In this study, we have investigated the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on myocardial dysfunction, inflammation, oxidative/nitrosative stress, cell death and interrelated signaling pathways, using a mouse model of type I diabetic cardiomyopathy and primary human cardiomyocytes exposed to high glucose.
CBD, the most abundant nonpsychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa (marijuana) plant, exerts antiinflammatory effects in various disease models and alleviates pain and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.
Left ventricular function was measured by pressure-volume system. Oxidative stress, cell death and fibrosis markers were evaluated by molecular biology/biochemical techniques, electron spin resonance spectroscopy and flow cytometry.
Diabetic cardiomyopathy was characterized by declined diastolic and systolic myocardial performance associated with increased oxidative-nitrosative stress, NF-κB and MAPK (JNK and p-38, p38α) activation, enhanced expression of adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1), TNF-α, markers of fibrosis (TGF-β, CTGF, fibronectin, collagen-1, MMP-2 and MMP-9), enhanced cell death (caspase 3/7 and PARP activity, chromatin fragmentation and TUNEL) and diminished Akt phosphorylation. Remarkably, CBD attenuated myocardial dysfunction, cardiac fibrosis, oxidative/nitrosative stress, inflammation, cell death, and interrelated signaling pathways. Furthermore, CBD also attenuated the high glucose-induced increased reactive oxygen species generation, NF-κB activation and cell death in primary human cardiomyocytes.
Collectively, these results coupled with the excellent safety and tolerability profile of cannabidiol in humans, strongly suggest that it may have great therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic complications, and perhaps other cardiovascular disorders, by attenuating oxidative/nitrosative stress, inflammation, cell death and fibrosis.
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