β-Caryophyllene, a natural bicyclic sesquiterpene attenuates doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity via activation of myocardial cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptors in rats.

Chemico-Biological Interactions

“The cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2) has recently emerged as an important therapeutic target for cancer as well as cardiovascular diseases. The CB2 receptor downregulation has been reported in solid tumors and cardiovascular diseases, therefore the CB2receptor activation has been considered as a viable strategy for chemotherapy as well as cardioprotection.

In chemotherapy, doxorubicin (DOX) is an important drug that continues to be the mainstay of chemotherapy in solid tumors, leukemia, and lymphoma. However, the use of DOX is often limited due to its lethal cardiotoxicity. Considering the role of CB2 receptors in cardiovascular diseases and cancer, the activation of CB2 receptors may protect against DOX-induced chronic cardiotoxicity in rats.

In the present study, we investigated the cardioprotective effect of a selective CB2 receptor agonist; β-Caryophyllene (BCP), a natural bicyclic sesquiterpene, against DOX-induced chronic cardiotoxicity in rats. AM630, a CB2 receptor antagonist was administered as a pharmacological challenge prior to BCP treatment to demonstrate CB2 receptor mediated cardioprotective mechanism of BCP. DOX (2.5 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally once a week for five weeks to induce chronic cardiotoxicity in rats.

BCP was also injected into rats six days a week for a total duration of five weeks. DOX induced a significant decline in cardiac function and oxidative stress evidenced by the depletion of antioxidant enzymes, glutathione, and increased lipid peroxidation. DOX also triggered activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and increased the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β) and expression of the inflammatory mediators (iNOS and COX-2) in the heart.

Furthermore, DOX also upregulated the expression of pro-apoptotic markers such as Bax, p53, cleaved PARP, active caspase-3 and downregulated anti-apoptotic marker Bcl-2 in the myocardium. BCP treatment exerted significant cardioprotective effect by salvaging the heart tissues, improving cardiac function, mitigating oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis. The histological and ultrastructural studies also appear in line with our findings of biochemical and molecular parameters.

The CB2 receptor-mediated cardioprotective mechanism was further confirmed by the abrogation of the beneficial effects of BCP with prior administration of the CB2 receptor antagonist; AM630.

Our study revealed the novel mechanism of BCP in cardioprotection against DOX-induced chronic cardiotoxicity by the activation of CB2 receptors.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30836069

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009279718316284?via%3Dihub

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

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The Endocannabinoid System and Heart Disease: The Role of Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2.

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“Decades of research has provided evidence for the role of the endocannabinoid system in human health and disease. This versatile system, consisting of two receptors (CB1 and CB2), their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), and metabolic enzymes has been implicated in a wide variety of disease states, ranging from neurological disorders to cancer.

CB2 has gained much interest for its beneficial immunomodulatory role that can be obtained without eliciting psychotropic effects through CB1. Recent studies have shed light on a protective role of CB2 in cardiovascular disease, an ailment which currently takes more lives each year in Western countries than any other disease or injury.

By use of CB2 knockout mice and CB2-selective ligands, knowledge of how CB2 signaling affects atherosclerosis and ischemia has been acquired, providing a major stepping stone between basic science and translational clinical research.

Here, we summarize the current understanding of the endocannabinoid system in human pathologies and provide a review of the results from preclinical studies examining its function in cardiovascular disease, with a particular emphasis on possible CB2-targeted therapeutic interventions to alleviate atherosclerosis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29412125

“Researchers suggest that THC and other cannabinoids, which are active at CB2, the cannabinoid receptor expressed on immune cells, may be valuable in treating atherosclerosis.” https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/787468

“Cardiovascular disease: New use for cannabinoids”  https://www.nature.com/articles/nrd1733

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Abnormal cannabidiol confers cardioprotection in diabetic rats independent of glycemic control.

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“Chronic GPR18 activation by its agonist abnormal cannabidiol (trans-4-[3-methyl-6-(1-methylethenyl)-2-cyclohexen-1-yl]-5-pentyl-1,3-benzenediol; abn-cbd) improves myocardial redox status and function in healthy rats.

Here, we investigated the ability of abn-cbd to alleviate diabetes-evoked cardiovascular pathology and the contribution of GPR18 to this effect.

Collectively, the current findings present evidence for abn-cbd alleviation of diabetes-evoked cardiovascular anomalies likely via GPR18 dependent restoration of cardiac adiponectin-Akt-eNOS signaling and the diminution of myocardial oxidative stress.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29274332

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299917308336

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Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Prevents Cardiovascular Dysfunction in STZ-Diabetic Wistar-Kyoto Rats.

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“The aim of this study was to determine if chronic, low-dose administration of a nonspecific cannabinoid receptor agonist could provide cardioprotective effects in a model of type I diabetes mellitus.

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol administration to diabetic animals significantly reduced blood glucose concentrations and attenuated pathological changes in serum markers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation. Positive changes to biochemical indices in diabetic animals conferred improvements in myocardial and vascular function.

This study demonstrates that chronic, low-dose administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol can elicit antihyperglycaemic and antioxidant effects in diabetic animals, leading to improvements in end organ function of the cardiovascular system. Implications from this study suggest that cannabinoid receptors may be a potential new target for the treatment of diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29181404

“The aim of this study was to determine if a nonspecific cannabinoid receptor agonist could provide cardioprotective effects in a model of type I diabetes mellitus. Outcomes from this study indicate that THC administration to STZ improved functional parameters of cardiovascular health by reducing oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, and blood glucose levels. These results indicate that activation of cannabinoid receptors may be a viable experimental target for the prevention of oxidative stress-induced complications in type I diabetes mellitus.”  https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/7974149/

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Cannabinoid signaling in health and disease.

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“Cannabis sativa has long been used for medicinal purposes.

To improve safety and efficacy, compounds from C. sativa were purified or synthesized and named under an umbrella group as cannabinoids.

Currently, several cannabinoids may be prescribed in Canada for a variety of indications such as nausea and pain.

More recently, an increasing number of reports suggest other salutary effects associated with endogenous cannabinoid signaling including cardioprotection.

The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids is therefore extended; however, evidence is limited and mechanisms remain unclear.

In addition, the use of cannabinoids clinically has been hindered due to pronounced psychoactive side effects.

This review provides an overview on the endocannabinoid system, including known physiological roles, and conditions in which cannabinoid receptor signaling has been implicated.”

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Cardioprotective effect of cannabidiol in rats exposed to doxorubicin toxicity.

“The potential protective effect of cannabidiol, the major non-psychotropic Cannabis constituent, was investigated against doxorubicin cardiotoxicity in rats.

Histopathological examination showed that cannabidiol ameliorated doxorubicin-induced cardiac injury.

Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that cannabidiol significantly reduced the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase, nuclear factor-κB, Fas ligand and caspase-3, and increased the expression of survivin in cardiac tissue of doxorubicin-treated rats.

These results indicate that cannabidiol represents a potential protective agent against doxorubicin cardiac injury.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23721741

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The endogenous cardiac cannabinoid system: a new protective mechanism against myocardial ischemia.

“The pharmacological (and recreational) effects of cannabis have been known for centuries.

However, it is only recently that one has identified two subtypes of G-protein-coupled receptors, namely CB1 and CB2-receptors, which mediate the numerous effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids.

Logically, the existence of cannabinoid-receptors implies that endogenous ligands for these receptors (endocannabinoids) exist and exert a physiological role.

Hence, arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide) and sn-2 arachidonoylglycerol, the first two endocannabinoids identified, are formed from plasma membrane phospholipids and act as CB1 and/or CB2 agonists.

The presence of both CB1 and CB2-receptors in the rat heart is noteworthy.

This endogenous cardiac cannabinoid system is involved in several phenomena associated with cardioprotective effects.

Endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids, the latter through either CB1 or CB2-receptors, exert direct cardioprotective effects in rat isolated hearts.

The ability of cannabinoids to reduce infarct size has been confirmed in vivo in anesthetized mice and rats.

This latter effect appears to be mediated through CB2-receptors.

Thus, the endogenous cardiac cannabinoid system, through activation of CB2-receptors, appears to be an important mechanism of protection against myocardial ischemia.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16618028

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An ultra-low dose of tetrahydrocannabinol provides cardioprotection.

“Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive component of marijuana, is a cannabinoid agonist that exerts its effects by activating at least two specific receptors (CB1 and CB2) that belong to the seven transmembrane G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) family.

Both CB1 and CB2 mRNA and proteins are present in the heart.

THC treatment was beneficial against hypoxia in neonatal cardiomyocytes in vitro.

We also observed a neuroprotective effect of an ultra low dose of THC when applied to mice before brain insults.

The present study was aimed to test and characterize the cardioprotective effects of a very low dose of THC…

All protocols of THC administration were found to be beneficial.

CONCLUSION:

A single ultra low dose of THC before ischemia is a safe and effective treatment that reduces myocardial ischemic damage.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23537701

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Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol protects cardiac cells from hypoxia via CB2 receptor activation and nitric oxide production.

“Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major active component of marijuana, has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system during stress conditions…

The present study was designed to investigate the central (CB1) and the peripheral (CB2)cannabinoid receptor expression in neonatal cardiomyoctes and possible function in the cardioprotection of THC from hypoxia.

The antagonist for the CB2, but not CB1 receptor antagonist abolished the protective effect of THC.

In agreement with these results using RT-PCR, it was shown that neonatal cardiac cells express CB2, but not CB1 receptors.

Involvement of NO in the signal transduction pathway activated by THC through CB2 was examined. It was found that THC induces nitric oxide (NO) production by induction of NO synthase (iNOS) via CB2 receptors.

L-NAME (NOS inhibitor, 100 microM) prevented the cardioprotection provided by THC.

Taken together, our findings suggest that THC protects cardiac cells against hypoxia via CB2 receptor activation by induction of NO production.

An NO mechanism occurs also in the classical pre-conditioning process; therefore, THC probably pre-trains the cardiomyocytes to hypoxic conditions.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16444588

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