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Author(s): João P. Silva
Helena Carmo
Felix Carvalho
Title: The synthetic cannabinoid XLR-11 induces in vitro nephrotoxicity by impairment of endocannabinoid-mediated regulation of mitochondrial function homeostasis and triggering of apoptosis
Issue Date: 2018-02-03
Abstract: Synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs)-related intoxications and deaths have been increasingly reported, turning its widespread recreational use into a major public health concern. Specifically, a direct link between SCBs and acute kidney injury (AKI) has been established. XLR-11 is an SCB commonly found in the toxicological analysis of patients with SCB-associated AKI. However, the pathophysiology of AKI among SCB consumers remains unknown. This work thus represents the first in vitro assessment of SCB nephrotoxicity, as a first approach to identify its cellular targets. We demonstrate that XLR-11, at biologically relevant concentrations (in the nanomolar range), primarily targets mitochondrial function in human proximal tubule (HK-2) cells, inducing a transient hyperpolarization of the mitochondrial membrane and increasing ATP production, accompanied by Box translocation from cytosol into mitochondria. These phenomena further triggered energy-dependent apoptotic cell death pathways, indicated by increased caspase-3 activity and chromatin condensation. Experiments using SR141716A and SR144258, specific antagonists for CB1 and CB2 receptors, respectively, as well as HEK293T cells (which do not express CBRs) highlighted these processes' dependence on CBR activation. Nevertheless, ATP formation seemed to follow a CBR-independent pathway. Our findings using specific inhibitors of endogenous cannabinoids biosynthesis (i.e. MAFP and THL) further evidenced the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of these processes, as XLR-11 binding to CBRs seemed to compromise endocannabinoid-mediated preservation of mitochondrial function. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms involved require further clarification.
Document Type: Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional
Rights: restrictedAccess
Appears in Collections:FFUP - Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional

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