Anti-inflammatory property of the cannabinoid agonist WIN-55212-2 in a rodent model of chronic brain inflammation

Y. Marchalant, S. Rosi, G. L. Wenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Cannabinoid receptors (CBr) stimulation induces numerous central and peripheral effects. A growing interest in the beneficial properties of manipulating the endocannabinoid system has led to the possible involvement of CBr in the control of brain inflammation. In the present study we examined the effect of the CBr agonist, (R)-(+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-(4-morpholinylmethyl)-pyrrolo[1,2,3-de]-1,4benzoxazin-6-yl]-1-naphthalenyl-methanone mesylate (WIN-55212-2), on microglial activation and spatial memory performance, using a well-characterized animal model of chronic brain inflammation produced by the infusion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 250 ng/h for 3 weeks) into the fourth ventricle of young rats. WIN-55212-2 (0.5 or 1.0 mg/kg/day, i.p.) was administered for 3 weeks. During the third week of treatment, spatial memory ability was examined using the Morris water-maze task. We found that 0.5 and 1 mg/kg WIN-55212-2 reduced the number of LPS-activated microglia, while 1 mg/kg WIN-55212-2 potentiated the LPS-induced impairment of performance in the water maze task. Cannabinoid receptors 1 were not expressed by microglia and astrocytes, suggesting an indirect effect of WIN-55212-2 on microglia activation and memory impairment. Our results emphasize the potential use of CBr agonists in the regulation of inflammatory processes within the brain; this knowledge may lead to the use of CBr agonists in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases associated with chronic neuroinflammation, such as Alzheimer disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1522
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 23 2007


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • LPS
  • activated microglia
  • cannabinoid receptors
  • inflammation
  • spatial memory


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