Amniotic epithelial cells (AEC) have been proposed as promising clinical candidates for regenerative medicine therapies due to their immunomodulatory capacity. In this context, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been identified as mediating the immune-stem cell dialogue, even if no information on AEC is available to date. Therefore, this study was designed to assess whether ECS is involved in tuning the constitutive and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ovine AEC anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL-10, IL-4, and IL-12) profiles. Firstly, interleukins and ECS expressions were studied at different stages of gestation. Then, the role of cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) on interleukin expression and release was investigated in middle stage AEC using selective agonists and antagonists. AEC displayed a degradative more than a synthetic endocannabinoid metabolism during the early and middle stages of gestation. At the middle stage, cannabinoid receptors mediated the balance between pro-inflammatory (IL-12) and anti-inflammatory (IL-4 and IL-10) interleukins. The activation of both receptors mediated an overall pro-inflammatory shift-CB1 reduced the anti-inflammatory and CB2 increased the pro-inflammatory interleukin release, particularly after LPS stimulation. Altogether, these data pave the way for the comprehension of AEC mechanisms tuning immune-modulation, crucial for the development of new AEC-based therapy protocols.
- amniotic epithelial cells
- cannabinoid receptors