(1/155) CB(1) cannabinoid receptor antagonism promotes remodeling and cannabinoid treatment prevents endothelial dysfunction and hypotension in rats with myocardial infarction.

1. To study the long-term effects of altered cannabinoid receptor activity on myocardial and vascular function, Wistar rats were treated with the selective CB(1) antagonist AM-251 (0.5 mg kg(-1) d(-1)), the potent synthetic cannabinoid HU-210 (50 micro g kg(-1) d(-1)) or vehicle for 12 weeks after coronary artery ligation or sham operation. 2. AM-251 further reduced the pressure-generating capacity, shifted the pressure volume curve to the right (P<0.05) and increased the left-ventricular operating volume (AM-251: 930+/-40 micro l vs control: 820+/-40 micro l vs HU-210: 790+/-50 micro l; P<0.05) in rats with large myocardial infarction (MI). 3. Left-ventricular CB(1) immunoactivity in rats 12 weeks after large MI was unaltered as compared with noninfarcted hearts. 4. Cannabinoid receptor activation through HU-210, a cannabinoid that alters cardiovascular parameters via CB(1) receptors, increased the left-ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP, P<0.05). However, it prevented the drop in left-ventricular systolic pressure (HU-210: 142+/-5 mm Hg; P<0.05 vs control: 124+/-3 mm Hg; and P<0.001 vs AM-251: 114+/-3 mm Hg) and prevented endothelial dysfunction (ED) in aortic rings of rats with large MI (P<0.05). 5. Compared with AM-251, HU-210 prevented the decline in the maximal rate of rise of left-ventricular pressure and the maximum pressure-generating ability (P<0.05). In rats with small MI, HU-210 increased cardiac index (P<0.01) and lowered the total peripheral resistance (P<0.05). 6. The study shows that during the development of congestive heart failure post-large MI, cannabinoid treatment increases LVEDP and prevents hypotension and ED. Presumed CB(1) antagonism promotes remodeling despite unchanged myocardial CB(1) expression.  (+info)

(2/155) Vasodilator actions of abnormal-cannabidiol in rat isolated small mesenteric artery.

1. The nonpsychoactive cannabinoid abnormal-cannabidiol (trans-4-[3-methyl-6-(1-methylethenyl)-2-cyclohexen-1-yl]-5-pentyl-1,3-benzenedio l) (abn-cbd) produced concentration-dependent relaxation of methoxamine-precontracted rat small mesenteric artery. Endothelial removal reduced abn-cbd potency six-fold without affecting the maximum relaxation. 2. In endothelium-intact vessels, abn-cbd was less potent under 60 mM KCl-induced tone and inhibited by combination of L-N(G)-nitroarginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (nitric oxide synthase inhibitor; 300 micro M), apamin (small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels inhibitor; 50 nM) and charybdotoxin (inhibitor of intermediate conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels and large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels BK(Ca); 50 nM). L-NAME alone or in combination with either toxin alone had little effect. 3. In intact vessels, relaxations to abn-cbd were inhibited by SR 141716A (cannabinoid receptor antagonist; 1 or 3 micro M). Concomitant addition of L-NAME, apamin and charybdotoxin had no further effect. Other cannabinoid receptor antagonists either had little (SR 144528; 1 micro M and AM 251; 1 micro M) or no effect (AM 630; 10 micro M and AM 281; 1 micro M). Inhibition of gap junctions, G(i/o) protein coupling and protein kinase A also had no effect. 4. Endothelium-independent relaxation to abn-cbd was unaffected by L-NAME, apamin plus charybdotoxin or capsaicin (10 micro M). Abn-cbd inhibited CaCl(2)-induced contractions in vessels with depleted intracellular Ca(2+) stores and stimulated with methoxamine or KCl. This was insensitive to SR 141716A (3 micro M) but greatly reduced in vessels stimulated with ionomycin (Ca(2+) ionophore; 1 micro M). 5. We conclude that abn-cbd relaxes the rat small mesenteric artery by endothelium-dependent activation of K(+) channels via SR 141716A-sensitive pathways, which do not involve CB(1) and CB(2) receptors. It also causes endothelium-independent, SR 141716A-insensitive, relaxation by inhibiting Ca(2+) entry through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels.  (+info)

(3/155) Cannabinoid receptor-mediated regulation of intracellular calcium by delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol in resting T cells.

Cannabinoids exhibit broad immune modulating activity by targeting many cell types within the immune system, including T cells, which exhibit sensitivity, as evidenced by altered activation, proliferation, and cytokine expression. As a result of the critical role calcium plays in T cell function coupled with previous findings demonstrating disruption of the calcium-regulated transcription factor, nuclear factor of activated T cells, by cannabinoid treatment, the objective of the present investigation was to perform an initial characterization of the role of the cannabinoid receptors in the regulation of the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) by delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta(9)-THC) in T lymphocytes. Here, we demonstrate that delta(9)-THC robustly elevates [Ca(2+)](i) in purified murine splenic T cells and in the human peripheral blood acute lymphoid leukemia (HPB-ALL) human T cell line but only minimally elevates [Ca(2+)](i) in Jurkat E6-1 (dysfunctional cannabinoid receptor 2-expressing) human T cells. Removal of extracellular calcium severely attenuated the delta(9)-THC-mediated rise in [Ca(2+)](i) in murine splenic T cells and HPB-ALL cells. Pretreatment with cannabinoid receptor antagonists, SR144528 and/or SR141716A, led to an attenuation of delta(9)-THC-mediated elevation in [Ca(2+)](i) in splenic T cells and HPB-ALL cells but not in Jurkat E6-1 cells. Furthermore, pretreatment of HPB-ALL cells with SR144528 antagonized the small rise in [Ca(2+)](i) elicited by delta(9)-THC in the absence of extracellular calcium. These findings suggest that delta(9)-THC induces an influx of extracellular calcium in resting T cells in a cannabinoid receptor-dependent manner.  (+info)

(4/155) Endocannabinoid system modulates relapse to methamphetamine seeking: possible mediation by the arachidonic acid cascade.

We clarified the modulating action of the endocannabinoid system, and its possible mediation by the arachidonic acid cascade, on the reinstatement of methamphetamine (METH)-seeking behavior, using the intravenous self-administration paradigm in rats. Following 12 days of self-administration of METH, the replacement of METH with saline resulted in a gradual decrease in lever press responses (extinction). Under extinction conditions, METH-priming or re-exposure to cues previously paired with METH infusion markedly increased the responses (reinstatement of drug-seeking). The cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist, SR141716A, blocked this behavior. Although the cannabinoid agonist, Delta8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), had no effects by itself, coadministration of the agonist and METH at small doses reinstated the drug-seeking behavior. THC attenuated the effects of the reinstatement-inducing dose of METH, but enhanced the effect of cues. Either given repeatedly during the extinction or singly, 24 h before the first METH-priming or cues challenge, THC suppressed the reinstatement. In another set of experiments, we found that diclofenac, a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, also attenuated the reinstatement induced by exposure to cues or drug-priming. These results suggest that the endocannabinoid system, through possible mediation by the arachidonic acid cascade, serves as a modulator of the reinstating effects of METH-priming and cues. Extending the current view on the treatment of drug dependence, these results indicate that endocannabinoid-activating substances as well as cyclooxygenase inhibitors may be promising as antirelapse agents.  (+info)

(5/155) Central effects of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 on respiratory and cardiovascular regulation in anaesthetised rats.

1 The primary aim was to study the central respiratory effects of cannabinoids (CB). To this end, the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 was injected into the cisterna magna of urethane-anaesthetised rats and changes in respiratory parameters were observed. The secondary aim was to observe the centrally elicited cardiovascular actions of WIN55212-2. Involvement of opioid mechanisms in the central effects of WIN55212-2 was also studied. 2 Intracisternal (i.c.) application of WIN55212-2 (1, 3, 10 and 30 microg kg(-1)) dose-dependently decreased the respiratory rate and minute volume. Tidal volume was slightly increased, whereas peak inspiratory flow remained unchanged. In addition, WIN55212-2 increased mean arterial pressure and the plasma noradrenaline concentration and decreased heart rate. 3 I.c. injection of WIN55212-3 (1, 3, 10 and 30 microg kg(-1)), an enantiomer of WIN55212-2 lacking affinity for cannabinoid receptors, elicited no effects. All effects of WIN55212-2 were prevented by the CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716 (2 mg kg(-1) i.v.). I.c. administration of the opioid receptor agonist DAMGO (0.1, 0.3, 1 and 3 microg kg(-1)) markedly lowered the respiratory rate, tidal volume, minute volume and peak inspiratory flow. These effects were attenuated by the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone (0.2 mg kg(-1) i.v.). In contrast, naloxone did not affect the respiratory and cardiovascular effects of i.c. administered WIN55212-2. 4 Our results show that activation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain stem depresses respiration and enhances sympathetic tone and cardiac vagal tone. Opioid mechanisms are not involved in these central cannabinoid effects.  (+info)

(6/155) The cannabinomimetic arachidonyl-2-chloroethylamide (ACEA) acts on capsaicin-sensitive TRPV1 receptors but not cannabinoid receptors in rat joints.

The vasoactive effects of the synthetic cannabinoid (CB) arachidonyl-2-chloroethylamide (ACEA) was tested in the knee joints of urethane-anaesthetised rats. Experiments were also performed to determine whether these vasomotor responses could be blocked by the selective CB(1) receptor antagonists AM251 (N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole- 3-carboxamide) (10(-9) mol) and AM281 (1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-4-methyl-N-4-morpholinyl-1H-pyrazole-3-c arboxamide) (10(-8) mol), as well as the selective CB(2) receptor antagonist AM630 (6-iodo-2-methyl-1-[2-4(morpholinyl)ethyl]-[1H-indol-3-yl](4-methoxyphenyl)methan one) (10(-8) mol). Peripheral application of ACEA (10(-14)-10(-9) mol) onto the exposed surface of the knee joint capsule caused a dose-dependent increase in synovial blood flow. The dilator action of the CB occurred within 1 min after drug administration and rapidly returned to control levels shortly thereafter. The maximal vasodilator effect of ACEA corresponded to a 30% increase in articular perfusion compared to control levels. The hyperaemic action of ACEA was not significantly altered by coadministration of AM251, AM281 or AM630 (P>0.05; two-way ANOVA). The transient receptor potential channel vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV(1)) antagonist capsazepine (10(-6) mol) significantly reduced the vasodilator effect of ACEA on joint blood vessels (P=0.002). Furthermore, destruction of unmyelinated and thinly myelinated joint sensory nerves by capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) treatment also attenuated ACEA responses (P<0.0005). These data clearly demonstrate a vasodilator effect of the cannabinomimetic ACEA on knee joint perfusion. Rather than a classic CB receptor pathway, ACEA exerts its vasomotor influence by acting via TRPV(1) receptors located on the terminal branches of capsaicin-sensitive afferent nerves innervating the joint.  (+info)

(7/155) Anandamide-induced cell death in primary neuronal cultures: role of calpain and caspase pathways.

Anandamide (arachidonoylethanolamide or AEA) is an endocannabinoid that acts at vanilloid (VR1) as well as at cannabinoid (CB1/CB2) and NMDA receptors. Here, we show that AEA, in a dose-dependent manner, causes cell death in cultured rat cortical neurons and cerebellar granule cells. Inhibition of CB1, CB2, VR1 or NMDA receptors by selective antagonists did not reduce AEA neurotoxicity. Anandamide-induced neuronal cell loss was associated with increased intracellular Ca(2+), nuclear condensation and fragmentation, decreases in mitochondrial membrane potential, translocation of cytochrome c, and upregulation of caspase-3-like activity. However, caspase-3, caspase-8 or caspase-9 inhibitors, or blockade of protein synthesis by cycloheximide did not alter anandamide-related cell death. Moreover, AEA caused cell death in caspase-3-deficient MCF-7 cell line and showed similar cytotoxic effects in caspase-9 dominant-negative, caspase-8 dominant-negative or mock-transfected SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Anandamide upregulated calpain activity in cortical neurons, as revealed by alpha-spectrin cleavage, which was attenuated by the calpain inhibitor calpastatin. Calpain inhibition significantly limited anandamide-induced neuronal loss and associated cytochrome c release. These data indicate that AEA neurotoxicity appears not to be mediated by CB1, CB2, VR1 or NMDA receptors and suggest that calpain activation, rather than intrinsic or extrinsic caspase pathways, may play a critical role in anandamide-induced cell death.  (+info)

(8/155) 2-arachidonoylglycerol, an endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand, induces rapid actin polymerization in HL-60 cells differentiated into macrophage-like cells.

Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, a major psychoactive constituent of marijuana, interacts with specific receptors, i.e. the cannabinoid receptors, thereby eliciting a variety of pharmacological responses. To date, two types of cannabinoid receptors have been identified: the CB1 receptor, which is abundantly expressed in the nervous system, and the CB2 receptor, which is predominantly expressed in the immune system. Previously, we investigated in detail the structure-activity relationship of various cannabinoid receptor ligands and found that 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol) is the most efficacious agonist. We have proposed that 2-AG is the true natural ligand for both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Despite the potential physiological importance of 2-AG, not much information is available concerning its biological activities towards mammalian tissues and cells. In the present study, we examined the effect of 2-AG on morphology as well as the actin filament system in differentiated HL-60 cells, which express the CB2 receptor. We found that 2-AG induces rapid morphological changes such as the extension of pseudopods. We also found that it provokes a rapid actin polymerization in these cells. Actin polymerization induced by 2-AG was abolished when cells were treated with SR144528, a CB2 receptor antagonist, and pertussis toxin, suggesting that the response was mediated by the CB2 receptor and G(i/o). A phosphoinositide 3-kinase, Rho family small G-proteins and a tyrosine kinase were also suggested to be involved. Reorganization of the actin filament system is known to be indispensable for a variety of cellular events; it is possible that 2-AG plays physiologically essential roles in various inflammatory cells and immune-competent cells by inducing a rapid actin rearrangement.  (+info)