Prophylactic administration of cannabidiol reduces microglial inflammatory response to kainate-induced seizures and neurogenesis

Neuroscience. 2022 Jun 11;S0306-4522(22)00304-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2022.06.010. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Microglia, the dynamic innate immune cells of the central nervous system, become activated in epilepsy. The process of microglial activation in epilepsy results in the creation of an inflammatory environment around the site of seizure onset, which contributes to the epileptogenic process and epilepsy progression. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been effective for use as an adjunctive treatment for two severe pediatric seizure disorders. Newly recognized as an Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug treatment in epilepsy, it has gained in popularity primarily for pain management. Although CBD is readily available in stores and online retailers, its mechanism of action and specifically its effects on microglia and their functions are yet fully understood. In this study, we examine the effects of commercially available CBD on microglia inflammatory activation and neurogenic response, in the presence and absence of seizures. We use systemic administration of kainate to elicit seizures in mice, which are assessed behaviorally. Artisanal CBD is given in different modes of administration and timing to dissect its effect on seizure intensity, microglial activation and aberrant seizure-related neurogenesis. CBD significantly dampens microglial migration and accumulation to the hippocampus. While long term artisanal CBD use does not prevent or lessen seizure severity, CBD is a promising adjunctive partner for its ability to depress epileptogenic processes. These studies indicate that artisanal CBD is beneficial as it both decreases inflammation in the CNS and reduces the number of ectopic neurons deposited in the hippocampal area post seizure.

Keywords: Aberrant neurogenesis; Behavior; Cannabidiol; Kainite; Mice.