Physiological reports

Acute and chronic systemic CB1 cannabinoid receptor blockade improves blood pressure regulation and metabolic profile in hypertensive (mRen2)27 rats.

PMID 25168868


We investigated acute and chronic effects of CB1 cannabinoid receptor blockade in renin-angiotensin system-dependent hypertension using rimonabant (SR141716A), an orally active antagonist with central and peripheral actions. In transgenic (mRen2)27 rats, a model of angiotensin II-dependent hypertension with increased body mass and insulin resistance, acute systemic blockade of CB1 receptors significantly reduced blood pressure within 90 min but had no effect in Sprague-Dawley rats. No changes in metabolic hormones occurred with the acute treatment. During chronic CB1 receptor blockade, (mRen2)27 rats received daily oral administration of SR141716A (10 mg/kg/day) for 28 days. Systolic blood pressure was significantly reduced within 24 h, and at Day 21 of treatment values were 173 mmHg in vehicle versus 149 mmHg in drug-treated rats (P < 0.01). This accompanied lower cumulative weight gain (22 vs. 42 g vehicle; P < 0.001), fat mass (2.0 vs. 2.9% of body weight; P < 0.05), and serum leptin (2.8 vs. 6.0 ng/mL; P < 0.05) and insulin (1.0 vs. 1.9 ng/mL; P < 0.01), following an initial transient decrease in food consumption. Conscious hemodynamic recordings indicate twofold increases occurred in spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (P < 0.05) and heart rate variability (P < 0.01), measures of cardiac vagal tone. The beneficial actions of CB1 receptor blockade in (mRen2)27 rats support the interpretation that an upregulated endocannabinoid system contributes to hypertension and impaired autonomic function in this angiotensin II-dependent model. We conclude that systemic CB1 receptor blockade may be an effective therapy for angiotensin II-dependent hypertension and associated metabolic syndrome.