“As we learn more about the endocannabinoid system (ECS), our understanding and grasp of the system’s ubiquitous presence is expanding. In light of this, there is also a growing body of evidence for the therapeutic potential of ECS modulation in a range of clinical situations. Strategies include for example manipulation of the Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor, mostly in terms of CNS processes, and activation of the Cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor as anti-inflammatory target.”
“Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a life-threatening complication of end-stage liver disease characterized by the rapid decline of kidney function. Herein, we explored the therapeutic potential of targeting the cannabinoid 2 receptor (CB2-R) utilizing a commonly used mouse model of liver fibrosis and hepatorenal syndrome (HRS), induced by bile duct ligation (BDL).
We found that liver injury triggered marked inflammation and oxidative stress also in the kidneys of BDL-operated mice. We detected pronounced histopathological alterations with tubular injury paralleled with increased inflammation, oxidative/nitrative stress and fibrotic remodeling both in hepatic and renal tissues as well as endothelial activation and markedly impaired renal microcirculation. This was accompanied by increased CB2-R expression in both liver and the kidney tissues of diseased animals. A selective CB2-R agonist, HU-910, markedly decreased numerous markers of inflammation, oxidative stress and fibrosis both in the liver and in the kidneys. HU-910 also attenuated markers of kidney injury and improved the impaired renal microcirculation in BDL-operated mice.
Our results suggest that oxidative stress, inflammation and microvascular dysfunction are key events in the pathogenesis of BDL-associated renal failure. Furthermore, we demonstrate that targeting the CB2-R by selective agonists may represent a promising new avenue to treat HRS by attenuating tissue and vascular inflammation, oxidative stress, fibrosis and consequent microcirculatory dysfunction in the kidneys.”
“Bile duct ligation (BDL) causes hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). Oxidative damage/inflammation drives liver and kidney injury following BDL. Cannabinoid-2 receptor (CB2-R) activation attenuates hepatic damage in BDL. CB2-R activation mitigates the renal inflammation and oxidative damage in BDL. CB2-R activation attenuates renal microcirculatory dysfunction in BDL.”
“Uncontrolled infection and increased inflammatory mediators might cause systemic inflammatory response. It is already known that Cannabinoid Type 2 (CB2) receptors, which are commonly expressed in immune cells and in many other tissues, have an effect on the regulation of immune response.
In the present study of ours, the effects of CB2 receptor agonist JWH-133 was investigated on cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced polymicrobial sepsis model in rats.
The JWH-133 treatment decreased the histopathological damage in brain, heart, lung, and liver and reduced the caspase-3, p-NF-κB, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 levels in these tissues. In addition to this, JWH-133 treatment also decreased the serum TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 levels, which were increased due to CLP, and increased the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 levels.
In the present study, it was determined that the CB2 receptor agonist JWH-133 decreases the CLP-induced inflammation, and reduces the damage in brain, lung, liver and heart.
Our findings show the therapeutic potential of the activation of CB2 receptors with JWH-133 in sepsis.”
“CB2 receptors are expressed in many tissues including immune cells. Activation of CB2 receptors has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effect.”
“Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic bladder disorder with unclear etiology.
The endocannabinoid system has been identified as a key regulator of immune function, with experimental evidence for the involvement of cannabinoid receptors in bladder inflammation.
This study used intravital microscopy (IVM) and behavioral testing in lipopolysaccharide-induced IC, to investigate the anti-inflammatory analgesic effects of a natural dietary sesquiterpenoid, beta-caryophyllene (BCP), which is present in cannabis among other plants, and has reported agonist actions at the cannabinoid 2 receptor (CB2R).
BCP’s anti-inflammatory actions were compared to the synthetic CB2R-selective cannabinoid, HU308, and to an FDA-approved clinical treatment (dimethyl sulfoxide: DMSO). IVM data revealed that intravesical instillation of BCP and/or HU308 significantly reduces the number of adhering leukocytes in submucosal bladder venules and improves bladder capillary perfusion.
The effects of BCP were found to be comparable to that of the selective CB2R synthetic cannabinoid, HU308, and superior to intravesical DMSO treatment. Oral treatment with BCP was also able to reduce bladder inflammation and significantly reduced mechanical allodynia in experimental IC.
Based on our findings, we believe that CB2R activation may represent a viable therapeutic target for IC, and that drugs that activate CB2R, such as the generally regarded as safe (GRAS) dietary sesquiterpenoid, BCP, may serve as an adjunct and/or alternative treatment option for alleviating symptoms of inflammation and pain in the management of IC.”
“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
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is comprised of cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1R and CB2R), endogenous ligands, and regulatory enzymes, and serves to regulate several important physiological functions throughout the brain and body.
Recent evidence suggests that the ECS may be a promising target for the treatment of epilepsy, including epilepsy subtypes that arise from mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel SCN1A.
The objective of this study was to explore the effects of modulating CB2R activity on seizure susceptibility.
Our results demonstrate that reduced CB2R activity is associated with increased seizure susceptibility. CB2Rs might therefore provide a therapeutic target for the treatment of some forms of epilepsy.”
“Bone cancer pain (BCP) is a severe complication of advanced bone cancer.
Although cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonists may have an analgesic effect, the underlying mechanism remains unclear.
CB2 serves a protective role in various pathological states through the activation of autophagy. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine whether the analgesic effects of the selective CB2 agonist JWH015 was mediated by the activation of autophagy in BCP.
The results of the present study suggested that the impairment of autophagy flux was induced by glia‑derived inflammatory mediators in spinal neurons. Intrathecal administration of the selective CB2 agonist JWH015 ameliorated autophagy flux through the downregulation of IL‑1β and IL‑6 and attenuated BCP.”
“Although a lot of information can be found on the specific dual role of the endocannabinoid system in the emotional-related responses, little is known whether stimulation or inhibition of the CB receptors may affect the activity of the frequently prescribed antidepressant drugs.
Our interests have been particularly focused on the potential influence of the CB2 receptors, as the ones whose central effects are relatively poorly documented when compared to the central effects of the CB1 receptors. Therefore, we evaluated the potential interaction between the CB2 receptor ligands (i.e., JWH133 – CB2 receptor agonist and AM630 – CB2 receptor inverse agonist) and several common antidepressant drugs that influence the monoaminergic system (i.e., imipramine, escitalopram, reboxetine).
Summarizing, the results of the present study revealed that both activation and inhibition of the CB2 receptor function have a potential to strengthen the antidepressant activity of drugs targeting the monoaminergic system. Most probably, the described interaction has a pharmacodynamic background.”
“Interplay between CB2 receptor ligands and antidepressants is pharmacodynamic in nature.”
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists particularly of cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2), their endogenous ligands, and enzymes that synthesize and degrade their ligands. It acts in a variety of organs and disease states ranging from cancer progression over neuropathic pain to neurodegeneration. Protein components engaged in the signaling, trafficking, and homeostasis machinery of the G-protein coupled CB2, are however largely unknown. It is therefore important to identify further interaction partners to better understand CB2 receptor functions in physiology and pathophysiology. For this purpose, we used an affinity purification and mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach of Strep-HA-CB2 receptor in HEK293 cells. After subtraction of background interactions and protein frequency library assessment we could identify 83 proteins that were classified by the identification of minimally 2 unique peptides as highly probable interactors. A functional protein association network analysis obtained an interaction network with a significant enrichment of proteins functionally involved in protein metabolic process, in endoplasmic reticulum, response to stress but also in lipid metabolism and membrane organization. The network especially contains proteins involved in biosynthesis and trafficking like calnexin, Sec61A, tubulin chains TUBA1C and TUBB2B, TMED2, and TMED10. Six proteins that were only expressed in stable CB2 expressing cells were DHC24, DHRS7, GGT7, HECD3, KIAA2013, and PLS1. To exemplify the validity of our approach, we chose a candidate having a relatively low number of edges in the network to increase the likelihood of a direct protein interaction with CB2 and focused on the scaffold/phagosomal protein p62/SQSTM1. Indeed, we independently confirmed the interaction by co-immunoprecipitation and immunocytochemical colocalization studies. 3D reconstruction of confocal images furthermore showed CB2 localization in close proximity to p62 positive vesicles at the cell membrane. In summary, we provide a comprehensive repository of the CB2 interactome in HEK293 cells identified by a systematic unbiased approach, which can be used in future experiments to decipher the signaling and trafficking complex of this cannabinoid receptor. Future studies will have to analyze the exact mechanism of the p62-CB2 interaction as well as its putative role in disease pathophysiology.”
“Microglia are the resident, innate immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS) and are critical in managing CNS injuries and infections. Microglia also maintain CNS homeostasis by influencing neuronal development, viability, and function. However, aberrant microglial activity and phenotypes are associated with CNS pathology, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Thus, improving our knowledge of microglial regulation could provide insights into the maintenance of CNS homeostasis as well as the prevention and treatment of ASD.
Control of microglial activity is in part overseen by small, lipid-derived molecules known as endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids). Endocannabinoids are one component of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which also includes the enzymes that metabolize these ligands, in addition to cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2).
Interestingly, increased ECS signaling leads to an anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective phenotype in microglia. Here, we review the literature and propose that ECS signaling represents a largely untapped area for understanding microglial biology and its relationship to ASD, with special attention paid to issues surrounding the use of recreational cannabis (marijuana). We also discuss major questions within the field and suggest directions for future research.”
“Microglial activity can be modulated by eCB signaling, which makes the ECS a potentially forceful tool in the prevention and management of CNS dysfunction.”
“The endogenous lipid metabolism network is associated with the occurrence and progression of malignancies.
Endocannabinoids and ceramides have demonstrated their anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic properties in a series of cancer studies.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the expression patterns of endocannabinoids and endogenous ceramides in 67 pairs of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues and non-cancerous counterpart controls.
Anandamide (AEA), the major endocannabinoid, was reduced in tumor tissues, probably due to the high expression and activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase. Another important endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), was elevated in tumor tissues compared with non-tumor controls, indicating that the biosynthesis of 2-AG is faster than the degradation of 2-AG in tumor cells.
Furthermore, western blot analysis demonstrated that cannabinoid receptor 1 was downregulated, while cannabinoid receptor 2 was elevated in HCC tissues, in accordance with the alterations in the levels of AEA and 2-AG, respectively. For HCC tissues, the expression levels of C18:0, 20:0 and 24:0-ceramides decreased significantly, whereas C12:0, 16:0, 18:1 and 24:1-ceramides were upregulated, which may be associated with cannabinoid receptor activation and stearoyl-CoA desaturase protein downregulation.
The exact role of endocannabinoids and ceramides in regulating the fate of HCC cells requires further investigation.”