1. The nucleoside, adenosine, was infused into six conscious healthy male subjects at rates up to 100 micrograms kg-1 min-1. 2. Compared with a control 0.9% saline infusion, adenosine in all subjects caused dose dependent increases in heart rate, skin temperature and minute ventilation with corresponding falls in PaCO2, estimated transcutaneously. 3. There were no changes in systemic blood pressure, airways resistance (measured by forced partial expiratory manoeuvres), or plasma catecholamines. At the top infusion rates subjects experienced tolerable chest and abdominal discomfort. 4. These findings conflict with some previous studies in anaesthetised man and animals, in which higher doses of adenosine and its long acting analogues have caused hypotension and central respiratory depression. 5. Although some of these changes may have been due to symptoms, the cardiovascular changes may have been due to a vasodilator action and the respiratory stimulation may have been due to an action on peripheral chemoreceptors
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