Background: A relevant therapeutic time window (TTW) is an important criterion for considering
the clinical relevance of a substance preventing newborn hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain damage.
Objective: To test the TTW of the neuroprotective effects of cannabidol (CBD), a non-psychoactive
cannabinoid in a model of newborn HI brain damage.
Method: 9-10 day-old C57BL6 mice underwent a HI insult (10% oxygen for 90 min after left carotid
artery electrocoagulation). Then, CBD 1 mg/kg or vehicle were administered s.c. 15 min, or 1, 3, 6, 12,
18 or 24 h after the end of the HI insult. Seven days later brain damage was assessed using T2W Magnetic
Resonance Imaging scan (ipsilateral hemisphere volume loss, IVHL) and histological studies:
Nissl staining (neuropathological score), TUNEL staining (apoptotic damage) and immunohistochemistry
with glial fibrillary acidic protein (astrocyte viability) or ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule
Results: CBD administered up to 18 h after HI reduced IHVL and neuropathological score by 60%,
TUNEL+ count by 90% and astrocyte damage by 50%. In addition, CBD blunted the HI-induced increase
in microglial population. When CBD administration was delayed 24 h, however, the neuroprotective
effect was lost in terms of IHVL, apoptosis or astrogliosis reduction.
Conclusion: CBD shows a TTW of 18 h when administered to HI newborn mice, which represents a
broader TTW than reported for other neuroprotective treatments including hypothermia.