Dr. Robert B. Zurier, UMass Medical School
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a cytokine, which contributes to inflammation and tissue injury in several diseases. Thus, inhibition of IL-6 production may be a useful strategy for treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). A synthetic nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, ajulemic acid (AjA), prevents joint damage in experimental arthritis. Results presented here indicate that addition of AjA to human monocyte derived macrophages (MDM) in vitro reduced steady state levels of IL-6 mRNA and subsequent secretion of IL-6 from LPS stimulated cells. Although AjA binds to and activates PPAR-gamma, its anti IL-6 effects were PPAR-gamma independent. Evidence from these studies supports the view that AjA may prove to be an effective, safe anti-inflammatory agent.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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Biology and Biotechnology