Cannabinoid-2 receptor activation protects against infarct and ischemia-reperfusion heart injury

Peng-Fei Wang, Li-Sheng Jiang, Jun Bu, Xiao-Jin Huang, Wei Song, Yong-Ping Du, Ben He
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 2012, 59 (4): 301-7
Endocannabinoid system is reported to be activated during myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury and protects against heart injury. We, therefore, observed changes in endocannabinoids levels during acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and myocardial IR injury and evaluated the role of cannabinoid-2 (CB2) receptor in infarct and IR heart injury. In contrast to 16 control patients with normal coronary artery angiogram, the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol level in the infarct-side coronary artery of 23 AMI patients increased significantly, with increased reactive oxygen species and tumor necrosis factor-α levels in both infarct-side coronary artery and radial artery. Then, 35 C57BL/6J mice were made into SHAM, AMI, or IR models. AMI and IR groups were treated with CB2-selective agonist HU308 ((+)-(1aH,3H,5aH)-4-[2,6-dimethoxy-4-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)phenyl]-6,6-dimethylbicyclo[3.1.1]hept-2-ene-2-carbinol), with or without CB2-selective antagonist AM630 [6-iodo-2-methyl-1-[2-(4-morpholinyl)ethyl]-1H-indol-3-yl](4-methoxyphenyl)methanone through intraperitoneal injection. Compared with the SHAM, expressions of cannabinoid CB1/CB2 receptor proteins in AMI/IR animals were upregulated; production of 2-arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide and release of reactive oxygen species and tumor necrosis factor-α also increased. HU308 significantly decreased the infarct size and the levels of reactive oxygen species and tumor necrosis factor-α in AMI/IR animals. However, these effects were blocked by AM630. In conclusion, the endocannabinoid system was activated during AMI and IR, and CB2 receptor activation produces a protective role, thus offering a novel pharmaceutical target for treating these diseases.

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