The Endocannabinoid System and Synthetic Cannabinoids in Preclinical Models of Seizure and Epilepsy.

 Related image“Cannabinoids are compounds that are structurally and/or functionally related to the primary psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa, [INCREMENT]-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinoids can be divided into three broad categories: endogenous cannabinoids, plant-derived cannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids (SCs).

Recently, there has been an unprecedented surge of interest into the pharmacological and medicinal properties of cannabinoids for the treatment of epilepsies. This surge has been stimulated by an ongoing shift in societal opinions about cannabinoid-based medicines and evidence that cannabidiol, a nonintoxicating plant cannabinoid, has demonstrable anticonvulsant activity in children with treatment-refractory epilepsy.

The major receptors of the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS)-the type 1 and 2 cannabinoid receptors (CB1R, CB2R)-have critical roles in the modulation of neurotransmitter release and inflammation, respectively; so, it is not surprising therefore that the ECS is being considered as a target for the treatment of epilepsy.

SCs were developed as potential new drug candidates and tool compounds for studying the ECS. Beyond the plant cannabinoids, an extensive research effort is underway to determine whether SCs that directly target CB1R, CB2R, or the enzymes that breakdown endogenous cannabinoids have anticonvulsant effects in preclinical rodent models of epilepsy and seizure.

This research demonstrates that many SCs do reduce seizure severity in rodent models and may have both positive and negative pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic interactions with clinically used antiepilepsy drugs. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of the preclinical evidence for and against SC modulation of seizure and discuss the important questions that need to be addressed in future studies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31895186

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00004691-202001000-00004

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Cannabis and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: An Updated Review.

 Image result for Acta Neurol Taiwan. journal“Cannabis plant has the scientific name called Cannabis sativa L. Cannabis plant has many species, but there are three main species including Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. Over 70 compounds isolated from cannabis species are called cannabinoids (CBN).

Cannabinoids produce over 100 naturally occurring chemicals. The most abundant chemicals are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is psychotropic chemical that makes people feel “high” while CBD is nonpsychotropic chemical. However, cannabinoid chemicals are not found only in the cannabis plant, they are also produced by the mammalian body, called endocannabinoids and in the laboratory, called synthesized cannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system including brain and peripheral nervous system. There are at least two types of endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) which are G-protein coupled receptors.

CB1 receptors are particularly abundant in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, hypothalamus and cerebellum, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. They are present in inhibitory GABA-ergic neurons and excitatory glutamatergic neurons. CB2 receptor is most abundantly found on cells of the immune system, hematopoietic cells and glia cells. CB2 is mainly expressed in the periphery under normal healthy condition, but in conditions of disease or injury, this upregulation occurs within the brain, and CB2 is therefore expressed in the brain in unhealthy states.

Cannabis and cannabinoid are studied in different medical conditions. The therapeutic potentials of both cannabis and cannabinoid are related to the effects of THC, CBD and other cannabinoid compounds. However, the “high” effect of THC in cannabis and cannabinoid may limit the clinical use, particularly, the study on the therapeutic potential of THC alone is more limited.

This review emphasizes the therapeutic potential of CBD and CBD with THC. CBD has shown to have benefit in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders including autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, psychosis, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, HIV, migraine, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, hypoxic-ischemic injury and epilepsy. CBD is generally well tolerated. Most common adverse events are diarrhea and somnolence. CBD also shows significantly low abuse potential.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31867704

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Endocannabinoid system and adult neurogenesis: a focused review.

Current Opinion in Pharmacology“The endocannabinoid system (eCB) is a ubiquitous lipid signaling system composed of at least two receptors, their endogenous ligands, and the enzymes responsible for their synthesis and degradation. Within the brain, the eCB system is highly expressed in the hippocampus and controls basic biological processes, including neuronal proliferation, migration and differentiation, which are intimately linked with embryonal neurogenesis. Accumulated preclinical evidence has indicated that eCBs play a major role also in regulating adult neurogenesis. Increased cannabinoid receptor activity, either by increased eCB content or by pharmacological blockade of their degradation, produces neurogenic effects alongside rescue of phenotypes in animal models of different psychiatric and neurological disorders. Therefore, in the light of the higher therapeutic potential of adult neurogenesis compared to the embryonic one, here we sought to summarize the most recent evidence pointing towards a neurogenic role for eCBs in the adult brain, both under normal and pathological conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31864101

“The endocannabinoid system is involved in all aspects of the biology of neural stem cells. Selective CB1 and CB2 agonism produces pro-neurogenic effects in different models of brain insults. Further research is needed to characterize the eCB system as a new druggable target for neurogenesis-related diseases.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1471489219301122?via%3Dihub

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Cannabinoids and the expanded endocannabinoid system in neurological disorders.

 Related image“Anecdotal evidence that cannabis preparations have medical benefits together with the discovery of the psychotropic plant cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) initiated efforts to develop cannabinoid-based therapeutics.

These efforts have been marked by disappointment, especially in relation to the unwanted central effects that result from activation of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), which have limited the therapeutic use of drugs that activate or inactivate this receptor.

The discovery of CB2 and of endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligands (endocannabinoids) raised new possibilities for safe targeting of this endocannabinoid system. However, clinical success has been limited, complicated by the discovery of an expanded endocannabinoid system – known as the endocannabinoidome – that includes several mediators that are biochemically related to the endocannabinoids, and their receptors and metabolic enzymes.

The approvals of nabiximols, a mixture of THC and the non-psychotropic cannabinoid cannabidiol, for the treatment of spasticity and neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, and of purified botanical cannabidiol for the treatment of otherwise untreatable forms of paediatric epilepsy, have brought the therapeutic use of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in neurological diseases into the limelight.

In this Review, we provide an overview of the endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoidome before discussing their involvement in and clinical relevance to a variety of neurological disorders, including Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, Huntington disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, stroke, epilepsy and glioblastoma.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31831863

“The existence of the endocannabinoidome explains in part why some non-euphoric cannabinoids, which affect several endocannabinoidome proteins, are useful for the treatment of neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41582-019-0284-z

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Activation of Cannabinoid Receptors Attenuates Endothelin-1-induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Rat Ventricular Myocytes.

Image result for Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology.“Evidence suggests that activation of the endocannabinoid system offers cardioprotection.

Aberrant energy production by impaired mitochondria purportedly contributes to various aspects of cardiovascular disease. We investigated whether cannabinoid (CB) receptor activation would attenuate mitochondrial dysfunction induced by endothelin-1 (ET1).

Acute exposure to ET1 (4 h) in the presence of palmitate as primary energy substrate induced mitochondrial membrane depolarization, and decreased mitochondrial bioenergetics and expression of genes related to fatty acid oxidation (i.e. peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator (PGC)-1α, a driver of mitochondrial biogenesis, and carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT)-1β, facilitator of fatty acid uptake).

A CB1/CB2 dual agonist with limited brain penetration, CB-13, corrected these parameters. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an important regulator of energy homeostasis, mediated the ability of CB-13 to rescue mitochondrial function. In fact, the ability of CB-13 to rescue fatty acid oxidation-related bioenergetics, as well as expression of PGC-1α and CPT-1β, was abolished by pharmacological inhibition of AMPK using compound C and shRNA knockdown of AMPKα1/α2, respectively.

Interventions that target CB/AMPK signaling might represent a novel therapeutic approach to address the multi-factorial problem of cardiovascular disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31815823

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005344-900000000-98463

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Cannabinoids: A Guide for Use in the World of Gastrointestinal Disease.

Image result for ovid journal“Cannabinoids have been known as the primary component of cannabis for decades, but the characterization of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the 1990s opened the doors for cannabis’ use in modern medicine.

The 2 main receptors of this system, cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2, are found on cells of various tissues, with significant expression in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The characterization of the ECS also heralded the understanding of endocannabinoids, naturally occurring compounds synthesized in the human body.

Although research on the effects of both endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids has been slow due to the complicated legal history of cannabis, discoveries of cannabinoids‘ treatment potential have been found in various fields of medicine, including the GI world.

Medical cannabis has since been offered as a treatment for a myriad of conditions and malignancies, including cancer, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, nausea, posttraumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cachexia, glaucoma, and epilepsy.

This article hopes to create an overview of current research on cannabinoids and the ECS, detail the potential advantages and pitfalls of their use in GI diseases, and explore possible future developments in this field.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31789770

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00004836-900000000-97668

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The role of the endocannabinoid system in aetiopathogenesis of endometriosis: A potential therapeutic target.

European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Home“Endometriosis affects a large proportion of women during their reproductive years and is associated with pain and infertility, also affecting psychological wellbeing and quality of life. The pathogenesis of the disease remains unclear, although it is believed to be multifactorial.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of a number of ligands, receptors and enzymes, and has gained interests in endometriosis research. This review aims to summarise all available evidence reporting the roles of the ECS in endometriosis.

A literature search of the PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science electronic medical databases was performed. Original and review articles published in peer-reviewed journals were included. No publication date or publication status restrictions were imposed.

Significant differences in the concentrations and expressions of the components of the ECS were reported in the eutopic and ectopic endometrium, and the systemic circulation of women with endometriosis compared to controls. Endometriosis appears to be associated with downregulation of CB1 receptors and upregulation of TRPV1 receptors.

The role of CB1 and progesterone in anti-inflammatory action and the role of TRPV1 in inflammation and pain are of particular interests. Furthermore, the ECS has been reported to be involved in processes relevant to endometriosis, including cell migration, cell proliferation, apoptosis, inflammation, and interacts with sex steroid hormones.

The ECS may play a role in disease establishment, progression, and pain in endometriosis. However, reports are based on studies of limited size and there are inconsistencies among the definition of their control groups. There are also conflicting reports regarding precise involvement of the ECS in endometriosis. Future research with larger numbers, strict inclusion and exclusion criteria and detailed clinical information is imperative.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31785471

https://www.ejog.org/article/S0301-2115(19)30526-3/fulltext

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Investigation of the Involvement of the Endocannabinoid System in TENS-induced Antinociception.

“Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) promotes antinociception by activating the descending pain modulation pathway and consequently releasing endogenous analgesic substances.

In addition, recent studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system controls pain. Thus, the present study investigated the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in TENS-induced antinociception of cancer pain using a cancer pain model induced by intraplantar (i.pl.) injections of Ehrlich tumor cells in male Swiss mice.

These results suggest that low- and high-frequency TENS is effective in controlling cancer pain, and the endocannabinoid system is involved in this effect at both the peripheral and central levels.

Perspective: TENS is a non-pharmacological strategy that may be used to control cancer pain. Identification of a new mechanism involved in its analgesic effect could lead to the development of clinical studies as well as an increase in its application, lessening the need for pharmacological treatments.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31785404

https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(19)30868-5/fulltext

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Influence of the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor ligands on the activity of atypical antidepressant drugs in the behavioural tests in mice.

Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior“Available data support the notion that cannabinoids, whose therapeutic value is limited due to severe adverse reactions, could be beneficial as adjunctive agents in the management of mood disorders.

Polytherapy, which is superior to monotherapy in the terms of effectiveness, usually requires lower doses of the individual components. Therefore, the main objective of our study was to determine whether administration of cannabinoid (CB) receptor ligands would enhance the antidepressant activity of atypical antidepressant drugs, i.e. agomelatine and tianeptine.

In summary, the outcomes of the present study showed that activation and inhibition of CB1 receptors as well as inhibition of CB2 receptors may increase the antidepressant activity of tianeptine, whereas only inhibition of CB1 and CB2 receptors has a potential to augment the antidepressant activity of agomelatine.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31785246

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091305719304873?via%3Dihub

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The Endocannabinoid System in Pediatric Inflammatory and Immune Diseases.

 ijms-logo“Endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors, their endogenous ligands, and the enzymes responsible for their synthesis and degradation. CB2, to a great extent, and CB1, to a lesser extent, are involved in regulating the immune response. They also regulate the inflammatory processes by inhibiting pro-inflammatory mediator release and immune cell proliferation. This review provides an overview on the role of the endocannabinoid system with a major focus on cannabinoid receptors in the pathogenesis and onset of inflammatory and autoimmune pediatric diseases, such as immune thrombocytopenia, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, obesity, neuroinflammatory diseases, and type 1 diabetes mellitus. These disorders have a high social impact and represent a burden for the healthcare system, hence the importance of individuating more innovative and effective treatments. The endocannabinoid system could address this need, representing a possible new diagnostic marker and therapeutic target.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31771129

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/23/5875

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