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.

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“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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Activation of type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) by selective agonists regulates the deposition and remodelling of the extracellular matrix.

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“Remodelling of the extracellular matrix and accumulation of fibronectin and collagen type I play critical roles in scar formation following glaucoma filtration surgery. The transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) signal transduction pathway is involved in this process in human Tenon’s fibroblasts (HTFs).

The type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) is an important member of the cannabinoidreceptor family of G protein-coupled receptors. In this study, we investigated the effects of the CB2R agonists HU308 and JWH133 on the deposition of newly formed extracellular matrix (ECM) and the contractility of HTFs.

CB2R was expressed in HTFs. Notably, the CB2R agonists HU308 and JWH133 ameliorated TGF-β1-induced generation of fibronectin, types I and III collagen, and the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1) and MMP-3. In addition, the CB2R agonists HU308 and JWH133 ameliorated TGF-β1-induced matrix contraction and remodelling in a dose- and time-dependent manner, respectively. HU308 and JWH133 also suppressed the TGF-β1-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), including extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), p38, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK).

Based on our results, agonistic activation of CB2R exerts a protective effect on scarring during the healing of wounds from glaucoma filtration surgery.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28958132

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Targeting the Endocannabinoid System to Treat Sepsis

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“Sepsis is a complex immune disorder that can affect the function of almost all organ systems in the body. This disorder is characterised by a malfunctioning immune response to an infection that involves both pro-inflammatory and immunosuppressive mediators. This leads to severe damage and failure of vital organs, resulting in patient death. Sepsis, septic shock, and systemic inflammatory response syndrome are the leading causes of mortality in surgical intensive care unit patients internationally.

The current lack of viable therapeutic treatment options for sepsis underscores our insufficient understanding of this complex disease. The endocannabinoid system, a key regulator of essential physiological functions including the immune system, has recently emerged as a potential therapeutic target for sepsis treatment. The endocannabinoid system acquires its name from the plant Cannabis Sativa, which has been used medically to treat a variety of ailments, as well as recreationally for centuries. Cannabis Sativa contains more than 60 active phytocannabinoids with the primary phytocannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), (6) activating both endogenous endocannabinoid receptors.

The endocannabinoid system represents a potential therapeutic target in sepsis due to the presence of cannabinoid receptors (CB2) on immune cells. In this review we discuss how various targets within the endocannabinoid system can be manipulated to treat the immune consequences of sepsis. One of the targets outlined are the endocannabinoid receptors and modulation of their activity through pharmacological agonists and antagonists. Another therapeutic target covered in this review is the modulation of the endocannabinoid degradative enzyme’s activity. Modulation of degradative enzyme activity can change the levels of endogenous cannabinoids thereby altering immune activity. Overall, activation of the CB2 receptors causes immunosuppression and can be beneficial during the hyperactivated immune state of sepsis, while suppression of the CB2 receptors may be beneficial during a hypoimmune septic state.

The endocannabinoid system modulates the immune response in experimental sepsis. Manipulating the endocannabinoid system may have potential therapeutic benefit in clinical sepsis where immune and inflammatory dysfunction can be detrimental. Multiple targets exist within the endocannabinoid system, e.g. the system can be targeted at the level of receptors by administration of synthetic compounds, similar to the endocannabinoids, which either increase or inhibit receptor activation to provide the desired therapeutic effect. Alternatively, the endogenous enzymes that degrade endocannabinoids or cannabinoid-like lipids can also be targeted in order to manipulate the levels of endocannabinoids. Proper identification of the septic stage is crucial to determine the adequate therapeutic response that will be most beneficial. Due to the biphasic nature of sepsis immunopathology, immune suppression through endocannabinoid modulation can help mitigate the hyper-immune response during the early septic state, while immune activation may be beneficial in later stages.” http://www.signavitae.com/2013/05/targeting-the-endocannabinoid-system-to-treat-sepsis/

Targeting the Endocannabinoid System to Treat Sepsis

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Polymorphism rs3123554 in the cannabinoid receptor gene type 2 (CNR2) reveals effects on body weight and insulin resistance in obese subjects.

Endocrinología, Diabetes y Nutrición

“Few studies assessing the relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms in CNR2 and obesity or its related metabolic parameters are available.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the influence of polymorphism rs3123554 in the CNR2 receptor gene on obesity anthropometric parameters, insulin resistance, and adipokines in subjects with obesity.

DESIGN:

The study population consisted of 1027 obese subjects, who were performed bioelectrical impedance analyses, blood pressure measurements, serial assessments of dietary intake during three days, and biochemical tests.

RESULTS:

Genotypes GG, GA, and AA were found in 339 (33.0%), 467 (45.5%), and 221 (21.5%) respectively. Body mass index, weight, fat mass, waist circumference, insulin, HOMA-IR, and triglyceride and leptin levels were higher in A-allele carriers as compared to non A-allele carriers. No differences were seen in these parameters between the GA and AA genotypes. There were no statistical differences in dietary intake.

CONCLUSION:

The main study finding was the association of the minor allele of the SNP rs3123554 in the CNR2 gene with body weight and triglyceride, HOMA-IR, insulin, and leptin levels.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28895540

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2530016417301799?via%3Dihub

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Activation of dorsal horn cannabinoid CB2 receptor suppresses the expression of P2Y12 and P2Y13 receptors in neuropathic pain rats.

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“More evidence suggests that dorsal spinal cord microglia is an important site contributing to CB2 receptor-mediated analgesia. The upregulation of P2Y12 and P2Y13 purinoceptors in spinal dorsal horn microglia is involved in the development of pain behavior caused by peripheral nerve injury. However, it is not known whether the expression of P2Y12 and P2Y13 receptors at spinal dorsal horn will be influenced after CB2 receptor activation in neuropathic pain rats. Chronic constriction injury (CCI) and intrathecal ADPbetaS injection were performed in rats to induce neuropathic pain.

In CCI- and ADPbetaS-treated rats, AM1241 pretreatment could efficiently activate CB2 receptor, while inhibiting p38MAPK and NF-kappaB activation in the dorsal spinal cord. CB2 receptor stimulation decreased P2Y13 receptor expression via p38MAPK/NF-kappaB signaling. On the other hand, CB2 receptor activation decreased P2Y12 receptor expression via p38MAPK-independent NF-kappaB signaling pathway.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28899427

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Effects of coadministration of low dose cannabinoid type 2 receptor agonist and morphine on vanilloid receptor 1 expression in a rat model of cancer pain.

“Morphine is widely used as an analgesic to treat moderate to severe pain, but chronic morphine use is associated with development of tolerance and dependence, which limits its analgesic efficacy. Our previous research has showed that nonanalgetic dose of a cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor agonist reduced morphine tolerance in cancer pain. A previous study showed the colocalization of CB2 and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) in human and rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) sensory neurons. Whether coadministration of a CB2 receptor agonist and morphine could reduce TRPV1 expression in morphine‑induced antinociception and tolerance in cancer pain is unclear. Therefore, we investigated the effects of coadministration of a CB2 receptor agonist AM1241 and morphine on TRPV1 expression and tolerance in cancer pain. Coadministration of AM1241 and morphine for 8 days significantly reduced morphine tolerance, as assessed by measuring paw withdrawal latency to a radiant heat stimulation, in Walker 256 tumor‑bearing rats. Repeated morphine treatment for a period of 8 days induced upregulation of the TRPV1 protein expression levels in the DRG in the tumor‑bearing rats, although no change in mRNA expression. Pretreatment with AM1241 reduced this morphine‑induced upregulation of TRPV1 and the effect was reversed by the CB2 receptor antagonist AM630. Our findings suggest that coadministration of a CB2 receptor agonist AM1241 and morphine reduced morphine tolerance possibly through regulation of TRPV1 protein expression in the DRG in cancer pain.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28901432

https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/mmr.2017.7479

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