Beneficial effect of the non-psychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabigerol on experimental inflammatory bowel disease

Department of Experimental Pharmacology, University of Naples Federico II, via D Montesano 49, 80131Naples, Italy. Electronic address: .
Biochemical pharmacology (Impact Factor: 5.01). 02/2013; 85(9). DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2013.01.017
Source: PubMed


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an incurable disease which affects millions of people in industrialised countries. Anecdotal and scientific evidence suggest that Cannabis use may have a positive impact in IBD patients. Here, we investigated the effect of cannabigerol (CBG), a non-psychotropic Cannabis-derived cannabinoid, in a murine model of colitis. Colitis was induced in mice by intracolonic administration of dinitrobenzene sulphonic acid (DNBS). Inflammation was assessed by evaluating inflammatory markers/parameters (colon weight/colon length ratio and myeloperoxidase activity), by histological analysis and immunohistochemistry; interleukin-1β, interleukin-10 and interferon-γ levels by ELISA, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) by western blot and RT-PCR; CuZn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity by a colorimetric assay. Murine macrophages and intestinal epithelial cells were used to evaluate the effect of CBG on nitric oxide production and oxidative stress, respectively. CBG reduced colon weight/colon length ratio, myeloperoxidase activity, and iNOS expression, increased SOD activity and normalized interleukin-1β, interleukin-10 and interferon-γ changes associated to DNBS administration. In macrophages, CBG reduced nitric oxide production and iNOS protein (but not mRNA) expression. Rimonabant (a CB(1) receptor antagonist) did not change the effect of CBG on nitric oxide production, while SR144528 (a CB(2) receptor antagonist) further increased the inhibitory effect of CBG on nitric oxide production. In conclusion, CBG attenuated murine colitis, reduced nitric oxide production in macrophages (effect being modulated by the CB(2) receptor) and reduced ROS formation in intestinal epithelial cells. CBG could be considered for clinical experimentation in IBD patients.

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    • "Also its homologue, cannabidivarin (CBDV) revealed anticonvulsant activity in rodents (Hill et al., 2012). Further on, cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabichromene (CBC) are both described as non-psychoactive and anti-inflammatory substances (Colasanti, 1990; Borrelli et al., 2013; Izzo et al., 2012), but additional studies are required to verify definite medical effects. "
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