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  • A synthetic cannabinoid agonist promotes oligodendrogliogenesis during viral encephalitis in rats #MMPMID20832403
  • Solbrig MV; Fan Y; Hermanowicz N; Morgese MG; Giuffrida A
  • Exp Neurol 2010[Nov]; 226 (1): 231-41 PMID20832403garesp_yesshow ga
  • Chronic CNS infection by several families of viruses can produce deficits in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatal function. Cannabinoid drugs have been long known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to modulate adult neuro and gliogenesis. Therefore, we explored the effects of systemic administration of the cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2(WIN) on prefrontal cortex(PFC) and striatal cytogenesis in a viral model of CNS injury and inflammation based on Borna Disease (BD) virus encephalitis. Active BrdU+ progenitor populations were significantly decreased 1 week after BrdU labeling in BD rats [p<0.001 compared to uninfected (NL)controls] while less than 5% of BrdU+ cells colabeled for BDV protein. Systemic WIN (1mg/kg i.p. twice daily x7 days) increased the survival of BrdU+ cells in striatum (p<0.001) and PFC of BD rats, with differential regulation of labeled oligodendroglia precursors versus microglia/macrophages. WIN increased the percentage of BrdU +oligodendrocyte precursor cells and decreased BrdU+ED-1-labeled phagocytic cells, without producing pro- or antiviral effects. BDV infection decreased the levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide(AEA) in striatum (p<0.05 compared to NL rats), whereas 2-AG levels were unchanged. Our findings indicate that: 1)viral infection is accompanied by alterations of AEA transmission in the striatum, but new cell protection by WIN appears independent of its effect on endocannbinoid levels; and 2)chronic WIN treatment alters the gliogenic cascades associated with CNS injury, promoting oligodendrocyte survival. Limiting reactive gliogenesis and macrophage activity in favor of oliogodendroglia development has significance for demyelinating diseases. Moreover, the ability of cannabinoids to promote the development of biologically supportive or symbiotic oligodendroglia may generalize to other microglia-driven neurodegenerative syndromes including NeuroAIDS and diseases of aging.
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    231 1.226 2010