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(1/4113) The central cannabinoid receptor (CB1) mediates inhibition of nitric oxide production by rat microglial cells.

Upon activation, brain microglial cells release proinflammatory mediators, such as nitric oxide (NO), which may play an important role in the central nervous system antibacterial, antiviral, and antitumor activities. However, excessive release of NO has been postulated to elicit immune-mediated neurodegenerative inflammatory processes and to cause brain injury. In the present study, the effect of cannabinoids on the release of NO from endotoxin/cytokine-activated rat cortical microglial cells was evaluated. A drug dose-dependent (0.1 microM-8 microM) inhibition of NO release from rat microglial cells was exerted by the cannabinoid receptor high-affinity binding enantiomer (-)-CP55940. In contrast, a minimal inhibitory effect was exerted by the lower affinity binding paired enantiomer (+)-CP56667. Pretreatment of microglial cells with the Galphai/Galphao protein inactivator pertussis toxin, cyclic AMP reconstitution with the cell-permeable analog dibutyryl-cAMP, or treatment of cells with the Galphas activator cholera toxin, resulted in reversal of the (-)-CP55940-mediated inhibition of NO release. A similar reversal in (-)-CP55940-mediated inhibition of NO release was effected when microglial cells were pretreated with the central cannabinoid receptor (CB1) selective antagonist SR141716A. Mutagenic reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western immunoblot assay using a CB1 receptor amine terminal domain-specific antibody, and cellular colocalization of CB1 and the microglial marker Griffonia simplicifolia isolectin B4 confirmed the expression of the CB1 receptor in rat microglial cells. Collectively, these results indicate a functional linkage between the CB1 receptor and cannabinoid-mediated inhibition of NO production by rat microglial cells.  (+info)

(2/4113) Cannabinoid suppression of noxious heat-evoked activity in wide dynamic range neurons in the lumbar dorsal horn of the rat.

The effects of cannabinoid agonists on noxious heat-evoked firing of 62 spinal wide dynamic range (WDR) neurons were examined in urethan-anesthetized rats (1 cell/animal). Noxious thermal stimulation was applied with a Peltier device to the receptive fields in the ipsilateral hindpaw of isolated WDR neurons. To assess the site of action, cannabinoids were administered systemically in intact and spinally transected rats and intraventricularly. Both the aminoalkylindole cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 (125 microg/kg iv) and the bicyclic cannabinoid CP55,940 (125 microg/kg iv) suppressed noxious heat-evoked activity. Responses evoked by mild pressure in nonnociceptive neurons were not altered by CP55,940 (125 microg/kg iv), consistent with previous observations with another cannabinoid agonist, WIN55,212-2. The cannabinoid induced-suppression of noxious heat-evoked activity was blocked by pretreatment with SR141716A (1 mg/kg iv), a competitive antagonist for central cannabinoid CB1 receptors. By contrast, intravenous administration of either vehicle or the receptor-inactive enantiomer WIN55,212-3 (125 microg/kg) failed to alter noxious heat-evoked activity. The suppression of noxious heat-evoked activity induced by WIN55,212-2 in the lumbar dorsal horn of intact animals was markedly attenuated in spinal rats. Moreover, intraventricular administration of WIN55,212-2 suppressed noxious heat-evoked activity in spinal WDR neurons. By contrast, both vehicle and enantiomer were inactive. These findings suggest that cannabinoids selectively modulate the activity of nociceptive neurons in the spinal dorsal horn by actions at CB1 receptors. This modulation represents a suppression of pain neurotransmission because the inhibitory effects are selective for pain-sensitive neurons and are observed with different modalities of noxious stimulation. The data also provide converging lines of evidence for a role for descending antinociceptive mechanisms in cannabinoid modulation of spinal nociceptive processing.  (+info)

(3/4113) A phase I and pharmacokinetic study of losoxantrone and paclitaxel in patients with advanced solid tumors.

A Phase I and pharmacological study was performed to evaluate the feasibility, maximum tolerated dose (MTD), dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), and pharmacokinetics of the anthrapyrazole losoxantrone in combination with paclitaxel in adult patients with advanced solid malignancies. Losoxantrone was administered as a 10-min infusion in combination with paclitaxel on either a 24- or 3-h schedule. The starting dose level was 40 mg/m2 losoxantrone and 135 mg/m2 paclitaxel (as a 24- or 3-h i.v. infusion) without granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). Administration of these agents at the starting dose level and dose escalation was feasible only with G-CSF support. The following dose levels (losoxantrone/paclitaxel, in mg/m2) of losoxantrone and paclitaxel as a 3-h infusion were also evaluated: 50/135, 50/175, 50/200, 50/225, and 60/225. The sequence-dependent toxicological and pharmacological effects of losoxantrone and paclitaxel on the 24- and 3-h schedules of paclitaxel were also assessed. The MTD was defined as the dose at which >50% of the patients experienced DLT during the first two courses of therapy. DLTs, mainly myelosuppression, occurring during the first course of therapy were noted in four of six and five of eight patients treated with 40 mg/m2 losoxantrone and 135 mg/m2 paclitaxel over 24 and 3 h, respectively, without G-CSF. DLTs during the first two courses of therapy were observed in one of six patients at the 50/175 (losoxantrone/paclitaxel) mg/m2 dose level, two of four patients at the 50/200 mg/m2 dose level, one of four patients at the 50/225 mg/m2 dose level, and two of five patients at the 60/225 mg/m2 dose level. The degree of thrombocytopenia was worse, albeit not statistically significant, when 24-h paclitaxel preceded losoxantrone, with a mean percentage decrement in platelet count during course 1 of 80.7%, compared to 43.8% with the reverse sequence (P = 0.19). Losoxantrone clearance was not significantly altered by the sequence or schedule of paclitaxel. Cardiac toxicity was observed; however, it was not related to total cumulative dose of losoxantrone. An unacceptably high rate of DLTs at the first dose level of 40 mg/m2 losoxantrone and 135 mg/m2 paclitaxel administered as either a 24- or 3-h i.v. infusion precluded dose escalation without G-CSF support. The addition of G-CSF to the regimen permitted further dose escalation without reaching the MTD. Losoxantrone at 50 mg/m2 followed by paclitaxel (3-h i.v. infusion) at 175 mg/m2 with G-CSF support is recommended for further clinical trials.  (+info)

(4/4113) Gi protein modulation induced by a selective inverse agonist for the peripheral cannabinoid receptor CB2: implication for intracellular signalization cross-regulation.

The peripheral cannabinoid receptor (CB2) is a G protein-coupled receptor that is both positively and negatively coupled to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and cAMP pathways, respectively, through a Bordetella pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein. CB2 receptor-transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells exhibit high constitutive activity blocked by the CB2-selective ligand, SR 144528, working as an inverse agonist. We showed here that in addition to the inhibition of autoactivated CB2 in this model, we found that SR 144528 inhibited the MAPK activation induced by Gi-dependent receptors such as receptor-tyrosine kinase (insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1) or G protein-coupled receptors (lysophosphatidic acid), but not by Gi-independent receptors such as the fibroblast growth factor receptor. We showed that this SR 144528 inhibitory effect on Gi-dependent receptors was mediated by a direct Gi protein inhibition through CB2 receptors. Indeed, we found that through binding to the CB2 receptors, SR 144528 blocked the direct activation of the Gi protein by mastoparan analog in Chinese hamster ovary CB2 cell membranes. Furthermore, we described that sustained treatment with SR 144528 induced an up-regulation of the cellular Gi protein level as shown in Western blotting as well as in confocal microscopic experiments. This up-regulation occurred with a concomitant loss of SR 144528 ability to inhibit the insulin or lysophosphatidic acid-induced MAPK activation. This inverse agonist-induced modulation of the Gi strongly suggests that the modulated protein is functionally associated with the complex SR 144528/CB2 receptors, and that the Gi level may account for the heterologous desensitization phenomena.  (+info)

(5/4113) Cell shrinkage regulates Src kinases and induces tyrosine phosphorylation of cortactin, independent of the osmotic regulation of Na+/H+ exchangers.

The signaling pathways by which cell volume regulates ion transporters, e.g. Na+/H+ exchangers (NHEs), and affects cytoskeletal organization are poorly understood. We have previously shown that shrinkage induces tyrosine phosphorylation in CHO cells, predominantly in an 85-kDa band. To identify volume-sensitive kinases and their substrates, we investigated the effect of hypertonicity on members of the Src kinase family. Hyperosmolarity stimulated Fyn and inhibited Src. Fyn activation was also observed in nystatin-permeabilized cells, where shrinkage cannot induce intracellular alkalinization. In contrast, osmotic inhibition of Src was prevented by permeabilization or by inhibiting NHE-1. PP1, a selective Src family inhibitor, strongly reduced the hypertonicity-induced tyrosine phosphorylation. We identified one of the major targets of the osmotic stress-elicited phosphorylation as cortactin, an 85-kDa actin-binding protein and well known Src family substrate. Cortactin phosphorylation was triggered by shrinkage and not by changes in osmolarity or pHi and was abrogated by PP1. Hyperosmotic cortactin phosphorylation was reduced in Fyn-deficient fibroblasts but remained intact in Src-deficient fibroblasts. To address the potential role of the Src family in the osmotic regulation of NHEs, we used PP1. The drug affected neither the hyperosmotic stimulation of NHE-1 nor the inhibition of NHE-3. Thus, members of the Src family are volume-sensitive enzymes that may participate in the shrinkage-related reorganization of the cytoskeleton but are probably not responsible for the osmotic regulation of NHE.  (+info)

(6/4113) Effect of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 on sympathetic cardiovascular regulation.

1. The aim of the present study was to analyse the cardiovascular actions of the synthetic CB1/CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2, and specifically to determine its sites of action on sympathetic cardiovascular regulation. 2. Pithed rabbits in which the sympathetic outflow was continuously stimulated electrically or which received a pressor infusion of noradrenaline were used to study peripheral prejunctional and direct vascular effects, respectively. For studying effects on brain stem cardiovascular regulatory centres, drugs were administered into the cisterna cerebellomedullaris in conscious rabbits. Overall cardiovascular effects of the cannabinoid were studied in conscious rabbits with intravenous drug administration. 3. In pithed rabbits in which the sympathetic outflow was continuously electrically stimulated, intravenous injection of WIN55212-2 (5, 50 and 500 microg kg(-1)) markedly reduced blood pressure, the spillover of noradrenaline into plasma and the plasma noradrenaline concentration, and these effects were antagonized by the CB1 cannabinoid receptor-selective antagonist SR141716A. The hypotensive and the sympathoinhibitory effect of WIN55212-2 was shared by CP55940, another mixed CB1/CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist, but not by WIN55212-3, the enantiomer of WIN55212-2, which lacks affinity for cannabinoid binding sites. WIN55212-2 had no effect on vascular tone established by infusion of noradrenaline in pithed rabbits. 4. Intracisternal application of WIN55212-2 (0.1, 1 and 10 microg kg(-1)) in conscious rabbits increased blood pressure and the plasma noradrenaline concentration and elicited bradycardia; this latter effect was antagonized by atropine. 5. In conscious animals, intravenous injection of WIN55212-2 (5 and 50 microg kg(-1)) caused bradycardia, slight hypotension, no change in the plasma noradrenaline concentration, and an increase in renal sympathetic nerve firing. The highest dose of WIN55212-2 (500 microg kg(-1)) elicited hypotension and tachycardia, and sympathetic nerve activity and the plasma noradrenaline concentration declined. 6. The results obtained in pithed rabbits indicate that activation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors leads to marked peripheral prejunctional inhibition of noradrenaline release from postganglionic sympathetic axons. Intracisternal application of WIN55212-2 uncovered two effects on brain stem cardiovascular centres: sympathoexcitation and activation of cardiac vagal fibres. The highest dose of systemically administered WIN55212-2 produced central sympathoinhibition; the primary site of this action is not known.  (+info)

(7/4113) Trigeminal nerve ganglion stimulation-induced neurovascular reflexes in the anaesthetized cat: role of endothelin(B) receptors in carotid vasodilatation.

1. The effects of intravenous administration of endothelin (ET) receptor antagonists SB-209670 (0.001-10.0 mg kg(-1)), SB-217242, SB-234551 (0.01-10.0 mg kg(-1)) and BQ-788 (0.001-1.0 mg kg(-1)) were investigated on trigeminal nerve ganglion stimulation-induced neurovascular reflexes in the carotid vasculature of the anaesthetized cat. Comparisons were made with sumatriptan (0.003-3.0 mg kg(-1)) and alpha-CGRP8-37 (0.001-0.1 mg kg(-1)). 2. Trigeminal nerve ganglion stimulation produced frequency related increases in carotid blood flow, reductions in carotid vascular resistance and non-frequency related increases in blood pressure. Guanethidine (3 mg kg(-1), i.v.) blocked trigeminal nerve ganglion-induced increases in blood pressure but had no effect on changes in carotid flow or resistance. Maximal reductions in carotid vascular resistance was observed at 10 Hz, and this frequency was selected to investigate the effects of drugs on trigeminal nerve ganglion stimulation-induced responses in guanethidine treated cats. 3. Saline, alpha-CGRP8-37 SB-209670 and BQ-788 had little or no effect on resting haemodynamic parameters. SB-217242 (10 mg kg(-1), n=3) produced a 56% reduction in arterial blood pressure whereas SB-233451 (10 mg kg(-1), n=3) produced a 30% reduction in carotid vascular resistance. Sumatriptan produced dose-related reductions in resting carotid flow and increases (max. 104% at 0.3 mg kg(-1), n = 5) in vascular resistance. 4. SB-209670 (n=6-7), SB-217242 (n=3) and BQ-788 (n=3) produced inhibition of trigeminal nerve ganglion stimulation-induced reductions in carotid vascular resistance. Saline, SB-234551, alpha-CGRP8-37 and sumatriptan had no effect. 5. These data demonstrate ET(B) receptor blockade attenuates the vasodilator effects of trigeminal nerve ganglion stimulation in the carotid vascular bed of guanethidine pretreated anaesthetized cats.  (+info)

(8/4113) Neurotensin is a proinflammatory neuropeptide in colonic inflammation.

The neuropeptide neurotensin mediates several intestinal functions, including chloride secretion, motility, and cellular growth. However, whether this peptide participates in intestinal inflammation is not known. Toxin A, an enterotoxin from Clostridium difficile, mediates pseudomembranous colitis in humans. In animal models, toxin A causes an acute inflammatory response characterized by activation of sensory neurons and intestinal nerves and immune cells of the lamina propria. Here we show that neurotensin and its receptor are elevated in the rat colonic mucosa following toxin A administration. Pretreatment of rats with the neurotensin receptor antagonist SR-48, 692 inhibits toxin A-induced changes in colonic secretion, mucosal permeability, and histologic damage. Exposure of colonic explants to toxin A or neurotensin causes mast cell degranulation, which is inhibited by SR-48,692. Because substance P was previously shown to mediate mast cell activation, we examined whether substance P is involved in neurotensin-induced mast cell degranulation. Our results show that neurotensin-induced mast cell degranulation in colonic explants is inhibited by the substance P (neurokinin-1) receptor antagonist CP-96,345, indicating that colonic mast activation in response to neurotensin involves release of substance P. We conclude that neurotensin plays a key role in the pathogenesis of C. difficile-induced colonic inflammation and mast cell activation.  (+info)