Cristina Maria Costantino, Achla Gupta, Alice W. Yewdall, Benjamin M. Dale, Lakshmi A. Devi , Benjamin K. Chen
Published in PLoS One
Agents that activate cannabinoid receptor pathways have been tested as treatments for cachexia, nausea or neuropathic pain in HIV-1/AIDS patients. The cannabinoid receptors (CB(1)R and CB(2)R) and the HIV-1 co-receptors, CCR5 and CXCR4, all signal via Gαi-coupled pathways. We hypothesized that drugs targeting cannabinoid receptors modulate chemokine co-receptor function and regulate HIV-1 infectivity. We found that agonism of CB(2)R, but not CB(1)R, reduced infection in primary CD4+ T cells following cell-free and cell-to-cell transmission of CXCR4-tropic virus. As this change in viral permissiveness was most pronounced in unstimulated T cells, we investigated the effect of CB(2)R agonism on to CXCR4-induced signaling following binding of chemokine or virus to the co-receptor. We found that CB(2)R agonism decreased CXCR4-activation mediated G-protein activity and MAPK phosphorylation. Furthermore, CB(2)R agonism altered the cytoskeletal architecture of resting CD4+ T cells by decreasing F-actin levels. Our findings suggest that CB(2)R activation in CD4+ T cells can inhibit actin reorganization and impair productive infection following cell-free or cell-associated viral acquisition of CXCR4-tropic HIV-1 in resting cells. Therefore, the clinical use of CB(2)R agonists in the treatment of AIDS symptoms may also exert beneficial adjunctive antiviral effects against CXCR4-tropic viruses in late stages of HIV-1 infection.
Costantino CM, Gupta A, Yewdall AW, Dale BM, Devi LA, Chen BK. Cannabinoid Receptor 2-Mediated Attenuation of CXCR4-Tropic HIV Infection in Primary CD4+ T Cells. Wu Y, ed. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33961. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033961