A keratinocyte proliferation assay was used to assess the effect of treatment with cannabinoids. Cell integrity and metabolic competence confirmed using lactate-dehydrogenase and adenosine tri-phosphate assays. To determine the involvement of the receptors, specific agonist and antagonist were used in conjunction with some phytocannabinoids. Western blot and RT-PCR analysis confirmed presence of CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The cannabinoids tested all inhibited keratinocyte proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner. The selective CB2 receptor agonists JWH015 and BML190 elicited only partial inhibition, the non-selective CB agonist HU210 produced a concentration-dependent response, the activity of theses agonists were not blocked by either CB1/CB2 antagonists.
The results indicate that while CB receptors may have a circumstantial role in keratinocyte proliferation, they do not contribute significantly to this process. Our results show that cannabinoids inhibit keratinocyte proliferation, and therefore support a potential role for cannabinoids in the treatment of psoriasis.