Mast cells (MCs) contribute to the control of local inflammatory reactions and become hyporesponsive after prolonged TLR4 activation by bacterial LPS. The molecular mechanisms involved in endotoxin tolerance (ET) induction in MCs are not fully understood. In this study, we demonstrate that the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and its receptor, cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), play a role in the establishment of ET in bone marrow-derived MCs from C57BL/6J mice. We found that CB2 antagonism prevented the development of ET and that bone marrow-derived MCs produce 2-AG in a TLR4-dependent fashion. Exogenous 2-AG induced ET similarly to LPS, blocking the phosphorylation of IKK and the p65 subunit of NF-κB and inducing the synthesis of molecular markers of ET. LPS caused CB2 receptor trafficking in Rab11-, Rab7-, and Lamp2-positive vesicles, indicating recycling and degradation of the receptor. 2-AG also prevented LPS-induced TNF secretion in vivo, in a MC-dependent model of endotoxemia, demonstrating that TLR4 engagement leads to 2-AG secretion, which contributes to the negative control of MCs activation. Our study uncovers a functional role for the endocannabinoid system in the inhibition of MC-dependent innate immune responses in vivo.
Copyright © 2019 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.