Endocannabinoid content in fetal bovine sera - unexpected effects on mononuclear cells and osteoclastogenesis

Marazzi, Janine; Kleyer, Jonas; Paredes, Juan Manuel Viveros; Gertsch, Jürg (2011). Endocannabinoid content in fetal bovine sera - unexpected effects on mononuclear cells and osteoclastogenesis. Journal of immunological methods, 373(1-2), pp. 219-28. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.jim.2011.08.021

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The major endocannabinoids (ECs) arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and related N-ethanolamines act as full and partial agonists at CB(1), CB(2), GPR55, PPAR and TRPV1 receptors to various degrees. These receptors are also expressed in immune cells like monocytes/macrophages where they regulate different cellular processes. In this study, potentially bioactive lipids in fetal bovine sera (FBS) were quantified by GC/MS. We found that several commercial FBS contain ECs and bioactive amounts of 2-AG (250-700 nM). We show that residual 2-AG from FBS can activate primary macrophages and increase migration and RANKL-stimulated osteoclastogenesis. Furthermore, 2-AG high-content sera specifically upregulated LPS-stimulated IL-6 expression in U937 cells. Polymyxin B beads may be used to selectively and efficiently remove 2-AG from sera, but not arachidonic acid and N-ethanolamines. In conclusion, 2-AG in cell culture media may significantly influence cellular experiments. CD14+ mononuclear cells which strongly express surface CB receptors may be particularly sensitive towards residual 2-AG from FBS. Therefore, the EC content in culture media should be controlled in biological experiments involving monocytes/macrophages.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Marazzi, Janine and Gertsch, Jürg








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:23

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:29

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Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/8153 (FactScience: 213641)

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