(+)-trans-Cannabidiol-2-hydroxy pentyl is a dual CB 1 R antagonist/CB 2 R agonist that prevents diabetic nephropathy in mice

Isabel González-Mariscal 1 , Beatriz Carmona-Hidalgo 2 , Matthias Winkler 3 , Juan D Unciti-Broceta 2 , Alejandro Escamilla 4 , María Gómez-Cañas 5 , Javier Fernández-Ruiz 5 , Bernd L Fiebich 6 , Silvana-Yanina Romero-Zerbo 7 , Francisco J Bermúdez-Silva 8 , Juan A Collado 9 , Eduardo Muñoz 10
PMID: 34019978 DOI: 10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105492


Natural cannabidiol ((-)-CBD) and its derivatives have increased interest for medicinal applications due to their broad biological activity spectrum, including targeting of the cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1R) and type 2 (CB2R). Herein, we synthesized the (+)-enantiomer of CBD and its derivative (+)-CBD hydroxypentylester ((+)-CBD-HPE) that showed enhanced CB1R and CB2R binding and functional activities compared to their respective (-) enantiomers. (+)-CBD-HPE Ki values for CB1R and CB2R were 3.1 ± 1.1 and 0.8 ± 0.1 nM respectively acting as CB1R antagonist and CB2R agonist. We further tested the capacity of (+)-CBD-HPE to prevent hyperglycemia and its complications in a mouse model. (+)-CBD-HPE significantly reduced streptozotocin (STZ)-induced hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance by preserving pancreatic beta cell mass. (+)-CBD-HPE significantly reduced activation of NF-κB by phosphorylation by 15% compared to STZ-vehicle mice, and CD3+ T cell infiltration into the islets was avoided. Consequently, (+)-CBD-HPE prevented STZ-induced apoptosis in islets. STZ induced inflammation and kidney damage, visualized by a significant increase in plasma proinflammatory cytokines, creatinine, and BUN. Treatment with (+)-CBD-HPE significantly reduced 2.5-fold plasma IFN-γ and increased 3-fold IL-5 levels compared to STZ-treated mice, without altering IL-18. (+)-CBD-HPE also significantly reduced creatinine and BUN levels to those comparable to healthy controls. At the macroscopy level, (+)-CBD-HPE prevented STZ-induced lesions in the kidney and voided renal fibrosis and CD3+ T cell infiltration. Thus, (+)-enantiomers of CBD, particularly (+)-CBD-HPE, have a promising potential due to their pharmacological profile and synthesis, potentially to be used for metabolic and immune-related disorders.

Keywords: (+)-enantiomers; Cannabidiol; Cannabinoid 1 receptor; Cannabinoid 2 receptor; Cannabinoids; Diabetic nephropathy; Type 1 diabetes.