Neuroprotective Effects of Cannabispirenone A against NMDA-Induced Excitotoxicity in Differentiated N2a Cells

pubmed logo

“The endocannabinoid system is found throughout the central nervous system, and its cannabinoids receptor 1 is critical in preventing neurotoxicity caused by N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation (NMDARs). The activity of NMDARs places demands on endogenous cannabinoids to regulate their calcium currents.

Endocannabinoids keep NMDAR activity within safe limits, protecting neural cells from excitotoxicity. Cannabinoids are remembered to deliver this outcome by repressing presynaptic glutamate discharge or obstructing postsynaptic NMDAR-managed flagging pathways.

The endocannabinoid system must exert a negative influence proportional to the strength of NMDAR signaling for such control to be effective. The goal of this paper is to draw the attention towards the neuroprotective mechanism of constituents of Cannabis sativa against NMDA-induced excitotoxic result.

Phytochemical investigation of the cannabis flowers led to the isolation of nine secondary metabolites. A spiro-compound, Cannabispirenone A, which on treatment of the cells prior to NMDA exposure significantly increases cell survival while decreasing ROS production, lipid peroxidation, and intracellular calcium.

Our findings showed that this compound showed neuroprotection against NMDA-induced excitotoxic insult, has antioxidative properties, and increased cannabinoid receptor 1 expression, which may be involved in the signaling pathway for this neuroprotection.”

“In the current study, we assessed the flowers of the cannabis plant that showed ability to protect cells from NMDA-induced insult and discovered that it could prevent cell death. To our knowledge, we here reporting the first-time neuroprotective properties of the molecule isolated from the flowers of the cannabis plant.”

The development of cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in the United States

pubmed logo

“Cannabis is one of the oldest and widely used substances in the world. Cannabinoids within the cannabis plant, known as phytocannabinoids, mediate cannabis’ effects through interactions with the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system.

This endogenous system, the endocannabinoid system, has important roles in physical and mental health. These roles point to the potential to develop cannabinoids as therapeutic agents, while underscoring the risks related to interfering with the endogenous system during non-medical use.

This scoping narrative review synthesizes the current evidence for both the therapeutic and adverse effects of the major (i.e., Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol) and lesser studied minor phytocannabinoids, from nonclinical to clinical research. We pay particular attention to the areas where evidence is well-established, including analgesic effects after acute exposures and neurocognitive risks after acute and chronic use.

In addition, drug development considerations for cannabinoids as therapeutic agents within the United States are reviewed. The proposed clinical study design considerations encourage methodological standards for greater scientific rigor and reproducibility, ultimately, to extend our knowledge of the risks and benefits of cannabinoids for patients and providers.

Significance Statement This work provides a review of prior research related to phytocannabinoids, including therapeutic potential and known risks in the context of drug development within the United States. We also provide study design considerations for future cannabinoid drug development.”

Exploring the versatile roles of the endocannabinoid system and phytocannabinoids in modulating bacterial infections

pubmed logo

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS), initially identified for its role in maintaining homeostasis, particularly in regulating brain function, has evolved into a complex orchestrator influencing various physiological processes beyond its original association with the nervous system. Notably, an expanding body of evidence emphasizes the ECS’s crucial involvement in regulating immune responses.

While the specific role of the ECS in bacterial infections remains under ongoing investigation, compelling indications suggest its active participation in host-pathogen interactions. Incorporating the ECS into the framework of bacterial pathogen infections introduces a layer of complexity to our understanding of its functions.

While some studies propose the potential of cannabinoids to modulate bacterial function and immune responses, the outcomes inherently hinge on the specific infection and cannabinoid under consideration. Moreover, the bidirectional relationship between the ECS and the gut microbiota underscores the intricate interplay among diverse physiological processes.

The ECS extends its influence far beyond its initial discovery, emerging as a promising therapeutic target across a spectrum of medical conditions, encompassing bacterial infections, dysbiosis, and sepsis.

This review comprehensively explores the complex roles of the ECS in the modulation of bacteria, the host’s response to bacterial infections, and the dynamics of the microbiome. Special emphasis is placed on the roles of cannabinoid receptor types 1 and 2, whose signaling intricately influences immune cell function in microbe-host interactions.”

The antitumor action of endocannabinoids in the tumor microenvironment of glioblastoma

pubmed logo

“Approximately 80% of all malignant brain tumors are gliomas, which are primary brain tumors. The most prevalent subtype of glioma, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is also the most deadly. Chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery, and conventional pharmacotherapy are currently available therapeutic options for GBM; unfortunately, these approaches only prolong the patient’s life by 5 years at most. Despite numerous intensive therapeutic options, GBM is considered incurable.

Accumulating preclinical data indicate that overt antitumoral effects can be induced by pharmacologically activating endocannabinoid receptors on glioma cells by modifying important intracellular signaling cascades. The complex mechanism underlying the endocannabinoid receptor-evoked antitumoral activity in experimental models of glioma may inhibit the ability of cancer cells to invade, proliferate, and exhibit stem cell-like characteristics, along with altering other aspects of the complex tumor microenvironment. The exact biological function of the endocannabinoid system in the development and spread of gliomas, however, is remains unclear and appears to rely heavily on context.

Previous studies have revealed that endocannabinoid receptors are present in the tumor microenvironment, suggesting that these receptors could be novel targets for the treatment of GBM. Additionally, endocannabinoids have demonstrated anticancer effects through signaling pathways linked to the classic features of cancer. Thus, the pharmacology of endocannabinoids in the glioblastoma microenvironment is the main topic of this review, which may promote the development of future GBM therapies.”

Cannabidiol ameliorates PTSD-like symptoms by inhibiting neuroinflammation through its action on CB2 receptors in the brain of male mice

pubmed logo

“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating mental health disease related to traumatic experience, and its treatment outcomes are unsatisfactory.

Accumulating research has indicated that cannabidiol (CBD) exhibits anti-PTSD effects, however, the underlying mechanism of CBD remains inadequately investigated. Although many studies pertaining to PTSD have primarily focused on aberrations in neuronal functioning, the present study aimed to elucidate the involvement and functionality of microglia/macrophages in PTSD while also investigated the modulatory effects of CBD on neuroinflammation associated with this condition.

We constructed a modified single-prolonged stress (SPS) mice PTSD model and verified the PTSD-related behaviors by various behavioral tests (contextual freezing test, elevated plus maze test, tail suspension test and novel object recognition test). We observed a significant upregulation of Iba-1 and alteration of microglial/macrophage morphology within the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, but not the amygdala, two weeks after the PTSD-related stress, suggesting a persistent neuroinflammatory phenotype in the PTSD-modeled group.

CBD (10 mg/kg, i.p.) inhibited all PTSD-related behaviors and reversed the alterations in both microglial/macrophage quantity and morphology when administered prior to behavioral assessments. We further found increased pro-inflammatory factors, decreased PSD95 expression, and impaired synaptic density in the hippocampus of the modeled group, all of which were also restored by CBD treatment. CBD dramatically increased the level of anandamide, one of the endocannabinoids, and cannabinoid type 2 receptors (CB2Rs) transcripts in the hippocampus compared with PTSD-modeled group.

Importantly, we discovered the expression of CB2Rs mRNA in Arg-1-positive cells in vivo and found that the behavioral effects of CBD were diminished by CB2Rs antagonist AM630 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) and both the behavioral and molecular effects of CBD were abolished in CB2Rs knockout mice. These findings suggest that CBD would alleviate PTSD-like behaviors in mice by suppressing PTSD-related neuroinflammation and upregulation and activation of CB2Rs may serve as one of the underlying mechanisms for this therapeutic effect.

The present study offers innovative experimental evidence supporting the utilization of CBD in PTSD treatment from the perspective of its regulation of neuroinflammation, and paves the way for leveraging the endocannabinoid system to regulate neuroinflammation as a potential therapeutic approach for psychiatric disorders.”

“Cannabidiol alleviated all PTSD-like behaviors in mice by suppressing PTSD-related neuroinflammation.”

Cannabis and cancer: unveiling the potential of a green ally in breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer

pubmed logo

“Cancer comes in second place on the list of causes of death worldwide. In 2018, the 5-year prevalence of breast cancer (BC), prostate cancer (PC), and colorectal cancer (CRC) were 30%, 12.3%, and 10.9%, respectively.

Cannabinoids are chemicals derived from the Cannabis sativa plant; the most investigated cannabinoids are cannabinol, delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), and cannabidiol. In humans, the endogenous endocannabinoid system consists of endocannabinoids, cannabinoids receptors (CBs), and enzymes that degrade the endocannabinoids.

In this review, we will review the most recent literature for evidence that discusses the role of cannabis in the treatment of the three types of neoplasms mentioned.

Studies have proved that BC cells express CB receptors; many in-vivo studies showed that cannabinoids cause apoptosis and inhibit proliferation and migration. Also, researchers found that treating BC mice with THC and JWH-133 (CB2 receptor agonist) slowed the tumor growth.

Regarding CRC, cannabidiol was found to decrease the viability of chemotherapy-resistant CRC cells and inhibit metastasis by antagonizing the G-protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55; a novel cannabinoid receptor) necessary for metastasis. Moreover, cannabidiol had anti-angiogenetic effects by reducing the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in addition to anti-inflammatory effects.

Finally, studies demonstrated that PC cells highly express CB1 and CB2 receptors and that cannabinoids are capable of inhibiting the release of exosomes and microvesicles related to cancer progression. Cannabinoids also have antiproliferative, anti-invasive, anti-fibroblastic, cell cycle arrest, and proapoptotic effects on PC cells.”

“There is growing evidence supporting the role of Cannabinoids in numerous pathological conditions, including their role in several cancer types such as breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer. Accordingly, cannabinoids could have a promising potential as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of these types of cancers.”

Unraveling the Endocannabinoid System: Exploring Its Therapeutic Potential in Autism Spectrum Disorder

pubmed logo

“The salient features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encompass persistent difficulties in social communication, as well as the presence of restricted and repetitive facets of behavior, hobbies, or pursuits, which are often accompanied with cognitive limitations.

Over the past few decades, a sizable number of studies have been conducted to enhance our understanding of the pathophysiology of ASD. Preclinical rat models have proven to be extremely valuable in simulating and analyzing the roles of a wide range of established environmental and genetic factors.

Recent research has also demonstrated the significant involvement of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric diseases, including ASD. In fact, the ECS has the potential to regulate a multitude of metabolic and cellular pathways associated with autism, including the immune system. Moreover, the ECS has emerged as a promising target for intervention with high predictive validity.

Particularly noteworthy are resent preclinical studies in rodents, which describe the onset of ASD-like symptoms after various genetic or pharmacological interventions targeting the ECS, providing encouraging evidence for further exploration in this area.”

Cannabidiol attenuates seizure susceptibility and behavioural deficits in adult CDKL5R59X knock-in mice

pubmed logo

“Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) deficiency disorder (CDD) is caused by a loss-of-function mutation in CDKL5 gene, encoding a serine-threonine kinase highly expressed in the brain. CDD manifests with early-onset epilepsy, autism, motor impairment and severe intellectual disability.

While there are no known treatments for CDD, the use of cannabidiol has recently been introduced into clinical practice for neurodevelopmental disorders. Given the increased clinical utilization of cannabidiol, we examined its efficacy in the CDKL5R59X knock-in (R59X) mice, a CDD model based on a human mutation that exhibits both lifelong seizure susceptibility and behavioural deficits.

We found that cannabidiol pre-treatment rescued the increased seizure susceptibility in response to the chemoconvulsant pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), attenuated working memory and long-term memory impairments, and rescued social deficits in adult R59X mice. To elucidate a potential mechanism, we compared the developmental hippocampal and cortical expression of common endocannabinoid (eCB) targets in R59X mice and their wild-type littermates, including cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) and 2 (TRPV2), G-coupled protein receptor 55 (GPR55) and adenosine receptor 1 (A1R). Many of these eCB targets were developmentally regulated in both R59X and wild-type mice. In addition, adult R59X mice demonstrated significantly decreased expression of CB1R and TRPV1 in the hippocampus, and TRPV2 in the cortex, while TRPV1 was increased in the cortex.

These findings support the potential for dysregulation of eCB signalling as a plausible mechanism and therapeutic target in CDD, given the efficacy of cannabidiol to attenuate hyperexcitability and behavioural deficits in this disorder.”

“The current report is the first to show experimental evidence that cannabidiol can mitigate some of the memory and social deficits as well as seizure susceptibility in a well-characterized CDD mouse model. These findings continue to support the emerging clinical observational data that cannabidiol-based compounds have efficacy in CDD patients, especially those in later childhood and adulthood.”

Exploring Cannabinoids with Enhanced Binding Affinity for Targeting the Expanded Endocannabinoid System: A Promising Therapeutic Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment

pubmed logo

“Despite decades of rigorous research and numerous clinical trials, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) stands as a notable healthcare challenge of this century, with effective therapeutic solutions remaining elusive.

Recently, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has emerged as an essential therapeutic target due to its regulatory role in different physiological processes, such as neuroprotection, modulation of inflammation, and synaptic plasticity. This aligns with previous research showing that cannabinoid receptor ligands have the potential to trigger the functional structure of neuronal and brain networks, potentially impacting memory processing.

Therefore, our study aims to assess the effects of prolonged, intermittent exposure (over 90 days) to JWH-133 (0.2 mg/kg) and an EU-GMP certified Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabixir® Medium Flos, 2.5 mg/kg) on recognition memory, as well as their influence on brain metabolism and modulation of the expanded endocannabinoid system in APP/PS1 mice. Chronic therapy with cannabinoid receptor ligands resulted in reduced anxiety-like behavior and partially reversed the cognitive deficits. Additionally, a reduction was observed in both the number and size of Aβ plaque deposits, along with decreased cerebral glucose metabolism, as well as a decline in the expression of mTOR and CB2 receptors. Furthermore, the study revealed enlarged astrocytes and enhanced expression of M1 mAChR in mice subjected to cannabinoid treatment.

Our findings highlight the pivotal involvement of the extended endocannabinoid system in cognitive decline and pathological aspects associated with AD, presenting essential preclinical evidence to support the continued exploration and assessment of cannabinoid receptor ligands for AD treatment.”

“In conclusion, our current findings suggest that pharmacological activation of the expanded ECS via the selective CB2 agonist JWH-133 or Cannabixir® Medium Flos—15.6% THC and <1% CBD ameliorates the Alzheimer-like phenotype in APP/PS1 mice by mitigating neuroinflammation and accumulation of Aβ plaque deposits, reducing cerebral glucose metabolism, and increasing glial reactivity. These results support the notion that targeting the ECS using cannabinoid receptor ligands, which lack psychoactive side effects, is a promising target for the development of novel therapeutic approaches against AD.”

“Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology by Cannabinoids. Our results indicate that cannabinoid receptors are important in the pathology of AD and that cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in the disease.”

Phytocannabinoids: Exploring Pharmacological Profiles and Their Impact on Therapeutical Use

pubmed logo

“Phytocannabinoids, a diverse group of naturally occurring compounds extracted from the Cannabis plant, have attracted interest due to their potential pharmacological effects and medicinal uses.

This comprehensive review presents the intricate pharmacological profiles of phytocannabinoids while exploring the diverse impacts these substances have on biological systems. From the more than one hundred cannabinoids which were identified in the Cannabis plant so far, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the most extensively studied phytocannabinoids.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, which exhibits potential anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anxiolytic properties, making it a promising candidate for a wide array of medical conditions.

THC, known for its psychoactive effects, possesses analgesic and antiemetic properties, contributing to its therapeutic potential.

In addition to THC and CBD, a wide range of additional phytocannabinoids have shown intriguing pharmacological effects, including cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN).

The endocannabinoid system, made up of the enzymes involved in the production and breakdown of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), and endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), is essential for preserving homeostasis in several physiological processes. Beyond their effects on the endocannabinoid system, phytocannabinoids are studied for their ability to modify ion channels, neurotransmitter receptors, and anti-oxidative pathways.

The complex interaction between phytocannabinoids and biological systems offers hope for novel treatment approaches and lays the groundwork for further developments in the field of cannabinoid-based medicine. This review summarizes the state of the field, points out information gaps, and emphasizes the need for more studies to fully realize the therapeutic potential of phytocannabinoids.”

“Phytocannabinoids offer diverse therapeutic applications, ranging from pain management to neurological disorders and inflammatory diseases. Their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties make them valuable candidates for combating antibiotic resistance and modulating inflammatory pathways. By leveraging the synergistic effects of combination therapies and targeting multiple disease pathways, phytocannabinoids hold immense potential to revolutionize the future of pharmacotherapy and improve human health outcomes. “