Cellular signalling

MAPK activation patterns of AT1R and CB1R in SHR versus Wistar astrocytes: Evidence of CB1R hypofunction and crosstalk between AT1R and CB1R.

PMID 28887229


Angiotensin (Ang) II and cannabinoids regulate physiologically relevant astroglial functions via receptor-mediated activation of Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). In this study, we investigated the consequences of astroglial Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1R) and Cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) activation, alone and in combination, on MAPK activation in the presence and absence of hypertensive states. In addition, we also investigated a novel unidirectional crosstalk mechanism between AT1R and CB1R, that involves PKC-mediated phosphorylation of CB1R. Astrocytes were isolated from the brainstem and cerebellum of Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and normotensive Wistar rats. The cells were treated with either 100nM Ang II or 10nM Arachidonyl-2'-chloroethylamide (ACEA), both alone and in combination, for varying time periods, and the extent of phosphorylation of MAPKs, ERK and p38, and the phosphorylated forms of CB1R (p-CB1R), were measured using western blotting. Ang II treatment resulted in a greater activation of MAPKs in SHR brainstem astrocytes, but not SHR cerebellar astrocytes when compared to Wistar rats. ACEA-mediated MAPK activation was significantly lower in brainstem astrocytes of SHRs when compared to Wistar rats. ACEA negatively modulates AT1R-mediated MAPK activation in both cerebellar and brainstem astrocytes of both models. The effect however was diminished in brainstem astrocytes. Ang II caused a significant increase in phosphorylation of CB1R in cerebellar astrocytes, while its effect was diminished in brainstem astrocytes of both models. Both Ang II and ACEA-induced MAPK activation were significantly altered in SHR astrocytes when compared to Wistar astrocytes. A possible reduction in CB1R functionality, coupled with a hyperfunctional AT1R in the brainstem, could well be significant factors in the development of hypertensive states. AT1R-mediated phosphorylation of CB1R could be critical for impaired cerebellar development characterized by a hyperactive RAS.