Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals derived from the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these chemicals and research has shown that it has anti inflammatory properties to heal animals with nervous system disorders. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another one of these compounds that wields a psychoactive effect in animals. Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found in the endogenous cannabinoid system and allow cannabinoids to bind and do their job in the body. This paper will review cannabinoids potential in cardioprotection induced by lipopolysaccharide, an endotoxin.
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Endocannabinoids System has a role in cardioprotection
Researchers in this study have suggested an involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the cardioprotection activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Rats were treated with saline or LPS (10 μg Kg−1). 24 hours later, hearts were excised, retrogradely perfused, savoured to a low‐flow ischaemia (0.6 ml min−1) for 90 minutes and reperfused for 60 minutes. Some hearts were perfused with either SR 141716A (a cannabinoid CB1, receptor antagonist 1 μM), SR 144528 (a CB2 receptor anagonist μM), NNLA (3 μM) or sodium nitroprusside (1 μM) 5 min before ischaemia and during the ischaemic period. The cardioprotective impacts of LPS treatment, in terms of infarction and functional recovery, were not changed by the perfusion of SR 141716A but destroyed by both SR 144528 and NNLA. Finally, SR 144528 destroyed the beneficial effects of SNP perfusion. These results indicate an involvement of endocannabinoids, acting through the CB2 receptors, in the cardioprotection triggered by LPS against myocardial ischaemia.
Cannabinoids can be used to fight ischaemia
Overall, this data suggests, that endocannabinoid, acting through CB2 receptors, are in cahoots with the cardioprotective impacts of LPS against ischaemia in the rat heart. An interaction between cannabinoids and nitric oxide does exist, although the actual mechanisms of such an interaction remain to be transparent.