The cannabinoid receptor-2 (CB2R) was initially thought to be the “peripheral cannabinoid receptor.” Recent studies, however, have documented CB2R expression in the brain in both glial and neuronal cells, and increasing evidence suggests an important role for CB2R in the central nervous system inflammatory response. Stimulation of CB2R using a selective agonist ameliorated brain edema, brain damage, and neuron death and improved neurobehavioral outcomes in acute phase after ICH. Additionally, the agonist suppressed neuroinflammation and upregulated the expression of microglial M2-associated marker in both gene and protein level. Furthermore, the expression of phosphorylated cAMP-dependent protein kinase (pPKA) and its downstream effector, cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB), were facilitated.
These findings demonstrated that CB2R stimulation significantly protected the brain damage and suppressed neuroinflammation by promoting the acquisition of microglial M2 phenotype in acute stage after ICH. Taken together, this study provided mechanism insight into neuroprotective effects by CB2R stimulation after ICH.