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Br J Pharmacol. 2003 Apr;138(7):1320-32.

Vasodilator actions of abnormal-cannabidiol in rat isolated small mesenteric artery.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1PD.


1. The nonpsychoactive cannabinoid abnormal-cannabidiol (trans-4-[3-methyl-6-(1-methylethenyl)-2-cyclohexen-1-yl]-5-pentyl-1,3-benzenediol) (abn-cbd) produced concentration-dependent relaxation of methoxamine-precontracted rat small mesenteric artery. Endothelial removal reduced abn-cbd potency six-fold without affecting the maximum relaxation. 2. In endothelium-intact vessels, abn-cbd was less potent under 60 mM KCl-induced tone and inhibited by combination of L-N(G)-nitroarginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (nitric oxide synthase inhibitor; 300 micro M), apamin (small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels inhibitor; 50 nM) and charybdotoxin (inhibitor of intermediate conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels and large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels BK(Ca); 50 nM). L-NAME alone or in combination with either toxin alone had little effect. 3. In intact vessels, relaxations to abn-cbd were inhibited by SR 141716A (cannabinoid receptor antagonist; 1 or 3 micro M). Concomitant addition of L-NAME, apamin and charybdotoxin had no further effect. Other cannabinoid receptor antagonists either had little (SR 144528; 1 micro M and AM 251; 1 micro M) or no effect (AM 630; 10 micro M and AM 281; 1 micro M). Inhibition of gap junctions, G(i/o) protein coupling and protein kinase A also had no effect. 4. Endothelium-independent relaxation to abn-cbd was unaffected by L-NAME, apamin plus charybdotoxin or capsaicin (10 micro M). Abn-cbd inhibited CaCl(2)-induced contractions in vessels with depleted intracellular Ca(2+) stores and stimulated with methoxamine or KCl. This was insensitive to SR 141716A (3 micro M) but greatly reduced in vessels stimulated with ionomycin (Ca(2+) ionophore; 1 micro M). 5. We conclude that abn-cbd relaxes the rat small mesenteric artery by endothelium-dependent activation of K(+) channels via SR 141716A-sensitive pathways, which do not involve CB(1) and CB(2) receptors. It also causes endothelium-independent, SR 141716A-insensitive, relaxation by inhibiting Ca(2+) entry through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels.

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