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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The role of the cannabinoid system in opioid analgesia and tolerance.

“Opioid receptor agonist drugs, such as morphine, are very effective for treating chronic and severe pain; but, tolerance can develop with long-term use. Although there is a lot of information about the pathophysiological mechanisms of opioid tolerance, it is still not fully clarified. Suggested mechanisms for opioid tolerance include opioid receptor desensitisation, reduction of sensitivity G-proteins, activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), altered intracellular signaling pathway including nitric oxide, and activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).

One way to reduce opioid tolerance and increase the analgesic potential is to use low doses. Combination of cannabinoids with opioids has been shown to manifest reduce the opioid dose. Experimental studies revealed an interaction of the endocannabinoid system and opioid antinociception.

Cannabinoid and opioid receptor systems use common pathways in the formation of analgesic effect and demonstrate their activity via G protein coupled receptors (GPCR). Cannabinoid drugs modulate opioid analgesic activity at a number of distinct levels within the cell, ranging from direct receptor associations, to post-receptor interactions through shared signal transduction pathways.

This review summarizes the data indicating that with combining cannabinoids and opioids drugs may be able to produce long-term analgesic effects, while preventing the opioid analgesic tolerance.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32167427

http://www.eurekaselect.com/180186/article

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Role of cannabis in inflammatory bowel diseases.

Image result for Ann Gastroenterol“For many centuries, cannabis (marijuana) has been used for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Currently, there are about 192 million cannabis users worldwide, constituting approximately 3.9% of the global population. Cannabis comprises more than 70 aromatic hydrocarbon compounds known as cannabinoids. Endogenous circulating cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol, their metabolizing enzymes (fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase) and 2 G-protein coupled cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, together represent the endocannabinoid system and are present throughout the human body. In the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the activated endocannabinoid system reduces gut motility, intestinal secretion and epithelial permeability, and induces inflammatory leukocyte recruitment and immune modulation through the cannabinoid receptors present in the enteric nervous and immune systems. Because of the effects of cannabinoids on the GI tract, attempts have been made to investigate their medicinal properties, particularly for GI disorders such as pancreatitis, hepatitis, and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The effects of cannabis on IBD have been elucidated in several small observational and placebo-controlled studies, but with varied results. The small sample size and short follow-up duration in these studies make it difficult to show the clear benefits of cannabis in IBD. However, cannabis is now being considered as a potential drug for inflammatory GI conditions, particularly IBD, because of its spreading legalization in the United States and other countries and the growing trend in its use. More high-quality controlled studies are warranted to elucidate the mechanism and benefits of cannabis use as a possible option in IBD management.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32127734

http://www.annalsgastro.gr/files/journals/1/earlyview/2020/ev-02-2020-03-AG4866-0452.pdf

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Localization of cannabinoid and cannabinoid related receptors in the cat gastrointestinal tract.

Image result for Histochem Cell Biol journal “A growing body of literature indicates that activation of cannabinoid receptors may exert beneficial effects on gastrointestinal inflammation and visceral hypersensitivity.

The present study aimed to immunohistochemically investigate the distribution of the canonical cannabinoid receptors CB1 (CB1R) and CB2 (CB2R) and the putative cannabinoid receptors G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55), nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα), transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), and serotonin receptor 5-HT1a 5-HT1aR) in tissue samples of the gastrointestinal tract of the cat.

CB1R-immunoreactivity (CB1R-IR) was observed in gastric epithelial cells, intestinal enteroendocrine cells (EECs) and goblet cells, lamina propria mast cells (MCs), and enteric neurons. CB2R-IR was expressed by EECs, enterocytes, and macrophages. GPR55-IR was expressed by EECs, macrophages, immunocytes, and MP neurons. PPARα-IR was expressed by immunocytes, smooth muscle cells, and enteroglial cells. TRPA1-IR was expressed by enteric neurons and intestinal goblet cells. 5-HT1a receptor-IR was expressed by gastrointestinal epithelial cells and gastric smooth muscle cells.

Cannabinoid receptors showed a wide distribution in the feline gastrointestinal tract layers. Although not yet confirmed/supported by functional evidences, the present research might represent an anatomical substrate potentially useful to support, in feline species, the therapeutic use of cannabinoids during gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32095931

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The proposed mechanisms of action of CBD in epilepsy.

Image result for epileptic disorders journal“Highly purified cannabidiol (CBD) (approved as Epidiolex® in the United States and as EPIDYOLEX from the EU agency) has demonstrated efficacy with an acceptable safety profile in patients with Lennox-Gastaut or Dravet syndrome in four randomized controlled trials. While the mechanism of action of CBD underlying the reduction of seizures in humans is unknown, CBD possesses affinity for multiple targets, across a range of target classes, resulting in functional modulation of neuronal excitability, relevant to the pathophysiology of many disease types, including epilepsy. Here we present the pharmacological data supporting the role of three such targets, namely Transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1), the orphan G protein-coupled receptor-55 (GPR55) and the equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT-1).”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Targeting GPCRs Against Cardiotoxicity Induced by Anticancer Treatments.

Image result for frontiers in cardiovascular medicine“Novel anticancer medicines, including targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors, have greatly improved the management of cancers. However, both conventional and new anticancer treatments induce cardiac adverse effects, which remain a critical issue in clinic.

Cardiotoxicity induced by anti-cancer treatments compromise vasospastic and thromboembolic ischemia, dysrhythmia, hypertension, myocarditis, and cardiac dysfunction that can result in heart failure. Importantly, none of the strategies to prevent cardiotoxicity from anticancer therapies is completely safe and satisfactory.

Certain clinically used cardioprotective drugs can even contribute to cancer induction. Since G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are target of forty percent of clinically used drugs, here we discuss the newly identified cardioprotective agents that bind GPCRs of adrenalin, adenosine, melatonin, ghrelin, galanin, apelin, prokineticin and cannabidiol.

We hope to provoke further drug development studies considering these GPCRs as potential targets to be translated to treatment of human heart failure induced by anticancer drugs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32039239

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcvm.2019.00194/full

“Cannabidiol Protects against Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiomyopathy by Modulating Mitochondrial Function and Biogenesis.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25569804

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoid Signaling in Glioma Cells.

 “Cannabinoids are a group of structurally heterogeneous but pharmacologically related compounds, including plant-derived cannabinoids, synthetic substances and endogenous cannabinoids, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.

Cannabinoids elicit a wide range of central and peripheral effects mostly mediated through cannabinoid receptors. There are two types of specific Gi/o-protein-coupled receptors cloned so far, called CB1 and CB2, although an existence of additional cannabinoid-binding receptors has been suggested. CB1 and CB2 differ in their predicted amino acid sequence, tissue distribution, physiological role and signaling mechanisms.

Significant alterations of a balance in the cannabinoid system between the levels of endogenous ligands and their receptors occur during malignant transformation in various types of cancer, including gliomas.

Cannabinoids exert anti-proliferative action in tumor cells.

Induction of cell death by cannabinoid treatment relies on the generation of a pro-apoptotic sphingolipid ceramide and disruption of signaling pathways crucial for regulation of cellular proliferation, differentiation or apoptosis. Increased ceramide levels lead also to ER-stress and autophagy in drug-treated glioblastoma cells.

Beyond blocking of tumor cells proliferation cannabinoids inhibit invasiveness, angiogenesis and the stem cell-like properties of glioma cells, showing profound activity in the complex tumor microenvironment. Advances in translational research on cannabinoid signaling led to clinical investigations on the use of cannabinoids in treatments of glioblastomas.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32034716

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-30651-9_11

“Cannabinoids exert anti-proliferative action in tumor cells.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22879071

“A glioma is a primary brain tumor that originates from the supportive cells of the brain, called glial cells.” http://neurosurgery.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=159

“Remarkably, cannabinoids kill glioma cells selectively and can protect non-transformed glial cells from death.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15275820

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoid receptor 2 activation alleviates septic lung injury by promoting autophagy via inhibition of inflammatory mediator release.

Cellular Signalling“Septic lung injury is one of main causes of high mortality in severe patients. Inhibition of excessive inflammatory response is considered as an effective strategy for septic lung injury.

Previous studies have shown that cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), a G protein-coupled receptor, play an important role in immunosuppression.

Whether CB2 can be used as a therapeutic target for septic lung injury is unclear. The aim of this study is to explore the role of CB2 in sepsis and its potential mechanism.

These results suggest that CB2 serves as a protective target for septic lung injury by decreasing inflammatory factors, which is associated with the enhancement of autophagy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32027949

“Activation of cannabinoid receptor 2 can alleviate sepsis-induced lung injury.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0898656820300334?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Activation and Signaling Mechanism Revealed by Cannabinoid Receptor-Gi Complex Structures.

Image result for cell journal“Human endocannabinoid systems modulate multiple physiological processes mainly through the activation of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Their high sequence similarity, low agonist selectivity, and lack of activation and G protein-coupling knowledge have hindered the development of therapeutic applications. Importantly, missing structural information has significantly held back the development of promising CB2-selective agonist drugs for treating inflammatory and neuropathic pain without the psychoactivity of CB1. Here, we report the cryoelectron microscopy structures of synthetic cannabinoid-bound CB2 and CB1 in complex with Gi, as well as agonist-bound CB2 crystal structure. Of important scientific and therapeutic benefit, our results reveal a diverse activation and signaling mechanism, the structural basis of CB2-selective agonists design, and the unexpected interaction of cholesterol with CB1, suggestive of its endogenous allosteric modulating role.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32004463

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)30055-6?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0092867420300556%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabis and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: An Updated Review.

 Image result for Acta Neurol Taiwan. journal“Cannabis plant has the scientific name called Cannabis sativa L. Cannabis plant has many species, but there are three main species including Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. Over 70 compounds isolated from cannabis species are called cannabinoids (CBN).

Cannabinoids produce over 100 naturally occurring chemicals. The most abundant chemicals are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is psychotropic chemical that makes people feel “high” while CBD is nonpsychotropic chemical. However, cannabinoid chemicals are not found only in the cannabis plant, they are also produced by the mammalian body, called endocannabinoids and in the laboratory, called synthesized cannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system including brain and peripheral nervous system. There are at least two types of endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) which are G-protein coupled receptors.

CB1 receptors are particularly abundant in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, hypothalamus and cerebellum, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. They are present in inhibitory GABA-ergic neurons and excitatory glutamatergic neurons. CB2 receptor is most abundantly found on cells of the immune system, hematopoietic cells and glia cells. CB2 is mainly expressed in the periphery under normal healthy condition, but in conditions of disease or injury, this upregulation occurs within the brain, and CB2 is therefore expressed in the brain in unhealthy states.

Cannabis and cannabinoid are studied in different medical conditions. The therapeutic potentials of both cannabis and cannabinoid are related to the effects of THC, CBD and other cannabinoid compounds. However, the “high” effect of THC in cannabis and cannabinoid may limit the clinical use, particularly, the study on the therapeutic potential of THC alone is more limited.

This review emphasizes the therapeutic potential of CBD and CBD with THC. CBD has shown to have benefit in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders including autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, psychosis, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, HIV, migraine, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, hypoxic-ischemic injury and epilepsy. CBD is generally well tolerated. Most common adverse events are diarrhea and somnolence. CBD also shows significantly low abuse potential.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31867704

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous