Antidepressant active ingredients from herbs and nutraceuticals used in TCM: pharmacological mechanisms and prospects for drug discovery.

Pharmacological Research“Depression is a widespread psychological disorder that affects up to 20% of the world’s population. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), with its unique curative effect in depression treatment, is gaining increasing attention as the discovery of novel antidepressant drug has become the pursuit of pharmaceutical. This article summarizes the work done on the natural products from TCM that have been reported to conceive antidepressant effects in the past two decades, which can be classified according to various mechanisms including increasing synaptic concentrations of monoamines, alleviating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunctions, lightening the impairment of neuroplasticity, fighting towards immune and inflammatory dysregulation. The antidepressant active ingredients identified can be generally divided into saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, polysaccharides and others. Albiflorin, Baicalein, Berberine chloride, beta-Asarone, cannabidiol, Curcumin, Daidzein, Echinocystic acid (EA), Emodin, Ferulic acid, Gastrodin, Genistein, Ginsenoside Rb1, Ginsenoside Rg1, Ginsenoside Rg3, Hederagenin, Hesperidin, Honokiol, Hyperoside, Icariin, Isoliquiritin, Kaempferol, Liquiritin, L-theanine, Magnolol, Paeoniflorin, Piperine, Proanthocyanidin, Puerarin, Quercetin, Resveratrol (trans), Rosmarinic acid, Saikosaponin A, Senegenin, Tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside and Vanillic acid are Specified in this review. Simultaneously, chemical structures of the active ingredients with antidepressant activities are listed and their sources, models, efficacy and mechanisms are described. Chinese compound prescription and extracts that exert antidepressant effects are also introduced, which may serve as a source of inspiration for further development. In the view of present study, the antidepressant effect of certain TCMs are affirmative and encouraging. However, there are a lot of work needs to be done to evaluate the exact therapeutic effects and mechanisms of those active ingredients, specifically, to establish a unified standard for diagnosis and evaluation of curative effect.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31706012

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661819322601?via%3Dihub

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Relieving tension: effects of cannabinoids on vagal afferent sensitivity.

Publication cover image“Endocannabinoids are produced within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and modulate energy homeostasis and food intake, at least in part, via vagally-dependent actions. The recent paper by Christie et al., [Christie, et al. J Physiol, 2019] demonstrate, for the first time, that cannabinoids exert biphasic effects on the mechanosensitivity of tension-sensitive gastric vagal afferents. At higher concentrations, anandamide increased vagal afferent sensitivity in a CB1 and TRPV1 receptor dependent manner. At lower concentrations, however, anandamide decreased afferent mechanosensitivity; while this was also dependent upon CB1 and TRPV1 receptors, it also appeared dependent upon signaling via the potent orexigenic neurohormone, ghrelin. These results provide further evidence to support the remarkable degree of neuroplasticity within vagal afferent signaling, and suggest that untangling the complex interactions of cannabinoid effects on food intake and energy homeostasis will require careful physiological and pharmacological investigations.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31707736

https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1113/JP279173

“A clear understanding of the mechanisms which mediate these events may provide novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders due to vago-vagal pathway malfunctions.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6318799/

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Cannabidiol increases the nociceptive threshold in a preclinical model of Parkinson’s disease.

Neuropharmacology

“Medications that improve pain threshold can be useful in the pharmacotherapy of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Pain is a prevalent PD’s non-motor symptom with a higher prevalence of analgesic drugs prescription for patients. However, specific therapy for PD-related pain are not available.

Since the endocannabinoid system is expressed extensively in different levels of pain pathway, drugs designed to target this system have promising therapeutic potential in the modulation of pain. Thus, we examined the effects of the 6-hydroxydopamine- induced PD on nociceptive responses of mice and the influence of cannabidiol (CBD) on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced nociception.

Further, we investigated the pathway involved in the analgesic effect of the CBD through the co-administration with a fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor, increasing the endogenous anandamide levels, and possible targets from anandamide, i.e., the cannabinoid receptors subtype 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1).

We report that 6-hydroxydopamine- induced parkinsonism decreases the thermal and mechanical nociceptive threshold, whereas CBD (acute and chronic treatment) reduces this hyperalgesia and allodynia evoked by 6-hydroxydopamine. Moreover, ineffective doses of either FAAH inhibitor or TRPV1 receptor antagonist potentialized the CBD-evoked antinociception while an inverse agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptor prevented the antinociceptive effect of the CBD.

Altogether, these results indicate that CBD can be a useful drug to prevent the parkinsonism-induced nociceptive threshold reduction. They also suggest that CB1 and TRPV1 receptors are important for CBD-induced analgesia and that CBD could produce these analgesic effects increasing endogenous anandamide levels.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31706993

“The CBD treatment decreases hyperalgesia and allodynia in experimental parkinsonism.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390819303703?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol promotes apoptosis via regulation of XIAP/Smac in gastric cancer.

Image result for cell death and disease“According to recent studies, Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the main components of Cannabis sativa, has anticancer effects in several cancers. However, the exact mechanism of CBD action is not currently understood.

Here, CBD promoted cell death in gastric cancer.

We suggest that CBD induced apoptosis by suppressing X-linked inhibitor apoptosis (XIAP), a member of the IAP protein family. CBD reduced XIAP protein levels while increasing ubiquitination of XIAP. The expression of Smac, a known inhibitor of XIAP, was found to be elevated during CBD treatment. Moreover, CBD treatment increased the interaction between XIAP and Smac by increasing Smac release from mitochondria to the cytosol. CBD has also been shown to affect mitochondrial dysfunction.

Taken together, these results suggest that CBD may have potential as a new therapeutic target in gastric cancer.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31699976

“In conclusion, our study showed that CBD induces apoptotic cell death in gastric cancer cells, which is triggered by ER stress generation and subsequent XIAP inhibition by Smac. Taken together, our results suggest the potential of CBD in novel treatments against gastric cancer.”

 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41419-019-2001-7

figure7

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Myorelaxant Effect of Transdermal Cannabidiol Application in Patients with TMD: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial.

jcm-logo “The healing properties of cannabidiol (CBD) have been known for centuries.

In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficiency of the myorelaxant effect of CBD after the transdermal application in patients with myofascial pain.

Results: in Group1, the sEMG masseter activity significantly decreased (11% in the right and 12.6% in the left masseter muscles). In Group2, the sEMG masseter activity was recorded as 0.23% in the right and 3.3% in the left masseter muscles. Pain intensity in VAS scale was significantly decreased in Group1: 70.2% compared to Group2: 9.81% reduction. Patients were asked to apply formulation twice a day for a period of 14 days.

Conclusion: The application of CBD formulation over masseter muscle reduced the activity of masseter muscles and improved the condition of masticatory muscles in patients with myofascial pain.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31698733

https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/8/11/1886

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Potential new therapies against a toxic relationship: neuroinflammation and Parkinson’s disease.

 Image result for ovid journal“Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder classically associated with motor symptoms, but several nonmotor disturbances appear decades before the clinical diagnosis of the disease.

A variety of hypotheses exist to explain the onset of PD, and neuroinflammation is one of the most investigated processes. In fact, strong evidence suggests that PD begins with an inflammatory process; currently, however, no anti-inflammatory therapy is clinically employed to alleviate the typical motor and the prodromal disturbances such as olfactory loss, cognitive impairments, depression and anxiety, sleep disturbances, and autonomic disorders.

In fact, the classical dopaminergic therapies are not effective in alleviating these symptoms and there is no other specific therapy for these outcomes. Therefore, in this review, we will discuss novel potential pharmacological therapeutic strategies focusing on cannabinoids, caffeine, melatonin, and dietary compounds, which could act as adjuvants to regular PD therapy.

These described chemicals have been extensively investigated as anti-inflammatory agents possibly promoting beneficial effects on nonmotor symptoms of PD. The investigation of the inflammatory process at different stages of PD progression should give us a better view of the therapeutic scenario and could improve our understanding of the mechanisms of this disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31703030

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00008877-201912000-00008

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Bone Anabolic Response in the Calvaria Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury is Mediated by the Cannabinoid-1 Receptor.

 Scientific Reports“Brain trauma was clinically associated with increased osteogenesis in the appendicular skeleton. We showed previously in C57BL/6J mice that mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) transiently induced bone formation in the femur via the cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptor. Here, we subjected ICR mice to mTBI and examined the bone response in the skull using microCT. We also measured mast cell degranulation (MCD)72 h post-injury. Finally, we measured brain and calvarial endocannabinoids levels post-mTBI. mTBI led to decreased bone porosity on the contralateral (untouched) side. This effect was apparent both in young and mature mice. Administration of rimonabant (CB1 inverse agonist) completely abrogated the effect of mTBI on calvarial porosity and significantly reduced MCD, compared with vehicle-treated controls. We also found that mTBI resulted in elevated levels of anandamide, but not 2-arachidonoylglycerol, in the contralateral calvarial bone, whereas brain levels remained unchanged. In C57BL/6J CB1 knockout mice, mTBI did not reduce porosity but in general the porosity was significantly lower than in WT controls. Our findings suggest that mTBI induces a strain-specific CB1-dependent bone anabolic response in the skull, probably mediated by anandamide, but seemingly unrelated to inflammation. The endocannabinoid system is therefore a plausible target in management of bone response following head trauma.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31700010

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-51720-w

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Cannabis use disorder among people using cannabis daily/almost daily in the United States, 2002–2016

Drug and Alcohol Dependence“Cannabis use disorder (CUD) prevalence among people reporting past-year cannabis use declined from 2002–2016.

We examined whether similar reductions in CUD were observed among people reporting daily/almost daily cannabis use.

We expected that CUD prevalence among people reporting daily/almost daily use would not decrease.

Results

From 2002–2016, the prevalence of CUD among people reporting daily/almost daily cannabis use decreased by 26.8% in adolescents, by 29.7% in ages 18–25, and by 37.5% in ages 26 + . Prevalence of DSM-IV cannabis dependence decreased significantly among adolescents (-43.9%) and young adults (-26.8%) but remained stable in adults 26 + . Reductions in most dependence items were observed in young adults, with less consistent patterns in adolescents and adults 26 + . Prevalence of DSM-IV cannabis abuse decreased overall and for each abuse item across all age groups.

Conclusions

Contrary to expectations, CUD prevalence decreased significantly across all ages reporting daily/almost daily cannabis use between 2002–2016. Cannabis dependence prevalence decreased for adolescents and young adults and was stable only among adults ages 26+ reporting daily/almost daily cannabis use. Potential drivers of this decrease should be further explored.

The prevalence of cannabis use disorder decreased in frequent cannabis users. Endorsement of cannabis abuse items decreased in adolescents and young adults. Endorsement of cannabis dependence items decreased mainly in young adults. Changes in social attitudes and frequent users’ features may explain findings.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0376871619303989

“Cannabis use disorder is declining among young adolescents and young adults. The prevalence of cannabis use disorder decreased in 2002 to 2016 among frequent users. Changes in social attitudes and the traits of frequent users may explain the decline, according to researchers. This is one of the first studies to examine the general health profile of people using cannabis daily or almost daily and the trends in the prevalence of cannabis use disorder in this population.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191031100512.htm

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The Impact of Medical Marijuana Laws and Dispensaries on Self-Reported Health

 “Growing evidence suggests that medical marijuana laws have harm reduction effects across a variety of outcomes related to risky health behaviors. This study investigates the impact of medical marijuana laws on self-reported health using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 1993 to 2013. In our analyses we separately identify the effect of a medical marijuana law and the impact of subsequent active and legally protected dispensaries. Our main results show surprisingly limited improvements in self-reported health after the legalization of medical marijuana and legally protected dispensaries. Subsample analyses reveal strong improvements in health among non-white individuals, those reporting chronic pain, and those with a high school degree, driven predominately by whether or not the state had active and legally protected dispensaries. We also complement the analysis by evaluating the impact on risky health behaviors and find that the aforementioned demographic groups experience large reductions in alcohol consumption after the implementation of a medical marijuana law.”

https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/fhep.ahead-of-print/fhep-2019-0002/fhep-2019-0002.xml

“Study Links Medical Marijuana Access To Better Health. Access to medical marijuana appears to improve the health of some patients, even reducing their alcohol intake, according to new research.” https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/study-links-legal-marijuana-access-to-better-health/

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Inhibition of tremulous jaw movements in rats by memantine-Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol combination: neuroanatomical correlates.

British Journal of Pharmacology banner“Memantine and marijuana smoking have been previously found to inhibit tremor in parkinsonian patients, however, the observed effects were relatively weak. The tremorolytic efficacy of memantine and cannabinoid co-administration is unstudied.

This work aimed to evaluate antitremor activity of memantine-Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol combination; additionally, the involvement of some neuroanatomical structures in the regulation of the combination effect was evaluated.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:

Haloperidol-induced tremulous jaw movements in rats were used as a model of parkinsonian-like tremor. To evaluate the role of central receptor systems in the drug effect, receptor-targeting agents were administered locally into certain brain areas.

KEY RESULTS:

Memantine and Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol alone were without effect, however, co-administration of the drugs significantly decreased number of haloperidol-induced jaw movements. The antitremor activity of the combination was antagonized (i) by injections of L-glutamate into the dorsal striatum, entopeduncular nucleus, substantia nigra pars reticulata, globus pallidus, supratrigeminal and trigeminal motor nuclei but not into the subthalamic and cuneiform nuclei; (ii) by injections of CGS 21680 into the ventrolateral striatum; (iii) by injections of bicuculline into the rostral part of the parvicellular reticular nucleus.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS:

Memantine and Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol supra-additively inhibit haloperidol-induced tremulous jaw movements. Apparently, the co-administration of the drugs might be a new approach to the treatment of tremor. The presented results identify brain areas influencing parkinsonian-like tremor in rats; these data can help advance the development of novel treatments for repetitive involuntary movements.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31696510

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bph.14914

Memantine is a prescription drug used to treat moderate to severe confusion (dementia) related to Alzheimer’s disease. Memantine is available under the following different brand names: Namenda XR, and Namenda.”  https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_memantine_namenda/drugs-condition.htm

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