Role of CB2 Receptor in the Recovery of Mice after Traumatic Brain Injury

Lital Magid*, Sami Heymann, Merav Elgali, Liat Avram, Yoram Cohen, Sigal Liraz-Zaltsman, Raphael Mechoulam, Esther Shohami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Cannabis is one of the most widely used plant drugs in the world today. In spite of the large number of scientific reports on medical marijuana, there still exists much controversy surrounding its use and the potential for abuse due to the undesirable psychotropic effects. However, recent developments in medicinal chemistry of novel non-psychoactive synthetic cannabinoids have indicated that it is possible to separate some of the therapeutic effects from the psychoactivity. We have previously shown that treatment with the endocannabinoid 2-AG, which binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors 1 h after traumatic brain injury in mice, attenuates neurological deficits, edema formation, infarct volume, blood-brain barrier permeability, neuronal cell loss at the CA3 hippocampal region, and neuroinflammation. Recently, we synthesized a set of camphor-resorcinol derivatives, which represent a novel series of CB2 receptor selective ligands. Most of the novel compounds exhibited potent binding and agonistic properties at the CB2 receptors with very low affinity for the CB1 receptor, and some were highly anti-inflammatory. This selective binding correlated with their intrinsic activities. HU-910 and HU-914 were selected in the present study to evaluate their potential effect in the pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In mice and rats subjected to closed-head injury and treated with these novel compounds, we showed enhanced neurobehavioral recovery, inhibition of tumor necrosis factor α production, increased synaptogenesis, and partial recovery of the cortical spinal tract. We propose these CB2 agonists as potential drugs for development of novel therapeutic modality to TBI.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1836-1846
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


  • CB receptor
  • HU-910
  • HU-914
  • cannabinoids
  • traumatic brain injury


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