Background and Purpose
G-protein coupled receptor (GPR)55 is a novel lipid sensing receptor activated by both cannabinoid endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) and other non-cannabinoid lipid transmitters. This study assessed the effects of various GPR55 agonists on glucose homeostasis.
Insulin secretion and changes in intracellular Ca2+ and cAMP in response to glucose and a range of GPR55 agonists [endogenous ligands (OEA, PEA), chemically synthetic cannabidiol (CBD) analogues (Abn-CBD, 0–1602), an analogue of rimonabant (AM-251) and antagonist (CBD)] were investigated in clonal BRIN-BD11 cells and mouse pancreatic islets. Cytotoxicity was assessed by LDH release, cellular localization by double-staining immunohistochemistry and in vivo effects assessed in mice.
The most potent and selective GPR55 agonist was the synthetic CBD analogue, Abn-CBD (pEC50 10.33), maximum stimulation of 67% at 10−4 mol·L−1 (P < 0.001) in BRIN-BD11 cells. AM-251 (pEC50 7.0), OEA (pEC50 7.0), 0–1602 (pEC50 7.3) and PEA (pEC50 6.0) stimulated insulin secretion. Results were corroborated by islet studies, with no cytotoxic effects. Concentration-dependent insulin secretion by GPR55 agonists was glucose-sensitive and accompanied by elevations of [Ca2+]i (P < 0.01–P < 0.001) and cAMP (P < 0.05–P < 0.01). GPR55 agonists exhibited insulinotropic and glucose lowering activity in vivo. GPR55 was expressed on BRIN-BD11 cells and confined to islet beta cells with no distribution on alpha cells.
Conclusion and Implications
These results demonstrate GPR55 is distributed in pancreatic beta cells and is a strong activator of insulin secretion, with glucose-lowering effects in vivo. Development of agents agonizing the GPR55 receptor may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
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