Role of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain in rodents

Int Immunopharmacol. 2022 Jun;107:108693. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2022.108693. Epub 2022 Mar 15.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate if phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabidiol (CBD), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and their combination, could protect mice from Paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy (PIPN). Six groups of C57BL/6J mice (n = 6) were used in this study. The mice were given paclitaxel (PTX) (8 mg/kg/day, i.p.) on days 1, 3, 5, and 7 to induce neuropathy. Mice were evaluated for behavioral parameters, and dorsal root ganglions (DRG) were collected from the animals and subjected to RNA sequencing and westernblot analysis at the end of the study. On cultured DRGs derived from adult male rats, immunocytochemistry and mitochondrial functional assays were also performed. When compared to individual treatments, the combination of CBD and THCV improved thermal and mechanical neurobehavioral symptoms in mice by twofold. Targets for CBD and THCV therapy were identified by KEGG (RNA sequencing). PTX reduced the expression of p-AMPK, SIRT1, NRF2, HO1, SOD2, and catalase while increasing the expression of PI3K, p-AKT, p-P38 MAP kinase, BAX, TGF-β, NLRP3 inflammasome, and caspase 3 in DRG homogenates of mice. Combination therapy outperformed monotherapy in reversing these protein expressions. The addition of CBD and THCV to DRG primary cultures reduced mitochondrial superoxides while increasing mitochondrial membrane potentials. WAY100135 and rimonabant altered the neuroprotective effects of CBD and THCV respectively by blocking 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors in mice and DRG primary cultures. The entourage effect of CBD and THCV against PIPN appears to protect neurons in mice via 5HT1A and CB1 receptors respectively.

Keywords: 5-HT1A receptors; AMPK; CB1 receptors; Cannabidiol; Peripheral Neuropathy; Tetrahydrocannabivarin.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannabidiol* / pharmacology
  • Cannabidiol* / therapeutic use
  • Cannabinoids* / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neuralgia* / chemically induced
  • Neuralgia* / drug therapy
  • Paclitaxel / adverse effects
  • Rats
  • Rodentia


  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabidiol
  • Paclitaxel