[Function of cannabinoids in heart failure].Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online) 2008; 62:174-84PH
Cannabinoids, substances derived from Cannabis sativa, have been used by humans as therapeutic agents for thousands of years. They act through the cannabinoid CB(1), CB(2), vanilloid TRPV1, and the as yet undefined putative endothelial cannabinoid receptors. Intensive research on the influence of cannabinoids on the cardiovascular system has been conducted since the 1990s after the discovery that cannabinoids are involved in hypotension connected with septic, cardiogenic, and hemorrhagic shock. One cannot exclude the future possibility of using cannabinoids as new therapeutic agents in diseases of the cardiovascular system. In the present paper the mechanisms of cannabinoids on heart failure are described. In the acute phase of myocardial infarction, cannabinoids protect the endothelium of coronary vessels and decrease the heart's necrotic area and the risk of arrhythmia. Cannabinoids also act in the chronic phase of myocardial infarction in the process of the heart remodeling. However, the present knowledge of the effects of cannabinoids on the acute and chronic phases of myocardial infarction and the possibility of using these agents in cardiovascular disease therapy is still insufficient.