International Research Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

International Research Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology (ISSN 2251-0176) Vol. 5(2) pp. 021-031, September 2015. DOI: http:/ Copyright © 2015 International Research Journals



Metformin, cannabinoids and artesunate: Convergent mechanisms in cardiometabolic and neuropsychiatric disorders

*Oriaifo S.E1, Nicholas Oriaifo2, Okogbenin E.O3, Omogbai E. K. I4

1Dept of Pharmacology and therapeutics, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria

2Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria

3HOD, Dept of Psychiatry, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital δ Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State

4Dept of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Benin, Benin-City, Edo State

*Corresponding Authors’ E-mail:

Received August 9, 2015;  Accepted August 30, 2015



Emerging evidence shows that there is a convergence of mechanisms amongst the calorie-restriction-mimetic drugs metformin, artesunate and the cannabinoid CB2 receptor activators such as cannabidiol in reducing the burden of cardiometabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, and neuropsychiatric diseases, such as epilepsy. Mechanistically, their pharmacological actions appear to converge on endothelial nitric oxide signalling through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-I alpha to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha which upregulates mitochondrial biogenesis and has neuroprotective effects. Down-regulation of mitochondrial function which is a feature of type 2 diabetes mellitus may be crucial in pathogenesis of cardiometabolic and neuropsychiatric disorders. Evidence shows that chronic metformin, artesunateand  cannabis administrations have overlapping or similar effects in preventing and attenuating some parameters of the metabolic or insulin resistance syndrome in a Nigerian population and in inhibiting development and progression of seizures. They thus deserve further attention as agents which may help shed more light on the links between cardiometabolic and neuropsychiatric illnesses.


Key-words: Metformin, artesunate, cannabinoid CB2 agonists, cardiometabolic, neuropsychiatric, mechanisms




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