Pharmacological profiling of the hemodynamic effects of cannabinoid ligands: a combined in vitro and in vivo approach

Sarah Walsh, Claire Hepburn, Oliver Keown, Annika Astrand, Anna Lindblom, Erik Ryberg, Stephan Hjorth, Stephen Leslie, Peter Greasley, Cherry Wainwright

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16 Citations (Scopus)
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The receptors mediating the hemodynamic responses to cannabinoids are not
clearly defined due to the multifarious pharmacology of many commonly used
cannabinoid ligands. While both CB1 and TRPV1 receptors are implicated, G
protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) may also mediate some of the hemodynamic effects of several atypical cannabinoid ligands. The present studies attempted to unravel the pharmacology underlying the in vivo hemodynamic responses to ACEA (CB1 agonist), O-1602 (GPR55 agonist), AM251 (CB1 antagonist), and cannabidiol (CBD; GPR55 antagonist). Agonist and antagonist profiles of each ligand were determined by ligand-induced GTPγS binding in membrane preparations expressing rat and mouse CB1 and GPR55 receptors. Blood pressure responses to ACEA and O-1602 were recorded in anesthetized and conscious mice (wild type, CB1-/- and GPR55 -/-) and rats in the absence and presence of AM251 and CBD. ACEA demonstrated GTPγS activation at both receptors, while O-1602 only activated GPR55. AM251 exhibited antagonist activity at CB1 and agonist activity at GPR55, while CBD demonstrated selective antagonist activity at GPR55. The depressor response to ACEA was blocked by AM251 and attenuated by CBD, while O-1602 did not induce a depressor response. AM251 caused a depressor response that was absent in GPR55 -/- mice but enhanced by CBD, while CBD caused a small vasodepressor response that persisted in GPR55 -/- mice. Our findings show that assessment of the pharmacological profile of receptor activation by cannabinoid ligands in in vitro studies alongside in vivo functional studies is essential to understand the role of cannabinoids in hemodynamic control.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00143
JournalPharmacology Research and Perspectives
Issue number3
Early online date8 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • Cannabinoids
  • CB1 receptor
  • G protein coupled receptor 55
  • Hemodynamics


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