Cannabinoid-Receptor 1 Null Mice Are Susceptible To Neurofilament Damage

Thread starter #1
Administered cannabinoids have been shown to ameliorate signs of CNS inflammatory disease in a number of animal models, including allergic encephalomyelitis. More recently, neuroprotective actions have been attributed to activation of the cannabinoid 1 receptor in a number of in vitro and in vivo models. One of these, chronic relapsing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, is considered a robust analog of multiple sclerosis. In this study, spinal cord tissue from cannabinoid receptor 1 knockout mice was analyzed for neurofilament H and myelin basic protein content, as markers of neurons/axons and myelin respectively, during the course of chronic relapsing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. Dephosphorylation of a neurofilament H epitope, immunoreactive to the SMI32 antibody, was assessed as a marker of axonal damage and levels of the endpoint cell death mediator caspase 3 were evaluated. It was found that both neurofilament and myelin basic protein levels decrease over the course of disease, indicating concomitant neuronal/axonal loss and demyelination. Loss of each marker was more severe in cannabinoid receptor 1 knockout animals. Increased SMI32 reactivity was observed as disease progressed. SMI32 reactivity was significantly increased in knockout animals over wildtype counterparts, an indication of greater axonal dephosphorylation and injury. Active caspase 3 levels were increased in all animals during disease, with knockout animals displaying highest levels, even in knockout animals prior to disease induction. These results indicate that lack of the cannabinoid receptor 1 is associated with increased caspase activation and greater loss and/or compromise of myelin and axonal/neuronal proteins. The increase of caspase 3 in knockout mice prior to disease induction indicates a latent physiological effect of the missing receptor. The data presented further strengthen the hypothesis of neuroprotection elicited via cannabinoid receptor 1 signaling.

Source: Cannabinoid-receptor 1 null mice are susceptibl... [Neuroscience. 2005] - PubMed - NCBI