Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been used for decades in the United States in multi-dose vials (vials containing more than one dose) of medicines and vaccines. There is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.
Inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS) is a complex process that involves a multitude of molecules and effectors, and it requires the transmigration of blood leukocytes across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the activation of resident immune cells. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic cannabinoid constituent of Cannabis sativa, has potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. Yet, how this compound modifies the deleterious effects of inflammation in TMEV-induced demyelinating disease (TMEV-IDD) remains unknown. Using this viral model of multiple sclerosis (MS), we demonstrate that CBD decreases the transmigration of blood leukocytes by downregulating the expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), chemokines (CCL2 and CCL5) and the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β, as well as by attenuating the activation of microglia. Moreover, CBD administration at the time of viral infection exerts long-lasting effects, ameliorating motor deficits in the chronic phase of the disease in conjunction with reduced microglial activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Adenosine A2A receptors participate in some of the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, as the A2A antagonist ZM241385 partially blocks the protective effects of CBD in the initial stages of inflammation. Together, our findings highlight the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD in this viral model of MS and demonstrate the significant therapeutic potential of this compound for the treatment of pathologies with an inflammatory component.