Endocannabinoid-Epigenetic Cross-Talk: A Bridge toward Stress Coping

ijms-logo“There is no argument with regard to the physical and psychological stress-related nature of neuropsychiatric disorders. Yet, the mechanisms that facilitate disease onset starting from molecular stress responses are elusive.

Environmental stress challenges individuals’ equilibrium, enhancing homeostatic request in the attempt to steer down arousal-instrumental molecular pathways that underlie hypervigilance and anxiety.

A relevant homeostatic pathway is the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

In this review, we summarize recent discoveries unambiguously listing ECS as a stress coping mechanism.

As stress evokes huge excitatory responses in emotional-relevant limbic areas, the ECS limits glutamate release via 2-arachydonilglycerol (2-AG) stress-induced synthesis and retrograde cannabinoid 1 (CB1)-receptor activation at the synapse. However, ECS shows intrinsic vulnerability as 2-AG overstimulation by chronic stress rapidly leads to CB1-receptor desensitization.

In this review, we emphasize the protective role of 2-AG in stress-response termination and stress resiliency. Interestingly, we discuss ECS regulation with a further nuclear homeostatic system whose nature is exquisitely epigenetic, orchestrated by Lysine Specific Demethylase 1.

We here emphasize a remarkable example of stress-coping network where transcriptional homeostasis subserves synaptic and behavioral adaptation, aiming at reducing psychiatric effects of traumatic experiences.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32872402/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/17/6252

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Meet Your Stress Management Professionals: The Endocannabinoids

Trends in Molecular Medicine (@TrendsMolecMed) | Twitter“The endocannabinoid signaling system (ECSS) is altered by exposure to stress and mediates and modulates the effects of stress on the brain.

Considerable preclinical data support critical roles for the endocannabinoids and their target, the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, in the adaptation of the brain to repeated stress exposure.

Chronic stress exposure increases vulnerability to mental illness, so the ECSS has attracted attention as a potential therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of stress-related psychopathology.

We discuss human genetic studies indicating that the ECSS contributes to risk for mental illness in those exposed to severe stress and trauma early in life, and we explore the potential difficulties in pharmacological manipulation of the ECSS.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32868170/

https://www.cell.com/trends/molecular-medicine/fulltext/S1471-4914(20)30177-5?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1471491420301775%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Targeting Endocannabinoid Signaling: FAAH and MAG Lipase Inhibitors

Annual Reviews adds Remarq® across its collection of 47 journals – RedLink“Inspired by the medicinal properties of the plant Cannabis sativa and its principal component (-)-trans9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), researchers have developed a variety of compounds to modulate the endocannabinoid system in the human brain.

Inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), which are the enzymes responsible for the inactivation of the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, respectively, may exert therapeutic effects without inducing the adverse side effects associated with direct cannabinoid CB1 receptor stimulation by THC.

Here we review the FAAH and MAGL inhibitors that have reached clinical trials, discuss potential caveats, and provide an outlook on where the field is headed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32867595/

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-030220-112741

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The interaction between the endocannabinoid system and the renin angiotensin system and its potential implication for COVID-19 infection

 Journal of Cannabis Research | Home“Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading fast all around the world with more than fourteen millions of detected infected cases and more than 600.000 deaths by 20th July 2020. While scientist are working to find a vaccine, current epidemiological data shows that the most common comorbidities for patients with the worst prognosis, hypertension and diabetes, are often treated with angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

Body: Both ACE inhibitors and ARBs induce overexpression of the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor, which has been identified as the main receptor used by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to enter into the alveolar cells of the lungs. While cannabinoids are known to reduce hypertension, the studies testing the hypotensive effects of cannabinoids never addressed their effects on ACE-2 receptors. However, some studies have linked the endocannabinoid system (ECS) with the renin angiotensin system (RAS), including a cross-modulation between the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and angiotensin II levels.

Conclusion: Since there are around 192 million people using cannabis worldwide, we believe that the mechanism underlying the hypotensive properties of cannabinoids should be urgently studied to understand if they can also lead to ACE-2 overexpression as other antihypertensive drugs do.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32835160/

https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-020-00030-4

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabis Improves Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder-Case Report and Review of the Literature

Archive of "Frontiers in Psychiatry". “Although several lines of evidence support the hypothesis of a dysregulation of serotoninergic neurotransmission in the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), there is also evidence for an involvement of other pathways such as the GABAergic, glutamatergic, and dopaminergic systems.

Only recently, data obtained from a small number of animal studies alternatively suggested an involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of OCD reporting beneficial effects in OCD-like behavior after use of substances that stimulate the endocannabinoid system.

In humans, until today, only two case reports are available reporting successful treatment with dronabinol (tetrahydrocannabinol, THC), an agonist at central cannabinoid CB1 receptors, in patients with otherwise treatment refractory OCD. In addition, data obtained from a small open uncontrolled trial using the THC analogue nabilone suggest that the combination of nabilone plus exposure-based psychotherapy is more effective than each treatment alone.

These reports are in line with data from a limited number of case studies and small controlled trials in patients with Tourette syndrome (TS), a chronic motor and vocal tic disorder often associated with comorbid obsessive compulsive behavior (OCB), reporting not only an improvement of tics, but also of comorbid OCB after use of different kinds of cannabis-based medicines including THC, cannabis extracts, and flowers.

Here we present the case of a 22-year-old male patient, who suffered from severe OCD since childhood and significantly improved after treatment with medicinal cannabis with markedly reduced OCD and depression resulting in a considerable improvement of quality of life. In addition, we give a review of current literature on the effects of cannabinoids in animal models and patients with OCD and suggest a cannabinoid hypothesis of OCD.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32848902/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00681/full

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Structural basis of signaling of cannabinoids receptors: paving a way for rational drug design in controling mutiple neurological and immune diseases

Dundee University rank & funding : Compute Scotland“Cannabinoids (CBs), analgesic drugs used for thousands of years, were first found in Cannabis sativa, and the multiple CBs used medicinally, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and dozens more, have complex structures. In addition to their production by plants, CBs are naturally present in the nerves and immune systems of humans and animals.

Both exogenous and endogenous CBs carry out a variety of physiological functions by engaging with two CB receptors, the CB1 and CB2 receptors, in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). Both CB1 and CB2 are G protein-coupled receptors that share a 7-transmembrane (7TM) topology. CB1, known as the central CB receptor, is mainly distributed in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system. CB1 activation in the human body typically promotes the release of neurotransmitters, controls pain and memory learning, and regulates metabolism and the cardiovascular system.

Clinically, CB1 is a direct drug target for drug addiction, neurodegenerative diseases, pain, epilepsy, and obesity. Unlike the exclusive expression of CB1 in the nervous system, CB2 is mainly distributed in peripheral immune cells. Selective CB2 agonists would have therapeutic potential in the treatment of inflammation and pain and avoid side effects caused by currently used clinical drugs.

Although significant progress has been made in developing agonists toward CB receptors, efficient clinical drugs targeting CB receptors remain lacking due to their complex signaling mechanisms. The recent structural elucidation of CB receptors has greatly aided our understanding of the activation and signal transduction mechanisms of CB receptors.

Recent structural characterizations of CB receptors will greatly facilitate the design of new ligands to modulate the selective functions of CB receptors. Notably, the CBD was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018 to treat epilepsy. We now look forward to more drugs targeting these two CB receptors for clinical usage in the near future.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32694501/

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41392-020-00240-5

figure1
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Receptor Mechanisms Mediating the Anti-Neuroinflammatory Effects of Endocannabinoid System Modulation in a Rat Model of Migraine

European Jnl of Neuroscience – Applications sur Google Play

“Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), substance-P and dural mast cells are main contributors in neurogenic inflammation underlying migraine pathophysiology.

Modulation of endocannabinoid system attenuates migraine pain, but its mechanisms of action remains unclear.

We investigated receptor mechanisms mediating anti-neuroinflammatory effects of endocannabinoid system modulation in in-vivo migraine model and ex-vivo hemiskull preparations in rats.

Selective ligands targeting CB1 and CB2 receptors may provide novel and effective treatment strategies against migraine.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32639078/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ejn.14897

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoids and Cannabinoid Receptors: The Story So Far

 iScience journal (@iScience_CP) | Twitter“Like most modern molecular biology and natural product chemistry, understanding cannabinoid pharmacology centers around molecular interactions, in this case, between the cannabinoids and their putative targets, the G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Understanding the complex structure and interplay between the partners in this molecular dance is required to understand the mechanism of action of synthetic, endogenous, and phytochemical cannabinoids. This review, with 91 references, surveys our understanding of the structural biology of the cannabinoids and their target receptors including both a critical comparison of the extant crystal structures and the computationally derived homology models, as well as an in-depth discussion about the binding modes of the major cannabinoids. The aim is to assist in situating structural biochemists, synthetic chemists, and molecular biologists who are new to the field of cannabis research.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32629422/

https://www.cell.com/iscience/pdf/S2589-0042(20)30488-0.pdf?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS2589004220304880%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The Expression Level of Cannabinoid Receptors Type 1 and 2 in the Different Types of Astrocytomas

 SpringerLink“Astrocytomas, the most prevalent primary brain tumors, can be divided by histology and malignancy levels into four following types: pilocytic astrocytoma (grade I), diffuse fibrillary astrocytoma (grade II), anaplastic astrocytoma (grade III), and glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV). For high grade astrocytomas (grade III and grade IV), blood vessels formation is considered as the most important property.

The distribution of cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) in blood vessels and tumor tissue of astrocytoma is still controversial. Asrocytoma tissues were collected from 45 patients under the condition of tumor-related neurosurgical operation. The expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors was assessed using immunofluorescence, quantitative real-time RT-PCR and western blotting.

The results indicated an increased expression of CB1 receptors in tumor tissue. There was a significant difference in the mount of CB2 receptors in blood vessels. More was observed in the grade III and glioblastoma (grade IV) than astrocytoma of grade II and control.

This study suggested that, the expression increase of cannabinoid receptors is an index for astrocytoma malignancy and can be targeted as a therapeutic approach for the inhibition of astrocytoma growth among patients.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32623617/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11033-020-05636-8

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabis Extract for the Treatment of Painful Tonic Spasms in a Patient With Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder: A Case Report

Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders | Journal | ScienceDirect.com“Painful tonic spasm (PTS) is a common yet debilitating symptom in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), especially those with longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis. Although carbamazepine is an effective treatment, it poses the risk of severe adverse reactions, such as Steven-Johnson syndrome (SJS).

In this case report, we describe an NMOSD patient with severe PTS suffering from carbamazepine-induced SJS who responded well to cannabis extract. Since cannabinoids can ameliorate spasticity in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model through cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor activation, cannabis extract which includes delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a potential treatment option for PTS in NMOSD patients.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32559701/

“A cannabis extract has been approved for spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS). Cannabis extract is a potential treatment for PTS in NMOSD patients.”

https://www.msard-journal.com/article/S2211-0348(20)30354-0/pdf

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous