“Inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the primary enzyme that hydrolyzes the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the brain, produces profound anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects and improves synaptic and cognitive functions in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects produced by inhibition of 2-AG metabolism are still not clear.
The cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) has been thought to be a therapeutic target for AD. Here, we provide evidence, however, that CB2R does not play a role in ameliorating AD neuropathology produced by inactivation of MAGL in 5XFAD APP transgenic mice, an animal model of AD.
Our results suggest that CB2R is not required in ameliorating neuropathology and preventing cognitive decline by inhibition of 2-AG metabolism in AD model animals.”
“The main pathological feature of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. In this study, we investigated the role of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) agonist AM1241 on 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced neurotoxicity in a mouse model of PD. Upon treatment with AM1241, the decreased CB2R level in the PD mouse brain was reversed and the behavior score markedly elevated, accompanied with a dose-dependent increase of dopamine and serotonin. In addition, western blot assay and immunostaining results suggested that AM1241 significantly activated PI3K/Akt/MEK phosphorylation and increased the expression of Parkin and PINK1, both in the substantia nigra and hippocampus. The mRNA expression analysis further demonstrated that AM1241 increased expression of the CB2R and activated Parkin/PINK1 signaling pathways. Furthermore, the increased number of TH-positive cells in the substantia nigra indicated that AM1241 regenerated DA neurons in PD mice, and could therefore be a potential candidate for PD treatment. The clear co-localization of CB2R and DA neurons suggested that AM1241 targeted CB2R, thus also identifying a novel target for PD treatment. In conclusion, the selective CB2 agonist AM1241 has a significant therapeutic effect on PD mice and resulted in regeneration of DA neurons following MPTP-induced neurotoxicity. The possible mechanisms underlying the neurogenesis effect of AM1241 might be the induction of CB2R expression and an increase in phosphorylation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.”
“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.”
“Painful peripheral neuropathy is a common side effect of paclitaxel (PTX). The use of analgesics is an important component for management of PTX-induced peripheral neuropathy (PINP). However, currently employed analgesics have several side effects and are poorly effective.
β-caryophyllene (BCP), a dietary selective CB2 agonist, has shown analgesic effect in neuropathic pain models, but its role in chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain has not yet been investigated. Herein, we used the mouse model of PINP to show the therapeutic effects of BCP in this neuropathy.
Our findings show that BCP effectively attenuated PINP, possibly through CB2-activation in the CNS and posterior inhibition of p38 MAPK/NF-κB activation and cytokine release. Taken together, our results suggest that BCP could be used to attenuate the establishment and/or treat PINP.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28729222
“Selective CB2 agonists represent an attractive therapeutic strategy for the treatment of a variety of diseases without psychiatric side effects mediated by the CB1 receptor.
We carried out a rational optimization of a black market designer drug SDB-001 that led to the identification of potent and selective CB2 agonists. A 7-methoxy or 7-methylthio substitution at the 3-amidoalkylindoles resulted in potent CB2 antagonists (27 or 28, IC50 = 16-28 nM). Replacement of the amidoalkyls from 3-position to the 2-position of the indole ring dramatically increased the agonist selectivity on the CB2 over CB1 receptor. Particularly, compound 57 displayed a potent agonist activity on the CB2 receptor (EC50 = 114-142 nM) without observable agonist or antagonist activity on the CB1 receptor.
Furthermore, 57 significantly alleviated the clinical symptoms and protected the murine central nervous system from immune damage in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model of multiple sclerosis.”
“Neuroinflammation plays a major role in postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD).
Accumulated evidence indicates that cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) can mediate anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects in part by controlling microglial activity.
These findings indicate that CB2R may modulate the neuroinflammatory and cognitive impairment in a mouse model of orthopedic surgery, and the activation of CB2R may effectively ameliorate the hippocampal-dependent memory loss of mice in the early postoperative stage.”
“This study investigated whether intramuscular injection of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), by acting on peripheral cannabinoid (CB) receptors, could decrease nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced sensitization in female rat masseter muscle; a model which mimics the symptoms of myofascial temporomandibular disorders.
It was found that CB1 and CB2 receptors are expressed by trigeminal ganglion neurons that innervate the masseter muscle and also on their peripheral endings.
These results suggest that reduced inhibitory input from the peripheral cannabinoid system may contribute to NGF-induced local myofascial sensitization of mechanoreceptors. Peripheral application of THC may counter this effect by activating the CB1 receptors on masseter muscle mechanoreceptors to provide analgesic relief without central side effects.
Our results suggest THC could reduce masticatory muscle pain through activating peripheral CB1 receptors. Peripheral application of cannabinoids could be a novel approach to provide analgesic relief without central side effects.”
“The beta amyloid (Aβ) and other aggregating proteins in the brain increase with age and are frequently found within neurons. The mechanistic relationship between intracellular amyloid, aging and neurodegeneration is not, however, well understood.
We use a proteotoxicity model based upon the inducible expression of Aβ in a human central nervous system nerve cell line to characterize a distinct form of nerve cell death caused by intracellular Aβ. It is shown that intracellular Aβ initiates a toxic inflammatory response leading to the cell’s demise. Aβ induces the expression of multiple proinflammatory genes and an increase in both arachidonic acid and eicosanoids, including prostaglandins that are neuroprotective and leukotrienes that potentiate death.
Cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol stimulate the removal of intraneuronal Aβ, block the inflammatory response, and are protective.
Altogether these data show that there is a complex and likely autocatalytic inflammatory response within nerve cells caused by the accumulation of intracellular Aβ, and that this early form of proteotoxicity can be blocked by the activation of cannabinoid receptors.”
“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid with multiple pharmacological effects and several potential therapeutic properties. Its low oral bioavailability, however, can limit its clinical use.
Preliminary results indicate that fluorination of the CBD molecule increases its pharmacological potency. Here, we investigated whether HUF-101 (3, 10, and 30mg/kg), a fluorinated CBD analogue, would induce antinociceptive effects.
These findings show that HUF-101 produced antinociceptive effects at lower doses than CBD, indicating that the addition of fluoride improved its pharmacological profile. Furthermore, some of the antinociceptive effects of CBD and HUF-101 effects seem to involve the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors.”
“Orthosteric cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) activation leads to decreases in intraocular pressure (IOP).
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the novel CB1-positive allosteric modulator (PAM) GAT229 on IOP.
The CB1 PAM GAT229 reduces IOP in ocular hypertensive mice and enhanced CB1-mediated IOP reduction when combined with subthreshold CB1 orthosteric ligands in normotensive mice. Administration of CB1 PAMs may provide a novel approach to reduce IOP with fewer of the disadvantages associated with orthosteric CB1 activation.”