Cannabis: From a Plant That Modulates Feeding Behaviors toward Developing Selective Inhibitors of the Peripheral Endocannabinoid System for the Treatment of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome.

toxins-logo “In this review, we discuss the role of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in regulating energy and metabolic homeostasis. Endocannabinoids, via activating the cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1R), are commonly known as mediators of the thrifty phenotype hypothesis due to their activity in the central nervous system, which in turn regulates food intake and underlies the development of metabolic syndrome. Indeed, these findings led to the clinical testing of globally acting CB1R blockers for obesity and various metabolic complications. However, their therapeutic potential was halted due to centrally mediated adverse effects. Recent observations that highlighted the key role of the peripheral eCB system in metabolic regulation led to the preclinical development of various novel compounds that block CB1R only in peripheral organs with very limited brain penetration and without causing behavioral side effects. These unique molecules, which effectively ameliorate obesity, type II diabetes, fatty liver, insulin resistance, and chronic kidney disease in several animal models, are likely to be further developed in the clinic and may revive the therapeutic potential of blocking CB1R once again.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31096702

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6651/11/5/275

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Endocannabinoid System in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type-3 and Other Autosomal-Dominant Cerebellar Ataxias: Potential Role in Pathogenesis and Expected Relevance as Neuroprotective Targets.

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“Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a group of hereditary and progressive neurological disorders characterized by a loss of balance and motor coordination. SCAs have no cure and effective symptom-alleviating and disease-modifying therapies are not currently available. However, based on results obtained in studies conducted in murine models and information derived from analyses in post-mortem tissue samples from patients, which show notably higher levels of CB1 receptors found in different cerebellar neuronal subpopulations, the blockade of these receptors has been proposed for acutely modulating motor incoordination in cerebellar ataxias, whereas their chronic activation has been proposed for preserving specific neuronal losses. Additional studies in post-mortem tissues from SCA patients have also demonstrated elevated levels of CB2 receptors in Purkinje neurons as well as in glial elements in the granular layer and in the cerebellar white matter, with a similar profile found for endocannabinoid hydrolyzing enzymes, then suggesting that activating CB2 receptors and/or inhibiting these enzymes may also serve to develop cannabinoid-based neuroprotective therapies.”
“Dysregulation of the endocannabinoid signaling system in the cerebellum and brainstem in a transgenic mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type-3.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27717809
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Development of Oxygen-Bridged Pyrazole-Based Structures as Cannabinoid Receptor 1 Ligands.

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“In this work, the synthesis of the cannabinoid receptor 1 neutral antagonists 8-chloro-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-N-piperidin-1-yl-4,5-dihydrobenzo-1H-6-oxa-cyclohepta[1,2-c]pyrazole-3-carboxamide 1a and its deaza N-cyclohexyl analogue 1b has led to a deepening of the structure-activity studies of this class of compounds. A series of novel 4,5-dihydrobenzo-oxa-cycloheptapyrazoles analogues of 1a,b, derivatives 1cj, was synthesized, and their affinity towards cannabinoid receptors was determined. Representative terms were evaluated using in vitro tests and isolated organ assays. Among the derivatives, 1d and 1e resulted in the most potent CB1 receptor ligands (KiCB1 = 35 nM and 21.70 nM, respectively). Interestingly, both in vitro tests and isolated organ assays evidenced CB1antagonist activity for the majority of the new compounds, excluding compound 1e, which showed a CB1 partial agonist behaviour. CB1 antagonist activity of 1b was further confirmed by a mouse gastrointestinal transit assay. Significant activity of the new CB1antagonists towards food intake was showed by preliminary acute assays, evidencing the potentiality of these new derivatives in the treatment of obesity.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31035548

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/24/9/1656

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Role of Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 in Insulin Resistance and Its Biological Implications.

ijms-logo “Endogenous cannabinoids (ECs) are lipid-signaling molecules that specifically bind to cannabinoid receptor types 1 and 2 (CB1R and CB2R) and are highly expressed in central and many peripheral tissues under pathological conditions. Activation of hepatic CB1R is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and impaired metabolic function, owing to increased energy intake and storage, impaired glucose and lipid metabolism, and enhanced oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. Additionally, blocking peripheral CB1R improves insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism and also reduces hepatic steatosis and body weight in obese mice. Thus, targeting EC receptors, especially CB1R, may provide a potential therapeutic strategy against obesity and insulin resistance. There are many CB1R antagonists, including inverse agonists and natural compounds that target CB1R and can reduce body weight, adiposity, and hepatic steatosis, and those that improve insulin sensitivity and reverse leptin resistance. Recently, the use of CB1R antagonists was suspended due to adverse central effects, and this caused a major setback in the development of CB1R antagonists. Recent studies, however, have focused on development of antagonists lacking adverse effects. In this review, we detail the important role of CB1R in hepatic insulin resistance and the possible underlying mechanisms, and the therapeutic potential of CB1R targeting is also discussed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31035653

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/9/2109

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Future Aspects for Cannabinoids in Breast Cancer Therapy.

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“Cannabinoids (CBs) from Cannabis sativa provide relief for tumor-associated symptoms (including nausea, anorexia, and neuropathic pain) in the palliative treatment of cancer patients.

Additionally, they may decelerate tumor progression in breast cancer patients.

Indeed, the psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and other CBs inhibited disease progression in breast cancer models.

The effects of CBs on signaling pathways in cancer cells are conferred via G-protein coupled CB-receptors (CB-Rs), CB1-R and CB2-R, but also via other receptors, and in a receptor-independent way.

THC is a partial agonist for CB1-R and CB2-R; CBD is an inverse agonist for both.

In breast cancer, CB1-R expression is moderate, but CB2-R expression is high, which is related to tumor aggressiveness. CBs block cell cycle progression and cell growth and induce cancer cell apoptosis by inhibiting constitutive active pro-oncogenic signaling pathways, such as the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase pathway.

They reduce angiogenesis and tumor metastasis in animal breast cancer models. CBs are not only active against estrogen receptor-positive, but also against estrogen-resistant breast cancer cells. In human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive and triple-negative breast cancer cells, blocking protein kinase B- and cyclooxygenase-2 signaling via CB2-R prevents tumor progression and metastasis.

Furthermore, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), including tamoxifen, bind to CB-Rs; this process may contribute to the growth inhibitory effect of SERMs in cancer cells lacking the estrogen receptor.

In summary, CBs are already administered to breast cancer patients at advanced stages of the disease, but they might also be effective at earlier stages to decelerate tumor progression.”

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Joints for joints: cannabinoids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

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“An increasing number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are using cannabis to treat their symptoms, although systematic studies regarding efficacy in RA are lacking. Within this review we will give an overview on the overall effects of cannabinoids in inflammation and why they might be useful in the treatment of RA.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Peripherally, cannabinoids show anti-inflammatory effects by activating cannabinoid type 2 receptors (CB2) which decrease cytokine production and immune cell mobilization. In contrast, cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) activation on immune cells is proinflammatory while CB1 antagonism provides anti-inflammatory effects by increasing β2-adrenergic signaling in the joint and secondary lymphoid organs. In addition, the nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD) demonstrated antiarthritic effects independent of cannabinoid receptors. In addition to controlling inflammation, cannabinoids reduce pain by activating central and peripheral CB1, peripheral CB2 receptors and CBD-sensitive noncannabinoid receptor targets.

SUMMARY:

Cannabinoids might be a suitable treatment for RA, but it is important to target the right receptors in the right place. For clinical studies, we propose a combination of a CB2 agonist to decrease cytokine production, a peripheral CB1 antagonist to prevent detrimental CB1 signaling and to support anti-inflammatory effects of CB2 via activation of β2-adrenergic receptors and CBD to induce cannabinoid-receptor-independent anti-inflammatory effects.”

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Cannabidiol: Recent advances and new insights for neuropsychiatric disorders treatment.

Life Sciences

“The pharmacological research on the Cannabis sativa-derived compounds has never terminated. Among the phytocannabinoids without psychotropic effects, the prevalent one in Cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD). Although CBD was initially considered a type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) antagonist, it did not show a good cannabinoidergic activity. Furthermore, heterogeneous results were obtained in experimental animal models of anxiety disorders, psychotic stages and neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, CBD has been authorized by the FDA to treat some rare forms of epilepsy and many trials have begun for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders. This review aims to clarify the pharmacological activity of CBD and its multiple therapeutic applications. Furthermore, critical and conflicting results of the research on CBD are discussed with a focus on promising future prospects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30910646

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320519302176?via%3Dihub

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In-silico designing and characterization of binding modes of two novel inhibitors for CB1 receptor against obesity by classical 3D-QSAR approach.

Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling

“Obesity is the fifth primary hazard for mortality in the world; hence different therapeutic targets are explored to overcome this problem.

Endocannabinoid is identified as the emerging target for the treatment of obesity as Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor over-activation resulted in abdominal obesity.

Potent antagonists or inverse agonists for CB1 receptor are the new strategies to develop anti-obesity drugs.

The obtained results signify the potential of the developed model; suggesting that the models can be useful to test and design potent novel CB1 receptor antagonists or inverse agonists prior to the synthesis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30908997

“Potent antagonists or inverse agonists for CB1 receptor are the new strategies to develop anti-obesity drugs.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1093326318308398?via%3Dihub

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A patent update on cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonists (2015-2018).

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“The endocannabinoid system is an important regulator of various physiological processes. Preclinical and clinical studies indicate that attenuation of the endocannabinoid system via antagonism of the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is an excellent strategy to treat obesity, metabolic syndrome and associated disorders. However, centrally acting antagonists of CB1 also produce adverse effects like depression and anxiety. Current efforts are geared towards discovery and optimization of antagonists and modulators of CB1 that have limited brain penetration. Areas Covered: Several recent publications and patent applications support the development of peripherally acting CB1 receptor antagonists and modulators. In this review, recent patents and applications (2015 – 2018) are summarized and discussed. Expert Opinion: Approximately 30 new inventions have been reported since 2015, along with 3 recent commercial deals, highlighting the importance of this class of therapeutics. Taken together, peripherally acting CB1 receptor antagonists and modulators are an emerging class of drugs for metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other important disorders where this receptor has been implicated.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30889997

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13543776.2019.1597851?journalCode=ietp20

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Cannabimimetic plants: are they new cannabinoidergic modulators?

“Phytochemicals and secondary metabolites able to interact with the endocannabinoid system (Cannabimimetics) have been recently described in a broad range of plants and fruits. These findings can open new alternative avenues to explore for the development of novel therapeutic compounds. The cannabinoids regulate many physiological and pathological functions in both animals and plants. Cannabis sativa is the main plant that produces phytocannabinoids inside resins capable to defend the plant from the aggression of parasites and herbivores. Animals produce anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, which thanks to binding with main receptors such as type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) and the type-2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) are involved in inflammation processes and several brain functions. Endogenous cannabinoids, enzymes for synthesis and degradation of cannabinoids, and CB1R and CB2R constitute the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Other plants can produce cannabinoid-like molecules such as perrottetinene extracted from Radula perrottetii, or anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol extracted from some bryophytes. Moreover, several other secondary metabolites can also interact with the ECS of animals and take the name of cannabimimetics. These phytoextracts not derived from Cannabis sativa can act as receptor agonists or antagonist, or enzyme inhibitors of ECS and can be involved in the inflammation, oxidative stress, cancer, and neuroprotection. Finally, given the evolutionary heterogeneity of the cannabimimetic plants, some authors speculated on the fascinating thesis of the evolutionary convergence between plants and animals regarding biological functions of ECS. The review aims to provide a critical and complete assessment of the botanical, chemical and therapeutic aspects of cannabimimetic plants to evaluate their spread in the world and medicinal potentiality.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30877436

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00425-019-03138-x

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