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J Biol Chem. 2012 Jul 20;287(30):25440-53. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.371757. Epub 2012 May 31.

The synthetic cannabinoid R(+)WIN55,212-2 augments interferon-β expression via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α.

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Institute of Immunology, National University of Ireland Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland.


We have demonstrated that R(+)WIN55,212-2, a synthetic cannabinoid that possesses cannabimimetic properties, acts as a novel regulator of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) signaling to interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) activation and IFN-β expression, and this is critical for manifesting its protective effects in a murine multiple sclerosis model. Here we investigated the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα) in mediating the effects of R(+)WIN55,212-2 on this pathway. Data herein demonstrate that the TLR3 agonist poly(I:C) promotes IFN-β expression and R(+)WIN55,212-2 enhances TLR3-induced IFN-β expression in a stereoselective manner via PPARα. R(+)WIN55,212-2 promotes increased transactivation and expression of PPARα. Using the PPARα antagonist GW6471, we demonstrate that R(+)WIN55,212-2 acts via PPARα to activate JNK, activator protein-1, and positive regulatory domain IV to transcriptionally regulate the IFN-β promoter. Furthermore, GW6471 ameliorated the protective effects of R(+)WIN55,212-2 during the initial phase of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Overall, these findings define PPARα as an important mediator in manifesting the effects of R(+)WIN55,212-2 on the signaling cascade regulating IFN-β expression. The study adds to our molecular appreciation of potential therapeutic effects of R(+)WIN55,212-2 in multiple sclerosis.

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