CB2 receptor-selective agonists as candidates for targeting infection, inflammation, and immunity in SARS-CoV-2 infections

“The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is a deadly disease afflicting millions. The pandemic continues affecting population due to nonavailability of drugs and vaccines. The pathogenesis and complications of infection mainly involve hyperimmune-inflammatory responses. Thus, therapeutic strategies rely on repurposing of drugs aimed at reducing infectivity and inflammation and modulate immunity favourably.

Among, numerous therapeutic targets, the endocannabinoid system, particularly activation of cannabinoid type-2 receptors (CB2R) emerged as an important one to suppress the hyperimmune-inflammatory responses. Recently, potent antiinflammatory, antiviral and immunomodulatory properties of CB2R selective ligands of endogenous, plant, and synthetic origin were showed mediating CB2R selective functional agonism.

CB2R activation appears to regulate numerous signaling pathways to control immune-inflammatory mediators including cytokines, chemokines, adhesion molecules, prostanoids, and eicosanoids. Many CB2R ligands also exhibit off-target effects mediating activation of PPARs, opioids, and TRPV, suggestive of adjuvant use with existing drugs that may maximize efficacy synergistically and minimize therapeutic doses to limit adverse/ side effects.

We hypothesize that CB2R agonists, due to immunomodulatory, antiinflammatory, and antiviral properties may show activity against COVID-19. Based on the organoprotective potential, relative safety, lack of psychotropic effects, and druggable properties, CB2R selective ligands might make available promising candidates for further investigation.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33190277/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ddr.21752

image

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Protective Effects of ( E)-β-Caryophyllene (BCP) in Chronic Inflammation

nutrients-logo“(E)-β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a bicyclic sesquiterpene widely distributed in the plant kingdom, where it contributes a unique aroma to essential oils and has a pivotal role in the survival and evolution of higher plants.

Recent studies provided evidence for protective roles of BCP in animal cells, highlighting its possible use as a novel therapeutic tool.

Experimental results show the ability of BCP to reduce pro-inflammatory mediators such as tumor necrosis factor-alfa (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), thus ameliorating chronic pathologies characterized by inflammation and oxidative stress, in particular metabolic and neurological diseases.

Through the binding to CB2 cannabinoid receptors and the interaction with members of the family of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), BCP shows beneficial effects on obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH) liver diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, pain and other nervous system disorders.

This review describes the current knowledge on the biosynthesis and natural sources of BCP, and reviews its role and mechanisms of action in different inflammation-related metabolic and neurologic disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33114564/

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/11/3273

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoid Receptor Subtype 2 (CB2R) in a Multitarget Approach: Perspective of an Innovative Strategy in Cancer and Neurodegeneration

 Go to Volume 0, Issue 0“The cannabinoid receptor subtype 2 (CB2R) represents an interesting and new therapeutic target for its involvement in the first steps of neurodegeneration as well as in cancer onset and progression.

Several studies, focused on different types of tumors, report a promising anticancer activity induced by CB2R agonists due to their ability to reduce inflammation and cell proliferation. Moreover, in neuroinflammation, the stimulation of CB2R, overexpressed in microglial cells, exerts beneficial effects in neurodegenerative disorders.

With the aim to overcome current treatment limitations, new drugs can be developed by specifically modulating, together with CB2R, other targets involved in such multifactorial disorders.

Building on successful case studies of already developed multitarget strategies involving CB2R, in this Perspective we aim at prompting the scientific community to consider new promising target associations involving HDACs (histone deacetylases) and σ receptors by employing modern approaches based on molecular hybridization, computational polypharmacology, and machine learning algorithms.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33094613/

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c01357

Abstract Image

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The Activation of Cannabinoid Type-2 Receptor with JWH-133 Protects Uterine Ischemia/Reperfusion-Induced Damage

 Pharmacology - Home - Karger Publishers“Uterus transplantation is a complex surgical procedure. Uterine ischemia/reperfusion (IR) damage occurring in this process may cause loss of function in the uterus. Cell damage must be prevented for a healthy uterine function and successful transplantation.

Cannabinoids, with their increasing clinical use, are substances with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects and have a role in immune system regulation. However, their efficacy in uterine IR damage is still unknown.

This study provides information on the potential applications cannabinoids agonist JWH-133 in uterine IR damage and, hence, in the transplant process.

Results: In the uterine IR group, NF-κB expression and MDA levels were detected at high levels. Histopathological examinations and TUNEL staining revealed extensive cell damage. On the other hand, in groups treated with JWH-133, dose-dependent NF-κB expression and MDA levels decreased (p < 0.05). Depending on the dose, the rate of surviving cells increased in TUNEL staining results.

Conclusion: The results showed that JWH-133 was effective in reducing uterine IR damage. Cannabinoids may be a new alternative that may be used in the transplantation process in the future.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33105141/

https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/511457

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Signaling Through the Type 2 Cannabinoid Receptor Regulates the Severity of Acute and Chronic Graft versus Host Disease

Blood“Graft versus host disease (GVHD) pathophysiology is a complex interplay between cells that comprise the adaptive and innate arms of the immune system. Effective prophylactic strategies are therefore contingent upon approaches that address contributions from both immune cell compartments.

In the current study, we examined the role of the type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) which is expressed on nearly all immune cells and demonstrated that absence of the CB2R on donor CD4+ or CD8+ T cells, or administration of a selective CB2R pharmacological antagonist, exacerbated acute GVHD lethality. This was accompanied primarily by the expansion of proinflammatory CD8+ T cells indicating that constitutive CB2R expression on T cells preferentially regulated CD8+ T cell alloreactivity. Using a novel CB2R-EGFP reporter mouse, we observed significant loss of CB2R expression on T cells, but not macrophages, during acute GVHD, indicative of differential alterations in receptor expression under inflammatory conditions.

Therapeutic targeting of the CB2R with the agonists, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and JWH-133, revealed that only THC mitigated lethal T cell-mediated acute GVHD. Conversely, only JWH-133 was effective in a sclerodermatous chronic GVHD model where macrophages contribute to disease biology. In vitro, both THC and JWH-133 induced arrestin recruitment and ERK phosphorylation via CB2R, but THC had no effect on CB2R-mediated inhibition of adenylyl cyclase.

These studies demonstrate that the CB2R plays a critical role in the regulation of GVHD and suggest that effective therapeutic targeting is dependent upon agonist signaling characteristics and receptor selectivity in conjunction with the composition of pathogenic immune effector cells.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33027805/

https://ashpublications.org/blood/article-abstract/doi/10.1182/blood.2020004871/464166/Signaling-Through-the-Type-2-Cannabinoid-Receptor?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The impact of cannabinoid type 2 receptors (CB2Rs) in neuroprotection against neurological disorders

 Acta Pharmacologica Sinica“Cannabinoids have long been used for their psychotropic and possible medical properties of symptom relief. In the past few years, a vast literature shows that cannabinoids are neuroprotective under different pathological situations.

Most of the effects of cannabinoids are mediated by the well-characterized cannabinoid receptors, the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) and cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2R). Even though CB1Rs are highly expressed in the central nervous system (CNS), the adverse central side effects and the development of tolerance resulting from CB1R activation may ultimately limit the clinical utility of CB1R agonists. In contrast to the ubiquitous presence of CB1Rs, CB2Rs are less commonly expressed in the healthy CNS but highly upregulated in glial cells under neuropathological conditions.

Experimental studies have provided robust evidence that CB2Rs seem to be involved in the modulation of different neurological disorders. In this paper, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the protective effects of CB2R activation against the development of neurological diseases and provide a perspective on the future of this field. A better understanding of the fundamental pharmacology of CB2R activation is essential for the development of clinical applications and the design of novel therapeutic strategies.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33024239/

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41401-020-00530-2

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The CB2 Agonist β-Caryophyllene in Male and Female Rats Exposed to a Model of Persistent Inflammatory Pain

frontiers – Page 2 – Retraction Watch “Cannabinoids help in pain treatment through their action on CB1 and CB2 receptors.

β-caryophyllene (BCP), an ancient remedy to treat pain, is a sesquiterpene found in large amounts in the essential oils of various spice and food plants such as oregano, cinnamon, and black pepper. It binds to the CB2 receptor, acting as a full agonist.

Sex differences in the BCP-induced analgesic effect were studied by exposing male and female rats to a persistent/repeated painful stimulation.

In conclusion, long-term intake of BCP appears to be able to decrease pain behaviors in a model of repeated inflammatory pain in both sexes, but to a greater degree in males.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33013287/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2020.00850/full

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

A Cannabinoid Type 2 (CB2) Receptor Agonist Augments NOS-Dependent Responses of Cerebral Arterioles during Type 1 Diabetes

Microvascular Research “While activation of cannabinoid (CB2) receptors has been shown to be neuroprotective, no studies have examined whether this neuroprotection is directed at cerebral arterioles and no studies have examined whether activation of CB2 receptors can rescue cerebrovascular dysfunction during a chronic disease state such as type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Our goal was to test the hypothesis that administration of a CB2 agonist (JWH-133) would improve impaired endothelial (eNOS)- and neuronal (nNOS)- dependent dilation of cerebral arterioles during T1D.

In vivo diameter of cerebral arterioles in nondiabetic and T1D rats was measured in response to an eNOS-dependent agonist (adenosine 5′-diphosphate; ADP), an nNOS-dependent agonist (N-methyl-D-aspartate; NMDA), and an NOS-independent agonist (nitroglycerin) before and 1 hour following JWH-133 (1 mg/kg IP). Dilation of cerebral arterioles to ADP and NMDA was greater in nondiabetic than in T1D rats.

Treatment with JWH-133 increased responses of cerebral arterioles to ADP and NMDA in both nondiabetic and T1D rats. Responses of cerebral arterioles to nitroglycerin were similar between nondiabetic and T1D rats, and JWH-133 did not influence responses to nitroglycerin in either group. The restoration in responses to the agonists by JWH-133 could be inhibited by treatment with a specific inhibitor of CB2 receptors (AM-630; 3 mg/kg IP).

Thus, activation of CB2 receptors can potentiate reactivity of cerebral arterioles during physiologic and pathophysiologic states. We speculate that treatment with CB2 receptor agonists may have potential therapeutic benefits for the treatment of cerebral vascular diseases via a mechanism that can increase cerebral blood flow.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32979391/

“Activation of CB2 receptors improves cerebral vascular function. Activation of CB2 receptors improves responses in type 1 diabetes. We speculate that treatment with CB2 receptor agonists may have potential therapeutic benefits for the treatment of cerebral vascular disease that can contribute to the pathogenesis of stroke.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0026286220301370?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Activation of Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Prevents Colitis-Associated Colon Cancer through Myeloid Cell De-activation Upstream of IL-22 Production

iScience journal (@iScience_CP) | Twitter
” Here we show that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) attenuates colitis-associated colon cancer and colitis induced by anti-CD40.
 THC can prevent the development of colitis-associated colon cancer in mice.”

“Study reveals how cannabinoids may be useful to prevent colon cancer”   https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-reveals-cannabinoids-colon-cancer.html

“Key cannabis chemical may help prevent colon cancer, researchers say”   https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/nation/key-cannabis-chemical-may-help-prevent-colon-cancer-researchers-say/article_7afd0a72-eead-57f0-a1d3-006be62b7469.html

“Treatment with a cannabinoid prevented the development of colon cancers in mice” https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200915/Treatment-with-a-cannabinoid-prevented-the-development-of-colon-cancers-in-mice.aspx

Figure thumbnail fx1

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous