Immunoregulation of a CB2 Receptor Agonist in a Murine Model of neuroAIDS

J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2010 Sep;5(3):456-68. doi: 10.1007/s11481-010-9225-8. Epub 2010 Jun 12.


Chronic HIV-1 infection commonly affects behavioral, cognitive, and motor functions in the infected human host and is commonly referred to as HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). This occurs, in measure, as a consequence of ingress of leukocytes into brain perivascular regions. Such cells facilitate viral infection and disease by eliciting blood-brain barrier and neuronal network dysfunctions. Previous works demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system modulates neuroimmunity and as such neuronal and glial functions. Herein, we investigated CB2R receptor expression in murine HIV-1 encephalitis (HIVE) and the abilities of a highly selective CB2R agonist, Gp1a, to modulate disease. HIV-1-infected human monocyte-derived macrophages were injected into the caudate and putamen of immunodeficient mice reconstituted with human peripheral blood lymphocytes (hu-PBL/HIVE). Brains of hu-PBL/HIVE mice showed microglial activation and increased expression of CB2R, but not CB1R or GPR55. Gp1a substantively reduced infiltration of human cells into the mouse brain and reduced HLA DQ activation. Gp1a down modulated CCR5 expression on human cells in the spleen with an increase in Fas ligand expression. Our results support the notion that CB2 receptor agonists may be a viable therapeutic candidate for HAND.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / drug therapy
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / immunology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / virology
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Fas Ligand Protein / biosynthesis
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Indenes / pharmacology
  • Indenes / therapeutic use*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / immunology*
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2 / agonists*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2 / immunology
  • Receptors, CCR5 / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid / biosynthesis
  • Viral Load / immunology


  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Fasl protein, mouse
  • Indenes
  • N-(piperidin-1-yl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,4-dihydro-6-methylindeno(1,2-c)pyrazole-3-carboxamide
  • Pyrazoles
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2
  • Receptors, CCR5
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid

Grant support