Eszter Trojnar, Katalin Erdelyi,Csaba Matyas, Suxian Zhao, Janos Paloczi, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Zoltan V.Varga, Gyorgy Hasko, Pal Pacher

Published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine

May 2020


Study rationale:
Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a life-threatening complication of end-stage liver disease characterized by the rapid decline of kidney function. Herein, we explored the therapeutic potential of targeting the cannabinoid-2 receptor (CB2-R) utilizing a commonly used mouse model of liver fibrosis and hepatorenal syndrome (HRS), induced by bile duct ligation (BDL).

Gene expression analysis, histological evaluation, determination of serum levels of renal injury-biomarkers were used to characterize the BDL-induced organ injury; laser speckle analysis to measure microcirculation in the kidneys.

Key Results:
We found that liver injury triggered marked inflammation and oxidative stress in the kidneys of BDL-operated mice. We detected pronounced histopathological alterations with tubular injury paralleled with increased inflammation, oxidative/nitrative stress and fibrotic remodeling both in hepatic and renal tissues as well as endothelial activation and markedly impaired renal microcirculation. This was accompanied by increased CB2-R expression in both the liver and the kidney tissues of diseased animals. A selective CB2-R agonist, HU-910, markedly decreased numerous markers of inflammation, oxidative stress and fibrosis both in the liver and in the kidneys. HU-910 also attenuated markers of kidney injury and improved the impaired renal microcirculation in BDL-operated mice.

Our results suggest that oxidative stress, inflammation and microvascular dysfunction are key events in the pathogenesis of BDL-associated renal failure. Furthermore, we demonstrate that targeting the CB2-R by selective agonists may represent a promising new avenue to treat HRS by attenuating tissue and vascular inflammation, oxidative stress, fibrosis and consequent microcirculatory dysfunction in the kidneys.

Open Access




Trojnar, E., Erdelyi, K., Matyas, C., Zhao, S., Paloczi, J., Mukhopadhyay, P., … & Pacher, P. (2020). Cannabinoid-2 receptor activation ameliorates hepatorenal syndrome. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 152, 540-550.