LJ-2698, an adenosine A3 receptor antagonist, alleviates elastase-induced pulmonary emphysema in mice

Hye Jin Boo, So Jung Park, Myungkyung Noh, Hye Young Min, Lak Shin Jeong, Ho Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Emphysema, a major component of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a leading cause of human death worldwide. The progressive deterioration of lung function that occurs in the disease is caused by chronic inflammation of the airway and destruction of the lung parenchyma. Despite the main impact of inflammation on the pathogenesis of emphysema, current therapeutic regimens mainly offer symptomatic relief and preservation of lung function with little therapeutic impact. In the present study, we aimed to discover novel therapeutics that suppress the pathogenesis of emphysema. Here, we show that LJ-2698, a novel and highly selective antagonist of the adenosine A3 receptor, a G protein-coupled receptor involved in various inflammatory diseases, significantly reversed the elastase-induced destructive changes in murine lungs. We found that LJ-2698 significantly prevented elastase-induced airspace enlargement, resulting in restoration of pulmonary function without causing any obvious changes in body weight in mice. LJ-2698 was found to inhibit matrix metalloproteinase activity and pulmonary cell apoptosis in the murine lung. LJ-2698 treatment induced increases in anti-inflammatory cytokines in macrophages at doses that displayed no significant cytotoxicity in normal cell lines derived from various organs. Treatment with LJ-2698 significantly increased the number of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages in the lungs. These results implicate the adenosine A3 receptor in the pathogenesis of emphysema. Our findings also demonstrate the potential of LJ-2698 as a novel therapeutic/preventive agent in suppressing disease development with limited toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-258
Number of pages9
JournalBiomolecules and Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Republic of Korea (No. NRF-2016R1A3B19 08631).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology.


  • Adenosine A receptor
  • Emphysema
  • LJ-2698


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