Translational potential of allosteric modulators targeting the cannabinoid CB1 receptor.

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“The cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor, a G-protein-coupled receptor, is an attractive target for drug discovery due to its involvement in many physiological processes. Historically, drug discovery efforts targeting the CB1 receptor have focused on the development of orthosteric ligands that interact with the active site to which endogenous cannabinoids bind. Research performed over the last several decades has revealed substantial difficulties in translating CB1 orthosteric ligands into druggable candidates. The difficulty is mainly due to the adverse effects associated with orthosteric CB1 ligands. Recent discoveries of allosteric CB1 modulators provide tremendous opportunities to develop CB1 ligands with novel mechanisms of action; these ligands may potentially improve the pharmacological effects and enhance drug safety in treating the disorders by regulating the functions of the CB1 receptor. In this paper, we review and summarize the complex pharmacological profiles of each class of CB1 allosteric modulators, the development of new classes of CB1 allosteric modulators and the results from in vivo assessments of their therapeutic value.”

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Bortezomib And Endocannabinoid/Endovanilloid System: A Synergism In Osteosarcoma.

Pharmacological Research

“Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone in children and adolescents.

Bortezomib (BTZ) is an approved anticancer drug, classified as a selective reversible inhibitor of the ubiquitin-dependent proteasome system, that leads to cancer cell cycle arrest and apoptosis reducing the invasion ability of Osteosarcoma cells in vitro. It also regulates the RANK/RANKL/OPG system, involved in the pathogenesis of bone tumors and in cell migration.

A side effect of BTZ is to induce painful sensory peripheral neuropathy which lead to cessation of therapy or dose reduction.

Recently BTZ has been evaluated in combination with Cannabinoids targeting CB1 receptor, demonstrating a promising synergic effect.

The Endocannabinoid/Endovanilloid (EC/EV) system includes two G protein-coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2), the Transient Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel and their endogenous ligands and enzymes.

CB1 and CB2 are expressed mainly in Central Nervous System and Immune Peripheral cells respectively. TRPV1 is also expressed in primary sensory neurons and is involved in pain modulation.

EC/EV system induces apoptosis, reduces invasion and cell proliferation in Osteosarcoma cell lines and is involved in bone metabolism.

We analyzed the effects of BTZ, alone and in combination with selective agonists at CB2 (JWH-133) and TRPV1 (RTX) receptors, in the Osteosarcoma cell line (HOS) on Apoptosis, Cell Cycle progression, migration and bone balance. We observed that the stimulation of CB2 and TRPV1 receptors increase the efficacy of BTZ in inducing apoptosis and reducing invasion, cell cycle progression and by modulating bone balance.

These data suggest the possibility to use BTZ, in combination with EC/EV agonists, in Osteosarcoma therapy reducing its dose and its side effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30267762

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661818310387

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Combined CB2 Receptor Agonist and Photodynamic Therapy Synergistically Inhibit Tumor Growth in Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy

“Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the deadliest form of breast cancer because compared with other types of breast cancer, it is more aggressive, diagnosed at later stage and more likely to develop recurrence.

Many patients do not experience adequate tumor control after current clinical treatments involving surgical removal, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, leading to disease progression and significantly decreased quality of life.

Here we report a new combinatory therapy strategy involving cannabinoid-based medicine and photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of TNBC.

This combinatory therapy targets two proteins upregulated in TNBC: the cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CB2R, a G-protein coupled receptor) and translocator protein (TSPO, a mitochondria membrane receptor). We found that the combined CB2R agonist and TSPO-PDT treatment resulted in synergistic inhibition in TNBC cell and tumor growth.

This combinatory therapy approach provides new opportunities to treat TNBC with high efficacy. In addition, this study provides new evidence on the therapeutic potential of CB2R agonists for cancer.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30240926

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1572100018301571?via%3Dihub

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Computational systems pharmacology analysis of cannabidiol: a combination of chemogenomics-knowledgebase network analysis and integrated in silico modeling and simulation.

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“With treatment benefits in both the central nervous system and the peripheral system, the medical use of cannabidiol (CBD) has gained increasing popularity.

Given that the therapeutic mechanisms of CBD are still vague, the systematic identification of its potential targets, signaling pathways, and their associations with corresponding diseases is of great interest for researchers.

In the present work, chemogenomics-knowledgebase systems pharmacology analysis was applied for systematic network studies to generate CBD-target, target-pathway, and target-disease networks by combining both the results from the in silico analysis and the reported experimental validations.

Based on the network analysis, three human neuro-related rhodopsin-like GPCRs, i.e., 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1 A (5HT1A), delta-type opioid receptor (OPRD) and G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55), were selected for close evaluation. Integrated computational methodologies, including homology modeling, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulation, were used to evaluate the protein-CBD binding modes. A CBD-preferred pocket consisting of a hydrophobic cavity and backbone hinges was proposed and tested for CBD-class A GPCR binding.

Finally, the neurophysiological effects of CBD were illustrated at the molecular level, and dopamine receptor 3 (DRD3) was further predicted to be an active target for CBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30202014

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41401-018-0071-1

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Cellular localization and regulation of receptors and enzymes of the endocannabinoid system in intestinal and systemic inflammation.

“Surveys suggest that Cannabis provides benefit for people with inflammatory bowel disease.

However, mechanisms underlying beneficial effects are not clear. We performed in situ hybridization RNAscope® combined with immunohistochemistry to show cell-specific distribution and regulation of cannabinoid receptor 1 and 2 (CB1, CB2), G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55), and monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) mRNA in immune cells using murine models of intestinal and systemic inflammation.

In summary, our study reveals changes in gene expression of members of the endocannabinoid system in situ attesting particularly GPR55 and MGL a distinct cellular role in the regulation of the immune response to intestinal and systemic inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30196316

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00418-018-1719-0

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Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin impairs epithelial calcium transport through inhibition of TRPV5 and TRPV6.

 Pharmacological Research

“Compounds extracted from the cannabis plant, including the psychoactive Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and related phytocannabinoids, evoke multiple diverse biological actions as ligands of the G protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. In addition, there is increasing evidence that phytocannabinoids also have non-CB targets, including several ion channels of the transient receptor potential superfamily.

We investigated the effects of six non-THC phytocannabinoids on the epithelial calcium channels TRPV5 and TRPV6, and found that one of them, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), exerted a strong and concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on mammalian TRPV5 and TRPV6 and on the single zebrafish orthologue drTRPV5/6. Moreover, THCV attenuated the drTRPV5/6-dependent ossification in zebrafish embryos in vivo. Oppositely, 11-hydroxy-THCV (THCV-OH), a product of THCV metabolism in mammals, stimulated drTRPV5/6-mediated Ca2+ uptake and ossification.

These results identify the epithelial calcium channels TRPV5 and TRPV6 as novel targets of phytocannabinoids, and suggest that THCV-containing products may modulate TRPV5- and TRPV6-dependent epithelial calcium transport.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30170189

https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1043661818311095

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Targeted inhibition of the type 2 cannabinoid receptor is a novel approach to reduce renal fibrosis.

Kidney International Home

“The cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) is a G protein-coupled seven transmembrane receptor that transmits endogenous cannabinoid signaling. The role of CB2 in the pathogenesis of kidney injury and fibrosis remains poorly understood.

Here we demonstrate that CB2 was induced, predominantly in kidney tubular epithelium, in various models of kidney disease induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction, adriamycin or ischemia/reperfusion injury.

By using in silico screening and medicinal chemistry modifications, we discovered a novel compound, XL-001, that bound to CB2 with high affinity and selectivity and acted as an inverse agonist. Delayed administration of XL-001 was also effective in ameliorating kidney fibrosis and inflammation.

Thus, CB2 is a pathogenic mediator in kidney fibrosis and targeted inhibition with the novel inverse agonist XL-001 may provide a strategy in the fight against fibrotic kidney diseases.”

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GPR55 signalling promotes proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells and tumour growth in mice, and its inhibition increases effects of gemcitabine

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“The life expectancy for pancreatic cancer patients has seen no substantial changes in the last 40 years as very few and mostly just palliative treatments are available. As the five years survival rate remains around 5%, the identification of novel pharmacological targets and development of new therapeutic strategies are urgently needed.

Here we demonstrate that inhibition of the G protein-coupled receptor GPR55, using genetic and pharmacological approaches, reduces pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo and we propose that this may represent a novel strategy to inhibit pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) progression.

Specifically, we show that genetic ablation of Gpr55 in the KRASWT/G12D/TP53WT/R172H/Pdx1-Cre+/+ (KPC) mouse model of PDAC significantly prolonged survival.

Importantly, KPC mice treated with a combination of the GPR55 antagonist Cannabidiol (CBD) and gemcitabine (GEM, one of the most used drugs to treat PDAC), survived nearly three times longer compared to mice treated with vehicle or GEM alone.

Mechanistically, knockdown or pharmacologic inhibition of GPR55 reduced anchorage-dependent and independent growth, cell cycle progression, activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling and protein levels of ribonucleotide reductases in PDAC cells. Consistent with this, genetic ablation of Gpr55 reduced proliferation of tumour cells, MAPK signalling and ribonucleotide reductase M1 levels in KPC mice.

Combination of CBD and GEM inhibited tumour cell proliferation in KPC mice and it opposed mechanisms involved in development of resistance to GEM in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we demonstrate that the tumour suppressor p53 regulates GPR55 protein expression through modulation of the microRNA miR34b-3p.

Our results demonstrate the important role played by GPR55 downstream of p53 in PDAC progression. Moreover our data indicate that combination of CBD and GEM, both currently approved for medical use, might be tested in clinical trials as a novel promising treatment to improve PDAC patients’ outcome.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41388-018-0390-1

“Cannabinoid improves survival rates of mice with pancreatic cancer”  https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-07-cannabinoid-survival-mice-pancreatic-cancer.html

“Study: CBD From Marijuana Plus Chemotherapy Tripled Cancer Survival Rates In Mice” https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2018/07/31/study-cbd-from-marijuana-plus-chemotherapy-triples-cancer-survival-rates-in-mice/#491942d44630

“Cannabis drug may help pancreatic-cancer patients live almost THREE TIMES longer, study finds” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6007275/Cannabis-drug-help-pancreatic-cancer-patients-live-THREE-TIMES-longer-study-finds.html

“Substance in cannabis ‘could boost pancreatic cancer treatments’. Scientists say cannabidiol could extend patients’ lives by a matter of years”  https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jul/30/substance-in-cannabis-could-boost-pancreatic-cancer-treatments

“Cannabinoid mice trial holds hope for pancreatic cancer patients”  https://www.smh.com.au/national/cannabinoid-mice-trial-holds-hope-for-pancreatic-cancer-patients-20180731-p4zuls.html

“Medical cannabis extract could help pancreatic cancer patients live longer, early study suggests” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/pancreatic-cancer-medical-cannabis-cbd-oil-cannabidiol-chemotherapy-a8470406.html

“Cancer ‘remarkable’ treatment – cannabis CBD could improve survival rate by THREE times. CANCER symptoms could be prevented with a “remarkable” new treatment, which includes cannabis CBD, scientists have revealed. Pancreatic cancer survival rates could be improved by three times, by adding CBD into chemotherapy treatments, they said.” https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/996657/cancer-treatment-pancreatic-symptoms-cannabis-cbd

“Compound in cannabis could help pancreatic cancer patients live significantly longer” https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/310718/compound-in-cannabis-could-help-pancreatic-cancer-patients-live-signif.html

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Chronic treatment with the phytocannabinoid Cannabidivarin (CBDV) rescues behavioural alterations and brain atrophy in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

Neuropharmacology

“Rett syndrome (RTT) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by severe behavioural and physiological symptoms. RTT is caused by mutations in the MECP2 gene in about 95% of cases and to date no cure is available.

The endocannabinoid system modulates several physiological processes and behavioural responses that are impaired in RTT and its deregulation has been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders which have symptoms in common with RTT.

The present study evaluated the potential therapeutic efficacy for RTT of cannabidivarin (CBDV), a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid from Cannabis sativa that presents antagonistic properties on the G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55), the most recently identified cannabinoid receptor.

Present results demonstrate that systemic treatment with CBDV (2, 20, 100 mg/Kg ip for 14 days) rescues behavioural and brain alterations in MeCP2-308 male mice, a validated RTT model. The CBDV treatment restored the compromised general health status, the sociability and the brain weight in RTT mice. A partial restoration of motor coordination was also observed. Moreover, increased levels of GPR55 were found in RTT mouse hippocampus, suggesting this G protein-coupled receptor as new potential target for the treatment of this disorder.

Present findings highlight for the first time for RTT the translational relevance of CBDV, an innovative therapeutic agent that is under active investigation in the clinical setting.”

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[Should ophtalmologists recommend medical cannabis to patients with glaucoma?]

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“Cannabis has been widely used for various medical purposes since before year 2000 BC. Its effects are mediated by cannabinoids and stimulation of mainly G-protein coupled cannabinoid receptors.

In 1971, subjects who smoked marihuana, showed a decrease in the intraocular pressure.

Later investigations additionally revealed a neuroprotective effect of both ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (CBD).

Furthermore, CBD was found to promote neurogenesis. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the potential use of cannabinoids in the treatment of glaucoma.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30020072

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