“There are no pharmacological treatments for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, but dronabinol showed promise in a small pilot study. In anesthetized rats, dronabinol attenuates reflex apnea via activation of cannabinoid (CB) receptors located on vagal afferents; an effect blocked by cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and/or type 2 (CB2) receptor antagonists. Here, using a natural model of central sleep apnea, we examine the effects of dronabinol, alone and in combination with selective antagonists in conscious rats chronically instrumented to stage sleep and measure cessation of breathing.
Dronabinol decreased the percent time spent in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. CB receptor antagonists did not reverse this effect. Dronabinol also decreased apneas during sleep, and this apnea suppression was reversed by CB1 or CB1/CB2 receptor antagonism.
Dronabinol’s effects on apneas were dependent on CB1 receptor activation, while dronabinol’s effects on REM sleep were CB receptor-independent.”
“The purpose of the review was to revisit the possibility of the endocannabinoid system being a therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity by focusing on the peripheral roles in regulating appetite and energy metabolism.
Previous studies with the global cannabinoid receptor blocker rimonabant, which has both central and peripheral properties, showed that this drug has beneficial effects on cardiometabolic function but severe adverse psychiatric side effects. Consequently, focus has shifted to peripherally restricted cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor blockers as possible therapeutic agents that mitigate or eliminate the untoward effects in the central nervous system.
Targeting the endocannabinoid system using novel peripheral CB1 receptor blockers with negligible penetrance across the blood-brain barrier may prove to be effective therapy for obesity and its co-morbidities.
Perhaps the future of blockers targeting CB1 receptors will be tissue-specific neutral antagonists (e.g., skeletal muscle specific to treat peripheral insulin resistance, adipocyte-specific to treat fat excess, liver-specific to treat fatty liver and hepatic insulin resistance).”
“Chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains a major challenge for Public Health systems and corresponds to the replacement of renal functional tissue by extra-cellular matrix proteins such as collagens and fibronectin. There is no efficient treatment to date for CKD except nephroprotective strategies.
The cannabinoid system and more specifically the cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) may represent a new therapeutic target in CKD.
Our review will first focus on the current state of knowledge regarding the cannabinoid system in normal renal physiology and in various experimental nephropathies, especially diabetes. We will review the data obtained in models of diabetes and obesity as well as in nonmetabolic models of renal fibrosis and emphasizes the promising role of CB1 blockers and CB2 agonists in the development of renal disease and fibrosis. Next, we will review the current state of knowledge regarding the cellular pathways involved in renal fibrogenesis and renal injury.
Overall, this review will highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting the cannabinoid receptors in CKD and diabetes.”
“The effects of cannabinoids are primarily mediated by type-1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and type-2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2Rs) in the peripheral immune system. However, recent evidence demonstrates that CB2Rs are also expressed in the brain and implicated in neuropsychiatric effects. Diverse types of cells in various regions in the brain express CB2Rs but the cellular loci of CB2Rs that induce specific behavioral effects have not been determined. To manipulate CB2R expression in specific types of cells in the dorsal hippocampus of adult mice, we used Cre-dependent overexpression and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing techniques in combination with adeno-associated viruses and transgenic mice. Elevation and disruption of CB2R expression in microglia in the CA1 area increased and decreased, respectively, contextual fear memory. In CA1 pyramidal neurons, disruption of CB2R expression enhanced spatial working memory, whereas their overexpression reduced anxiety levels assessed as an increase in the exploration time in the central area of open field. Interneuronal CB2Rs were not involved in the modulation of cognitive or emotional behaviors tested in this study. The targeted manipulation of CB2R expression in pyramidal neurons and microglia suggests that CB2Rs in different types of cells in the mature hippocampus play distinct roles in the regulation of memory and anxiety.”
“The cannabinoid 1 receptor and cannabinoid 2 receptor can both be targeted in the treatment of pain; yet, they have some important differences. Cannabinoid 1 receptor is expressed at high levels in the central nervous system, whereas cannabinoid 2 receptor is found predominantly, although not exclusively, outside the central nervous system. The objective of this study was to investigate potential interactions between cannabinoid 2 receptor and the mu-opioid receptor in pathological pain. The low level of adverse side effects and lack of tolerance for cannabinoid 2 receptor agonists are attractive pharmacotherapeutic traits. This study assessed the anti-nociceptive effects of a selective cannabinoid 2 receptor agonist (JWH-133) in pathological pain using mice subjected to inflammatory pain using the formalin test. Furthermore, we examined several ways in which JWH-133 may interact with morphine. JWH-133 produces dose-dependent anti-nociception during both the acute and inflammatory phases of the formalin test. This was observed in both male and female mice. However, a maximally efficacious dose of JWH-133 (1 mg/kg) was not associated with somatic withdrawal symptoms, motor impairment, or hypothermia. After eleven once-daily injections of 1 mg/JWH-133, no tolerance was observed in the formalin test. Cross-tolerance for the anti-nociceptive effects of JWH-133 and morphine were assessed to gain insight into physiologically relevant cannabinoid 2 receptor and mu-opioid receptor interaction. Mice made tolerant to the effects of morphine exhibited a lower JWH-133 response in both phases of the formalin test compared to vehicle-treated morphine-naïve animals. However, repeated daily JWH-133 administration did not cause cross-tolerance for morphine, suggesting opioid and cannabinoid 2 receptor cross-tolerance is unidirectional. However, preliminary data suggest co-administration of JWH-133 with morphine modestly attenuates morphine tolerance. Isobolographic analysis revealed that co-administration of JWH-133 and morphine has an additive effect on anti-nociception in the formalin test. Overall these findings show that cannabinoid 2 receptor may functionally interact with mu-opioid receptor to modulate anti-nociception in the formalin test.”
“An agonist that acts through a single receptor can activate numerous signaling pathways. Recent studies have suggested that different ligands can differentially activate these pathways by stabilizing a limited range of receptor conformations, which in turn preferentially drive different downstream signaling cascades. This concept, termed “biased signaling” represents an exciting therapeutic opportunity to target specific pathways that elicit only desired effects, while avoiding undesired effects mediated by different signaling cascades. The cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 each activate multiple pathways, and evidence is emerging for bias within these pathways. This review will summarize the current evidence for biased signaling through cannabinoid receptor subtypes CB1 and CB2.”
“A great need exists for the development of new medications to treat pain resulting from various disease states and types of injury. Given that the endogenous cannabinoid (ie, endocannabinoid) system modulates neuronal and immune cell function, both of which play key roles in pain, therapeutics targeting this system hold promise as novel analgesics.
Potential therapeutic targets include the cannabinoid receptors, type 1 and 2, as well as biosynthetic and catabolic enzymes of the endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamine and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Notably, cannabinoid receptor agonists as well as inhibitors of endocannabinoid-regulating enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase produce reliable antinociceptive effects, and offer opioid-sparing antinociceptive effects in myriad preclinical inflammatory and neuropathic pain models.
Emerging clinical studies show that ‘medicinal’ cannabis or cannabinoid-based medications relieve pain in human diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia.
Here, we examine the preclinical and clinical evidence of various endocannabinoid system targets as potential therapeutic strategies for inflammatory and neuropathic pain conditions.”
“The endocannabinoid system plays a regulatory role in a number of physiological processes and has been found altered in different pathological conditions, including movement disorders. The interactions between cannabinoids and dopamine in the basal ganglia are remarkably complex and involve both the modulation of other neurotransmitters (γ-aminobutyric acid, glutamate, opioids, peptides) and the activation of different receptors subtypes (cannabinoid receptor type 1 and 2).
In the last years, experimental studies contributed to enrich this scenario reporting interactions between cannabinoids and other receptor systems (transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 cation channel, adenosine receptors, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors). The improved knowledge, adding new interpretation on the biochemical interaction between cannabinoids and other signaling pathways, may contribute to develop new pharmacological strategies.
A number of preclinical studies in different experimental Parkinson’s disease (PD) models demonstrated that modulating the cannabinoid system may be useful to treat some motor symptoms. Despite new cannabinoid-based medicines have been proposed for motor and nonmotor symptoms of PD, so far, results from clinical studies are controversial and inconclusive. Further clinical studies involving larger samples of patients, appropriate molecular targets, and specific clinical outcome measures are needed to clarify the effectiveness of cannabinoid-based therapies.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28861502
“Cannabis is a psychoactive compound widely used along history for recreational and therapeutic purposes. Although many open questions remain, cannabis-based therapies have become increasingly common raising considerable interest in politics as well as in general public for legalization of medical cannabis.” http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2017.0002
“The endocannabinoid system consists of endogenous lipid mediators and cannabinoid receptors (CB) 1 and 2. It has previously been demonstrated that activation of the leukocyte-expressed CB2 has anti-inflammatory effects in vivo. Here, we report its role under baseline conditions and in a model of low-dose endotoxemia by comparing CB2 knockout to littermate control mice. CB2-deficient mice displayed significantly more neutrophils and fewer monocytes in the bone marrow under steady state. In initial validation experiments, administration of 1 mg/kg LPS to male C57BL/6J mice was shown to transiently upregulate systemic proinflammatory mediators (peaked at 2 hours) and mobilise bone marrow neutrophils and monocytes into circulation. In CB2 knockout mice, the level of the metalloproteinase MMP-9 was significantly elevated by 2 hours and we also observed augmented recruitment of neutrophils to the spleen in addition to increased levels of Ccl2, Ccl3, Cxcl10, and Il6. Collectively, our data show that the absence of CB2 receptor increases the levels of innate immune cell populations in the bone marrow under steady state. Furthermore, during an acute systemic inflammatory insult, we observe a highly reproducible and site-specific increase in neutrophil recruitment and proinflammatory chemokine expression in the spleen of CB2 knockout mice.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28852269
“In summary, we found that the lack of this GPCR leads to enhanced retention of neutrophils and increased release of monocytes in the bone marrow under steady state. We highlight a critical role for CB2 in regulating neutrophil infiltration to the spleen during acute systemic inflammation. A potential mechanism for this effect is the increased secretion of MMP-9 and Ccl3/Cxcl10 expression in the spleens of CB2 knockout mice. Taken together, we propose a novel role for CB2 in suppressing neutrophil migration to lymphoid organs under inflammatory conditions which we believe warrants further investigation.” https://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/4315412/
“Neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain occurs mainly in two neurogenic niches, the subventricular zone (SVZ) and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus (DG). Cannabinoid type 1 and 2 receptors (CB1R and CB2R) have been shown to differently modulate neurogenesis. However, low attention has been given to the interaction between CB1R and CB2R in modulating postnatal neurogenesis (proliferation, neuronal differentiation and maturation).
We focused on a putative crosstalk between CB1R and CB2R to modulate neurogenesis and cultured SVZ and DG stem/progenitor cells from early postnatal (P1-3) Sprague-Dawley rats. Data showed that the non-selective cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 promotes DG cell proliferation (measured by BrdU staining), an effect blocked by either CB1R or CB2R selective antagonists. Experiments with selective agonists showed that facilitation of DG cell proliferation requires co-activation of both CB1R and CB2R. Cell proliferation in the SVZ was not affected by the non-selective receptor agonist, but it was enhanced by CB1R selective activation. However, either CB1R or CB2R selective antagonists abolished the effect of the CB1R agonist in SVZ cell proliferation. Neuronal differentiation (measured by immunocytochemistry against neuronal markers of different stages and calcium imaging) was facilitated by WIN55,212-2 at both SVZ and DG. This effect was mimicked by either CB1R or CB2R selective agonists and blocked by either CB1R or CB2R selective antagonists, cross-antagonism being evident.
In summary, our findings indicate a tight interaction between CB1R and CB2R to modulate neurogenesis in the two major neurogenic niches, thus contributing to further unraveling the mechanisms behind the action of endocannabinoids in the brain.”