March 12, 2018

Study: Pharmacological characterization of the cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist, ?-caryophyllene on seizure models in mice

A study finds Cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist ?-caryophyllene may be clinically relevant as treatment against seizure spread.

PURPOSE: Activation of CB1 receptors, produces anticonvulsant effect accompanied by memory disturbance both in animal seizure tests and in patients with epilepsy. Few reports considered the role of CB2 receptor on seizure susceptibility and cognitive functions. The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of a selective CB2 receptor agonist ?-caryophyllene (BCP) in models of seizures and cognition in mice.

METHODS: Dose-dependent effects of BCP was studied in maximal electroshock seizure (MES) test, subcutaneous pentylenetetrazole (scPTZ) test and Morris water maze test. Phenytoin and diazepam were used as reference drugs in seizure tests. The effect of sub-chronic treatment with BCP for 7?days (50 and 100?mg?kg-1) was assessed on status epilepticus (SE) induced by kainic acid (KA) model and oxidative stress through measurement of malondialdehyde (MDA) level in the hippocampus. The acute neurotoxicity was determined by a rotarod test.

RESULTS: The BCP exerted a protection in the MES test at the lowest dose of 30?mg?kg-1 at the 4-h interval tested comparable to that of the referent drug phenytoin. The CB2 agonist was ineffective in the scPTZ test. The BCP displayed no neurotoxicity in the rotarod test. The BCP decreased the seizure scores in the KA-induced SE, which effect correlated with a diminished lipid peroxidation. The CB2 agonist exerted a dose-dependent decrease of latency to cross the target area during the three days of testing in the Morris water maze test.

CONCLUSION: [The] results suggest that the CB2 receptor agonists might be clinically useful as an adjunct treatment against seizure spread and status epilepticus and concomitant oxidative stress, neurotoxicity and cognitive impairments.