Evidence of a novel site mediating anandamide-induced negative inotropic and coronary vasodilatator responses in rat isolated hearts


Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QJ. E-mail: wrf20@cam.ac.uk


  • Cannabinoids are known to cause coronary vasodilatation and reduce left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) in isolated hearts although the identity of the receptor(s) mediating these responses is unknown. Our objective was to pharmacologically characterize cannabinoid receptors mediating cardiac responses to the endocannabinoid, anandamide.

  • Dose-response curves for coronary perfusion pressure (CPP) and LVDP were constructed to anandamide, R-(+)-methanandamide, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and JWH015 in isolated Langendorff-perfused rat hearts. Anandamide dose-response curves were also constructed in the presence of antagonists selective for CB1, CB2 or VR1 receptors.

  • Anandamide and methanadamide significantly reduced CPP and LVDP but the selective CB2 receptor agonists, PEA and JWH015 had no significant effect, compared with equivalent vehicle doses.

  • Single bolus additions of the selective CB1-receptor agonist, ACEA (5 nmol), decreased LVDP and CPP. When combined with JWH015 (5 nmol) these responses were not augmented.

  • Anandamide-mediated reductions in CPP were significantly blocked by the selective CB1 receptor antagonists SR 141716A (1 μM) and AM251 (1 μM) and the selective CB2 receptor antagonist SR 144528 (1 μM) but not by another selective CB2 receptor antagonist AM630 (10 μM) nor the vanilloid VR1 receptor antagonist capsazepine (10 μM).

  • SR 141716A, AM281 and SR 144528 significantly blocked negative inotropic responses to anandamide that were not significantly affected by AM251, AM630 and capsazepine.

  • One or more novel sites mediate negative inotropic and coronary vasodilatatory responses to anandamide. These sites can be distinguished from classical CB1 and CB2 receptors, as responses are sensitive to both SR 141716A and SR 144528.

British Journal of Pharmacology (2002) 135, 1191–1198; doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0704565