Adenosine is a signaling molecule and downstream product of ATP that acts as a neuromodulator. Adenosine regulates physiological processes, such as neurotransmission and blood flow, on a time scale of minutes to hours. Recent developments in electrochemical techniques, including fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV), have allowed direct detection of adenosine with sub-second temporal resolution. FSCV studies have revealed a novel mode of rapid signaling that lasts only a few seconds. This rapid release of adenosine can be evoked by electrical or mechanical stimulations or it can be observed spontaneously without stimulation. Adenosine signaling on this time scale is activity dependent; however, the mode of release is not fully understood. Rapid adenosine release modulates oxygen levels and evoked dopamine release, indicating that adenosine may have a rapid modulatory role. In this review, we outline how FSCV can be used to detect adenosine release, compare FSCV with other techniques used to measure adenosine, and present an overview of adenosine signaling that has been characterized using FSCV. These studies point to a rapid mode of adenosine modulation, whose mechanism and function will continue to be characterized in the future.
Nguyen, M. D., & Venton, B. J. (2015). Fast-scan Cyclic Voltammetry for the Characterization of Rapid Adenosine Release. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal. Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csbj.2014.12.006