“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an extensive endogenous signaling system with multiple elements, the number of which may be increasing as scientists continue to elucidate its role in human health and disease. The ECS is seemingly ubiquitous in animal species and is modulated by diet, sleep, exercise, stress, and a multitude of other factors, including exposure to phytocannabinoids, like Cannabidiol (CBD). Modulating the activity of this system may offer tremendous therapeutic promise for a diverse scope of diseases, ranging from mental health disorders, neurological and movement disorders, pain, autoimmune disease, spinal cord injury, cancer, cardiometabolic disease, stroke, TBI, osteoporosis, and others.”
“Described during the late 1980s and 1990s, cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) are G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) activated by endogenous ligands and cannabinoid drug compounds, such as Δ9-THC. Whereas CB1R has a role in the regulation of neurotransmission in different brain regions and mainly mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids, CB2R is found predominantly in the cells and tissues of the immune system and mediates anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory processes. Studies have demonstrated that CB1R and CB2R can affect the activation of T cells, B cells, monocytes, and microglial cells, inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine expression and upregulating proresolution mediators. Thus, in this review, we summarize the mechanisms by which CBRs interact with the autoimmune environment and the potential to suppress the development and activation of autoreactive cells. Finally, we highlight how the modulation of CB1R and CB2R is advantageous in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).”
“Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by antibody-mediated platelet destruction, with a complex and unclear pathogenesis. The impaired immunosuppressive capacity of mesenchymal stromal cells in ITP patients (ITP-MSCs) might play a role in the development of the disease. Correcting the MSC defects could represent an alternative therapeutic approach for ITP.
High-dose dexamethasone (HD-Dexa) is the mainstay of the ITP therapeutic regimen, although it has several side effects. We previously demonstrated a role for cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB₂) as a mediator of anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties of human MSCs.
We analyzed the effects of CB₂ stimulation, with the selective agonist JWH-133, and of Dexa alone and in combination on ITP-MSC survival and immunosuppressive capacity. We provided new insights into the pathogenesis of ITP, suggesting CB₂ receptor involvement in the impairment of ITP-MSC function and confirming MSCs as responsive cellular targets of Dexa. Moreover, we demonstrated that CB₂ stimulation and Dexa attenuate apoptosis, via Bcl2 signaling, and restore the immune-modulatory properties of MSCs derived from ITP patients.
These data suggest the possibility of using Dexa in combination with JWH-133 in ITP, reducing its dose and side effects but maintaining its therapeutic benefits.”
“Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease, characterized by loss of tolerance toward self nuclear Ags. Systemic induction of type I IFNs plays a pivotal role in SLE, a major source of type I IFNs being the plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Several genes have been linked with susceptibility to SLE in genome-wide association studies. We aimed at exploring the role of one such gene, α/β-hydrolase domain-containing 6 (ABHD6), in regulation of IFN-α induction in SLE patients. We discovered a regulatory role of ABHD6 in human pDCs through modulating the local abundance of its substrate, the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG), and elucidated a hitherto unknown cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2)-mediated regulatory role of 2-AG on IFN-α induction by pDCs. We also identified an ABHD6High SLE endophenotype wherein reduced local abundance of 2-AG relieves the CB2-mediated steady-state resistive tuning on IFN-α induction by pDCs, thereby contributing to SLE pathogenesis.”
“Medical uses of Cannabis sativa have been known for over 6,000 years. Nowadays, cannabis is mostly known for its psychotropic effects and its ability to relieve pain, even though there is evidence of cannabis use for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis centuries ago. The pharmacological therapy in autoimmune diseases is mainly based on immunosuppression of diffefent axes of the immune system while many of the drugs have major side effects. In this review we set out to examine the rule of Cannabis sativa as an immunomodulator and its potential as a new treatment option. In order to examine this subject we will focus on some major autoimmune diseases such as diabetes type I and rheumatoid arthritis.”
“Multiple sclerosis is a progressive autoimmune neurologic disorder that may affect any region of the central nervous system. Spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis can be debilitating and detrimental to the function and quality of life of patients. Treatment options include oral medications, chemodenervation, physical therapy, and modalities.
Cannabinoids in the form of a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol oro-mucosal spray has been shown to be effective in addressing spasticity in multiple sclerosis.
Successful treatment of spasticity will be integrated, multimodal, and individualized.”
“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease leading to the destruction of myelin with consequent axonal degeneration and severe physical debilitation. The disease can be treated with immunosuppressive drugs that alleviate the symptoms and retard disease aggravation. One such drug in clinical use is glatiramer acetate (Copaxone).
The non-psychotropic immunosuppressive cannabinoid compound cannabidiol (CBD) has recently been shown to have beneficial effects on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The aim of our study was to compare the efficacy of CBD and standardized extracts from a CBD-rich, ∆9-THClow Cannabis indica subspecies (Avidekel) with that of Copaxone.
Our data show that CBD and purified Avidekel extracts are as efficient as Copaxone to alleviate the symptoms of proteolipid protein (PLP)-induced EAE in SJL/J mice. No synergistic effect was observed by combining CBD or Avidekel extracts with Copaxone.
Our data support the use of Avidekel extracts in the treatment of MS symptoms.”
“The gut microbiota plays a fundamental role on the education and function of the host immune system.
Immunological dysregulation is the cause of numerous human disorders such as autoimmune diseases and metabolic disorders frequently associated with inflammatory processes therefore is critical to explore novel mechanisms involved in maintaining the immune system homeostasis.
The cannabinoid system and related bioactive lipids participate in multiple central and peripheral physiological processes that affect metabolic, gastrointestinal and neuroimmune regulatory mechanisms displaying a modulatory role and contributing to the maintenance of the organism’s homeostasis.
In this review, we gather the knowledge on the gut microbiota-endocannabinoids interactions and their impact on autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and particularly, multiple sclerosis (MS) as the best example of a CNS autoimmune disorder.
Furthermore, we contribute to this field with new data on changes in many elements of the cannabinoid system in a viral model of MS after gut microbiota manipulation by both antibiotics and probiotics.
Finally, we highlight new therapeutic opportunities, under an integrative view, targeting the eCBS and the commensal microbiota in the context of neuroinflammation and MS.”
“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic debilitating autoimmune disease without a cure. While the use of marijuana cannabinoids for MS has recently been approved in some countries, the precise mechanism of action leading to attenuate neuroinflammation is not clear. We used experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a murine model of MS, to explore the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Treatment with CBD caused attenuation of EAE disease paradigms as indicated by a significant reduction in clinical scores of paralysis, decreased T cell infiltration in the central nervous system, and reduced levels of IL-17 and IFNγ. Interestingly, CBD treatment led to a profound increase in myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in EAE mice when compared to the vehicle-treated EAE controls. These MDSCs caused robust inhibition of MOG-induced proliferation of T cells in vitro. Moreover, adoptive transfer of CBD-induced MDSCs ameliorated EAE while MDSC depletion reversed the beneficial effects of CBD treatment, thereby conclusively demonstrating that MDSCs played a crucial role in CBD-mediated attenuation of EAE. Together, these studies demonstrate for the first time that CBD treatment may ameliorate EAE through induction of immunosuppressive MDSCs.”
“In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the mitigation of EAE with CBD comes from its ability to target a range of anti-inflammatory pathways, including (i) induction of anti-inflammatory MDSCs and (ii) decrease in pro-inflammatory and induction of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Because CBD is non-psychoactive, our studies suggest that CBD may constitute an excellent candidate for the treatment of MS and other autoimmune diseases. Our studies provide further evidence of the importance of MDSCs and that manipulation of such cells may constitute novel therapeutic modality to treat MS and other autoimmune diseases.”
“Systemic sclerosis (SSc) or scleroderma is a chronic multi-organ autoimmune disease characterized by vascular, immunological, and fibrotic abnormalities.
The etiology of SSc is unknown, but there is growing evidence that dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a critical role in its development.
Since the semi-synthetic cannabinoquinoid VCE-004.8 could alleviate bleomycin (BLM)-induced skin fibrosis, we have investigated an oral lipid formulation (EHP-101) of this dual PPARγ/CB2 receptors activator for the prevention of skin- and lung fibrosis and of collagen accumulation in BLM challenged mice.
Taken together, these data provide a rationale for further developing VCE-004.8 as an orally active agent to alleviate scleroderma and, possibly, other fibrotic diseases as well.”