Endocannabinoids protect the rat isolated heart against ischaemia. (33/168)

1 The purpose of this study was to determine whether endocannabinoids can protect the heart against ischaemia and reperfusion. 2 Rat isolated hearts were exposed to low-flow ischaemia (0.5-0.6 ml min(-1)) and reperfusion. Functional recovery as well as CK and LDH overflow into the coronary effluent were monitored. Infarct size was determined at the end of the experiments. Phosphorylation levels of p38, ERK1/2, and JNK/SAPK kinases were measured by Western blots. 3 None of the untreated hearts recovered from ischaemia during the reperfusion period. Perfusion with either 300 nM palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) or 300 nM 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), but not anandamide (up to 1 micro M), 15 min before and throughout the ischaemic period, improved myocardial recovery and decreased the levels of coronary CK and LDH. PEA and 2-AG also reduced infarct size. 4 The CB(2)-receptor antagonist, SR144528, blocked completely the cardioprotective effect of both PEA and 2-AG, whereas the CB(1)-receptor antagonist, SR141716A, blocked partially the effect of 2-AG only. In contrast, both ACEA and JWH015, two selective agonists for CB(1)- and CB(2)- receptors, respectively, reduced infarct size at a concentration of 50 nM. 5 PEA enhanced the phosphorylation level of p38 MAP kinase during ischaemia. PEA perfusion doubled the baseline phosphorylation level of ERK1/2, and enhanced its increase upon reperfusion. The cardioprotective effect of PEA was completely blocked by the p38 MAP kinase inhibitor, SB203580, and significantly reduced by the ERK1/2 inhibitor, PD98059, and the PKC inhibitor, chelerythrine. 6 In conclusion, endocannabinoids exert a strong cardioprotective effect in a rat model of ischaemia-reperfusion that is mediated mainly through CB(2)-receptors, and involves p38, ERK1/2, as well as PKC activation.  (+info)

Endogenous interleukin-1 receptor antagonist mediates anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions of cannabinoids in neurons and glia. (34/168)

Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) is an important anti-inflammatory cytokine that blocks all known actions of IL-1 and markedly protects against experimentally induced ischemic, excitotoxic, and traumatic brain insults. Cannabinoids (CBs) also exert potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, but the mechanisms of their actions are unknown. Here we tested the hypothesis that the actions of CBs are mediated by endogenous IL-1ra. We report for the first time that both CB1 and CB2 receptors modulate release of endogenous IL-1ra from primary cultured glial cells. Activation of CB1 or CB2 receptors increased lipopolysaccharide-induced IL-1ra release, and specific CB1 or CB2 antagonists blocked lipopolysaccharide-induced production of IL-1ra from glial cells. Comparison of neuronal cultures from wild-type mice and mice lacking IL-1ra (knock-out) indicates that endogenous IL-1ra is essential for the neuro-protective effects of CBs against excessive activation of glutamate receptors (excitotoxicity) in response to S-AMPA or NMDA. Similarly, analysis of mixed glial cultures from IL-1ra knock-out mice indicates that endogenous IL-1ra is required for the CB-induced inhibition of nitric oxide production in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide. These data suggest a novel neuroprotective mechanism of action for CBs in response to inflammatory or excitotoxic insults that is mediated by both CB1 and CB2 receptor-dependent pathways.  (+info)

Inhibition of guinea-pig and human sensory nerve activity and the cough reflex in guinea-pigs by cannabinoid (CB2) receptor activation. (35/168)

1. There is considerable interest in novel therapies for cough, since currently used agents such as codeine have limited beneficial value due to the associated side effects. Sensory nerves in the airways mediate the cough reflex via activation of C-fibres and RARs. Evidence suggests that cannabinoids may inhibit sensory nerve-mediated responses. 2. We have investigated the inhibitory actions of cannabinoids on sensory nerve depolarisation mediated by capsaicin, hypertonic saline and PGE2 on isolated guinea-pig and human vagus nerve preparations, and the cough reflex in conscious guinea-pigs. 3. The non-selective cannabinoid (CB) receptor agonist, CP 55940, and the selective CB2 agonist, JWH 133 inhibited sensory nerve depolarisations of the guinea-pig vagus nerve induced by hypertonic saline, capsaicin and PGE2. These responses were abolished by the CB2 receptor antagonist SR144528, and unaffected by the CB1 antagonist SR141716A. Similarly, JWH 133 inhibited capsaicin-evoked nerve depolarisations in the human vagus nerve, and was prevented by SR144528. 4. Using a guinea-pig in vivo model of cough, JWH 133 (10 mg kg-1, i.p., 20 min) significantly reduced citric acid-induced cough in conscious guinea pigs compared to those treated with the vehicle control. 5. These data show that activation of the CB2 receptor subtype inhibits sensory nerve activation of guinea-pig and human vagus nerve, and the cough reflex in guinea-pigs, suggesting that the development of CB2 agonists, devoid of CB1-mediated central effects, will provide a new and safe antitussive treatment for chronic cough.  (+info)

Cannabinoid receptor-mediated regulation of intracellular calcium by delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol in resting T cells. (36/168)

Cannabinoids exhibit broad immune modulating activity by targeting many cell types within the immune system, including T cells, which exhibit sensitivity, as evidenced by altered activation, proliferation, and cytokine expression. As a result of the critical role calcium plays in T cell function coupled with previous findings demonstrating disruption of the calcium-regulated transcription factor, nuclear factor of activated T cells, by cannabinoid treatment, the objective of the present investigation was to perform an initial characterization of the role of the cannabinoid receptors in the regulation of the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) by delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta(9)-THC) in T lymphocytes. Here, we demonstrate that delta(9)-THC robustly elevates [Ca(2+)](i) in purified murine splenic T cells and in the human peripheral blood acute lymphoid leukemia (HPB-ALL) human T cell line but only minimally elevates [Ca(2+)](i) in Jurkat E6-1 (dysfunctional cannabinoid receptor 2-expressing) human T cells. Removal of extracellular calcium severely attenuated the delta(9)-THC-mediated rise in [Ca(2+)](i) in murine splenic T cells and HPB-ALL cells. Pretreatment with cannabinoid receptor antagonists, SR144528 and/or SR141716A, led to an attenuation of delta(9)-THC-mediated elevation in [Ca(2+)](i) in splenic T cells and HPB-ALL cells but not in Jurkat E6-1 cells. Furthermore, pretreatment of HPB-ALL cells with SR144528 antagonized the small rise in [Ca(2+)](i) elicited by delta(9)-THC in the absence of extracellular calcium. These findings suggest that delta(9)-THC induces an influx of extracellular calcium in resting T cells in a cannabinoid receptor-dependent manner.  (+info)

2-Arachidonoylglycerol, an endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand, induces accelerated production of chemokines in HL-60 cells. (37/168)

2-Arachidonoylglycerol is an endogenous ligand for the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Previously, we provided evidence that 2-arachidonoylglycerol, but not anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine), is the true natural ligand for the cannabinoid receptors. In the present study, we examined in detail the effects of 2-arachidonoylglycerol on the production of chemokines in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. We found that 2-arachidonoylglycerol induced a marked acceleration in the production of interleukin 8. The effect of 2-arachidonoylglycerol was blocked by treatment of the cells with SR144528, a cannabinoid CB2 receptor antagonist, indicating that the effect of 2-arachidonoylglycerol is mediated through the CB2 receptor. Augmented production of interleukin 8 was also observed with CP55940, a synthetic cannabinoid, and an ether-linked analog of 2-arachidonoylglycerol. On the other hand, neither anandamide nor the free arachidonic acid induced the enhanced production of interleukin 8. A similar effect of 2-arachidonoylglycerol was observed in the case of the production of macrophage-chemotactic protein-1. The accelerated production of interleukin 8 by 2-arachidonoylglycerol was observed not only in undifferentiated HL-60 cells, but also in HL-60 cells differentiated into macrophage-like cells. Noticeably, 2-arachidonoylglycerol and lipopolysaccharide acted synergistically to induce the dramatically augmented production of interleukin 8. These results strongly suggest that the CB2 receptor and its physiological ligand, i.e., 2-arachidonoylglycerol, play important regulatory roles such as stimulation of the production of chemokines in inflammatory cells and immune-competent cells. Detailed studies on the cannabinoid receptor system are thus essential to gain a better understanding of the precise regulatory mechanisms of inflammatory reactions and immune responses.  (+info)

Presynaptic cannabinoid CB(1) receptors are involved in the inhibition of the neurogenic vasopressor response during septic shock in pithed rats. (38/168)

1. Our study was undertaken to investigate whether bacterial endotoxin/lipopolysaccharide (LPS) affects the neurogenic vasopressor response in rats in vivo by presynaptic mechanisms and, if so, to characterize the type of presynaptic receptor(s) operating in the initial phase of septic shock. 2. In pithed and vagotomized rats treated with pancuronium, electrical stimulation (ES) (1 Hz, 1 ms, 50 V for 10 s) of the preganglionic sympathetic nerve fibers or intravenous bolus injection of noradrenaline (NA) (1-3 nmol x kg(-1)) increased the diastolic blood pressure (DBP) by about 30 mmHg. Administration of LPS (0.4 and 4 mg x kg(-1)) under continuous infusion of vasopressin inhibited the neurogenic vasopressor response by 25 and 50%, respectively. LPS did not affect the increase in DBP induced by exogenous NA. 3. The LPS-induced inhibition of the neurogenic vasopressor response was counteracted by the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist SR 141716A (0.1 micromol x kg(-1)), but not by the CB(2) receptor antagonist SR 144528 (3 micromol x kg(-1)), the vanilloid VR1 receptor antagonist capsazepine (1 micromol x kg(-1)) or the histamine H(3) receptor antagonist clobenpropit (0.1 micromol x kg(-1)). The four antagonists by themselves did not affect the increase in DBP induced by ES or by injection of NA in rats not exposed to LPS. 4. We conclude that in the initial phase of septic shock, the activation of presynaptic CB(1) receptors by endogenously formed cannabinoids contributes to the inhibition of the neurogenic vasopressor response.  (+info)

Characterization of cannabinoid modulation of sensory neurotransmission in the rat isolated mesenteric arterial bed. (39/168)

The present study investigated the effects of different classes of cannabinoid (CB) receptor ligands on sensory neurotransmission in the rat isolated mesenteric arterial bed. Electrical field stimulation of the mesenteric bed evoked frequency-dependent vasorelaxation due to the activation of capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerves and release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). The CB(1)/CB(2) cannabinoid agonists WIN55,212 [(R)-(+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-(4-morpholinylmethyl)pyrrolo[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzo xazin-6-yl]-1-naphthalenylmethanone] and CP55,940 [(-)-cis-3-[2-hydroxy-4-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)phenyl]-trans-4-(3-hydroxypropyl) cyclohexanol] (0.01-1 microM) attenuated sensory neurogenic relaxation in a concentration-dependent manner. At 0.1 microM, WIN55,212 and CP55,940 were largely ineffective in the presence of the CB(1) antagonists SR141716A [N-piperidino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichloro phenyl)-4-methyl-3-pyrazole-carboxamide] and LY320135 [[6-methoxy-2-(4-methoxyphenyl)benzo[b]-thien-3-yl][4-cyanophenyl] methanone] (1 microM), but their inhibitory actions remained in the presence of the CB(2)-selective antagonist SR144528 [N-[1S)-endo-1,3,3,-trimetyl bicyclo [2.2.1]heptan-2-yl]-5-(4-chloro-3-methylphenyl)-1-(4-methylbenzyl)-pyrazole-3-car boxamide] (1 microM). The CB(1)/CB(2) agonist Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (1 microM) attenuated sensory neurogenic relaxations, as did the CB(2) agonist JWH-015 [(2-methyl-1-propyl-1H-indol-3-yl)-1-naphthalenylmethanone]. The inhibitory actions of both THC and JWH-015 were still evident in the presence of SR141716A (1 microM) and SR144528 (1 microM). None of the cannabinoid agonists investigated had an effect on vasorelaxation elicited by exogenous CGRP, indicating a prejunctional mechanism. These data demonstrate that different classes of cannabinoid agonists attenuate sensory neurotransmission via a prejunctional site and provide evidence for mediation by a CB(1) and/or a non-CB(1)/CB(2) receptor.  (+info)

The THC-induced suppression of Th1 polarization in response to Legionella pneumophila infection is not mediated by increases in corticosterone and PGE2. (40/168)

T helper cell type 1 (Th1)-polarizing cytokines are induced by Legionella pneumophila infection and are suppressed by pretreatment with marijuana cannabinoids (CB). Glucocorticoids and prostaglandin E2(PGE2) are also reported to suppress Th1 polarization and are induced by Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so their role in the suppression of polarizing cytokines was examined. Injection of L. pneumophila or THC alone into BALB/c mice induced a rapid and transient rise in serum corticosterone (CS), and the injection of both agents significantly augmented the CS response, demonstrating that THC increased CS in Legionella-infected mice. Pretreatment with the CB receptor 1 (CB1) antagonist SR141716A had no effect on the THC-induced CS response, but CB2 antagonist (SR144528) treatment increased the CS response. To see if increased CS contributed to the down-regulation of Th1 cytokines, mice were pretreated with the steroid antagonist RU486 before THC injection and Legionella infection. The results showed that RU486 did not attenuate the THC-induced suppression of serum interleukin (IL)-12 or interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). In addition to CS, THC injection increased urinary PGE2 metabolites, and the CB1 antagonist attenuated this increase. Although L. pneumophila infection increased urinary PGE2, THC pretreatment did not enhance this response; in addition, treatment with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor, indomethacin, did not block the THC-induced suppression of IL-12 and IFN-gamma. These results suggest that the elevation of CS and PGE2 does not account for the THC-induced attenuation of the Th1 cytokine response, and it is concluded that other suppressive mediators are induced by THC or that the drug acts directly on immune cells to suppress cytokine production.  (+info)