Cannabidiol-mediated RISK PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK pathways decreasing reperfusion myocardial damage

“Myocardial ischemia continues to be the first cause of morbimortality in the world; the definitive treatment is reperfusion; however, this action causes additional damage to ischemic myocardial tissue; this forces to seek therapies of cardioprotection to reduce this additional damage. There are many cardioprotective agents; within these, cannabinoids have shown to have beneficial effects, mainly cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a non psychoactive cannabinoid. To evaluate the effect in experimental models of CBD in myocardial ischemia reperfusion in rats, twelve-week-old male rats have been used. The animals were divides in 3 groups: control(C), ischemia reperfusion (IR) and CBD pretreatment (1/day/5mg/kg /10days). Langendorff organ isolate studies were performed, and the area of infarction was assessed with triphenyl tetrazolium, in addition to molecular analysis of AT1 and AT2 receptors and Akt and Erk proteins and their phosphorylated forms related to RISK pathways. It was observed that there is an improvement with the use of CBD increasing inotropism and cardiac lusitropism, improving considerably the cardiovascular functionality. These could be related to the reduction of the area of infarction and activation of the AT2 receptor and the RISK pathway with absence of activation of the AT2 receptor (these could relate the reduction of the infarct area and the restoration of cardiovascular function with the activation of the AT2 receptor and the RISK pathway with the absence of activation of the AT2 receptor). The use of cannabinoids was shown to have beneficial effects when used as a treatment for myocardial reperfusion damage.”

Δ 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ 9-THC) Improves Ischemia/Reperfusion Heart Dysfunction and Might Serve as a Cardioprotective Agent in the Future Treatment

“Background: Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) is a pivotal mechanism of organ injury during clinical stetting for example for cardiopulmonary bypasses. The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during I/R induces oxidative stress that promotes endothelial dysfunction, DNA dissociation and local inflammation. In turn, those processes induce cytokine release, resulting in damage to cellular structures and cell death. One of the major psychoactive compounds of Cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which is known as an anti-inflammatory mediator. Our research aimed to test if Δ9-THC may be protective in the treatment of cardiovascular system dysfunction arising from I/R heart injury.

Methods: Two experimental models were used: isolated rat hearts perfused with the Langendorff method and human cardiac myocytes (HCM) culture. Rat hearts and HCM underwent ex vivo/chemical in vitro I/R protocol with/without Δ9-THC treatment. The following parameters were measured: cell metabolic activity, morphology changes, cell damage as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, ceramide kinase (CERK) activity, ROS level, total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and heart hemodynamic parameters.

Results: Δ9-THC protected the heart, as evidenced by the improved recovery of cardiac function (p < 0.05, N = 3-6). Cells subjected to I/R showed lower cytoplasmic LDH activity, and 10 μM Δ9-THC treatment reduced cell injury and increased LDH content (p = 0.019, N = 6-9). Morphology changes of HCM-spherical shape, vacuolisation of cytoplasm and swollen mitochondria-were inhibited due to Δ9-THC treatment. I/R condition affected cell viability, but 10 μM Δ9-THC decreased the number of dead cells (p = 0.005, N = 6-9). The total level of CERK was lower in the I/R group, reflecting oxidative/nitrosative stress changes. The administration of Δ9-THC effectively increased the production of CERK to the level of aerobic control (p = 0.028, N = 6-9). ROS level was significantly decreased in I/R cells (p = 0.007, N = 6-8), confirming oxidative stress, while administration of 10 μM Δ9-THC enhanced TAC in cardiomyocytes subjected to I/R (p = 0.010, N = 6-8).

Conclusions: Δ9-THC promotes the viability of cardiomyocytes, improves their metabolic activity, decreases cell damage and restores heart mechanical function, serving as a cardioprotective. We proposed the use of Δ9-THC as a cardioprotective drug to be, administered before onset of I/R protocol.”

Marijuana and Myocardial Infarction in the UK Biobank Cohort

“Background: Atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, acute coronary syndromes, and cardiac arrest have been attributed to marijuana. But the National Academy of Science’s 2017 Report, The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids, found limited evidence that acute marijuana smoking is positively associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction, and uncovered no evidence to support or refute associations between any chronic effects of marijuana use and increased risk of myocardial infarct (MI).

Aims: We sought to determine the association of marijuana smoking with MI in the UK Biobank cohort. Because red wine is a mood-altering substance, we compared the effect of marijuana with red wine on MI incidence.

Methods: Our analysis included all subjects with MI. The diagnosis was ascertained using the 10th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD10 I21). Marijuana was recorded in UKB Category 143, medical conditions, marijuana use. Cigarette smoking information was from UKB Category 100058, smoking. To compare marijuana smoking with the effect of wine drinking we used data from UKB Category 10051, alcohol.

Results: With marijuana use, MI incidence decreased (p < 0.001, two tail Fisher exact test). Red wine was associated with lower MI incidence, although the incidence begins to rise at 11 or more glasses per week (p < 0.001, two tail Fisher exact test). Multivariate analysis was done with logistic regression, MI dependent variable, cigarette pack-years, diabetes type 2, sex, BMI, hypertension, marijuana use, age, red wine consumption, independent variables. Odds ratio (O.R.) 0.844 associated with marijuana use indicates that MI was less likely in marijuana users and was comparable to the effect of red wine (O.R. 0.847).

Conclusion: Marijuana, which has not been shown to have the favorable physiologic effects of red wine on the heart, does reduce MI risk to an extent comparable to red wine. Perhaps both affect the heart by reducing stress.”

Analysis of Toxicity Effects of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Isolated Rat Heart Mitochondria

Publication Cover“Mitochondria have the main roles in myocardial tissue homeostasis, through providing ATP for the vital enzymes in intermediate metabolism, contractile apparatus and maintaining ion homeostasis. Mitochondria-related cardiotoxicity results from the exposure with illicit drugs have previously reported. These illicit drugs interference with processes of normal mitochondrial homeostasis and lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial-related oxidative stress.

Here, we investigated this hypothesis that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC) as a main cannabinoid found in cannabis could directly cause mitochondrial dysfunction.

Our observation showed that THC did not cause a deleterious alteration in mitochondrial functions, ROS production, MMP collapse, mitochondrial swelling, oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation in used concentrations (5-100 µM), even in several tests, toxicity showed a decreasing trend.

Altogether, the results of the current study showed that THC is not directly toxic in isolated cardiac mitochondria, and even may be helpful in reducing mitochondrial toxicity.”

An overview on plants cannabinoids endorsed with cardiovascular effects

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy“Nowadays cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the major causes for the reduction of the quality of life.

The endocannabinoid system is an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders due to its involvement in vasomotor control, cardiac contractility, blood pressure and vascular inflammation. Alteration in cannabinoid signalling can be often related to cardiotoxicity, circulatory shock, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.

Plants have been the major sources of medicines until modern eras in which researchers are experiencing a rediscovery of natural compounds as novel therapeutics.

One of the most versatile plant is Cannabis sativa L., containing phytocannabinoids that may play a role in the treatment of CVDs.

The aim of this review is to collect and investigate several less studied plants rich in cannabinoid-like active compounds able to interact with cannabinoid system; these plants may play a pivotal role in the treatment of disorders related to the cardiovascular system.”

“Cannabis sativa L. is the most investigated source of phytocannabinoids. Other plants are a rich source of cannabinoid-like compounds. Cannabinoid-like compounds may interact with cannabinoid system. Most of them may exhibit a protective role on cardiovascular system.”


Therapeutic Applications of Cannabinoids in Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure

 logo“A large number of cannabinoids have been discovered that could play a role in mitigating cardiac affections. However, none of them has been as widely studied as cannabidiol (CBD), most likely because, individually, the others offer only partial effects or can activate potential harmful pathways.

In this regard, CBD has proven to be of great value as a cardioprotective agent since it is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule. Thus, we conducted a review to condensate the currently available knowledge on CBD as a therapy for different experimental models of cardiomyopathies and heart failure to detect the molecular pathways involved in cardiac protection.

CBD therapy can greatly limit the production of oxygen/nitrogen reactive species, thereby limiting cellular damage, protecting mitochondria, avoiding caspase activation, and regulating ionic homeostasis. Hence, it can affect myocardial contraction by restricting the activation of inflammatory pathways and cytokine secretion, lowering tissular infiltration by immune cells, and reducing the area of infarct and fibrosis formation. These effects are mediated by the activation or inhibition of different receptors and target molecules of the endocannabinoid system.

In the final part of this review, we explore the current state of CBD in clinical trials as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases and provide evidence of its potential benefits in humans.”

Pharmacological activation of CB2 receptor protects against ethanol-induced myocardial injury related to RIP1/RIP3/MLKL-mediated necroptosis

 Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry | Home“Chronic ethanol abuse can lead to harmful consequences for the heart, resulting in systolic dysfunction, variability in the heart rate, arrhythmia, and cardiac remodelling. However, the precise molecular mechanism responsible for ethanol-induced cardiomyopathy is poorly understood. In this regard, the present study aimed to describe the RIP1/RIP3/MLKL-mediated necroptotic cell death that may be involved in ethanol-induced cardiomyopathy and characterize CBR-mediated effects on the signalling pathway and myocardial injury.

We performed an ethanol vapour administration experiment to analyse the effects of ethanol on cardiac structure and function in male C57BL/6J mice. Ethanol induced a significant decline in the cardiac structure and function, as evidenced by a decline in ejection fraction and fractional shortening, and an increase in serum Creatine Kinase levels, myocardial collagen content, and inflammatory reaction. Furthermore, ethanol also upregulated the expression levels of necroptosis-related markers such as p-RIP1, p-RIP3, and p-MLKL in the myocardium. Nec-1 treatment exerted significant cardioprotective effects by salvaging the heart tissue, improving the cardiac function, and mitigating inflammation and necroptosis.

In addition, ethanol abuse caused an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system and regulated two cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) in the myocardium. Treatment with selective CB2R agonists, JWH-133 or AM1241, markedly improved the cardiac dysfunction and reduced the ethanol-induced necroptosis in the myocardium.

Altogether, our data provide evidence that ethanol abuse-induced cardiotoxicity can possibly be attributed to the RIP1/RIP3/MLKL-mediated necroptosis. Moreover, pharmacological activation of CB2R may represent a new cardioprotective strategy against ethanol-induced cardiotoxicity.”

Naturally Occurring Cannabinoids and their Role in Modulation of Cardiovascular Health

 Publication Cover“In recent years, the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in various cardiovascular conditions has been a subject of great interest. The ECS is composed of cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands, also known as endocannabinoids, and enzymes responsible for the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids.

Several lines of evidence suggest that the ECS plays a complex role in cardiac and vascular systems; however, under normal physiological conditions the functions of the ECS are limited. Overactivation of components of the ECS has been associated with various cardiovascular conditions.

Intriguingly, activation of the ECS may also reflect a cardioprotective compensatory mechanism. With this knowledge, a range of naturally occurring and synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as inhibitors of endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes have emerged as promising approaches for the treatment or management of cardiovascular health.

This review will first focus on the known role of the ECS in regulating the cardiovascular system. Secondly, we discuss emerging data highlighting the therapeutic potential of naturally occurring non-psychoactive ECS modulators within the cardiovascular system, including phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and the endocannabinoid-like molecule palmitoylethanolamide.”

“Several approaches discussed here, including administration of eCB-related molecules such as PEA, or supplementing with various phytocannabinoids can be promising candidates for the management of cardiovascular risk factors and CVD.”

Targeting GPCRs Against Cardiotoxicity Induced by Anticancer Treatments.

Image result for frontiers in cardiovascular medicine“Novel anticancer medicines, including targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors, have greatly improved the management of cancers. However, both conventional and new anticancer treatments induce cardiac adverse effects, which remain a critical issue in clinic.

Cardiotoxicity induced by anti-cancer treatments compromise vasospastic and thromboembolic ischemia, dysrhythmia, hypertension, myocarditis, and cardiac dysfunction that can result in heart failure. Importantly, none of the strategies to prevent cardiotoxicity from anticancer therapies is completely safe and satisfactory.

Certain clinically used cardioprotective drugs can even contribute to cancer induction. Since G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are target of forty percent of clinically used drugs, here we discuss the newly identified cardioprotective agents that bind GPCRs of adrenalin, adenosine, melatonin, ghrelin, galanin, apelin, prokineticin and cannabidiol.

We hope to provoke further drug development studies considering these GPCRs as potential targets to be translated to treatment of human heart failure induced by anticancer drugs.”

“Cannabidiol Protects against Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiomyopathy by Modulating Mitochondrial Function and Biogenesis.”

Activation of Cannabinoid Receptors Attenuates Endothelin-1-induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Rat Ventricular Myocytes.

Image result for Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology.“Evidence suggests that activation of the endocannabinoid system offers cardioprotection.

Aberrant energy production by impaired mitochondria purportedly contributes to various aspects of cardiovascular disease. We investigated whether cannabinoid (CB) receptor activation would attenuate mitochondrial dysfunction induced by endothelin-1 (ET1).

Acute exposure to ET1 (4 h) in the presence of palmitate as primary energy substrate induced mitochondrial membrane depolarization, and decreased mitochondrial bioenergetics and expression of genes related to fatty acid oxidation (i.e. peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator (PGC)-1α, a driver of mitochondrial biogenesis, and carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT)-1β, facilitator of fatty acid uptake).

A CB1/CB2 dual agonist with limited brain penetration, CB-13, corrected these parameters. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an important regulator of energy homeostasis, mediated the ability of CB-13 to rescue mitochondrial function. In fact, the ability of CB-13 to rescue fatty acid oxidation-related bioenergetics, as well as expression of PGC-1α and CPT-1β, was abolished by pharmacological inhibition of AMPK using compound C and shRNA knockdown of AMPKα1/α2, respectively.

Interventions that target CB/AMPK signaling might represent a novel therapeutic approach to address the multi-factorial problem of cardiovascular disease.”