“Neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult mouse hippocampus occur in a specific neurogenic niche, where a multitude of extracellular signaling molecules converges to regulate NSC proliferation as well as fate and functional integration. However, the underlying mechanisms how NSCs react to extrinsic signals and convert them to intracellular responses still remains elusive.
NSCs contain a functional endocannabinoid system, including the cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1).
To decipher whether CB1 regulates adult neurogenesis directly or indirectly in vivo, we performed NSC-specific conditional inactivation of CB1 by using triple-transgenic mice.
These results demonstrate that CB1 expressed in NSCs and their progeny controls neurogenesis in adult mice to regulate the NSC stem cell pool, dendritic morphology, activity-dependent plasticity, and behavior.”
“The pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is somewhat complex and has yet to be fully understood. As the effectiveness of the therapy currently available for AD has proved to be limited, the need for new drugs has become increasingly urgent.
The modulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECBS) is one of the potential therapeutic approaches that is attracting a growing amount of interest. The ECBS consists of endogenous compounds and receptors. The receptors CB1 and CB2 have already been well characterized: CB1 receptors, which are abundant in the brain, particularly in the hippocampus, basal ganglia and cerebellum, regulate memory function and cognition.
It has been suggested that the activation of CB1 receptors reduces intracellular Ca concentrations, inhibits glutamate release and enhances neurotrophin expression and neurogenesis. CB2 receptors are expressed, though to a lesser extent, in the central nervous system, particularly in microglia and in immune system cells involved in the release of cytokines. CB2 receptors have been shown to be upregulated in neuritic plaque-associated migroglia in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex of patients, which suggests that these receptors play a role in the inflammatory pathology of AD.
The role of the ECBS in AD is supported by cellular and animal models. By contrast, few clinical studies designed to investigate therapies aimed at reducing behaviour disturbances, especially night-time agitation, eating behaviour and aggressiveness, have yielded positive results. In this review, we will describe how the manipulation of the ECBS offers a potential approach to the treatment of AD.”
“The endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling system is one of the most extensive of the mammalian brain. Despite the involvement of only few specific ligands and receptors, the system encompasses a vast diversity of triggered mechanisms and driven effects. It mediates a wide range of phenomena, including the regulation of transmitter release, neural excitability, synaptic plasticity, impulse spread, long-term neuronal potentiation, neurogenesis, cell death, lineage segregation, cell migration, inflammation, oxidative stress, nociception and the sleep cycle. It is also known to be involved in the processes of learning and memory formation. This extensive scope of action is attained by combining numerous variables. In a properly functioning brain, the correlations of these variables are kept in a strictly controlled balance; however, this balance is disrupted in many pathological conditions. However, while this balance is known to be disrupted by drugs in the case of addicts, the stimuli and mechanisms influencing the neurodegenerating brain remain elusive. This review examines the multiple factors and phenomena affecting the eCB signaling system in the brain. It evaluates techniques of controlling the eCB system to identify the obstacles in their applications and highlights the crucial interdependent variables that may influence biomedical research outcomes.”
“The cannabinoid system exerts functional regulation of neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation and adult neurogenesis, yet not all effects of cannabinoid-like compounds seen can be attributed to the cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1 R) or cannabinoid 2 receptor (CB2 R).
The recently de-orphaned GPR55 has been shown to be activated by numerous cannabinoid ligands suggesting that GPR55 is a third cannabinoid receptor.
Here we examined the role of GPR55 activation in NSC proliferation and early adult neurogenesis.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:
Together, these findings suggest GPR55 activation as a novel target and strategy to regulate NSC proliferation and adult neurogenesis.”
“Cannabinoid signalling modulates several aspects of brain function, including the generation and survival of neurons during embryonic and adult periods.
The present review intended to summarise evidence supporting a role for the endocannabinoid system on the control of neurogenesis and neurogenesis-dependent functions.
An understanding of the mechanisms by which cannabinoid signalling influences developmental and adult neurogenesis will help foster the development of new therapeutic strategies for neurodevelopmental, psychiatric and neurological disorders.”
“A generally undesired effect of cannabis smoking is a reversible disruption of short term memory induced by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of cannabis.
However, this paradigm has been recently challenged by a group of scientists who have shown that THC is also able to improve neurological function in old animals when chronically administered at low concentrations.
Moreover, recent studies demonstrated that THC paradoxically promotes hippocampal neurogenesis, prevents neurodegenerative process occurring in Alzheimer Disease, protects from inflammation-induced cognitive damage and restores memory and cognitive function in old mice.
With the aim to reconcile these seemingly contradictory facts, the present work will show that such paradox can be explained within the framework of hormesis, defined as biphasic dose responses. ”
“Repeated injections of cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychotomimetic compound present in the Cannabis sativa plant, attenuate the anxiogenic effects induced by Chronic Unpredictable Stress (CUS). The specific mechanisms remain to be fully understood but seem to involve adult hippocampal neurogenesis and recruitment of endocannabinoids.
Here we investigated for the first time if the behavioral and pro-neurogenic effects of CBD administered concomitant the CUS procedure (14 days) are mediated by CB1, CB2 or 5HT1A receptors, as well as CBD effects on dendritic remodeling and on intracellular/synaptic signaling (fatty acid amide hydrolase – FAAH, Akt, GSK3β and the synaptic proteins Synapsin Ia/b, mGluR1 and PSD95).
After 14 days, CBD injections (30 mg/kg) induced anxiolytic responses in stressed animals in the elevated plus-maze and novelty suppressed feeding tests, that were blocked by pre-treatment with a CB1 (AM251, 0.3 mg/kg) or CB2 (AM630, 0.3 mg/kg), but not by a 5HT1A (WAY100635, 0.05 mg/kg) receptor antagonist. Golgi staining and immunofluorescence revealed that these effects were associated with an increase in hippocampal neurogenesis and spine density in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. AM251 and AM630 abolished the effects of CBD on spines density. However, AM630 was more effective in attenuating the pro-neurogenic effects of CBD. CBD decreased FAAH and increased p-GSK3β expression in stressed animals, which was also attenuated by AM630.
These results indicate that CBD prevents the behavioral effects caused by CUS probably due to a facilitation of endocannabinoid neurotransmission and consequent CB1/CB2receptors activation, which could recruit intracellular/synaptic proteins involved in neurogenesis and dendritic remodeling.”
“Hippocampal neurogenesis is suppressed following chronic administration of the major drugs of abuse (including opiates, alcohol, nicotine, and cocaine). However, CB1-knockout mice display significantly decreased hippocampal neurogenesis, suggesting that CB1 receptors activated by endogenous, plant-derived, or synthetic cannabinoids may promote hippocampal neurogenesis.
Cannabinoids can regulate the proliferation of hippocampal NS/PCs by acting on CB1 receptors. They found that both the synthetic cannabinoid HU210 and the endocannabinoid anandamide profoundly promote embryonic hippocampal NS/PC proliferation. Chronic, but not acute, HU210 significantly increases the number of newborn hippocampal neurons in adult rats by promoting NS/PC proliferation.
A significant increase was observed in the hipoppocampal newborn neurons of mice following twice-daily HU210 injection for 10 days.
This suggests that cannabinoids are the only illicit drug that can promote adult hippocampal neurogenesis following chronic administration.”