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The effects of adenosine on neutrophil (polymorphonuclear neutrophils; PMN)-directed changes in vascular permeability are poorly characterized. This study investigated whether adenosine modulates activated PMN vascular endothelial growth factor (vascular permeability factor; VEGF) release and transendothelial migration. PMN activated with tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α, 10 ng/mL) were incubated with adenosine and its receptor-specific analogues. Culture supernatants were assayed for VEGF. PMN transendothelial migration across human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) monolayers was assessed in vitro. Adhesion molecule receptor expression was assessed flow cytometrically. Adenosine and some of its receptor-specific analogues dose-dependently inhibited activated PMN VEGF release. The rank order of potency was consistent with the affinity profile of human A2B receptors. The inhibitory effect of adenosine was reversed by 3,7-dimethyl-1-propargylxanthine, an A2 receptor antagonist. Adenosine (100 μM) or the A2B receptor agonist 5′-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (NECA, 100 μM) significantly reduced PMN transendothelial migration. However, expression of activated PMN β2 integrins and HUVEC ICAM-1 were not significantly altered by adenosine or NECA.Adenosine attenuates human PMN VEGF release and transendothelial migration via the A2B receptor. This provides a novel target for the modulation of PMN-directed vascular hyperpermeability in conditions such as the capillary leak syndrome.