Background: Although neurogenic inflammation of the airways via activation of C-fibers is thought to be important in the pathogenesis of asthma, the mechanisms regulating C-fiber activity remain uncertain.
Objective: The influence of a cannabinoid receptor agonist, WIN 55,212-2, on C-fiber activation in guinea pig airways was investigated, as was the mechanism by which cannabinoids regulate antigen-induced airway inflammation.
Methods: The inhibitory effect of WIN 55,212-2 on antigen-induced plasma extravasation was assessed in guinea pig tracheal tissues by photometric measurement of extravasated Evans blue dye after extraction with formamide.
Results: Pretreatment with WIN 55,212-2 (0.001, 0.01 or 0.1 mg/kg) significantly and dose-dependently reduced tracheal plasma extravasation induced by inhaling a 5% ovalbumin solution for 2 min after pretreatment with a neutral endopeptidedase inhibitor (phosphoramidon at 2.5 mg/kg i.v.). A cannabinoid CB2 receptor antagonist (SR144528) blunted the inhibitory effect of WIN 55,212-2, while a cannabinoid CB1 antagonist (SR141716A) did not. Pretreatment with a neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist (FK888) significantly reduced ovalbumin-induced extravasation of Evans blue dye. Pretreatment with the combination of WIN 55,212-2 and FK888 reduced antigen-induced plasma extravasation more markedly than FK888 alone.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that WIN 55,212-2 inhibits C-fiber activation via the cannabinoid CB2 receptor and thus suppresses antigen-induced inflammation in guinea pig airways.
2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.