1. Studies in rat polymorphonuclear leucocytes have suggested that 5′-deoxy-5′-isobutylthioadenosine (IBTA), an inhibitor of the IMP-selective cytosolic 5′-nucleotidase, may be used to test its role in adenosine formation in intact cells. We investigated adenosine formation in neonatal and adult rat cardiomyocytes. 2. 2-Deoxyglucose (30 mM) with oligomycin (2 micrograms/ml) induced a 90-100% fall in ATP concentration in 10 min in neonatal and 60 min in adult heart cells. Adenosine accumulation was substantially increased, accounting for 13% of the fall in ATP concentration in neonatal cells and 56% in adult cells. 3. Anti-(rat liver ecto-5′-nucleotidase) serum did not inhibit adenosine accumulation. Furthermore, dipyridamole (10 microM), a nucleoside-transport blocker, inhibited by 80% the appearance of the newly formed adenosine in the medium, showing that adenosine is produced intracellularly by both adult and neonatal-rat myocytes in response to inhibition of oxidative metabolism. 4. IBTA (3 mM) inhibited by 80% the appearance of adenosine in the medium, but did not inhibit total adenosine accumulation by neonatal-rat myocytes and only modestly inhibited total adenosine accumulation by adult myocytes. 5. IBTA, like dipyridamole, inhibited incorporation of extracellular adenosine (10 microM) into neonatal and adult ventricular myocyte nucleotides by 60-70%. Transport of IBTA (100 microM) into the cells did not appear to be inhibited by dipyridamole (30 microM). 6. We conclude that IBTA acted primarily to inhibit adenosine release from myocytes. The small effect on adenosine formation rates implies that the IMP-selective cytosolic 5′-nucleotidase plays a minor role in this tissue.
- © 1993 The Biochemical Society, London