Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology

pp 28-28


  • Nicola SimolaAffiliated withDepartment of Toxicology, University of Cagliari
  • , Micaela MorelliAffiliated withDepartment of Toxicology, University of CagliariCNR Institute of NeuroscienceCentre of Excellence for Neurobiology of Dependence, University of Cagliari


(2R,3R,4R,5R)-2-(6-aminopurin-9-yl)-5-(hydroxymethyl)oxolane-3,4-diol; 9-β-D-ribofuranosylade​nine; Adenine-9-β-D-ribofuranoside; Adenine riboside


Endogenous nucleoside made up of the purinic base adenine and the pentose carbohydrate ribose linked through an N-9 bound. Adenosine is present in all mammalian tissues at both the intra- and extracellular level, and takes part in important physiopathological phenomena (e.g., modulation of inflammation, regulation of heart rhythm). At the level of the central nervous system, adenosine promotes a generalized inhibition of neuronal functionality, a reason why it is often referred to as “endogenous neurodepressant.”



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