“Cannabinoid-based interventions are being explored for central nervous system (CNS) pathologies such as neurodegeneration, demyelination, epilepsy, stroke, and trauma. As these disease states involve dysregulation of myelin integrity and/or remyelination, it is important to consider effects of the endocannabinoid system on oligodendrocytes and their precursors. In this review, we examine research reports on the effects of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) components on oligodendrocytes and their precursors, with a focus on therapeutic implications. Cannabinoid ligands and modulators of the endocannabinoid system promote cell signaling in oligodendrocyte precursor survival, proliferation, migration and differentiation, and mature oligodendrocyte survival and myelination. Agonist stimulation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) at both CB1 and CB2 receptors counter apoptotic processes via Akt/PI3K, and promote proliferation via Akt/mTOR and ERK pathways. CB1 receptors in radial glia promote proliferation and conversion to progenitors fated to become oligodendroglia, whereas CB2 receptors promote OPC migration in neonatal development. OPCs produce 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), stimulating cannabinoid receptor-mediated ERK pathways responsible for differentiation to arborized, myelin basic protein (MBP)-producing oligodendrocytes. In cell culture models of excitotoxicity, increased reactive oxygen species, and depolarization-dependent calcium influx, CB1 agonists improved viability of oligodendrocytes. In transient and permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion models of anoxic stroke, WIN55212-2 increased OPC proliferation and maturation to oligodendroglia, thereby reducing cerebral tissue damage. In several models of rodent encephalomyelitis, chronic treatment with cannabinoid agonists ameliorated the damage by promoting OPC survival and oligodendrocyte function. Pharmacotherapeutic strategies based upon ECS and oligodendrocyte production and survival should be considered.”
“The transient global cerebral hypoperfusion/reperfusion achieved by induction of Bilateral Common Carotid Artery Occlusion followed by Reperfusion (BCCAO/R) has been shown to stimulate early molecular changes that can be easily traced in brain tissue and plasma, and that are indicative of the tissue physiological response to the reperfusion-induced oxidative stress and inflammation.
The aim of the present study is to probe the possibility to prevent the molecular changes induced by the BCCAO/R with dietary natural compounds known to possess anti-inflammatory activity, such as the phytocannabinoid beta-caryophyllene (BCP).
Collectively, the pre-treatment with BCP, likely acting as agonist for CB2 and PPAR-alpha receptors, modulates in a beneficial way the ECS activation and the lipoperoxidation, taken as indicative of oxidative stress. Furthermore, our results support the evidence that BCP may be used as a dietary supplement to control the physiological response to the hypoperfusion/reperfusion-induced oxidative stress.”
“Cannabis sativa is one of the most popular recreational and medicinal plants. Benefits from use of cannabinoid agents in epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and others have been suggested. It seems that the endocannabinoid system is also involved in the pathogenesis and treatment of depression, though its role in this mental disease has not been fully understood yet. Both the pro- and antidepressant activity have been reported after cannabis consumption and a number of pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that both agonist and antagonist of the endocannabinoid receptors act similarly to antidepressants. Responses to the cannabinoid agents are relatively fast, and most probably, the noradrenergic, serotoninergic, glutamatergic neurotransmission, neuroprotective activity, as well as modulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis are implicated in the observed effects. Based on the published data, the endocannabinoid system evidently gives novel ideas and options in the field of antidepressant treatment, however further studies are needed to determine which group of patients could benefit from this type of therapy.”
“Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone in children and adolescents.
Bortezomib (BTZ) is an approved anticancer drug, classified as a selective reversible inhibitor of the ubiquitin-dependent proteasome system, that leads to cancer cell cycle arrest and apoptosis reducing the invasion ability of Osteosarcoma cells in vitro. It also regulates the RANK/RANKL/OPG system, involved in the pathogenesis of bone tumors and in cell migration.
A side effect of BTZ is to induce painful sensory peripheral neuropathy which lead to cessation of therapy or dose reduction.
Recently BTZ has been evaluated in combination with Cannabinoids targeting CB1 receptor, demonstrating a promising synergic effect.
The Endocannabinoid/Endovanilloid (EC/EV) system includes two G protein-coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2), the Transient Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel and their endogenous ligands and enzymes.
CB1 and CB2 are expressed mainly in Central Nervous System and Immune Peripheral cells respectively. TRPV1 is also expressed in primary sensory neurons and is involved in pain modulation.
EC/EV system induces apoptosis, reduces invasion and cell proliferation in Osteosarcoma cell lines and is involved in bone metabolism.
We analyzed the effects of BTZ, alone and in combination with selective agonists at CB2 (JWH-133) and TRPV1 (RTX) receptors, in the Osteosarcoma cell line (HOS) on Apoptosis, Cell Cycle progression, migration and bone balance. We observed that the stimulation of CB2 and TRPV1 receptors increase the efficacy of BTZ in inducing apoptosis and reducing invasion, cell cycle progression and by modulating bone balance.
These data suggest the possibility to use BTZ, in combination with EC/EV agonists, in Osteosarcoma therapy reducing its dose and its side effects.”
“Cannabinoids have demonstrated anticarcinogenic properties in a variety of malignancies, including in prostate cancer.
In the present study, we explored the anti-cancer effects of the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) in prostate cancer.
WIN significantly reduced prostate cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, induced apoptosis, and arrested cells in Go/G1 phase in a dose-dependent manner. Mechanistic studies revealed these effects were mediated through a pathway involving cell cycle regulators p27, Cdk4, and pRb. Pre-treatment with a CB2 antagonist, AM630, followed by treatment with WIN resulted in a reversal of the anti-proliferation and cell cycle arrest previously seen with WIN alone. In vivo, administration of WIN resulted in a reduction in the tumor growth rate compared to control (P < 0.05).
The following study provides evidence supporting the use of WIN as a novel therapeutic for prostate cancer.”
“Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the deadliest form of breast cancer because compared with other types of breast cancer, it is more aggressive, diagnosed at later stage and more likely to develop recurrence.
Many patients do not experience adequate tumor control after current clinical treatments involving surgical removal, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, leading to disease progression and significantly decreased quality of life.
Here we report a new combinatory therapy strategy involving cannabinoid-based medicine and photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of TNBC.
This combinatory therapy targets two proteins upregulated in TNBC: the cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CB2R, a G-protein coupled receptor) and translocator protein (TSPO, a mitochondria membrane receptor). We found that the combined CB2R agonist and TSPO-PDT treatment resulted in synergistic inhibition in TNBC cell and tumor growth.
This combinatory therapy approach provides new opportunities to treat TNBC with high efficacy. In addition, this study provides new evidence on the therapeutic potential of CB2R agonists for cancer.”
“This study aimed to evaluate pain and its symptoms in patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) refractory to other therapies, treated with a combination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), in association with spinal cord stimulation (SCS).
Results: Effective pain management as compared to baseline result was achieved in all the cases studied. The positive effect of cannabinoid agonists on refractory pain was maintained during the entire duration of treatment with minimal dosage titration. Pain perception, evaluated through numeric rating scale, decreased from a baseline mean value of 8.18±1.07–4.72±0.9 by the end of the study duration (12 months) (P<0.001).
Conclusion: The results indicate that cannabinoid agonists (THC/CBD) can have remarkable analgesic capabilities, as adjuvant of SCS, for the treatment of chronic refractory pain of FBSS patients.”
“Outcomes indicate remarkable analgesic capabilities of cannabinoid agonists (THC/CBD) as an adjuvant to SCS for treating chronic refractory pain in FBSS patients, since all the cases studied achieved effective pain management compared to baseline.”
“Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is a promising therapeutic target for a variety of disorders. Distinct efficacy profiles showed different therapeutic effects on CB1 dependent on three classes of ligands: agonists, antagonists, and inverse agonists. To discriminate the distinct efficacy profiles of the ligands, we carried out molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to identify the dynamic behaviors of inactive and active conformations of CB1 structures with the ligands. In addition, the molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) method was applied to analyze the binding free energy decompositions of the CB1-ligand complexes. With these two methods, we found the possibility that the three classes of ligands can be discriminated. Our findings shed light on the understanding of different efficacy profiles of ligands by analyzing the structural behaviors of intact CB1 structures and the binding energies of ligands, thereby yielding insights that are useful for the design of new potent CB1 drugs.”
“Chemical structure of the partial agonist THC, antagonist THCV, and inverse agonist Taranabant.”
“Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder that produces a dramaticglobal health burden worldwide. Not effective treatment of drug addiction is currently available probably due to the difficulties to find an appropriate target to manage this complex disease raising the needs for further identification of novel therapeutic approaches.
The endocannabinoid system has been found to play a crucial role in the neurobiological substrate underlying drug addiction.
Endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are widely expressed in the main areas of the mesocorticolimbic system that participate in the initiation and maintenance of drug consumption and in the development of compulsion and loss of behavioral control occurring during drug addiction.
The identification of the important role played by CB1 cannabinoid receptors in drug addiction encouraged the possible used of an early commercialized CB1 receptor antagonist for treating drug addiction.
However, the incidence of serious psychiatric adverse events leaded to the sudden withdrawal from the market of this CB1 antagonist and all the research programs developed by pharmaceutical companies to obtain new CB1 antagonists were stopped.
Currently, new research strategies are under development to target the endocannabinoid system for drug addiction avoiding these side effects, which include allosteric negative modulators of CB1 receptors and compounds targeting CB2 receptors.
Recent studies showing the potential role of CB2 receptors in the addictive properties of different drugs of abuse have open a promising research opportunity to develop novel possible therapeutic approaches.”
“Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, play important roles in defending the brain against pathogens and supporting neuronal circuit plasticity. Chronic or excessive pro-inflammatory responses of microglia damage neurons, therefore their activity is tightly regulated.
Pharmacological and genetic studies revealed that cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor activity influences microglial activity, although microglial CB1 receptor expression is very low and activity-dependent. The CB1 receptor is mainly expressed on neurons in the central nervous system (CNS)-with an especially high level on GABAergic interneurons.
Here, we determined whether CB1 signaling on this neuronal cell type plays a role in regulating microglial activity.
Our result suggests that CB1 receptor agonists can modulate microglial activity indirectly, through CB1 receptors on GABAergic neurons.
Altogether, we demonstrated that GABAergic neurons, despite their relatively low density in the hippocampus, have a specific role in the regulation of microglial activity and cannabinoid signaling plays an important role in this arrangement.”