Objective: The vasorelaxant effect of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) has been well characterised in animals. 2-AG is present in human vascular cells and is up-regulated in cardiovascular pathophysiology. However, the acute vascular actions of 2-AG have not been explored in humans.
Approach: Mesenteric arteries were obtained from patients receiving colorectal surgery and mounted on a myograph. Arteries were contracted and 2-AG concentration-response curves were carried out. Mechanisms of action were characterised pharmacologically. Post hoc analysis was carried out to assess the effects of cardiovascular disease/risk factors on 2-AG responses.
Results: 2-AG caused vasorelaxation of human mesenteric arteries, independent of cannabinoid receptor or transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 activation, the endothelium, nitric oxide or metabolism via monoacyglycerol lipase or fatty acid amide hydrolase. 2-AG-induced vasorelaxation was reduced in the presence of indomethacin and flurbiprofen, suggesting a role for cyclooxygenase metabolism 2-AG. Responses to 2-AG were also reduced in the presence of Cay10441, L-161982 and potentiated in the presence of AH6809, suggesting that metabolism of 2-AG produces both vasorelaxant and vasoconstrictor prostanoids. Finally, 2-AG-induced vasorelaxation was dependent on potassium efflux and the presence of extracellular calcium.
Conclusions: We have shown for the first time that 2-AG causes vasorelaxation of human mesenteric arteries. Vasorelaxation is dependent on COX metabolism, activation of prostanoid receptors (EP4 & IP) and ion channel modulation. 2-AG responses are blunted in patients with cardiovascular risk factors.
Keywords: 2-Arachidonoylglycerol; Cyclooxygenase; Endocannabinoid; Human; Prostanoid; Vasorelaxation.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.