Modulation of inflammatory responses by a cannabinoid-2-selective agonist after spinal cord injury.J Neurotrauma 2011; 28(12):2417-27JN
The goal of the current investigation was to evaluate the mechanisms through which administration of a selective cannabinoid-2 (CB2) agonist (O-1966) modifies inflammatory responses and helps to improve function following spinal cord injury. A comparison of motor function, autonomic function, and inflammatory responses was made between animals treated with O-1966 (5 mg/kg IP) and animals treated with vehicle 1 h and 24 h following contusion injury to the spinal cord. Motor function was significantly improved in the treated animals at each time point during the 14 days of evaluation. The percentage of animals able to spontaneously void their bladder was also greater over the entire study period in the group treated with the selective CB2 agonist. Seven days following injury there was a significant reduction in both hematopoietic and myeloid cell invasion of the spinal cord, and a reduction in the number of immunoreactive microglia. The results of the evaluation of chemokine/cytokine expression and inflammatory cell invasion also demonstrated a significant effect of treatment on inflammatory reactions following injury. Two days after injury, animals treated with O-1966 had significant reductions in CXCL-9 and CXCL-11, and dramatic reductions in IL-23p19 expression and its receptor IL-23r. Treatment with O-1966 also caused inhibition of toll-like receptor expression (TLR1, TLR4, TLR6 and TLR7) following injury. These results demonstrate that the improvement in motor and autonomic function resulting from treatment with a selective CB2 agonist is associated with a significant effect on inflammatory responses in the spinal cord following injury.