Inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation rectifies motivational and dopaminergic deficits in the Q175 mouse model of Huntington’s disease.

Image result for neuropsychopharmacology

“Prominent motor deficits (e.g., chorea) that typify Huntington’s disease (HD) arise following a prolonged prodromal stage characterized by psychiatric disturbances. Apathy, a disorder of motivation characterized by diminished goal-directed behavior, is one of the earliest and most common psychiatric symptoms in HD, but the underlying neurobiology is unclear and treatment options are limited.

Alterations in the endocannabinoid (eCB) and dopamine systems represent prominent pathophysiological markers in HD that-similar to motivational deficits-present early and decline across disease progression. Whether changes in dopamine and eCB systems are associated with specific behavioral impairments in HD and whether these deficits are amenable to viable treatments is unknown.

Here, we show that dopaminergic encoding of effortful drive progressively declines with age in an HD mouse model, and is restored by elevating tissue levels of the eCB 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) through targeted inhibition of its enzymatic degradation.

This work supports aberrant dopaminergic encoding of reward as a neurobiological correlate of apathy in HD, and indicates that cannabinoid receptor-based therapies may benefit neuropsychiatric care for HD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29925886

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-018-0107-8

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabidiol as a Promising Strategy to Treat and Prevent Movement Disorders?

 Image result for frontiers in pharmacology

“Movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and dyskinesia are highly debilitating conditions linked to oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. When available, the pharmacological therapies for these disorders are still mainly symptomatic, do not benefit all patients and induce severe side effects. Cannabidiol is a non-psychotomimetic compound from Cannabis sativa that presents antipsychotic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. Although the studies that investigate the effects of this compound on movement disorders are surprisingly few, cannabidiol emerges as a promising compound to treat and/or prevent them. Here, we review these clinical and pre-clinical studies and draw attention to the potential of cannabidiol in this field.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29867488

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The biomedical challenge of neurodegenerative disorders: an opportunity for cannabinoid-based therapies to improve on the poor current therapeutic outcomes.

British Journal of Pharmacology banner

“At the beginning of the 21st century, the therapeutic management of neurodegenerative disorders remains a major biomedical challenge, particularly given the worldwide aging of the population over the past 50 years that is expected to continue in the forthcoming years.

This review will focus on the promise of cannabinoid based therapies to address this challenge.

Such promise is based on the broad neuroprotective profile of cannabinoids, which may cooperate to combat excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, glia-driven inflammation and protein aggregation.

Such effects may be produced by the activity of cannabinoids through their canonical targets (e.g. cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid enzymes) but also, via non-canonical elements and activities in distinct cell types critical for cell survival or neuronal replacement (e.g. neurons, glia, neural precursor cells).

Ultimately, the therapeutic events driven by endocannabinoid signalling reflect the activity of an endogenous system that regulates the preservation, rescue, repair and replacement of neurons and glia.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29856067

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bph.14382

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Anandamide Revisited: How Cholesterol and Ceramides Control Receptor-Dependent and Receptor-Independent Signal Transmission Pathways of a Lipid Neurotransmitter.

biomolecules-logo

“Anandamide is a lipid neurotransmitter derived from arachidonic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid.

The chemical differences between anandamide and arachidonic acid result in a slightly enhanced solubility in water and absence of an ionisable group for the neurotransmitter compared with the fatty acid. In this review, we first analyze the conformational flexibility of anandamide in aqueous and membrane phases. We next study the interaction of the neurotransmitter with membrane lipids and discuss the molecular basis of the unexpected selectivity of anandamide for cholesterol and ceramide from among other membrane lipids.

We show that cholesterol behaves as a binding partner for anandamide, and that following an initial interaction mediated by the establishment of a hydrogen bond, anandamide is attracted towards the membrane interior, where it forms a molecular complex with cholesterol after a functional conformation adaptation to the apolar membrane milieu.

The complex is then directed to the anandamide cannabinoid receptor (CB1) which displays a high affinity binding pocket for anandamide. We propose that cholesterol may regulate the entry and exit of anandamide in and out of CB1 by interacting with low affinity cholesterol recognition sites (CARC and CRAC) located in transmembrane helices.

The mirror topology of cholesterol binding sites in the seventh transmembrane domain is consistent with the delivery, extraction and flip-flop of anandamide through a coordinated cholesterol-dependent mechanism. The binding of anandamide to ceramide illustrates another key function of membrane lipids which may occur independently of protein receptors.

Interestingly, ceramide forms a tight complex with anandamide which blocks the degradation pathway of both lipids and could be exploited for anti-cancer therapies.”

“The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC20983/

“The endogenous cannabinoid, anandamide, induces cell death in colorectal carcinoma cells: a possible role for cyclooxygenase 2”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1774787/

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Anandamide and endocannabinoid system: an attractive therapeutic approach for cardiovascular disease.

SAGE Journals

“Cardiovascular disease is currently not adequately managed and has become one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Current therapies are inadequate in terms of preventing its progression. There are several limitations, such as poor oral bioavailability, side effects, low adherence to treatment, and high dosage frequency of formulations due to the short half-life of the active ingredients used, among others.

This review aims to highlight the most relevant aspects of the relationship between the cardiovascular system and the endocannabinoid system, with special attention to the possible translational effect of the use of anandamide in cardiovascular health. The deep and detailed knowledge of this interaction, not always beneficial, and that for years has gone unnoticed, is essential for the development of new therapies.

We discuss the most recent and representative results obtained in the field of basic research, referring to the aforementioned subject, emphasizing fundamentally the main role of nitric oxide, renal physiology and its deregulation in pathological processes.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis

Image result for frontiers in neurology

“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that affects an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide. The symptoms of MS are highly varied but frequently include pain, muscle spasticity, fatigue, inflammation, and depression. These symptoms often lead to reduced physical activity, negatively impact functional mobility, and have a detrimental impact on patients’ quality of life.

Although recent years have seen significant advances in disease modifying therapy, none of the current treatments halts or cures MS related symptoms. As a consequence, many people with MS (PwMS) look for alternative and complementary therapies such as cannabis.

The cannabis plant contains many biologically active chemicals, including ~60 cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are typically the most concentrated chemical components of cannabis and believed to primarily drive therapeutic benefit.

There is evidence that CBD has a number of beneficial pharmacological effects. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective. The review of 132 original studies by Bergamaschi et al. describes the safety profile of CBD by highlighting that catalepsy is not induced and physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature) are not altered. Moreover, psychomotor and psychological functions are not negatively affected. High doses of up to 1,500 mg per day and chronic use have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans.

Additionally, there is also evidence that CBD may reduce the negative psychotropic effects, memory impairment, and appetite stimulation, anxiety and psychotic-like states of THC while enhancing its positive therapeutic actions.

 Anecdotal reports indicate that an increasing number of PwMS use cannabis (medical marijuana) as a supplement to improve their mobility.

Based on the following considerations, it is our opinion that CBD supplementation maybe advisable for PwMS to reduce fatigue, pain, spasticity, and ultimately improve mobility. “

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2018.00183/full

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoid-induced cell death in endometrial cancer cells: involvement of TRPV1 receptors in apoptosis.

Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry

“Among a variety of phytocannabinoids, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most promising therapeutic compounds. Besides the well-known palliative effects in cancer patients, cannabinoids have been shown to inhibit in vitro growth of tumor cells.

Likewise, the major endocannabinoids (eCBs), anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), induce tumor cell death.

The purpose of the present study was to characterize cannabinoid elements and evaluate the effect of cannabinoids in endometrial cancer cell viability.

These data indicate that cannabinoids modulate endometrial cancer cell death.

Selective targeting of TPRV1 by AEA, CBD, or other stable analogues may be an attractive research area for the treatment of estrogen-dependent endometrial carcinoma.

Our data further support the evaluation of CBD and CBD-rich extracts for the potential treatment of endometrial cancer, particularly, that has become non-responsive to common therapies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29441458

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13105-018-0611-7

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Efficacy of artisanal preparations of cannabidiol for the treatment of epilepsy: Practical experiences in a tertiary medical center.

“Medically refractory epilepsy continues to be a challenge worldwide, and despite an increasing number of medical therapies, approximately 1 in 3 patients continues to have seizures.

Cannabidiol (CBD), one of many constituents of the Cannabis sativa or marijuana plant, has received renewed interest in the treatment of epilepsy. While highly purified CBD awaits Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, artisanal formulations of CBD are readily available and are seeing increased use in our patient population.

Although randomized controlled trials of CBD are ongoing and promising, data regarding artisanal formulations of CBD are minimal and largely anecdotal. Here, we report a retrospective study to define the efficacy of artisanal CBD preparations in children with epilepsy.

Given the known interaction between CBD and clobazam, we also conducted a subgroup comparison to determine if clobazam use was related to any beneficial effects of CBD. Additionally, we compared response rates with CBD and with clobazam alone within an overlapping patient cohort. A pediatric cohort with epilepsy of 108 patients was identified through a medical record search for patients using CBD oil.

The addition of CBD resulted in 39% of patients having a >50% reduction in seizures, with 10% becoming seizure-free. The responder rate for clobazam was similar. No patients achieved CBD monotherapy, although the weaning of other antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) became possible in 22% of patients. A comparable proportion had AED additions during CBD therapy. With concomitant use of clobazam, 44% of patients had a 50% reduction in seizures upon addition of CBD compared with 33% in the population not taking clobazam; this difference was not statistically significant. The most common reported side effect of CBD was sedation in less than 4% of patients, all of whom were also taking clobazam.

Increased alertness and improved verbal interactions were reported in 14% of patients in the CBD group and 8% of patients in the CBD and clobazam group. Benefits were more marked in the CBD alone group, in contrast to the CBD and clobazam group, but this difference was not statistically significant.

In summary, these findings support efficacy of artisanal CBD preparations in seizure reduction with few significant side effects. The response to CBD was independent of concurrent clobazam use, although clobazam may contribute to the sedation seen with concurrent CBD use.”

“In this retrospective study, we report that artisanal CBD is helpful in the treatment of medically refractory seizures.”
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Analysis of endocannabinoid receptors and enzymes in the post-mortem motor cortex and spinal cord of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

Publication Cover

“We have investigated the endocannabinoid system in the motor cortex of motor neuron disease (MND) patients.

CONCLUSION:

We have confirmed that CB2 receptors are elevated in the motor cortex of MND patients associated with the reactive gliosis. This phenomenon is previous to neuronal losses. We also found CB2 receptors in cortical and spinal motor neurons.

These observations support that targeting this receptor may serve for developing neuroprotective therapies in MNDs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29334787

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21678421.2018.1425454?journalCode=iafd20

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Discovery of Selective Cannabinoid CB2 Receptor Agonists by High-Throughput Screening.

Related image

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a diverse role in human physiology ranging from the regulation of mood and appetite to immune modulation and the response to pain.

Drug development that targets the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) has been explored; however, success in the clinic has been limited by the psychoactive side effects associated with modulation of the neuronally expressed CB1 that are enriched in the CNS. CB2, however, are expressed in peripheral tissues, primarily in immune cells, and thus development of CB2-selective drugs holds the potential to modulate pain among other indications without eliciting anxiety and other undesirable side effects associated with CB1 activation.

As part of a collaborative effort among industry and academic laboratories, we performed a high-throughput screen designed to discover selective agonists or positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of CB2. Although no CB2 PAMs were identified, 167 CB2 agonists were discovered here, and further characterization of four select compounds revealed two with high selectivity for CB2 versus CB1.

These results broaden drug discovery efforts aimed at the ECS and may lead to the development of novel therapies for immune modulation and pain management with improved side effect profiles.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29257918

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous