Chronic Cannabidiol Alters Genome-Wide DNA Methylation in Adult Mouse Hippocampus: Epigenetic Implications for Psychiatric Disease

Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis“Cannabidiol (CBD) is the primary non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis (Cannabis sativa) and an increasingly popular dietary supplement as a result of widespread availability of CBD-containing products.

CBD is FDA-approved for the treatment of epilepsy and exhibits anxiolytic, antipsychotic, prosocial, and other behavioral effects in animal and human studies, however, the underlying mechanisms governing these phenotypes are still being elucidated. The epigenome, particularly DNA methylation, is responsive to environmental input and can govern persistent patterns of gene regulation affecting phenotype across the life course.

In order to understand the epigenomic activity of chronic cannabidiol exposure in the adult brain, 12-week-old male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to either 20 mg/kg CBD or vehicle daily by oral administration for fourteen days. Hippocampal tissue was collected and reduced-representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) was performed. Analyses revealed 3,323 differentially methylated loci (DMLs) in CBD-exposed animals with a small skew toward global hypomethylation.

Genes for cell adhesion and migration, dendritic spine development, and excitatory postsynaptic potential were found to be enriched in a gene ontology term analysis of DML-containing genes, and disease ontology enrichment revealed an overrepresentation of DMLs in gene sets associated with autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and other phenotypes.

These results suggest that the epigenome may be a key substrate for CBD’s behavioral effects and provides a wealth of gene regulatory information for further study.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32579259/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/em.22396

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Altered dopamine D3 receptor gene expression in MAM model of schizophrenia is reversed by peripubertal cannabidiol treatment.

Biochemical Pharmacology“Gestational methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) treatment produces offspring with adult phenotype relevant to schizophrenia, including positive- and negative-like symptoms, cognitive deficits, dopaminergic dysfunction, structural and functional abnormalities.

Here we show that adult rats prenatally treated with MAM at gestational day 17 display significant increase in dopamine D3 receptor (D3) mRNA expression in prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus and nucleus accumbens, accompanied by increased expression of dopamine D2 receptor (D2) mRNA exclusively in the PFC. Furthermore, a significant change in the blood perfusion at the level of the circle of Willis and hippocampus, paralleled by the enlargement of lateral ventricles, was also detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques.

Peripubertal treatment with the non-euphoric phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (30 mg/kg) from postnatal day (PND) 19 to PND 39 was able to reverse in MAM exposed rats: i) the up-regulation of the dopamine D3 receptor mRNA (only partially prevented by haloperidol 0.6 mg/kg/day); and ii) the regional blood flow changes in MAM exposed rats. Molecular modelling predicted that cannabidiol could bind preferentially to dopamine D3 receptor, where it may act as a partial agonist according to conformation of ionic-lock, which is higly conserved in GPCRs.

In summary, our results demonstrate that the mRNA expression of both dopamine D2 and D3 receptors is altered in the MAM model; however only the transcript levels of D3 are affected by cannabidiol treatment, likely suggesting that this gene might not only contribute to the schizophrenia symptoms but also represent an unexplored target for the antipsychotic activity of cannabidiol.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32360362

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S000629522030232X?via%3Dihub

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Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials.

“Considering data from in vitro and in vivo studies, cannabidiol (CBD) seems to be a promising candidate for the treatment of both somatic and psychiatric disorders.

The aim of this review was to collect dose(s), dosage schemes, efficacy and safety reports of CBD use in adults from clinical studies.

From the controlled trials, we identified anxiolytic effects with acute CBD administration, and therapeutic effects for social anxiety disorder, psychotic disorder and substance use disorders.

There was evidence to support single dose positive effect on social anxiety disorder, short medium-term effects on symptomatic improvement in schizophrenia and lack of effect in the short medium-term on cognitive functioning in psychotic disorders.

Overall, the administration was well tolerated with mild side effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32231748

https://www.jocmr.org/index.php/JOCMR/article/view/4090

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Cannabidiol attenuates behavioral changes in a rodent model of schizophrenia through 5-HT1A, but not CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Pharmacological Research“Preclinical and clinical data indicate that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotomimetic compound from the Cannabis sativa plant, can induce antipsychotic-like effects.

These data suggest that CBD induces antipsychotic-like effects by activating 5-HT1A receptors and indicate that this compound could be an interesting alternative for the treatment of negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32151683

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661819315439?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol as a treatment option for schizophrenia: recent evidence and current studies.

Image result for current opinion in psychiatry “The most recent studies published or initiated in the last 18 months, investigating cannabidiol in the treatment of symptoms of schizophrenia and related conditions are summarized, including observed tolerability and reported side-effects.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Recent studies focused on patients with sub-acute psychotic syndromes of schizophrenia, clinical high-risk state for psychosis (CHR-P), or frequent cannabis users, as well as cognitive functioning in chronic schizophrenia. There is further, although not consistent evidence for cannabidiol-reducing positive symptoms, but not negative symptoms. Evidence for improvement of cognition was weaker, with one study reporting a worsening. Regarding side effects and tolerability, cannabidiol induced sedation in one study, with the other studies indicating good tolerability, even at high doses.

SUMMARY:

Recent clinical trials added further evidence for an antipsychotic potential of cannabidiol. In general, studies following trial designs as suggested by regulators in schizophrenia are needed in sufficient numbers to clarify the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol herein. In addition, such studies will further elucidate its ability to target specific aspects of the syndrome, such as negative or cognitive symptoms. Furthermore, aiming for an add-on treatment with cannabidiol will require further studies to identify potentially useful or even harmful combinations.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32073423

https://journals.lww.com/co-psychiatry/Abstract/publishahead/Cannabidiol_as_a_treatment_option_for.99134.aspx

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Possible therapeutic applications of cannabis in the neuropsychopharmacology field.

European Neuropsychopharmacology“Cannabis use induces a plethora of actions on the CNS via its active chemical ingredients, the so-called phytocannabinoids.

These compounds have been frequently associated with the intoxicating properties of cannabis preparations. However, not all phytocannabinoids are psychotropic, and, irrespective of whether they are psychotropic or not, they have also shown numerous therapeutic properties.

These properties are mostly associated with their ability to modulate the activity of an intercellular communication system, the so-called endocannabinoid system, which is highly active in the CNS and has been found altered in many neurological disorders.

Specifically, this includes the neuropsychopharmacology field, with diseases such as schizophrenia and related psychoses, anxiety-related disorders, mood disorders, addiction, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa and other feeding-related disorders, dementia, epileptic syndromes, as well as autism, fragile X syndrome and other neurodevelopment-related disorders.

Here, we gather, from a pharmacological and biochemical standpoint, the recent advances in the study of the therapeutic relevance of the endocannabinoid system in the CNS, with especial emphasis on the neuropsychopharmacology field. We also illustrate the efforts that are currently being made to investigate at the clinical level the potential therapeutic benefits derived from elevating or inhibiting endocannabinoid signaling in animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32057592

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924977X20300365?via%3Dihub

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Normalization of mediotemporal and prefrontal activity, and mediotemporal-striatal connectivity, may underlie antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol in psychosis.

 Image result for cambridge university press“Recent evidence suggests that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating ingredient present in cannabis extract, has an antipsychotic effect in people with established psychosis. However, the effect of CBD on the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying psychosis is unknown.

METHODS:

Patients with established psychosis on standard antipsychotic treatment were studied on separate days at least one week apart, to investigate the effects of a single dose of orally administered CBD (600 mg) compared to a matched placebo (PLB), using a double-blind, randomized, PLB-controlled, repeated-measures, within-subject cross-over design. Three hours after taking the study drug participants were scanned using a block design functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm, while performing a verbal paired associate learning task. Fifteen psychosis patients completed both study days, 13 completed both scanning sessions. Nineteen healthy controls (HC) were also scanned using the same fMRI paradigm under identical conditions, but without any drug administration. Effects of CBD on brain activation measured using the blood oxygen level-dependent hemodynamic response fMRI signal were studied in the mediotemporal, prefrontal, and striatal regions of interest.

RESULTS:

Compared to HC, psychosis patients under PLB had altered prefrontal activation during verbal encoding, as well as altered mediotemporal and prefrontal activation and greater mediotemporal-striatal functional connectivity during verbal recall. CBD attenuated dysfunction in these regions such that activation under its influence was intermediate between the PLB condition and HC. CBD also attenuated hippocampal-striatal functional connectivity and caused trend-level symptom reduction in psychosis patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

This suggests that normalization of mediotemporal and prefrontal dysfunction and mediotemporal-striatal functional connectivity may underlie the antipsychotic effects of CBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31994476

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/normalization-of-mediotemporal-and-prefrontal-activity-and-mediotemporalstriatal-connectivity-may-underlie-antipsychotic-effects-of-cannabidiol-in-psychosis/6571F47CE15D05DC50782A7BB7C00A7F

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Medicinal cannabis for psychiatric disorders: a clinically-focused systematic review.

 Image result for bmc psychiatry“Medicinal cannabis has received increased research attention over recent years due to loosening global regulatory changes.

Medicinal cannabis has been reported to have potential efficacy in reducing pain, muscle spasticity, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and intractable childhood epilepsy. Yet its potential application in the field of psychiatry is lesser known.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is currently encouraging, albeit embryonic, evidence for medicinal cannabis in the treatment of a range of psychiatric disorders. Supportive findings are emerging for some key isolates, however, clinicians need to be mindful of a range of prescriptive and occupational safety considerations, especially if initiating higher dose THC formulas.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31948424

https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-019-2409-8

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Effects of short-term cannabidiol treatment on response to social stress in subjects at clinical high risk of developing psychosis.

 “Stress is a risk factor for psychosis and treatments which mitigate its harmful effects are needed.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has antipsychotic and anxiolytic effects.

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated whether CBD would normalise the neuroendocrine and anxiety responses to stress in clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR) patients.

RESULTS:

One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed a significant effect of group (HC, CHR-P, CHR-CBD (p = .005) on cortisol reactivity as well as a significant (p = .003) linear decrease. The change in cortisol associated with experimental stress exposure was greatest in HC controls and least in CHR-P patients, with CHR-CBD patients exhibiting an intermediate response. Planned contrasts revealed that the cortisol reactivity was significantly different in HC compared with CHR-P (p = .003), and in HC compared with CHR-CBD (p = .014), but was not different between CHR-P and CHR-CBD (p = .70). Across the participant groups (CHR-P, CHR-CBD and HC), changes in anxiety and experience of public speaking stress (all p’s < .02) were greatest in the CHR-P and least in the HC, with CHR-CBD participants demonstrating an intermediate level of change.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings show that it is worthwhile to design further well powered studies which investigate whether CBD may be used to affect cortisol response in clinical high risk for psychosis patients and any effect this may have on symptoms.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31915861

“Antipsychotic effects of CBD have been linked to its effects on levels of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide (AEA) potentially by inhibiting its catalytic enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Recent preclinical work has also suggested that CBD may block the anxiogenic effects of chronic stress that was associated with a concomitant decrease in the expression of FAAH following CBD treatment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to have investigated the effects of short-term treatment with CBD on experimentally induced stress in the context of psychosis risk. Notwithstanding its limitations, the present study provides a strong rationale for future studies to investigate whether CBD may have potential to mitigate the harmful effects of stress in the course of daily life by attenuating the altered neuroendocrine and psychological responses to acute stress in CHR participants.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-019-05442-6

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Cannabidiol Improves Cognitive Impairment and Reverses Cortical Transcriptional Changes Induced by Ketamine, in Schizophrenia-Like Model in Rats.

 Image result for Mol Neurobiol.“Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, demonstrates antipsychotic-like and procognitive activities in humans and in animal models of schizophrenia.

The mechanisms of these beneficial effects of CBD are unknown. Here, we examined behavioral effects of CBD in a pharmacological model of schizophrenia-like cognitive deficits induced by repeated ketamine (KET) administration. In parallel, we assessed transcriptional changes behind CBD activities in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the main brain area linked to schizophrenia-like pathologies.

Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected for 10 days with KET followed by 6 days of CBD. The cognitive performance was evaluated in the novel object recognition test followed by PFC dissections for next-generation sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis and bioinformatics.

We observed that KET-induced learning deficits were rescued by CBD (7.5 mg/kg).

Similarly, CBD reversed transcriptional changes induced by KET. The majority of the genes affected by KET and KET-CBD were allocated to astroglial and microglial cells and associated with immune-like processes mediating synaptogenesis and neuronal plasticity. These genes include C1qc, C1qa, C1qb, C2, and C3 complement cascade elements, Irf8 factor and Gpr84, Gpr34, Cx3cr1, P2ry12, and P2ry6 receptors. The main pathway regulators predicted to be involved included TGFβ1 and IFNγ. In addition, CBD itself upregulated oxytocin mRNA in the PFC.

The present data suggest that KET induces cognitive deficits and transcriptional changes in the PFC and that both effects are sensitive to a reversal by CBD treatment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31823199

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12035-019-01831-2

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