Accumulated evidence points to a key role for endocannabinoids in cell migration, and here we sought to characterize the role of these substances in early events that modulate communication between endothelial cells and leukocytes. We found that 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) was able to initiate and complete the leukocyte adhesion cascade, by modulating the expression of selectins. A short exposure of primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) to 2-AG was sufficient to prime them towards an activated state: within 1 h of treatment, endothelial cells showed time-dependent plasma membrane expression of P- and E-selectins, which both trigger the initial steps (i.e., capture and rolling) of leukocyte adhesion. The effect of 2-AG was mediated by CB1 and CB2 receptors and was long lasting, because endothelial cells incubated with 2-AG for 1 h released the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) for up to 24 h. Consistently, TNF-α-containing medium was able to promote leukocyte recruitment: human Jurkat T cells grown in conditioned medium derived from 2-AG-treated HUVECs showed enhanced L-selectin and P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL1) expression, as well as increased efficiency of adhesion and trans-migration. In conclusion, our in vitro data indicate that 2-AG, by acting on endothelial cells, might indirectly promote leukocyte recruitment, thus representing a potential therapeutic target for treatment of diseases where impaired endothelium/leukocyte interactions take place.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
- Endothelium/leucocyte interaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology