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Canna~Fangled Abstracts

Cannabinoid (CB)1 receptors are critical for the innate immune response to TLR4 stimulation.

By June 7, 2013No Comments
pm2 [Epub ahead of print]

Cannabinoid (CB)1 receptors are critical for the innate immune response to TLR4 stimulation.


1Hotchkiss Brain Institute.


Sickness behaviours are host defence adaptations that arise from integrated autonomic outputs in response to activation of the innate immune system. These behaviours include fever, anorexia, and hyperalgesia intended to promote survival of the host when encountering pathogens. Cannabinoid (CB) receptor activation can induce hypothermia and attenuate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-evoked fever. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of CB1 receptors in the LPS-evoked febrile response. CB1 receptor-deficient (CB1-/-) mice did not display LPS-evoked fever; likewise pharmacological blockade of CB1 receptors in wild-type mice blocked LPS-evoked fever. This unresponsiveness is not limited to thermogenesis, as the animals were not hyperalgesic after LPS administration. A toll-like receptor (TLR)3 agonist and viral mimetic polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid evoked a robust fever in CB1-/- mice suggesting TLR3-mediated responses are functional. LPS-evoked c-Fos activation in areas of the brain associated with the febrile response was evident in wild-type mice but not in CB1-/- mice. Liver and spleen TLR4 mRNA were significantly lower in CB1-/- mice compared to wild-type, and peritoneal macrophages from CB1-/- mice did not release pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to LPS. These data indicate that CB1 receptors play a critical role in LPS-induced febrile responses through inhibiting TLR4-mediated cytokine production.


cytokine, endocannabinoid, fever, toll-like receptor


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