Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
FASEB J. 2007 Jun;21(8):1788-800. Epub 2007 Feb 27.

Cannabinoid-2 receptor mediates protection against hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Physiological Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9413, USA.


Hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury continues to be a fatal complication that can follow liver surgery or transplantation. We have investigated the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in hepatic I/R injury using an in vivo mouse model. Here we report that I/R triggers several-fold increases in the hepatic levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which originate from hepatocytes, Kupffer, and endothelial cells. The I/R-induced increased tissue endocannabinoid levels positively correlate with the degree of hepatic damage and serum TNF-alpha, MIP-1alpha, and MIP-2 levels. Furthermore, a brief exposure of hepatocytes to various oxidants (H2O2 and peroxynitrite) or inflammatory stimuli (endotoxin and TNF-alpha) also increases endocannabinoid levels. Activation of CB2 cannabinoid receptors by JWH133 protects against I/R damage by decreasing inflammatory cell infiltration, tissue and serum TNF-alpha, MIP-1alpha and MIP-2 levels, tissue lipid peroxidation, and expression of adhesion molecule ICAM-1 in vivo. JWH133 also attenuates the TNF-alpha-induced ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression in human liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (HLSECs) and the adhesion of human neutrophils to HLSECs in vitro. Consistent with the protective role of CB2 receptor activation, CB2-/- mice develop increased I/R-induced tissue damage and proinflammatory phenotype. These findings suggest that oxidative/nitrosative stress and inflammatory stimuli may trigger endocannabinoid production, and indicate that targeting CB2 cannabinoid receptors may represent a novel protective strategy against I/R injury. We also demonstrate that CB2-/- mice have a normal hemodynamic profile.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk