Two FDA drug approvals for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)

“Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease in which tissue deep inside the lungs becomes thick, stiff, and scarred, decreasing the lungs’ ability to expand to take in air, and making it difficult to breathe. This is a progressive disease in which scarring and lack of elasticity in the lungs continues to increase until the patient can no longer breathe enough to sustain life.

Until recently, patients in the U.S. suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a form of pulmonary fibrosis in which the cause is unknown, had no drug treatment  approved by FDA for this debilitating, incurable, and terminal condition. However, this month, FDA approved Ofev (nintedanib) and Esbriet (pirfenidone), two important new therapies for the treatment of patients with IPF. Both drugs are “first-in-class” products that offer new hope for patients in the U.S. with IPF.

Researchers don’t understand exactly how Ofev and Esbriet work in the body against IPF, but the drugs seem to inhibit important pathways that help to prevent scarring. Neither drug is a cure. IPF may still progress after patients use these drugs. However, each drug has been shown to significantly slow the progression of the disease.”  https://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2014/10/two-fda-drug-approvals-for-idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis-ipf/

Two FDA drug approvals for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/pulmonary-fibrosis/

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Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Prevents Cardiovascular Dysfunction in STZ-Diabetic Wistar-Kyoto Rats.

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“The aim of this study was to determine if chronic, low-dose administration of a nonspecific cannabinoid receptor agonist could provide cardioprotective effects in a model of type I diabetes mellitus.

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol administration to diabetic animals significantly reduced blood glucose concentrations and attenuated pathological changes in serum markers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation. Positive changes to biochemical indices in diabetic animals conferred improvements in myocardial and vascular function.

This study demonstrates that chronic, low-dose administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol can elicit antihyperglycaemic and antioxidant effects in diabetic animals, leading to improvements in end organ function of the cardiovascular system. Implications from this study suggest that cannabinoid receptors may be a potential new target for the treatment of diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29181404

“The aim of this study was to determine if a nonspecific cannabinoid receptor agonist could provide cardioprotective effects in a model of type I diabetes mellitus. Outcomes from this study indicate that THC administration to STZ improved functional parameters of cardiovascular health by reducing oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, and blood glucose levels. These results indicate that activation of cannabinoid receptors may be a viable experimental target for the prevention of oxidative stress-induced complications in type I diabetes mellitus.”  https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/7974149/

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Analysis of cannabinoids in commercial hemp seed oil and decarboxylation kinetics studies of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA).

Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis

“Hemp seed oil from Cannabis sativa L. is a very rich natural source of important nutrients, not only polyunsaturated fatty acids and proteins, but also terpenes and cannabinoids, which contribute to the overall beneficial effects of the oil.

Hence, it is important to have an analytical method for the determination of these components in commercial samples. At the same time, it is also important to assess the safety of the product in terms of amount of any psychoactive cannabinoid present therein.

This work presents the development and validation of a highly sensitive, selective and rapid HPLC-UV method for the qualitative and quantitative determination of the main cannabinoids, namely cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidivarin (CBDV), present in 13 commercial hemp seed oils.

Moreover, since decomposition of cannabinoid acids generally occurs with light, air and heat, decarboxylation studies of the most abundant acid (CBDA) were carried out in both open and closed reactor and the kinetics parameters were evaluated at different temperatures in order to evaluate the stability of hemp seed oil in different storage conditions.”

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Targeting Cannabinoid Signaling in the Immune System: “High”-ly Exciting Questions, Possibilities, and Challenges.

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“It is well known that certain active ingredients of the plants of Cannabis genus, i.e., the “phytocannabinoids” [pCBs; e.g., (-)-trans9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), (-)-cannabidiol, etc.] can influence a wide array of biological processes, and the human body is able to produce endogenous analogs of these substances [“endocannabinoids” (eCB), e.g., arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA), 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), etc.].

These ligands, together with multiple receptors (e.g., CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, etc.), and a complex enzyme and transporter apparatus involved in the synthesis and degradation of the ligands constitute the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a recently emerging regulator of several physiological processes.

The ECS is widely expressed in the human body, including several members of the innate and adaptive immune system, where eCBs, as well as several pCBs were shown to deeply influence immune functions thereby regulating inflammation, autoimmunity, antitumor, as well as antipathogen immune responses, etc.

Based on this knowledge, many in vitro and in vivo studies aimed at exploiting the putative therapeutic potential of cannabinoid signaling in inflammation-accompanied diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis) or in organ transplantation, and to dissect the complex immunological effects of medical and “recreational” marijuana consumption.

Thus, the objective of the current article is (i) to summarize the most recent findings of the field; (ii) to highlight the putative therapeutic potential of targeting cannabinoid signaling; (iii) to identify open questions and key challenges; and (iv) to suggest promising future directions for cannabinoid-based drug development.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29176975

“Although, many open questions await to be answered, pharmacological modulation of the (endo)cannabinoid signaling, and restoration of the homeostatic eCB tone of the tissues augur to be very promising future directions in the management of several pathological inflammation-accompanied diseases.”   https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2017.01487/full
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Adolescent ethanol intake alters cannabinoid type-1 receptor localization in astrocytes of the adult mouse hippocampus.

Addiction Biology

“Cannabinoid type-1 (CB1 ) receptors are widely distributed in the brain and play important roles in astrocyte function and the modulation of neuronal synaptic transmission and plasticity. However, it is currently unknown how CB1 receptor expression in astrocytes is affected by long-term exposure to stressors.

Here we examined CB1 receptors in astrocytes of ethanol (EtOH)-exposed adolescent mice to determine its effect on CB1 receptor localization and density in adult brain.

Our results revealed a significant reduction in CB1 receptor immunoparticles in astrocytic processes of EtOH-exposed mice when compared with controls (positive astrocyte elements: 21.50 ± 2.80 percent versus 37.22 ± 3.12 percent, respectively), as well as a reduction in particle density (0.24 ± 0.02 versus 0.35 ± 0.02 particles/μm).

Altogether, the decrease in the CB1 receptor expression in hippocampal astrocytes of adult mice exposed to EtOH during adolescence reveals a long lasting effect of EtOH on astrocytic CB1 receptors. This deficiency may also have negative consequences for synaptic function.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29168269

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/adb.12585/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+usage+report+download+page+will+be+unavailable+on+Friday+24th+November+2017+at+21%3A00+EST+%2F+02.00+GMT+%2F+10%3A00+SGT+%28Saturday+25th+Nov+for+SGT+

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Acetaminophen Relieves Inflammatory Pain Through CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors in the Rostral Ventromedial Medulla.

Journal of Neuroscience

“Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is a widely used analgesic and antipyretic drug with only incompletely understood mechanisms of action.

Previous work, using models of acute nociceptive pain, indicated that analgesia by acetaminophen involves an indirect activation of CB1 receptors by the acetaminophen metabolite and endocannabinoid re-uptake inhibitor AM 404.  However, the contribution of the cannabinoid system to anti-hyperalgesia against inflammatory pain, the main indication of acetaminophen, and the precise site of the relevant CB1 receptors have remained elusive.

Here, we analyzed acetaminophen analgesia in mice of either sex with inflammatory pain and found that acetaminophen exerted a dose-dependent anti-hyperalgesic action, which was mimicked by intrathecally injected AM 404. Both compounds lost their anti-hyperalgesic activity in CB1-/- mice confirming the involvement of the cannabinoid system.

Our results indicate that the cannabinoid system contributes not only to acetaminophen analgesia against acute pain but also against inflammatory pain, and suggest that the relevant CB1 receptors reside in the RVM.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Acetaminophen is a widely used analgesic drug with multiple but only incompletely understood mechanisms of action including a facilitation of endogenous cannabinoid signaling via one of its metabolites. Our present data indicate that enhanced cannabinoid signaling is also responsible for the analgesic effects of acetaminophen against inflammatory pain. Local injections of the acetaminophen metabolite AM 404 and of cannabinoid receptor antagonists as well as data from tissue specific CB1 receptor deficient mice suggest the rostral ventromedial medulla as an important site of the cannabinoid-mediated analgesia by acetaminophen.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29167401

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/early/2017/11/22/JNEUROSCI.1945-17.2017

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Inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase terminates diazepam-resistant status epilepticus in mice and its effects are potentiated by a ketogenic diet.

Epilepsia

“Status epilepticus (SE) is a life-threatening and commonly drug-refractory condition. Novel therapies are needed to rapidly terminate seizures to prevent mortality and morbidity.

Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is the key enzyme responsible for the hydrolysis of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and a major contributor to the brain pool of arachidonic acid (AA). Inhibiting of monoacylglycerol lipase modulates synaptic activity and neuroinflammation, 2 mediators of excessive neuronal activation underlying seizures.

We studied the effect of a potent and selective irreversible MAGL inhibitor, CPD-4645, on SE that was refractory to diazepam, its neuropathologic sequelae, and the mechanism underlying the drug’s effects.

SIGNIFICANCE:

MAGL represents a novel therapeutic target for treating status epilepticus and improving its sequelae. CPD-4645 therapeutic effects appear to be predominantly mediated by modulation of neuroinflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29171003

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/epi.13950/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+usage+report+download+page+will+be+unavailable+on+Friday+24th+November+2017+at+21%3A00+EST+%2F+02.00+GMT+%2F+10%3A00+SGT+%28Saturday+25th+Nov+for+SGT+

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Regulation of noradrenergic and serotonergic systems by cannabinoids: relevance to cannabinoid-induced effects.

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“The cannabinoid system is composed of Gi/o protein-coupled cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor and endogenous compounds. The CB1 receptor is widely distributed in the central nervous system (CNS) and it is involved in the regulation of common physiological functions. At the neuronal level, the CB1 receptor is mainly placed at GABAergic and glutamatergic axon terminals, where it modulates excitatory and inhibitory synapses. To date, the involvement of CB2 receptor in the regulation of neurotransmission in the CNS has not been clearly shown. The majority of noradrenergic (NA) cells in mammalian tissues are located in the locus coeruleus (LC) while serotonergic (5-HT) cells are mainly distributed in the raphe nuclei including the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). In the CNS, NA and 5-HT systems play a crucial role in the control of pain, mood, arousal, sleep-wake cycle, learning/memory, anxiety, and rewarding behaviour. This review summarizes the electrophysiological, neurochemical and behavioural evidences for modulation of the NA/5-HT systems by cannabinoids and the CB1 receptor. Cannabinoids regulate the neuronal activity of NA and 5-HT cells and the release of NA and 5-HT by direct and indirect mechanisms. The interaction between cannabinoid and NA/5-HT systems may underlie several behavioural changes induced by cannabis such as anxiolytic and antidepressant effects or side effects (e.g. disruption of attention). Further research is needed to better understand different aspects of NA and 5-HT systems regulation by cannabinoids, which would be relevant for their use in therapeutics.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29169951

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024320517306069

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Cannabinoids for nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy: Overview of systematic reviews.

Phytotherapy Research

“Nausea and vomiting are common and distressing adverse events of chemotherapy.

This review focuses on the findings and quality of systematic reviews (SRs) of cannabinoids for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).

On the basis of findings of the sole SR judged as high methodological quality, cannabinoids seem to be more effective than placebo, equal to prochlorperazine for reducing CINV, and to be preferred by patients.

Cannabinoids represent a valuable option for treating CINV, despite the adverse events related to treatment, such as drowsiness and cognitive impairment.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29168289

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.5975/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+usage+report+download+page+will+be+unavailable+on+Friday+24th+November+2017+at+21%3A00+EST+%2F+02.00+GMT+%2F+10%3A00+SGT+%28Saturday+25th+Nov+for+SGT+

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Pharmacological Foundations of Cannabis Chemovars.

“An advanced Mendelian Cannabis breeding program has been developed utilizing chemical markers to maximize the yield of phytocannabinoids and terpenoids with the aim to improve therapeutic efficacy and safety.

Cannabis is often divided into several categories based on cannabinoid content. Type I, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol-predominant, is the prevalent offering in both medical and recreational marketplaces. In recent years, the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol have been better recognized, leading to the promotion of additional chemovars: Type II, Cannabis that contains both Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, and cannabidiol-predominant Type III Cannabis.

While high-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and high-myrcene chemovars dominate markets, these may not be optimal for patients who require distinct chemical profiles to achieve symptomatic relief. Type II Cannabis chemovars that display cannabidiol- and terpenoid-rich profiles have the potential to improve both efficacy and minimize adverse events associated with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol exposure. Cannabis samples were analyzed for cannabinoid and terpenoid content, and analytical results are presented via PhytoFacts, a patent-pending method of graphically displaying phytocannabinoid and terpenoid content, as well as scent, taste, and subjective therapeutic effect data.

Examples from the breeding program are highlighted and include Type I, II, and III Cannabis chemovars, those highly potent in terpenoids in general, or single components, for example, limonene, pinene, terpinolene, and linalool. Additionally, it is demonstrated how Type I - III chemovars have been developed with conserved terpenoid proportions. Specific chemovars may produce enhanced analgesia, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and anti-anxiety effects, while simultaneously reducing sequelae of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol such as panic, toxic psychosis, and short-term memory impairment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29161743

https://www.thieme-connect.de/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-0043-122240

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