MDMB-FUBINACA Influences Brain Angiogenesis and the Expression of VEGF, ANG-1, and ANG-2

Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2023 Sep 13. doi: 10.2174/1570161121666230913093441. Online ahead of print.


Aim: This study aims to explore the impact of the synthetic cannabinoid methyl 2-(1-(4- fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)-3,3-dimethylbutanoate (MDMB-FUBINACA) on the angiogenesis process in human brain microvascular endothelial cells.

Background: Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) are substances that mimic the natural components found in the cannabis plant. SCs are considered prohibited substances that have a clear impact on the central nervous system (CNS).

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to explore how MDMB-FUBINACA influences angiogenesis in human brain microvascular endothelial cells and to clarify the pathways related to the cannabinoid receptors.

Methods: Human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs) were grown in the medium containing Dulbecco Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM/F12) using an endothelial cell growth kit. Endothelial cell viability was evaluated using the MTT test. Migration ability was measured using the Wound healing test. The angiogenic capability was measured using a Tube Formation assay. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was utilized to explore the mRNA concentrations following MDMBFUBINACA treatment. ELISA and Western blotting were also employed to measure the protein levels.

Results: MDMB-FUBINACA greatly increases tube formation, endothelial cell proliferation, and migration. Pro-angiogenic factors such as angiopoietins 1 and 2 (ANG-1 and 2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were shown to be increased at both the RNA and protein levels.

Conclusion: MDMB-FUBINACA induces the progression of the angiogenesis process by inducing the expression of pro-angiogenic factors. These findings aim toward developing novel treatments for angiogenesis- related disorders.

Keywords: ANG-1; ANG-2; Angiogenesis; Brain endothelial cells; MDMDB-FUBINACA; VEGF.