The gastrointestinal mucosa has proven to be an interesting tissue in which to investigate disease-related metabolism. In this review, we outline some of the evidence that implicates hypoxia-mediated adenosine signaling as an important signature within both healthy and diseased mucosa. Studies derived from cultured cell systems, animal models, and human patients have revealed that hypoxia is a significant component of the inflammatory microenvironment. These studies have revealed a prominent role for hypoxia-induced factor (HIF) and hypoxia signaling at several steps along the adenine nucleotide metabolism and adenosine receptor signaling pathways. Likewise, studies to date in animal models of intestinal inflammation have demonstrated an almost uniformly beneficial influence of HIF stabilization on disease outcomes. Ongoing studies to define potential similarities with and differences between innate and adaptive immune responses will continue to teach us important lessons about the complexity of the gastrointestinal tract. Such information has provided new insights into disease pathogenesis and, importantly, will provide insights into new therapeutic targets.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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