AM1241 alleviates myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats by enhancing Pink1/Parkin-mediated autophagy

Life Sci. 2021 May 1;272:119228. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119228. Epub 2021 Feb 16.


Aims: The purpose of this study was to reveal the therapeutic efficacy and underlying mechanism of cannabinoid type 2 receptor agonist (AM1241) on myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury (MIRI) in rats.

Main methods: We established a rat myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) model and H9c2 hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) model. ELISA was used to determine the concentrations of cardiac troponin I (cTnI), creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in plasma. EB/TTC staining was performed to observe the myocardial infarct size. Besides, the pathological changes of myocardial tissue were identified via H&E staining and Masson's trichrome staining. TUNEL assay was performed to examine myocardial apoptosis. Then, the protein expression of Pink1, Parkin and autophagy-related markers (Beclin-1, P62 and LC3) were detected by Western blot, and autophagy was evaluated by Mitotracker staining.

Key findings: The results of EB/TTC staining, H&E staining, Masson's trichrome staining and cardiac enzymes measuring showed that AM1241 treatment significantly diminished infarct size, the structural abnormalities and the activities of cardiac enzymes (cTnI, CK-MB, AST and LDH). AM1241 also significantly reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells induced by I/R in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, AM1241 activated Pink1/Parkin signaling pathway and upregulated autophagy level.

Significance: AM1241 exerts a protective effect against MIRI in rats by inducing autophagy through the activation of Pink1/Parkin pathway.

Keywords: AM1241; Autophagy; Cannabinoid type 2 receptor; Myocardial protection; Pink1/Parkin pathway.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Autophagy / drug effects
  • Cannabinoids / metabolism
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / metabolism
  • Myocardial Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / metabolism
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism


  • AM 1241
  • Cannabinoids
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • parkin protein
  • Protein Kinases
  • PTEN-induced putative kinase