Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is a promising therapeutic target for immunological modulation. There is, however, a deficit of knowledge regarding CB2 signaling and function in human primary immunocompetent cells. We applied an experimental paradigm which closely models the in situ state of human primary leukocytes (PBMC; peripheral blood mononuclear cells) to characterize activation of a number of signaling pathways in response to a CB2-selective ligand (HU308). We observed a “lag” phase of unchanged cAMP concentration prior to development of classically expected Gαi-mediated inhibition of cAMP synthesis. Application of G protein inhibitors revealed that this apparent lag was a result of counteraction of Gαi effects by concurrent Gαs activation. Monitoring downstream signaling events showed that activation of p38 was mediated by Gαi, whereas ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation were mediated by Gαi-coupled βγ. Activation of CREB integrated multiple components; Gαs and βγ mediated ∼85% of the response, while ∼15% was attributed to Gαi. Responses to HU308 had an important functional outcome—secretion of interleukins 6 (IL-6) and 10 (IL-10). IL-2, IL-4, IL-12, IL-13, IL-17A, MIP-1α, and TNF-α were unaffected. IL-6/IL-10 induction had a similar G protein coupling profile to CREB activation. All response potencies were consistent with that expected for HU308 acting via CB2. Additionally, signaling and functional effects were completely blocked by a CB2-selective inverse agonist, giving additional evidence for CB2 involvement. This work expands the current paradigm regarding cannabinoid immunomodulation and reinforces the potential utility of CB2 ligands as immunomodulatory therapeutics.
Estudio completo: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsptsci.9b00049#.Xa2oflceHwM.twitter