Indexed on: 17 Jan '16Published on: 17 Jan '16Published in: Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.)
Myocarditis is a major cause of heart failure and sudden cardiac death in young adults and adolescents. Many cases of myocarditis are associated with autoimmune processes in which cardiac myosin is a major autoantigen. Conventional immunosuppressive therapies often provide unsatisfactory results and are associated with adverse toxicities during the treatment of autoimmune myocarditis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive constituent of Marijuana which exerts antiinflammatory effects independent from classical cannabinoid receptors. Recently 80 clinical trials have been reported investigating the effects of CBD in various diseases from inflammatory bowel disease to graft-versus-host disease. CBD-based formulations are used for the management of multiple sclerosis in numerous countries, and CBD also received FDA approval for the treatment of refractory childhood epilepsy and glioblastoma multiforme.Herein, using a well-established mouse model of experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) induced by immunization with cardiac myosin emmulsified in adjuvant resulting in T cell-mediated inflammation, cardiomyocyte cell death, fibrosis and myocardial dysfunction, we studied the potential beneficial effects of CBD.EAM was characterized by marked myocardial T cell-infiltration, profound inflammatory response, fibrosis (measured by qRT-PCR, histology and immunohistochemistry analyses) accompanied by marked attenuation of both systolic and diastolic cardiac functions measured with pressure-volume conductance catheter technique. Chronic treatment with CBD largely attenuated the CD3+ and CD4+ mediated inflammatory response and injury, myocardial fibrosis and cardiac dysfunction in mice.CBD may represent a promising novel treatment for management of autoimmune myocarditis and possibly other autoimmune disorders, and organ transplantation.