Adenosine receptor interactions and anxiolytics

R. F. Bruns, J. J. Katims, Z. Annau, S. H. Snyder, J. W. Daly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


[3H]-N6-cyclohexyladenosine and [3H]-1,3-diethyl-8-phenylxanthine label the A1 subtype of adenosine receptor in brain membranes. The affinities of methylxanthines in competing for A1 adenosine receptors parallel their potencies as locomotor stimulants. The adenosine agonist N6-(-phenylisopropyl) adenosine is a potent locomotor depressant. Both diazepam and N6-(l-phenylisopropyl)adenosine cause locomotor stimulation in a narrow range of subdepressant doses. Combined stimulant doses of the two agents depress motor activity, as do larger doses of either one, given separately. Evidence supporting and against the hypothesis that some of the actions of benzodiazepines are mediated via the adenosine system is reviewed. A number of compounds interact with both systems, probably because of physico-chemical similarities between adenosine and diazepam. It is concluded that of the four classic actions of benzodiazepines, the sedative and muscle relaxant (but not anxiolytic or anticonvulsant) actions could possibly be mediated by adenosine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1523-1529
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1983


  • N-cyclohexyladenosine
  • adenosine receptor
  • benzodiazepine receptors
  • diazepam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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