GPR55 was recently identified as a putative receptor for certain cannabinoids, and lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI). Recently, the role of cannabinoids as GPR55 agonists has been disputed by a number of reports, in part, because studies investigating GPR55 often utilized overexpression systems, such as the GPR55-overexpressing HEK293 cells, which make it difficult to deduce the physiological role of endogenous GPR55. In the present study, we found that PC12 cells, a neural model cell line, express endogenous GPR55, and by using these cells, we were able to examine the role of endogenous GPR55. Although GPR55 mRNA and protein were expressed in PC12 cells, neither CB1 nor CB2mRNA was expressed in these cells. GPR55 was predominantly localized on the plasma membrane in undifferentiated PC12 cells. However, GPR55 was also localized in the growth cones or the ruffled border in differentiated PC12 cells, suggesting a potential role for GPR55 in the regulation of neurite elongation. LPI increased intracellular Ca2+concentration and RhoA activity, and induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation, whereas endogenous and synthetic cannabinoids did not, thereby suggesting that cannabinoids are not GPR55 agonists. LPI also caused neurite retraction in a time-dependent manner accompanied by the loss of neurofilament light chain and redistribution of actin in PC12 cells differentiated by NGF. This LPI-induced neurite retraction was found to be Gq-independent and G13-dependent. Furthermore, inactivation of RhoA function via C3 toxin and GPR55 siRNA knockdown prevented LPI-induced neurite retraction. These results suggest that LPI, and not cannabinoids, causes neurite retraction in differentiated PC12 cells via a GPR55, G13 and RhoA signaling pathway.
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