Role of cannabinoid CB1 receptors and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the gut and systemic anti-inflammatory activity of SR 141716 (rimonabant) in rodents

Br J Pharmacol. 2003 Sep;140(1):115-22. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0705412. Epub 2003 Jul 29.


(1) We investigated the effect of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist, SR 141716, on indomethacin-induced small intestine inflammation and Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced plasma TNF-alpha (TNF) release in comparison to the cannabinoid CB2 receptor antagonist, SR 144528, in rodents. (2) In rats, indomethacin induced significant ulcer formation in the small intestine; this was accompanied by an increase in tissue TNF levels and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. SR 141716 prevented the ulcers and the rise in TNF levels (ID50 3.3, 0.4 mg kg-1, respectively) and MPO activity. SR 144528 prevented intestinal ulcers only. (3) The effect of SR 141716 against indomethacin-induced ulcers and increase of plasma TNF levels after LPS was also studied in wild-type and CB1 receptor knockout mice. Indomethacin induced intestinal ulcers in mice, but not tissue TNF production and MPO activity. SR 141716 reduced the ulcers to a similar extent in wild-type and CB1 receptor knockout mice. In rats and wild-type mice, but not in CB1 receptor knockout mice, SR 141716 inhibited the LPS-induced increase in plasma TNF levels. (4) These findings provide evidence that the indomethacin model of intestinal lesions differs in rat and mouse and support the existence of several mechanisms for the antiulcer activity of SR141716, the most important involving the inhibition of TNF production. The potent anti-inflammatory activity of SR141716 in rodents indicated its potential therapeutic interest in chronic immune-inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Duodenal Ulcer / chemically induced
  • Duodenal Ulcer / metabolism
  • Duodenal Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Duodenitis / chemically induced
  • Duodenitis / drug therapy
  • Duodenitis / metabolism
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism*
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Piperidines / pharmacology*
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology*
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / deficiency
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / physiology*
  • Rimonabant
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Rimonabant