Inflammatory migration of immune cells is involved in many human diseases. Identification of molecular pathways and modulators controlling inflammatory migration could lead to therapeutic strategies for treating human inflammation-associated diseases. The role of cannabinoid receptor type 2 (Cnr2) in regulating immune function had been widely investigated, but the mechanism is not fully understood. Through a chemical genetic screen using a zebrafish model for leukocyte migration, we found that both an agonist of the Cnr2 and inhibitor of the 5-lipoxygenase (Alox5, encoded by alox5) inhibit leukocyte migration in response to acute injury. These agents have a similar effect on migration of human myeloid cells. Consistent with these results, we found that inactivation of Cnr2 by zinc finger nuclease-mediated mutagenesis enhances leukocyte migration, while inactivation of Alox5 blocks leukocyte migration. Further investigation indicates that there is a signaling link between Cnr2 and Alox5 and that alox5 is a target of c-Jun. Cnr2 activation down-regulates alox5expression by suppressing the JNK/c-Jun activation. These studies demonstrate that Cnr2, JNK, and Alox5 constitute a pathway regulating leukocyte migration. The cooperative effect between the Cnr2 agonist and Alox5 inhibitor also provides a potential therapeutic strategy for treating human inflammation-associated diseases.
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