Inhibition of interleukin-1β-induced endothelial tissue factor expression by the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2

  • Scholl A
  • Ivanov I
  • Hinz B
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The role of cannabinoids in thrombosis remains controversial. In view of the primary importance of tissue factor (TF) in blood coagulation and its involvement in the pathology of several cardiovascular, inflammatory and neoplastic diseases, a regulation of this initial procoagulant signal seems to be of particular interest. Using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) the present study investigated the impact of the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 on interleukin (IL)-1β-induced TF expression and activity. WIN 55,212-2 caused a time- and concentration-dependent suppression of IL-1β-induced TF protein accompanied by decreases in TF mRNA and activity. Inhibition of TF protein expression by WIN 55,212-2 was mimicked by its cannabinoid receptor-inactive enantiomer WIN 55,212-3 but not by structurally unrelated phyto-, endo- and synthetic cannabinoids. In addition, the inhibitory effect of WIN 55,212-2 was not reversed by antagonists to cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2) or transient receptor potential vanilloid 1. Mechanistic approaches revealed WIN 55,212-2 to suppress IL-1β-induced TF expression via inhibition of ceramide formation and via decreased phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinases. Further inhibitor experiments demonstrated neutral sphingomyelinase (nSMase) to confer ceramide generation upon IL-1β treatment with the parallel IL-1β-mediated activation of MAPKs occurring via an nSMase-independent pathway. Finally, a receptor-independent inhibition of IL-1β-induced TF protein by WIN 55,212-2 was confirmed in human blood monocytes. Collectively, this data provide a hitherto unknown receptor-independent anticoagulatory action of the cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2.




Scholl, A., Ivanov, I., & Hinz, B. (2016). Inhibition of interleukin-1β-induced endothelial tissue factor expression by the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2. Oncotarget, 7(38).

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