Cannabidiol reduces brain damage and improves functional recovery after acute hypoxia-ischemia in newborn pigs

Pediatr Res. 2011 Sep;70(3):272-7. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3182276b11.


Newborn piglets exposed to acute hypoxia-ischemia (HI) received i.v. cannabidiol (HI + CBD) or vehicle (HI + VEH). In HI + VEH, 72 h post-HI brain activity as assessed by amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) had only recovered to 42 ± 9% of baseline, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) parameters remained lower than normal, and neurobehavioral performance was abnormal (27.8 ± 2.3 points, normal 36). In the brain, there were fewer normal and more pyknotic neurons, while astrocytes were less numerous and swollen. Cerebrospinal fluid concentration of neuronal-specific enolase (NSE) and S100β protein and brain tissue percentage of TNFα(+) cells were all higher. In contrast, in HI + CBD, aEEG had recovered to 86 ± 5%, NIRS parameters increased, and the neurobehavioral score normalized (34.3 ± 1.4 points). HI induced histological changes, and NSE and S100β concentration and TNFα(+) cell increases were suppressed by CBD. In conclusion, post-HI administration of CBD protects neurons and astrocytes, leading to histological, functional, biochemical, and neurobehavioral improvements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / drug therapy*
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / pathology*
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / physiopathology
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / rehabilitation
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Sus scrofa


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Cannabidiol