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Evolving concepts on the value of adenosine hyperresponsiveness in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  1. R Polosa1,
  2. S Rorke2,
  3. S T Holgate2
  1. 1Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Ospedale Tomaselli, Università di Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy
  2. 2Adult Respiratory and Molecular Sciences Research, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton S016 6YD, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr R Polosa, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Ospedale Tomaselli, Università di Catania, Via Passo Gravina 187, 95125 Catania, Italy;


Adenosine is a purine nucleoside which mediates a variety of cellular responses relevant to asthma and COPD through interaction with specific receptors. Administration of adenosine by inhalation to patients with asthma and COPD is known to cause concentration related bronchoconstriction. Responses elicited by this purine derivative in asthma and COPD should not be considered as a mere reflection of non-specific airways hyperresponsiveness. Evaluation of airways responsiveness by adenosine induced bronchoconstriction may be valuable in differentiating asthma from COPD, monitoring of anti-inflammatory treatment in asthma, surveying disease progression, and assessing disease activity in relation to allergic airways inflammation.

  • adenosine
  • bronchial hyperresponsiveness
  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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