Synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018 and JWH-250 in ‘herbal incense’ also called ‘spice’ were first introduced in many countries. Numerous synthetic cannabinoids with similar chemical structures emerged simultaneously and suddenly. Currently there are not sufficient data on their adverse effects including neurotoxicity. There are only anecdotal reports that suggest their toxicity. In the present study, we evaluated the neurotoxicity of two synthetic cannabinoids (JWH-081 and JWH-210) through observation of various behavioral changes and analysis of histopathological changes using experimental mice with various doses (0.1, 1, 5 mg/kg). In functional observation battery (FOB) test, animals treated with 5 mg/kg of JWH-081 or JWH-210 showed traction and tremor.



JWH-018 is an analgesic chemical from the naphthoylindole family, which acts as a potent cannabinoid agonist at both the CB₁ and CB₂ receptors, with Kᵢ values of 0.46nM at CB₁ and 0.69nM at CB₂.1 The effects of JWH 210 in whole cells or organisms have not been evaluated.

JWH 210 is a potent cannabimimetic alkylindole that has been identified in extracts from herbal blends JWH 210 6-ethylnaphthyl isomer is a positional isomer of JWH 210, having the ethyl side chain at the 6 position rather than at the 4 position of the naphthyl group. The biological activities of this isomer have not been determined. This product is intended for forensic purposes.

The problem of new psychoactive substances (NPS) is emerging globally. However, the immunotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids is not evaluated extensively yet. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether synthetic cannabinoids (JWH-210 and JWH-030) induce adverse effects on lymphoid organs, viability of splenocytes and thymocytes, and immune cell activator and cytokines in mice. JWH-210 (10 mg/kg, 3 days, i.p.) is more likely to have cytotoxicity and reduce lymphoid organ weight than JWH-030 of ICR mice in vivo. We also demonstrated that JWH-210 administration resulted in the decrease of expression levels of T-cell activator including Cd3e, Cd3g, Cd74p31, and Cd74p41, while JWH-030 increased Cd3g levels. In addition, JWH-210 reduced expression levels of cytokines, such as interleukin-3, interleukin-5, and interleukin-6. Furthermore, we demonstrated that a CB2 receptor antagonist, AM630 inhibited JWH-210-induced cytotoxicity, whereas a CB1 receptor antagonist, rimonabant did not in primary cultured splenocytes. These results suggest that JWH-210 has a cytotoxicity via CB2 receptor action and results in decrement of lymphoid organ weights, T-cell activator, and cytokine mRNA expression levels.

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