Maternal administration of cannabidiol promotes an anti-inflammatory effect on the intestinal wall in a gastroschisis rat model

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2018 Mar 15;51(5):e7132. doi: 10.1590/1414-431X20177132.


Gastroschisis (GS) is an abdominal wall defect that results in histological and morphological changes leading to intestinal motility perturbation and impaired absorption of nutrients. Due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective effects, cannabidiol (CBD) has been used as a therapeutic agent in many diseases. Our aim was to test the effect of maternal CBD in the intestine of an experimental model of GS. Pregnant rats were treated over 3 days with CBD (30 mg/kg) after the surgical induction of GS (day 18.5 of gestation) and compared to controls. Fetuses were divided into 4 groups: 1) control (C); 2) C+CBD (CCBD); 3) gastroschisis (G), and 4) G+CBD (GCBD). On day 21.5 of gestation, the fetuses were harvested and evaluated for: a) body weight (BW), intestinal weight (IW), and IW/BW ratio; b) histometric analysis of the intestinal wall; c) immunohistochemically analysis of inflammation (iNOS) and nitrite/nitrate level. BW: GCBD was lower than CCBD (P<0.005), IW and IW/BW ratio: GCBD was smaller than G (P<0.005), GCBD presented lower thickness in all parameters compared to G (P<0.005), iNOS and nitrite/nitrate were lower concentration in GCBD than to G (P<0.005). Maternal use of CBD had a beneficial effect on the intestinal loops of GS with decreased nitrite/nitrate and iNOS expression.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enteritis / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / metabolism*
  • Fetal Diseases / pathology
  • Gastroschisis / metabolism*
  • Gastroschisis / pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestines / drug effects*
  • Nitrates / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / analysis
  • Nitrites / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Cannabidiol
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, rat