CB2 receptors regulate natural killer cells that limit allergic airway inflammation in a murine model of asthma.

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“Allergic asthma is a chronic airway inflammatory disease involving the complementary actions of innate and adaptive immune responses.

Endogenously generated cannabinoids, acting via CB2 receptors play important roles in both homeostatic and inflammatory processes. However, the contribution of CB2-acting eicosanoids to the innate events preceding sensitization to the common house dust mite (HDM) allergen, remain to be elucidated. We investigated the role of CB2 activation during allergen-induced pulmonary inflammation and NK cell effector function.

CONCLUSIONS:

Collectively, these results reveal that CB2 activation is crucial in regulating pulmonary NK cell function, and suggest that NK cells serve to limit ILC2 activation and subsequent allergic airway inflammation. CB2 inhibition may present an important target to modulate NK cell response during pulmonary inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27992060

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Descending serotonergic and noradrenergic systems do not regulate the antipruritic effects of cannabinoids.

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“For centuries, cannabinoids have been known to be effective in pain states. Itch and pain are two sensations sharing a lot in common.

OBJECTIVE:

The goal of this research was to observe whether the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 reduces serotonin-induced scratching behaviour and whether neurotoxic destruction of descending serotonergic and noradrenergic pathways mediate the antipruritic effect of WIN 55,212-2.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings indicate that cannabinoids dose-dependently reduce serotonin-induced scratching behaviour and neurotoxic destruction of descending inhibitory pathways does not mediate this antipruritic effect.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27805543

 

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Palmitoylethanolamide reduces inflammation and itch in a mouse model of contact allergic dermatitis.

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“In mice, 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB) induces contact allergic dermatitis (CAD), which, in a late phase, is characterized by mast cell (MC) infiltration and angiogenesis.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an endogenous anti-inflammatory molecule, acts by down-modulating MCs following activation of the cannabinoid CB2 receptor and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPAR-α).

We have previously reported the anti-inflammatory effect of PEA in the early stage of CAD.

Here, we examined whether PEA reduces the features of the late stage of CAD including MC activation, angiogenesis and itching.

PEA, by reducing the features of late stage CAD in mice, may be beneficial in this pathological condition.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27720681

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ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM: A multi-facet therapeutic target.

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“Cannabis sativa is also popularly known as marijuana. It is being cultivated and used by man for recreational and medicinal purposes from many centuries.

Study of cannabinoids was at bay for very long time and its therapeutic value could not be adequately harnessed due to its legal status as proscribed drug in most of the countries.

The research of drugs acting on endocannabinoid system has seen many ups and down in recent past. Presently, it is known that endocannabinoids has role in pathology of many disorders and they also serve “protective role” in many medical conditions.

Several diseases like emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome related diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome could possibly be treated by drugs modulating endocannabinoid system.

Presently, cannabinoid receptor agonists like nabilone and dronabinol are used for reducing the chemotherapy induced vomiting. Sativex (cannabidiol and THC combination) is approved in the UK, Spain and New Zealand to treat spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. In US it is under investigation for cancer pain, another drug Epidiolex (cannabidiol) is also under investigation in US for childhood seizures. Rimonabant, CB1 receptor antagonist appeared as a promising anti-obesity drug during clinical trials but it also exhibited remarkable psychiatric side effect profile. Due to which the US Food and Drug Administration did not approve Rimonabant in US. It sale was also suspended across the EU in 2008.

Recent discontinuation of clinical trial related to FAAH inhibitor due to occurrence of serious adverse events in the participating subjects could be discouraging for the research fraternity. Despite of some mishaps in clinical trials related to drugs acting on endocannabinoid system, still lot of research is being carried out to explore and establish the therapeutic targets for both cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists.

One challenge is to develop drugs that target only cannabinoid receptors in a particular tissue and another is to invent drugs that acts selectively on cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood brain barrier. Besides this, development of the suitable dosage forms with maximum efficacy and minimum adverse effects is also warranted.

Another angle to be introspected for therapeutic abilities of this group of drugs is non-CB1 and non-CB2 receptor targets for cannabinoids.

In order to successfully exploit the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid system, it is imperative to further characterize the endocannabinoid system in terms of identification of the exact cellular location of cannabinoid receptors and their role as “protective” and “disease inducing substance”, time-dependent changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27086601

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Cannabinoid receptor 1 controls human mucosal-type mast cell degranulation and maturation in situ.

“Because many chronic inflammatory and allergic disorders are intimately linked to excessive mast cell (MC) numbers and activation, it is clinically important to understand the physiologic mechanisms preventing excess MC accumulation/degranulation in normal human tissues.

Because endocannabinoids are increasingly recognized as neuroendocrine regulators of MC biology, we investigated how cannabinoid receptor (CB) 1 signaling affects human mucosal-type mast cells (hMMCs).

In human airway mucosa hMMC activation and maturation are subject to a potent inhibitory endocannabinoid tone through CB1 stimulation.

This invites one to target the endocannabinoid system in human airway mucosa as a novel strategy in the future management of allergic diseases.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23453134

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The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic exploitation.

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“The term ‘endocannabinoid’ – originally coined in the mid-1990s after the discovery of membrane receptors for the psychoactive principle in Cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and their endogenous ligands – now indicates a whole signalling system that comprises cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and enzymes for ligand biosynthesis and inactivation. This system seems to be involved in an ever-increasing number of pathological conditions. With novel products already being aimed at the pharmaceutical market little more than a decade since the discovery of cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoid system seems to hold even more promise for the future development of therapeutic drugs. We explore the conditions under which the potential of targeting the endocannabinoid system might be realized in the years to come.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15340387

http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v3/n9/full/nrd1495.html

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The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the skin. Recent studies have intriguingly suggested the existence of a functional ECS in the skin and implicated it in various biological processes. It seems that the main physiological function of the cutaneous ECS is to constitutively control the proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells. The disruption of this delicate balance might facilitate the development of multiple pathological conditions and diseases of the skin (e.g. acne, seborrhea, allergic dermatitis, itch and pain, psoriasis, hair growth disorders, systemic sclerosis and cancer).

Perspectives in the ECS-targeted management of skin diseases

… preclinical data encourage one to systematically explore whether ECS-modulating drugs can be exploited in the management of common skin disorders…

 … we review preliminary data and discuss the possible applications of ECS-targeted therapies…ECS-targeted approaches in skin diseases. Modulations of the fine-tuned tone of the cutaneous endocannabinoid system (ECS) could have therapeutic values in the management of a large variety of human skin diseases…

Conclusions and future directions in experimental and clinical research

… it is envisaged (this is also strongly supported by pilot studies) that the targeted manipulation of the ECS might be beneficial in a multitude of human skin diseases. However, to predict the real therapeutic potential and translate the exciting preclinical observations discussed earlier into clinical practice, numerous important questions should carefully be addressed. Nevertheless, targeting the cutaneous ECS for therapeutic gain remains an intriguing and provocative possibility warranting future studies.”

Full text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2757311/

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Pot Chemical May Curb Inflammation – WebMD

“Marijuana’s active ingredient may curb inflammation and help treat skin allergies.

That news comes from researchers including Meliha Karsak, PhD, and Thomas Tuting, MD, of Germany’s University of Bonn.

Marijuana’s key compound, THC, is a type of chemical called a cannabinoid. The brain contains two types of cannabinoid receptors.

Karsak and colleagues studied mice born with or without cannabinoid receptors. The mice wore ear tags to identify them; those ear tags contained nickel.

The mice without cannabinoid receptors were particularly likely to have allergic skin reactions to the nickel in the ear tags.

The scientists reasoned that the mice’s allergies may have been linked to their lack of cannabinoid receptors.

Karsak’s team tested that theory in several experiments.

First, they turned off cannabinoid receptors in healthy mice. Those mice then became more likely to develop skin inflammation near their nickel ear tags.

Next, the researchers exposed other mice with cannabinoid receptors to a skin irritant. Some of the mice got THC shots after being exposed to the irritant. Others got a THC skin lotion before and after exposure to the irritant.

The THC shot and lotion both helped soothe the mice’s inflamed skin.

“If we dabbed THC solution onto the animals’ skin shortly before and after applying the allergen, a lot less swelling occurred than normal,” Tuting says in a University of Bonn news release.

In the journal Science, the researchers write that their study “strongly suggests” that the body’s cannabinoid system can help tame inflammation and that THC skin lotions have “promising potential” for treating skin allergies caused by contact with irritating chemicals.

However, the researchers didn’t test the THC lotion on skin allergies in people.”

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20070607/pot-chemical-may-curb-inflammation

“Attenuation of allergic contact dermatitis through the endocannabinoid system…These results demonstrate a protective role of the endocannabinoid system in contact allergy in the skin and suggest a target for therapeutic intervention.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17556587

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