Circulating endocannabinoid concentrations and sexual arousal in women.

The Journal of Sexual Medicine - Click here to go back to the homepage

“Several lines of evidence point to the potential role of the endocannabinoid system in female sexual functioning. These include results from studies describing the subjective effects of exogenous cannabinoids on sexual functioning in humans and the observable effects of exogenous cannabinoids on sexual functioning in other species, as well as results from studies investigating the location of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and periphery, and the effects of cannabinoid receptor activation on neurotransmitters implicated in sexual functioning. While these lines of research suggest a role for the endocannabinoid system in female sexual functioning, no studies investigating the relationship between concentrations of endogenous cannabinoids (i.e., arachidonoylethanolamide [AEA] and 2-arachidonoylglycerol [2-AG]) and sexual functioning have been conducted in any species.

AIM:

To measure circulating endocannabinoid concentrations in relation to subjective and physiological indices of sexual arousal in women (N = 21).

METHODS:

Serum endocannabinoid (AEA and 2-AG) concentrations were measured immediately prior to, and immediately following, viewing of neutral (control) and erotic (experimental) film stimuli in a repeated measures design. Physiological sexual arousal was measured via vaginal photoplethysmography. Subjective sexual arousal was measured both continuously and noncontinuously. Pearson’s correlations were used to investigate the relationships between endocannabinoid concentrations and sexual arousal.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Changes in AEA and 2-AG concentrations from pre- to post-film and in relation to physiological and subjective indices of sexual arousal.

RESULTS:

Results revealed a significant relationship between endocannabinoid concentrations and female sexual arousal, whereby increases in both physiological and subjective indices of sexual arousal were significantly associated with decreases in AEA, and increases in subjective indices of sexual arousal were significantly associated with decreases in 2-AG.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings support the hypothesis that the endocannabinoid system is involved in female sexual functioning, with implications for furthering understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying female sexual functioning.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22462722

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(15)33996-5/fulltext

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Astroglial monoacylglycerol lipase controls mutant huntingtin-induced damage of striatal neurons.

Neuropharmacology

“Cannabinoids exert neuroprotection in a wide array of preclinical models. A number of these studies has focused on cannabinoid CB1receptors in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and the most characteristic MSN-degenerative disease, Huntington’s disease (HD). Accruing evidence supports that astrocytes contribute to drive HD progression, and that they express CB1 receptors, degrade endocannabinoids, and modulate endocannabinergic transmission. However, the possible role of the astroglial endocannabinoidsystem in controlling MSN integrity remains unknown. Here, we show that JZL-184, a selective inhibitor of monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL), the key enzyme that deactivates the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol, prevented the mutant huntingtin-induced up-regulation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α in primary mouse striatal astrocytes via CB1 receptors. To study the role of astroglial MGL in vivo, we injected stereotactically into the mouse dorsal striatum viral vectors that encode mutant or normal huntingtin under the control of the glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter. We observed that, in wild-type mice, pharmacological blockade of MGL with JZL-184 (8 mg/kg/day, i.p.) conferred neuroprotection against mutant huntingtin-induced striatal damage, as evidenced by the prevention of MSN loss, astrogliosis, and motor coordination impairment. We next found that conditional mutant mice bearing a genetic deletion of MGL selectively in astroglial cells (MGLfloxed/floxed;GFAP-Cre/+ mice) were resistant to mutant huntingtin-induced MSN loss, astrogliosis, and motor coordination impairment. Taken together, these data support that astroglial MGL controls the availability of a 2-arachidonoylglycerol pool that ensues protection of MSNs in the mouse striatum in vivo, thus providing a potential druggable target for reducing striatal neurodegeneration.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30914306

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390819301066?via%3Dihub

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Cannabimimetic plants: are they new cannabinoidergic modulators?

“Phytochemicals and secondary metabolites able to interact with the endocannabinoid system (Cannabimimetics) have been recently described in a broad range of plants and fruits. These findings can open new alternative avenues to explore for the development of novel therapeutic compounds. The cannabinoids regulate many physiological and pathological functions in both animals and plants. Cannabis sativa is the main plant that produces phytocannabinoids inside resins capable to defend the plant from the aggression of parasites and herbivores. Animals produce anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, which thanks to binding with main receptors such as type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) and the type-2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) are involved in inflammation processes and several brain functions. Endogenous cannabinoids, enzymes for synthesis and degradation of cannabinoids, and CB1R and CB2R constitute the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Other plants can produce cannabinoid-like molecules such as perrottetinene extracted from Radula perrottetii, or anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol extracted from some bryophytes. Moreover, several other secondary metabolites can also interact with the ECS of animals and take the name of cannabimimetics. These phytoextracts not derived from Cannabis sativa can act as receptor agonists or antagonist, or enzyme inhibitors of ECS and can be involved in the inflammation, oxidative stress, cancer, and neuroprotection. Finally, given the evolutionary heterogeneity of the cannabimimetic plants, some authors speculated on the fascinating thesis of the evolutionary convergence between plants and animals regarding biological functions of ECS. The review aims to provide a critical and complete assessment of the botanical, chemical and therapeutic aspects of cannabimimetic plants to evaluate their spread in the world and medicinal potentiality.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30877436

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00425-019-03138-x

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Plant-Based Modulators of Endocannabinoid Signaling.

Journal of Natural Products

“Extracts from Cannabis species have aided the discovery of the endocannabinoid signaling system (ECSS) and phytocannabinoids that possess broad therapeutic potential. Whereas the reinforcing effects of C. sativa are largely attributed to CB1 receptor agonism by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the observed medicinal effects of Cannabis arise from the combined actions of various compounds. In addition to compounds bearing a classical cannabinoid structure, naturally occurring fatty acid amides and esters resembling anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol isolated from non- Cannabis species are also valuable tools for studying ECSS function. This review highlights the potential of plant-based secondary metabolites from Cannabis and unrelated species as ECSS modulators.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30816712

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b00874

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Cutting Edge: Dysregulated Endocannabinoid-Rheostat for Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Activation in a Systemic Lupus Endophenotype.

The Journal of Immunology

“Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease, characterized by loss of tolerance toward self nuclear Ags. Systemic induction of type I IFNs plays a pivotal role in SLE, a major source of type I IFNs being the plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Several genes have been linked with susceptibility to SLE in genome-wide association studies. We aimed at exploring the role of one such gene, α/β-hydrolase domain-containing 6 (ABHD6), in regulation of IFN-α induction in SLE patients. We discovered a regulatory role of ABHD6 in human pDCs through modulating the local abundance of its substrate, the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG), and elucidated a hitherto unknown cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2)-mediated regulatory role of 2-AG on IFN-α induction by pDCs. We also identified an ABHD6High SLE endophenotype wherein reduced local abundance of 2-AG relieves the CB2-mediated steady-state resistive tuning on IFN-α induction by pDCs, thereby contributing to SLE pathogenesis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30728209

http://www.jimmunol.org/content/early/2019/02/05/jimmunol.1801521

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Cannabinoids and Bone Regeneration.

 Publication Cover“Bone is a complex tissue of the with unique properties such as high strength and regeneration capabilities while carrying out multiple functions. Bone regeneration occurs both in physiological situations (bone turnover) and pathological situations (e.g. fractures), being performed by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. If this process is inadequate, fracture nonunion or aseptic loosening of implants occurs and requires a complex treatment.

Exogenous factors are currently used to increase bone regeneration process when needed, such as bisphosphonates and vitamin D, but limitations do exist. Cannabinoid system has been shown to have positive effects on bone metabolism. Cannabinoids at bone level mainly act on two receptors called CB-1 and CB-2, but GPR55, GPR119, TPRV1, TPRV4 receptors may also be involved. The CB-2 receptors are found in bone cells at higher levels compared to other receptors.

Endocannabinods represented by anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, can stimulate osteoblast formation, bone formation and osteoclast activity. CB-2 agonists including HU-308, HU-433, JWH133 and JWH015 can stimulate osteoblast proliferation and activity, while CB-2 antagonists such as AM630 and SR144528 can inhibit osteoclast differentiation and function. CB-1 antagonist AM251 has been shown to inhibit osteoclast differentiation and activity, while GPR55 antagonist cannabidiol increases osteoblast activity and decreases osteoclast function.

An optimal correlation of dose, duration, moment of action and affinity can lead to an increased bone regeneration capacity, with important benefits in many pathological situations which involve bone tissue. As adverse reactions of cannabinoids haven’t been described in patients under controlled medication, cannabinoids can represent future treatment for bone regeneration.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30702341

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03602532.2019.1574303?journalCode=idmr20

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Cannabis, cannabinoid receptors, and endocannabinoid system: yesterday, today, and tomorrow

Related image

“Cannabis sativa, is also popularly known as marijuana, has been cultivated and used for recreational and medicinal purposes for many centuries.

The main psychoactive content in cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In addition to plant cannabis sativa, there are two classes of cannabinoids—the synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., WIN55212–2) and the endogenous cannabinoids (eCB), anandamide (ANA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).

The biological effects of cannabinoids are mainly mediated by two members of the G-protein-coupled receptor family, cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1R) and 2 (CB2R). The endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes/proteins responsible for their biosynthesis, degradation, and re-updating constitute the endocannabinoid system.

In recent decades, the endocannabinoid system has attracted considerable attention as a potential therapeutic target in numerous physiological conditions, such as in energy balance, appetite stimulation, blood pressure, pain modulation, embryogenesis, nausea and vomiting control, memory, learning and immune response, as well as in pathological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The major goal of this Special Issue is to discuss and evaluate the current progress in cannabis and cannabinoid research in order to increase our understanding about cannabinoid action and the underlying biological mechanisms and promote the development cannabinoid-based pharmacotherapies.

 Overall, the present special issue provides an overview and insight on pharmacological mechanisms and therapeutic potentials of cannabis, cannabinoid receptors, and eCB system. I believe that this special issue will promote further efforts to apply cannabinoid ligands as the therapeutic strategies for treating a variety of diseases.”
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Bidirectional modulation of food habit expression by the endocannabinoid system.

European Journal of Neuroscience banner

“The compulsive, habitual behaviors that have been observed in individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders may be due to disruptions in the neural circuits that mediate goal-directed actions.

The endocannabinoid system has been shown to play a critical role in habit learning, but the role of this neuromodulatory system in habit expression is unclear.

Here, we investigated the role of the endocannabinoid system in established habitual actions using contingency degradation in male C57BL/6 mice.

We found that administration of the endocannabinoid transport inhibitor AM404 reduced habitual responding for food and that antagonism of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), but not transient receptor potential cation subfamily V (TRPV1), receptors produced a similar reduction in habitual responding.

Moreover, pharmacological stimulation of CB1 receptors increased habitual responding for food. Co-administration of an enzyme inhibitor that selectively increases the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) with AM404 partially restored habitual responding for food.

Together, these findings demonstrate an important role for the endocannabinoid system in the expression of habits and provide novel insights into potential pharmacological strategies for reducing habitual behaviors in mental disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30589475

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ejn.14330

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Antimicrobial potential of endocannabinoid and endocannabinoid-like compounds against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

 Scientific Reports

“Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus have reached epidemic proportions globally. Staphylococcal biofilms are associated with increased antimicrobial resistance and are generally less affected by host immune factors. Therefore, there is an urgent need for novel agents that not only aim at multidrug-resistant pathogens, but also ones that will act as anti biofilms. In the present study, we investigated the antimicrobial activity of the endocannabinoid (EC) anandamide (AEA) and the endocannabinoid-like (EC-like), arachidonoyl serine (AraS) against methicillin resistant S. aureus strains (MRSA). We observed a strong inhibition of biofilm formation of all tested MRSA strains as well as a notable reduction of metabolic activity of pre-formed MRSA biofilms by both agents. Moreover, staphylococcal biofilm-associated virulence determinants such as hydrophobicity, cell aggregation and spreading ability were altered by AEA and AraS. In addition, the agents were able to modify bacterial membrane potential. Importantly, both compounds prevent biofilm formation by altering the surface of the cell without killing the bacteria. Therefore, we propose that EC and EC-like compounds may act as a natural line of defence against MRSA or other antibiotic resistant bacteria. Due to their anti biofilm action these agents could also be a promising alternative to antibiotic therapeutics against biofilm-associated MRSA infections.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30523307

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-35793-7

“Antimicrobial activity of Cannabis sativa, Thuja orientalis and Psidium guajava leaf extracts against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30120078

“Antimicrobial Activity of Cannabis sativa L.”  https://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=18123

“Characterization and antimicrobial activity of essential oils of industrial hemp varieties (Cannabis sativa L.).” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19969046

“Antimicrobial studies of the leaf of cannabis sativa L.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16414764

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The endocannabinoid system: Overview of an emerging multi-faceted therapeutic target.

Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids Home

“The endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG) are endogenous lipid mediators that exert protective roles in pathophysiological conditions, including cardiovascular diseases. In this brief review, we provide a conceptual framework linking endocannabinoid signaling to the control of the cellular and molecular hallmarks, and categorize the key components of endocannabinoid signaling that may serve as targets for novel therapeutics. The emerging picture not only reinforces endocannabinoids as potent regulators of cellular metabolism but also reveals that endocannabinoid signaling is mechanistically more complex and diverse than originally thought.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30553404

https://www.plefa.com/article/S0952-3278(18)30176-5/fulltext

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