The endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 affect the regenerative potential of adipose tissue MSCs.

Experimental Cell Research“Human adipose tissue includes large quantities of mesenchymal stromal cells (atMSCs), which represent an abundant cell source for therapeutic applications in the field of regenerative medicine.

Adipose tissue secrets various soluble factors including endocannabinoids, and atMSCs express the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. This indicates that adipose tissue possesses an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is also ascribed great significance for wound repair, e.g. by modulating inflammation. However, the exact effects of CB1/CB2 activation in human atMSCs have not been investigated, yet.

In the present study, we stimulated human atMSCs with increasing concentrations (1-30 μM) of the unspecific cannabinoid receptor ligand WIN55,212-2 and the specific CB2 agonist JWH-133, either alone or co-applied with the receptor antagonist Rimonabant (CB1) or AM 630 (CB2). We investigated the effects on metabolic activity, cell number, differentiation and cytokine release, which are important processes during tissue regeneration.

WIN decreased metabolic activity and cell number, which was reversed by Rimonabant. This suggests a CB1 dependent mechanism, whereas the number of atMSCs was increased after CB2 ligation. WIN and JWH increased the release of VEGF, TGF-β1 and HGF. Adipogenesis was enhanced by WIN, which could be reversed by blocking CB1. There was no effect on osteogenesis, and only WIN increased chondrogenic differentiation.

Our results indicate that definite activation of the cannabinoid receptors exerted different effects in atMSCs, which could be of specific value in cell-based therapy for wound regeneration.”

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