World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000089111
Reproduction Date:

Title: Inosine  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Wobble base pair, Nucleobase, Nucleosides, Hypoxanthine, Purine metabolism
Collection: Antivirals, Nucleosides, Purines
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Legal status
  • OTC
Pharmacokinetic data
Metabolism Hepatic
CAS Registry Number  Y
ATC code D06 G01 S01
PubChem CID:
DrugBank  N
ChemSpider  Y
Chemical data
Formula C10H12N4O5
Molecular mass 268.23 g/mol

Inosine is a nucleoside that is formed when hypoxanthine is attached to a ribose ring (also known as a ribofuranose) via a β-N9-glycosidic bond.

Inosine is commonly found in tRNAs and is essential for proper translation of the genetic code in wobble base pairs.

Knowledge of inosine metabolism has led to advances in immunotherapy in recent decades. Inosine monophosphate is oxidised by the enzyme inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase, yielding xanthosine monophosphate, a key precursor in purine metabolism. Mycophenolate mofetil is an anti-metabolite, anti-proliferative drug that acts as an inhibitor of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase. It is used in the treatment of a variety of autoimmune diseases including granulomatosis with polyangiitis because the uptake of purine by actively dividing B cells can exceed 8 times that of normal body cells, and, therefore, this set of white cells (which cannot operate purine salvage pathways) is selectively targeted by the purine deficiency resulting from inherited metabolic diseases (IMD) inhibition.


  • Reactions 1
  • Clinical significance 2
  • Biotechnology 3
  • Fitness 4
  • Feeding Stimulant 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Adenine is converted to adenosine or inosine monophosphate (IMP), either of which, in turn, is converted into inosine (I), which pairs with adenine (A), cytosine (C), and uracil (U).

Purine nucleoside phosphorylase intraconverts inosine and hypoxanthine.

Inosine is also an intermediate in a chain of purine nucleotides reactions required for muscle movements.

Clinical significance

It was tried in the 1970s in Eastern countries for improving athletic performance. Nevertheless, the clinical trials for this purpose showed no improvement.[1] It has been shown that inosine has neuroprotective properties. It has been proposed for spinal cord injury;[2] because it improves axonal rewiring, and for administration after stroke, because observation has shown that axonal rewiring is encouraged.[3]

After ingestion, inosine produces uric acid that is suggested to be a natural antioxidant and a peroxynitrite scavenger with potential benefits to patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).[4] Peroxynitrite has been correlated with axon degeneration [3]. In 2003, a study was initiated at the University of Pennsylvania MS Center to determine whether raising the levels of uric acid by the administration of inosine would slow the progression of MS.[5] The study was completed in 2006 but the results were not reported to NIH. A subsequent publication hinted at potential benefits but the sample size (16 patients) was too small for a definitive conclusion.[6] In addition, the side effect of the treatment was the development of kidney stones in four of 16 patients. Thus, additional studies are necessary to prove the treatment's efficacy.

Its phase II trials for Parkinson's disease is now ended, it will continue to phase III trials. Earlier trials had suggested those with the highest serum urate levels had lower progression of Parkinson's symptoms. The trial uses inosine to raise urate levels in those with levels lower than the population mean (6 mg/dL).[7][8][9]

Alseres Pharmaceuticals (named Boston Life Sciences when patent was granted) patented the treatment for stroke [4] and is currently investigating the drug in the MS setting.[10]

In the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System, it is classified as an antiviral.[11]


When designing primers for polymerase chain reaction, inosine is useful in that it can pair with any natural base.[12] This allows for design of primers that span a single-nucleotide polymorphism, without the polymorphism disrupting the primer's annealing efficiency.

However, inosine pairs preferentially with cytidine (C) and its introduction to RNA, e.g. by the action of ADARs, thereby destabilizes double-stranded RNA by changing AU base-pairs to IU mismatches.[13]


Despite lack of clinical evidence that it improves muscle development, inosine remains an ingredient in some fitness supplements.

Feeding Stimulant

Inosine has also been found to be an important feed stimulant by itself or in combination with certain amino acids in some species of farmed fish. For example, inosine and inosine-5-monophosphate have been reported as specific feeding stimulants for turbot fry, (Scophthalmus maximus) [14] and Japanese amberjack, (Seriola quinqueradiata).[15] The main problem of using inosine and/or inosine-5-monophosphate as feeding attractants is their high cost. However, their use may be economically justified within larval feeds for marine fish larvae during the early weaning period, since the total quantity of feed consumed is relatively low.

See also


  1. ^ McNaughton L, Dalton B, Tarr J (1999). "Inosine supplementation has no effect on aerobic or anaerobic cycling performance". International journal of sport nutrition 9 (4): 333–44.  
  2. ^ Liu F, You SW, Yao LP, et al. (2006). "Secondary degeneration reduced by inosine after spinal cord injury in rats". Spinal Cord 44 (7): 421–6.  
  3. ^ Chen P, Goldberg DE, Kolb B, Lanser M, Benowitz LI (2002). "Inosine induces axonal rewiring and improves behavioral outcome after stroke". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99 (13): 9031–6.  
  4. ^ Uric Acid: Natural Scavenger Of Peroxynitrite
  5. ^ "Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis Using Over the Counter Inosine". 
  6. ^ Markowitz CE; Spitsin S; Zimmerman V; Jacobs D; Udupa JK; Hooper DC; Koprowski H (2009). "The Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis with Inosine". J Altern Complem Med 15 (6): 619–625.  
  7. ^ "Safety of Urate Elevation in Parkinson's Disease". 
  8. ^ "Safety of Urate Elevation in Parkinson's Disease". 
  9. ^ "Inosine Trial Secures Phase III Funding to Study Effect on Slowing Parkinson’s". 
  10. ^ Alseres pharma drug description
  11. ^ "ATC/DDD Index". 
  12. ^ "Advantage of Using Inosine at the 3′ Termini of 16S rRNA Gene Universal Primers for the Study of Microbial Diversity".  
  13. ^ (Bass and Weintraub, Cell, 1988).
  14. ^ Mackie, A.M. (1987). Identification of the gustatory feeding stimulants. In: Chemoreception in Fishes. (ed. T.J. Hara). Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co., Amsterdam, pp. 275-291.
  15. ^ Takeda, M. Takii, K. & Matsui, K. (1984). Identification of feeding stimulants for juvenile eel. Bull. Jap. Soc. Scient. Fish., 50: 645-651.

External links

  • PDR health study
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.