Disruption of IFN-γ - Mediated antiviral activity in neurons: The role of cannabinoids

R. Antonio Herrera, Joseph H. Oved, Carol Shoshkes Reiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) has potent antiviral activity in neurons which is affected by the production of nitric oxide (NO). This study examines the interactions between cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1), IFNγ-induced pathways, and inhibition of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) replication in neuronal cells. CB1 is abundantly expressed in neurons of the CNS and the NB41A3 neuroblastoma cell line. CB1 activation of NB41A3 cells by the synthetic cannabinoid, WIN55,212-2, is associated with an inhibition of Ca2+ mobilization, leading to diminished nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-1 activity and the production of NO, in vitro. This ultimately results in antagonism of IFN-γ-mediated antiviral activity and enhanced viral replication. Therefore, activation of cells expressing CB1 by endogenous (or exogenous) ligands may contribute to decreased inflammation and to increased viral replication in neurons and disease in the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages12
JournalViral Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Virology


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