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Keywords:

  • cannabinoids;
  • oxidative stress;
  • inflammation;
  • ischaemia-reperfusion

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Cannabinoid CB2 receptor activation has been reported to attenuate myocardial, cerebral and hepatic ischaemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH We have investigated the effects of a novel CB2 receptor agonist ((1S,4R)-2-(2,6-dimethoxy-4-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)phenyl)-7,7-dimethylbicyclo[2.2.1]hept-2-en-1-yl)methanol (HU-910) on liver injury induced by 1 h of ischaemia followed by 2, 6 or 24 h of reperfusion, using a well-established mouse model of segmental hepatic I/R.

KEY RESULTS Displacement of [3H]CP55940 by HU-910 from specific binding sites in CHO cell membranes transfected with human CB2 or CB1 receptors (hCB1/2) yielded Ki values of 6 nM and 1.4 µM respectively. HU-910 inhibited forskolin-stimulated cyclic AMP production by hCB2 CHO cells (EC50= 162 nM) and yielded EC50 of 26.4 nM in [35S]GTPγS binding assays using hCB2 expressing CHO membranes. HU-910 given before ischaemia significantly attenuated levels of I/R-induced hepatic pro-inflammatory chemokines (CCL3 and CXCL2), TNF-α, inter-cellular adhesion molecule-1, neutrophil infiltration, oxidative stress and cell death. Some of the beneficial effect of HU-910 also persisted when given at the beginning of the reperfusion or 1 h after the ischaemic episode. Furthermore, HU-910 attenuated the bacterial endotoxin-triggered TNF-α production in isolated Kupffer cells and expression of adhesion molecules in primary human liver sinusoidal endothelial cells stimulated with TNF-α. Pretreatment with a CB2 receptor antagonist attenuated the protective effects of HU-910, while pretreatment with a CB1 antagonist tended to enhance them.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS HU-910 is a potent CB2 receptor agonist which may exert protective effects in various diseases associated with inflammation and tissue injury.

LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2012.165.issue-8. To view Part I of Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.163.issue-7