Igor Feoktistov, Ph.D., C.Sc.

Associate Professor of Medicine

2220 Pierce Ave, Nashville, TN, 37232-6300
(615) 936-1732 (office)

Research Description

The focus of the Feoktistov laboratory is to study the role of adenosine in physiological processes and disease states. Research interests center on two general areas: the protective role of adenosine in ischemic tissues and its potential for cardiac revascularization and regeneration using progenitor cells; and the role of adenosine in chronic lung diseases such as asthma.

Adenosine is generated in response to tissue hypoxia, cell stress or damage and exerts effects in essentially every organ system by interacting with four G protein-coupled receptors designated A1, A2A, A2B, and A3. A central hypothesis of our laboratory is that in pathophysiological situations associated with tissue hypoxia, when local levels of extracellular adenosine are considerably increased, A2B receptors become an integral part of a feedback mechanism aimed to restore oxygen supply to the affected tissues. Once activated, these receptors contribute to hypoxia-induced neovascularization by inducing synthesis of angiogenic factors molecules.

Although adenosine acts in most cases as a protective metabolite in various tissues, it serves as amplifier of lung inflammation and damage. Adenosine triggers asthma in asthmatic patients but not in normals, and blockade of adenosine receptors appears to be the mechanisms of action of theophylline and other xanthines. Our research is also aimed at identifying the specific receptor type that mediates adenosine actions in asthmatics. It is hoped that this research will lead to the development of more potent and specific anti-asthmatic drugs with lesser side effects than theophylline.

Selected Publications