Cannabinoid CB1 receptor inhibition decreases vascular smooth muscle migration and proliferation

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Dec 26;377(4):1248-52. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.10.159. Epub 2008 Nov 6.


Vascular smooth muscle proliferation and migration triggered by inflammatory stimuli and chemoattractants such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) are key events in the development and progression of atherosclerosis and restenosis. Cannabinoids may modulate cell proliferation and migration in various cell types through cannabinoid receptors. Here we investigated the effects of CB(1) receptor antagonist rimonabant (SR141716A), which has recently been shown to have anti-atherosclerotic effects both in mice and humans, on PDGF-induced proliferation, migration, and signal transduction of human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMCs). PDGF induced Ras and ERK 1/2 activation, while increasing proliferation and migration of HCASMCs, which were dose dependently attenuated by CB(1) antagonist, rimonabant. These findings suggest that in addition to improving plasma lipid alterations and decreasing inflammatory cell migration and inflammatory response, CB(1) antagonists may exert beneficial effects in atherosclerosis and restenosis by decreasing vascular smooth muscle proliferation and migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coronary Vessels / cytology
  • Coronary Vessels / drug effects
  • Coronary Vessels / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1 / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3 / metabolism
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology
  • Piperidines / pharmacology*
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor beta / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Rimonabant
  • ras Proteins / metabolism


  • Piperidines
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Pyrazoles
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor beta
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • ras Proteins
  • Rimonabant