Inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation rectifies motivational and dopaminergic deficits in the Q175 mouse model of Huntington’s disease.

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“Prominent motor deficits (e.g., chorea) that typify Huntington’s disease (HD) arise following a prolonged prodromal stage characterized by psychiatric disturbances. Apathy, a disorder of motivation characterized by diminished goal-directed behavior, is one of the earliest and most common psychiatric symptoms in HD, but the underlying neurobiology is unclear and treatment options are limited.

Alterations in the endocannabinoid (eCB) and dopamine systems represent prominent pathophysiological markers in HD that-similar to motivational deficits-present early and decline across disease progression. Whether changes in dopamine and eCB systems are associated with specific behavioral impairments in HD and whether these deficits are amenable to viable treatments is unknown.

Here, we show that dopaminergic encoding of effortful drive progressively declines with age in an HD mouse model, and is restored by elevating tissue levels of the eCB 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) through targeted inhibition of its enzymatic degradation.

This work supports aberrant dopaminergic encoding of reward as a neurobiological correlate of apathy in HD, and indicates that cannabinoid receptor-based therapies may benefit neuropsychiatric care for HD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29925886

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-018-0107-8

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The adult motor phenotype of Dravet syndrome is associated with mutation of the STXBP1 gene and responds well to cannabidiol treatment.

Seizure - European Journal of Epilepsy Home

“Dravet syndrome is a terrible disease generally caused by mutations of the SCN1A gene. Recently others genes such as STXBP1 have been involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. The STXBP1 mutation in patients with Dravet Syndrome may additionally causes several parkinsonian features usually attributed to carriers of the SCN1A mutation. Management continues to be difficult that is why Cannabidiol emerged as valid option for treatment of this condition.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29929108

https://www.seizure-journal.com/article/S1059-1311(17)30500-9/fulltext

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Cannabinoids for Treatment of MS Symptoms: State of the Evidence.

Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

“Cannabis and cannabinoids have been used medically and recreationally for thousands of years and recently there has been a growing body of research in this area. With increased access now that medical marijuana is available in many jurisdictions, patients and providers want to know more about the evidence for benefits and risks of cannabinoid use.

This paper provides an overview of the available cannabinoid-based formulations, a summary of the highest quality evidence for the use of cannabinoids for treating spasticity and pain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), and a discussion of possible dosing regimens based on information from these studies.

Two recent high-quality systematic reviews concluded that the only strong evidence for medical marijuana in neurological disorders was for reducing the symptoms of patient-reported spasticity and central pain in MS and that the only complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) intervention in MS with strong supportive evidence was cannabinoids.

Based on this review, they concluded that nabiximols (Sativex oral spray), oral cannabis extract (OCE), and synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are probably effective at reducing patient-reported symptoms of spasticity in people with MS, but OCE and synthetic THC were not found to be effective for reducing physician-administered measures of spasticity.

In addition, nabiximols, OCE, and synthetic THC are probably effective at reducing MS-related pain. Cannabinoids were generally well-tolerated.

While cannabinoids have been studied for a variety of neurologic disorders, there is strongest evidence to indicate benefits in treatment of spasticity and neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis. Although the best dose for an individual remains uncertain, most participants in the studies discussed in this paper used between 20 and 40 mg of THC a day in divided doses.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29923025

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11910-018-0859-x

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Medicinal Cannabinoids in Palliative Care.

 British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology banner

“The treatment of symptoms in people with palliative diagnoses begins with meticulous clinical assessment with treatment choice (s) selected based on an understanding of the symptom aetiology and the evidence which underpins its treatment.

Increasingly the merits of palliative care have been established earlier in the disease trajectory where treatment outcomes may include increased survival and maintenance of function.

There is strong public support for the availability of medicinal cannabis, particularly for people with palliative diagnoses.

There are several areas where there is potential for symptom benefits through modulation of the endocannabinoid system, though clinical data to date has been inconclusive in key symptoms such as pain and nausea, and data from other settings such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting not readily extrapolated.

Ideally exploration of medicinal cannabinoids should occur within a clinical trial to accelerate the evidence base to inform practice. In people with refractory symptoms the consideration of unregistered products or off label prescribing should be guided by the potential influences of pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and drug-drug interactions, supported by an informed discussion with the patient, and regular review of net clinical benefit.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29923616

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bcp.13671

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Cannabidiol did not induce teratogenicity or neurotoxicity in exposed zebrafish embryos.

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotomimetic compound of the Cannabis sativa that has been used for the treatment of severe epilepsy as well as other diseases of nervous system. However, toxicity studies of CBD have great relevance to guarantee the patients safety.

In this context, morphological analyses of zebrafish can contribute to evaluate the teratogenic potential, as well as evaluation of acetylcholinesterase activity and motor activity of zebrafish are valuable tools to verify the neurotoxicity potential. In the present work, we use this methodology to test the toxicity of CBD to zebrafish embryos.

No malformation was observed in morphological analysis of embryos exposed to all tested concentrations of CBD.

Embryos exposed to CBD did not show differences in acetylcholinesterase activity, but embryos exposed to CBD 20-300 μg/L were 1.4 up to 1.7-fold more active when compared to the control. Despite that, at 48 hpf, motor activity returned to control values.

Our results suggest that the effects observed after CBD exposure are intimately related to CB1 receptor that is present in zebrafish since early stages of development. The present work showed early light effects induced by CBD exposure in concentrations that did not alter biochemical activity.”

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The impact of Cannabidiol treatment on regulatory T-17 Cells and neutrophil polarization in Acute Kidney Injury.

 American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology 0 0 cover image

“Hallmark features of acute kidney injury (AKI) include mobilization of immune and inflammatory mechanisms culminating in tissue injury. Emerging information indicates heterogeneity of neutrophils with pro- and anti-inflammatory functions (N1 and N2, respectively). Also, regulatory T-17 (Treg17) cells curtail Th-17-mediated pro-inflammatory responses. However, the status of Treg17 cells and neutrophil phenotypes in AKI are not established.

Further, cannabidiol exerts immunoregulatory effects but its impact on Treg17 cells and neutrophil subtypes is not established. Thus, we examined the status of Treg17 cells and neutrophil subtypes in AKI and determined whether cannabidiol favors regulatory neutrophils and T cells accompanied with renoprotection.

Importantly, cannabidiol treatment preserved ψm, reduced cell death and KIM-1 accompanied by restoration of N1 and N2 imbalance and preservation of Treg17 cells while decreasing Th-17 cells. The ability of cannabidiol to favor development of Treg17 cells was further established using functional mixed lymphocytic reaction. Subsequent studies showed higher renal blood flow and reduced serum creatinine in cannabidiol-treated IRI animals.

Collectively, our novel observations establish that renal IRI causes neutrophil polarization in favor of N1 and also reduces Treg17 cells in favor of Th-17, effects that are reversed by cannabidiol treatment accompanied with significant renoprotection.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29897289

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The association between cannabis use and suicidal behavior in patients with psychiatric disorders: an analysis of sex differences.

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“Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug. In the general population, its use has been linked to a heightened propensity for suicidal behavior (SB).

We hypothesize that this association varies in patients with psychiatric disorders. SB is known to vary by sex and therefore an investigation of cannabis‘ association with SB must consider sex differences.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between cannabis use and suicide attempts in men and women with psychiatric disorders.

We found no significant association between suicide attempts and cannabis use in men or women.

Our findings indicate that there is no association between cannabis use and suicidal behavior in men or women with psychiatric disorders unlike what was reported for the general population, though the heaviness of cannabis use may have an effect in men.

The impact of cannabis use in psychiatric disorders needs ongoing examination in light of its common use, impending legalization with expected increased access and the uncertainty about cannabis‘ effects on prognosis of psychiatric disorders.

In addition, research should continue to investigate modifiable risk factors of SB in this population of which cannabis is not a significant factor based on this study.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29891008

https://bsd.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13293-018-0182-x

“Cannabis Does Not Increase Suicidal Behavior in Psychiatric Patients” https://neurosciencenews.com/psychiatry-cannabis-suicide-9330/
“Researchers Find That Cannabis Does Not Increase Suicidal Behavior in Psychiatric Patients” https://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2018/06/researchers-find-cannabis-does-not-increase-suicidal-behavior-psychiatric-patients
“Cannabis does not increase suicidal behavior in psychiatric patients: McMaster” https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/mu-cdn061318.php

“Cannabis does not increase suicidal behavior in psychiatric patients”  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180613162658.htm

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The Role of Cannabinoids in the Setting of Cirrhosis.

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“Although the mortality rates of cirrhosis are underestimated, its socioeconomic burden has demonstrated a significant global impact. Cirrhosis is defined by the disruption of normal liver architecture after years of chronic insult by different etiologies. Treatment modalities are recommended primarily in decompensated cirrhosis and specifically tailored to the different manifestations of hepatic decompensation. Antifibrogenic therapies are within an active area of investigation.

The endocannabinoid system has been shown to play a role in liver disease, and cirrhosis specifically, with intriguing possible therapeutic benefits. The endocannabinoid system comprises cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) and their ligands, endocannabinoids and exocannabinoids.

CB1 activation enhances fibrogenesis, whereas CB2 activation counteracts progression to fibrosis. Conversely, deletion of CB1 is associated with an improvement of hepatic fibrosis and steatosis, and deletion of CB2 results in increased collagen deposition, steatosis, and enhanced inflammation.

CB1 antagonism has also demonstrated vascular effects in patients with cirrhosis, causing an increase in arterial pressure and vascular resistance as well as a decrease in mesenteric blood flow and portal pressure, thereby preventing ascites. In mice with hepatic encephalopathy, CB1 blockade and activation of CB2 demonstrated improved neurologic score and cognitive function.

Endocannabinoids, themselves also have mechanistic roles in cirrhosis. Arachidonoyl ethanolamide (AEA) exhibits antifibrogenic properties by inhibition of HSC proliferation and induction of necrotic death. AEA induces mesenteric vasodilation and hypotension via CB1 induction. 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) is a fibrogenic mediator independent of CB receptors, but in higher doses induces apoptosis of HSCs, which may actually show antifibrotic properties. 2-AG has also demonstrated growth-inhibitory and cytotoxic effects.

The exocannabinoid, THC, suppresses proliferation of hepatic myofibroblasts and stellate cells and induces apoptosis, which may reveal antifibrotic and hepatoprotective mechanisms. Thus, several components of the endocannabinoid system have therapeutic potential in cirrhosis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29890719

http://www.mdpi.com/2305-6320/5/2/52

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Betacaryophyllene – A phytocannabinoid as potential therapeutic modality for human sepsis?

Medical Hypotheses Home

“Sepsis is a clinical condition resulting from a dysregulated immune response to an infection that leads to organ dysfunction. Despite numerous efforts to optimize treatment, sepsis remains to be the main cause of death in most intensive care units.

The endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in inflammation.

Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) activation is immunosuppressive, which might be beneficial during the hyper-inflammatory phase of sepsis.

Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is a non-psychoactive natural cannabinoid (phytocannabinoid) found in Cannabis sativa and in essential oils of spices and food plants, that acts as a selective agonist of CB2R.

We propose BCP administration as novel treatment to reduce hyper-inflammation in human sepsis.”

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Ischemia/Reperfusion Model Impairs Endocannabinoid Signaling and Na+/K+ ATPase Expression and Activity in Kidney Proximal Tubule Cells.

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“LLC-PK1 cells, an immortalized epithelial cell line derived from pig renal proximal tubules, express all the major players of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) such as CB1, CB2 and TRPV1 receptor, as well as the main enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of the major endocannabinoids named 2-arachidonoylglycerol, 2-AG and anandamide, AEA.

Here we investigated whether the damages caused by ischemic insult either in vitro using LLC-PK1 cells exposed to antimycin A (an inductor of ATP-depletion) or in vivo using Wistar rats in a classic renal ischemia and reperfusion (IR) protocol, lead to changes in AEA and 2-AG levels, as well as altered expression of genes from the main enzymes involved in the regulation of the ECS.

Our data show that the mRNA levels of CB1 receptor gene were downregulated, while the transcript levels of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the main 2-AG degradative enzyme, are upregulated in LLC-PK1 cells after IR model. Accordingly, IR was accompanied by a significant reduction in the levels of 2-AG and AEA, as well as of the two endocannabinoid related molecules, oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) in LLC-PK1 cells. In kidney cortex homogenates, the AEA levels were selectively significantly decreased. In addition, we found that both the in vitro and in vivo model of IR caused a reduction in the expression and activity of the Na+/K+ATPase. These changes were reversed by the CB1/CB2 agonist WIN55,212, in a CB1-receptor dependent manner on LLC-PK1 IR model.

In conclusion, the ECS and Na+/K+ ATPase are down-regulated following IR model in LLC-PK1 cells and rat kidney. We suggest that CB1 agonists might represent a potential strategy to reverse the consequences of IR injury in kidney tissues.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29890144

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006295218302132

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