptor antagonist. Serum liver enzyme levels were measured by biochemical analysis, and intrahepatic caspase-3 activity was measured by fluorometric assay; apoptotic cells were identified by morphological criteria, the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) fluorometric assay, and immunohistochemistry for caspase-3. Results showed that at 1 minute of reperfusion, there was a statistically significant reduction in liver enzyme levels in the animals pretreated with CGS (p < 0.05). On fluorometric assay, caspase-3 activity was significantly decreased in group 3 compared to group 2 (p < 0.0002). The reduction in postischemic apoptotic hepatic injury in the CGS-treated group was confirmed morphologically, by the significantly fewer apoptotic hepatocyte cells detected (p < 0.05); immunohistochemically, by the significantly weaker activation of caspase-3 compared to the ischemic group (p < 0.05); and by the TUNEL assay (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the administration of A2A receptor agonist before induction of ischemia can attenuate postischemic apoptotic hepatic injury and thereby minimize liver injury. Apoptotic hepatic injury seems to be mediated through caspase-3 activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-962
Number of pages8
JournalApoptosis : an international journal on programmed cell death
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Apoptosis
  • CGS
  • Injury
  • Ischemia/reperfusion
  • Liver
  • Rat


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