Inhibitory effect oftrans-caryophyllene (TC) on leukocyte-endothelial attachment
trans-Caryophyllene (TC) is a major component found in the essential oils of many spices and foods/medicinal plants. It is a natural sesquiterpene and has been the subject of numerous studies. However, the effects of TC on vascular inflammation remain unknown. In this study, we reported that TC treatment in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) prevented attachment of monocytic leukemia cell line THP-1 cells to endothelial cells. In addition, in vivo results indicate that TC inhibited macrophage infiltration to the aortic surface and reduced total serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Importantly, administration of TC could inhibit the induction of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) both in vitro and in vivo. Notably, our data indicate that the inhibitory effects of TC on the expression of VCAM-1 are mediated by the JAK2/STAT1/IRF-1 pathway. TC is a specific agonist of the type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R). Importantly, we further verified that the inhibitory effects of TC on the expression of IRF-1 and VCAM-1 are dependent on activation of CB2R. Inhibition of CB2R by either specific inhibitors or RNA interference abolished the inhibitory effects of TC on the expression of IRF-1 and VCAM-1. Our results suggest that TC might have a capacity to suppress the development of atherosclerosis.