Identification of novel mouse and rat CB1R isoforms and in silico modeling of human CB1R for peripheral cannabinoid therapeutics.

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“Targeting peripheral CB1R is desirable for the treatment of metabolic syndromes without adverse neuropsychiatric effects.

We previously reported a human hCB1b isoform that is selectively enriched in pancreatic beta-cells and hepatocytes, providing a potential peripheral therapeutic hCB1R target. It is unknown whether there are peripherally enriched mouse and rat CB1R (mCB1 and rCB1, respectively) isoforms.

In this study, we found no evidence of peripherally enriched rodent CB1 isoforms; however, some mCB1R isoforms are absent in peripheral tissues. We show that the mouse Cnr1 gene contains six exons that are transcribed from a single promoter. We found that mCB1A is a spliced variant of extended exon 1 and protein-coding exon 6; mCB1B is a novel spliced variant containing unspliced exon 1, intron 1, and exon 2, which is then spliced to exon 6; and mCB1C is a spliced variant including all 6 exons.

Using RNAscope in situ hybridization, we show that the isoforms mCB1A and mCB1B are expressed at a cellular level and colocalized in GABAergic neurons in the hippocampus and cortex. RT-qPCR reveals that mCB1A and mCB1B are enriched in the brain, while mCB1B is not expressed in the pancreas or the liver. Rat rCB1R isoforms are differentially expressed in primary cultured neurons, astrocytes, and microglia.

We also investigated modulation of Cnr1 expression by insulin in vivo and carried out in silico modeling of CB1R with JD5037, a peripherally restricted CB1R inverse agonist, using the published crystal structure of hCB1R.

The results provide models for future CB1R peripheral targeting.”

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Role of Cannabinoids in Obesity.

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“Obesity is an increasing health problem worldwide. Its related comorbidities imply a high cost for the National Health System and diminish a patient’s life quality.

Adipose tissue is composed of three types of cells. White adipocytes are involved in fat storage and secretion of hormones. Brown adipocytes are involved in thermogenesis and caloric expenditure. Beige adipocytes are transitional adipocytes that in response to various stimuli can turn from white to brown and could be protective against the obesity, enhancing energy expenditure.

The conversion of white in beige adipose tissue is a potential new therapeutic target for obesity.

Cannabinoid receptors (CB) regulate thermogenesis, food intake and inflammation. CB1 ablation or inhibition helps reducing body weight and food intake. Stimulation of CB2 limits inflammation and promotes anti-obesity effects by reducing food intake and weight gain. Its genetic ablation results in adiposity development.

CB receptors are also responsible for transforming white adipose tissue towards beige or brown adipocytes, therefore their modulation can be considered potential anti-obesity target. CB1 principal localization in central nervous system represents an important limit. Stimulation of CB2, principally localized on peripheral cells instead, should facilitate the anti-obesity effects without exerting remarkable psychotropic activity.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30201891

http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/19/9/2690

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Endocannabinoids in Body Weight Control.

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“Maintenance of body weight is fundamental to maintain one’s health and to promote longevity. Nevertheless, it appears that the global obesity epidemic is still constantly increasing.

Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are lipid messengers that are involved in overall body weight control by interfering with manifold central and peripheral regulatory circuits that orchestrate energy homeostasis.

Initially, blocking of eCB signaling by first generation cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) inverse agonists such as rimonabant revealed body weight-reducing effects in laboratory animals and men. Unfortunately, rimonabant also induced severe psychiatric side effects.

At this point, it became clear that future cannabinoid research has to decipher more precisely the underlying central and peripheral mechanisms behind eCB-driven control of feeding behavior and whole body energy metabolism.

Here, we will summarize the most recent advances in understanding how central eCBs interfere with circuits in the brain that control food intake and energy expenditure. Next, we will focus on how peripheral eCBs affect food digestion, nutrient transformation and energy expenditure by interfering with signaling cascades in the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, fat depots and endocrine glands.

To finally outline the safe future potential of cannabinoids as medicines, our overall goal is to address the molecular, cellular and pharmacological logic behind central and peripheral eCB-mediated body weight control, and to figure out how these precise mechanistic insights are currently transferred into the development of next generation cannabinoid medicines displaying clearly improved safety profiles, such as significantly reduced side effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29849009

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8247/11/2/55

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Computational investigation on the binding modes of Rimonabant analogues with CB1 and CB2.

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“The human cannabinoid G protein coupled receptor 1 (CB1) is highly expressed in central nervous system. CB1-selective antagonists show therapeutic promise in a wide range of disorders, such as obesity-related metabolic disorders, dyslipidemia, drug abuse and type 2 diabetes.

Rimonabant (SR141716A), MJ08 and MJ15 are selective CB1 antagonists with selectivity >1000 folds over CB2 despite of 42% sequence identity between CB1 and CB2. The integration of homology modeling, automated molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation were used to investigate the binding modes of these selective inverse agonists/antagonists with CB1 and CB2 and their selectivity.

Our analyses showed that the hydrophobic interactions between ligands and hydrophobic pockets of CB1 account for the main binding affinity. In addition, instead of interacting with ligands directly as previously reported, the Lys1923.28in CB1 was engaged in indirect interactions with ligands to keep inactive-state CB1 stable by forming the salt bridge with Asp1762.63 . Lastly, our analyses indicated that the selectivity of these antagonists came from the difference in geometry shapes of binding pockets of CB1 and CB2.

The present study could guide future experimental works on these receptors and has the guiding significance for the design of functionally selective drugs targeting CB1 or CB2 receptors.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29797785

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cbdd.13337

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Endocannabinoid system and pathophysiology of adipogenesis: current management of obesity.

“The endocannabinoids are now known as novel and important regulators of energy metabolism and homeostasis.

The endocrine functions of white adipose are chiefly involved in the control of whole-body metabolism, insulin sensitivity and food intake. Adipocytes produce hormones, such as leptin and adiponectin, that can improve insulin resistance or peptides, such as TNF-α, that elicit insulin resistance. Adipocytes express specific receptors, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ, which serve as adipocyte targets for insulin sensitizers such as thiazolidinediones.

Recently, endocannabinoids and related compounds were identified in human fat cells.

The endocannabinoid system consists primarily of two receptors, cannabinoid (CB)1 and CB2, their endogenous ligands termed endocannabinoids and the enzymes responsible for ligand biosynthesis and degradation.

The endocannabinoids 2-arachidonylglycerol and anandamide or N-arachidonoylethanolamine increase food intake and promote weight gain in animals. Rimonabant, a selective CB1 blocker, reduces food intake and body weight in animals and humans.”

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LH-21, A Peripheral Cannabinoid Receptor 1 Antagonist, Exerts Favorable Metabolic Modulation Including Antihypertensive Effect in KKAy Mice by Regulating Inflammatory Cytokines and Adipokines on Adipose Tissue.

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“Patients with obesity are susceptible to hypertension and diabetes. Over-activation of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) in adipose tissue is proposed in the pathophysiology of metabolic disorders, which led to the metabolic dysfunction of adipose tissue and deregulated production and secretion of adipokines.

In the current study, we determined the impact of LH-21, a representative peripheral CB1R antagonist, on the obesity-accompanied hypertension and explored the modulatory action of LH-21 on the adipose tissue in genetically obese and diabetic KKAy mice.

3-week LH-21 treatment significantly decreased blood pressure with a concomitant reduction in body weight, white adipose tissue (WAT) mass, and a slight loss on food intake in KKAy mice. Meanwhile, glucose handling and dyslipidemia were also markedly ameliorated after treatment. Gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in WAT and the aortae were both attenuated apparently by LH-21, as well the mRNA expression of adipokines (lipocalin-2, leptin) in WAT. Concomitant amelioration on the accumulation of lipocalin-2 was observed in both WAT and aortae. In corresponding with this, serum inflammatory related cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α, IL-6, and CXCL1), and lipocalin-2 and leptin were lowered notably.

Thus according to current results, it can be concluded that the peripheral CB1R antagonist LH-21 is effective in managing the obesity-accompanied hypertension in KKAy mice. These metabolic benefits are closely associated with the regulation on the production and secretion of inflammatory cytokines and adipokines in the WAT, particularly alleviated circulating lipocalin-2 and its accumulation in aortae.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29731737

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2018.00167/full

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Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptors are Upregulated During Acute Activation of Brown Adipose Tissue.

Diabetes

“Activating brown adipose tissue (BAT) could provide a potential approach for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease in humans.

Obesity is associated with up-regulation of the endocannabinoid system, and blocking the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) has been shown to cause weight loss and decrease cardiometabolic risk factors. These effects may partly be mediated via increased BAT metabolism, since there is evidence that CB1R antagonism activates BAT in rodents.

To investigate the significance of CB1R in BAT function, we quantified the density of CB1R in human and rodent BAT using the positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand [18F]FMPEP-d2 , and in parallel measured BAT activation with the glucose analogue [18F]FDG. Activation by cold exposure markedly increased CB1R density and glucose uptake in BAT of lean men. Similarly, β3-receptor agonism increased CB1R density in BAT of rats.

In contrast, overweight men with reduced BAT activity exhibited decreased CB1R in BAT, reflecting impaired endocannabinoid regulation. Image-guided biopsies confirmed CB1R mRNA expression in human BAT. Furthermore, CB1R blockade increased glucose uptake and lipolysis of brown adipocytes.

Our results highlight that CB1Rs are significant for human BAT activity, and the CB1R provide a novel therapeutic target for BAT activation in humans.”

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Cannabinoids in health and disease: pharmacological potential in metabolic syndrome and neuroinflammation.

 

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“The use of different natural and/or synthetic preparations of Cannabis sativa is associated with therapeutic strategies for many diseases. Indeed, thanks to the widespread diffusion of the cannabinoidergic system in the brain and in the peripheral districts, its stimulation, or inhibition, regulates many pathophysiological phenomena.

In particular, central activation of the cannabinoidergic system modulates the limbic and mesolimbic response which leads to food craving.

Moreover, cannabinoid agonists are able to reduce inflammatory response.

In this review a brief history of cannabinoids and the protagonists of the endocannabinoidergic system, i.e. synthesis and degradation enzymes and main receptors, will be described. Furthermore, the pharmacological effects of cannabinoids will be outlined. An overview of the involvement of the endocannabinoidergic system in neuroinflammatory and metabolic pathologies will be made.

Finally, particular attention will also be given to the new pharmacological entities acting on the two main receptors, cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2), with particular focus on the neuroinflammatory and metabolic mechanisms involved.”

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Regulation of Adipose Tissue Metabolism by the Endocannabinoid System.

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“White adipose tissue (WAT) stores excess energy as triglycerides, and brown adipose tissue (BAT) is specialized in dissipating energy as heat. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in a broad range of physiological processes and is increasingly recognized as a key player in adipose tissue metabolism. High ECS tonus in the fed state is associated with a disadvantageous metabolic phenotype, and this has led to a search for pharmacological strategies to inhibit the ECS. In this review we present recent developments that cast light on the regulation of adipose tissue metabolism by the ECS, and we discuss novel treatment options including the modulation of endocannabinoid synthesis and breakdown enzymes.”

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Nutritional Value of Commercial Protein-Rich Plant Products.

 Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

“The goal of this work was to analyze nutritional value of various minimally processed commercial products of plant protein sources such as faba bean (Vicia faba), lupin (Lupinus angustifolius), rapeseed press cake (Brassica rapa/napus subsp. Oleifera), flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum), oil hemp seed (Cannabis sativa), buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), and quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). Basic composition and various nutritional components like amino acids, sugars, minerals, and dietary fiber were determined. Nearly all the samples studied could be considered as good sources of essential amino acids, minerals and dietary fiber. The highest content of crude protein (over 30 g/100 g DW) was found in faba bean, blue lupin and rapeseed press cake. The total amount of essential amino acids (EAA) ranged from 25.8 g/16 g N in oil hemp hulls to 41.5 g/16 g N in pearled quinoa. All the samples studied have a nutritionally favorable composition with significant health benefit potential. Processing (dehulling or pearling) affected greatly to the contents of analyzed nutrients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29500810

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11130-018-0660-7

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