By Anthony Martinelli

Activation of the cannabinoid receptors, which is done naturally through the consumption of cannabis, is a promising treatment option of cardiac fibrosis. This is according to a study published this week by the journal Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, and published online by the National Institute of Health.

“Myocardial interstitial fibrosis is a major histologic landmark resulting in cardiac dysfunction after myocardial infarction (MI)”, the study’s abstract states. “Activation of cannabinoid receptor type II (CB2 receptor) have been demonstrated to reduce fibrosis in hepatic cirrhotic rat. However, the anti-fibrotic effect of CB2 receptor activation in infarcted hearts was still unclear.”

In this study, researchers “aimed to investigate the effects of a CB2 receptor selective agonist AM1241[meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids] on myocardial fibrosis post MI in mice.”

According to the study, ehocardiography showed that the cannabinoid receptor agonist “significantly improved cardiac function, suppressed the expression of fibrosis markers such as collagen I and collagen III, fibronectin, PAI-1 and TIMP-1 in mice with MI.”

Researchers concluded that the CB2 receptor agonist “alleviated myocardial interstitial fibrosis via Nrf2 -mediated down-regulation of TGF-β1/Smad3 pathway, which suggested that CB2 receptor activation might represent a promising target for retarding cardiac fibrosis after MI.”

The full study, conducted at Fourth Military Medical University in Xi’an, China, can be found by clicking here.

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