“Lenabasum is an oral synthetic cannabinoid receptor type 2 agonist previously shown to reduce the production of key airway pro-inflammatory cytokines known to play a role in cystic fibrosis (CF). In a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-control phase 2 study, lenabasum lowered the rate of pulmonary exacerbation among patients with CF. The present study was undertaken to investigate anti-inflammatory mechanisms of lenabasum exhibits in CF macrophages.
Lenabasum had no effect on differentiation, polarization and function of macrophages from healthy individuals. However, in CF macrophages lenabasum downregulated macrophage polarization into the pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype and secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-8 and TNF-α in a dose-dependent manner. An improvement in phagocytic activity was also observed following lenabasum treatment. Although lenabasum did not restore the impaired polarization of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophage, it reduced the levels of IL-13 and enhanced the endocytic function of CF MDMs. The effects of lenabasum on MDMs with CFTR inhibited by C-172 were not as obvious.
In CF macrophages lenabasum modulates macrophage polarization and function in vitro in a way that would reduce inflammation in vivo. Further studies are warranted to determine the link between activating the CBR2 receptor and CFTR.”