Arvanil inhibits T lymphocyte activation and ameliorates autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Anna Maria Malfitano, Giuseppe Matarese, Simona Pisanti, Claudia Grimaldi, Chiara Laezza, Tiziana Bisogno, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Robert I. Lechler, Maurizio Bifulco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the immunomodulatory effect of arvanil, a synthetic capsaicin-anandamide hybrid. Arvanil inhibits lymphocyte proliferation and IFN-γ production. The phenotype of activated CD4 + T cells treated with arvanil shows a down-regulation of T cell activation markers such as CD25, HLA-DR and CD134/OX40. Arvanil and anandamide do not induce apoptosis on CD4 + T cells. Arvanil blocks the G1/S phase transition of the cell cycle in stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells, inducing activation of p21waf-1/cip-1 and phosphorylation of Akt/PKB. In vivo, arvanil ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in the SJL/J mouse. Our findings have relevance for the use of arvanil and related compounds as a novel immunotherapeutic approach in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


  • Cannabinoids
  • EAE
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Neurology


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