Role of cannabinoids in alcohol-induced neuroinflammation

 Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry“Alcohol is a psychoactive substance highly used worldwide, whose harmful use might cause a broad range of mental and behavioural disorders. Underlying brain impact, the neuroinflammatory response induced by alcohol is recognised as a key contributing factor in the progression of other neuropathological processes, such as neurodegeneration. These sequels are determined by multiple factors, including age of exposure.

Strikingly, it seems that the endocannabinoid system modulation could regulate the alcohol-induced neuroinflammation. Although direct CB1 activation can worsen alcohol consequences, targeting other components of the expanded endocannabinoid system may counterbalance the pro-inflammatory response.

Indeed, specific modulations of the expanded endocannabinoid system have been proved to exert anti-inflammatory effects, primarily through the CB2 and PPARγ signalling. Among them, some endo- and exogeneous cannabinoids can block certain pro-inflammatory mediators, such as NF-κB, thereby neutralizing the neuroinflammatory intracellular cascades.

Furthermore, a number of cannabinoids are able to activate complementary anti-inflammatory pathways, which are necessary for the transition from chronically overactivated microglia to a regenerative microglial phenotype. Thus, cannabinoid modulation provides cooperative anti-inflammatory mechanisms that may be advantageous to resolve a pathological neuroinflammation in an alcohol-dependent context.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32758518/

“Cannabinoid modulation represents an extremely interesting therapeutic target in alcohol-induced chronic neuroinflammation.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584620303705?via%3Dihub

Fig. 1

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Protective role of neuronal and lymphoid cannabinoid CB 2 receptors in neuropathic pain

 eLife logo“Cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CB2) agonists are potential analgesics void of psychotropic effects.

Peripheral immune cells, neurons and glia express CB2, however the involvement of CB2 from these cells in neuropathic pain remains unresolved. We explored spontaneous neuropathic pain through on-demand self-administration of the selective CB2 agonist JWH133 in wild-type and knockout mice lacking CB2 in neurons, monocytes or constitutively. Operant self-administration reflected drug-taking to alleviate spontaneous pain, nociceptive and affective manifestations. While constitutive deletion of CB2 disrupted JWH133-taking behavior, this behavior was not modified in monocyte-specific CB2 knockouts and was increased in mice defective in neuronal CB2 knockouts suggestive of increased spontaneous pain. Interestingly, CB2-positive lymphocytes infiltrated the injured nerve and possible CB2transfer from immune cells to neurons was found. Lymphocyte CB2depletion also exacerbated JWH133 self-administration and inhibited antinociception.

This work identifies a simultaneous activity of neuronal and lymphoid CB2that protects against spontaneous and evoked neuropathic pain.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32687056/

https://elifesciences.org/articles/55582

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Pharmacological activation of CB2 receptor protects against ethanol-induced myocardial injury related to RIP1/RIP3/MLKL-mediated necroptosis

 Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry | Home“Chronic ethanol abuse can lead to harmful consequences for the heart, resulting in systolic dysfunction, variability in the heart rate, arrhythmia, and cardiac remodelling. However, the precise molecular mechanism responsible for ethanol-induced cardiomyopathy is poorly understood. In this regard, the present study aimed to describe the RIP1/RIP3/MLKL-mediated necroptotic cell death that may be involved in ethanol-induced cardiomyopathy and characterize CBR-mediated effects on the signalling pathway and myocardial injury.

We performed an ethanol vapour administration experiment to analyse the effects of ethanol on cardiac structure and function in male C57BL/6J mice. Ethanol induced a significant decline in the cardiac structure and function, as evidenced by a decline in ejection fraction and fractional shortening, and an increase in serum Creatine Kinase levels, myocardial collagen content, and inflammatory reaction. Furthermore, ethanol also upregulated the expression levels of necroptosis-related markers such as p-RIP1, p-RIP3, and p-MLKL in the myocardium. Nec-1 treatment exerted significant cardioprotective effects by salvaging the heart tissue, improving the cardiac function, and mitigating inflammation and necroptosis.

In addition, ethanol abuse caused an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system and regulated two cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) in the myocardium. Treatment with selective CB2R agonists, JWH-133 or AM1241, markedly improved the cardiac dysfunction and reduced the ethanol-induced necroptosis in the myocardium.

Altogether, our data provide evidence that ethanol abuse-induced cardiotoxicity can possibly be attributed to the RIP1/RIP3/MLKL-mediated necroptosis. Moreover, pharmacological activation of CB2R may represent a new cardioprotective strategy against ethanol-induced cardiotoxicity.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32681290/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11010-020-03828-1

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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
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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

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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

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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

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Administration of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Post-Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B Exposure Protects Mice From Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Toxicity

Frontiers in Pharmacology welcomes new Field Chief Editor ...“Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening complication that can ensue following Staphylococcus aureus infection. The enterotoxin produced by these bacteria (SEB) acts as a superantigen thereby activating a large proportion of T cells leading to cytokine storm and severe lung injury.

Δ9Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive ingredient found in Cannabis sativa, has been shown to act as a potent anti-inflammatory agent. In the current study, we investigated the effect of THC treatment on SEB-induced ARDS in mice.

While exposure to SEB resulted in acute mortality, treatment with THC led to 100% survival of mice. THC treatment significantly suppressed the inflammatory cytokines, IFN-γ and TNF-α. Additionally, THC elevated the induction of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and their associated cytokines, IL-10 and TGF-β. Moreover, THC caused induction of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSCs).

THC acted through CB2 receptor as pharmacological inhibitor of CB2 receptors blocked the anti-inflammatory effects. THC-treated mice showed significant alterations in the expression of miRNA (miRs) in the lung-infiltrated mononuclear cells (MNCs). Specifically, THC caused downregulation of let7a-5p which targeted SOCS1 and downregulation of miR-34-5p which caused increased expression of FoxP3, NOS1, and CSF1R.

Together, these data suggested that THC-mediated alterations in miR expression in the lungs may play a critical role in the induction of immunosuppressive Tregs and MDSCs as well as suppression of cytokine storm leading to attenuation of SEB-mediated lung injury.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32612530/

“In summary, the current study suggests that treatment of mice with THC post-SEB challenge protects mice from SEB-mediated toxicity by inhibiting inflammation and ARDS through the modulation of miRs. Because SEB is a super antigen that drives cytokine storm, our studies suggest that THC is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that has the potential to be used as a therapeutic modality to treat SEB-induced ARDS.

It is of interest to note that a significant proportion of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients come down with sepsis and ARDS accompanied by cytokine storm. ”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.00893/full

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High Expression of Cannabinoid Receptor 2 on Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells and Multiple Myeloma Cells

ijms-logo“Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by aberrant bone marrow plasma cell (PC) proliferation and is one of the most common hematological malignancies. The potential effect of cannabinoids on the immune system and hematological malignancies has been poorly characterized.

Cannabidiol (CBD) may be used to treat various diseases. CBD is known to exert immunomodulatory effects through the activation of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), which is expressed in high levels in the hematopoietic system.

Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are a heterogeneous population of polyclonal T lymphocytes obtained via ex vivo sequential incubation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with interferon-γ (IFN-γ), anti CD3 monoclonal antibody, and IL-2. They are characterized by the expression of CD3+ and CD56+, which are surface markers common to T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells. CIK cells are mainly used in hematological patients who suffer relapse after allogeneic transplantation.

Here, we investigated their antitumor effect in combination with pure cannabidiol in KMS-12 MM cells by lactate dehydrogenase LDH cytotoxicity assay, CCK-8 assay, and flow cytometry analysis. The surface and intracellular CB2 expressions on CIK cells and on KMS-12 and U-266 MM cell lines were also detected by flow cytometry.

Our findings confirm that the CB2 receptor is highly expressed on CIK cells as well as on MM cells. CBD was able to decrease the viability of tumor cells and can have a protective role for CIK cells. It also inhibits the cytotoxic activity of CIKs against MM at high concentrations, so in view of a clinical perspective, it has to be considered that the lower concentration of 1 µM can be used in combination with CIK cells. Further studies will be required to address the mechanism of CBD modulation of CIK cells in more detail.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32471216/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/11/3800

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Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2: A Possible Target in SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-19) Infection?

ijms-logo“In late December 2019, a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 or CoV-19) appeared in Wuhan, China, causing a global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 causes mild to severe respiratory tract inflammation, often developing into lung fibrosis with thrombosis in pulmonary small vessels and causing even death. COronaVIrus Disease (COVID-19) patients manifest exacerbated inflammatory and immune responses, cytokine storm, prevalence of pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages and increased levels of resident and circulating immune cells. Men show higher susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection than women, likely due to estrogens production. The protective role of estrogens, as well as an immune-suppressive activity that limits the excessive inflammation, can be mediated by cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). The role of this receptor in modulating inflammation and immune response is well documented in fact in several settings. The stimulation of CB2 receptors is known to limit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, shift the macrophage phenotype towards the anti-inflammatory M2 type and enhance the immune-modulating properties of mesenchymal stromal cells. For these reasons, we hypothesize that CB2 receptor can be a therapeutic target in COVID-19 pandemic emergency.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32471272/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/11/3809

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