A novel insight into the neuroprotective effects of cannabidiol: maintained apelin/dopamine synthesis, NRF2 signaling, and AKT/CREB/BDNF gene expressions


Neuroinflammation is a process associated with degeneration and loss of neurons in different parts of the brain. The most important damage mechanisms in its formation are oxidative stress and inflammation. This study aimed to investigate the protective effects of cannabidiol (CBD) against neuroinflammation through various mechanisms. Thirty‑two female rats were randomly divided into 4 groups as control, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), LPS + CBD and CBD groups. After six hours following LPS administration, rats were sacrificed, brain and cerebellum tissues were obtained. Tissues were stained with hematoxylin‑eosin for histopathological analysis. Apelin and tyrosine hydroxylase synthesis were determined immunohistochemically. Total oxidant status and total antioxidant status levels were measured, and an oxidative stress index was calculated. Protein kinase B (AKT), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cyclic‑AMP response element‑binding protein (CREB) and nuclear factor erythroid 2‑related factor 2 (NRF2) mRNA expression levels were also determined. In the LPS group, hyperemia, degeneration, loss of neurons and gliosis were seen in all three tissues. Additionally, Purkinje cell loss in the cerebellum, as well as neuronal loss in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, were found throughout the LPS group. The expressions of AKT, BDNF, CREB and NRF2, apelin and tyrosine hydroxylase synthesis all decreased significantly. CBD treatment reversed these changes and ameliorated oxidative stress parameters. CBD showed protective effects against neuroinflammation via regulating AKT, CREB, BDNF expressions, NRF2 signaling, apelin and tyrosine hydroxylase synthesis.

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