Activation through cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 on dendritic cells triggers NF-kappa B-dependent apoptosis: Novel role for endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids in immunoregulation
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- Activation through cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 on dendritic cells triggers NF-kappa B-dependent apoptosis: Novel role for endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids in immunoregulation
- Do, Yoonkyung; McKallip, RJ; Nagarkatti, M; Nagarkatti, PS
- DELTA(9)-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL INDUCES APOPTOSIS; MULTIPLE-SCLEROSIS; IMMUNE-SYSTEM; MICE LACKING; IN-VITRO; EXPRESSION; DEATH; PROTEIN; ALPHA; INVOLVEMENT
- Issue Date
- AMER ASSOC IMMUNOLOGISTS
- JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY, v.173, no.4, pp.2373 - 2382
- The precise role of cannabinoid receptors (CB)1 and CB2, as well as endogenous ligands for these receptors, on immune cells remains unclear. In the current study, we examined the effect of endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids on murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs). Addition of Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a major psychoactive component found in marijuana or anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid, to DC cultures induced apoptosis in DCs. DCs expressed CB1 and CB2 receptors and the engagement of both receptors was necessary to trigger apoptosis. Treatment with THC induced caspase-2, -8, and -9 activation, cleavage of Bid, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, and cytochrome c release, suggesting involvement of death-receptor and mitochondrial pathways. DCs from Bid-knockout mice were sensitive to THC-induced apoptosis thereby suggesting that Bid was dispensable. There was no induction of p44/p42 MAPK, p38 MAPK, or stress-activated protein/JNK pathway in THC-treated DCs. However, THC treatment induced phosphorylation of IκB-α, and enhanced the transcription of several apoptotic genes regulated by NF-κB. Moreover, inhibition of NF-κB was able to block THC-induced apoptosis in DCs. Lastly, in vivo treatment of mice with THC caused depletion of splenic DCs. Together, our study demonstrates for the first time that endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids may suppress the immune response through their ability to induce apoptosis in DCs.
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