“There are no pharmacological treatments for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, but dronabinol showed promise in a small pilot study. In anesthetized rats, dronabinol attenuates reflex apnea via activation of cannabinoid (CB) receptors located on vagal afferents; an effect blocked by cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and/or type 2 (CB2) receptor antagonists. Here, using a natural model of central sleep apnea, we examine the effects of dronabinol, alone and in combination with selective antagonists in conscious rats chronically instrumented to stage sleep and measure cessation of breathing.
Dronabinol decreased the percent time spent in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. CB receptor antagonists did not reverse this effect. Dronabinol also decreased apneas during sleep, and this apnea suppression was reversed by CB1 or CB1/CB2 receptor antagonism.
Dronabinol’s effects on apneas were dependent on CB1 receptor activation, while dronabinol’s effects on REM sleep were CB receptor-independent.”
“The purpose of the review was to revisit the possibility of the endocannabinoid system being a therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity by focusing on the peripheral roles in regulating appetite and energy metabolism.
Previous studies with the global cannabinoid receptor blocker rimonabant, which has both central and peripheral properties, showed that this drug has beneficial effects on cardiometabolic function but severe adverse psychiatric side effects. Consequently, focus has shifted to peripherally restricted cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor blockers as possible therapeutic agents that mitigate or eliminate the untoward effects in the central nervous system.
Targeting the endocannabinoid system using novel peripheral CB1 receptor blockers with negligible penetrance across the blood-brain barrier may prove to be effective therapy for obesity and its co-morbidities.
Perhaps the future of blockers targeting CB1 receptors will be tissue-specific neutral antagonists (e.g., skeletal muscle specific to treat peripheral insulin resistance, adipocyte-specific to treat fat excess, liver-specific to treat fatty liver and hepatic insulin resistance).”
“Recent evidence shows that the endocannabinoid system is involved in amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) use disorders. To elucidate the role of the endocannabinoid system in ATS addiction, we reviewed results of studies using cannabinoid receptor agonists, antagonists as well as knockout model.
The endocannabinoid system seems to play a role in reinstatement and relapse of ATS addiction and ATS-induced psychiatric symptoms. The molecular mechanisms of this system remains unclear, the association with dopamine system in nucleus accumbens is most likely involved. However, the function of the endocannabinoid system in anxiety and anti-anxiety effects induced by ATS is more complicated.
These findings suggest that the endocannabinoid system may play an important role in the mechanism of ATS addiction and provide new idea for treating ATS addiction.”
“Chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains a major challenge for Public Health systems and corresponds to the replacement of renal functional tissue by extra-cellular matrix proteins such as collagens and fibronectin. There is no efficient treatment to date for CKD except nephroprotective strategies.
The cannabinoid system and more specifically the cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) may represent a new therapeutic target in CKD.
Our review will first focus on the current state of knowledge regarding the cannabinoid system in normal renal physiology and in various experimental nephropathies, especially diabetes. We will review the data obtained in models of diabetes and obesity as well as in nonmetabolic models of renal fibrosis and emphasizes the promising role of CB1 blockers and CB2 agonists in the development of renal disease and fibrosis. Next, we will review the current state of knowledge regarding the cellular pathways involved in renal fibrogenesis and renal injury.
Overall, this review will highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting the cannabinoid receptors in CKD and diabetes.”
“Synthetic cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids have been shown to suppress seizures both in humans and experimental models of epilepsy.
However, they generally have a detrimental effect on memory and memory-related processes. Here we compared the effect of the inhibition of the endocannabinoid (eCB) degradation versus synthetic CB agonist on limbic seizures induced by maximal dentate activation (MDA) acute kindling. Moreover, we investigated the dentate gyrus (DG) granule cell reactivity and synaptic plasticity in naïve and in MDA-kindled anaesthetised rats.
We found that both the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597 and the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2 displayed AM251-sensitive anti-seizure effects. WIN55,212-2, dose-dependently (0.5-2 mg/kg, i.p.) impaired short-term plasticity (STP) and long-term potentiation (LTP) at perforant path-DG synapses in naïve rats. Strikingly, URB597 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) was devoid of any deleterious effects in normal conditions, while it prevented seizure-induced alterations of both STP and LTP.
Our evidence indicates that boosting the eCB tone rather than general CB1 activation might represent a potential strategy for the development of a new class of drugs for treatment of both seizures and comorbid memory impairments associated with epilepsy.”
“Morphine is widely used as an analgesic to treat moderate to severe pain, but chronic morphine use is associated with development of tolerance and dependence, which limits its analgesic efficacy. Our previous research has showed that nonanalgetic dose of a cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor agonist reduced morphine tolerance in cancer pain. A previous study showed the colocalization of CB2 and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) in human and rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) sensory neurons. Whether coadministration of a CB2 receptor agonist and morphine could reduce TRPV1 expression in morphine‑induced antinociception and tolerance in cancer pain is unclear. Therefore, we investigated the effects of coadministration of a CB2 receptor agonist AM1241 and morphine on TRPV1 expression and tolerance in cancer pain. Coadministration of AM1241 and morphine for 8 days significantly reduced morphine tolerance, as assessed by measuring paw withdrawal latency to a radiant heat stimulation, in Walker 256 tumor‑bearing rats. Repeated morphine treatment for a period of 8 days induced upregulation of the TRPV1 protein expression levels in the DRG in the tumor‑bearing rats, although no change in mRNA expression. Pretreatment with AM1241 reduced this morphine‑induced upregulation of TRPV1 and the effect was reversed by the CB2 receptor antagonist AM630. Our findings suggest that coadministration of a CB2 receptor agonist AM1241 and morphine reduced morphine tolerance possibly through regulation of TRPV1 protein expression in the DRG in cancer pain.”
“The cannabinoid 1 receptor and cannabinoid 2 receptor can both be targeted in the treatment of pain; yet, they have some important differences. Cannabinoid 1 receptor is expressed at high levels in the central nervous system, whereas cannabinoid 2 receptor is found predominantly, although not exclusively, outside the central nervous system. The objective of this study was to investigate potential interactions between cannabinoid 2 receptor and the mu-opioid receptor in pathological pain. The low level of adverse side effects and lack of tolerance for cannabinoid 2 receptor agonists are attractive pharmacotherapeutic traits. This study assessed the anti-nociceptive effects of a selective cannabinoid 2 receptor agonist (JWH-133) in pathological pain using mice subjected to inflammatory pain using the formalin test. Furthermore, we examined several ways in which JWH-133 may interact with morphine. JWH-133 produces dose-dependent anti-nociception during both the acute and inflammatory phases of the formalin test. This was observed in both male and female mice. However, a maximally efficacious dose of JWH-133 (1 mg/kg) was not associated with somatic withdrawal symptoms, motor impairment, or hypothermia. After eleven once-daily injections of 1 mg/JWH-133, no tolerance was observed in the formalin test. Cross-tolerance for the anti-nociceptive effects of JWH-133 and morphine were assessed to gain insight into physiologically relevant cannabinoid 2 receptor and mu-opioid receptor interaction. Mice made tolerant to the effects of morphine exhibited a lower JWH-133 response in both phases of the formalin test compared to vehicle-treated morphine-naïve animals. However, repeated daily JWH-133 administration did not cause cross-tolerance for morphine, suggesting opioid and cannabinoid 2 receptor cross-tolerance is unidirectional. However, preliminary data suggest co-administration of JWH-133 with morphine modestly attenuates morphine tolerance. Isobolographic analysis revealed that co-administration of JWH-133 and morphine has an additive effect on anti-nociception in the formalin test. Overall these findings show that cannabinoid 2 receptor may functionally interact with mu-opioid receptor to modulate anti-nociception in the formalin test.”
“An agonist that acts through a single receptor can activate numerous signaling pathways. Recent studies have suggested that different ligands can differentially activate these pathways by stabilizing a limited range of receptor conformations, which in turn preferentially drive different downstream signaling cascades. This concept, termed “biased signaling” represents an exciting therapeutic opportunity to target specific pathways that elicit only desired effects, while avoiding undesired effects mediated by different signaling cascades. The cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 each activate multiple pathways, and evidence is emerging for bias within these pathways. This review will summarize the current evidence for biased signaling through cannabinoid receptor subtypes CB1 and CB2.”
“Obesity-related structural and functional changes in the kidney develop early in the course of obesity and occur independently of hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Activating the renal cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R) induces nephropathy, whereas CB1R blockade improves kidney function. Whether these effects are mediated via a specific cell type within the kidney remains unknown. Here, we show that specific deletion of CB1R in the renal proximal tubule cells did not protect the mice from obesity, but markedly attenuated the obesity-induced lipid accumulation in the kidney and renal dysfunction, injury, inflammation, and fibrosis. These effects associated with increased activation of liver kinase B1 and the energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase, as well as enhanced fatty acid β-oxidation. Collectively, these findings indicate that renal proximal tubule cell CB1R contributes to the pathogenesis of obesity-induced renal lipotoxicity and nephropathy by regulating the liver kinase B1/AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathway.”
“The human cannabinoid subtype 1 receptor (hCB1R) is highly expressed in the CNS and serves as a therapeutic target for endogenous ligands as well as plant-derived and synthetic cannabinoids. Unfortunately, acute use of hCB1R agonists produces unwanted psychotropic effects and chronic administration results in development of tolerance and dependence, limiting the potential clinical use of these ligands. Studies in β-arrestin knockout mice suggest that interaction of certain GPCRs, including μ-, δ-, κ-opioid and hCB1Rs, with β-arrestins might be responsible for several adverse effects produced by agonists acting at these receptors. Indeed, agonists that bias opioid receptor activation toward G-protein, relative to β-arrestin signaling, produce less severe adverse effects. These observations indicate that therapeutic utility of agonists acting at hCB1Rs might be improved by development of G-protein biased hCB1R agonists. Our laboratory recently reported a novel class of indole quinulidinone (IQD) compounds that bind cannabinoid receptors with relatively high affinity and act with varying efficacy. The purpose of this study was to determine whether agonists in this novel cannabinoid class exhibit ligand bias at hCB1 receptors. Our studies found that a novel IQD-derived hCB1receptor agonist PNR-4-20 elicits robust G protein-dependent signaling, with transduction ratios similar to the non-biased hCB1R agonist CP-55,940. In marked contrast to CP-55,940, PNR-4-20 produces little to no β-arrestin 2 recruitment. Quantitative calculation of bias factors indicates that PNR-4-20 exhibits from 5.4-fold to 29.5-fold bias for G protein, relative to β-arrestin 2 signaling (when compared to G protein activation or inhibition of forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation, respectively). Importantly, as expected due to reduced β-arrestin 2 recruitment, chronic exposure of cells to PNR-4-20 results in significantly less desensitization and down-regulation of hCB1Rs compared to similar treatment with CP-55,940. PNR-4-20 (i.p.) is active in the cannabinoid tetrad in mice and chronic treatment results in development of less persistent tolerance and no significant withdrawal signs when compared to animals repeatedly exposed to the non-biased full agoinst JWH-018 or Δ9-THC. Finally, studies of a structurally similar analog PNR- 4-02 show that it is also a G protein biased hCB1R agonist. It is predicted that cannabinoid agonists that bias hCB1R activation toward G protein, relative to β-arrestin 2 signaling, will produce fewer and less severe adverse effects both acutely and chronically.”