The Endocannabinoid/Endovanilloid System in Bone: From Osteoporosis to Osteosarcoma.

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“Bone is a dynamic tissue, whose homeostasis is maintained by a fine balance between osteoclast (OC) and osteoblast (OB) activity. The endocannabinoid/endovanilloid (EC/EV) system’s receptors are the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2), and the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1). Their stimulation modulates bone formation and bone resorption. Bone diseases are very common worldwide. Osteoporosis is the principal cause of bone loss and it can be caused by several factors such as postmenopausal estrogen decrease, glucocorticoid (GC) treatments, iron overload, and chemotherapies. Studies have demonstrated that CB1 and TRPV1 stimulation exerts osteoclastogenic effects, whereas CB2 stimulation has an anti-osteoclastogenic role. Moreover, the EC/EV system has been demonstrated to have a role in cancer, favoring apoptosis and inhibiting cell proliferation. In particular, in bone cancer, the modulation of the EC/EV system not only reduces cell growth and enhances apoptosis but it also reduces cell invasion and bone pain in mouse models. Therefore, EC/EV receptors may be a useful pharmacological target in the prevention and treatment of bone diseases. More studies to better investigate the biochemical mechanisms underlining the EC/EV system effects in bone are needed, but the synthesis of hybrid molecules, targeting these receptors and capable of oppositely regulating bone homeostasis, seems to be a promising and encouraging prospective in bone disease management.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31003519

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/8/1919

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The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator

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“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a very important role in the human body for our survival. This is due to its ability to play a critical role in maintaining the homeostasis of the human body, which encompasses the brain, endocrine, and immune system, to name a few. ECS is a unique system in multiple dimensions.

To begin with, it is a retrograde system functioning post- to pre-synapse, allowing it to be a “master regulator” in the body. Secondly, it has a very wide scope of influence due to an abundance of cannabinoid receptors located anywhere from immune cells to neurons. Finally, cannabinoids are rapidly synthesized and degraded, so they do not stay in the body for very long in high amounts, possibly enabling cannabinoid therapy to be a safer alternative to opioids or benzodiazepines. This paper will discuss how ECS functions through the regulation of neurotransmitter function, apoptosis, mitochondrial function, and ion-gated channels. The practical applications of the ECS, as well as the avenues for diseases such as epilepsy, cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and autism, which have no known cure as of now, will be explored.

The ECS is one of the, if not the most, important systems in our body. Its role in the homeostatic function of our body is undeniable, and its sphere of influence is incredible. Additionally, it also plays a major role in apoptotic diseases, mitochondrial function, and brain function.

Its contribution is more than maintaining homeostasis; it also has a profound ability in regulation. Working in a retrograde fashion and with a generally inhibitory nature, ECS can act as a “kill switch.” However, it has been shown to play an inhibitory or stimulatory role based on the size of the influx of cannabinoids, resulting in a bimodal regulation. Furthermore, due to the nature of the rate of degradation of cannabinoids, it does not have as many long-term side effects as most of the current drugs on the market.

The ECS may not only provide answers for diseases with no known cures, but it could change the way we approach medicine. This system would allow us to change our focus from invasive pharmacological interventions (i.e. SSRIs for depression, benzodiazepines for anxiety, chemotherapies for cancer) to uncovering the mystery of why the body is failing to maintain homeostasis. Understanding the roles of ECS in these diseases confers a new direction for medicine which may eradicate the use of some of the less tolerable therapeutics.”

https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator

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Multiple endocannabinoid-mediated mechanisms in the regulation of energy homeostasis in brain and peripheral tissues.

“The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is widely expressed in many central and peripheral tissues, and is involved in a plethora of physiological processes. Among these, activity of the eCB system promotes energy intake and storage, which, however, under pathophysiological conditions, can favour the development of obesity and obesity-related disorders. It is proposed that eCB signalling is evolutionary beneficial for survival under periods of scarce food resources. Remarkably, eCB signalling is increased both in hunger and in overnutrition conditions, such as obesity and type-2 diabetes. This apparent paradox suggests a role of the eCB system both at initiation and at clinical endpoint of obesity. This review will focus on recent findings about the role of the eCB system controlling whole-body metabolism in mice that are genetically modified selectively in different cell types. The current data in fact support the notion that eCB signalling is not only engaged in the development but also in the maintenance of obesity, whereby specific cell types in central and peripheral tissues are key sites in regulating the entire body’s energy homeostasis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30599065

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00018-018-2994-6

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Weight loss and improved mood after aerobic exercise training are linked to lower plasma anandamide in healthy people.

Physiology & Behavior

“Anandamide, a major endocannabinoid, participates in energy metabolism homeostasis and neurobehavioral processes. In a secondary analyses of an open-label, randomized controlled trial, we investigated the long-term effect of aerobic exercise on resting plasma anandamide, and explored its relationship with changes in body weight, cardiorespiratory fitness, and mood status in healthy, physically inactive individuals.

Thirty-four participants (age = 38 ± 11.5, BMI = 26.6 ± 3.6) were intention to treat-analysed (Exercise: n = 17; Control: n = 17). After intervention, there were significant decreases in plasma anandamide (p < .01), anger, anxiety, and body weight (all p < .05), whereas cardiorespiratory fitness increased (p < .05) in the exercise group. There were no significant changes in any variable for the control group. In the whole cohort, adjusted R2 of multiple linear regressions showed that 12.2% of change body weight was explained by changes in anandamide (β = 0.391, p = .033), while 27% of change in mood disturbance (β = 0.546, p = .003), and 13.1% of change in anger (β = 0.404, p = .03) was explained by changes in anandamide.

Our data suggest that the weight loss and mood improvement through regular moderate exercise may involve changes in anandamide metabolism/signaling.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30578894

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938418308254?via%3Dihub

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Exploiting the Multifaceted Effects of Cannabinoids on Mood to Boost Their Therapeutic Use Against Anxiety and Depression.

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“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been recently recognized as a prominent promoter of the emotional homeostasis, mediating the effects of different environmental signals including rewarding and stressing stimuli. The complex influences of the ECS on both the environmental and internal stimuli processing, make the cannabinoid-based drugs an appealing option to treat different psychiatric conditions. In particular, better knowledge of the multifaceted effects of cannabinoids could help to understand how to boost their therapeutic use in anxiety and depression treatment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30515077

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00424/full

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Cannabinoids, Chemical Senses, and Regulation of Feeding Behavior.

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“The herb Cannabis sativa has been traditionally used in many cultures and all over the world for thousands of years as medicine and recreation.

However, because it was brought to the Western world in the late 19th century, its use has been a source of controversy with respect to its physiological effects as well as the generation of specific behaviors. In this regard, the CB1 receptor represents the most relevant target molecule of cannabinoid components on nervous system and whole-body energy homeostasis.

Thus, the promotion of CB1 signaling can increase appetite and stimulate feeding, whereas blockade of CB1 suppresses hunger and induces hypophagia.

Taste and flavor are sensory experiences involving the oral perception of food-derived chemicals and drive a primal sense of acceptable or unacceptable for what is sampled. Therefore, research within the last decades focused on deciphering the effect of cannabinoids on the chemical senses involved in food perception and consequently in the pattern of feeding.

In this review, we summarize the data on the effect of cannabinoids on chemical senses and their influences on food intake control and feeding behavior.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30481264

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The endocannabinoid system in mental disorders: Evidence from human brain studies.

Biochemical Pharmacology

“Mental disorders have a high prevalence compared with many other health conditions and are the leading cause of disability worldwide. Several studies performed in the last years support the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the etiopathogenesis of different mental disorders.

The present review will summarize the latest information on the role of the endocannabinoid system in psychiatric disorders, specifically depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. We will focus on the findings from human brain studies regarding alterations in endocannabinoid levels, cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes in patients suffering mental disorders.

Studies carried out in humans have consistently demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system is fundamental for emotional homeostasis and cognitive function. Thus, deregulation of the different elements that are part of the endocannabinoid system may contribute to the pathophysiology of several mental disorders. However, the results reported are controversial. In this sense, different alterations in gene and/or protein expression of CB1 receptors have been shown depending on the technical approach used or the brain region studied.

Despite the current discrepancies regarding cannabinoid receptors changes in depression and schizophrenia, present findings point to the endocannabinoid system as a pivotal neuromodulatory pathway relevant in the pathophysiology of mental disorders.

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Adipocyte cannabinoid receptor CB1 regulates energy homeostasis and alternatively activated macrophages.

J Clin Invest

“Dysregulated adipocyte physiology leads to imbalanced energy storage, obesity, and associated diseases, imposing a costly burden on current health care.

Cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1) plays a crucial role in controlling energy metabolism through central and peripheral mechanisms.

In this work, adipocyte-specific inducible deletion of the CB1 gene (Ati-CB1-KO) was sufficient to protect adult mice from diet-induced obesity and associated metabolic alterations and to reverse the phenotype in already obese mice. Compared with controls, Ati-CB1-KO mice showed decreased body weight, reduced total adiposity, improved insulin sensitivity, enhanced energy expenditure, and fat depot-specific cellular remodeling toward lowered energy storage capacity and browning of white adipocytes. These changes were associated with an increase in alternatively activated macrophages concomitant with enhanced sympathetic tone in adipose tissue.

Remarkably, these alterations preceded the appearance of differences in body weight, highlighting the causal relation between the loss of CB1 and the triggering of metabolic reprogramming in adipose tissues. Finally, the lean phenotype of Ati-CB1-KO mice and the increase in alternatively activated macrophages in adipose tissue were also present at thermoneutral conditions.

Our data provide compelling evidence for a crosstalk among adipocytes, immune cells, and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), wherein CB1 plays a key regulatory role.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29035280

https://www.jci.org/articles/view/83626

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Human serum albumin: A modulator of cannabinoid drugs.

International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

“The endocannabinoid system is a unique neuromodulatory system that affects a wide range of biological processes and maintains the homeostasis in all mammal body systems. In recent years, several pharmacological tools to target endocannabinoid neurotransmission have been developed, including direct and indirect cannabinoid agonists and cannabinoid antagonists. Due to their hydrophobic nature, cannabinoid agonists and antagonists need to bind specific transporters to allow their distribution in body fluids. Human serum albumin (HSA), the most abundant plasma protein, is a key determinant of drug pharmacokinetics. As HSA binds both the endocannabinoid anandamide and the active ingredient of Cannabis sativa, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, we hypothesize that HSA can be the most important carrier of cannabinoid drugs. In silico docking observations strongly indicate that HSA avidly binds the indirect cannabinoid agonists URB597, AM5206, JZL184, JZL195, and AM404, the direct cannabinoid agonists WIN55,212-2 and CP55,940, and the prototypical cannabinoid antagonist/inverse agonist SR141716. Values of the free energy for cannabinoid drugs binding to HSA range between -5.4 kcal mol-1 and -10.9 kcal mol-1 . Accounting for the HSA concentration in vivo (∼ 7.5 × 10-4 M), values of the free energy here determined suggest that the formation of the HSA:cannabinoid drug complexes may occur in vivo. Therefore, HSA appears to be an important determinant for cannabinoid efficacy and may guide the choice of the drug dose regimen to optimize drug efficacy and to avoid drug-related toxicity. ”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28976704

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/iub.1682/abstract

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Circulating Endocannabinoids: From Whence Do They Come and Where are They Going?

Related image“The goal of this review is to summarize studies in which concentrations of circulating endocannabinoids in humans have been examined in relationship to physiological measurements and pathological status. The roles of endocannabinoids in the regulation of energy intake and storage have been well studied and the data obtained consistently support the hypothesis that endocannabinoid signaling is associated with increased consumption and storage of energy. Physical exercise mobilizes endocannabinoids, which could contribute to refilling of energy stores and also to the analgesic and mood-elevating effects of exercise. Circulating concentrations of 2-arachidonoylglycerol are very significantly circadian and dysregulated when sleep is disrupted. Other conditions under which circulating endocannabinoids are altered include inflammation and pain. A second important role for endocannabinoid signaling is to restore homeostasis following stress. Circulating endocannabinoids are stress-responsive and there is evidence that their concentrations are altered in disorders associated with excessive stress, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Although determination of circulating endocannabinoids can provide important information about the state of endocannabinoid signaling and thus allow for hypotheses to be defined and tested, the large number of physiological factors that contribute to their circulating concentrations makes it difficult to use them in isolation as a biomarker for a specific disorder.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28653665

https://www.nature.com/npp/journal/vaop/naam/abs/npp2017130a.html

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