“The cannabinoid receptor CB2 is predominately expressed in the immune system, and selective modulation of CB2 without the psychoactivity of CB1 has therapeutic potential in inflammatory, fibrotic, and neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we report the crystal structure of human CB2 in complex with a rationally designed antagonist, AM10257, at 2.8 Å resolution. The CB2-AM10257 structure reveals a distinctly different binding pose compared with CB1. However, the extracellular portion of the antagonist-bound CB2 shares a high degree of conformational similarity with the agonist-bound CB1, which led to the discovery of AM10257’s unexpected opposing functional profile of CB2 antagonism versus CB1 agonism. Further structural analysis using mutagenesis studies and molecular docking revealed the molecular basis of their function and selectivity for CB2 and CB1. Additional analyses of our designed antagonist and agonist pairs provide important insight into the activation mechanism of CB2. The present findings should facilitate rational drug design toward precise modulation of the endocannabinoid system.”
“Adenomyosis is a common gynecologic benign disease that may have a life-long negative impact on women.
Previous studies have indicated that the endocannabinoid system may participate in the progress of endometriosis.
Our research aims to analyze the expression patterns of the typical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), the main constituents of the endocannabinoid system, in endometrial samples derived from patients diagnosed as adenomyosis or not.
In either the proliferative or the secretory phase, CB1 and CB2 protein and mRNA levels were both significantly lower in the eutopic and ectopic endometrium of adenomyosis when compared with normal endometrium. For women with adenomyosis, CB1 and CB2 protein and mRNA levels were much lower in the ectopic endometrium than the eutopic in both phases of the cycle. Both CB1 and CB2 protein and mRNA levels were increased during the secretory phase in normal endometrium, while CB1 lost its cyclic variation in the eutopic and ectopic endometrium from patients diagnosed as adenomyosis.
The decreased expression of CB1 and CB2 in the eutopic and ectopic endometrium from patients diagnosed as adenomyosis suggests that cannabinoid receptors may participate in the pathogenesis of adenomyosis.”
“In conclusion, we found a significant decrease in the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in the eutopic and ectopic endometrium of patients with adenomyosis, regardless of the menstrual phase, suggesting that CB1 and CB2 participate in the pathogenesis of this condition.”
“Cannabinoid receptor (CB)2 is an immune cell-localized GPCR that has been hypothesized to regulate the magnitude of inflammatory responses.
However, there is currently no consensus as to the mechanism by which CB2 mediates its anti-inflammatory effects in vivo. To address this question, we employed a murine dorsal air pouch model with wild-type and CB2-/- 8-12-wk-old female and male C57BL/6 mice and found that acute neutrophil and lymphocyte antigen 6 complex, locus Chi monocyte recruitment in response to Zymosan was significantly enhanced in CB2-/- mice.
Additionally, levels of matrix metalloproteinase 9 and the chemokines C-C motif chemokine ligand (CCL)2, CCL4, and C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 10 in CB2-/- pouch exudates were elevated at earlier time points. Importantly, using mixed bone marrow chimeras, we revealed that the proinflammatory phenotype in CB2-/- mice is neutrophil-intrinsic rather than stromal cell-dependent. Indeed, neutrophils isolated from CB2-/- mice exhibited an enhanced migration-related transcriptional profile and increased adhesive phenotype, and treatment of human neutrophils with a CB2 agonist blocked their endothelial transmigration.
Overall, we have demonstrated that CB2 plays a nonredundant role during acute neutrophil mobilization to sites of inflammation and, as such, it could represent a therapeutic target for the development of novel anti-inflammatory compounds to treat inflammatory human diseases.”
“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disease with intestinal dysmotility, whose mechanism remains elusive.
The endocannabinoid system is emerging as an important modulator of gastrointestinal (GI) motility in multiple diseases, but its involvement in IBS is unknown.
We aimed to determine whether cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor modulates intestinal motility associated with stress-induced IBS.
CB2 receptor may exert an important inhibitory effect in stress-induced colonic hypermotility by modulating NO synthesis through p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. AM1241 could be used as a potential drug to treat disorders with colonic hypermotility.”
“Preclinical work shows cannabidiol as a promising drug to manage neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (NHIBD). The molecular mechanism is not well defined but the beneficial effects of this phytocannabinoid are blocked by antagonists of both cannabinoid CB2(CB2R) and serotonin 5-HT1A (5-HT1AR) receptors that, in addition, may form heteromers in a heterologous expression system. Using bioluminescence energy transfer, we have shown a direct interaction of the two receptors that leads to a particular signaling in a heterologous system. A property attributed to the heteromer, namely cross-antagonism, was found in primary cultures of neurons thus indicating the occurrence of the receptor heteromer in the CNS. Oxygen-glucose deprivation to neurons led to an increase of CB2R-mediated signaling and an upregulation of CB2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complex expression. In situ proximity ligation assays in brain cortical section were performed to compare the expression of CB2-5-HT1A complexes in rat E20 fetuses and at different postnatal days. The expression, which is elevated in fetus and shortly after birth, was sharply reduced at later ages (even at P7). The expression of heteromer receptors was more marked in a model of NHIBD and, remarkably, the drop in expression was significantly delayed with respect to controls. These results indicate that CB2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complex may be considered as a target in the therapy of the NHIBD.”
“Although human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted therapies have dramatically improved the clinical outcome of HER2-positive breast cancer patients, innate and acquired resistance remains an important clinical challenge. New therapeutic approaches and diagnostic tools for identification, stratification, and treatment of patients at higher risk of resistance and recurrence are therefore warranted.
Here, we unveil a mechanism controlling the oncogenic activity of HER2: heteromerization with the cannabinoid receptor CB2R. We show that HER2 physically interacts with CB2R in breast cancer cells, and that the expression of these heteromers correlates with poor patient prognosis.
The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) disrupts HER2-CB2R complexes by selectively binding to CB2R, which leads to (i) the inactivation of HER2 through disruption of HER2-HER2 homodimers, and (ii) the subsequent degradation of HER2 by the proteasome via the E3 ligase c-CBL. This in turn triggers antitumor responses in vitro and in vivo. Selective targeting of CB2R transmembrane region 5 mimicked THC effects.
Together, these findings define HER2-CB2R heteromers as new potential targets for antitumor therapies and biomarkers with prognostic value in HER2-positive breast cancer.”
“Pharmacological activation of cannabinoid receptors elicits antitumoral responses in different cancer models. Our findings reveal an unprecedented role of CB2 as a pivotal regulator of HER2 pro-oncogenic signaling in breast cancer” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25855725
“Extensive preclinical research has demonstrated that cannabinoids, the active ingredients of Cannabis sativa, trigger antitumor responses in different models of cancer. Together, our results suggest that standardized cannabis drug preparations, rather than pure cannabinoids, could be considered as part of the therapeutic armamentarium to manage breast cancer.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29940172
“Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease, characterized by loss of tolerance toward self nuclear Ags. Systemic induction of type I IFNs plays a pivotal role in SLE, a major source of type I IFNs being the plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Several genes have been linked with susceptibility to SLE in genome-wide association studies. We aimed at exploring the role of one such gene, α/β-hydrolase domain-containing 6 (ABHD6), in regulation of IFN-α induction in SLE patients. We discovered a regulatory role of ABHD6 in human pDCs through modulating the local abundance of its substrate, the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG), and elucidated a hitherto unknown cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2)-mediated regulatory role of 2-AG on IFN-α induction by pDCs. We also identified an ABHD6High SLE endophenotype wherein reduced local abundance of 2-AG relieves the CB2-mediated steady-state resistive tuning on IFN-α induction by pDCs, thereby contributing to SLE pathogenesis.”
“Acute kidney injury (AKI) is an increasing problem clinically and is associated with chronic kidney disease progression.
Cannabinoid type 2 receptor activation has been shown to mitigate some of the deleterious tubular effects due to AKI, but its role on the renal vasculature has not been fully described.
In this study, we investigated the effects of our novel cannabinoid CB2 receptor agonist, SMM-295, on renal vasculature by assessing cortical perfusion using laser Doppler flowmetry and changes in luminal diameter using isolated afferent arterioles.
These data provide new insight into the potential benefit of SMM-295 by activating vascular and non-vascular CB2 receptors to promote renal vasodilation, and provide a new therapeutic target to treat renal injuries that impact renal blood flow dynamics.”
“Evidence suggests that cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R) activation is associated with increased food intake and body weight gain. Human epidemiological studies, however, show decreased prevalence of obesity in cannabis users.
Given the overlapping and complementary functions of the cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R), mice lacking CB2R and mice lacking both CB1R and CB2R were studied.
These results indicate that lacking both CB1R and CB2R protected mice from diet-induced obesity, possibly through the prominent role of CB1R in obesity or through an interactive effect of both receptors.”
“Multitarget cannabinoids could be a promising therapeutic strategic to fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
In this sense, our group has developed a new family of indazolylketones with multitarget profile including cannabinoids, cholinesterase and BACE-1 activity. A medicinal chemistry program that includes computational design, synthesis and in vitro and cellular evaluation has allowed to us to achieve lead compounds.
In this work, the synthesis and evaluation of a new class of indazolylketones have been performed. Pharmacological evaluation includes functional activity for cannabinoid receptors on isolated tissue. In addition, in vitro inhibitory assays in AChE/BuChE enzymes and BACE-1 have been carried out. Furthermore, studies of neuroprotective effects in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells and studies of the mechanisms of survival/death in lymphoblasts of patients with Alzheimer’s disease have been achieved.
The results of pharmacological tests have revealed that some of these derivatives (5, 6) behave as CB2 cannabinoid agonists and simultaneously show BuChE and/or BACE-1 inhibition.”