Immunomodulatory and neuroprotective effects of inosine

György Haskó, Michail V. Sitkovsky, Csaba Szabó

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

248 Scopus citations


Adenosine has been considered as a potential immunomodulatory and neuroprotective agent for 30 years. Inosine, a major degradation product of adenosine, was thought originally to have no biological effects. However, recent studies demonstrate that inosine has potent immunomodulatory and neuroprotective effects. Inosine enhances mast-cell degranulation, attenuates the production of pro-inflammatory mediators by macrophages, lymphocytes and neutrophils, and is protective in animal models of sepsis, ischemia-reperfusion and autoimmunity. Inosine preserves the viability of glial cells and neuronal cells during hypoxia, and stimulates axonal regrowth after injury. The biological actions of inosine might involve effects on adenosine receptors, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and cellular energy levels. In this article, we review recent observations indicating that it might be possible to exploit inosine therapeutically for the treatment of tissue damage caused by inflammation and ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-157
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Immunomodulatory and neuroprotective effects of inosine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this