We have examined the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the cardioprotection triggered by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Rats were treated with saline or LPS (10 μg Kg−1). 24 h later, hearts were excised, retrogradely perfused, submitted to a low-flow ischaemia (0.6 ml min−1) for 90 min and reperfused for 60 min. 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 effects of LPS treatment, in terms of infarction and functional recovery, were not altered by the perfusion of SR 141716A but abolished by both SR 144528 and NNLA. Finally, SR 144528 abolished the beneficial effects of SNP perfusion. Our results suggest an involvement of endocannabinoids, acting through the CB2 receptors, in the cardioprotection triggered by LPS against myocardial ischaemia. This could be attributed to a relationship between cannabinoids and NO.
British Journal of Pharmacology (2001) 132, 793–796; doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0703902