- Abstract Under stressful conditions such as ischemia, sepsis, and severe trauma, adenosine levels are elevated and protect the tissue by interaction with G coupled receptors. In a model of peritonitis, we previously found that pharmacological preconditioning (PPC) of mice with a selective adenosine A 1 receptor (A 1 R) agonist, 2-chloro-N(6)-cyclopentyladenosine (CCPA), induced the A 2A R which reduces cytokine secretion and leukocyte recruitment. In our present study we determined whether mice PPC will moderate cellular immune response by the same mechanism. Similar to the effect on inflammation, PPC reduced the response to lymphocyte mitogens and allogeneic MLR response. The inhibitory effect of PPC on the immune response was A 1 R and A 2A R dependent as illustrated by experiments with antagonists of these receptors and mice with knock down (KO) receptors. In MLR with PPC splenocytes we found reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-15, TNF-α) and elevation of IL-10, as well as elevation of regulatory T-cell. Our data indicate that PPC is able to remarkably suppress cellular immune response due to the sensitization A 2A R. This effect of PPC sheds light on the protective role of adenosine in ischemic preconditioning and makes this treatment candidate for the prevention of graft rejection.