Cannabinoids and cancer: potential for colorectal cancer therapy.

“Despite extensive research into the biology of CRC (colorectal cancer), and recent advances in surgical techniques and chemotherapy, CRC continues to be a major cause of death throughout the world. Therefore it is important to develop novel chemopreventive/chemotherapeutic agents for CRC.

Cannabinoids are a class of compounds that are currently used in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and in the stimulation of appetite. However, there is accumulating evidence that they could also be useful for the inhibition of tumour cell growth by modulating key survival signalling pathways.

The chemotherapeutic potential for plant-derived and endogenous cannabinoids in CRC therapy is reviewed.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16042581

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A new formulation of cannabidiol in cream shows therapeutic effects in a mouse model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

“The present study was designed to investigate the efficacy of a new formulation of alone, purified cannabidiol (CBD) (>98 %), the main non-psychotropic cannabinoid of Cannabis sativa, as a topical treatment in an experimental model of autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the most commonly used model for multiple sclerosis (MS)…

All these data suggest an interesting new profile of CBD that could lead to its introduction in the clinical management of MS and its associated symptoms at least in association with current conventional therapy.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26489494

“Summarizing, we have shown that the topical administration of CBD can protect against the cascade of events (inflammation, oxidative injury and neuronal cell death) associated to the induction of EAE. Of note, topical CBD application was able to recover the hind limb lost sensitivity. This observation provides a rationale for evaluating its clinical translation that might represent a new concept in the management of MS. Finally, we suggest that CBD, devoid of psychoactive activity, could be potentially, safe and effective non invasive alternatives for alleviating neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4618347/

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Prospects for Creation of Cardioprotective Drugs Based on Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists.

“Cannabinoids can mimic the infarct-reducing effect of early ischemic preconditioning, delayed ischemic preconditioning, and ischemic postconditioning against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion. They do this primarily through both CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Cannabinoids are also involved in remote preconditioning of the heart.

The cannabinoid receptor ligands also exhibit an antiapoptotic effect during ischemia/reperfusion of the heart.

The acute cardioprotective effect of cannabinoids is mediated by activation of protein kinase C, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and p38 kinase.

The delayed cardioprotective effect of cannabinoid anandamide is mediated via stimulation of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-Akt signaling pathway and enhancement of heat shock protein 72 expression.

The delayed cardioprotective effect of another cannabinoid, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is associated with augmentation of nitric oxide (NO) synthase expression, but data on the involvement of NO synthase in the acute cardioprotective effect of cannabinoids are contradictory.

The adenosine triphosphate-sensitive K+ channel is involved in the synthetic cannabinoid HU-210-induced cardiac resistance to ischemia/reperfusion injury.

Cannabinoids inhibit Na+/Ca2+ exchange via peripheral cannabinoid receptor (CB2) activation that may also be related to the antiapoptotic and cardioprotective effects of cannabinoids.

The cannabinoid receptor agonists should be considered as prospective group of compounds for creation of drugs that are able to protect the heart against ischemia-reperfusion injury in the clinical setting.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26487546

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[Psychedelics and quasi-psychedelics in the light of contemporary research: medical cannabis, MDMA, salvinorin A, ibogaine and ayahuasca].

“According to the long-held official view these drugs are entirely harmful and have no medical use. However, a recent surge of clinical and pharmacological studies in the field indicates that many psychedelic-like agents have therapeutic potentials under proper circumstances.

In this paper, from a biomedical and psychological perspective, we provide a brief review of the general effects and promising treatment uses of medical cannabis, 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), salvinorin A, ibogaine and the dimethyltryptamine-(DMT)-containing ayahuasca.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26485742

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Plant derived substances with anti-cancer activity: from folklore to practice.

“Plants have had an essential role in the folklore of ancient cultures. In addition to the use as food and spices, plants have also been utilized as medicines for over 5000 years.

It is estimated that 70-95% of the population in developing countries continues to use traditional medicines even today. A new trend, that involved the isolation of plant active compounds begun during the early nineteenth century.

This trend led to the discovery of different active compounds that are derived from plants.

In the last decades, more and more new materials derived from plants have been authorized and subscribed as medicines, including those with anti-cancer activity.

Cancer is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next two decades. Thus, there is a real need for new efficient anti-cancer drugs with reduced side effects, and plants are a promising source for such entities.

Here we focus on some plant-derived substances exhibiting anti-cancer and chemoprevention activity, their mode of action and bioavailability. These include paclitaxel, curcumin, and cannabinoids.

In addition, development and use of their synthetic analogs, and those of strigolactones, are discussed. Also discussed are commercial considerations and future prospects for development of plant derived substances with anti-cancer activity.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26483815

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpls.2015.00799/full

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Pharmacological activation of CB2 receptors counteracts the deleterious effect of ethanol on cell proliferation in the main neurogenic zones of the adult rat brain.

“Chronic alcohol exposure reduces endocannabinoid activity and disrupts adult neurogenesis in rodents, which results in structural and functional alterations.

Cannabinoid receptor agonists promote adult neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation…

These results indicated that the specific activation of CB2 receptors rescued alcohol-induced impaired NPC proliferation, which is a potential clinical interest for the risk of neural damage in alcohol dependence.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26483633

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Alcohol Versus Cannabinoids: A Review of Their Opposite Neuro-Immunomodulatory Effects and Future Therapeutic Potentials.

“Due to the legalization of marijuana and the increased demand for cannabis and alcohol consumption, research efforts highlighting the biomedical consequences of the use of alcohol and cannabinoids are not only relevant to the substance abuse scientific field, but are also of public health interest.

Moreover, an overview of the recent literature about alcohol and cannabinoids neuro-immunomodulatory effects highlighting their future therapeutic potentials will provide a significant contribution to science and medicine.

Therefore, in the current review, we will first discuss briefly the prevalence of alcohol and marijuana abuse, followed by a discussion on the individual effects of alcohol and cannabinoids on the immune system; then, we will focus on the role of endocannabinoids on the alcohol-induced inflammatory effects.

In addition, the review also incorporates cytokine array data obtained from human monocyte-derived dendritic cells, providing a different perspective on the alcohol and cannabinoid abuse divergent effects on cytokine production.

The final section will highlight the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid receptors and the novel strategies to treat alcohol dependence as determined by in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26478902

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Further Characterization of Hemopressin Peptide Fragments in the Opioid and Cannabinoid Systems.

“Hemopressin, so-called because of its hypotensive effect, belongs to the derivatives of the hemoglobin α-chain. It was isolated from rat brain membrane homogenate by the use of catalytically inactive forms of endopeptidase 24.15 and neurolysin. Hemopressin has antihyperalgesic features that cannot be prevented by the opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone.

Here, we further confirm that hemopressins can modulate CB1 receptors and can have a slight modulatory effect on the opioid system.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26465932

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Type 1 cannabinoid receptor modulates water deprivation-induced homeostatic responses.

“The present study investigated the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) as a potential candidate to mediate the homeostatic responses triggered by 24 hours of water deprivation (WD), which constitutes primarily a hydroelectrolytic challenge and also significantly impacts energy homeostasis.

The present results demonstrated for the first time that CB1R mRNA expression is increased in the hypothalamus of WD rats. Furthermore, the administration of ACEA, a CB1R selective agonist, potentiated WD-induced dipsogenic effect, whereas AM251, a CB1R antagonist, attenuated not only water but also salt intake in response to WD. In parallel with the modulation of thirst and salt appetite, we confirmed that CB1Rs are essential for the development of appropriated neuroendocrine responses…

In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that CB1Rs participate in the homeostatic responses regulating fluid balance and energy homeostasis during WD.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26468265

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Training-Associated Emotional Arousal Shapes Endocannabinoid Modulation of Spatial Memory Retrieval in Rats.

“Variations in environmental aversiveness influence emotional memory processes in rats. We have previously shown that cannabinoid effects on memory are dependent on the stress level at the time of training as well as on the aversiveness of the environmental context. Here, we investigated whether the hippocampal endocannabinoid system modulates memory retrieval depending on the training-associated arousal level…

The present findings indicate that the endocannabinoid 2-AG in the hippocampus plays a key role in the selective regulation of spatial memory retrieval of stressful experience, shedding light on the neurobiological mechanisms involved in the impact of stress effects on memory processing.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:

Endogenous cannabinoids play a central role in the modulation of memory for emotional events. Here we demonstrate that the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol in the hippocampus, a brain region crucially involved in the regulation of memory processes, selectively modulates spatial memory recall of stressful experiences. Thus, our findings provide evidence that the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol is a key player in mediating the impact of stress on memory retrieval.

These findings can pave the way to new potential therapeutic intervention for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, where a previous exposure to traumatic events could alter the response to traumatic memory recall leading to mental illness.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26468197

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