Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) prevents or cures pulmonary fibrosis elicited in mice by bleomycin or silica.

Cytokine

“We explored the role of interleukin 1 (IL-1) in two models of pulmonary fibrosis (PF), elicited in mice by the intra-tracheal instillation of bleomycin or silica

This study indicates that IL-1ra might be useful for the treatment of incipient or established pulmonary fibrosis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7683505

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/104346669390024Y?via%3Dihub

“Endogenous interleukin-1 receptor antagonist mediates anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions of cannabinoids in neurons and glia. Cannabinoids (CBs) also exert potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.  We report for the first time that both CB1 and CB2 receptors modulate release of endogenous IL-1ra. Endogenous IL-1ra is essential for the neuro-protective effects of CBs against excessive activation of glutamate receptors (excitotoxicity). These data suggest a novel neuroprotective mechanism of action for CBs in response to inflammatory or excitotoxic insults that is mediated by both CB1 and CB2 receptor-dependent pathways.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12878687

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AM1241 alleviates MPTP-induced Parkinson’s disease and promotes the regeneration of DA neurons in PD mice.

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“The main pathological feature of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. In this study, we investigated the role of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) agonist AM1241 on 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced neurotoxicity in a mouse model of PD.

Upon treatment with AM1241, the decreased CB2R level in the PD mouse brain was reversed and the behavior score markedly elevated, accompanied with a dose-dependent increase of dopamine and serotonin. In addition, western blot assay and immunostaining results suggested that AM1241 significantly activated PI3K/Akt/MEK phosphorylation and increased the expression of Parkin and PINK1, both in the substantia nigra and hippocampus. The mRNA expression analysis further demonstrated that AM1241 increased expression of the CB2R and activated Parkin/PINK1 signaling pathways. Furthermore, the increased number of TH-positive cells in the substantia nigra indicated that AM1241 regenerated DA neurons in PD mice, and could therefore be a potential candidate for PD treatment. The clear co-localization of CB2R and DA neurons suggested that AM1241 targeted CB2R, thus also identifying a novel target for PD treatment.

In conclusion, the selective CB2 agonist AM1241 has a significant therapeutic effect on PD mice and resulted in regeneration of DA neurons following MPTP-induced neurotoxicity. The possible mechanisms underlying the neurogenesis effect of AM1241 might be the induction of CB2R expression and an increase in phosphorylation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.”

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Intra-cerebral cannabidiol infusion-induced neuroprotection is partly associated with the TNF-α/TNFR1/NF-кB pathway in transient focal cerebral ischaemia.

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“Stroke is a neurological disease, which, in addition to high mortality, imposes many financial and mental burdens on families and the society.

The main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of cannabidiol (CBD) on one of the major inflammatory pathways in cerebral ischaemia.

RESULTS:

Administration of CBD (100 and 200 ng/rat) caused a significant reduction in infarction, brain oedema, and BBB permeability compared with the vehicle-received group. Down-regulation of TNF-α, TNFR1, and NF-кB expression was also observed by CBD.

CONCLUSION:

The results achieved in this study support the idea that CBD has a cerebroprotective effect (partly through suppression of TNF-α, TNFR1, and NF-кB) on ischaemic injury.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28872345

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02699052.2017.1358397?journalCode=ibij20

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Interplay Between n-3 and n-6 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and the Endocannabinoid System in Brain Protection and Repair.

 Lipids

“The brain is enriched in arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) of the n-6 and n-3 series, respectively. Both are essential for optimal brain development and function. Dietary enrichment with DHA and other long-chain n-3 PUFA, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), has shown beneficial effects on learning and memory, neuroinflammatory processes, and synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis. ARA, DHA and EPA are precursors to a diverse repertoire of bioactive lipid mediators, including endocannabinoids.

The endocannabinoid system comprises cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids, and their biosynthetic and degradation enzymes. Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are the most widely studied endocannabinoids and are both derived from phospholipid-bound ARA. The endocannabinoid system also has well-established roles in neuroinflammation, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis, suggesting an overlap in the neuroprotective effects observed with these different classes of lipids.

Indeed, growing evidence suggests a complex interplay between n-3 and n-6 LCPUFA and the endocannabinoid system. For example, long-term DHA and EPA supplementation reduces AEA and 2-AG levels, with reciprocal increases in levels of the analogous endocannabinoid-like DHA and EPA-derived molecules. This review summarises current evidence of this interplay and discusses the therapeutic potential for brain protection and repair.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28875399

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11745-017-4292-8

“The seed of Cannabis sativa L. has been an important source of nutrition for thousands of years in Old World cultures. Technically a nut, hempseed typically contains over 30% oil and about 25% protein, with considerable amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Hempseed oil is over 80% in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and is an exceptionally rich source of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) linoleic acid (18:2 omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3 omega-3). The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (n6/n3) in hempseed oil is normally between 2:1 and 3:1, which is considered to be optimal for human health. Hempseed has been used to treat various disorders for thousands of years in traditional oriental medicine.”  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10681-004-4811-6

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Can You Pass the Acid Test? Critical Review and Novel Therapeutic Perspectives of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid A.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers

“Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A) is the acidic precursor of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound found in Cannabis sativa. THCA-A is biosynthesized and accumulated in glandular trichomes present on flowers and leaves, where it serves protective functions and can represent up to 90% of the total THC contained in the plant. THCA-A slowly decarboxylates to form THC during storage and fermentation and can further degrade to cannabinol. Decarboxylation also occurs rapidly during baking of edibles, smoking, or vaporizing, the most common ways in which the general population consumes Cannabis. Contrary to THC, THCA-A does not elicit psychoactive effects in humans and, perhaps for this reason, its pharmacological value is often neglected. In fact, many studies use the term “THCA” to refer indistinctly to several acid derivatives of THC. Despite this perception, many in vitro studies seem to indicate that THCA-A interacts with a number of molecular targets and displays a robust pharmacological profile that includes potential anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective, and antineoplastic properties. Moreover, the few in vivo studies performed with THCA-A indicate that this compound exerts pharmacological actions in rodents, likely by engaging type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors. Although these findings may seem counterintuitive due to the lack of cannabinoid-related psychoactivity, a careful perusal of the available literature yields a plausible explanation to this conundrum and points toward novel therapeutic perspectives for raw, unheated Cannabis preparations in humans.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28861488

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0008

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Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is a potent PPARγ agonist with neuroprotective activity.

British Journal of Pharmacology

“Phytocannabinoids are produced in Cannabis sativa L. in acidic form and are decarboxylated upon heating, processing, and storage. While the biological effects of decarboxylated cannabinoids such as Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9 -THC) have been extensively investigated, the bioactivity of Δ9 -THCA is largely unknown, despite its occurrence in different Cannabis preparations. The aim of this study was to determine whether Δ9 -THCA modulates the PPARγ pathway and has neuroprotective activity.

The effects of six phytocannabinoids on PPARγ binding and transcriptional activity were investigated. The effect of Δ9 -THCA on mitochondrial biogenesis and PGC-1α expression was investigated in N2a cells. The neuroprotective effect was analysed in STHdhQ111/Q111 cells expressing a mutated form of the huntingtin protein, and in N2a cells infected with an adenovirus carrying human huntingtin containing 94 polyQ repeats (mHtt-q94). In vivo neuroprotective activity of Δ9 -THCA was investigated in mice intoxicated with the mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP).

KEY RESULTS:

Cannabinoid acids bind and activate PPARγ with higher potency than their decarboxylated products. Δ9 -THCA increases mitochondrial mass in neuroblastoma N2a cells, and prevents cytotoxicity induced by serum deprivation in STHdhQ111/Q111cells and by mutHtt-q94 in N2a cells. Δ9 -THCA, through a PPARγ-dependent pathway, was neuroprotectant in mice intoxicated with 3-NP, improving motor deficits and preventing striatal degeneration. In addition, Δ9 -THCA attenuated microgliosis, astrogliosis and the upregulation of proinflammatory markers induced by 3-NP.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS:

Δ9 -THCA shows potent neuroprotective activity, worth consideration for the treatment of Huntington´s Disease and possibly other neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28853159

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.14019/abstract

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Receptor-heteromer mediated regulation of endocannabinoid signaling in activated microglia. Role of CB1 and CB2 receptors and relevance for Alzheimer’s disease and levodopa-induced dyskinesia.

Cover image

“Endocannabinoids are important regulators of neurotransmission and, acting on activated microglia, they are postulated as neuroprotective agents. Endocannabinoid action is mediated by CB1 and CB2 receptors, which may form heteromeric complexes (CB1-CB2Hets) with unknown function in microglia.

We aimed at establishing the expression and signaling properties of cannabinoidreceptors in resting and LPS/IFN-γ-activated microglia. Unlike CB1, CB2 receptors and CB1-CB2Hets were upregulated in activated microglia. Resting cell refractory CB2 receptors became robustly coupled to Gi in activated cells, in which CB1-CB2Hets mediated a positive cross-talk. Resting cells were refractory while activated cells were highly responsive to cannabinoids. Interestingly, similar results were obtained in cultures treated with ß-amyloid (Aß1-42). Activation microglial markers were detected in the striatum of a Parkinson’s disease (PD) model and, remarkably, in primary microglia cultures from the hippocampus of mutant β-amyloid precursor protein (APPSw,Ind) mice, a transgenic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) model. Also of note was the similar cannabinoid receptor signaling found in primary cultures of microglia from APPSw,Ind and in cells from control animals activated using LPS plus IFN- γ. Expression of CB1-CB2Hets was increased in the striatum from rats rendered dyskinetic by chronic levodopa treatment.

In summary, our results showed sensitivity of activated microglial cells to cannabinoids, increased CB1-CB2Het expression in activated microglia and in microglia from the hippocampus of an AD model, and a correlation between levodopa-induced dyskinesia and striatal microglial activation in a PD model. Cannabinoid receptors and the CB1-CB2 heteroreceptor complex in activated microglia have potential as targets in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28843453

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159117304038

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Is the Cannabinoid CB2 Receptor a Major Regulator of the Neuroinflammatory Axis of the Neurovascular Unit in Humans?

Elsevier

“The central nervous system (CNS) is an immune privileged site where the neurovascular unit (NVU) and the blood-brain barrier (BBB) act as a selectively permeable interface to control the passage of nutrients and inflammatory cells into the brain parenchyma. However, in response to injury, infection, or disease, CNS cells become activated, and release inflammatory mediators to recruit immune cells to the site of inflammation.

Increasing evidence suggests that cannabinoids may have a neuroprotective role in CNS inflammatory conditions.

For many years, it was widely accepted that cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) modulates neurological function centrally, while peripheral cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) modulates immune function.

As knowledge about the physiology and pharmacology of the endocannabinoid system advances, there is increasing interest in targeting CB2 as a potential treatment for inflammation-dependent CNS diseases (Ashton & Glass, 2007), where recent rodent and human studies have implicated intervention at the level of the NVU and BBB.

These are incredibly important in brain health and disease. Therefore, this review begins by explaining the cellular and molecular components of these systems, highlighting important molecules potentially regulated by cannabinoid ligands and then takes an unbiased look at the evidence in support (or otherwise) of cannabinoid receptor expression and control of the NVU and BBB function in humans.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28826541

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1054358917300376?via%3Dihub

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Neuroprotective activity of cannabinoid receptor-2 against oxidative stress and apoptosis in rat pups having experimentally-induced congenital hypothyroidism.

Image result for Developmental Neurobiology

“In this study, it was aimed to show the cannabinoid receptor-2 (CB2) role, which is a part of neuroprotective endocannabinoidal system, against increasing nitric oxide synthetase (iNOS, eNOS) levels and the apoptotic activity (caspase-3, caspase-9 and DNA in situ fragmentation) within the postnatal critical period in pups of pregnant rats with artificially induced maternal thyroid hormone (TH) deficiency.

In conclusion, apoptosis was triggered via oxidative stress in hypothyroid pups. Accordingly, neuroprotective activity of CB2 receptors were motivated spontaneously to resist to CNS lesions during the first 3 weeks of postnatal period.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28799288

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Modeling Neurodegenerative Disorders for Developing Cannabinoid-Based Neuroprotective Therapies.

Methods in Enzymology

“The increase in lifespan during the last 50 years, mainly in developed countries, has originated a progressive elevation in the incidence of chronic neurodegenerative disorders, for which aging is the key risk factor. This fact will definitively become the major biomedical challenge during the present century, in part because the expectation of a persisting elevation in the population older than 65 years over the whole population and, on the other hand, because the current lack of efficacious therapies to control these disorders despite years of intense research.

This chapter will address this question and will stress the urgency of developing better neuroprotective and neurorepair strategies that may delay/arrest the progression of these disorders, reviewing the major needs to solve the causes proposed for the permanent failures experienced in recent years, e.g., to develop multitarget strategies, to use more predictive experimental models, and to identify early disease biomarkers.

This chapter will propose the cannabinoids and their classic (e.g., endocannabinoid receptors and enzymes) and nonclassic (e.g., peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, transcription factors) targets as a useful strategy for developing novel therapies for these disorders, based on their broad-spectrum neuroprotective profile, their activity as an endogenous protective system, the location of the endocannabinoid targets in cell substrates critical for neuronal survival, and their ability to serve for preservation and rescue, but also for repair and/or replacement, of neurons and glial cells against cytotoxic insults.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28750802

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0076687917301787?via%3Dihub

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