Hao E, Mukhopadhyay P, Cao Z, Erdélyi K, Holovac E, Liaudet L, Lee WS, Haskó G, Mechoulam R, Pacher P
Doxorubicin (DOX) is a widely used, potent chemotherapeutic agent; however, its clinical application is limited because of its dose-dependent cardiotoxicity. DOX’s cardiotoxicity involves increased oxidative/nitrative stress, impaired mitochondrial function in cardiomyocytes/endothelial cells and cell death. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychotropic constituent of marijuana, which is well tolerated in humans, with antioxidant, antiinflammatory and recently discovered antitumor properties. We aimed to explore the effects of CBD in a well-established mouse model of DOX-induced cardiomyopathy. DOX-induced cardiomyopathy was characterized by increased myocardial injury (elevated serum creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase levels), myocardial oxidative and nitrative stress (decreased total glutathione content and glutathione peroxidase 1 activity, increased lipid peroxidation, 3-nitrotyrosine formation and expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA), myocardial cell death (apoptotic and poly[ADP]-ribose polymerase 1 [PARP]-dependent) and cardiac dysfunction (decline in ejection fraction and left ventricular fractional shortening). DOX also impaired myocardial mitochondrial biogenesis (decreased mitochondrial copy number, mRNA expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1-alpha, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha, estrogen-related receptor alpha), reduced mitochondrial function (attenuated complex I and II activities) and decreased myocardial expression of uncoupling protein 2 and 3 and medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase mRNA. Treatment with CBD markedly improved DOX-induced cardiac dysfunction, oxidative/nitrative stress and cell death. CBD also enhanced the DOX-induced impaired cardiac mitochondrial function and biogenesis. These data suggest that CBD may represent a novel cardioprotective strategy against DOX-induced cardiotoxicity, and the above-described effects on mitochondrial function and biogenesis may contribute to its beneficial properties described in numerous other models of tissue injury.