Aging is accompanied by an increase in markers of innate immunity. How aging affects neutrophil functions remains of debate.The adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR), essential to the resolution of inflammation, modulates neutrophil functions. We sought to determine whether or not A2AR protects against the effects of aging. We monitored neutrophil influx, viability, and activation as well as cytokine accumulation in wild-type (WT) and A2AR-knockout mice (KO) at three different ages.

Several readouts decreased with aging: neutrophil counts in dorsal air pouches (by up to 55%), neutrophil viability (by up to 56%), elastase and total protein in exudates (by up to 80%), and local levels of cytokines (by up to 90%). Each of these parameters was significantly more affected in A2AR-KO mice. CXCL1-3 levels were largely unaffected. The effects of aging were not observed systemically. Preventing neutrophil influx into the air pouch caused a comparable cytokine pattern in young WT mice. Gene expression (mRNA) in leukocytes was affected, with CXCL1 and CCL4 increasing and with TNF and IL-1α decreasing.


Aging has deleterious effects on the acute inflammatory response and neutrophil-related activities, and defective migration appears as an important factor. A functional A2AR signaling pathway delays some of these.