Author(s): Chang YH, Lee ST, Lin WW
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Abstract Delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) is the major psychoactive component of marijuana and elicits pharmacological actions via cannabinoid receptors. Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG) are endogenous ligands for cannabinoid receptors, which because of their structural similarities to arachidonic acid (AA), AEA, and 2-AG could serve as substrates for lipoxygenases and cyclooxygenases (COXs) that metabolize polyunsaturated fatty acids to potent bioactive molecules. In this study, we have compared the effects of Delta(9)-THC, AEA, 2-AG, and another cannabinoid agonist, indomethacin morpholinylamide (IMMA), on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced NO, IL-6, and PGE(2) release from J774 macrophages. Delta(9)-THC, IMMA, and AEA diminish LPS-induced NO and IL-6 production in a concentration-dependent manner. 2-AG inhibits the production of IL-6 but slightly increases iNOS-dependent NO production. Delta(9)-THC and IMMA also inhibit LPS-induced PGE(2) production and COX-2 induction, while AEA and 2-AG have no effects. These discrepant results of 2-AG on iNOS and COX-2 induction might be due to its bioactive metabolites, AA and PGE(2), whose incubation cause the potentiation of both iNOS and COX-2 induction. On the contrary, the AEA metabolite, PGE(2)-ethanolamide, influences neither the LPS-induced NO nor IL-6 production. Taken together, direct cannabinoid receptor activation leads to anti-inflammatory action via inhibition of macrophage function. The endogenous cannabinoid, 2-AG, also serves as a substrate for COX-catalyzing PGE(2) production, which in turn modulates the action of CB2. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in J Cell Biochem
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research