In isolated perfused rat liver, adenosine infusion (50 microM) led to increases in glucose output and portal pressure and a net K+ release of 3.7 +/- 0.21 mumol/g, which was followed by an equivalent net K+ uptake after cessation of the nucleoside infusion. These effects were accompanied by a transient stimulation of hepatic prostaglandin D2 and thromboxane B2 release. The Ca2+ release observed upon adenosine infusion (50 microM) was 23.5 +/- 5.2 nmol/g, i.e. 10-20% of the Ca2+ release observed with extracellular ATP (50 microM). Indomethacin (10 microM) prevented the adenosine-induced stimulation of glucose output and the increase in portal pressure by 79 and 63% respectively, and completely abolished the stimulation of prostaglandin D2 release. The thromboxane A2 receptor antagonist BM 13.177 (20 microM), the phospholipase A2 inhibitor 4-bromophenacyl bromide (20 microM) and the cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor ibuprofen (50 microM) also decreased the glycogenolytic and vasoconstrictive responses of the perfused rat liver upon adenosine infusion by 50-80%. When the indomethacin inhibition of adenosine-induced prostaglandin D2 release was titrated, a close correlation between prostaglandin D2 release and the metabolic and vascular responses to adenosine was observed. These findings suggest an important role for eicosanoids in mediating the nucleoside responses in the perfused rat liver. Since eicosanoids are known to be formed by non-parenchymal cells in rat liver [Decker (1985) Semin. Liver Dis. 5, 175-190], the present study gives further evidence for an important role of eicosanoids as signal molecules between the different liver cell populations.
- © 1990 London: The Biochemical Society