Cannabidiol alleviates carbon tetrachloride-induced liver fibrosis in mice by regulating NF-κB and PPAR-α pathways


Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2024 Apr 22;249:10141. doi: 10.3389/ebm.2024.10141. eCollection 2024.


Liver fibrosis has become a serious public health problem that can develop into liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma and even lead to death. Cannabidiol (CBD), which is an abundant nonpsychoactive component in the cannabis plant, exerts cytoprotective effects in many diseases and under pathological conditions. In our previous studies, CBD significantly attenuated liver injury induced by chronic and binge alcohol in a mouse model and oxidative bursts in human neutrophils. However, the effects of CBD on liver fibrosis and the underlying mechanisms still need to be further explored. A mouse liver fibrosis model was induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) for 10 weeks and used to explore the protective properties of CBD and related molecular mechanisms. After the injection protocol, serum samples and livers were used for molecular biology, biochemical and pathological analyses. The results showed that CBD could effectively improve liver function and reduce liver damage and liver fibrosis progression in mice; the expression levels of transaminase and fibrotic markers were reduced, and histopathological characteristics were improved. Moreover, CBD inhibited the levels of inflammatory cytokines and reduced the protein expression levels of p-NF-κB, NF-κB, p-IκBα, p-p38 MAPK, and COX-2 but increased the expression level of PPAR-α. We found that CBD-mediated protection involves inhibiting NF-κB and activating PPAR-α. In conclusion, these results suggest that the hepatoprotective effects of CBD may be due to suppressing the inflammatory response in CCl4-induced mice and that the NF-κB and PPAR-α signaling pathways might be involved in this process.

PMID:38711461 | PMC:PMC11070938 | DOI:10.3389/ebm.2024.10141