Relieving tension: effects of cannabinoids on vagal afferent sensitivity.

Publication cover image“Endocannabinoids are produced within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and modulate energy homeostasis and food intake, at least in part, via vagally-dependent actions. The recent paper by Christie et al., [Christie, et al. J Physiol, 2019] demonstrate, for the first time, that cannabinoids exert biphasic effects on the mechanosensitivity of tension-sensitive gastric vagal afferents. At higher concentrations, anandamide increased vagal afferent sensitivity in a CB1 and TRPV1 receptor dependent manner. At lower concentrations, however, anandamide decreased afferent mechanosensitivity; while this was also dependent upon CB1 and TRPV1 receptors, it also appeared dependent upon signaling via the potent orexigenic neurohormone, ghrelin. These results provide further evidence to support the remarkable degree of neuroplasticity within vagal afferent signaling, and suggest that untangling the complex interactions of cannabinoid effects on food intake and energy homeostasis will require careful physiological and pharmacological investigations.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31707736

https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1113/JP279173

“A clear understanding of the mechanisms which mediate these events may provide novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders due to vago-vagal pathway malfunctions.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6318799/

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Cannabidiol increases the nociceptive threshold in a preclinical model of Parkinson’s disease.

Neuropharmacology

“Medications that improve pain threshold can be useful in the pharmacotherapy of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Pain is a prevalent PD’s non-motor symptom with a higher prevalence of analgesic drugs prescription for patients. However, specific therapy for PD-related pain are not available.

Since the endocannabinoid system is expressed extensively in different levels of pain pathway, drugs designed to target this system have promising therapeutic potential in the modulation of pain. Thus, we examined the effects of the 6-hydroxydopamine- induced PD on nociceptive responses of mice and the influence of cannabidiol (CBD) on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced nociception.

Further, we investigated the pathway involved in the analgesic effect of the CBD through the co-administration with a fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor, increasing the endogenous anandamide levels, and possible targets from anandamide, i.e., the cannabinoid receptors subtype 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1).

We report that 6-hydroxydopamine- induced parkinsonism decreases the thermal and mechanical nociceptive threshold, whereas CBD (acute and chronic treatment) reduces this hyperalgesia and allodynia evoked by 6-hydroxydopamine. Moreover, ineffective doses of either FAAH inhibitor or TRPV1 receptor antagonist potentialized the CBD-evoked antinociception while an inverse agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptor prevented the antinociceptive effect of the CBD.

Altogether, these results indicate that CBD can be a useful drug to prevent the parkinsonism-induced nociceptive threshold reduction. They also suggest that CB1 and TRPV1 receptors are important for CBD-induced analgesia and that CBD could produce these analgesic effects increasing endogenous anandamide levels.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31706993

“The CBD treatment decreases hyperalgesia and allodynia in experimental parkinsonism.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390819303703?via%3Dihub

Image 1

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Bone Anabolic Response in the Calvaria Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury is Mediated by the Cannabinoid-1 Receptor.

 Scientific Reports“Brain trauma was clinically associated with increased osteogenesis in the appendicular skeleton. We showed previously in C57BL/6J mice that mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) transiently induced bone formation in the femur via the cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptor. Here, we subjected ICR mice to mTBI and examined the bone response in the skull using microCT. We also measured mast cell degranulation (MCD)72 h post-injury. Finally, we measured brain and calvarial endocannabinoids levels post-mTBI. mTBI led to decreased bone porosity on the contralateral (untouched) side. This effect was apparent both in young and mature mice. Administration of rimonabant (CB1 inverse agonist) completely abrogated the effect of mTBI on calvarial porosity and significantly reduced MCD, compared with vehicle-treated controls. We also found that mTBI resulted in elevated levels of anandamide, but not 2-arachidonoylglycerol, in the contralateral calvarial bone, whereas brain levels remained unchanged. In C57BL/6J CB1 knockout mice, mTBI did not reduce porosity but in general the porosity was significantly lower than in WT controls. Our findings suggest that mTBI induces a strain-specific CB1-dependent bone anabolic response in the skull, probably mediated by anandamide, but seemingly unrelated to inflammation. The endocannabinoid system is therefore a plausible target in management of bone response following head trauma.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31700010

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-51720-w

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A time-dependent contribution of hippocampal CB1, CB2, and PPARγ receptors to cannabidiol-induced disruption of fear memory consolidation.

Publication cover image“Preclinical studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) mitigates fear memories by facilitating their extinction or interfering with their generalization and reconsolidation. The brain regions and mechanisms underlying these effects, and their temporal window, are still poorly understood. The present paper aimed at investigating related questions in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) during contextual fear consolidation.

KEY RESULTS:

CBD impaired memory consolidation when given immediately or 1 h after fear conditioning, but not after 3 h. The DH Arc expression was reduced by systemic CBD treatment in both cases. Immediately after fear conditioning, the CBD effect was abolished by CB1 or CB2 receptor blockade, partly reduced by 5-HT1A or A2A antagonism, and remained unchanged after antagonism of PPARγ receptors. 1 h after fear conditioning, the CBD effect was only prevented by PPARγ receptor antagonism. Besides, the FAAH inhibition impaired memory consolidation when URB597 was infused immediately, but not 1 hour after fear conditioning.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

CBD disrupts memory consolidation up to 1 h after fear conditioning, allowing an extended window of opportunity to mitigate aversive memories after their acquisition. The results suggest time-dependent participation of DH anandamide, CB1, CB2, and PPARγ receptors in this process.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31648363

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bph.14895

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Beyond THC and Endocannabinoids.

Image result for AR Annual Reviews“Research in the cannabinoid field, namely on phytocannabinoids, the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol and their metabolizing and synthetic enzymes, the cannabinoid receptors, and anandamide-like cannabinoid compounds, has expanded tremendously over the last few years. Numerous endocannabinoid-like compounds have been discovered. The Cannabis plant constituent cannabidiol (CBD) was found to exert beneficial effects in many preclinical disease models ranging from epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and autoimmunity to neurodegenerative and kidney diseases and cancer. CBD was recently approved in the United States for the treatment of rare forms of childhood epilepsy. This has triggered the development of many CBD-based products for human use, often with overstated claims regarding their therapeutic effects. In this article, the recently published research on the chemistry and biological effects of plant cannabinoids (specifically CBD), endocannabinoids, certain long-chain fatty acid amides, and the variety of relevant receptors is critically reviewed. ”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31580774

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010818-021441

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Endocannabinoid system and the expression of endogenous ceramides in human hepatocellular carcinoma.

 Journal Cover“The endogenous lipid metabolism network is associated with the occurrence and progression of malignancies.

Endocannabinoids and ceramides have demonstrated their anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic properties in a series of cancer studies.

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the expression patterns of endocannabinoids and endogenous ceramides in 67 pairs of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues and non-cancerous counterpart controls.

Anandamide (AEA), the major endocannabinoid, was reduced in tumor tissues, probably due to the high expression and activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase. Another important endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), was elevated in tumor tissues compared with non-tumor controls, indicating that the biosynthesis of 2-AG is faster than the degradation of 2-AG in tumor cells.

Furthermore, western blot analysis demonstrated that cannabinoid receptor 1 was downregulated, while cannabinoid receptor 2 was elevated in HCC tissues, in accordance with the alterations in the levels of AEA and 2-AG, respectively. For HCC tissues, the expression levels of C18:0, 20:0 and 24:0-ceramides decreased significantly, whereas C12:0, 16:0, 18:1 and 24:1-ceramides were upregulated, which may be associated with cannabinoid receptor activation and stearoyl-CoA desaturase protein downregulation.

The exact role of endocannabinoids and ceramides in regulating the fate of HCC cells requires further investigation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31423220

https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/ol.2019.10399

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Childhood trauma and being at-risk for psychosis are associated with higher peripheral endocannabinoids.

Image result for Psychological Medicine “Evidence has been accumulating regarding alterations in components of the endocannabinoid system in patients with psychosis.

Of all the putative risk factors associated with psychosis, being at clinical high-risk for psychosis (CHR) has the strongest association with the onset of psychosis, and exposure to childhood trauma has been linked to an increased risk of development of psychotic disorder.

We aimed to investigate whether being at-risk for psychosis and exposure to childhood trauma were associated with altered endocannabinoid levels.

RESULTS:

Individuals with both CHR and experience of childhood trauma had higher N-palmitoylethanolamine (p < 0.001) and anandamide (p < 0.001) levels in peripheral blood compared to healthy controls (HC) and those with no childhood trauma. There was also a significant correlation between N-palmitoylethanolamine levels and symptoms as well as childhood trauma.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest an association between CHR and/or childhood maltreatment and elevated endocannabinoid levels in peripheral blood, with a greater alteration in those with both CHR status and history of childhood maltreatment compared to those with either of those risks alone. Furthermore, endocannabinoid levels increased linearly with the number of risk factors and elevated endocannabinoid levels correlated with the severity of CHR symptoms and extent of childhood maltreatment. Further studies in larger cohorts, employing longitudinal designs are needed to confirm these findings and delineate the precise role of endocannabinoid alterations in the pathophysiology of psychosis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31422779

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/childhood-trauma-and-being-atrisk-for-psychosis-are-associated-with-higher-peripheral-endocannabinoids/BFFDA252EF2250C2F2B45786CC152CDC

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Comparative studies of endocannabinoid modulation of pain.

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences cover image

“Cannabinoid-based therapies have long been used to treat pain, but there remain questions about their actual mechanisms and efficacy. From an evolutionary perspective, the cannabinoid system would appear to be highly conserved given that the most prevalent endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) transmitters, 2-arachidonyl glycerol and anandamide, have been found throughout the animal kingdom, at least in the species that have been analysed to date. This review will first examine recent findings regarding the potential conservation across invertebrates and chordates of the enzymes responsible for endocannabinoid synthesis and degradation and the receptors that these transmitters act on. Next, comparisons of how endocannabinoids modulate nociception will be examined for commonalities between vertebrates and invertebrates, with a focus on the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana. Evidence is presented that there are distinct, evolutionarily conserved anti-nociceptive and pro-nociceptive effects. The combined studies across various animal phyla demonstrate the utility of using comparative approaches to understand conserved mechanisms for modulating nociception. This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue ‘Evolution of mechanisms and behaviour important for pain’.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31544609

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2019.0279

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The Endocannabinoid System of Animals.

 animals-logo“The endocannabinoid system has been found to be pervasive in mammalian species. It has also been described in invertebrate species as primitive as the Hydra. Insects, apparently, are devoid of this, otherwise, ubiquitous system that provides homeostatic balance to the nervous and immune systems, as well as many other organ systems.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been defined to consist of three parts, which include (1) endogenous ligands, (2) G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), and (3) enzymes to degrade and recycle the ligands. Two endogenous molecules have been identified as ligands in the ECS to date.

The endocannabinoids are anandamide (arachidonoyl ethanolamide) and 2-AG (2-arachidonoyl glycerol). Two G-coupled protein receptors (GPCR) have been described as part of this system, with other putative GPC being considered.

Coincidentally, the phytochemicals produced in large quantities by the Cannabis sativa L plant, and in lesser amounts by other plants, can interact with this system as ligands. These plant-based cannabinoids are termed phytocannabinoids.

The precise determination of the distribution of cannabinoid receptors in animal species is an ongoing project, with the canine cannabinoid receptor distribution currently receiving the most interest in non-human animals.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31527410

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/9/686

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Cannabidiol and the Remainder of the Plant Extract Modulate the Effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Fear Memory Reconsolidation.

Image result for frontiers in behavioral neuroscience “Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, a CB1 receptor agonist) and Cannabidiol (CBD, a non-competitive antagonist of endogenous CB1 and CB2 ligands) are two primary components of Cannabis species, and may modulate fear learning in mammals.

The CB1 receptor is widely distributed throughout the cortex and some limbic regions typically associated with fear learning. Humans with posttraumatic disorder (PTSD) have widespread upregulation of CB1 receptor density and reduced availability of endogenous cannabinoid anandamide, suggesting a role for the endocannabinoid system in PTSD.

Pharmacological blockade of memory reconsolidation following recall of a conditioned response modulates the expression of learned fear and may represent a viable target for the development of new treatments for PTSD.

In this study, we focused on assessing the impact of the key compounds of the marijuana plant both singly and, more importantly, in concert on attenuation of learned fear. Specifically, we assessed the impact of THC, CBD, and/or the remaining plant materials (post-extraction; background material), on reconsolidation of learned fear.

Results: CBD alone, but not THC alone, significantly attenuated fear memory reconsolidation when administered immediately after recall. The effect persisted for at least 7 days. A combination of CBD and THC also attenuated the fear response. Plant BM also significantly attenuated reconsolidation of learned fear both on its own and in combination with THC and CBD. Finally, THC attenuated reconsolidation of learned fear only when co-administered with CBD or plant BM.

Conclusion: CBD may provide a novel treatment strategy for targeting fear-memories. Furthermore, plant BM also significantly attenuated the fear response. However, whereas THC alone had no significant effects, its effects were modulated by the addition of other compounds. Future research should investigate some of the other components present in the plant BM (such as terpenes) for their effects alone, or in combination with isolated pure cannabinoids, on fear learning.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31417379

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00174/full

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