The endocannabinoid system in cardiovascular function: novel insights and clinical implications.

Clinical Autonomic Research

“Cardiovascular disease is now recognized as the number one cause of death in the world, and the size of the population at risk continues to increase rapidly. The dysregulation of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system plays a central role in a wide variety of conditions including cardiovascular disorders. Cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands, as well as enzymes conferring their synthesis and degradation, exhibit overlapping distributions in the cardiovascular system. Furthermore, the pharmacological manipulation of the eCB system has effects on blood pressure, cardiac contractility, and endothelial vasomotor control. Growing evidence from animal studies supports the significance of the eCB system in cardiovascular disorders.

RESULTS:

Drugs targeting CB1R, CB2R, TRPV1 and PPARs are proven effective in animal models mimicking cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension, atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction. Despite the setback of two clinical trials that exhibited unexpected harmful side-effects, preclinical studies are accelerating the development of more selective drugs with promising results devoid of adverse effects.

CONCLUSION:

Over the last years, increasing evidence from basic and clinical research supports the role of the eCB system in cardiovascular function. Whereas new discoveries are paving the way for the identification of novel drugs and therapeutic targets, the close cooperation of researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies is needed to achieve successful outcomes.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29222605

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10286-017-0488-5

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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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Effects of chronic Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol treatment on Rho/Rho-kinase signalization pathway in mouse brain.

Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal

“Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) shows its effects by activating cannabinoid receptors which are on some tissues and neurons. Cannabinoid systems have role on cell proliferation and development of neurons. Furthermore, it is interesting that cannabinoidsystem and rho/rho-kinase signalization pathway, which have important role on cell development and proliferation, may have role on neuron proliferation and development together. Thus, a study is planned to investigate rhoA and rho-kinase enzyme expressions and their activities in the brain of chronic Δ9-THC treated mice. One group of mice are treated with Δ9-THC once to see effects of acute treatment. Another group of mice are treated with Δ9-THC three times per day for one month. After this period, rhoA and rho-kinase enzyme expressions and their activities in mice brains are analyzed by ELISA method. Chronic administration of Δ9-THC decreased the expression of rhoA while acute treatment has no meaningful effect on it. Administration of Δ9-THC did not affect expression of rho-kinase on both chronic and acute treatment. Administration of Δ9-THC increased rho-kinase activity on both chronic and acute treatment, however, chronic treatment decreased its activity with respect to acute treatment. This study showed that chronic Δ9-THC treatment down-regulated rhoA expression and did not change the expression level of rho-kinase which is downstream effector of rhoA. However, it elevated the rho-kinase activity. Δ9-THC induced down-regulation of rhoA may cause elevation of cypin expression and may have benefit on cypin related diseases. Furthermore, use of rho-kinase inhibitors and Δ9-THC together can be useful on rho-kinase related diseases.”

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ACPA and JWH-133 modulate the vascular tone of superior mesenteric arteries through cannabinoid receptors, BKCa channels, and nitric oxide dependent mechanisms.

Pharmacological Reports

“Some cannabinoids, a family of compounds derived from Cannabis sativa (marijuana), have previously shown vasodilator effects in several studies, a feature that makes them suitable for the generation of a potential treatment for hypertension.

The mechanism underlying this vasodilator effect in arteries is still controversial. In this report, we explored how the synthetic cannabinoids ACPA (CB1-selective agonist) and JWH-133 (CB2-selective agonist) regulate the vascular tone of rat superior mesenteric arteries.

CB1 and CB2 receptor activation in superior mesenteric artery causes vasorelaxation by mechanisms involving BKCachannels and NO release.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29128791

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1734114017300361?via%3Dihub

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New ACE inhibitory peptides from hemp seed (Cannabis sativa L.) proteins.

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

“An hemp seed protein isolate, prepared from defatted hemp seed meals by alkaline solubilization/acid precipitation, was subjected to extensive chemical hydrolysis under acid conditions (6 M HCl). The resulting hydrolysate was fractionated by semipreparative RP-HPLC and the purified fractions were tested as inhibitors of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). Mono- and bi-dimensional NMR experiments and LC-MS/MS analyses led to the identification of four potentially bioactive peptides, i.e. GVLY, IEE, LGV, and RVR. They were prepared by solid-phase synthesis, and tested for ACE-inhibitory activity. The IC50 values were GVLY 16 ± 1.5 µM, LGV 145 ± 13 µM, and RVR 526 ± 33 µM, confirming that hemp seed may be a valuable source of hypotensive peptides.”

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Translating Endocannabinoid Biology into Clinical Practice: Cannabidiol for Stroke Prevention.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers

“Introduction: The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates functions throughout human physiology, including neuropsychiatric, cardiovascular, autonomic, metabolic, and inflammatory states. The complex cellular interactions regulated by the ECS suggest a potential for vascular disease and stroke prevention by augmenting central nervous and immune cell endocannabinoid signaling.

Discussion: The endocannabinoid N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) plays a central role in augmenting these processes in cerebrovascular and neurometabolic disease. Furthermore, cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive constituent of Cannabis, is an immediate therapeutic candidate both for potentiating endocannabinoid signaling and for acting at multiple pharmacological targets.

Conclusion: This speculative synthesis explores the current state of knowledge of the ECS and suggests CBD as a therapeutic candidate for stroke prevention by exerting favorable augmentation of the homeostatic effects of the ECS and, in turn, improving the metabolic syndrome, while simultaneously stalling the development of atherosclerosis.”

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Control of myogenic tone and agonist induced contraction of intramural coronary resistance arterioles by cannabinoid type 1 receptors and endocannabinoids.

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“It was tested whether intrinsic CB1R activation modifies myogenic and agonist induced contraction of intramural coronary resistance arteries of the rat. CB1R protein was detected by immuno-histochemistry and by Western blot, its mRNA by qRT-PCR in their wall. Microsurgically prepared cylindrical coronary segments (∼100-150μm) developed myogenic contraction (∼20% of relaxed luminal diameter), from which a substantial relaxation (∼15%) in response to WIN55212 (a specific agonist of the CB1Rs) has been found. CB1R-mediated relaxation was blocked by O2050 and AM251 (neutral antagonist and inverse agonist of the CB1R, respectively) and was partially blocked by the NO synthase blocker LNA. CB1R blockade enhanced myogenic tone and augmented AngII-induced vasoconstriction (from 17,8±1,2 to 29,1±2,9%, p <0,05). Inhibition of diacylglycerol lipase by tetrahydrolipstatin, (inhibitor of endogenous 2-AG production) also augmented coronary vasoconstriction. These observations prove that vascular endocannabinoids are significant negative modulators of the myogenic and agonist-induced tone of intramural coronary arterioles acting through CB1Rs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29031792

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1098882317300047

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Activation of cannabinoid receptor type II by AM1241 protects adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells from oxidative damage and enhances their therapeutic efficacy in myocardial infarction mice via Stat3 activation.

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“The poor survival of cells in ischemic sites diminishes the therapeutic efficacy of stem cell therapy. Previously we and others have reported that Cannabinoid receptor type II (CB2) is protective during heart ischemic injury for its anti-oxidative activity. However, whether CB2 activation could improve the survival and therapeutic efficacy of stem cells in ischemic myocardium and the underlying mechanisms remain elusive.

Here, we showed evidence that CB2 agonist AM1241 treatment could improve the functional survival of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) in vitro as well as in vivo. Moreover, AD-MSCs adjuvant with AM1241 improved cardiac function, and inhibited cardiac oxidative stress, apoptosis and fibrosis. To unveil possible mechanisms, AD-MSCs were exposed to hydrogen peroxide/serum deprivation to simulate the ischemic environment in myocardium.

Results delineated that AM1241 blocked the apoptosis, oxidative damage and promoted the paracrine effects of AD-MSCs. Mechanistically, AM1241 activated signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (Stat3) through the phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2. Moreover, the administration of AM630, LY294002, U0126 and AG490 (inhibitors for CB2, Akt, ERK1/2 and Stat3, respectively) could abolish the beneficial actions of AM1241.

Our result support the promise of CB2 activation as an effective strategy to optimize stem cell-based therapy possibly through Stat3 activation.”

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Bioactivities of alternative protein sources and their potential health benefits.

“Increasing the utilisation of plant proteins is needed to support the production of protein-rich foods that could replace animal proteins in the human diet so as to reduce the strain that intensive animal husbandry poses to the environment. Lupins, quinoa and hempseed are significant sources of energy, high quality proteins, fibre, vitamins and minerals. In addition, they contain compounds such as polyphenols and bioactive peptides that can increase the nutritional value of these plants. From the nutritional standpoint, the right combination of plant proteins can supply sufficient amounts of essential amino acids for human requirements. This review aims at providing an overview of the current knowledge of the nutritional properties, beneficial and non-nutritive compounds, storage proteins, and potential health benefits of lupins, quinoa and hempseed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28804797

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Hempseed Peptides Exert Hypocholesterolemic Effects with a Statin-Like Mechanism.

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

“This study had the objective of preparing a hempseed protein hydrolysate and investigating its hypocholesterolemic properties. The hydrolysate was prepared treating a total protein extract with pepsin. Nano HPLC-ESI-MS/MS analysis permitted identifying in total 90 peptides belonging to 33 proteins. In the range 0.1-1.0 mg/mL, it inhibited the catalytic activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGCoAR) in a dose-dependent manner. HepG2 cells were treated with 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/mL of the hydrolysate. Immunoblotting detection showed increments in the protein levels of regulatory element binding proteins 2 (SREBP2), low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), and HMGCoAR. However, the parallel activation of the phospho-5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway, produced an inactivation of HMGCoAR by phosphorylation. The functional ability of HepG2 cells to uptake extracellular LDL was raised by 50.5 ± 2.7%, 221.5 ± 1.6%, and 109 ± 3.5%, respectively, versus the control at 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/mL concentrations. Finally, also a raise of the protein level of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexintype 9 was observed. All of these data suggest that the mechanism of action has some similarity with that of statins.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28931275

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jafc.7b02742

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