Novel Peripherally Restricted Cannabinoid 1 Receptor Selective Antagonist TXX-522 with Prominent Weight-Loss Efficacy in Diet Induced Obese Mice.

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“The clinical development of the first generation of globally active cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) antagonists was suspended because of their adverse neuropsychiatric effects. Selective blockade of peripheral CB1Rs has the potential to provide a viable strategy for the treatment of severe obesity while avoiding these central nervous system side effects.

In the current study, a novel compound (TXX-522) was rationally designed based on the parent nucleus of a classical CB1R-selective antagonist/inverse agonist, rimonabant (SR141716A). Docking assays indicate that TXX-522 was bound with the CB1R in a mode similar to that of SR141716A. TXX-522 showed good binding, CB1R-selectivity (over the CB2R), and functional antagonist activities in a range of in vitro molecular and cellular assays.

In vivo analysis of the steady state distribution of TXX-522 in the rat brain and blood tissues and the assay of its functional effects on CB1R activity collectively showed that TXX-522 showed minimal brain penetration. Moreover, the in vivopharmacodynamic study further revealed that TXX-522 had good oral bioavailability and a potent anti-obesity effect, and ameliorated insulin resistance in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. No impact on food intake was observed in this model, confirming the limited brain penetration of this compound.

Thus, the current study indicates that TXX-522 is a novel and potent peripherally acting selective CB1R antagonist with the potential to control obesity and related metabolic disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29051736

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2017.00707/full

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Cannabis in fat: high hopes to treat obesity.

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“Cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1s) is known to have a substantial impact on the regulation of energy metabolism via central and peripheral mechanisms. In this issue of the JCI, Ruiz de Azua and colleagues provide important insights into the regulation of adipocyte physiology by CB1. Mice with adipocyte-specific deletion of the CB1-encoding gene had an overall improved metabolic profile in addition to reduced body weight and total adiposity. These changes were associated with an increase in sympathetic tone of the adipose tissue and expansion of activated macrophages, both of which occurred prior to changes in body weight, lending support to a causal relationship between loss of CB1 in adipocytes and systemic metabolic changes. This work identifies adipocyte CB1s as a potential novel peripheral target for affecting systemic metabolism with diminished CNS effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29035279

https://www.jci.org/articles/view/97042

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Adipocyte cannabinoid receptor CB1 regulates energy homeostasis and alternatively activated macrophages.

J Clin Invest

“Dysregulated adipocyte physiology leads to imbalanced energy storage, obesity, and associated diseases, imposing a costly burden on current health care.

Cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1) plays a crucial role in controlling energy metabolism through central and peripheral mechanisms.

In this work, adipocyte-specific inducible deletion of the CB1 gene (Ati-CB1-KO) was sufficient to protect adult mice from diet-induced obesity and associated metabolic alterations and to reverse the phenotype in already obese mice. Compared with controls, Ati-CB1-KO mice showed decreased body weight, reduced total adiposity, improved insulin sensitivity, enhanced energy expenditure, and fat depot-specific cellular remodeling toward lowered energy storage capacity and browning of white adipocytes. These changes were associated with an increase in alternatively activated macrophages concomitant with enhanced sympathetic tone in adipose tissue.

Remarkably, these alterations preceded the appearance of differences in body weight, highlighting the causal relation between the loss of CB1 and the triggering of metabolic reprogramming in adipose tissues. Finally, the lean phenotype of Ati-CB1-KO mice and the increase in alternatively activated macrophages in adipose tissue were also present at thermoneutral conditions.

Our data provide compelling evidence for a crosstalk among adipocytes, immune cells, and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), wherein CB1 plays a key regulatory role.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29035280

https://www.jci.org/articles/view/83626

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Peripheral cannabinoid-1 receptor blockade restores hypothalamic leptin signaling.

Molecular Metabolism

“In visceral obesity, an overactive endocannabinoid/CB1 receptor (CB1R) system promotes increased caloric intake and decreases energy expenditure, which are mitigated by global or peripheral CB1R blockade. In mice with diet-induced obesity (DIO), inhibition of food intake by the peripherally restricted CB1R antagonist JD5037 could be attributed to endogenous leptin due to the rapid reversal of hyperleptinemia that maintains leptin resistance, but the signaling pathway engaged by leptin has remained to be determined.

METHODS:

We analyzed the hypothalamic circuitry targeted by leptin following chronic treatment of DIO mice with JD5037.

RESULTS:

Leptin treatment or an increase in endogenous leptin following fasting/refeeding induced STAT3 phosphorylation in neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) in lean and JD5037-treated DIO mice, but not in vehicle-treated DIO animals. Co-localization of pSTAT3 in leptin-treated mice was significantly less common with NPY+ than with POMC+ ARC neurons. The hypophagic effect of JD5037 was absent in melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) deficient obese mice or DIO mice treated with a MC4R antagonist, but was maintained in NPY-/- mice kept on a high-fat diet.

CONCLUSIONS:

Peripheral CB1R blockade in DIO restores sensitivity to endogenous leptin, which elicits hypophagia via the re-activation of melanocortin signaling in the ARC.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29031713

http://www.molmetab.com/article/S2212-8778(17)30327-7/fulltext

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Re-visiting the Endocannabinoid System and Its Therapeutic Potential in Obesity and Associated Diseases.

 Current Diabetes Reports

“The purpose of the review was to revisit the possibility of the endocannabinoid system being a therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity by focusing on the peripheral roles in regulating appetite and energy metabolism.

Previous studies with the global cannabinoid receptor blocker rimonabant, which has both central and peripheral properties, showed that this drug has beneficial effects on cardiometabolic function but severe adverse psychiatric side effects. Consequently, focus has shifted to peripherally restricted cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor blockers as possible therapeutic agents that mitigate or eliminate the untoward effects in the central nervous system.

Targeting the endocannabinoid system using novel peripheral CB1 receptor blockers with negligible penetrance across the blood-brain barrier may prove to be effective therapy for obesity and its co-morbidities.

Perhaps the future of blockers targeting CB1 receptors will be tissue-specific neutral antagonists (e.g., skeletal muscle specific to treat peripheral insulin resistance, adipocyte-specific to treat fat excess, liver-specific to treat fatty liver and hepatic insulin resistance).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28913816

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11892-017-0924-x

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Polymorphism rs3123554 in the cannabinoid receptor gene type 2 (CNR2) reveals effects on body weight and insulin resistance in obese subjects.

Endocrinología, Diabetes y Nutrición

“Few studies assessing the relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms in CNR2 and obesity or its related metabolic parameters are available.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the influence of polymorphism rs3123554 in the CNR2 receptor gene on obesity anthropometric parameters, insulin resistance, and adipokines in subjects with obesity.

DESIGN:

The study population consisted of 1027 obese subjects, who were performed bioelectrical impedance analyses, blood pressure measurements, serial assessments of dietary intake during three days, and biochemical tests.

RESULTS:

Genotypes GG, GA, and AA were found in 339 (33.0%), 467 (45.5%), and 221 (21.5%) respectively. Body mass index, weight, fat mass, waist circumference, insulin, HOMA-IR, and triglyceride and leptin levels were higher in A-allele carriers as compared to non A-allele carriers. No differences were seen in these parameters between the GA and AA genotypes. There were no statistical differences in dietary intake.

CONCLUSION:

The main study finding was the association of the minor allele of the SNP rs3123554 in the CNR2 gene with body weight and triglyceride, HOMA-IR, insulin, and leptin levels.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28895540

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2530016417301799?via%3Dihub

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Proximal Tubular Cannabinoid-1 Receptor Regulates Obesity-Induced CKD.

Figure

“Obesity-related structural and functional changes in the kidney develop early in the course of obesity and occur independently of hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Activating the renal cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R) induces nephropathy, whereas CB1R blockade improves kidney function. Whether these effects are mediated via a specific cell type within the kidney remains unknown. Here, we show that specific deletion of CB1R in the renal proximal tubule cells did not protect the mice from obesity, but markedly attenuated the obesity-induced lipid accumulation in the kidney and renal dysfunction, injury, inflammation, and fibrosis. These effects associated with increased activation of liver kinase B1 and the energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase, as well as enhanced fatty acid β-oxidation. Collectively, these findings indicate that renal proximal tubule cell CB1R contributes to the pathogenesis of obesity-induced renal lipotoxicity and nephropathy by regulating the liver kinase B1/AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathway.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28860163

http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/early/2017/08/30/ASN.2016101085

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The cannabinoid ligand LH-21 reduces anxiety and improves glucose handling in diet-induced obese pre-diabetic mice.

“LH-21 is a triazol derivative that has been described as a low-permeant neutral CB1 antagonist, though its pharmacology is still unclear. It has been associated with anti-obesity actions in obese rats. However, its role in preventing type 2 diabetes (T2D) onset have not been studied yet. Given CB1 receptors remain as potential pharmacological targets to fight against obesity and T2D, we wanted to explore the metabolic impact of this compound in an animal model of obesity and pre-diabetes as well as the lack of relevant actions in related central processes such as anxiety. These results suggest that LH-21 can be a new candidate to fight against diabetes onset. Indeed, this compound shows potential in counteracting obesity-related anxiety.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28638091   https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-03292-w

“Anti-obesity efficacy of LH-21, a cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist with poor brain penetration, in diet-induced obese rats.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21951309

“Antiobesity effects of the novel in vivo neutral cannabinoid receptor antagonist 5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-3-hexyl-1H-1,2,4-triazole–LH 21.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16750544

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Modulation of CB1 cannabinoid receptor by allosteric ligands: Pharmacology and therapeutic opportunities.

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“Cannabinoid pharmacology has been intensely studied because of cannabis’ pervasive medicinal and non-medicinal uses as well as for the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid-based drugs for the treatment of pain, anxiety, substance abuse, obesity, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. The identification of allosteric modulators of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) has given a new direction to the development of cannabinoid-based therapeutics due to the many advantages offered by targeting allosteric site(s). Allosteric receptor modulators hold potential to develop subtype-specific and pathway-specific therapeutics. Here we briefly discuss the first-generation of allosteric modulators of CB1 receptor, their structure-activity relationships, signaling pathways and the allosteric binding site(s) on the CB1 receptor.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28527758

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390817302307

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GPR55 and the regulation of glucose homeostasis.

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“Pathophysiological conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are reportedly associated to over-activation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Therefore, modulation of the ECS offers potential therapeutic benefits on those diseases. GPR55, the receptor for L-α-lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) that has also affinity for various cannabinoid ligands, is distributed at the central and peripheral level and it is involved in several physiological processes. This review summarizes the localization and role of GPR55 in tissues that are crucial for the regulation of glucose metabolism, and provides an update on its contribution in obesity and insulin resistance. The therapeutic potential of targeting the GPR55 receptor is also discussed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28457969

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