Partial adenosine A1 receptor agonism: a potential new therapeutic strategy for heart failure

Stephen J. Greene, Hani N. Sabbah, Javed Butler, Adriaan A. Voors, Barbara E. Albrecht-Küpper, Hans Dirk Düngen, Wilfried Dinh, Mihai Gheorghiade*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Heart failure (HF) represents a global public health and economic problem associated with unacceptable rates of death, hospitalization, and healthcare expenditure. Despite available therapy, HF carries a prognosis comparable to many forms of cancer with a 5-year survival rate of ~50 %. The current treatment paradigm for HF with reduced ejection fraction (EF) centers on blocking maladaptive neurohormonal activation and decreasing cardiac workload with therapies that concurrently lower blood pressure and heart rate. Continued development of hemodynamically active medications for stepwise addition to existing therapies carries the risk of limited tolerability and safety. Moreover, this treatment paradigm has thus far failed for HF with preserved EF. Accordingly, development of hemodynamically neutral HF therapies targeting primary cardiac pathologies must be considered. In this context, a partial adenosine A1 receptor (A1R) agonist holds promise as a potentially hemodynamically neutral therapy for HF that could simultaneous improve cardiomyocyte energetics, calcium homeostasis, cardiac structure and function, and long-term clinical outcomes when added to background therapies. In this review, we describe the physiology and pathophysiology of HF as it relates to adenosine agonism, examine the existing body of evidence and biologic rationale for modulation of adenosine A1R activity, and review the current state of drug development of a partial A1R agonist for the treatment of HF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Failure Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Adenosine
  • Adenosine A1 receptor
  • Heart failure
  • Mitochondria
  • Partial agonist
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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