Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Robyn Puffenbarger

Degree Award Date

Spring 2009


Cannabinoids, Mouse, Macrophage Gene Expression, immune system, deadening effect


Biology | Cell Biology | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Molecular Genetics


The effect of cannabionids on mouse macrophage gene expression was studied. Macrophages are a key component in the body's immune system and cannabinoids alter the function of macrophages by creating a deadening effect in macrophage activity. JWH-133 is a cannabinoid that stimulates the CB2 receptors in macrophages therefore decreasing macrophage activity. LPS is a lipopolysaccharide that increases macrophage activity. To study how cannabinoids change immune responses, microarray analysis was used. The microarrays used in this study measured 35,302 gene targets with 3,482 independent controls. Using MagicTool expression analysis software and a cut-off of two-fold gene expression either up or down, results from Grid 113 were obtained. LPS impacted Myeloid/Lymphoid (mixed leukemia translocated to 10) gene expression. Both the eukaryotic translation elongation factor 2 gene and the Cathepsin D gene had their expression decreased in the presence of JWH-133. Our results of this experiment suggest that cannabinoids do impact macrophage gene expression and suggest candidate genes for further analysis.