Cannabinoid receptor 2 and its agonists mediate hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell mobilization.

“Endocannabinoids are arachidonic acid derivatives and part of a novel bioactive lipid signaling system, along with their G-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CB₁ and CB₂) and the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis and degradation.

However, their roles in hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) functions are not well characterized. Here, we show that bone marrow stromal cells express endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol), whereas CB₂ receptors are expressed in human and murine HSPCs.

On ligand stimulation with CB₂ agonists, CB₂ receptors induced chemotaxis, migration, and enhanced colony formation of bone marrow cells, which were mediated via ERK, PI3-kinase, and Gαi-Rac1 pathways.

Taken together, these results demonstrate that the endocannabinoid system is involved in hematopoiesis and that CB₂/CB₂ agonist axis mediates repopulation of hematopoiesis and mobilization of HSPCs.

Thus, CB₂ agonists may be therapeutically applied in clinical conditions, such as bone marrow transplantation.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21063029

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