Cannabinoid receptor 2 activation alleviates diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction, inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis

Mohanraj Rajesh, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Sándor Bátkai, Muhammad Arif, Zoltán V. Varga, Csaba Mátyás, Janos Paloczi, Andrea Lehocki, György Haskó, Pal Pacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetes mellitus promotes accelerated cardiovascular aging and inflammation, which in turn facilitate the development of cardiomyopathy/heart failure. High glucose-induced oxidative/nitrative stress, activation of various pro-inflammatory, and cell death pathways are critical in the initiation and progression of the changes culminating in diabetic cardiomyopathy. Cannabinoid 2 receptor (CB2R) activation in inflammatory cells and activated endothelium attenuates the pathological changes associated with atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, and hepatic cardiomyopathy. In this study, we explored the role of CB2R signaling in myocardial dysfunction, oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death, remodeling, and fibrosis associated with diabetic cardiomyopathy in type 1 diabetic mice. Control human heart left ventricles and atrial appendages, similarly to mouse hearts, had negligible CB2R expression determine by RNA sequencing or real-time RT-PCR. Diabetic cardiomyopathy was characterized by impaired diastolic and systolic cardiac function, enhanced myocardial CB2R expression, oxidative/nitrative stress, and pro-inflammatory response (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, intracellular adhesion molecule 1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1), macrophage infiltration, fibrosis, and cell death. Pharmacological activation of CB2R with a selective agonist attenuated diabetes-induced inflammation, oxidative/nitrative stress, fibrosis and cell demise, and consequent cardiac dysfunction without affecting hyperglycemia. In contrast, genetic deletion of CB2R aggravated myocardial pathology. Thus, selective activation of CB2R ameliorates diabetes-induced myocardial tissue injury and preserves the functional contractile capacity of the myocardium in the diabetic milieu. This is particularly encouraging, since unlike CB1R agonists, CB2R agonists do not elicit psychoactive activity and cardiovascular side effects and are potential clinical candidates in the treatment of diabetic cardiovascular and other complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1727-1741
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Accelerated aging
  • Cannabinoid 2 receptor
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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