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Life Sci. 2008 Nov 21;83(21-22):717-24. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2008.09.011. Epub 2008 Sep 25.

Generation of reactive oxygen species during mouse hepatic microsomal metabolism of cannabidiol and cannabidiol hydroxy-quinone.

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  • 1Department of Hygienic Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyushu University of Health and Welfare, 1714-1 Yoshino-machi, Nobeoka 882-8508, Japan.


We investigated whether cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidiol hydroxy-quinone (CBDHQ) generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) during metabolism with mouse hepatic microsomes. CBD and CBDHQ (91.5 microM) significantly suppressed lipid peroxidation in the mouse hepatic microsomes. CBDHQ also significantly decreased NADH-cytochrome b5 reductase (fp1) activity by 25% of the control activity in the hepatic microsomes, and tended to increase NADPH-cytochrome c (P450) reductase (fp2) activity. CBDHQ also significantly inhibited superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in mouse hepatic 105,000 xg supernatant. Moreover, CBDHQ significantly increased glutathione reductase activity and significantly inhibited NAD(P)H-quinone reductase activity. CBD exhibited similar effects on these enzymes, except that cannabinoid significantly inhibited glutathione reductase activity in mouse hepatic 105,000 xg supernatant. These results suggest that CBDHQ is easily converted to the semiquinone form rather than the hydroquinone form. It was also suggested that CBDHQ and CBD were capable of generating ROS as superoxide anion radicals during their metabolism with mouse hepatic microsomes or with purified fp2 by electron spin resonance spin trapping methods with 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide. The present results suggest that CBDHQ formed during hepatic microsomal metabolism of CBD is capable of generating ROS and inducing cell toxicity.

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