“Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor (G-CSF) is a well-known hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) mobilizing agent used in both allogeneic and autologous transplantation. However, a proportion of patients or healthy donors fail to mobilize sufficient number of cells. New mobilization agents are therefore needed.
Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are endogenous lipid mediators generated in the brain and peripheral tissues and activate the cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2). We suggest that eCBs may act as mobilizers of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) from the BM under stress conditions as beta adrenergic receptors (Adrβ).
This study demonstrates that bone marrow (BM) mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) secrete anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), and peripheral blood (PB) and BM microenvironment contain AEA and 2-AG. 2-AG levels are significantly higher in PB of the G-CSF treated group when compared to BM plasma. BM mononuclear cells (MNCs) and CD34+HSCs, express CB1, CB2 and Adrβ subtypes. CD34+HSCs had higher CB1 and CB2 receptor expression in G-CSF untreated and treated groups when compared to MSCs. MNCs but not MSCs expressed CB1 and CB2 receptors based on qRT-PCR and flow cytometry (FC). AEA and 2-AG stimulated HSC migration was blocked by eCB receptor antagonists in in vitro migration assay.
In conclusion, components of the eCB system and their interaction with Adrβ subtypes were demonstrated on HSCs and MSCs of G-CSF treated and untreated healthy donors in vitro, revealing that eCBs might be potential candidates to enhance or facilitate G-CSF-mediated HSC migration under stress conditions in a clinical setting.”
“The endocannabinoid system is a unique neuromodulatory system that affects a wide range of biological processes and maintains the homeostasis in all mammal body systems. In recent years, several pharmacological tools to target endocannabinoid neurotransmission have been developed, including direct and indirect cannabinoid agonists and cannabinoid antagonists. Due to their hydrophobic nature, cannabinoid agonists and antagonists need to bind specific transporters to allow their distribution in body fluids. Human serum albumin (HSA), the most abundant plasma protein, is a key determinant of drug pharmacokinetics. As HSA binds both the endocannabinoid anandamide and the active ingredient of Cannabis sativa, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, we hypothesize that HSA can be the most important carrier of cannabinoid drugs. In silico docking observations strongly indicate that HSA avidly binds the indirect cannabinoid agonists URB597, AM5206, JZL184, JZL195, and AM404, the direct cannabinoid agonists WIN55,212-2 and CP55,940, and the prototypical cannabinoid antagonist/inverse agonist SR141716. Values of the free energy for cannabinoid drugs binding to HSA range between -5.4 kcal mol-1 and -10.9 kcal mol-1 . Accounting for the HSA concentration in vivo (∼ 7.5 × 10-4 M), values of the free energy here determined suggest that the formation of the HSA:cannabinoid drug complexes may occur in vivo. Therefore, HSA appears to be an important determinant for cannabinoid efficacy and may guide the choice of the drug dose regimen to optimize drug efficacy and to avoid drug-related toxicity. ”
“An improved understanding of the endocannabinoid system has provided new avenues of drug discovery and development toward the management of pain and other behavioral maladies. Exogenous cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor agonists such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol are increasingly utilized for their medicinal actions; however, their utility is constrained by concern regarding abuse-related subjective effects. This has led to growing interest in the clinical benefit of indirectly enhancing the activity of the highly labile endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide; AEA) and/or 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) via catabolic enzyme inhibition. The present studies were conducted to determine whether such actions can lead to CB1 agonist-like subjective effects, as reflected in the presence or absence of CB1-related discriminative-stimulus effects in laboratory subjects. Squirrel monkeys (n=8) that discriminated the CB1 full agonist AM4054 (0.01 mg/kg) from vehicle were used to study, first, inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) or monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) alone or in combination [FAAH (URB597, AM4303); MGL (AM4301); FAAH/MGL (AM4302)] and, second, the ability of the endocannabinoids AEA and 2-AG to produce CB1 agonist-like effects when administered alone or after enzyme inhibition. Results indicate that CB1-related discriminative-stimulus effects were produced by combined, but not selective, inhibition of FAAH and MGL, and that these effects were non-surmountably antagonized by low doses of rimonabant. Additionally, FAAH- or MGL-inhibition revealed CB1-like subjective effects produced by AEA, but not 2-AG. Taken together, the present data suggest that therapeutic effects of combined, but not selective, enhancement of AEA or 2-AG activity via enzyme inhibition may be accompanied by CB1 receptor-mediated subjective effects.”
“Cough is the most common reason to visit a primary care physician, yet it remains an unmet medical need. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is an enzyme that breaks down endocannabinoids, and inhibition of FAAH produces analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Cannabinoids inhibit vagal sensory nerve activation and the cough reflex, so it was hypothesised that FAAH inhibition would produce antitussive activity via elevation of endocannabinoids.
Primary vagal ganglia neurons, tissue bioassay, in vivoelectrophysiology and a conscious guinea pig cough model were utilised to investigate a role for fatty acid amides in modulating sensory nerve activation in vagal afferents. FAAH inhibition produced antitussive activity in guinea pigs with concomitant plasma elevation of the fatty acid amides N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide), palmitoylethanolamide, N-oleoylethanolamide and linoleoylethanolamide. Palmitoylethanolamide inhibited tussive stimulus-induced activation of guinea pig airway innervating vagal ganglia neurons, depolarisation of guinea pig and human vagus, and firing of C-fibre afferents. These effects were mediated via a cannabinoid CB2/Gi/o-coupled pathway and activation of protein phosphatase 2A, resulting in increased calcium sensitivity of calcium-activated potassium channels.
These findings identify FAAH inhibition as a target for the development of novel, antitussive agents without the undesirable side-effects of direct cannabinoid receptor agonists.”
“Identification of the two major endogenous cannabinoid ligands, known as endocannabinoids, N-arachidonoyl-ethanolamine (anandamide, AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG), opened the way for the identification and isolation of other lipid congeners, all derivatives of fatty acids and related to the Endocannabinoid System. The nomenclature of this anandamide-type class of lipids is evolving as new species are discovered all the time. However, they each fall under the larger umbrella of lipids that are a conjugation of a fatty acid with an amine through and amide bond, which we will refer to as lipoamines. Specific subspecies of lipoamines that have been discovered are the N-acyl-ethanolamides (including AEA), N-acyl-dopamines, N-acyl-serotonins, N-acyl-GABA, N-acyl-taurines, and a growing number of N-acyl amino acids. Emerging data from multiple labs also show that monoacylglycerols (including 2-AG), COX-2 metabolites, and fatty acid esters of hydroxyl fatty acids are interconnected with these lipoamines at both the biosynthetic and metabolic levels. Understanding the molecular relatedness of these lipids is important for studying how they act as signaling molecules; however, a first step in this process hinges on advances in being able to accurately measure them.”
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in several physiological events that resulted in a growing interest in its modulation. Moreover, the uterine levels of anandamide (AEA), the major endocannabinoid, must be tightly regulated to create proper embryo implantation conditions. However, there are no evidences about the regulation of AEA in uterus by estrogen.
Thus, the aim of this study is to elucidate whether estradiol benzoate (EB) and tamoxifen (TAM) administration to ovariectomized (OVX) rats can induce changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors and AEA-metabolic enzymes in uterus by evaluating gene transcription and protein levels by qPCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry.
In summary, these data collectively indicate that the expression of ECS components, as well as, the AEA and PGE2 levels in rat uterus is modulated by EB. Thus, estradiol may have a direct regulatory role in the modulation of ECS in female reproductive tissues.”
“In the era of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is considered a chronic disease that specifically targets the brain and causes HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Endocannabinoids (eCBs) elicit neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions in several central nervous system (CNS) disease models, but their effects in HAND remain unknown. HIV-1 does not infect neurons, but produces viral toxins, such as transactivator of transcription (Tat), that disrupt neuronal calcium equilibrium and give rise to synaptodendritic injuries and cell death, the former being highly correlated with HAND. Consequently, we tested whether the eCBs N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (anandamide/AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG) offer neuroprotective actions in a neuronal culture model. Specifically, we examined the neuroprotective actions of these eCBs on Tat excitotoxicity in primary cultures of prefrontal cortex neurons (PFC), and whether cannabinoid receptors mediate this neuroprotection. Tat-induced excitotoxicity was reflected by increased intracellular calcium levels, synaptodendritic damage, neuronal excitability, and neuronal death. Further, upregulation of cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) protein levels was noted in the presence of HIV-1 Tat. The direct application of AEA and 2-AG reduced excitotoxic levels of intracellular calcium and promoted neuronal survival following Tat exposure, which was prevented by the CB1R antagonist rimonabant, but not by the CB2R antagonist AM630. Overall, our findings indicate that eCBs protect PFC neurons from Tat excitotoxicity in vitro via a CB1R-related mechanism. Thus, the eCB system possesses promising targets for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders associated with HIV-1 infection.”
“Several studies highlight a key involvement of endocannabinoid (EC) system in autism pathophysiology. The EC system is a complex network of lipid signaling pathways comprised of arachidonic acid-derived compounds (anandamide, AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), their G-protein-coupled receptors (cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2) and the associated enzymes. In addition to autism, the EC system is also involved in several other psychiatric disorders (i.e., anxiety, major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia). This system is a key regulator of metabolic and cellular pathways involved in autism, such as food intake, energy metabolism and immune system control. Early studies in autism animal models have demonstrated alterations in the brain’s EC system. Autism is also characterized by immune system dysregulation. This alteration includes differential monocyte and macrophage responses, and abnormal cytokine and T cell levels. EC system dysfunction in a monocyte and macrophagic cellular model of autism has been demonstrated by showing that the mRNA and protein for CB2 receptor and EC enzymes were significantly dysregulated, further indicating the involvement of the EC system in autism-associated immunological disruptions. Taken together, these new findings offer a novel perspective in autism research and indicate that the EC system could represent a novel target option for autism pharmacotherapy.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28671614
“Cannabis extracts have been used for centuries, but its main active principle ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was identified about 50 years ago. Yet, it is only 25 years ago that the first endogenous ligand of the same receptors engaged by the cannabis agents was discovered. This “endocannabinoid (eCB)” was identified as N-arachidonoylethanolamine (or anandamide (AEA)), and was shown to have several receptors, metabolic enzymes and transporters that altogether drive its biological activity. Here I report on the latest advances about AEA metabolism, with the aim of focusing open questions still awaiting an answer for a deeper understanding of AEA activity, and for translating AEA-based drugs into novel therapeutics for human diseases.”
“It has been suggested that the endocannabinoid system elicits neuroprotection against excitotoxic brain damage.
In the present study the therapeutic potential of AM 404 on ischaemia-induced neuronal injury was investigated in vivo and compared with that of the classical cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) agonist, Δ9-tetraydrocannabinol (THC), using a model of transient global cerebral ischaemia in the gerbil.
Our findings demonstrate that AM 404 and THC reduce neuronal damage caused by bilateral carotid occlusion in gerbils and that this protection is mediated through an interaction with CB1 and opioid receptors.
Endocannabinoids might form the basis for the development of new neuroprotective drugs useful for the treatment of stroke and other neurodegenerative pathologies.
There is some evidence from experiments with mice that increasing anandamide or 2-arachidonoyl glycerol content may lead to neuroprotection.
Collectively, our data demonstrate that AM 404 and THC protect against neuronal ischaemia-induced injury through a mechanism involving cannabinoid and opioid receptors but not vanilloid receptors.”