Background and purpose:
A putative novel cannabinoid receptor mediates vasorelaxation to anandamide and abnormal-cannabidiol and is blocked by O-1918 and by high concentrations of rimonabant. This study investigates VSN16, a novel water-soluble agonist, as a vasorelaxant potentially acting at non-CB1, non-CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the vasculature.
VSN16 and some analogues were synthesized and assayed for vasodilator activity in the rat third generation mesenteric artery using wire myography. Also carried out with VSN16 were haemodynamic studies in conscious rats and binding studies to CB1 receptors of rat cerebellum.
VSN16 relaxed mesenteric arteries in an endothelium-dependent manner. The vasorelaxation was antagonized by high concentrations of the classical cannabinoid antagonists, rimonabant and AM 251, as well as by O-1918, an antagonist at the abnormal-cannabidiol receptor but not at CB1 or CB2 receptors. It did not affect [3H]CP55,940 binding to CB1 receptors in rat cerebellum. The vasorelaxation was notpertussis toxin-sensitive but was reduced by inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis, Ca2+-sensitive K+channels (KCa) and TRPV1 receptors. In conscious rats VSN16 transiently increased blood pressure and caused a longer-lasting increase in mesenteric vascular conductance. Structure-activity studies on vasorelaxation showed a stringent interaction with the target receptor.
Conclusions and implications:
VSN16 is an agonist at a novel cannabinoid receptor of the vasculature. It acts on the endothelium to release nitric oxide and activate KCa and TRPV1. As it is water-soluble it might be useful in bringing about peripheral cannabinoid-like effects without accompanying central or severe cardiovascular responses.
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