Endogenous systems involved in exercise-induced analgesia.

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“Exercise-induced analgesia is a phenomenon discussed worldwide. This effect began to be investigated in the early 1970s in healthy individuals and rodents during and after an acute or chronic session of running or swimming. Thereafter, studies found this effect was also induced by resistance exercises. Over the years, many studies have demonstrated the importance of exercise-induced analgesia in relieving pain caused by different conditions, such as fibromyalgia, low back pain, neuropathy, and osteoarthritis. This review aims to provide the reader with an in-depth description of the main endogenous systems, substances, neurotransmitters, receptors and enzymes that are thought to be involved in the analgesic effect induced by exercise. Many hypotheses have been proposed to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for exercise-induced analgesia. One of the most accepted hypotheses has been the activation of several endogenous systems described as analgesics. Studies have demonstrated that during and after exercise different endogenous systems are activated, which release substances or neurotransmitters, such as opioids, nitric oxide, serotonin, catecholamines and endocannabinoids, that may modulate the pain perception.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29769416

http://www.jpp.krakow.pl/journal/archive/02_18/pdf/jpp.2018.1.01.pdf

“Exercise activates the endocannabinoid system.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14625449

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The endocannabinoid-alcohol crosstalk: recent advances on a bi-faceted target.

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“Increasing evidence focuses on the endocannabinoid system as a relevant player in the induction of aberrant synaptic plasticity and related addictive phenotype following chronic excessive alcohol drinking.

Besides, the endocannabinoid system is implicated in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease.

Interestingly, whereas the involvement of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in alcohol rewarding properties is established, the central and peripheral action of CB2 cannabinoid signalling is still to be elucidated.

This review aims at giving the input to deepen knowledge on the role of the endocannabinoid system, highlighting the advancing evidence that suggests that CB1 and CB2 receptors may play opposite roles in the regulation of both the reinforcing properties of alcohol in the brain and the mechanisms responsible for cell injury and inflammation in the hepatic tissue.

The manipulation of the endocannabinoid system could represent a bi-faceted strategy to counteract alcohol-related dysfunction in central transmission and liver structural and functional disarrangement.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29770478

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1440-1681.12967

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Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids.

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“Numerous physical, psychological, and emotional benefits have been attributed to marijuana since its first reported use in 2,600 BC in a Chinese pharmacopoeia. The phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD), and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) are the most studied extracts from cannabis sativa subspecies hemp and marijuana. CBD and Δ9-THC interact uniquely with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Through direct and indirect actions, intrinsic endocannabinoids and plant-based phytocannabinoids modulate and influence a variety of physiological systems influenced by the ECS.

METHODS:

In 1980, Cunha et al. reported anticonvulsant benefits in 7/8 subjects with medically uncontrolled epilepsy using marijuana extracts in a phase I clinical trial. Since then neurological applications have been the major focus of renewed research using medical marijuana and phytocannabinoid extracts.

RESULTS:

Recent neurological uses include adjunctive treatment for malignant brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and the childhood seizure disorders Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes. In addition, psychiatric and mood disorders, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, addiction, postconcussion syndrome, and posttraumatic stress disorders are being studied using phytocannabinoids.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this review we will provide animal and human research data on the current clinical neurological uses for CBD individually and in combination with Δ9-THC. We will emphasize the neuroprotective, antiinflammatory, and immunomodulatory benefits of phytocannabinoids and their applications in various clinical syndromes.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29770251

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938896/

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Effects of CB2 and TRPV1 receptors’ stimulation in pediatric acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia

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“T-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL) is less frequent than B-ALL, but it has poorer outcome. For this reason new therapeutic approaches are needed to treat this malignancy.

The Endocannabinoid/Endovanilloid (EC/EV) system has been proposed as possible target to treat several malignancies, including lymphoblastic diseases. The EC/EV system is composed of two G-Protein Coupled Receptors (CB1 and CB2), the Transient Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel, their endogenous and exogenous ligands and enzymes. CB1 is expressed mainly in central nervous system while CB2 predominantly on immune and peripheral cells, therefore we chose to selectively stimulate CB2 and TRPV1.

We treated T-ALL lymphoblasts derived from 4 patients and Jurkat cells with a selective agonist at CB2 receptor: JWH-133 [100 nM] and an agonist at TRPV1 calcium channel: RTX [5 uM] at 6, 12 and 24 hours. We analyzed the effect on apoptosis and Cell Cycle Progression by a cytofluorimetric assays and evaluated the expression level of several target genes (Caspase 3, Bax, Bcl-2, AKT, ERK, PTEN, Notch-1, CDK2, p53) involved in cell survival and apoptosis, by Real-Time PCR and Western Blotting.

We observed a pro-apoptotic, anti-proliferative effect of these compounds in both primary lymphoblasts obtained from patients with T-ALL and in Jurkat cell line. Our results show that both CB2 stimulation and TRPV1 activation, can increase the apoptosis in vitro, interfere with cell cycle progression and reduce cell proliferation, indicating that a new therapeutic approach to T-cell ALL might be possible by modulating CB2 and TRPV1 receptors.”

http://www.oncotarget.com/index.php?journal=oncotarget&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=25052

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Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol induces endocannabinoid accumulation in mouse hepatocytes: antagonism by Fabp1 gene ablation.

The Journal of Lipid Research “Phytocannabinoids, such as Δ9tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), bind and activate cannabinoid (CB) receptors, thereby “piggy-backing” on the same pathway’s endogenous endocannabinoids (ECs).

The recent discovery that liver fatty acid binding protein-1 (FABP1) is the major cytosolic “chaperone” protein with high affinity for both Δ9-THC and ECs suggests that Δ9-THC may alter hepatic EC levels.

Therefore, the impact of Δ9-THC or EC treatment on the levels of endogenous ECs, such as N-arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), was examined in cultured primary mouse hepatocytes from WT and Fabp1 gene-ablated (LKO) mice. Δ9-THC alone or 2-AG alone significantly increased AEA and especially 2-AG levels in WT hepatocytes. LKO alone markedly increased AEA and 2-AG levels. However, LKO blocked/diminished the ability of Δ9-THC to further increase both AEA and 2-AG. In contrast, LKO potentiated the ability of exogenous 2-AG to increase the hepatocyte level of AEA and 2-AG.

These and other data suggest that Δ9-THC increases hepatocyte EC levels, at least in part, by upregulating endogenous AEA and 2-AG levels.

This may arise from Δ9-THC competing with AEA and 2-AG binding to FABP1, thereby decreasing targeting of bound AEA and 2-AG to the degradative enzymes, fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglyceride lipase, to decrease hydrolysis within hepatocytes.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29414765

http://www.jlr.org/content/59/4/646

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2-Arachidonoylglycerol: A signaling lipid with manifold actions in the brain.

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“2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is a signaling lipid in the central nervous system that is a key regulator of neurotransmitter release. 2-AG is an endocannabinoid that activates the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. It is involved in a wide array of (patho)physiological functions, such as emotion, cognition, energy balance, pain sensation and neuroinflammation. In this review, we describe the biosynthetic and metabolic pathways of 2-AG and how chemical and genetic perturbation of these pathways has led to insight in the biological role of this signaling lipid. Finally, we discuss the potential therapeutic benefits of modulating 2-AG levels in the brain.”

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Deficient endocannabinoid signaling in the central amygdala contributes to alcohol dependence-related anxiety-like behavior and excessive alcohol intake.

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“Negative emotional states that are associated with excessive alcohol intake, particularly anxiety-like states, have been linked to opponent processes in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), affecting stress-related transmitters and monoamines.

This study extends these observations to include endocannabinoid signaling in alcohol-dependent animals.

Rats and mice were exposed to chronic intermittent alcohol with vapor inhalation or liquid diet to induce dependence. In vivo microdialysis was used to estimate interstitial concentrations of endocannabinoids [N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide; AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)] and amino acids (glutamate and GABA) in rat CeA. Additionally, we evaluated the inhibition of endocannabinoids clearance enzymes [monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) and fatty acid amide hydrolase] on anxiety-like behavior and alcohol consumption in alcohol-dependent rats and mice.

Results revealed that alcohol dependence produced decreases in baseline 2-AG dialysate levels and increases in baseline levels of glutamate and GABA. Acute alcohol abstinence induced an enhancement of these dependence-induced effects and the levels of 2-AG and GABA were restored upon alcohol re-exposure. Additional studies showed that the increased CeA 2-AG levels induced by restraint stress and alcohol self-administration were blunted in alcohol-dependent rats. Pharmacological studies in rats and mice showed that anxiety-like behavior and alcohol consumption were increased in alcohol-dependent animals, and these behavioral effects were attenuated mainly by MAGL inhibitors [MJN110 (10 and 20 mg/kg) in rats and JZL184 (1 and 3 mg/kg) in mice].

The present results suggest a key role for endocannabinoid signaling in motivational neuroadaptations during alcohol dependence, in which a deficiency in CeA 2-AG signaling in alcohol-dependent animals is linked to stress and excessive alcohol consumption.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29748627

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-018-0055-3

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Emerging Role of (Endo)Cannabinoids in Migraine.

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“In this mini-review, we summarize recent discoveries and present new hypotheses on the role of cannabinoids in controlling trigeminal nociceptive system underlying migraine pain.

Individual sections of this review cover key aspects of this topic, such as: (i) the current knowledge on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) with emphasis on expression of its components in migraine related structures; (ii) distinguishing peripheral from central site of action of cannabinoids, (iii) proposed mechanisms of migraine pain and control of nociceptive traffic by cannabinoids at the level of meninges and in brainstem, (iv) therapeutic targeting in migraine of monoacylglycerol lipase and fatty acid amide hydrolase, enzymes which control the level of endocannabinoids; (v) dual (possibly opposing) actions of cannabinoids via anti-nociceptive CB1 and CB2 and pro-nociceptive TRPV1 receptors.

We explore the cannabinoid-mediated mechanisms in the frame of the Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) hypothesis, which implies reduced tone of endocannabinoids in migraine patients. We further discuss the control of cortical excitability by cannabinoids via inhibition of cortical spreading depression (CSD) underlying the migraine aura.

Finally, we present our view on perspectives of Cannabis-derived (extracted or synthetized marijuana components) or novel endocannabinoid therapeutics in migraine treatment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29740328

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Control of excessive neural circuit excitability and prevention of epileptic seizures by endocannabinoid signaling

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

“Progress in research on endocannabinoid signaling has greatly advanced our understanding of how it controls neural circuit excitability in health and disease.

In general, endocannabinoid signaling at excitatory synapses suppresses seizures by inhibiting glutamate release. In contrast, endocannabinoid signaling promotes seizures by inhibiting GABA release at inhibitory synapses. The physiological distribution of endocannabinoid signaling molecules becomes disrupted with the development of epileptic focus in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy and in animal models of experimentally induced epilepsy.

Augmentation of endocannabinoid signaling can promote the development of epileptic focus at initial stages. However, at later stages, increased endocannabinoid signaling delays it and suppresses spontaneous seizures. Thus, the regulation of endocannabinoid signaling at specific synapses that cause hyperexcitability during particular stages of disease development may be effective for treating epilepsy and epileptogenesis.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00018-018-2834-8

http://www.x-mol.com/paper/661834

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Enhanced endocannabinoid tone as a potential target of pharmacotherapy.

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“The endocannabinoid system is up-regulated in numerous pathophysiological states such as inflammatory, neurodegenerative, gastrointestinal, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, pain, and cancer. It has been suggested that this phenomenon primarily serves an autoprotective role in inhibiting disease progression and/or diminishing signs and symptoms.

Accordingly, enhancement of endogenous endocannabinoid tone by inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation represents a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of many diseases. Importantly, this allows for the avoidance of unwanted psychotropic side effects that accompany exogenously administered cannabinoids.

The effects of endocannabinoid metabolic pathway modulation are complex, as endocannabinoids can exert their actions directly or via numerous metabolites. The two main strategies for blocking endocannabinoid degradation are inhibition of endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes and inhibition of endocannabinoid cellular uptake.

To date, the most investigated compounds are inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme that degrades the endocannabinoid anandamide. However, application of FAAH inhibitors (and consequently other endocannabinoid degradation inhibitors) in medicine became questionable due to a lack of therapeutic efficacy in clinical trials and serious adverse effects evoked by one specific compound.

In this paper, we discuss multiple pathways of endocannabinoid metabolism, changes in endocannabinoid levels across numerous human diseases and corresponding experimental models, pharmacological strategies for enhancing endocannabinoid tone and potential therapeutic applications including multi-target drugs with additional targets outside of the endocannabinoid system (cyclooxygenase-2, cholinesterase, TRPV1, and PGF-EA receptors), and currently used medicines or medicinal herbs that additionally enhance endocannabinoid levels.

Ultimately, further clinical and preclinical studies are warranted to develop medicines for enhancing endocannabinoid tone.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29729263

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024320518302352

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