• afferent;
  • cannabinoid;
  • immune;
  • mast cell;
  • neuron;
  • sensory

Abstract  Cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors have both antinociceptive and antihypersensitivity effects, although the precise mechanisms of action are still unclear. In this study, the modulatory role of CB2 receptors on the mesenteric afferent response to the endogenous immunogenic agent bradykinin (BK) was investigated. Mesenteric afferent recordings were obtained from anaesthetized wild-type and CB2−/− mice using conventional extracellular recording techniques. Control responses to BK were obtained in all experiments prior to administration of either CB2 receptor agonist AM1241, or AM1241 plus the CB2 receptor antagonist AM630. Bradykinin consistently evoked activation of mesenteric afferents (n = 32). AM1241 inhibited the BK response in a dose dependent manner. In the presence of AM630 (10 mg kg−1), however, AM1241 (10 mg kg−1) had no significant effect on the BK response. Moreover, AM1241 had also no significant effect on the BK response in CB2−/− mice. Activation of the CB2 receptor inhibits the BK response in mesenteric afferents, demonstrating that the CB2 receptor is an important regulator of neuroimmune function. This may be a mechanism of action for the antinociceptive and antihypersensitive effects of CB2 receptor agonists.