Effects of two cannabinoids on hepatic microsomal cytochrome p-450

Kazuhito Watanabe, Koichi Hamajima, Shizuo Narimatsu, Ikuo Yamamoto, Hidetoshi Yoshimura

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) on the synthesis and degradation of hepatic microsomal cytochrome P-450 were studied in mice. Cannabinoids used (10, 50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.) did not affect δ-aminolevulinic acid synthetase activity in the liver. Δ9-THC-treatment (10, 50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.) markedly stimulated heme oxygenase activity in hepatic 18000 × g supernatant fractions in a dose-dependent manner, whereas CBD-treatment was without effect. In vitro experiments, CBD and Δ9-THC (40 to 160 μM) markedly inhibited nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-induced lipid peroxidation in hepatic microsomes. When CBD was incubated with the hepatic microsomes in the presence of an NADPH-generating system, cytochrome P-450 content decreased significantly. However, Δ9-THC showed no effects in similar experiments. The rate of decrease in the cytochrome P-450 content using CBD (160 μM) was 0.212 nmol/mg protein/20 min in microsomes from control mice. This value increased significantly in microsomes from phenobarbital-treated mice (0.792 nmol/mg protein/20 min) but not in those from 3-methylcholanthrene-treated mice (0.190 nmol/mg protein/20 min). The metabolic rate (per nmol cytochrome P-450) of CBD was also increased significantly by phenobarbital-treatment but not by 3-methylcholanthrene-treatment. These results suggest that CBD metabolites rather than CBD itself, play some role in the decreasing effect on cytochrome P-450 content in the hepatic microsomes in vitro, and that the microsomal formation of reactive metabolite of CBD is increased by phenobarbital-treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
Journaljournal of pharmacobio-dynamics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1986


  • 3-methylcholanthrene
  • cannabidiol
  • cytochrome P-450
  • heme oxygenase
  • hepatic microsome
  • lipid peroxidation
  • phenobarbital
  • Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol
  • δ-aminolevulinic acid synthetase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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