New approaches to cancer therapy: combining Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) inhibition with Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs) activation.

 Go to Volume 0, Issue ja“Over the course of the last decade, Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs) have been identified as part of the cannabinoid signaling system: both phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids are capable of binding and activating these nuclear receptors. Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) hydrolyzes the endocannabinoid Anandamide and other N-Acylethanolamines. These substances have been shown to have numerous anti-cancer effects, and indeed the inhibition of FAAH has multiple beneficial effects that are mediated by PPARα subtype and by PPARγ subtype, especially antiproliferation and activation of apoptosis. The substrates of FAAH are also PPAR agonists, which explains the PPAR-mediated effects of FAAH inhibitors. Much like cannabinoid ligands and FAAH inhibitors, PPARγ agonists show antiproliferative effects on cancer cells, suggesting that additive or synergistic effects may be achieved through the positive modulation of both signaling systems. In this perspective, we discuss the development of novel FAAH inhibitors able to directly act as PPAR agonists and their promising utilization as leads for the discovery of highly effective anti-cancer compounds.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31407888

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b00885

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Heavy Cannabis Use Associated With Reduction in Activated and Inflammatory Immune Cell Frequencies in Antiretroviral Therapy-Treated Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Individuals.

Issue Cover“Heavy cannabis users had decreased frequencies of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR+CD38+CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell frequencies, compared to frequencies of these cells in non-cannabis-using individuals.

Heavy cannabis users had decreased frequencies of intermediate and nonclassical monocyte subsets, as well as decreased frequencies of interleukin 23- and tumor necrosis factor-α-producing antigen-presenting cells.

CONCLUSIONS:

While the clinical implications are unclear, our findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with a potentially beneficial reduction in systemic inflammation and immune activation in the context of antiretroviral-treated HIV infection.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29471387

“We found that heavy cannabis use was associated with decreased frequencies of activated T cells and inflammatory antigen-presenting cell (APC) subsets, suggesting a potential immunologic benefit of cannabinoids through decreased immune activation in HIV-infected individuals.

In summary, our work demonstrates that heavy cannabis use is associated with lower markers of inflammation and immune activation in HIV-infected, ART-treated individuals.

These findings have clinical implications, as cannabinoids may have an immunological benefit and nonpsychoactive cannabis derivatives could be investigated as novel therapeutics to be used in conjunction with ART to aid in reduction of persistent inflammation.”

https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/66/12/1872/4869752

“Cannabinoids for the treatment of inflammation.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17520866

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Association between cannabis use and complications related to ulcerative colitis in hospitalized patients: A propensity matched retrospective cohort study.

 Image result for wolters kluwer“Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory process that is occasionally associated with complications that cause significant morbidity and mortality.

Studies in experimental animal models have demonstrated a beneficial effect of cannabis on intestinal inflammation. It is however unknown if this corresponds to fewer complications for patients with Ulcerative Colitis.

We aimed to compare the prevalence of UC related complications and certain key clinical endpoints among cannabis users and nonusers hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of UC, or primary diagnosis of a UC-related complication with a secondary diagnosis of UC. Using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project-National Inpatient Sample (NIS) during 2010-2014, a total of 298 cannabis users with UC were compared to a propensity score matched group of nonusers with UC. We evaluated several UC-related complications and clinical endpoints.

Within our matched cohort, prevalence of partial or total colectomy was lower in cannabis users compared to nonusers (4.4% vs 9.7%, P = .010) and there was a trend toward a lower prevalence of bowel obstruction (6.4% vs 10.7%, P = .057). 

Cannabis users had shorter hospital length-of-stay (4.5 vs 5.7 days P < .007) compared to their nonuser counterparts.

Cannabis use may mitigate some of the well described complications of UC among hospitalized patients. Our findings need further evaluation, ideally through more rigorous clinical trials.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31393356

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005792-201908090-00016

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Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol suppresses monocyte-mediated astrocyte production of MCP-1 and IL-6 in a TLR7-stimulated human co-culture.

Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics“Cannabis is widely used in the United States with an estimated prevalence of 9.5%. Certain cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa, in particular, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), possess immune modulating and anti-inflammatory activity. Depending on the context, the anti-inflammatory activity of cannabinoids may be beneficial, such as in treating inflammatory diseases, or detrimental to normal immune defense against pathogens. The potential beneficial impact of cannabinoids on chronic neuroinflammation has gained recent attention. Monocyte migration to the brain has been implicated as a key event in chronic neuroinflammation and in the etiology of central nervous system diseases including viral infection (e.g., HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder). In the brain, monocytes can contribute to neuroinflammation through interactions with astrocytes, including inducing astrocyte secretion of cytokines and chemokines. In a human co-culture system, monocyte-derived IL-1β due to toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7)-activation, has been identified to promote astrocyte production of MCP-1 and IL-6. THC treatment of TLR7-stimulated co-culture suppressed monocyte secretion of IL-1β resulting in decreased astrocyte production of MCP-1 and IL-6. Furthermore, THC displayed direct inhibition of monocytes, as TLR7-stimulated monocyte monocultures treated with THC also showed suppressed IL-1β production. The cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonist, JWH-015, impaired monocyte IL-1β production similar to that of THC, suggesting THC is, in part, acting through CB2. THC also suppressed key elements of the IL-1β production pathway, including IL1B mRNA levels and caspase-1 activity. Collectively, this study demonstrates that the anti-inflammatory properties of THC suppress TLR7-induced monocyte secretion of IL-1β, through CB2, which results in decreased astrocyte secretion of MCP-1 and IL-6.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: As cannabis use is highly prevalent in the United States and has putative anti-inflammatory properties, it is important to investigate the effect of cannabinoids on immune cell function. Furthermore, cannabinoids have garnered particular interest due to their potential beneficial effects on attenuating viral-induced chronic neuroinflammation. This study utilized a primary human co-culture system to demonstrate that the major psychotropic cannabinoid in cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and a cannabinoid receptor-2 (CB2) selective agonist, suppress specific monocyte-mediated astrocyte inflammatory responses. In the context of viral-induced chronic neuroinflammation, the findings presented here suggest that cannabinoids via CB2 ligation may have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31383729

http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/early/2019/08/05/jpet.119.260661

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The Endocannabinoid System May Modulate Sleep Disorders In Aging.

“Aging is an inevitable process that involves changes along life in multiple neurochemical, neuroanatomical, hormonal systems, and many others. In addition, these biological modifications lead to an increase in age-related sickness such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative disorders, and sleep disturbances, among others that affect activities of daily life. Demographic projections have demonstrated that aging will increase its worldwide rate in the coming years. The research on chronic diseases of the elderly is important to gain insights into this growing global burden.

Novel therapeutic approaches aimed for treatment of age-related pathologies have included the endocannabinoid system as an effective tools since this biological system shows beneficial effects in preclinical models. However, and despite these advances, little has been addressed in the arena of the endocannabinoid system as option for treating sleep disorders in aging since experimental evidence suggests that some elements of the endocannabinoid system modulate the sleep-wake cycle.

This article addresses this less-studied field, focusing on the likely perspective of the implication of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of sleep problems reported in aged. We conclude that beneficial effects regarding the putative efficacy of the endocannabinoid system as therapeutic tools in aging is either inconclusive or still missing.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31368874

http://www.eurekaselect.com/174043/article

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Therapeutic impact of orally administered cannabinoid oil extracts in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis animal model of multiple sclerosis.

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications“There is a growing surge of investigative research involving the beneficial use of cannabinoids as novel interventional alternatives for multiple sclerosis (MS) and associated neuropathic pain (NPP).

Using an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) animal model of MS, we demonstrate the therapeutic effectiveness of two cannabinoid oil extract formulations (10:10 & 1:20 – tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol) treatment.

Our research findings confirm that cannabinoid treatment produces significant improvements in neurological disability scoring and behavioral assessments of NPP that directly result from their ability to reduce tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) production and enhance brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) production.

Henceforth, this research represents a critical step in advancing the literature by scientifically validating the merit for medical cannabinoid use and sets the foundation for future clinical trials.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31213295

“Cannabinoid treatment produces improvements in neurological disability scoring. Cannabinoid treatment also improves behavioral assessments of neuropathic pain.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X19311568?via%3Dihub

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Purified Cannabidiol for Treatment of Refractory Epilepsies in Pediatric Patients with Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathy.

“A pharmaceutical grade formulation of cannabidiol (CBD) has been approved for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome; however, this formulation is not yet available to patients outside the USA. In addition, CBD is thought to have broad anti-seizure properties that may be beneficial for other types of intractable epilepsy.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of artisanal medical CBD oil in patients with developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (DEE) at the tertiary epilepsy center of Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome, Italy.

RESULTS:

Twenty-nine patients were enrolled in this study (41.4% male). The mean duration of exposure to artisanal CBD was 11.2 months [range 6-25 months; standard deviation (SD) ± 4.4 months]. Mean age at study enrollment was 9.3 years (range 1.9-16.3 years; SD ± 4.7 years). Eleven out of 29 patients (37.9%) had a ≥ 50% improvement in seizure frequency; one patient became seizure free. None of the patients reported worsening seizure frequency; however, 18 patients (62.1%) experienced no beneficial effect regarding seizure frequency. Adverse effects were reported in seven patients (24.14%), most commonly somnolence, decreased appetite and diarrhea. Adverse events were mild and transient, and no dose modification of CBD or other AEDs was required.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest that CBD may have beneficial effects in patients with DEE and an acceptable safety profile. Placebo-controlled randomized trials should be conducted to formally assess the safety and efficacy of CBD in patients with DEE.”

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CB2 Cannabinoid receptor agonist ameliorates novel object recognition but not spatial memory in transgenic APP/PS1 mice.

Neuroscience Letters

“The cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) has been considered as a potential therapeutic target to ameliorate the neuroinflammation and cognitive impairments of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, there has been little research on the diverse roles of CB2R in regulating different forms of cognitive abilities and underlying neuroinflammatory mechanisms. Thus, the focus of the present study was to investigate the effects of CB2R activation on cognitive abilities, activation and phenotype conversion of microglia, and dendrite complexity.

Results showed that CB2R activation normalized the cortex-dependent novel object recognition memory deficit in a novel object recognition test (P < 0.05) and CB2R activation was ineffective for hippocampus-dependent spatial cognitive dysfunction in the Morris water maze test (P > 0.05). Moreover, activation of CB2R did not affect the formation of plaque in either the cortex or hippocampus (P > 0.05). Interestingly, in the cortex but not in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice, there was decreased immunofluorescence intensity of Iba1, M1 to M2 microglial phenotype conversion, and restored dendritic complexity after a long treatment period of CB2R agonist (All P < 0.05).

Our results demonstrated that CB2R activation exerts a beneficial role in novel object recognition ability concomitant with region-specific regulation in microglia-mediated neuroinflammation and dendritic complexity in AD-model mice.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31150731

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304394019303581?via%3Dihub

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Evidence for the use of cannabinoids in Parkinson’s disease.

 “Cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid formulations have now been legally approved in several countries for treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Hence, PD patients consult physicians more frequently for prescription of cannabinoids to alleviate symptoms that might not respond well to dopaminergic treatment. Despite the increasing volume of research generated in the field of cannabinoids and their effect on Parkinson’s disease, there is still paucity of sufficient clinical data about the efficacy and safety in PD patients. There is increasing understanding of the endocannabinoid system, and the distribution of cannabinoid receptors in basal ganglia structures might suggest potential benefit on parkinsonian symptoms. Concerning clinical research, only one of to date four conducted randomized placebo-controlled trials showed an effect on motor symptoms with alleviation of levodopa-induced dyskinesia. There are a growing number of uncontrolled trials and case reports that suggest beneficial effects of cannabinoids in PD patients. However, the variety of substances investigated, the varying routes of intake, differing doses and time courses make it difficult to compare data. We here provide an overview of the current literature in this field and discuss a pragmatic approach for the clinical use of cannabinoids in PD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31131434

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00702-019-02018-8

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