Fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitors produce rapid anti-anxiety responses through amygdala long-term depression in male rodents.

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“Pathological anxiety is the most common type of psychiatric disorder. The current first-line anti-anxiety treatment, selective serotonin/noradrenalin reuptake inhibitors, produces a delayed onset of action with modest therapeutic and substantial adverse effects, and long-term use of the fast-acting anti-anxiety benzodiazepines causes severe adverse effects.

Inhibition of the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the endocannabinoid N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) degradative enzyme, produces anti-anxiety effects without substantial “unwanted effects” of cannabinoids, but its anti-anxiety mechanism is unclear.

CONCLUSION:

We propose that the rapid anti-anxiety effects of FAAH inhibition are due to AEA activation of astroglial CB1R and subsequent basolateral amygdala LTD in vivo.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28234213

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Leaner and greener analysis of cannabinoids

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

“There is an explosion in the number of labs analyzing cannabinoids in marijuana (Cannabis sativa L., Cannabaceae) but existing methods are inefficient, require expert analysts, and use large volumes of potentially environmentally damaging solvents. The objective of this work was to develop and validate an accurate method for analyzing cannabinoids in cannabis raw materials and finished products that is more efficient and uses fewer toxic solvents.

An HPLC-DAD method was developed for eight cannabinoids in cannabis flowers and oils using a statistically guided optimization plan based on the principles of green chemistry. A single-laboratory validation determined the linearity, selectivity, accuracy, repeatability, intermediate precision, limit of detection, and limit of quantitation of the method. Amounts of individual cannabinoids above the limit of quantitation in the flowers ranged from 0.02 to 14.9% w/w, with repeatability ranging from 0.78 to 10.08% relative standard deviation. The intermediate precision determined using HorRat ratios ranged from 0.3 to 2.0. The LOQs for individual cannabinoids in flowers ranged from 0.02 to 0.17% w/w.

We developed an optimized HPLC-DAD method with reduced extraction time and greener solvents for adoption into cannabis testing laboratories. Sample turnaround is significantly reduced, while method validation confirmed that the method produces repeatable, accurate results. The sample preparation eliminates the use of chloroform, which has been routinely used in cannabinoid analysis, reducing material costs, use of greener solvents, and improved laboratory safety for personnel. This method can be used in a variety of settings from clinical studies, research, quality control, and regulatory evaluation of this growing industry.

This is a significant improvement over previous methods and is suitable for a wide range of applications including regulatory compliance, clinical studies, direct patient medical services, and commercial suppliers.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00216-017-0256-3

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Cannabidiol: State of the art and new challenges for therapeutic applications.

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“Over the past years, several lines of evidence support a therapeutic potential of Cannabis derivatives and in particular phytocannabinoids. Δ9-THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most abundant phytocannabinoids in Cannabis plants and therapeutic application for both compounds have been suggested. However, CBD is recently emerging as a therapeutic agent in numerous pathological conditions since devoid of the psychoactive side effects exhibited instead by Δ9-THC. In this review, we highlight the pharmacological activities of CBD, its cannabinoid receptor-dependent and -independent action, its biological effects focusing on immunomodulation, angiogenetic properties, and modulation of neuronal and cardiovascular function. Furthermore, the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol is also highlighted, in particular in nuerological diseases and cancer.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28232276

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The cannabinoid 1 receptor antagonist, AM251, prolongs the survival of rats with severe acute pancreatitis.

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“It has recently been recognized that anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide), which is an endogeneous-cannabinoid (endocannabinoid), mediates septic shock.

Cannabinoid means a mind-active material in cannabis (marijuana).

Anandamide is mainly produced by macrophages. Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor, which is one of the cannabiniod receptors, is also known to mediate hypotensive shock.

The role of endocannabinoids in the progression of acute pancreatitis is unclear. The aims of this study are to clarify their relationship and to find a new therapeutic strategy by regulating the endocannabinoid signaling in acute pancreatitis.

This is the first report to show that endocannabinoids are involved in the deterioration of acute pancreatitis and that the down-regulation of endocannabinoid signaling may be a new therapeutic strategy for severe acute pancreatitis.”

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Cannabinoid receptor-1 blockade attenuates acute pancreatitis in obesity by an adiponectin mediated mechanism.

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“Obesity is a risk factor for increased severity of acute pancreatitis.

Adipocytes produce adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory molecule that is paradoxically decreased in the setting of obesity. We have shown that adiponectin concentration inversely mirrors the severity of pancreatitis in obese mice.

Cannabinoid receptor CB-1 blockade increases circulating adiponectin concentration. We, therefore, hypothesize that blockade of CB-1 would increase adiponectin and attenuate pancreatitis severity.

Rimonabant treatment significantly increased circulating adiponectin concentration in obese mice.

In obese mice, cannabinoid receptor CB-1 blockade with rimonabant attenuates the severity of acute pancreatitis by an adiponectin-mediated mechanism.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19225848

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Cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212 in vitro inhibits interleukin-6 (IL-6) and monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1 (MCP-1) release by rat pancreatic acini and in vivo induces dual effects on the course of acute pancreatitis.

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“Cannabinoids (CBs) evoke their effects by activating the cannabinoid receptor subtypes CB1-r and CB2-r and exert anti-inflammatory effects altering chemokine and cytokine expression. Various cytokines and chemokines are produced and released by rodent pancreatic acini in acute pancreatitis.

Although CB1-r and CB2-r expressed in rat exocrine pancreatic acinar cells do not modulate digestive enzyme release, whether they modulate inflammatory mediators remains unclear. We investigated the CB-r system role on exocrine pancreas in unstimulated conditions and during acute pancreatitis.

These findings provide new evidence showing that the pancreatic CB1-r/CB2-r system modulates pro-inflammatory factor levels in rat exocrine pancreatic acinar cells. The dual, time-dependent WIN55,212-induced changes in the development and course of acute pancreatitis support the idea that the role of the endogenous CB receptor system differs according to the local inflammatory status.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20659297

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Cannabinoid HU210 Protects Isolated Rat Stomach against Impairment Caused by Serum of Rats with Experimental Acute Pancreatitis

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“Acute pancreatitis (AP), especially severe AP, is a potentially lethal inflammatory disease of pancreas which often leads to extra-pancreatic complications, even multiple systemic organ dysfunctions. It has been reported that 52% of patients with acute pancreatitis develop acute gastrointestinal mucosal lesion (AGML) or stress ulcer.

For centuries, Cannabis plant and its extracts have been used to alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases.

It has been established that D9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive component of Cannabis, exerts its primary cellular actions though two G protein-coupled receptors, cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors.

Since then, these two receptors have been recognized as the major regulators of physiological and pathological processes. Cannabinoids can reduce gastrointestinal secretion, and the activation of CB1 receptor exhibits protective role against stress-induced AGML, but the mechanisms of their action remain elusive.

The results from this study prove that the inflammatory responses and the imbalance of the gastric secretion during the development of AP are responsible for the pathogenesis of AGML, and suggest the therapeutic potential of HU210 for AGML associated with acute pancreatitis.

Therefore, our experimental results suggest a novel mechanism in the onset of AGML and new therapeutic values of cannabinoids as supplement of anti-inflammatory therapy in acute pancreatitis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3532296/

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Cannabinoid receptor subtype 2 (CB2R) agonist, GW405833 reduces agonist-induced Ca2+ oscillations in mouse pancreatic acinar cells

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“Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease, which has several causes and symptoms and requires immediate medical attention.

The cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) is a G protein-coupled receptor that, in humans, is encoded by the CNR2 gene. CB2Rs are predominantly expressed in the periphery, especially in immune cells, suggesting that CB2R mediates the effects of cannabinoids mainly in the immune system.

Emerging evidence demonstrates that the blockade of intracellular Ca2+ signals may protect pancreatic acinar cells against Ca2+ overload, intracellular protease activation, and necrosis.

The activation of cannabinoid receptor subtype 2 (CB2R) prevents acinar cell pathogenesis in animal models of acute pancreatitis.

Collectively, we provide novel evidence that activation of CB2Rs eliminates ACh-induced Ca2+ oscillations and L-arginine-induced enhancement of Ca2+ signaling in mouse pancreatic acinar cells, which suggests a potential cellular mechanism of CB2R-mediated protection in acute pancreatitis.

These results suggest that a CB2R agonist may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent and/or treat acute pancreatitis. This conclusion is consistent with previous report that a CB2R agonist exhibits a protective effect on pathogenesis in an acute pancreatitis animal model. Our data showing a reduction of intracellular Ca2+ signaling by GW also provide a new target to interpret the role of CB2R agonists in treating acute pancreatitis in addition to CB2R-mediated anti-inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4949433/

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Activation of cannabinoid receptor 2 reduces inflammation in acute experimental pancreatitis via intra-acinar activation of p38 and MK2-dependent mechanisms.

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“The endocannabinoid system has been shown to mediate beneficial effects on gastrointestinal inflammation via cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB(1)) and 2 (CB(2)).

These receptors have also been reported to activate the MAP kinases p38 and c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK), which are involved in early acinar events leading to acute pancreatitis and induction of proinflammatory cytokines.

Our aim was to examine the role of cannabinoid receptor activation in an experimental model of acute pancreatitis and the potential involvement of MAP kinases.

The unselective CB(1)/CB(2) agonist HU210 ameliorated pancreatitis in wild-type and CB(1)-/- mice, indicating that this effect is mediated by CB(2).

Furthermore, blockade of CB(2), not CB(1), with selective antagonists engraved pathology.

Stimulation with a selective CB(2) agonist attenuated acute pancreatitis and an increased activation of p38 was observed in the acini.

With use of MK2-/- mice, it could be demonstrated that this attenuation is dependent on MK2. Hence, using the MK2-/- mouse model we reveal a novel CB(2)-activated and MAP kinase-dependent pathway that modulates cytokine expression and reduces pancreatic injury and affiliated complications.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23139224

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Cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist attenuates pain related behavior in rats with chronic alcohol/high fat diet induced pancreatitis

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“Chronic Pancreatitis (CP) is a complex and multifactorial syndrome. Many contributing factors result in development of dysfunctional pain in a significant number of patients. Drugs developed to treat a variety of pain states fall short of providing effective analgesia for patients with chronic pancreatitis, often providing minimal to partial pain relief over time with significant side effects.

Recently, availability of selective pharmacological tools has enabled great advances in our knowledge of the role of the cannabinoid receptors in pathophysiology. In particular, cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) has emerged as an attractive target for management of chronic pain, as demonstrated in several studies with inflammatory and neuropathic preclinical pain models. In this study, the analgesic efficacy of a novel, highly selective CB2 receptor agonist, LY3038404 HCl, is investigated in a chronic pancreatitis pain model, induced with an alcohol/high fat (AHF) diet.

LY3038404 HCl, a potent CB2 receptor agonist, possesses tissue protective and analgesic properties without effects on higher brain function. Thus, activation of CB2 receptors is suggested as a potential therapeutic target for visceral inflammation and pain management.

The major finding of the present study is that LY3038404 HCl, a potent CB2 receptor agonist, possesses tissue protective and analgesic properties. No effects on higher brain functions were observed including the diminished fear responses induced by the alcohol diet. Thus, activation of CB2 receptors is suggested as a potential therapeutic target for pancreas protection and pain management.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4242547/

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