Molecular Targets of Cannabidiol in Experimental Models of Neurological Disease

molecules-logo“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid known for its beneficial effects including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, CBD is a compound with antidepressant, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and antipsychotic effects. Thanks to all these properties, the interest of the scientific community for it has grown.

Indeed, CBD is a great candidate for the management of neurological diseases. The purpose of our review is to summarize the in vitro and in vivo studies published in the last 15 years that describe the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of CBD and its therapeutic application in neurological diseases.

CBD exerts its neuroprotective effects through three G protein coupled-receptors (adenosine receptor subtype 2A, serotonin receptor subtype 1A and G protein-coupled receptor 55), one ligand-gated ion channel (transient receptor potential vanilloid channel-1) and one nuclear factor (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ). Moreover, the therapeutical properties of CBD are also due to GABAergic modulation.

In conclusion, CBD, through multi-target mechanisms, represents a valid therapeutic tool for the management of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33171772/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/21/5186

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Effect of Cannabinoids on Electroencephalography of a Child with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

“Cannabinoids have been found to be effective in controlling seizures and the highly purified form of cannabinoid derived for Cannabis sativa . Cannabidiol (CBD) is now approved for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. CBD was used in a 9-year-old boy with LGS (unknown etiology) with very good results. The electroencephalography (EEG) response was very dramatic with near normalization of EEG background and complete control of seizures. The effect of CBD on EEG with such an improvement has not been described previously. Also, this adds to evidence that early intervention in LGS with CBD might be more helpful and improve outcomes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33144805/

https://www.thieme-connect.de/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0040-1714329

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Cannabidiol interactions with voltage-gated sodium channels

eLife logo “Voltage-gated sodium channels are targets for a range of pharmaceutical drugs developed for treatment of neurological diseases.

Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound isolated from cannabis plants, was recently approved for treatment of two types of epilepsy associated with sodium channel mutations.

This study used high resolution X-ray crystallography to demonstrate the detailed nature of the interactions between CBD and the NavMs voltage-gated sodium channel, and electrophysiology to show the functional effects of binding CBD to these channels.

CBD binds at a novel site at the interface of the fenestrations and the central hydrophobic cavity of the channel. Binding at this site blocks the transmembrane-spanning sodium ion translocation pathway, providing a molecular mechanism for channel inhibition. Modelling studies suggest why the closely-related psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol may not have the same effects on these channels. Finally, comparisons are made with the TRPV2 channel, also recently proposed as a target site for CBD.

In summary, this study provides novel insight into a possible mechanism for CBD interactions with sodium channels.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33089780/

https://elifesciences.org/articles/58593

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Biochemical Aspects and Therapeutic Mechanisms of Cannabidiol in Epilepsy

Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews “Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease characterized by recurrent epileptic seizures. Studies have shown the complexity of epileptogenesis and ictogenesis, in which immunological processes and epigenetic and structural changes in neuronal tissues have been identified as triggering epilepsy.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major active component of the Cannabis plant and the source of CBD-enriched products for the treatment of epilepsy and associated diseases.

In this review, we provide an up-to-date discussion on cellular and molecular mechanisms triggered during epilepsy crises, and the phytochemical characteristics of CBD that make it an attractive candidate for controlling rare syndromes, with excellent therapeutic properties. We also discuss possible CBD anticonvulsant mechanisms and molecular targets in neurodegenerative disorders and epilepsy.

Based on these arguments, we conclude that CBD presents a biotecnological potential in the anticonvulsant process, including decreasing dependence on health care in hospitals, and could make the patient’s life more stable, with regard to neurological conditions.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33031814/

“Therapeutic properties of cannabidiol in the treatment of epilepsy”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0149763420305832?via%3Dihub

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Practical use of pharmaceutically purified oral cannabidiol in Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

Publication Cover “Pharmaceutically purified oral cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency as treatment of seizures associated with Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which are severe and difficult-to-treat developmental and epileptic encephalopathies with onset in early childhood.

Areas covered: This review will critically review the pharmacokinetic properties of CBD, the interactions with antiseizure and non-antiseizure medications, and the main tolerability and safety issues to provide guidance for its use in everyday practice.

Expert opinion: CBD is metabolized in the liver and can influence the activity of enzymes involved in drug metabolism. The best characterized drug-drug interaction is between CBD and clobazam. The most common adverse events include somnolence, gastrointestinal discomfort and increase in serum transaminases.

High-grade purified CBD oral solution represents an effective therapeutic option in patients with DS and LGS.

The findings cannot be extrapolated to other cannabis-based products, synthetic cannabinoids for medicinal use and non-medicinal cannabis and CBD derivatives.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33026899/

“Pharmaceutically purified oral cannabidiol (CBD) is approved for treatment of seizures associated with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14737175.2021.1834383?journalCode=iern20

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Development of cannabidiol as a treatment for severe childhood epilepsies

“In recent years there has been a growing appreciation by regulatory authorities that cannabis-based medicines can play a useful role in disease therapy.

Although often conflagrated by proponents of recreational use, the legislative rescheduling of cannabis-derived compounds, such as cannabidiol (CBD), has been associated with the steady increase in the pursuit of use of medicinal cannabis.

One key driver in this interest has been the scientific demonstration of efficacy and safety of CBD in randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials in children and young adults with difficult-to-treat epilepsies, which has encouraged increasing numbers of human trials of CBD for other indications and in other populations.

The introduction of CBD as the medicine Epidiolex in the US (in 2018) and as Epidyolex in the EU (in 2019) as the first cannabis-derived therapeutic for the treatment for seizures was underpinned by preclinical research performed at the University of Reading.

This work was awarded the British Pharmacological Society Sir James Black Award for Contributions to Drug Discovery 2019 and is discussed in the following review article.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32986848/

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.15274

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Clinical implications of trials investigating drug-drug interactions between cannabidiol and enzyme inducers or inhibitors or common antiseizure drugs

“Highly purified cannabidiol (CBD) has demonstrated efficacy with an acceptable safety profile in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in randomized, double-blind, add-on, controlled phase 3 trials.

It is important to consider the possibility of drug-drug interactions (DDIs). Here, we review six trials of CBD (Epidiolex/Epidyolex; 100 mg/mL oral solution) in healthy volunteers or patients with epilepsy, which investigated potential interactions between CBD and enzymes involved in drug metabolism of common antiseizure drugs (ASDs).

CBD did not affect CYP3A4 activity. Induction of CYP3A4 and CYP2C19 led to small reductions in exposure to CBD and its major metabolites. Inhibition of CYP3A4 activity did not affect CBD exposure and caused small increases in exposure to CBD metabolites. Inhibition of CYP2C19 activity led to a small increase in exposure to CBD and small decreases in exposure to CBD metabolites.

One potentially clinically important DDI was identified: combination of CBD and clobazam (CLB) did not affect CBD or CLB exposure, but increased exposure to major metabolites of both compounds. Reduction of CLB dose may be considered if adverse reactions known to occur with CLB are experienced when it is coadministered with CBD.

There was a small increase of exposure to stiripentol (STP) when coadministered with CBD. STP had no effect on CBD exposure but led to minor decreases in exposure to CBD metabolites. Combination of CBD and valproate (VPA) did not cause clinically important changes in the pharmacokinetics of either drug, or 2-propyl-4-pentenoic acid. Concomitant VPA caused small increases in exposure to CBD metabolites. Dose adjustments are not likely to be necessary when CBD is combined with STP or VPA.

The safety results from these trials were consistent with the known safety profile of CBD. These trials indicate an overall low potential for DDIs between CBD and other ASDs, except for CLB.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32918835/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/epi.16674

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Add-on cannabidiol significantly decreases seizures in 3 patients with SYNGAP1 developmental and epileptic encephalopathy

“Mutations in SYNGAP1 are associated with developmental delay, epilepsy, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Epilepsy is often drug-resistant in this syndrome with frequent drop attacks.

In a prospective study of add-on cannabidiol (CBD), we identified three patients with SYNGAP1 mutations: two boys and one girl. Seizure onset was at 3.5, 8, and 18 months (M), respectively, with numerous atypical absences per day associated with eyelid myoclonia (2/3 patients), upper limb myoclonic jerks (2/3 patients), and drop attacks (all patients). Seizures were resistant to at least 5 antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).

After CBD introduction, two patients were responders since M2 and achieve a seizure reduction of 90% and 80%, respectively, at M9 with disappearance of drop attacks. EEGs showed an improvement regarding background activity and interictal anomalies. The last patient showed a late response at M7 of treatment with an 80% decrease in seizure frequency. Caregiver in all three evaluated as much improved the status of their children. Treatment was well-tolerated in all, and no major adverse events (AEs) were reported.

CBD showed efficacy in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy due to SYNGAP1 mutations. Other patients with rare genetic developmental and epileptic encephalopathies with drug-resistant epilepsies might benefit from CBD.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32913957/

“CBD add‐on therapy in patients with SYNGAP1 encephalopathy showed a good response in three patients with a good safety profile and a late response in one patient. This therapy should be included in the treatment algorithm of patients with SYNGAP1 mutations presenting drug resistance epilepsy and might be expanded to other rare genetic epilepsies that might not be included in formal trials.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/epi4.12411

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Receptors and Channels Possibly Mediating the Effects of Phytocannabinoids on Seizures and Epilepsy

pharmaceuticals-logo“Epilepsy contributes to approximately 1% of the global disease burden. By affecting especially young children as well as older persons of all social and racial variety, epilepsy is a present disorder worldwide. Currently, only 65% of epileptic patients can be successfully treated with antiepileptic drugs. For this reason, alternative medicine receives more attention.

Cannabis has been cultivated for over 6000 years to treat pain and insomnia and used since the 19th century to suppress epileptic seizures.

The two best described phytocannabinoids, (-)-trans9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are claimed to have positive effects on different neurological as well as neurodegenerative diseases, including epilepsy.

There are different cannabinoids which act through different types of receptors and channels, including the cannabinoid receptor 1 and 2 (CB1, CB2), G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) and 18 (GPR18), opioid receptor µ and δ, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) and 2 (TRPV2), type A γ-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAAR) and voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC).

The mechanisms and importance of the interaction between phytocannabinoids and their different sites of action regarding epileptic seizures and their clinical value are described in this review.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32751761/

https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8247/13/8/174

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Cannabidiol inhibits febrile seizure by modulating AMPA receptor kinetics through its interaction with the N-terminal domain of GluA1/GluA2

Pharmacological Research “Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major phytocannabinoid in Cannabis sativa. CBD is being increasingly reported as a clinical treatment for neurological diseases.

Febrile seizure is one of the most common diseases in children with limited therapeutic options. We investigated possible therapeutic effects of CBD on febrile seizures and the underlying mechanism.

Use of a hyperthermia-induced seizures model revealed that CBD significantly prolonged seizure latency and reduced the severity of thermally-induced seizures. Hippocampal neuronal excitability was significantly decreased by CBD. Further, CBD significantly reduced the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) mediated evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) and the amplitude and frequency of miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs).

Furthermore, CBD significantly accelerated deactivation in GluA1 and GluA2 subunits. Interestingly, CBD slowed receptor recovery from desensitization of GluA1, but not GluA2. These effects on kinetics were even more prominent when AMPAR was co-expressed with γ-8, the high expression isoform 8 of transmembrane AMPAR regulated protein (TARPγ8) in the hippocampus. The inhibitory effects of CBD on AMPAR depended on its interaction with the distal N-terminal domain of GluA1/GluA2.

CBD inhibited AMPAR activity and reduced hippocampal neuronal excitability, thereby improving the symptoms of febrile seizure in mice. The putative binding site of CBD in the N-terminal domain of GluA1/GluA2 may be a drug target for allosteric gating modulation of AMPAR.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32805354/

“Cannabidiol (CBD) significantly prolonged seizure latency and reduced seizure severity.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661820314365?via%3Dihub

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