We have recently reported that cannabinoid agonists can upregulate and enhance the activity of serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptors in the prefrontal cortex (PFCx). Increased expression and activity of cortical 5-HT2A receptors has been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and schizophrenia. Here we report that repeated CP55940 exposure selectively up-regulates GRK5 proteins in rat PFCx and in a neuronal cell culture model. We sought to examine the mechanism underlying the regulation of GRK5 and to identify the role of GRK5 in the cannabinoid agonist-induced up-regulation and enhanced activity of 5-HT2A receptors. Interestingly, we found that cannabinoid agonist-induced up-regulation of GRK5 involves CB2 receptors, β-arrestin 2, and ERK1/2 signaling because treatment with CB2 shRNA lentiviral particles, β-arrestin 2 shRNA lentiviral particles, or ERK1/2 inhibitor prevented the cannabinoid agonist-induced up-regulation of GRK5. Most importantly, we found that GRK5 shRNA lentiviral particle treatment prevented the cannabinoid agonist-induced up-regulation and enhanced 5-HT2A receptor-mediated calcium release. Repeated cannabinoid exposure was also associated with enhanced phosphorylation of CB2 receptors and increased interaction between β-arrestin 2 and ERK1/2. These latter phenomena were also significantly inhibited by GRK5 shRNA lentiviral treatment. Our results suggest that sustained activation of CB2 receptors, which up-regulates 5-HT2A receptor signaling, enhances GRK5 expression; the phosphorylation of CB 2 receptors; and the β-arrestin 2/ERK interactions. These data could provide a rationale for some of the adverse effects associated with repeated cannabinoid agonist exposure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology