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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

EHP-101, an oral formulation of the cannabidiol aminoquinone VCE-004.8, alleviates bleomycin-induced skin and lung fibrosis.

Elsevier

“Systemic sclerosis (SSc) or scleroderma is a chronic multi-organ autoimmune disease characterized by vascular, immunological, and fibrotic abnormalities.

The etiology of SSc is unknown, but there is growing evidence that dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a critical role in its development.

Since the semi-synthetic cannabinoquinoid VCE-004.8 could alleviate bleomycin (BLM)-induced skin fibrosis, we have investigated an oral lipid formulation (EHP-101) of this dual PPARγ/CB2 receptors activator for the prevention of skin- and lung fibrosis and of collagen accumulation in BLM challenged mice.

Taken together, these data provide a rationale for further developing VCE-004.8 as an orally active agent to alleviate scleroderma and, possibly, other fibrotic diseases as well.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

VCE-004.3, A CANNABIDIOL AMINOQUINONE DERIVATIVE, PREVENTS BLEOMYCIN-INDUCED SKIN FIBROSIS AND INFLAMMATION TROUGH PPARγ- AND CB2 -DEPENDENT PATHWAYS.

Publication cover image

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) as well as PPARγ are relevant targets for the development of novel compounds against fibrotic diseases such as Systemic Sclerosis (SSc), also called Scleroderma.

The aim of this study was to characterize VCE-004.3, a novel cannabidiol derivative, and to study it anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic activities.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS:

VCE-004.3 is a novel semi-synthetic cannabidiol derivative behaving as a dual PPARγ/CB2 agonist and CB1 receptor modulator that could be considered for the development of novel therapies against different forms of Scleroderma.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30033591

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bph.14450

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM: A multi-facet therapeutic target.

Image result for Curr Clin Pharmacol.

“Cannabis sativa is also popularly known as marijuana. It is being cultivated and used by man for recreational and medicinal purposes from many centuries.

Study of cannabinoids was at bay for very long time and its therapeutic value could not be adequately harnessed due to its legal status as proscribed drug in most of the countries.

The research of drugs acting on endocannabinoid system has seen many ups and down in recent past. Presently, it is known that endocannabinoids has role in pathology of many disorders and they also serve “protective role” in many medical conditions.

Several diseases like emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome related diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome could possibly be treated by drugs modulating endocannabinoid system.

Presently, cannabinoid receptor agonists like nabilone and dronabinol are used for reducing the chemotherapy induced vomiting. Sativex (cannabidiol and THC combination) is approved in the UK, Spain and New Zealand to treat spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. In US it is under investigation for cancer pain, another drug Epidiolex (cannabidiol) is also under investigation in US for childhood seizures. Rimonabant, CB1 receptor antagonist appeared as a promising anti-obesity drug during clinical trials but it also exhibited remarkable psychiatric side effect profile. Due to which the US Food and Drug Administration did not approve Rimonabant in US. It sale was also suspended across the EU in 2008.

Recent discontinuation of clinical trial related to FAAH inhibitor due to occurrence of serious adverse events in the participating subjects could be discouraging for the research fraternity. Despite of some mishaps in clinical trials related to drugs acting on endocannabinoid system, still lot of research is being carried out to explore and establish the therapeutic targets for both cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists.

One challenge is to develop drugs that target only cannabinoid receptors in a particular tissue and another is to invent drugs that acts selectively on cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood brain barrier. Besides this, development of the suitable dosage forms with maximum efficacy and minimum adverse effects is also warranted.

Another angle to be introspected for therapeutic abilities of this group of drugs is non-CB1 and non-CB2 receptor targets for cannabinoids.

In order to successfully exploit the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid system, it is imperative to further characterize the endocannabinoid system in terms of identification of the exact cellular location of cannabinoid receptors and their role as “protective” and “disease inducing substance”, time-dependent changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27086601

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The cannabinoid quinol VCE-004.8 alleviates bleomycin-induced scleroderma and exerts potent antifibrotic effects through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ and CB2 pathways.

“Scleroderma is a group of rare diseases associated with early and transient inflammation and vascular injury, followed by fibrosis affecting the skin and multiple internal organs.

Fibroblast activation is the hallmark of scleroderma, and disrupting the intracellular TGFβ signaling may provide a novel approach to controlling fibrosis.

Because of its potential role in modulating inflammatory and fibrotic responses, both PPARγ and CB2 receptors represent attractive targets for the development of cannabinoid-based therapies.

We have developed a non-thiophilic and chemically stable derivative of the CBD quinol (VCE-004.8) that behaves as a dual agonist of PPARγ and CB2 receptors, VCE-004.8 inhibited TGFβ-induced Col1A2 gene transcription and collagen synthesis. Moreover, VCE-004.8 inhibited TGFβ-mediated myofibroblast differentiation and impaired wound-healing activity.

The anti-fibrotic efficacy in vivo was investigated in a murine model of dermal fibrosis induced by bleomycin. VCE-004.8 reduced dermal thickness, blood vessels collagen accumulation and prevented mast cell degranulation and macrophage infiltration in the skin. These effects were impaired by the PPARγ antagonist T0070907 and the CB2 antagonist AM630.

In addition, VCE-004.8 downregulated the expression of several key genes associated with fibrosis, qualifying this semi-synthetic cannabinoid as a novel compound for the management of scleroderma and, potentially, other fibrotic diseases.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26887982

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid medicines.

Drug Testing and Analysis

“Cannabis was extensively used as a medicine throughout the developed world in the nineteenth century but went into decline early in the twentieth century ahead of its emergence as the most widely used illicit recreational drug later that century. Recent advances in cannabinoid pharmacology alongside the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) have re-ignited interest in cannabis-based medicines.

The ECS has emerged as an important physiological system and plausible target for new medicines. Its receptors and endogenous ligands play a vital modulatory role in diverse functions including immune response, food intake, cognition, emotion, perception, behavioural reinforcement, motor co-ordination, body temperature, wake/sleep cycle, bone formation and resorption, and various aspects of hormonal control. In disease it may act as part of the physiological response or as a component of the underlying pathology.

In the forefront of clinical research are the cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, and their contrasting pharmacology will be briefly outlined. The therapeutic potential and possible risks of drugs that inhibit the ECS will also be considered. This paper will then go on to review clinical research exploring the potential of cannabinoid medicines in the following indications: symptomatic relief in multiple sclerosis, chronic neuropathic pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and weight in the context of cancer or AIDS, psychosis, epilepsy, addiction, and metabolic disorders.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24006213

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dta.1529/abstract

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic exploitation.

Image result for Nat Rev Drug Discov.

“The term ‘endocannabinoid’ – originally coined in the mid-1990s after the discovery of membrane receptors for the psychoactive principle in Cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and their endogenous ligands – now indicates a whole signalling system that comprises cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and enzymes for ligand biosynthesis and inactivation. This system seems to be involved in an ever-increasing number of pathological conditions. With novel products already being aimed at the pharmaceutical market little more than a decade since the discovery of cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoid system seems to hold even more promise for the future development of therapeutic drugs. We explore the conditions under which the potential of targeting the endocannabinoid system might be realized in the years to come.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15340387

http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v3/n9/full/nrd1495.html

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

From cannabis to the endocannabinoid system: refocussing attention on potential clinical benefits.

Image result for West Indian Med J

“Cannabis sativa is one of the oldest herbal remedies known to man. Over the past four thousand years, it has been used for the treatment of numerous diseases but due to its psychoactive properties, its current medicinal usage is highly restricted. In this review, we seek to highlight advances made over the last forty years in the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the effects of cannabis on the human body and how these can potentially be utilized in clinical practice. During this time, the primary active ingredients in cannabis have been isolated, specific cannabinoid receptors have been discovered and at least five endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids) have been identified. Together, these form the framework of a complex endocannabinoid signalling system that has widespread distribution in the body and plays a role in regulating numerous physiological processes within the body. Cannabinoid ligands are therefore thought to display considerable therapeutic potential and the drive to develop compounds that can be targeted to specific neuronal systems at low enough doses so as to eliminate cognitive side effects remains the ‘holy grail’ of endocannabinoid research.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23155985

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Synthetic cannabinoid ajulemic acid exerts potent antifibrotic effects in experimental models of systemic sclerosis.

BMJ Journals

“Cannabinoids modulate fibrogenesis in scleroderma.

Ajulemic acid (AjA) is a non-psychoactive synthetic analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol that can bind the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ). Recent evidence suggests a key role for PPAR-γ in fibrogenesis. To determine whether AjA can modulate fibrogenesis in murine models of scleroderma.”

“RESULTS:

AjA significantly prevented experimental bleomycin-induced dermal fibrosis and modestly reduced its progression when started 3 weeks into the disease. AjA strongly reduced collagen neosynthesis by scleroderma fibroblasts in vitro, an action which was reversed completely by co-treatment with a selective PPAR-γ antagonist.”

“CONCLUSIONS:

AjA prevents progression of fibrosis in vivo and inhibits fibrogenesis in vitro by stimulating PPAR-γ signalling. Since therapeutic doses of AjA are well tolerated in humans, it is suggested that AjA as an interesting molecule targeting fibrosis in patients with scleroderma.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22492781

http://ard.bmj.com/content/71/9/1545

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists: pharmacological strategies and therapeutic possibilities.

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences: 367 (1607)

“Human tissues express cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors that can be activated by endogenously released ‘endocannabinoids’ or exogenously administered compounds in a manner that reduces the symptoms or opposes the underlying causes of several disorders in need of effective therapy. Three medicines that activate cannabinoid CB(1)/CB(2) receptors are now in the clinic: Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC)) and Sativex (Δ(9)-THC with cannabidiol). These can be prescribed for the amelioration of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Cesamet and Marinol), stimulation of appetite (Marinol) and symptomatic relief of cancer pain and/or management of neuropathic pain and spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis (Sativex). This review mentions several possible additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists. These include other kinds of pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, cancer, drug dependence, glaucoma, autoimmune uveitis, osteoporosis, sepsis, and hepatic, renal, intestinal and cardiovascular disorders. It also describes potential strategies for improving the efficacy and/or benefit-to-risk ratio of these agonists in the clinic. These are strategies that involve (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier, (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue, (iii) targeting upregulated cannabinoid receptors, (iv) selectively targeting cannabinoid CB(2) receptors, and/or (v) adjunctive ‘multi-targeting’.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23108552

“Targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists: pharmacological strategies and therapeutic possibilities”  http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/367/1607/3353.long

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous