Adenosine protects tissues from ischemic damage (e.g. brain and heart) through multiple receptor subtypes (Marangos 1990; Rudolphi et al. 1992; Fredholm 1996). A1 and possibly A3 receptor activation produces preconditioning to protect the heart and other tissues from subsequent ischemic injury. Rapid preconditioning is mediated by a pathway including PKC and increased mitochondrial Katp channel activation (Sato et al. 2000). In addition, A1 and A2A receptor knockout mice studies suggest that these receptors regulate ischemic brain damage in adult mice (Chen et al. 1999; Dunwiddie et al. 2000).

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