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

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“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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Neuroprotection by (endo)cannabinoids in glaucoma and retinal neurodegenerative diseases.

“Emerging neuroprotective strategies are being explored to preserve the retina from degeneration, that occurs in eye pathologies like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa. Incidentally, neuroprotection of retina is a defending mechanism designed to prevent or delay neuronal cell death, and to maintain neural function following an initial insult, thus avoiding loss of vision.

Numerous studies have investigated potential neuroprotective properties of plant-derived phytocannabinoids, as well as of their endogenous counterparts collectively termed endocannabinoids (eCBs), in several degenerative diseases of the retina.

eCBs are a group of neuromodulators that, mainly by activating G protein-coupled type-1 and type-2 cannabinoid (CB1 and CB2) receptors, trigger multiple signal transduction cascades that modulate central and peripheral cell functions. A fine balance between biosynthetic and degrading enzymes that control the right concentration of eCBs has been shown to provide neuroprotection in traumatic, ischemic, inflammatory and neurotoxic damage of the brain.

Since the existence of eCBs and their binding receptors was documented in the retina of numerous species (from fishes to primates), their involvement in the visual processing has been demonstrated, more recently with a focus on retinal neurodegeneration and neuroprotection. The aim of this review is to present a modern view of the endocannabinoid system, in order to discuss in a better perspective available data from preclinical studies on the use of eCBs as new neuroprotective agents, potentially useful to prevent glaucoma and retinal neurodegenerative diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28738764

http://www.eurekaselect.com/154386/article

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Alleviation of Neuropathology by Inhibition of Monoacylglycerol Lipase in APP Transgenic Mice Lacking CB2 Receptors.

Molecular Neurobiology

“Inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the primary enzyme that hydrolyzes the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the brain, produces profound anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects and improves synaptic and cognitive functions in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects produced by inhibition of 2-AG metabolism are still not clear.

The cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) has been thought to be a therapeutic target for AD. Here, we provide evidence, however, that CB2R does not play a role in ameliorating AD neuropathology produced by inactivation of MAGL in 5XFAD APP transgenic mice, an animal model of AD.

Our results suggest that CB2R is not required in ameliorating neuropathology and preventing cognitive decline by inhibition of 2-AG metabolism in AD model animals.”

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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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Endocannabinoids exert CB1 receptor-mediated neuroprotective effects in models of neuronal damage induced by HIV-1 Tat protein.

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“In the era of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is considered a chronic disease that specifically targets the brain and causes HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Endocannabinoids (eCBs) elicit neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions in several central nervous system (CNS) disease models, but their effects in HAND remain unknown. HIV-1 does not infect neurons, but produces viral toxins, such as transactivator of transcription (Tat), that disrupt neuronal calcium equilibrium and give rise to synaptodendritic injuries and cell death, the former being highly correlated with HAND. Consequently, we tested whether the eCBs N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (anandamide/AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG) offer neuroprotective actions in a neuronal culture model. Specifically, we examined the neuroprotective actions of these eCBs on Tat excitotoxicity in primary cultures of prefrontal cortex neurons (PFC), and whether cannabinoid receptors mediate this neuroprotection. Tat-induced excitotoxicity was reflected by increased intracellular calcium levels, synaptodendritic damage, neuronal excitability, and neuronal death. Further, upregulation of cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) protein levels was noted in the presence of HIV-1 Tat. The direct application of AEA and 2-AG reduced excitotoxic levels of intracellular calcium and promoted neuronal survival following Tat exposure, which was prevented by the CB1R antagonist rimonabant, but not by the CB2R antagonist AM630. Overall, our findings indicate that eCBs protect PFC neurons from Tat excitotoxicity in vitro via a CB1R-related mechanism. Thus, the eCB system possesses promising targets for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders associated with HIV-1 infection.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28733129

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1044743117300830

 

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The synthetic cannabinoid WIN55212-2 ameliorates traumatic spinal cord injury via inhibition of GAPDH/Siah1 in a CB2-receptor dependent manner.

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“The essential role of GAPDH/Siah1 signaling pathway in the pathogenesis of various injurious conditions such as traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) has been gradually recognized. However, the drugs targeting this signaling pathway are still lacking.

The endocannabinoid system, including its receptors (CB1 and CB2), act as neuroprotective and immunomodulatory modulators in SCI. WIN55212-2, an agonist for CB1 and CB2 receptors, has been demonstrated with anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects in multiple neurological diseases. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate whether WIN55212-2 could promote functional recovery after traumatic SCI via inhibition of the GAPDH/Siah1 signaling.

In conclusion, our study indicates that, WIN55212-2 improves the functional recovery after SCI via inhibition of GAPDH/Siah1 cascades in a CB2 receptor dependent manner, indicative of its therapeutic potential for traumatic SCI or other traumatic conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28716633

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An Overview on Medicinal Chemistry of Synthetic and Natural Derivatives of Cannabidiol.

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) has been traditionally used in Cannabis-based preparation, however historically, it has received far less interest as a single drug than the other components of Cannabis. Currently, CBD generates considerable interest due to its beneficial neuroprotective, antiepileptic, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, the CBD scaffold becomes of increasing interest for medicinal chemists. This review provides an overview of the chemical structure of natural and synthetic CBD derivatives including the molecular targets associated with these compounds. A clear identification of their biological targets has been shown to be still very challenging.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28701957

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Neuroprotective Effects of β-Caryophyllene against Dopaminergic Neuron Injury in a Murine Model of Parkinson’s Disease Induced by MPTP.

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“Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders and is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). Although the causes of PD are not understood, evidence suggests that its pathogenesis is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. Recent studies have suggested a protective role of the cannabinoid signalling system in PD. β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a natural bicyclic sesquiterpene that is an agonist of the cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2R). Previous studies have suggested that BCP exerts prophylactic and/or curative effects against inflammatory bowel disease through its antioxidative and/or anti-inflammatory action. The present study describes the neuroprotective effects of BCP in a 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced murine model of PD, and we report the results of our investigation of its neuroprotective mechanism in neurons and glial cells. In the murine model, BCP pretreatment ameliorated motor dysfunction, protected against dopaminergic neuronal losses in the SN and striatum, and alleviated MPTP-induced glia activation. Additionally, BCP inhibited the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the nigrostriatal system. The observed neuroprotection and inhibited glia activation were reversed upon treatment with the CB2R selective antagonist AM630, confirming the involvement of the CB2R. These results indicate that BCP acts via multiple neuroprotective mechanisms in our murine model and suggest that BCP may be viewed as a potential treatment and/or preventative agent for PD.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28684694

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934
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Endocannabinoid System in Neurodegenerative Disorders.

Journal of Neurochemistry

“Most neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs) are characterized by cognitive impairment and other neurological defects. The definite cause of and pathways underlying the progression of these NDDs are not well defined. Several mechanisms have been proposed to contribute to the development of NDDs. These mechanisms may proceed concurrently or successively, and they differ among cell types at different developmental stages in distinct brain regions. The endocannabinoid system, which involves cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1R) and type 2 (CB2R), endogenous cannabinoids and the enzymes that catabolize these compounds, has been shown to contribute to the development of NDDs in several animal models and human studies. In this review, we discuss the functions of the endocannabinoid (EC) system in NDDs and converse the therapeutic efficacy of targeting the endocannabinoid system to rescue NDDs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28608560

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jnc.14098/abstract

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