Abstract Title:

Δ(9) Tetrahydrocannabinol attenuates Staphylococcal enterotoxin B-induced inflammatory lung injury and prevents mortality in mice by modulation of miR-17-92 cluster and induction of T-regulatory cells.

Abstract Source:

Br J Pharmacol. 2015 Apr ;172(7):1792-806. Epub 2015 Feb 10. PMID: 25425209

Abstract Author(s):

R Rao, P S Nagarkatti, M Nagarkatti

Article Affiliation:

R Rao


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) is a potent activator of Vβ8+T-cells resulting in the clonal expansion of ∼30% of the T-cell pool. Consequently, this leads to the release of inflammatory cytokines, toxic shock, and eventually death. In the current study, we investigated if Δ(9) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabinoid known for its anti-inflammatory properties, could prevent SEB-induced mortality and alleviate symptoms of toxic shock.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: We investigated the efficacy of THC against the dual administration (intranasal and i.p.) of SEB into C3H/HeJ mice based on the measurement of SEB-mediated clinical parameters, including cytokine production, cellular infiltration, vascular leak, and airway resistance. In addition, the molecular mechanism of action was elucidated in vitro by the activation of splenocytes with SEB.

KEY RESULTS: Exposure to SEB resulted in acute mortality, while THC treatment led to 100% survival of mice. SEB induced the miRNA-17-92 cluster, specifically miRNA-18a, which targeted Pten (phosphatase and tensin homologue), an inhibitor of the PI3K/Akt signalling pathway, thereby suppressing T-regulatory cells. In contrast, THC treatment inhibited the individual miRNAs in the cluster, reversing the effects of SEB.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: We report, for the first time a role for the miRNA 17-92 cluster in SEB-mediated inflammation. Furthermore, our results suggest that THC is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that may serve as a novel therapeutic to suppress SEB-induced pulmonary inflammation by modulating critical miRNA involved in SEB-induced toxicity and death.

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