Author(s): RomeroSandoval EA, Horvath R, Landry RP, DeLeo JA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CBR2) inhibits microglial reactivity through a molecular mechanism yet to be elucidated. We hypothesized that CBR2 activation induces an anti-inflammatory phenotype in microglia by inhibiting extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway, via mitogen-activated protein kinase-phosphatase (MKP) induction. MKPs regulate mitogen activated protein kinases, but their role in the modulation of microglial phenotype is not fully understood. RESULTS: JWH015 (a CBR2 agonist) increased MKP-1 and MKP-3 expression, which in turn reduced p-ERK1/2 in LPS-stimulated primary microglia. These effects resulted in a significant reduction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) expression and microglial migration. We confirmed the causative link of these findings by using MKP inhibitors. We found that the selective inhibition of MKP-1 by Ro-31-8220 and PSI2106, did not affect p-ERK expression in LPS+JWH015-treated microglia. However, the inhibition of both MKP-1 and MKP-3 by triptolide induced an increase in p-ERK expression and in microglial migration using LPS+JWH015-treated microglia. CONCLUSION: Our results uncover a cellular microglial pathway triggered by CBR2 activation. These data suggest that the reduction of pro-inflammatory factors and microglial migration via MKP-3 induction is part of the mechanism of action of CBR2 agonists. These findings may have clinical implications for further drug development.
This article was published in Mol Pain
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology