The endocannabinoid system of the skin. A potential approach for the treatment of skin disorders.

Biochemical Pharmacology

“The skin is the largest organ of the body and has a complex and very active structure that contributes to homeostasis and provides the first line defense against injury and infection.

In the past few years it has become evident that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a relevant role in healthy and diseased skin.

Specifically, we review how the dysregulation of ECS has been associated to dermatological disorders such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, scleroderma and skin cancer. Therefore, the druggability of the ECS could open new research avenues for the treatment of the pathologies mentioned.

Numerous studies have reported that phytocannabinoids and their biological analogues modulate a complex network pharmacology involved in the modulation of ECS, focusing on classical cannabinoid receptors, transient receptor potential channels (TRPs), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs).

The combined targeting of several end-points seems critical to provide better chances of therapeutically success, in sharp contrast to the one-disease-one-target dogma that permeates current drug discovery campaigns.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30138623

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006295218303484

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Anti-tumoural actions of cannabinoids.

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“The endocannabinoid system has emerged as a considerable target for the treatment of diverse diseases.

In addition to the well-established palliative effects of cannabinoids in cancer therapy, phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoid compounds as well as inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation have attracted attention as possible systemic anticancer drugs.

As a matter of fact, accumulating data from preclinical studies suggest cannabinoids elicit effects on different levels of cancer progression, comprising inhibition of proliferation, neovascularisation, invasion and chemoresistance, induction of apoptosis and autophagy as well as enhancement of tumour immune surveillance.

Although the clinical use of cannabinoid receptor ligands is limited by their psychoactivity, nonpsychoactive compounds, such as cannabidiol, have gained attention due to preclinically established anticancer properties and a favourable risk-to-benefit profile.

Thus, cannabinoids may complement the currently used collection of chemotherapeutics, as a broadly diversified option for cancer treatment, while counteracting some of their severe side effects.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30019449

“During the last few decades, a large body of evidence has accumulated to suggest endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids exert an inhibitory effect on cancer growth via blockade of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Some studies support the hypothesis that cannabinoids may enhance immune responses against the progressive growth and spread of tumours.”  https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bph.14426#bph14426-fig-0001
“Previous research has shown that cannabinoids can help lessen side effects of anti-cancer therapies. Now a new British Journal of Pharmacology review has examined their potential for the direct treatment of cancer. Studies have shown that cannabinoids may stop cancer cells from dividing and invading normal tissue, and they may block the blood supply to tumors. Some studies also indicate that cannabinoids may enhance the body’s immune response against the growth and spread of tumors.” https://www.eurasiareview.com/19072018-cannabinoids-may-have-a-vast-array-of-anti-cancer-effects/
“Cannabinoids may have a vast array of anti-cancer effects” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180718082143.htm

“Cannabinoids may have a vast array of anti-cancer effects”  https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-07/w-cmh071718.php

Marijuana may help fight cancer” https://nypost.com/2018/07/18/marijuana-may-help-fight-cancer/

“Cannabis stops cancer spreading and boosts immune system, say scientists. Studies show cannabinoids can stop cancer cells from dividing and spreading, and blocks blood supply to tumours” https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/health/cannabis-can-cure-cancer-proof-1803485
“Cannabis stops cancer spreading and boosts immune system, say scientists. Cannabis can act as a treatment for cancer and boost the immune system, claims a new study.” https://www.devonlive.com/news/health/cannabis-can-cure-cancer-proof-1803485
“Cannabis stops cancer spreading and boosts immune system, say scientists. Cannabis can act as a treatment for cancer and boost the immune system, claims a new study.” https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/uk-world-news/cannabis-can-cure-cancer-proof-1803485
Cannabis ‘can act as a treatment for cancer’. Cannabis can enhance the immune system and act as a treatment for cancer, claims a new study. Scientists at Rostock University Medical Centre in Germany claimed the benefits following a review of more than 100 studies.” https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/cannabis-can-act-as-a-treatment-for-cancer/19/07/
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The role of lipid signaling in the progression of malignant melanoma.

Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

“In the past decades, a vast amount of data accumulated on the role of lipid signaling pathways in the progression of malignant melanoma, the most metastatic/aggressive human cancer type. Genomic studies identified that PTEN loss is the leading factor behind the activation of the PI3K-signaling pathway in melanoma, mutations of which are one of the main resistance mechanisms behind target therapy failures. On the other hand, illegitimate expressions of megakaryocytic genes p12-lipoxyganse, cyclooxygenase-2, and phosphodiestherase-2/autotaxin (ATX) are mostly involved in the regulation of motility signaling in melanoma through various G-protein-coupled bioactive lipid receptors. Furthermore, endocannabinoid signaling can also be a novel paracrine survival factor in melanoma. Last but not least, prenylation inhibitors acting even on mutated small GTP-ases, such as NRAS of melanoma may offer novel therapeutic opportunities. As regards melanoma, the most effective therapy nowadays is immunotherapy, with the resistance mechanisms also possibly involving the lipid signaling activities of melanoma cells, which further supports the idea of their being therapeutic targets.”

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INSIGHT ON THE IMPACT OF ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM IN CANCER: A REVIEW.

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“In the last decades, the endocannabinoid system has attracted a great interest in medicine and cancer disease is probably one of its most promising therapeutic areas.

On the one hand, endocannabinoid system expression has been found altered in numerous types of tumours compared to healthy tissue, and this aberrant expression has been related to cancer prognosis and disease outcome, suggesting a role of this system in tumour growth and progression that depends on cancer type.

On the other hand, it has been reported that cannabinoids exert an anticancer activity by inhibiting the proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells; and also tumour angiogenesis.

The endocannabinoid system may be considered as a new therapeutic target, although further studies to fully establish the effect of cannabinoids on tumour progression remain necessary.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29663308

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Cannabidiol Induces Cytotoxicity and Cell Death via Apoptotic Pathway in Cancer Cell Lines

“In view of obtaining potential anticancer compounds, we studied the inhibitory activity and the cytotoxic effects of a candidate compound in cancer cells. The cytotoxic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in vitro were evaluated in NIH3T3 fibroblasts, B16 melanoma cells, A549 lung cancer cells, MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, Lenca kidney cells and SNU-C4 colon cancer cells.
The inhibitory activity of CBD was increased in all cancer cells and showed especially strong increment in breast cancer cells. The cytotoxicity of CBD increased in a dose- and time-dependent manner with growth inhibition in all cancer cell lines.
Therefore these results suggest that CBD has a possibility of anticancer agents and anticancer effects against cancer cells by modulation of apoptotic pathway in the range of 5-80 μM concentration.”
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Standardized Cannabis sativa extract attenuates tau and stathmin gene expression in the melanoma cell line.

Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences

“Metastasis is the main cause of death in patients with melanoma.

Cannabis-based medicines are effective adjunctive drugs in cancer patients.

Tau and Stathmin proteins are the key proteins in cancer metastasis. Here we have investigated the effect of a standardized Cannabis sativa extract on cell migration and Tau and Stathmin gene expression in the melanoma cell line.

RESULTS:

Tau and stathmin gene expression was significantly decreased compared to the control group. Cell migration was also significantly reduced compared to controls.

CONCLUSION:

C. sativa decreased tau and stathmin gene expression and cancer metastasis. The results may have some clinical relevance for the use of cannabis-based medicines in patients with metastatic melanoma.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29147495

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A Review of the Therapeutic Antitumor Potential of Cannabinoids.

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“The aim of this review is to discuss cannabinoids from a preclinical and clinical oncological perspective and provide the audience with a concise, retrospective overview of the most significant findings concerning the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment.

RESULTS:

Cannabis sativa is a plant rich in more than 100 types of cannabinoids. Besides exogenous plant cannabinoids, mammalian endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid analogues have been identified. Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) have been isolated and characterized from mammalian cells. Through cannabinoid receptor and non-receptor signaling pathways, cannabinoids show specific cytotoxicity against tumor cells, while protecting healthy tissue from apoptosis. The dual antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of cannabinoids and associated signaling pathways have been investigated on a large panel of cancer cell lines. Cannabinoids also display potent anticancer activity against tumor xenografts, including tumors that express high resistance to standard chemotherapeutics. Few studies have investigated the possible synergistic effects of cannabinoids with standard oncology therapies, and are based on the preclinically confirmed concept of “cannabinoid sensitizers.” Also, clinical trials aimed to confirm the antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids have only been evaluated on a small number of subjects, with no consensus conclusions regarding their effectiveness.

CONCLUSIONS:

A large number of cannabinoid compounds have been discovered, developed, and used to study the effects of cannabinoids on cancers in model systems. However, few clinical trials have been conducted on the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancers in humans. Further studies require extensive monitoring of the effects of cannabinoids alone or in combination with standard anticancer strategies. With such knowledge, cannabinoids could become a therapy of choice in contemporary oncology.”

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Cannabinoids as Modulators of Cell Death: Clinical Applications and Future Directions.

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“Endocannabinoids are bioactive lipids that modulate various physiological processes through G-protein-coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2) and other putative targets. By sharing the activation of the same receptors, some phytocannabinoids and a multitude of synthetic cannabinoids mimic the effects of endocannabinoids.

In recent years, a growing interest has been dedicated to the study of cannabinoids properties for their analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. In addition to these well-recognized effects, various studies suggest that cannabinoids may affect cell survival, cell proliferation or cell death. These observations indicate that cannabinoids may play an important role in the regulation of cellular homeostasis and, thus, may contribute to tissue remodelling and cancer treatment.

For a long time, the study of cannabinoid receptor signalling has been focused on the classical adenylyl cyclase/cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway. However, this pathway does not totally explain the wide array of biological responses to cannabinoids. In addition, the diversity of receptors and signalling pathways that endocannabinoids modulate offers an interesting opportunity for the development of specific molecules to disturb selectively the endogenous system.

Moreover, emerging evidences suggest that cannabinoids ability to limit cell proliferation and to induce tumour-selective cell death may offer a novel strategy in cancer treatment.

This review describes the main properties of cannabinoids in cell death and attempts to clarify the different pathways triggered by these compounds that may help to understand the complexity of respective molecular mechanisms and explore the potential clinical benefit of cannabinoids use in cancer therapies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28425013

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Tumor-promoting effects of cannabinoid receptor type 1 in human melanoma cells.

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“The role of endocannabinoid system in melanoma development and progression is actually not fully understood.

This study was aimed at clarifying whether cannabinoid-type 1 (CB1) receptor may function as tumor-promoting or -suppressing signal in human cutaneous melanoma.

Findings of this study suggest that CB1 receptor might function as tumor-promoting signal in human cutaneous melanoma.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28131817

“Antitumor effects of THC.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11097557
“Cannabinoids (CB) like ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can induce cancer cell apoptosis and inhibit angiogenesis. Our results confirm the value of exogenous cannabinoids for the treatment of melanoma” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25921771
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