Aldose reductase (ALR2) is a key enzyme involved in diabetic complications and the search for new aldose reductase inhibitors (ARIs) is currently very important. The synthetic ARIs are often associated with deleterious side effects and medicinal and edible plants, containing compounds with aldose reductase inhibitory activity, could be useful for prevention and therapy of diabetic complications. Non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids exert multiple pharmacological effects with therapeutic potential in many diseases such as inflammation, cancer, diabetes. Here, we have investigated the inhibitory effects of extracts and their fractions from two Cannabis sativa L. chemotypes with high content of cannabidiol(CBD)/cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabigerol (CBG)/cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), respectively, on human recombinant and pig kidney aldose reductase activity in vitro.
A molecular docking study was performed to evaluate the interaction of these cannabinoids with the active site of ALR2 compared to known ARIs.
The extracts showed significant dose-dependent aldose reductase inhibitory activity (>70%) and higher than fractions. The inhibitory activity of the fractions was greater for acidic cannabinoid-rich fractions. Comparative molecular docking results have shown a higher stability of the ALR2-cannabinoid acids complex than the other inhibitors. The extracts of Cannabis with high content of non-psychotropic cannabinoids CBD/CBDA or CBG/CBGA significantly inhibit aldose reductase activity. These results may have some relevance for the possible use of C. sativa chemotypes based preparations as aldose reductase inhibitors.