Hepatic Cannabinoid Signaling in the Regulation of Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease

Logo of arcr“Purpose: The endocannabinoid system has emerged as a key regulatory signaling pathway in the pathophysiology of alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD). More than 30 years of research have established different roles of endocannabinoids and their receptors in various aspects of liver diseases, such as steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis. However, pharmacological applications of the endocannabinoid system for the treatment of ALD have not been successful because of psychoactive side effects, despite some beneficial effects. Thus, a more delicate and detailed elucidation of the mechanism linking the endocannabinoid system and ALD may be of paramount significance in efforts to apply the system to the treatment of ALD.

Search results: According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the authors selected 47 eligible full-text articles out of 2,691 searched initially. Studies in the past 3 decades revealed the opposite effects of cannabinoid receptors CB1R and CB2R on steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis in ALD.

Discussion and conclusions: This review summarizes the endocannabinoid signaling in the general physiology of the liver, the pathogenesis of ALD, and some of the potential therapeutic implications of cannabinoid-based treatments for ALD.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34646717/

“Over the past 30 years, it has been found that the endocannabinoid system is involved in a variety of pathways associated with the onset, or the progression, of several diseases, including ALD. The endocannabinoid system has been observed in both the hepatocytes and various nonparenchymal cells in the liver, in which the endocannabinoid production and its receptor activation may contribute to the development of a spectrum of ALD, ranging from simple alcoholic steatosis to more severe forms such as steatohepatitis and fibrosis. Therefore, understanding the precise physiology of the endocannabinoid system in the liver and unveiling the mechanism underlying the association between ALD progression and hepatic endocannabinoid signaling seem to bear a paramount significance for the advancement of ALD treatment, as well as for the treatment of other chronic liver diseases (e.g., NAFLD, viral hepatitis). Moreover, developing efficacious and highly selective cannabinoid receptor–modulating drugs could be a major breakthrough in the treatment of ALD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8496755/

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Cannabis Use Is Inversely Associated with Overweight and Obesity in Hepatitis B Virus-Infected Patients (ANRS CO22 Hepather Cohort)

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection may evolve into cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, and this progression may be accelerated by specific risk factors, including overweight and obesity. Although evidence for a protective effect of cannabis use on elevated body weight has been found for other populations, no data are available for HBV-infected patients. 

Aims: We aimed to identify risk factors (including cannabis use) for overweight and obesity in patients with HBV chronic infection. 

Methods: Using baseline data from the French ANRS CO22 Hepather cohort, we performed two separate analyses, one using “central obesity” (based on waist circumference) and the other “overweight” and “obesity” (based on body mass index) as outcomes. Logistic and multinomial regressions were used to model central obesity and overweight/obesity, respectively. 

Results: Among the 3706 patients in the study population, 50.8% had central obesity, 34.7% overweight, and 14.4% obesity. After multivariable adjustment, current cannabis use was associated with a 59% lower risk of central obesity compared with no lifetime use (adjusted odds ratio [95% CI]: 0.41 [0.24 to 0.70]). It was also associated with a 54% and 84% lower risk of overweight (adjusted relative risk ratio [95% CI]: 0.46 [0.27 to 0.76]) and obesity (0.16 [0.04 to 0.67]), respectively. 

Conclusions: Cannabis use was associated with lower risks of overweight and obesity in patients with HBV chronic infection. Future studies should test whether these potential benefits of cannabis and cannabinoid use translate into reduced liver disease progression in this high-risk population.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34648718/

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2021.0094

Changes in Hepatic Phospholipid Metabolism in Rats under UV Irradiation and Topically Treated with Cannabidiol

antioxidants-logo“The liver is a key metabolic organ that is particularly sensitive to environmental factors, including UV radiation. As UV radiation induces oxidative stress and inflammation, natural compounds are under investigation as one method to counteract these consequences.

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of topical application of phytocannabinoid-cannabidiol (CBD) on the skin of nude rats chronically irradiated with UVA/UVB, paying particular attention to its impact on the liver antioxidants and phospholipid metabolism.

The results of this study indicate that CBD reaches the rat liver where it is then metabolized into decarbonylated cannabidiol, 7-hydroxy-cannabidiol and cannabidiol-glucuronide. CBD increased the levels of GSH and vitamin A after UVB radiation. Moreover, CBD prevents the increase of 4-hydroxynonenal and 8-iso-prostaglandin-F levels in UVA-irradiated rats. As a consequence of reductions in phospholipase A2 and cyclooxygenases activity following UV irradiation, CBD upregulates the level of 2-arachidonoylglycerol and downregulates prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4. Finally, CBD enhances decreased level of 15-deoxy-Δ-12,14-prostaglandin J2 after UVB radiation and 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid after UVA radiation.

These data show that CBD applied to the skin prevents ROS- and enzyme-dependent phospholipid metabolism in the liver of UV-irradiated rats, suggesting that it may be used as an internal organ protector.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34439405/

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/10/8/1157

Cannabis Use May Reduce Healthcare Utilization and Improve Hospital Outcomes in Patients with Cirrhosis

Cover image Annals of Hepatology“Introduction and objectives: Previous studies reveal conflicting data on the effect of cannabis use in patients with cirrhosis. This research evaluates the impact of cannabis on hepatic decompensation, health care utilization, and mortality in patients with cirrhosis.

Results: Cannabis use was detected in 370 (2.1%) of 17,520 cirrhotics admitted in 2011 and in 1,162 (5.3%) of 21,917 cirrhotics in 2015 (p-value <0.001). On multivariable analysis, cirrhotics utilizing cannabis after its legalization experienced a decreased rate of admissions related to hepatorenal syndrome (Odds Ratio (OR): 0.51; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.34-0.78) and ascites (OR: 0.73; 95% CI: 0.63-0.84). Cirrhotics with an etiology of disease other than alcohol and hepatitis C had a higher risk of admission for hepatic encephalopathy if they utilized cannabis [OR: 1.57; 95% CI: 1.16-2.13]. Decreased length of stay (-1.15 days; 95% CI: -1.62, -0.68), total charges (-$15,852; 95% CI: -$21,009, -$10,694), and inpatient mortality (OR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.51-0.91) were also observed in cirrhotics utilizing cannabis after legalization compared to cirrhotics not utilizing cannabis or utilizing cannabis prior to legalization.

Conclusion: Cannabis use in patients with cirrhosis resulted in mixed outcomes regarding hospital admissions with hepatic decompensation. A trend towards decreased hospital utilization and mortality was noted in cannabis users after legalization. These observations need to be confirmed with a longitudinal randomized study.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33157269/

“The effectiveness of medicinal cannabis has been noted for many digestive system diseases including cirrhosis. Medicinal cannabis is associated with improved patient and hospital outcomes in cirrhotics”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1665268120302052?via%3Dihub

Protective Effects of ( E)-β-Caryophyllene (BCP) in Chronic Inflammation

nutrients-logo“(E)-β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a bicyclic sesquiterpene widely distributed in the plant kingdom, where it contributes a unique aroma to essential oils and has a pivotal role in the survival and evolution of higher plants.

Recent studies provided evidence for protective roles of BCP in animal cells, highlighting its possible use as a novel therapeutic tool.

Experimental results show the ability of BCP to reduce pro-inflammatory mediators such as tumor necrosis factor-alfa (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), thus ameliorating chronic pathologies characterized by inflammation and oxidative stress, in particular metabolic and neurological diseases.

Through the binding to CB2 cannabinoid receptors and the interaction with members of the family of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), BCP shows beneficial effects on obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH) liver diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, pain and other nervous system disorders.

This review describes the current knowledge on the biosynthesis and natural sources of BCP, and reviews its role and mechanisms of action in different inflammation-related metabolic and neurologic disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33114564/

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/11/3273

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

Cannabis Extracts Affected Metabolic Syndrome Parameters in Mice Fed High-Fat/Cholesterol Diet

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with metabolic syndrome, which often includes obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Several studies in mice and humans have implicated the involvement of the gut microbiome in NAFLD.

While cannabis may potentially be beneficial for treating metabolic disorders such as NAFLD, the effects of cannabis on liver diseases and gut microbiota profile are yet to be addressed. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic effects of cannabis strains with different cannabinoid profiles on NAFLD progression.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the administration of cannabis containing elevated levels of THC may help ameliorate symptoms of NAFLD, whereas administration of CBD-rich cannabis extracts may cause a proinflammatory effect in the liver, linked with an unfavorable change in the microbiota profile. Our preliminary data suggest that these effects are mediated by mechanisms other than increased expression of the endocannabinoid receptors cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and CB2.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32923658/

“The results of this study provide an indication that administration of certain strains of cannabis, preferably with a higher THC level, may be helpful in treating certain symptoms of metabolic syndrome, which include preventing the development and/or ameliorating the symptoms of NAFLD.”

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2020.0013

A molecular basis for the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrosis properties of cannabidiol

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is considered a non-psychoactive, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory compound derived from the Cannabis sativa plant.

There are various reports on the versatile function of CBD, including ameliorating chronic inflammation and fibrosis formation in several tissue types.

This review focused on the anti-inflammation and anti-fibrotic effects of CBD based on modulating the associated chemokines/cytokines and receptor-mediated pathways.

This review thus recommends the continued study of CBD’s molecular mechanism in treating established and emerging inflammatory and fibrosis-related diseases.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32885502/

“In all, CBD shows immense promise as a possible treatment for chronic inflammation and the progression or development of fibrosis.”

https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1096/fj.202000975R

Hempseed ( Cannabis sativa) lipid fractions alleviate high-fat diet-induced fatty liver disease through regulation of inflammation and oxidative stress

 Heliyon (@HeliyonJournal) | Twitter“Diet and lifestyle-induced dysregulated lipid metabolism have been implicated in fatty liver disease. Chronic redox modulation and hepatic inflammation are key pathological mediators and hallmarks of fatty liver disease associated liver steatosis and steatohepatitis.

In this context, owing to the beneficial phytochemical properties such as optimal omega-6: omega-3 PUFA ratio of hempseed, we aimed to explore its potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties against high-fat diet (HFD)-induced experimental model of fatty liver disease.

The hempseed lipid fractions (HEMP) were prepared and their ameliorating effects on HFD induced morphological changes, lipid profiles, liver function markers (LFT), markers of oxidative stress and inflammation were studied.

Results indicated that HEMP administration to hypercholesterolemic rats resolved the morphological, histopathological, and biochemical indicators of fatty liver diseases. Further, the mechanistic evidence revealed that these hepatoprotective effects of HEMP are mediated through inhibition of oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators such as Cox-2, hPGDS, mPGES, IL-4, TNF-α and sEH.

In conclusion, current study suggests the plausible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory role of HEMP in alleviating pathophysiological conditions including fatty liver disease, where oxidative stress and inflammation are key mediators.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32685737/

https://www.cell.com/heliyon/pdf/S2405-8440(20)31266-4.pdf?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS2405844020312664%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

The Atypical Cannabinoid Abn-CBD Reduces Inflammation and Protects Liver, Pancreas, and Adipose Tissue in a Mouse Model of Prediabetes and Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Archive of "Frontiers in Endocrinology".“The synthetic atypical cannabinoid Abn-CBD, a cannabidiol (CBD) derivative, has been recently shown to modulate the immune system in different organs, but its impact in obesity-related meta-inflammation remains unstudied.

We investigated the effects of Abn-CBD on metabolic and inflammatory parameters utilizing a diet-induced obese (DIO) mouse model of prediabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Conclusions: These results suggest that Abn-CBD exerts beneficial immunomodulatory actions in the liver, pancreas and adipose tissue of DIO prediabetic mice with NAFLD, thus protecting tissues. Therefore, Abn-CBD and related compounds could represent novel pharmacological strategies for managing obesity-related metabolic disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32210914

“In summary, we herein provide evidence that the atypical cannabinoid Abn-CBD is able to induce beneficial metabolic and anti-inflammatory actions at both systemic and tissue level in a mouse model of diet-induced prediabetes and NAFLD.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2020.00103/full

Involvement of endocannabinoid system, inflammation and apoptosis in diabetes induced liver injury: Role of 5-HT3 receptor antagonist.

International Immunopharmacology“Confident relationships between diabetes and liver damage have previously been established.

This study was designed to evaluate hepaticinflammation, apoptosis, and endocannabinoid system alterations in diabetes with or without tropisetron treatment.

These findings strongly support the idea that diabetes-induced liver abnormality is mediated by inflammatory reactions, apoptosis, and endocannabinoid system, and that these effects can be alleviated by using tropisetron as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31926479

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1567576919322684?via%3Dihub