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ATP Metabolism in RBC as Potential Biomarker for Post-Exercise Hypotension and a Therapeutic Target for Cardiovascular Drugs
* 1 , 2 , 2 , 2
1  College of Pharmacy and Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS Canada B3H 4R2
2  College of Pharmacy, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4R2


The importance of adenosine and ATP in regulating many biological functions has long been recognized, especially for their effects on the cardiovascular homeostasis which may be used for management of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. In response to ischemia and cardiovascular injury, ATP is broken down to release adenosine. The activity of adenosine is very short lived because it is rapidly taken up by myocardial and endothelial cells, erythrocytes (RBC), and also rapidly metabolized to oxypurine metabolites and other adenine nucleotides. Extra-cellular and intracellular ATP is broken down rapidly to ADP and AMP and finally to adenosine by 5’-nucleotidase. These metabolic events are known to occur in the myocardium, endothelium as well as in RBC. Exercise has been shown to increase metabolism of ATP in the RBC which may be an important mechanism for post exercise hypotension and cardiovascular protection. The post exercise effect was greater in hypertensive than in normotensive rats. The review summarizes current evidence in support of ATP metabolism in the RBC as potential systemic biomarker for cardiovascular protection and toxicities. It also discusses the opportunities, challenges and obstacles of exploiting ATP metabolism in RBC as target for drug development.

Keywords: ATP; Adenosine; Metabolism; Exercise; Cardiovascular biomarker
Comments on this paper
Anubhav Srivastava
Thanks Dr. Yeung for the presentation. I am curious, what is your preferred hypothesis about the mechanistic explanation for the increase in ATP that you observe in the red blood cells after exercise- is it a simple case of adenosine salvage (3rd slide) in or is this increase due to upregulation of glucose metabolism? OR a combination of both?


Pollen Yeung
Yes, we believe acute exercise increases ATP metabolism mainly via the salvage pathway. It is triggered probably via a neurohormonal mechanism. I think chronic exercise may increase ATP metabolism by both pathways.
Thank you for the question..