Islet protection and amelioration of diabetes type 2 in Psammomys obesus by treatment with cannabidiol

DOI: 10.4236/jdm.2012.21005   PDF   HTML     3,758 Downloads   6,868 Views   Citations


Background and purpose: Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa, has been shown by us, to have an anti-inflammatory effect in collagen-induced arthritis in DBA mice and in type 1 diabetes in NOD mice. As inflammation is a process involved in diabetes type 2, we administered CBD to Psammomys obesus (sand rats), a species which develops diabetes type 2 when fed high-energy (HE) diet, to investigate whether we can hinder the development of the disease. Experimental Approach: Male Psammomys obesus were kept on a high energy diet during the experiments. They were treated with CBD (i.p injection, 5 mg/kg, 5 times/week) for 4 weeks and kept (without CBD) for another 29 - 39 days. The weights of the animals as well as blood glucose and plasma insulin levels were determined and the morphology of the pancreatic islets was examined. Key results: CBD significantly reduced blood glucose levels in Psammomys obesus, without effecting body weight. Plasma insulin levels were significantly higher in the CBD-treated group. The most striking effect noted was the marked decrease of the destruction of pancreatic islets and beta cells. Conclusions and implications: CBD partially protects pancreatic islets and beta cells from destruction. CBD lowers significantly the blood glucose level and increases insulin level in Psammomys obesus with diabetes type 2, but does not lead to obesity. As CBD already has been administered to patients for other medical indications we propose its use as a therapeutic agent in diabetes type 2.

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Ehud, Z. , Lola, W. , Itamar, R. , Natan, P. , Zhanna, Y. and Ruth, G. (2012) Islet protection and amelioration of diabetes type 2 in Psammomys obesus by treatment with cannabidiol. Journal of Diabetes Mellitus, 2, 27-34. doi: 10.4236/jdm.2012.21005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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