Targeting Cannabinoid Receptor 2 on Peripheral Leukocytes to Attenuate Inflammatory Mechanisms Implicated in HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder.

 SpringerLink“HIV infection affects an estimated 38 million people. Approximately 50% of HIV patients exhibit neurocognitive dysfunction termed HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND). HAND is a consequence of chronic low-level neuroinflammation due to HIV entry into the brain. Initially, monocytes become activated in circulation and traffic to the brain. Monocytes, when activated, become susceptible to infection by HIV and can then carry the virus across the blood brain barrier. Once in the brain, activated monocytes secrete chemokines, which recruit virus-specific CD8+ T cells into the brain to further promote neuroinflammation. HAND is closely linked to systemic inflammation driven, in part, by HIV but is also due to persistent translocation of microorganisms across the GI tract. Persistent anti-viral responses in the GI tract compromise microbial barrier integrity. Indeed, HIV patients can exhibit remarkably high levels of activated (CD16+) monocytes in circulation.

Recent studies, including our own, show that HIV patients using medical marijuana exhibit lower levels of circulating CD16+ monocytes than non-cannabis using HIV patients. Cannabis is a known immune modulator, including anti-inflammatory properties, mediated, in part, by ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as less characterized minor cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), terpenes and presumably other cannabis constituents. The immune modulating activity of THC is largely mediated through cannabinoid receptors (CB) 1 and 2, with CB1 also responsible for the psychotropic properties of cannabis.

Here we discuss the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids in the context of HIV and propose CB2 as a putative therapeutic target for the treatment of neuroinflammation. Graphical Abstract HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder is a systemic inflammatory disease leading to activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells, monocytes and T cells. Monocyte and CD8 T cell migration across the BBB and interaction with astrocytes promotes neurotoxic inflammatory mediators release. CB2 ligands are proposed as therapeutics capable of suppressing systemic and localized inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32409991

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11481-020-09918-7

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Beneficial effects of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-THCV in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease.

Neurobiology of Disease“The antioxidant and CB2 receptor agonist properties of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (Δ9-THCV) afforded neuroprotection in experimental Parkinson’s disease (PD), whereas its CB1 receptor antagonist profile at doses lower than 5 mg/kg caused anti-hypokinetic effects.

In the present study, we investigated the anti-dyskinetic potential of Δ9-THCV (administered i.p. at 2 mg/kg for two weeks), which had not been investigated before.

In summary, our data support the anti-dyskinetic potential of Δ9-THCV, both to delay the occurrence and to attenuate the magnitude of dyskinetic signs. Although further studies are clearly required to determine the clinical significance of these data in humans, the results nevertheless situate Δ9-THCV in a promising position for developing a cannabinoid-based therapy for patients with PD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32387338

“Δ9-THCV exhibited anti-dyskinetic properties in L-DOPA-treated Pitx3ak mutant mice. It delayed the onset of dyskinetic signs and reduced their neurochemical changes. It also reduced their intensity when given once dyskinesia was already present. This potential adds to other properties of Δ9-THCV as antiparkinsonian therapy.

In summary, our data support the anti-dyskinetic potential of Δ9-THCV to ameliorate adverse effects caused by L-DOPA, in particular delaying the occurrence and attenuating the magnitude of dyskinetic signs. This adds to its promising symptom-alleviating and neuroprotective properties described previously. Although further studies are clearly required to determine the clinical significance of these data in humans, the results nevertheless situate Δ9-THCV in a promising position for developing a cannabinoid-based therapy for PD patients.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969996120301674?via%3Dihub

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Anti-inflammatory effects of lenabasum, a cannabinoid receptor type 2 agonist, on macrophages from cystic fibrosis.

Home Page: Journal of Cystic Fibrosis“Lenabasum is an oral synthetic cannabinoid receptor type 2 agonist previously shown to reduce the production of key airway pro-inflammatory cytokines known to play a role in cystic fibrosis (CF). In a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-control phase 2 study, lenabasum lowered the rate of pulmonary exacerbation among patients with CF. The present study was undertaken to investigate anti-inflammatory mechanisms of lenabasum exhibits in CF macrophages.

RESULTS:

Lenabasum had no effect on differentiation, polarization and function of macrophages from healthy individuals. However, in CF macrophages lenabasum downregulated macrophage polarization into the pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype and secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-8 and TNF-α in a dose-dependent manner. An improvement in phagocytic activity was also observed following lenabasum treatment. Although lenabasum did not restore the impaired polarization of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophage, it reduced the levels of IL-13 and enhanced the endocytic function of CF MDMs. The effects of lenabasum on MDMs with CFTR inhibited by C-172 were not as obvious.

CONCLUSION:

In CF macrophages lenabasum modulates macrophage polarization and function in vitro in a way that would reduce inflammation in vivo. Further studies are warranted to determine the link between activating the CBR2 receptor and CFTR.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32387042

https://www.cysticfibrosisjournal.com/article/S1569-1993(20)30094-1/pdf

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Activation of CB1R Promotes Lipopolysaccharide-Induced IL-10 Secretion by Monocytic Myeloid-Derived Suppressive Cells and Reduces Acute Inflammation and Organ Injury.

The Journal of Immunology: 204 (10)“Cannabis sativa and its principal components, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol, are increasingly being used to treat a variety of medical problems, including inflammatory conditions.

Although studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system has immunomodulatory properties, there remains a paucity of information on the effects of cannabinoids on immunity and on outcomes of infection and injury.

We investigated the effects and mechanism(s) of action of cannabinoid receptor agonists, including Δ9-THC, on inflammation and organ injury in endotoxemic mice.

Administration of Δ9-THC caused a dramatic early upregulation of plasma IL-10 levels, reduced plasma IL-6 and CCL-2 levels, led to better clinical status, and attenuated organ injury in endotoxemic mice. The anti-inflammatory effects of Δ9-THC in endotoxemic mice were reversed by a cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) inverse agonist (SR141716), and by clodronate-induced myeloid-cell depletion, but not by genetic invalidation or blockade of other putative Δ9-THC receptors, including cannabinoid receptor type 2, TRPV1, GPR18, GPR55, and GPR119. Although Δ9-THC administration reduced the activation of several spleen immune cell subsets, the anti-inflammatory effects of Δ9-THC were preserved in splenectomized endotoxemic mice. Finally, using IL-10-GFP reporter mice, we showed that blood monocytic myeloid-derived suppressive cells mediate the Δ9-THC-induced early rise in circulating IL-10.

These results indicate that Δ9-THC potently induces IL-10, while reducing proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and related organ injury in endotoxemic mice via the activation of CB1R. These data have implications for acute and chronic conditions that are driven by dysregulated inflammation, such as sepsis, and raise the possibility that CB1R-signaling may constitute a novel target for inflammatory disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32385136

https://www.jimmunol.org/content/early/2020/05/07/jimmunol.2000213

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Endocannabinoids and Stroke Prevention: Review of Clinical Studies.

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“The societal burden of ischemic stroke suggests a need for additional therapeutic categories in stroke prevention.

Modulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a rational target for stroke prevention because of its effects on inflammation, vascular tone, and metabolic balance, all well-described stroke risk factors.

In this article, we summarize the existing ECS clinical studies in human subjects’ research as they relate to conventional vascular risk factors associated with ischemic stroke.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32322672

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0066

“The endocannabinoid system and stroke: A focused review. This review seeks to summarize the recent evidence for the role of the endocannabinoid signaling system in stroke pathophysiology, as well as the evidence from preclinical studies regarding the efficacy of cannabinoids as neuroprotective therapies in the treatment of stroke.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6458776/

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Epigenetic regulation of the cannabinoid receptor CB1 in an activity-based rat model of anorexia nervosa.

International Journal of Eating Disorders“Both environmental and genetic factors are known to contribute to the development of anorexia nervosa (AN), but the exact etiology remains poorly understood.

Herein, we studied the transcriptional regulation of the endocannabinoid system, an interesting target for body weight maintenance and the control of food intake and energy balance.

Among the evaluated endocannabinoid system components, we observed a selective and significant down-regulation of the gene encoding for the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (Cnr1) in ABA rats’ hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens and, in the latter area, a consistent, significant and correlated increase in DNA methylation at the gene promoter.

Our findings support a possible role for Cnr1 in the ABA animal model of AN. In particular, its regulation in the nucleus accumbens appears to be triggered by environmental cues due to the consistent epigenetic modulation of the promoter.

These data warrant further studies on Cnr1 regulation as a possible target for treatment of AN.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32275093

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/eat.23271

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Age-dependent Alteration in Mitochondrial Dynamics and Autophagy in Hippocampal Neuron of Cannabinoid CB1 receptor-deficient Mice.

Brain Research Bulletin“Endocannabinoid system activity contributes to the homeostatic defense against aging and thus may counteract the progression of brain aging.

The cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor activity declines with aging in the brain, which impairs neuronal network integrity and cognitive functions.

Altogether, these findings suggest that reduced CB1 signaling in CB1-KO mice leads to reduced mitophagy and abnormal mitochondrial morphology in hippocampal neurons during aging.

These mitochondrial changes might be due to the impairments in mitochondrial quality control system, which links age-related decline in CB1 activity and impaired memory.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32294520

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0361923020301386?via%3Dihub

“Cannabinoid receptor stimulation is anti-inflammatory and improves memory in old rats” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2586121/

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Cannabinoid type 2 receptor agonist JWH133 decreases blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats through relieving inflammation in the rostral ventrolateral medulla of the brain.

Journal of Hypertension | The International Society of Hypertension“Neuroinflammation in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) has been reported to be associated with hypertension. The upregulation and activation of the cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor may be part of the active process of limiting or downregulating the inflammatory process.

This study was designed to determine the role of the CB2 receptor in blood pressure (BP) through relieving neuroinflammation in the RVLM in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs).

CONCLUSION:

Taken together, our results suggest that exciting the CB2 receptor relieves proinflammatory cytokine levels in the RVLM to decrease the BP, HR and RSNA in SHRs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32238784

https://journals.lww.com/jhypertension/Abstract/2020/05000/Cannabinoid_type_2_receptor_agonist_JWH133.15.aspx

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Terpenoids, Cannabimimetic Ligands, beyond the Cannabis Plant.

molecules-logo “Medicinal use of Cannabis sativa L. has an extensive history and it was essential in the discovery of phytocannabinoids, including the Cannabis major psychoactive compound-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)-as well as the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CBR), named cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2R), both part of the now known endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Cannabinoids is a vast term that defines several compounds that have been characterized in three categories: (i) endogenous, (ii) synthetic, and (iii) phytocannabinoids, and are able to modulate the CBR and ECS. Particularly, phytocannabinoids are natural terpenoids or phenolic compounds derived from Cannabis sativa.

However, these terpenoids and phenolic compounds can also be derived from other plants (non-cannabinoids) and still induce cannabinoid-like properties. Cannabimimetic ligands, beyond the Cannabis plant, can act as CBR agonists or antagonists, or ECS enzyme inhibitors, besides being able of playing a role in immune-mediated inflammatory and infectious diseases, neuroinflammatory, neurological, and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as in cancer, and autoimmunity by itself.

In this review, we summarize and critically highlight past, present, and future progress on the understanding of the role of cannabinoid-like molecules, mainly terpenes, as prospective therapeutics for different pathological conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32235333

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/7/1567

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Identification and Characterization of Cannabimovone, a Cannabinoid from Cannabis sativa, as a Novel PPARγ Agonist via a Combined Computational and Functional Study.

 molecules-logo“Phytocannabinoids (pCBs) are a large family of meroterpenoids isolated from the plant Cannabis sativa. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the best investigated phytocannabinoids due to their relative abundance and interesting bioactivity profiles. In addition to various targets, THC and CBD are also well-known agonists of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), a nuclear receptor involved in energy homeostasis and lipid metabolism. In the search of new pCBs potentially acting as PPARγ agonists, we identified cannabimovone (CBM), a structurally unique abeo-menthane pCB, as a novel PPARγ modulator via a combined computational and experimental approach. The ability of CBM to act as dual PPARγ/α agonist was also evaluated. Computational studies suggested a different binding mode toward the two isoforms, with the compound able to recapitulate the pattern of H-bonds of a canonical agonist only in the case of PPARγ. Luciferase assays confirmed the computational results, showing a selective activation of PPARγ by CBM in the low micromolar range. CBM promoted the expression of PPARγ target genes regulating the adipocyte differentiation and prevented palmitate-induced insulin signaling impairment. Altogether, these results candidate CBM as a novel bioactive compound potentially useful for the treatment of insulin resistance-related disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32138197

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/5/1119

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