Cancer-Cachexia-Induced Human Skeletal Muscle Myotube Degeneration Is Prevented via Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Agonism In Vitro

pubmed logo

“Cachexia syndrome, leading to reduced skeletal muscle and fat mass, is highly prevalent in cancer patients, resulting in further negative implications for these patients. To date, there is no approved therapy for cachexia syndrome. The objective of this study was to establish an in vitro model of cancer cachexia in mature human skeletal muscle myotubes, with the intention of exploiting the cell model to assess potential cachexia therapeutics, specifically cannabinoid related drugs. Having cultured and differentiated primary human muscle myoblasts to mature myotubes, we successfully established two cancer cachexia models using conditioned media (CM) from human colon adenocarcinoma (SW480) and from non-small-cell lung carcinoma (H1299) cultured cells. The cancer-CM-induced extensive myotube degeneration, demonstrated by a significant reduction in mature myotube diameter, which progressed over the period studied. Myotube degeneration is a characteristic feature of cancer cachexia and was used in this study as an index of cachexia. Expression of cannabinoid 1 and 2 receptors (CB1R and CB2R) was confirmed in the mature human skeletal muscle myotubes. Subsequently, the effect of cannabinoid compounds on this myotube degeneration were assessed.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a partial CB1R/CB2R agonist, and JWH133, a selective CB2R agonist, proved efficacious in protecting mature human myotubes from the deleterious effects of both (SW480 and H1299) cancer cachexia conditions.

ART27.13, a full, peripherally selective CB1R/CB2R agonist, currently being trialled in cancer cachexia (IRAS ID 278450, REC 20/NE/0198), was also significantly protective against myotube degeneration in both (SW480 and H1299) cancer cachexia conditions. Furthermore, the addition of the CB2R antagonist AM630, but not the CB1R antagonist Rimonabant, abolished the protective effect of ART27.13. In short, we have established a convenient and robust in vitro model of cancer-induced human skeletal muscle cachexia. The data obtained using the model demonstrate the therapeutic potential of ART27.13 in cancer-induced cachexia prevention and provides evidence indicating that this effect is via CB2R, and not CB1R.”

“Several cannabinoid drugs have emerged as potential therapeutics for various conditions.”

Cannabinoids and Their Receptors in Skin Diseases

pubmed logo

“The therapeutic application of cannabinoids has gained traction in recent years. Cannabinoids interact with the human endocannabinoid system in the skin. A large body of research indicates that cannabinoids could hold promise for the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, acne, pruritus, hair disorders, and skin cancer. However, most of the available data are at the preclinical stage. Comprehensive, large-scale, randomized, controlled clinical trials have not yet been fully conducted. In this article, we describe new findings in cannabinoid research and point out promising future research areas.”

“In recent years, some components of cannabis, also known as marijuana, have been studied. Cannabis has been used for various purposes throughout history, including recreational, medicinal, and industrial uses. In recent years, cannabinoid components are emerging as therapeutic alternatives for patients with a variety of illnesses and conditions. In particular, their anti-inflammatory properties have piqued the interest of dermatologists [1]. Given the growing number of pre-clinical and clinical studies exploring the potential of cannabinoids to treat dermatologic conditions, we here summarize reports of cannabinoid use in dermatologic therapy.”

Efficacy and safety of medical cannabinoids in children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review

pubmed logo

“Introduction: The increasing popularity of cannabinoids for treating numerous neurological disorders has been reported in various countries. Although it reduces tetrahydrocannabinol psychoactivity, it helps patients tolerate higher doses and complements the anti-spasmodic effects of tetrahydrocannabinol. One of the most important potential of cannabinoids are related to its potential to help children with cerebral palsy, a contributor of lifelong disability. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of medical cannabinoids in children with cerebral palsy.

Methods: This review adhered to The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis 2020 guidelines. Seven databases, namely, Scopus, PubMed, EBSCO Host, ProQuest, Google Scholar, Semantic Scholar, and JSTOR, were used to identify relevant studies. Studies examining pediatric patients with cerebral palsy and reporting the efficacy and safety of medical cannabinoids through clinical trials, observational cross-sectional studies, or cohort designs were included. The outcomes of the studies included the efficacy of medical cannabinoids administered for spasticity, motor components, pain control, sleep difficulties, adverse effects, and seizure control.

Results: Of 803 identified articles, only three met the inclusion criteria for data synthesis. One study exhibited a moderate risk-of-bias. A total of 133 respondents, mainly from Europe, were investigated. Overall effectiveness and safety were considered good. However, the results are inconsistent, especially regarding spasticity treatment variables.

Conclusion: The anti-spasticity, anti-inflammatory, and anti-seizure properties of cannabinoids might be beneficial for patients with cerebral palsy, although their effectiveness has not been widely studied. Further studies with larger sample sizes and various ethnicities are warranted.”

Cannabis and Endometriosis: The Roles of the Gut Microbiota and the Endocannabinoid System

pubmed logo

“Endometriosis, a chronic condition affecting around 10-14% of women, is challenging to manage, due to its complex pathogenesis and limited treatment options. Research has suggested a potential role of the gut microbiota and the endocannabinoid system in the development and progression of endometriosis. This narrative review aims to explore the role of, and any potential interactions between, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the gut microbiota in endometriosis. This review found that both the ECS and microbiota influence endometriosis, with the former regulating inflammation and pain perception and the latter influencing immune responses and hormonal balance. There is evidence that a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system and the gut microbiota influence endometriosis symptoms and progression via changes in CB1 receptor expression and increased circulating levels of endocannabinoids. Microbial imbalances in the gut, such as increases in Prevotella, have been directly correlated to increased bloating, a common endometriosis symptom, while increases in E. coli have supported the bacterial contamination hypothesis as a potential pathway for endometriosis pathogenesis. These microbial imbalances have been correlated with increases in inflammatory markers such as TNF-α and IL-6, both often raised in those with endometriosis. Protective effects of the ECS on the gut were observed by increases in endocannabinoids, including 2-AG, resulting in decreased inflammation and improved gut permeability. Given these findings, both the ECS and the gut microbiota may be targets for therapeutic interventions for endometriosis; however, clinical studies are required to determine effectiveness.”

Terpenes in Cannabis sativa Inhibit Capsaicin Responses in Rat DRG Neurons via Na+/K+ ATPase Activation

pubmed logo

“Terpenes in Cannabis sativa exert analgesic effects, but the mechanisms are uncertain. We examined the effects of 10 terpenes on capsaicin responses in an established model of neuronal hypersensitivity. Adult rat DRG neurons cultured with neurotrophic factors NGF and GDNF were loaded with Fura2AM for calcium imaging, and treated with individual terpenes or vehicle for 5 min, followed by 1 µMol capsaicin. In vehicle treated control experiments, capsaicin elicited immediate and sustained calcium influx. Most neurons treated with terpenes responded to capsaicin after 6-8 min. Few neurons showed immediate capsaicin responses that were transient or normal. The delayed responses were found to be due to calcium released from the endoplasmic reticulum, as they were maintained in calcium/magnesium free media, but not after thapsigargin pre-treatment. Terpene inhibition of calcium influx was reversed after washout of medium, in the absence of terpenes, and in the presence of the Na+/K+ ATPase inhibitor ouabain, but not CB1 or CB2 receptor antagonists. Thus, terpenes inhibit capsaicin evoked calcium influx by Na+/K+ ATPase activation. Immunofluorescence showed TRPV1 co-expression with α1β1 Na+/K+ ATPase in most neurons while others were either TRPV1 or α1β1 Na+/K+ ATPase positive.”

“The neuromodulatory effects of cannabinoids have been recognized for millenia in traditional medicine, including for pain relief. Following the opioid crisis, attention has been focussed on developing alternatives including cannabinoid-based pain therapies, as chronic pain remains an unmet need. The best known of the phytocannabinoids is Δ9tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the only known psychoactive component, along with many other cannabinoids with potential therapeutic benefits, such as cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabigerol (CBG) [2]. Amongst the several hundred components in Cannabis sativa are terpenes, which are produced in small and varying amounts in different cultivars of C. sativa, leading to potential variation in their effects [3]. Some of these, including limonene, phytol, borneol, terpineol, and caryophyllene, provide pain relief via calcium channel inhibition [4]. Similarly, antinociceptive and anti-tumour effects of α-phellandrene were reported, although the mechanisms were unknown. Terpenes as a class of compounds are generally described as safe by the FDA, with low toxicity that extends their efficacy to a variety of indications including chronic pain and anxiety.”

An Emerging Strategy for Neuroinflammation Treatment: Combined Cannabidiol and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers Treatments Effectively Inhibit Glial Nitric Oxide Release

pubmed logo

“Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in cannabis, has anti-neuroinflammatory properties.

Despite the increasing use of CBD, little is known about its effect in combination with other substances. Combination therapy has been gaining attention recently, aiming to produce more efficient effects. Angiotensin II activates the angiotensin 1 receptor and regulates neuroinflammation and cognition. Angiotensin receptor 1 blockers (ARBs) were shown to be neuroprotective and prevent cognitive decline. The present study aimed to elucidate the combined role of CBD and ARBs in the modulation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced glial inflammation. While LPS significantly enhanced nitric oxide synthesis vs. the control, telmisartan and CBD, when administered alone, attenuated this effect by 60% and 36%, respectively. Exposure of LPS-stimulated cells to both compounds resulted in the 95% inhibition of glial nitric oxide release (additive effect). A synergistic inhibitory effect on nitric oxide release was observed when cells were co-treated with losartan (5 μM) and CBD (5 μM) (by 80%) compared to exposure to each compound alone (by 22% and 26%, respectively). Telmisartan and CBD given alone increased TNFα levels by 60% and 40%, respectively. CBD and telmisartan, when given together, attenuated the LPS-induced increase in TNFα levels without statistical significance. LPS-induced IL-17 release was attenuated by CBD with or without telmisartan (by 75%) or telmisartan alone (by 60%). LPS-induced Interferon-γ release was attenuated by 80% when telmisartan was administered in the absence or presence of CBD. Anti-inflammatory effects were recorded when CBD was combined with the known anti-inflammatory agent dimethyl fumarate (DMF)/monomethyl fumarate (MMF). A synergistic inhibitory effect of CBD and MMF on glial release of nitric oxide (by 77%) was observed compared to cells exposed to MMF (by 35%) or CBD (by 12%) alone. Overall, this study highlights the potential of new combinations of CBD (5 μM) with losartan (5 μM) or MMF (1 μM) to synergistically attenuate glial NO synthesis. Additive effects on NO production were observed when telmisartan (5 μM) and CBD (5 μM) were administered together to glial cells.”

Oil Extraction from Hemp Plant as a Potential Source of Cannabidiol for Healthy Protein Foods

pubmed logo

“In recent years, the increasing demand for alternative foods has shifted research toward new sources enriched with nutraceutical molecules. It is well known that many diseases are caused by oxidative stress; thus, the supplementation of antioxidants has been proposed to reduce it. Cannabis sativa L. is an interesting species that could provide an alternative source of antioxidants. This work aimed to investigate the possibility of optimizing the yield of cannabidiol (CBD) and recovering it from residual biomass (stalks), valorizing the residual biomass, and using this for protein bar preparation. Different extraction methods were used, and High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis was used to analyze the extracts. Antioxidant power was investigated using the 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azinobis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) assays. The best results in terms of CBD yield were obtained via dynamic maceration after decarboxylation with a quantity of 26.7 ± 2 mgCBD/graw material from inflorescences. The extract also shows good antioxidant power with an IC50 value of 38.1 ± 1.1 µg/mL measured using the DPPH assay. The CBD extract was added to the hemp oil to obtain dough for protein bars. The doughs were studied by taking rheological and technological measurements, and it was found that the protein bars could provide an excellent means for the consumption of products enriched with antioxidants because their CBD anti-inflammatory activity is preserved after cooking.”

Aqueous Extracts from Hemp Seeds as a New Weapon against Staphylococcus epidermidis Biofilms

pubmed logo

“This study investigated the antibiofilm activity of water-soluble extracts obtained under different pH conditions from Cannabis sativa seeds and from previously defatted seeds. The chemical composition of the extracts, determined through GC-MS and NMR, revealed complex mixtures of fatty acids, monosaccharides, amino acids and glycerol in ratios depending on extraction pH. In particular, the extract obtained at pH 7 from defatted seeds (Ex7d) contained a larger variety of sugars compared to the others. Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids were found in all of the analysed extracts, but linoleic acid (C18:2) was detected only in the extracts obtained at pH 7 and pH 10. The extracts did not show cytotoxicity to HaCaT cells and significantly inhibited the formation of Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms. The exception was the extract obtained at pH 10, which appeared to be less active. Ex7d showed the highest antibiofilm activity, i.e., around 90%. Ex7d was further fractionated by HPLC, and the antibiofilm activity of all fractions was evaluated. The 2D-NMR analysis highlighted that the most active fraction was largely composed of glycerolipids. This evidence suggested that these molecules are probably responsible for the observed antibiofilm effect but does not exclude a possible synergistic contribution by the other components.”

Characterization of the Chemopreventive Properties of Cannabis sativa L. Inflorescences from Monoecious Cultivars Grown in Central Italy

pubmed logo

“Hemp bioproducts hold great promise as valuable materials for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications due to their diverse bioactive compounds and potential health benefits. In line with this interest and in an attempt to valorize the Lazio Region crops, this present study investigated chemically characterized hydroalcoholic and organic extracts, obtained from the inflorescences of locally cultivated Felina 32, USO 31, Ferimon and Fedora 17 hemp varieties. In order to highlight the possible chemopreventive power of the tested samples, a bioactivity screening was performed, which included studying the antimutagenic activity, radical scavenging power, cytotoxicity in human hepatoma HepG2 cells, leakage of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and modulation of the oxidative stress parameters and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) involved in the regulation of the cell transformation and cancer proliferation. Tolerability studies in noncancerous H69 cholangiocytes were performed, too. The organic extracts showed moderate to strong antimutagenic activities and a marked cytotoxicity in the HepG2 cells, associated with an increased oxidative stress and LDH release, and to a G6PDH modulation. The hydroalcoholic extracts mainly exhibited radical scavenging properties with weak or null activities in the other assays. The extracts were usually well-tolerated in H69 cells, except for the highest concentrations which impaired cell viability, likely due to an increased oxidative stress. The obtained results suggest a possibility in the inflorescences from the Felina 32, USO 31, Ferimon and Fedora 17 hemp varieties as source of bioactive compounds endowed with genoprotective and chemopreventive properties that could be harnessed as preventive or adjuvant healing strategies.”

Elucidation of GPR55-Associated Signaling behind THC and LPI Reducing Effects on Ki67-Immunoreactive Nuclei in Patient-Derived Glioblastoma Cells

pubmed logo

“GPR55 is involved in many physiological and pathological processes. In cancer, GPR55 has been described to show accelerating and decelerating effects in tumor progression resulting from distinct intracellular signaling pathways. GPR55 becomes activated by LPI and various plant-derived, endogenous, and synthetic cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids such as THC exerted antitumor effects by inhibiting tumor cell proliferation or inducing apoptosis.

Besides its effects through CB1 and CB2 receptors, THC modulates cellular responses among others via GPR55. Previously, we reported a reduction in Ki67-immunoreactive nuclei of human glioblastoma cells after GPR55 activation in general by THC and in particular by LPI. In the present study, we investigated intracellular mechanisms leading to an altered number of Ki67+ nuclei after stimulation of GPR55 by LPI and THC. Pharmacological analyses revealed a strongly involved PLC-IP3 signaling and cell-type-specific differences in Gα-, Gβγ-, RhoA-ROCK, and calcineurin signaling. Furthermore, immunochemical visualization of the calcineurin-dependent transcription factor NFAT revealed an unchanged subcellular localization after THC or LPI treatment. The data underline the cell-type-specific diversity of GPR55-associated signaling pathways in coupling to intracellular G proteins. Furthermore, this diversity might determine the outcome and the individual responsiveness of tumor cells to GPR55 stimulation by cannabinoids.”