The effects of cannabinoids in exemestane-resistant breast cancer cells: PS181.

“Exemestane is one of the aromatase inhibitors (AI) used as first line treatment for estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Exemestane acts by inhibiting aromatase, the enzyme responsible for the conversion of androgens to estrogens and also by promoting apoptosis of breast cancer cells. Nevertheless, despite its therapeutic success, this AI, after prolonged treatment, can induce acquired resistance, which causes tumor relapse. Therefore, it is important to find new strategies to overcome resistance in order to improve breast cancer treatment.

Considering that the development of resistance is the main reason for endocrine treatment failure, our group decided to explore the ability of three cannabinoids, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and anandamide (AEA), to reverse resistance to exemestane. The THC and CBD are phytocannabinoids derived from the plant Cannabis sativa (marijuana) whereas AEA is an endocannabinoid. For that, it was used LTEDaro cells, a long-term estrogen deprived ER+ breast cancer cell line that mimics resistance to exemestane. These cells were treated with exemestane in combination with two phytocannabinoids, CBD and THC, and the endocannabinoid AEA.

The presence of CB1 and CB2 in LTEDaro cells was confirmed by Western blot analysis and the effects of the combination of cannabinoids with exemestane were evaluated by MTT and LDH assays. Cell morphology was analyzed by Giemsa and Hoechst staining.

Results: Our results demonstrate that all the cannabinoids induce a decrease in viability of exemestane-resistant cells, in a dose- and time-dependent manner, without LDH release. These results indicate that the studied cannabinoids, mainly THC and AEA, revert the resistance to exemestane, probably by inducing apoptosis, as observed in Giemsa/Hoechst stain by the presence of typical morphological features of apoptosis.

Conclusion: This study highlights the efficacy of using cannabinoids as a potential adjuvant treatment to revert resistance to AIs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32258721

https://journals.lww.com/pbj/fulltext/2017/09000/The_effects_of_cannabinoids_in.118.aspx

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Association of State Marijuana Legalization Policies for Medical and Recreational Use With Vaping-Associated Lung Disease

Author Insights: Bariatric Surgery May Lead to Increases in ...“From June 2019 to January 2020, over 2500 cases of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette)– or vaping–associated lung injury (EVALI) were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Some states have legalized marijuana and THC-containing products for recreational use. Many other states allow purchases for qualifying medical purposes. In remaining states, all forms of consumption and distribution are illegal, and individuals who use THC likely obtain it from the black market. If black-market THC products are responsible for EVALI, then case rates may be lower in recreational marijuana states.

The goal of this cross-sectional study was to measure whether states where marijuana is legal have lower rates of EVALI compared with states where it is illegal.

Recreational marijuana states had among the lowest EVALI rates of all states.

The data suggest that EVALI cases were concentrated in states where consumers do not have legal access to recreational marijuana dispensaries. This association was not driven by state-level differences in e-cigarette use, and EVALI case rates were not associated with state-level prevalence of e-cigarette use.

One possible inference from our results is that the presence of legal markets for marijuana has helped mitigate or may be protective against EVALI.”

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2763966

“Legal Marijuana Tied to Lower Rates of Vaping Illness”  https://www.medpagetoday.com/pulmonology/smoking/85807

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MyD88-dependent and -independent signalling via TLR3 and TLR4 are differentially modulated by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in human macrophages.

Journal of Neuroimmunology“Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are sensors of pathogen-associated molecules that trigger inflammatory signalling in innate immune cells including macrophages. All TLRs, with the exception of TLR3, promote intracellular signalling via recruitment of the myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) adaptor, while TLR3 signals via Toll-Interleukin-1 Receptor (TIR)-domain-containing adaptor-inducing interferon (IFN)-β (TRIF) adaptor to induce MyD88-independent signalling. Furthermore, TLR4 can activate both MyD88-dependent and -independent signalling (via TRIF).

The study aim was to decipher the impact of the highly purified plant-derived (phyto) cannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), when delivered in isolation and in combination (1:1), on MyD88-dependent and -independent signalling in macrophages.

TLRs are attractive therapeutic targets given their role in inflammation and initiation of adaptive immunity, and data herein indicate that both CBD and THC preferentially modulate TLR3 and TLR4 signalling via MyD88-independent mechanisms in macrophages. This offers mechanistic insight into the role of phytocannabinoids in modulating cellular inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32244040

https://www.jni-journal.com/article/S0165-5728(20)30057-6/pdf

“Cannabinoids have been shown to exert anti-inflammatory activities in various in vivo and in vitro experimental models as well as ameliorate various inflammatory degenerative diseases. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a major constituent of Cannabis. The second major constituent of Cannabis extract is cannabidiol (CBD). Both THC and CBD have been shown to exert anti-inflammatory properties and to modulate the function of immune cells. In summary, our results show that although both THC and CBD exert anti-inflammatory effects, the two compounds engage different, although to some extent overlapping, intracellular pathways. Both THC and CBD decrease the activation of proinflammatory signaling.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804319/

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Terpenoids, Cannabimimetic Ligands, beyond the Cannabis Plant.

molecules-logo “Medicinal use of Cannabis sativa L. has an extensive history and it was essential in the discovery of phytocannabinoids, including the Cannabis major psychoactive compound-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)-as well as the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CBR), named cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2R), both part of the now known endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Cannabinoids is a vast term that defines several compounds that have been characterized in three categories: (i) endogenous, (ii) synthetic, and (iii) phytocannabinoids, and are able to modulate the CBR and ECS. Particularly, phytocannabinoids are natural terpenoids or phenolic compounds derived from Cannabis sativa.

However, these terpenoids and phenolic compounds can also be derived from other plants (non-cannabinoids) and still induce cannabinoid-like properties. Cannabimimetic ligands, beyond the Cannabis plant, can act as CBR agonists or antagonists, or ECS enzyme inhibitors, besides being able of playing a role in immune-mediated inflammatory and infectious diseases, neuroinflammatory, neurological, and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as in cancer, and autoimmunity by itself.

In this review, we summarize and critically highlight past, present, and future progress on the understanding of the role of cannabinoid-like molecules, mainly terpenes, as prospective therapeutics for different pathological conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32235333

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/7/1567

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Molecular Mechanism and Cannabinoid Pharmacology.

 “Since antiquity, Cannabis has provoked enormous intrigue for its potential medicinal properties as well as for its unique pharmacological effects.

The elucidation of its major cannabinoid constituents, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), led to the synthesis of new cannabinoids (termed synthetic cannabinoids) to understand the mechanisms underlying the pharmacology of Cannabis.

These pharmacological tools were instrumental in the ultimate discovery of the endogenous cannabinoid system, which consists of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and endogenously produced ligands (endocannabinoids), which bind and activate both cannabinoid receptors.

CB1 receptors mediate the cannabimimetic effects of THC and are highly expressed on presynaptic neurons in the nervous system, where they modulate neurotransmitter release. In contrast, CB2 receptors are primarily expressed on immune cells.

The endocannabinoids are tightly regulated by biosynthetic and hydrolytic enzymes. Accordingly, the endocannabinoid system plays a modulatory role in many physiological processes, thereby generating many promising therapeutic targets.

An unintended consequence of this research was the emergence of synthetic cannabinoids sold for human consumption to circumvent federal laws banning Cannabis use. Here, we describe research that led to the discovery of the endogenous cannabinoid system and show how knowledge of this system benefitted as well as unintentionally harmed human health.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32236882

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F164_2019_298

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Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Impairs CD8+ T Cell-Mediated Activation of Astrocytes.

“CD8+ T cells can contribute to neuroinflammation by secretion of inflammatory cytokines like interferon γ (IFNγ) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). Astrocytes, a glial cell in the brain, can be stimulated by IFNγ and TNFα to secrete the inflammatory cytokines, monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and interferon-γ inducible protein 10 (IP-10).

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in Cannabis sativa, possesses potent anti-inflammatory activity.

The objective of this investigation was to assess the effects of THC treatment on CD8+ T cell-mediated activation of astrocytes.

The results suggest that cannabinoid treatment can selectively reduce certain CD8+ T cell responses that contribute to stimulation of astrocytes. Treatment with THC can abate CD8+ T cell-dependent neuroinflammatory processes by inhibiting CD8+ cell differentiation into effector cells, suppressing CD8+ effector cell function, and reducing activation of astrocytes by CD8+ T cell-derived inflammatory cytokines.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32215844

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11481-020-09912-z

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The molecular mechanisms that underpin the biological benefit of full spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain and inflammation.

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease“Cannabis has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of pain and inflammatory diseases.

The biological effect of cannabis is mainly attributed to two major cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. In the majority of studies to-date, a purified tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol alone or in combination have been extensively examined in many studies for the treatment of numerous disorders including pain and inflammation. However, few studies have investigated the biological benefits of full-spectrum cannabis plant extract.

Given that cannabis is known to generate a large number of cannabinoids along with numerous other biologically relevant products including terpenes, studies involving purified tetrahydrocannabinol and/or cannabidiol may not precisely consider the potential biological benefits of the full-spectrum cannabis extracts. This may be especially true in the role of cannabis as a treatment of pain and inflammation. Herein, we review the pre-clinical physiological and molecular mechanisms in biological systems that are affected by cannabis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32201189

“Full-spectrum cannabis extract demonstrates several convincing beneficial anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in preclinical studies. Full-spectrum cannabis extract may represent a promising therapeutic agent that seems to benefit a variety of conditions associated with pain and inflammation.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0925443920301162?via%3Dihub

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The endocannabinoid system modulates the ovarian physiology and its activation can improve in vitro oocyte maturation.

Publication cover image“The present study investigated the effect of the lack of CB1 and CB2 receptors in mice ovarian morphology, folliculogenesis, oocyte retrieval, and oocyte maturation and evaluated the use of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) by comparing classical IVM and two-step IVM by analyzing the meiotic competence of the oocytes and their evolution toward embryos.

Thus, when CB1 and CB2 receptors were missed, the ovary area and volume was significantly less and the action of the equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) hormone was diminished.

In addition, the mutant genotypes had fewer ovarian follicles and they were less competent after eCG administration compared with wild-type mice, and this lack of CB receptors showed a mismatch of oocyte maturation.

However, the in vitro use of THC showed improvements in oocytes IVM after a Pre-IVM step for 48 hr, as those oocytes reached a significantly higher polar body rate, a larger diameter and the best result on blastocysts rate was achieved when THC was used during the IVM step.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32198753

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jcp.29663

“Tetrahydrocannabinol Modulates in Vitro Maturation of Oocytes and Improves the Blastocyst Rates after in Vitro Fertilization. Our data suggest that THC may be useful IVM supplements in clinic as is more feasible and reliable than any synthetic cannabinoid.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31436397

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Cannabinoids, Blood-Brain Barrier, and Brain Disposition.

Image result for pharmaceutics“Potential therapeutic actions of the cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are based on their activity as analgesics, anti-emetics, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-seizure compounds.

THC and CBD lipophilicity and their neurological actions makes them candidates as new medicinal approaches to treat central nervous system (CNS) diseases. However, they show differences about penetrability and disposition in the brain.

The present article is an overview about THC and CBD crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and their brain disposition. Several findings indicate that CBD can modify the deleterious effects on BBB caused by inflammatory cytokines and may play a pivotal role in ameliorating BBB dysfunction consequent to ischemia. Thus supporting the therapeutic potential of CBD for the treatment of ischemic and inflammatory diseases of CNS.

Cannabinoids positive effects on cognitive function could be also considered through the aspect of protection of BBB cerebrovascular structure and function, indicating that they may purchase substantial benefits through the protection of BBB integrity. Delivery of these cannabinoids in the brain following different routes of administration (subcutaneous, oral, and pulmonary) is illustrated and commented. Finally, the potential role of cannabinoids in drug-resistance in the clinical management of neurological or psychiatric diseases such as epilepsy and schizophrenia is discussed on the light of their crossing the BBB.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32183416

 

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Matched pilot study examining cannabis-based dronabinol for acute pain following traumatic injury.

BMJ Journals“To determine whether adjunctive dronabinol, a licensed form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, reduces opioid consumption when used off-label for managing acute pain following traumatic injury.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study suggest adjunctive dronabinol reduces opioid consumption following traumatic injury.

The opioid-sparing effect of dronabinol may be greater in patients who are marijuana users.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32154376

https://tsaco.bmj.com/content/5/1/e000391

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