Selective cannabinoid 2 receptor stimulation reduces tubular epithelial cell damage following renal ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics “Ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is a common cause of acute kidney injury (AKI), which is an increasing problem in the clinic and has been associated with increased rates of mortality. Currently, therapies to treat AKI are not available, so identification of new targets which, upon diagnosis of AKI, can be modulated to ameliorate renal damage is essential.

In this study, a novel cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonist, SMM-295, was designed, synthesized, and tested in vitro and in silico.

These data suggests that selective CB2 receptor activation could be a potential therapeutic target in the treatment for AKI.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29187590

http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/early/2017/11/29/jpet.117.245522

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Involvement of cannabinoid receptor type 2 in light-induced degeneration of cells from mouse retinal cell line in vitro and mouse photoreceptors in vivo.

Experimental Eye Research

“Earlier studies showed that the expressions of the agonists of the cannabinoid receptors are reduced in the vitreous humor of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and the cannabinoid type 2 receptor is present in the retinas of rats and monkeys. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the cannabinoid type 2 receptor is involved in the light-induced death of cultured 661W cells, an immortalized murine retinal cell line, and in the light-induced retinal degeneration in mice.

Time-dependent changes in the expression and location of retinal cannabinoid type 2 receptor were determined by Western blot and immunostaining. The cannabinoid type 2 receptor was down-regulated in murine retinae and cone cells. In the in vitro studies, HU-308, a cannabinoidtype 2 receptor agonist, had a protective effect on the light-induced death of 661W cells, and this effect was attenuated by SR144528, a cannabinoid type 2 receptor antagonist.

Because the cannabinoid type 2 receptor is a G-protein coupled receptor and is coupled with Gi/o protein, we investigated the effects of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). HU-308 and H89, a PKA inhibitor, deactivated PKA in retinal cone cells, and H89 also suppressed light-induced cell death. For the in vivo studies, a cannabinoid type 2 receptor agonist, HU-308, or an antagonist, SR144528, was injected intravitreally into mouse eyes before the light exposure. Electroretinography was used to determine the physiological status of the retinas. Injection of HU-308 improved the a- and b-waves of the ERGs and also the thickness of the outer nuclear layer of the murine retina after light exposure.

These findings indicate that the cannabinoid type 2 receptor is involved in the light-induced retinal damage through PKA signaling. Thus, activation of cannabinoidtype 2 receptor may be a therapeutic approach for light-associated retinal diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29133122

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014483516304456?via%3Dihub

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Binding and Signaling Studies Disclose a Potential Allosteric Site for Cannabidiol in Cannabinoid CB2 Receptors.

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“The mechanism of action of cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychotropic component of Cannabis sativa L., is not completely understood. First assumed that the compound was acting via cannabinoid CB2 receptors (CB2Rs) it is now suggested that it interacts with non-cannabinoid G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs); however, CBD does not bind with high affinity to the orthosteric site of any GPCR.

To search for alternative explanations, we tested CBD as a potential allosteric ligand of CB2R. Radioligand and non-radioactive homogeneous binding, intracellular cAMP determination and ERK1/2 phosphorylation assays were undertaken in heterologous systems expressing the human version of CB2R.

These results may help to understand CBD mode of action and may serve to revisit its therapeutic possibilities.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29109685

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2017.00744/full

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Radioligands for Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of Cannabinoid type 2 Receptor.

Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals

“The cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor is an immunomodulatory receptor mainly expressed in peripheral cells and organs of the immune system. The expression level of CB2 in the central nervous system under physiological conditions is negligible, however under neuroinflammatory conditions an upregulation of CB2 protein or mRNA mainly co-localized with activated microglial cells has been reported.

Consequently, CB2 agonists have been confirmed to play a role in neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory processes.

A suitable PET radioligand for imaging CB2 would provide an invaluable research tool to explore the role of CB2 receptor expression in inflammatory disorders. In this review, we provide a summary of so far published CB2 radioligands as well as their in vitro and in vivo binding characteristics.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29110331

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jlcr.3579/abstract

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Selective activation of cannabinoid receptor-2 reduces neuroinflammation after traumatic brain injury via alternative macrophage polarization.

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“Inflammation is an important mediator of secondary neurological injury after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Endocannabinoids, endogenously produced arachidonate based lipids, have recently emerged as powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, yet the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly defined. Endocannabinoids are physiological ligands for two known cannabinoid receptors, CB1R and CB2R. In the present study, we hypothesized that selective activation of CB2R attenuates neuroinflammation and reduces neurovascular injury after TBI. Taken together, our findings support the development of selective CB2R agonists as a therapeutic strategy to improve TBI outcomes while avoiding the psychoactive effects of CB1R activation.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29079445   http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159117304774

“The Cannabinoid CB2 Receptor as a Target for Inflammation-Dependent Neurodegeneration. The first approved cannabinoid drugs were analogues of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC). Dronabinol is a natural isomer of THC that is found in the cannabis plant” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2435344/

“Cannabinoid Receptor CB2 Is Involved in Tetrahydrocannabinol-Induced Anti-Inflammation against Lipopolysaccharide in MG-63 Cells. These results suggested that CB2 is involved in the THC-induced anti-inflammation”  https://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/362126/

“Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Manipulation of endocannabinoids and/or use of exogenous cannabinoids in vivo can constitute a potent treatment modality against inflammatory disorders.  For several centuries, marijuana has been used as an alternative medicine in many cultures and, recently, its beneficial effects have been shown”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/

“Cannabinoids as neuroprotective agents in traumatic brain injury.  Cannabinoids of all classes have the ability to protect neurons from a variety of insults that are believed to underlie delayed neuronal death after traumatic brain injury (TBI), including excitotoxicity, calcium influx, free radical formation and neuroinflammation.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15281893

“Effect of marijuana use on outcomes in traumatic brain injury. A positive THC screen is associated with decreased mortality in adult patients sustaining TBI.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25264643

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Activation of cannabinoid receptor type II by AM1241 protects adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells from oxidative damage and enhances their therapeutic efficacy in myocardial infarction mice via Stat3 activation.

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“The poor survival of cells in ischemic sites diminishes the therapeutic efficacy of stem cell therapy. Previously we and others have reported that Cannabinoid receptor type II (CB2) is protective during heart ischemic injury for its anti-oxidative activity. However, whether CB2 activation could improve the survival and therapeutic efficacy of stem cells in ischemic myocardium and the underlying mechanisms remain elusive.

Here, we showed evidence that CB2 agonist AM1241 treatment could improve the functional survival of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) in vitro as well as in vivo. Moreover, AD-MSCs adjuvant with AM1241 improved cardiac function, and inhibited cardiac oxidative stress, apoptosis and fibrosis. To unveil possible mechanisms, AD-MSCs were exposed to hydrogen peroxide/serum deprivation to simulate the ischemic environment in myocardium.

Results delineated that AM1241 blocked the apoptosis, oxidative damage and promoted the paracrine effects of AD-MSCs. Mechanistically, AM1241 activated signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (Stat3) through the phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2. Moreover, the administration of AM630, LY294002, U0126 and AG490 (inhibitors for CB2, Akt, ERK1/2 and Stat3, respectively) could abolish the beneficial actions of AM1241.

Our result support the promise of CB2 activation as an effective strategy to optimize stem cell-based therapy possibly through Stat3 activation.”

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Cannabinoid receptor 2 as a novel target for promotion of renal cell carcinoma prognosis and progression.

Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

“Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common malignancy of urogenital system, and patients with RCC may face a poor prognosis. However, limited curable therapeutic options are currently available.

The aim of this study is to investigate the role of Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) in RCC progression.

CB2 expression is functionally related to cellular proliferation, migration, and cell cycle of RCC cells.

Our data suggest that CB2 might be a potential therapeutic target for RCC.”

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Effects of cannabinoid receptor type 2 in respiratory syncytial virus infection in human subjects and mice.

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“An accumulating body of evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in pathophysiological processes and impacts disease severity. Here we investigate the possible role of a cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) functional variant in determining disease severity and the potential pharmacological therapeutic effects of CB2 activation in viral respiratory infection. The common missense variant (CAA/CGG; Q63R) of the gene-encoding CB2 receptor (CNR2) was evaluated in 90 inpatient and 90 outpatient children with acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI). The frequency distribution of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-the main cause of severe cases of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children-was studied in all collected samples. The mechanism through which CB2 affects clinical outcomes in case of RSV infection was studied in Balb/c mice model using AM630 as a CB2 antagonist. The potential therapeutic effect of CB2 activation during RSV infection was studied using a selective agonist, JWH133. The CB2 Q63R variation was associated with increased risk of hospitalization in children with ARTI. Children carrying the QQ genotype were more prone to developing severe ARTI (OR = 3.275, 95% CI: 1.221-8.705; p = 0.019). Of all the children enrolled in the study, 83 patients (46.1%) were found positive for RSV infection. The associated risk of developing severe ARTI following RSV infection increased more than two-fold in children carrying the Q allele (OR = 2.148, 95% CI: 1.092-4.224; p = 0.026). In mice, the blockade of CB2 by AM630 during RSV infection enhanced the influx of BAL cells and production of cytokines/chemokines while exaggerating lung pathology. CB2 activation by JWH133 reduces the influx of BAL cells and production of cytokines/chemokines while alleviating lung pathology. Collectively, CB2 is associated with RSV severity during infancy and may serve as a therapeutic target in RSV infection through the alleviation of virus-associated immunopathology.”

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Cannabinoid Receptor-2 Ameliorates Inflammation in Murine Model of Crohn’s Disease.

Image result for jcc journal of crohn's and colitis

“Cannabinoid receptor stimulation may have positive symptomatic effects on inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] patients through analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.

The cannabinoid 2 receptor [CB2R] is expressed primarily on immune cells, including CD4+ T cells, and is induced by active inflammation in both humans and mice. We therefore investigated the effect of targeting CB2R in a preclinical IBD model.

 In summary, the endocannabinoid system is induced in murine ileitis but is downregulated in chronic murine and human intestinal inflammation, and CB2R activation attenuates murine ileitis, establishing an anti-inflammatory role of the endocannabinoid system.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28981653

https://academic.oup.com/ecco-jcc/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjx096/3977952/Cannabinoid-Receptor-2-Ameliorates-Inflammation-in?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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AM1241 alleviates MPTP-induced Parkinson’s disease and promotes the regeneration of DA neurons in PD mice.

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“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.”

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