The Critical Role of Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter-2 in Modulating Cerebral Damage and Vascular Dysfunction in Mice with Brain Ischemia-Reperfusion

Hui Ling Chiang, Kuo Chen Wu, You Yin Chen, Chin Jui Ho, Han Lin Wang, Yu Hua Fu, Wen Yu Chen, Chun Jung Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cerebral vascular protection is critical for stroke treatment. Adenosine modulates vascular flow and exhibits neuroprotective effects, in which brain extracellular concentration of adenosine is dramatically increased during ischemic events and ischemia-reperfusion. Since the equilibrative nucleoside transporter-2 (Ent2) is important in regulating brain adenosine homeostasis, the present study aimed to investigate the role of Ent2 in mice with cerebral ischemia-reperfusion. Methods: Cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury was examined in mice with transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) for 90 minutes, followed by 24-hour reperfusion. Infarct volume, brain edema, neuroinflammation, microvascular structure, regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2), and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were examined following the reperfusion. Results: Ent2 deletion reduced the infarct volume, brain edema, and neuroinflammation in mice with cerebral ischemia-reperfusion. tMCAO-induced disruption of brain microvessels was ameliorated in Ent2−/− mice, with a reduced expression of matrix metalloproteinases-9 and aquaporin-4 proteins. Following the reperfusion, the rCBF of the wild-type (WT) mice was quickly restored to the baseline, whereas, in Ent2−/− mice, rCBF was slowly recovered initially, but was then higher than that in the WT mice at the later phase of reperfusion. The improved CMRO2 and reduced ROS level support the beneficial effects caused by the changes in the rCBF of Ent2−/− mice. Further studies showed that the protective effects of Ent2 deletion in mice with tMCAO involve adenosine receptor A2AR. Conclusions: Ent2 plays a critical role in modulating cerebral collateral circulation and ameliorating pathological events of brain ischemia and reperfusion injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2541-2554
Number of pages14
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • adenosine
  • blood-brain barrier
  • equilibrative nucleoside transporters
  • ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • neuroinflammation


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