Modafinil exerts anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects by upregulating adenosine A2A and A2B receptors

Haiyan Li, Ji Aee Kim, Seong Eun Jo, Huisu Lee, Kwan Chang Kim, Shinkyu Choi, Suk Hyo Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adenosine receptor (AR) suppresses inflammation and fibrosis by activating cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signaling. We investigated whether altered AR expression contributes to the development of fibrotic diseases and whether A2AAR and A2BAR upregulation inhibits fibrotic responses. Primary human lung fibroblasts (HLFs) from normal (NHLFs) or patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (DHLF) were used for in vitro testing. Murine models of fibrotic liver or pulmonary disease were developed by injecting thioacetamide intraperitoneally, by feeding a high-fat diet, or by intratracheal instillation of bleomycin. Modafinil, which activates cAMP signaling via A2AAR and A2BAR, was administered orally. The protein amounts of A2AAR, A2BAR, and exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac) were reduced, while collagen and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) were elevated in DHLFs compared to NHLFs. In liver or lung tissue from murine models of fibrotic diseases, A2AAR and A2BAR were downregulated, but A1AR and A3AR were not. Epac amounts decreased, and amounts of collagen, α-SMA, KCa2.3, and KCa3.1 increased compared to the control. Modafinil restored the amounts of A2AAR, A2BAR, and Epac, and reduced collagen, α-SMA, KCa2.3, and KCa3.1 in murine models of fibrotic diseases. Transforming growth factor-β reduced the amounts of A2AAR, A2BAR, and Epac, and elevated collagen, α-SMA, KCa2.3, and KCa3.1 in NHLFs; however, these alterations were inhibited by modafinil. Our investigation revealed that A2AAR and A2BAR downregulation induced liver and lung fibrotic diseases while upregulation attenuated fibrotic responses, suggesting that A2AAR and A2BAR-upregulating agents, such as modafinil, may serve as novel therapies for fibrotic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPurinergic Signalling
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

Keywords

  • A and A adenosine receptors
  • Epac signalling
  • Fibrosis
  • Lung and liver

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