Characterization of cannabinoid receptors expressed in Ewing sarcoma TC-71 and A-673 cells as potential targets for anti-cancer drug development

Life Sciences“Aims: Characterizing cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) expressed in Ewing sarcoma (EWS) cell lines as potential targets for anti-cancer drug development.

Main methods: CBR affinity and function were examined by competitive binding and G-protein activation, respectively. Cannabinoid-mediated cytotoxicity and cell viability were evaluated by LDH, and trypan blue assays, respectively.

Key findings: qRT-PCR detected CB1 (CB1R) and CB2 receptor (CB2R) mRNA in TC-71 cells. However, binding screens revealed that CBRs expressed exhibit atypical properties relative to canonical receptors, because specific binding in TC-71 could only be demonstrated by the established non-selective CB1/CB2R radioligand [3H]WIN-55,212-2, but not CB1/CB2R radioligand [3H]CP-55,940. Homologous receptor binding demonstrated that [3H]WIN-55,212-2 binds to a single site with nanomolar affinity, expressed at high density. Further support for non-canonical CBRs expression is provided by subsequent binding screens, revealing that only 9 out of 28 well-characterized cannabinoids with high affinity for canonical CB1 and/or CB2Rs were able to displace [3H]WIN-55,212-2, whereas two ligands enhanced [3H]WIN-55,212-2 binding. Five cannabinoids producing the greatest [3H]WIN-55,212-2 displacement exhibited high nanomolar affinity (Ki) for expressed receptors. G-protein modulation and adenylyl cyclase assays further indicate that these CBRs exhibit distinct signaling/functional profiles compared to canonical CBRs. Importantly, cannabinoids with the highest affinity for non-canonical CBRs reduced TC-71 viability and induced cytotoxicity in a time-dependent manner. Studies in a second EWS cell line (A-673) showed similar atypical binding properties of expressed CBRs, and cannabinoid treatment produced cytotoxicity.

Significance: Cannabinoids induce cytotoxicity in EWS cell lines via non-canonical CBRs, which might be a potential therapeutic target to treat EWS.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34592231/

Cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) were detected in EWS TC-71 and A-673 cells. CBRs expressed in EWS cell lines exhibit atypical binding and signaling characteristics. Ligands with highest affinity for these non-canonical CBRs induce EWS cell death.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320521009802?via%3Dihub

 

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The strengths and limits of cannabinoids and their receptors in cancer: Insights into the role of tumorigenesis-underlying mechanisms and therapeutic aspects

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy“Cancer, as a mysterious and complex disease, has a multi-stage molecular process that uses the cellular molecular machine and multiple signaling pathways to its advantage. Cannabinoids, as terpenophenolic compounds and their derivatives, showed influences on immune system responses, inflammation, and cell growth that have sparked a growing interest in exploring their effects on cancer cell fate, as well. A large body of evidence in experimental models indicating the involvement of cannabinoids and their related receptors in cancer cell growth, development, and fate. In accordance, the present study provided insights regarding the strengths and limits of cannabinoids and their receptors in critical steps of tumorigenesis and its underlying molecular pathways such as; cancer cell proliferation, type of cell death pathway, angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis and, immune system response. Based on the results of the present study and due to the contribution of cannabinoids in various cancer cell growth control processes, these compounds cancer can be considered worthwhile in finding new alternatives for cancer therapy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34624678/

“Cannabinoids execute critical roles in multiple steps of tumorigenesis. Cannabinoids trigger apoptosis, autophagy and mitophagy in cancer cells. Cannabinoids attenuate angiogenesis; thus regulate tumor invasion. Cannabinoids and their receptors can be effective therapeutic targets in cancer pathogenesis.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332221010635?via%3Dihub

 

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Antidepressant and Anxiolytic Effects of Medicinal Cannabis Use in an Observational Trial

Archive of "Frontiers in Psychiatry".“Anxiety and depressive disorders are highly prevalent. Patients are increasingly using medicinal cannabis products to treat these disorders, but little is known about the effects of medicinal cannabis use on symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The aim of the present observational study was to assess general health in medicinal cannabis users and non-using controls with anxiety and/or depression. 

 

Results: Medicinal cannabis use was associated with lower self-reported depression, but not anxiety, at baseline. Medicinal cannabis users also reported superior sleep, quality of life, and less pain on average. Initiation of medicinal cannabis during the follow-up period was associated with significantly decreased anxiety and depressive symptoms, an effect that was not observed in Controls that never initiated cannabis use. 

Conclusions: Medicinal cannabis use may reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in clinically anxious and depressed populations. Future placebo-controlled studies are necessary to replicate these findings and to determine the route of administration, dose, and product formulation characteristics to optimize clinical outcomes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34566726/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.729800/full

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Efficacy of Δ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Alone or in Combination With a 1:1 Ratio of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Reversing the Spatial Learning Deficits in Old Mice

Archive of "Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience".“Decline in cognitive performance, an aspect of the normal aging process, is influenced by the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) signaling diminishes with advancing age in specific brain regions that regulate learning and memory and abolishing CB1 receptor signaling accelerates cognitive aging in mice.

We recently demonstrated that prolonged exposure to low dose (3 mg/kg/day) Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) improved the cognitive performances in old mice on par with young untreated mice. Here we investigated the potential influence of cannabidiol (CBD) on this THC effect, because preclinical and clinical studies indicate that the combination of THC and CBD often exhibits an enhanced therapeutic effect compared to THC alone.

We first tested the effectiveness of a lower dose (1 mg/kg/day) THC, and then the efficacy of the combination of THC and CBD in 1:1 ratio, same as in the clinically approved medicine Sativex®. Our findings reveal that a 1 mg/kg/day THC dose still effectively improved spatial learning in aged mice. However, a 1:1 combination of THC and CBD failed to do so.

The presence of CBD induced temporal changes in THC metabolism ensuing in a transient elevation of blood THC levels. However, as CBD metabolizes, the inhibitory effect on THC metabolism was alleviated, causing a rapid clearance of THC. Thus, the beneficial effects of THC seemed to wane off more swiftly in the presence of CBD, due to these metabolic effects.

The findings indicate that THC-treatment alone is more efficient to improve spatial learning in aged mice than the 1:1 combination of THC and CBD.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34526890/

“In conclusion, our observations indicate that 1 mg/kg/day THC dose is still effective in improving the spatial learning in aged mice. With regard to the efficacy, THC-alone has proved to be more efficient in improving spatial learning in aged mice than its 1:1 combination with CBD. However, the possibility of THC/CBD being efficient in other ratios or at the earliest time-points, like immediately after the treatment cease, cannot be negated. Possibly, reducing the dose of CBD may improve the efficacy of the THC/CBD combination.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2021.718850/full

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Cannabidiol enhances verbal episodic memory in healthy young participants: A randomized clinical trial

Journal of Psychiatric Research“Cannabis contains a multitude of different compounds. One of them, cannabidiol – a non-psychoactive substance – might counteract negative effects of Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on hippocampus-dependent memory impairment.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of vaping cannabidiol on verbal episodic memory in healthy young subjects.

We used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover trial in 39 healthy young subjects. Participants received once a single dose of cannabidiol e-liquid (0.25 ml, 5% cannabidiol, 12.5 mg cannabidiol) and once placebo for vaping after learning 15 unrelated nouns. The primary outcome measure was the short delay verbal memory performance (number of correctly free recalled nouns) 20 min after learning. 34 participants (mean age: 22.26 [3.04]) completed all visits and entered analyses (17 received cannabidiol and 17 received placebo first).

Cannabidiol enhanced verbal episodic memory performance (placebo: 7.03 [2.34]; cannabidiol 7.71 [2.48]; adjusted group difference 0.68, 95% CI 0.01 to 1.35; R = .028, p = .048). Importantly, we did not detect medication effects on secondary outcome measures attention or working memory performance, suggesting that CBD has no negative impact on these basic cognitive functions.

The results are in line with the idea that vaping cannabidiol interacts with the central endocannabinoid system and is capable to modulate memory processes, a phenomenon with possible therapeutic potential. Further studies are needed to investigate optimal dose-response and time-response relationships.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34536664/

“To conclude, while further research is needed to identify dose-response and time-response relationships, our results show that CBD can improve episodic memory, a drug effect with possible therapeutic potential.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002239562100546X?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol Exposure During the Mouse Adolescent Period Is Without Harmful Behavioral Effects on Locomotor Activity, Anxiety, and Spatial Memory

Archive of "Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience".“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid whose purported therapeutic benefits and impression of a high safety profile has promoted its increasing popularity.

CBD’s popularity is also increasing among children and adolescents who are being administered CBD, off label, for the treatment of numerous symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. The relative recency of its use in the adolescent population has precluded investigation of its impact on the developing brain and the potential consequences that may present in adulthood. Therefore, there’s an urgency to identify whether prolonged adolescent CBD exposure has substantive impacts on the developing brain that impact behavioral and cognitive processes in adulthood.

Here, we tested the effect of twice-daily intraperitoneal administrations of CBD (20 mg/kg) in male and female C57BL/6J mice during the adolescent period of 25-45 days on weight gain, and assays for locomotor behavior, anxiety, and spatial memory. Prolonged adolescent CBD exposure had no detrimental effects on locomotor activity in the open field, anxiety behavior on the elevated plus maze, or spatial memory in the Barnes Maze compared to vehicle-treated mice. Interestingly, CBD-treated mice had a faster rate of learning in the Barnes Maze. However, CBD-treated females had reduced weight gain during the exposure period.

We conclude that prolonged adolescent CBD exposure in mice does not have substantive negative impacts on a range of behaviors in adulthood, may improve the rate of learning under certain conditions, and impacts weight gain in a sex-specific manner.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34512286/

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most abundant cannabinoids naturally produced by the plant, Cannabis sativa, and the dominant phytocannabinoid produced by the hemp variety. We report that multiple daily doses of a moderate CBD dose throughout the adolescent developmental period does not negatively impact locomotor behavior, anxiety, and spatial learning in healthy C57BL/6J mice. Further, the faster acquisition rate of a spatial learning task may highlight CBD’s potential protective benefits against stressors.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbeh.2021.711639/full

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Targeting of Protein’s Messenger RNA for Viral Replication, Assembly and Release in SARS-CoV-2 Using Whole Genomic Data From South Africa: Therapeutic Potentials of Cannabis Sativa L

frontiers in pharmacology – Retraction Watch“The possible evolutionary trend of COVID-19 in South Africa was investigated by comparing the genome of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from a patient in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with those isolated from China, Spain, Italy, and United States, as well as the genomes of Bat SARS CoV, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Mouse Hepatitis Virus (MHV), and Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV). Phylogenetic analysis revealed a strong homology (96%) between the genomes of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and those isolated from the study countries as well as those isolated from bat SARS CoV, MERS-CoV, MHV and IBV.

The ability of phytocannabinoids from Cannabis sativa infusion to interact with gene segments (mRNAs) coding for proteins implicated in viral replication, assembly and release were also investiagted using computational tools. Hot water infusion of C. sativa leaves was freeze-dried and subjected to Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy analysis which revealed the presence of tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabispiran, cannabidiol tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabigerol, and cannabinol. Molecular docking analysis revealed strong binding affinities and interactions between the phytocannabinoids and codon mRNAs for ORF1ab, Surface glycoprotein, Envelope protein and Nucleocapsid phosphoprotein from SARS-CoV-2 whole genome which may be due to chemico-biological interactions as a result of nucleophilic/electrophilic attacks between viral nucleotides and cannabinoids.

These results depict the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is intercontinental and might have evolved from other coronaviruses. The results also portray the phytocannabinoids of C. sativa infusion as potential therapies against COVID-19 as depicted by their ability to molecularly interact with codon mRNAs of proteins implicated in the replication, translation, assembly, and release of SARS-CoV-2. However, further studies are needed to verify these activities in pre-clinical and clinical studies.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34539415/

“Taken together, the results from this study indicates a homology between the genome of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and those isolated from Europe, Asia and North America, as well as those isolated from bat SARS COV, MERS-CoV, MHV and IBV. Thus, depicting the spread of the virus is intercontinental and might have evolved from other coronaviruses. The results also indicate the phytocannabinoids of C. sativa infusion as potential therapies against COVID-19 as depicted by their ability to molecularly interact with codon mRNAs of proteins implicated in the replication, translation, assembly, and release of SARS-CoV-2.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.736511/full

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Green Hope: Perspectives on Cannabis from People who Use Opioids

Sociological Inquiry“While states are implementing policies to legalize cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, it remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance with no medical uses according to US federal law. The perception of cannabis depends on social and cultural norms that impact political institutions involved in implementing policy. Because of negative social constructions, such as the “gateway hypothesis,” legalization of cannabis has been slow and contentious.

Recent studies suggest that cannabis can help combat the opioid epidemic.

This paper fills a gap in our understanding of how cannabis is viewed by people who are actively misusing opioids and not in treatment. Using ethnographic methods to recruit participants living in a state that legalized cannabis and a state where cannabis was illegal, survey and interview data were analyzed informed by a social constructionist lens.

Findings from their “insider perspective” suggest that for some people struggling with problematic opioid use, cannabis can be beneficial.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34538961/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/soin.12359

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Cannabinoids induce functional Tregs by promoting tolerogenic DCs via autophagy and metabolic reprograming

Mucosal Immunology“The generation of functional regulatory T cells (Tregs) is essential to keep tissue homeostasis and restore healthy immune responses in many biological and inflammatory contexts.

Cannabinoids have been pointed out as potential therapeutic tools for several diseases.

Dendritic cells (DCs) express the endocannabinoid system, including the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. However, how cannabinoids might regulate functional properties of DCs is not completely understood.

We uncover that the triggering of cannabinoid receptors promote human tolerogenic DCs that are able to prime functional FOXP3+ Tregs in the context of different inflammatory diseases. Mechanistically, cannabinoids imprint tolerogenicity in human DCs by inhibiting NF-κB, MAPK and mTOR signalling pathways while inducing AMPK and functional autophagy flux via CB1- and PPARα-mediated activation, which drives metabolic rewiring towards increased mitochondrial activity and oxidative phosphorylation.

Cannabinoids exhibit in vivo protective and anti-inflammatory effects in LPS-induced sepsis and also promote the generation of FOXP3+ Tregs. In addition, immediate anaphylactic reactions are decreased in peanut allergic mice and the generation of allergen-specific FOXP3+ Tregs are promoted, demonstrating that these immunomodulatory effects take place in both type 1- and type 2-mediated inflammatory diseases.

Our findings might open new avenues for novel cannabinoid-based interventions in different inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34548620/

“Cannabinoids have been pointed out as potential therapeutic tools for several diseases. Our results might well contribute to pave the way for the future development of novel cannabinoid-based strategies for different inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41385-021-00455-x

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Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 is Upregulated in Synovium following Joint Injury and Mediates Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Synovial Fibroblasts and Macrophages

The effect of protease inhibitors on the indcution of  osteoarthritis-related biomarkers in bovine full-depth cartilage explants -  Osteoarthritis and Cartilage“Objective: Joint injury-induced perturbations to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a regulator of both inflammation and nociception, remain largely uncharacterized. We employed a mouse model of ACL rupture to assess alterations to nociception, inflammation, and the ECS while using in vitro models to determine whether CB2 agonism can mitigate inflammatory signaling in macrophages and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS).

Conclusions: Joint injury perturbs the intra-articular ECS, characterized by an increase in synovial F4/80(+) cells, which express CB2, but not CB1. Targeting CB2 in murine macrophages and human FLS induced potent anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic effects, which indicates that the CB2 receptor plays a key role in regulating inflammatory signaling in the two primary effector cells in the synovium. The intraarticular ECS is therefore a potential therapeutic target for blocking pathological inflammation in future disease-modifying PTOA treatments.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34537380/

https://www.oarsijournal.com/article/S1063-4584(21)00888-8/fulltext

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