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Sample records for brain cannabinoid system

  1. Cannabinoids on the Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J. Irving

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Cannabis has a long history of consumption both for recreational and medicinal uses. Recently there have been significant advances in our understanding of how cannabis and related compounds (cannabinoids affect the brain and this review addresses the current state of knowledge of these effects. Cannabinoids act primarily via two types of receptor, CB1 and CB2, with CB1 receptors mediating most of the central actions of cannabinoids. The presence of a new type of brain cannabinoid receptor is also indicated. Important advances have been made in our understanding of cannabinoid receptor signaling pathways, their modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity, the cellular targets of cannabinoids in different central nervous system (CNS regions and, in particular, the role of the endogenous brain cannabinoid (endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids have widespread actions in the brain: in the hippocampus they influence learning and memory; in the basal ganglia they modulate locomotor activity and reward pathways; in the hypothalamus they have a role in the control of appetite. Cannabinoids may also be protective against neurodegeneration and brain damage and exhibit anticonvulsant activity. Some of the analgesic effects of cannabinoids also appear to involve sites within the brain. These advances in our understanding of the actions of cannabinoids and the brain endocannabinoid system have led to important new insights into neuronal function which are likely to result in the development of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of a number of key CNS disorders.

  2. Cannabinoids on the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irving, Andrew J; Rae, Mark G; Coutts, Angela A

    2002-03-09

    Cannabis has a long history of consumption both for recreational and medicinal uses. Recently there have been significant advances in our understanding of how cannabis and related compounds (cannabinoids) affect the brain and this review addresses the current state of knowledge of these effects. Cannabinoids act primarily via two types of receptor, CB1 and CB2, with CB1 receptors mediating most of the central actions of cannabinoids. The presence of a new type of brain cannabinoid receptor is also indicated. Important advances have been made in our understanding of cannabinoid receptor signaling pathways, their modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity, the cellular targets of cannabinoids in different central nervous system (CNS) regions and, in particular, the role of the endogenous brain cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system. Cannabinoids have widespread actions in the brain: in the hippocampus they influence learning and memory; in the basal ganglia they modulate locomotor activity and reward pathways; in the hypothalamus they have a role in the control of appetite. Cannabinoids may also be protective against neurodegeneration and brain damage and exhibit anticonvulsant activity. Some of the analgesic effects of cannabinoids also appear to involve sites within the brain. These advances in our understanding of the actions of cannabinoids and the brain endocannabinoid system have led to important new insights into neuronal function which are likely to result in the development of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of a number of key CNS disorders.

  3. Studies of the brain cannabinoid system using positron emission tomography

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    Gatley, S.J.; Volkow, N.D.

    1995-10-01

    Studies using radiolabeled psychoactive drugs in conjunction with positron emission tomography (PET) have permitted the imaging of binding sites in the human brain. Similar studies of marijuana have been hampered by the unsuitability of radiolabeled THC for PET studies, and the current unavailability of other in vivo imaging agents for cannabinoid receptors. Recent developments in medicinal chemistry suggest that a PET radiotracer for cannabinoid receptors will soon become available. This chapter briefly reviews these developments, together with the results of PET studies of the effects of marijuana and other abused drugs on brain metabolism. It also reviews PET studies of cocaine binding sites, to demonstrate the kind of investigations that will be possible when a cannabinoid receptor PET radioligand becomes available.

  4. Cannabinoid receptor localization in brain

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    Herkenham, M.; Lynn, A.B.; Little, M.D.; Johnson, M.R.; Melvin, L.S.; de Costa, B.R.; Rice, K.C. (National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD (USA))

    1990-03-01

    (3H)CP 55,940, a radiolabeled synthetic cannabinoid, which is 10-100 times more potent in vivo than delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, was used to characterize and localize a specific cannabinoid receptor in brain sections. The potencies of a series of natural and synthetic cannabinoids as competitors of (3H)CP 55,940 binding correlated closely with their relative potencies in several biological assays, suggesting that the receptor characterized in our in vitro assay is the same receptor that mediates behavioral and pharmacological effects of cannabinoids, including human subjective experience. Autoradiography of cannabinoid receptors in brain sections from several mammalian species, including human, reveals a unique and conserved distribution; binding is most dense in outflow nuclei of the basal ganglia--the substantia nigra pars reticulata and globus pallidus--and in the hippocampus and cerebellum. Generally high densities in forebrain and cerebellum implicate roles for cannabinoids in cognition and movement. Sparse densities in lower brainstem areas controlling cardiovascular and respiratory functions may explain why high doses of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol are not lethal.

  5. Adolescent brain maturation, the endogenous cannabinoid system and the neurobiology of cannabis-induced schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossong, Matthijs G; Niesink, Raymond J M

    2010-11-01

    Cannabis use during adolescence increases the risk of developing psychotic disorders later in life. However, the neurobiological processes underlying this relationship are unknown. This review reports the results of a literature search comprising various neurobiological disciplines, ultimately converging into a model that might explain the neurobiology of cannabis-induced schizophrenia. The article briefly reviews current insights into brain development during adolescence. In particular, the role of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in experience-dependent maturation of specific cortical circuitries is examined. The review also covers recent hypotheses regarding disturbances in strengthening and pruning of synaptic connections in the prefrontal cortex, and the link with latent psychotic disorders. In the present model, cannabis-induced schizophrenia is considered to be a distortion of normal late postnatal brain maturation. Distortion of glutamatergic transmission during critical periods may disturb prefrontal neurocircuitry in specific brain areas. Our model postulates that adolescent exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive substance in cannabis, transiently disturbs physiological control of the endogenous cannabinoid system over glutamate and GABA release. As a result, THC may adversely affect adolescent experience-dependent maturation of neural circuitries within prefrontal cortical areas. Depending on dose, exact time window and duration of exposure, this may ultimately lead to the development of psychosis or schizophrenia. The proposed model provides testable hypotheses which can be addressed in future studies, including animal experiments, reanalysis of existing epidemiological data, and prospective epidemiological studies in which the role of the dose-time-effect relationship should be central. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Cannabinoids in the Cardiovascular System.

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    Ho, Wing S V; Kelly, Melanie E M

    2017-01-01

    Cannabinoids are known to modulate cardiovascular functions including heart rate, vascular tone, and blood pressure in humans and animal models. Essential components of the endocannabinoid system, namely, the production, degradation, and signaling pathways of endocannabinoids have been described not only in the central and peripheral nervous system but also in myocardium, vasculature, platelets, and immune cells. The mechanisms of cardiovascular responses to endocannabinoids are often complex and may involve cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors or non-CB1/2 receptor targets. Preclinical and some clinical studies have suggested that targeting the endocannabinoid system can improve cardiovascular functions in a number of pathophysiological conditions, including hypertension, metabolic syndrome, sepsis, and atherosclerosis. In this chapter, we summarize the local and systemic cardiovascular effects of cannabinoids and highlight our current knowledge regarding the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid signaling and modulation. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Reduced Brain Cannabinoid Receptor Availability in Schizophrenia.

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    Ranganathan, Mohini; Cortes-Briones, Jose; Radhakrishnan, Rajiv; Thurnauer, Halle; Planeta, Beata; Skosnik, Patrick; Gao, Hong; Labaree, David; Neumeister, Alexander; Pittman, Brian; Surti, Toral; Huang, Yiyun; Carson, Richard E; D'Souza, Deepak Cyril

    2016-06-15

    Several lines of evidence suggest the presence of abnormalities in the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in schizophrenia (SCZ). However, there are limited in vivo measures of the eCB system in SCZ. Twenty five male SCZ subjects (SCZs) (18 antipsychotic treated and 7 antipsychotic free) were compared with 18 age-matched male healthy control subjects (HCs). Subjects underwent one positron emission tomography scan each with the cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1R) selective radiotracer [(11)C]OMAR on the high resolution research tomography scanner. Regional volume of distribution (VT) values were determined using kinetic modeling of positron emission tomography data as a measure of CB1R availability. Group differences in mean composite [(11)C]OMAR VT values were compared between SCZs and HCs. Exploratory comparisons of CB1R availability within 15 brain regions were also conducted. All analyses were covaried for age and body mass index. SCZs showed significantly (p = .02) lower composite [(11)C]OMAR VT relative to HCs (~12% difference, effect size d = .73). [(11)C]OMAR VT was significantly (all ps antipsychotic treated SZCs > antipsychotic free SZCs. Furthermore, composite [(11)C]OMAR VT was greater in HCs than SCZ smokers (n = 11) and SCZ nonsmokers (n = 14). CB1R availability is lower in male SCZ subjects compared with HCs. Furthermore, antipsychotics and tobacco use may increase CB1R availability in this population. The findings of the study provide further evidence supporting the hypothesis that alterations in the eCB system might contribute to the pathophysiology of SCZ. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Endo-cannabinoids system and the toxicity of cannabinoids with a biotechnological approach

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    Niaz, Kamal; Khan, Fazlullah; Maqbool, Faheem; Momtaz, Saeideh; Ismail Hassan, Fatima; Nobakht-Haghighi, Navid; Rahimifard, Mahban; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2017-01-01

    Cannabinoids have shown diverse and critical effects on the body systems, which alter the physiological functions. Synthetic cannabinoids are comparatively innovative misuse drugs with respect to their nature of synthesis. Synthetic cannabinoids therapy in healthy, chain smokers, and alcoholic individuals cause damage to the immune and nervous system, eventually leading to intoxication throughout the body. Relevant studies were retrieved using major electronic databases such as PubMed, EMBASE, Medline, Scopus, and Google Scholar. The extensive use of Cannabis Sativa L. (C. Sativa) and its derivatives/analogues such as the nonpsychoactive dimethyl heptyl homolog (CBG-DMH), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) amongst juveniles and adults have been enhanced in recent years. Cannabinoids play a crucial role in the induction of respiratory, reproductive, immune and carcinogenic effects; however, potential data about mutagenic and developmental effects are still insufficient. The possible toxicity associated with the prolong use of cannabinoids acts as a tumor promoter in animal models and humans. Particular synthetic cannabinoids and analogues have low affinity for CB1 or CB2 receptors, while some synthetic members like Δ9-THC have high affinity towards these receptors. Cannabinoids and their derivatives have a direct or indirect association with acute and long-term toxicity. To reduce/attenuate cannabinoids toxicity, pharmaceutical biotechnology and cloning methods have opened a new window to develop cannabinoids encoding the gene tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) synthase. Plant revolution and regeneration hindered genetic engineering in C. Sativa. The genetic culture suspension of C. Sativa can be transmuted by the use of Agrobacterium tumefaciens to overcome its toxicity. The main aim of the present review was to collect evidence of the endo-cannabinoid system (ECS), cannabinoids toxicity, and the potential biotechnological approach of cannabinoids synthesis. PMID

  9. Cannabinoid Signaling and Neuroinflammatory Diseases: A Melting pot for the Regulation of Brain Immune Responses.

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    Chiurchiù, Valerio; Leuti, Alessandro; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2015-06-01

    The concept of the central nervous system (CNS) as an immune-privileged site, essentially due to the presence of the blood brain barrier, appears to be overly simplistic. Indeed, within healthy CNS immune activities are permitted and are required for neuronal function and host defense, not only due to the presence of the resident innate immune cells of the brain, but also by virtue of a complex cross-talk of the CNS with peripheral immune cells. Nonetheless, long-standing and persisting neuroinflammatory responses are most often detrimental and characterize several neuroinflammatory diseases, including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A growing body of evidence suggests that Cannabis sativa-derived phytocannabinoids, as well as synthetic cannabinoids, are endowed with significant immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, both in peripheral tissues and in the CNS, through the activation of cannabinoid receptors. In this review, the immunomodulatory effects of cannabinoid signaling on the most relevant brain immune cells will be discussed. In addition, the impact of cannabinoid regulation on the overall integration of the manifold brain immune responses will also be highlighted, along with the implication of these compounds as potential agents for the management of neuroinflammatory disorders.

  10. Cannabinoid CB2 Receptors and Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Are Selectively Overexpressed in Neuritic Plaque-Associated Glia in Alzheimer's Disease Brains

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Benito, Cristina; Nunez, Estefania; Tolon, Rosa M; Carrier, Erica J; Rabano, Alberto; Hillard, Cecilia J; Romero, Julian

    2003-01-01

    .... We have studied the status of some of the components of the endocannabinoid system, fatty acid amide hydrolase and cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, in postmortem brains from patients with Alzheimer's disease...

  11. Regulation of noradrenergic and serotonergic systems by cannabinoids: relevance to cannabinoid-induced effects.

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    Mendiguren, Aitziber; Aostri, Erik; Pineda, Joseba

    2018-01-01

    The cannabinoid system is composed of Gi/o protein-coupled cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor and endogenous compounds. The CB1 receptor is widely distributed in the central nervous system (CNS) and it is involved in the regulation of common physiological functions. At the neuronal level, the CB1 receptor is mainly placed at GABAergic and glutamatergic axon terminals, where it modulates excitatory and inhibitory synapses. To date, the involvement of CB2 receptor in the regulation of neurotransmission in the CNS has not been clearly shown. The majority of noradrenergic (NA) cells in mammalian tissues are located in the locus coeruleus (LC) while serotonergic (5-HT) cells are mainly distributed in the raphe nuclei including the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). In the CNS, NA and 5-HT systems play a crucial role in the control of pain, mood, arousal, sleep-wake cycle, learning/memory, anxiety, and rewarding behaviour. This review summarizes the electrophysiological, neurochemical and behavioural evidences for modulation of the NA/5-HT systems by cannabinoids and the CB1 receptor. Cannabinoids regulate the neuronal activity of NA and 5-HT cells and the release of NA and 5-HT by direct and indirect mechanisms. The interaction between cannabinoid and NA/5-HT systems may underlie several behavioural changes induced by cannabis such as anxiolytic and antidepressant effects or side effects (e.g. disruption of attention). Further research is needed to better understand different aspects of NA and 5-HT systems regulation by cannabinoids, which would be relevant for their use in therapeutics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain

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    Perry G. Fine

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system is involved in a host of homeostatic and physiologic functions, including modulation of pain and inflammation. The specific roles of currently identified endocannabinoids that act as ligands at endogenous cannabinoid receptors within the central nervous system (primarily but not exclusively CB1 receptors and in the periphery (primarily but not exclusively CB2 receptors are only partially elucidated, but they do exert an influence on nociception. Exogenous plant-based cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids and chemically related compounds, like the terpenes, commonly found in many foods, have been found to exert significant analgesic effects in various chronic pain conditions. Currently, the use of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol is limited by its psychoactive effects and predominant delivery route (smoking, as well as regulatory or legal constraints. However, other phytocannabinoids in combination, especially cannabidiol and β-caryophyllene, delivered by the oral route appear to be promising candidates for the treatment of chronic pain due to their high safety and low adverse effects profiles. This review will provide the reader with the foundational basic and clinical science linking the endocannabinoid system and the phytocannabinoids with their potentially therapeutic role in the management of chronic pain.

  13. Endogenous cannabinoid system as a modulator of food intake.

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    Cota, D; Marsicano, G; Lutz, B; Vicennati, V; Stalla, G K; Pasquali, R; Pagotto, U

    2003-03-01

    The ability of Cannabis sativa (marijuana) to increase hunger has been noticed for centuries, although intensive research on its molecular mode of action started only after the characterization of its main psychoactive component Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol in the late 1960s. Despite the public concern related to the abuse of marijuana and its derivatives, scientific studies have pointed to the therapeutic potentials of cannabinoid compounds and have highlighted their ability to stimulate appetite, especially for sweet and palatable food. Later, the discovery of specific receptors and their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) suggested the existence of an endogenous cannabinoid system, providing a physiological basis for biological effects induced by marijuana and other cannabinoids. Epidemiological reports describing the appetite-stimulating properties of cannabinoids and the recent insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying cannabinoid action have proposed a central role of the cannabinoid system in obesity. The aim of this review is to provide an extensive overview on the role of this neuromodulatory system in feeding behavior by summarizing the most relevant data obtained from human and animal studies and by elucidating the interactions of the cannabinoid system with the most important neuronal networks and metabolic pathways involved in the control of food intake. Finally, a critical evaluation of future potential therapeutical applications of cannabinoid antagonists in the therapy of obesity and eating disorders will be discussed.

  14. Role of the endogenous cannabinoid system in nicotine addiction: novel insights

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    Islam Hany Gamaleddin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Several lines of evidence have shown that the endogenous cannabinoids are implicated in several neuropsychiatric diseases. Notably, preclinical and human clinical studies have shown a pivotal role of the cannabinoid system in nicotine addiction. The CB1 receptor inverse agonist/antagonist rimonabant (also known as SR141716 was effective to decrease nicotine-taking and nicotine-seeking in rodents, as well as the elevation of dopamine induced by nicotine in brain reward area. Rimonabant has been shown to improve the ability of smokers to quit smoking in randomized clinical trials. However, rimonabant was removed from the market due to increased risk of psychiatric side effects observed in humans. Recently, other components of the endogenous cannabinoid system have been explored. Here, we present the recent advances on the understanding of the role of the different components of the cannabinoid system on nicotine’s effects. Those recent findings suggest possible alternative ways of modulating the cannabinoid system that could have implication for nicotine dependence treatment.

  15. Feeding induced by cannabinoids is mediated independently of the melanocortin system.

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    Puspha Sinnayah

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, stimulate appetite, and cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1-R antagonists suppress appetite and promote weight loss. Little is known about how CB1-R antagonists affect the central neurocircuitry, specifically the melanocortin system that regulates energy balance.Here, we show that peripherally administered CB1-R antagonist (AM251 or agonist equally suppressed or stimulated feeding respectively in A(y , which lack a functional melanocortin system, and wildtype mice, demonstrating that cannabinoid effects on feeding do not require melanocortin circuitry. CB1-R antagonist or agonist administered into the ventral tegmental area (VTA equally suppressed or stimulated feeding respectively, in both genotypes. In addition, peripheral and central cannabinoid administration similarly induced c-Fos activation in brain sites suggesting mediation via motivational dopaminergic circuitry. Amperometry-detected increases in evoked dopamine (DA release by the CB1-R antagonist in nucleus accumbens slices indicates that AM251 modulates DA release from VTA terminals.Our results demonstrate that the effects of cannabinoids on energy balance are independent of hypothalamic melanocortin circuitry and is primarily driven by the reward system.

  16. Interactions of the opioid and cannabinoid systems in reward: Insights from knockout studies

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    Katia eBefort

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The opioid system consists of three receptors, mu, delta, and kappa, which are activated by endogenous opioid peptides (enkephalins, endorphins and dynorphins. The endogenous cannabinoid system comprises lipid neuromodulators (endocannabinoids, enzymes for their synthesis and their degradation and two well-characterized receptors, cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. These systems play a major role in the control of pain as well as in mood regulation, reward processing and the development of addiction. Both opioid and cannabinoid receptors are coupled to G proteins and are expressed throughout the brain reinforcement circuitry. Extending classical pharmacology, research using genetically modified mice has provided important progress in the identification of the specific contribution of each component of these endogenous systems in vivo on reward process. This review will summarize available genetic tools and our present knowledge on the consequences of gene knockout on reinforced behaviors in both systems, with a focus on their potential interactions. A better understanding of opioid-cannabinoid interactions may provide novel strategies for therapies in addicted individuals.

  17. 21 CFR 862.3870 - Cannabinoid test system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Cannabinoid test system. 862.3870 Section 862.3870 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862...

  18. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor controls cannabinoid CB1 receptor function in the striatum.

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    De Chiara, Valentina; Angelucci, Francesco; Rossi, Silvia; Musella, Alessandra; Cavasinni, Francesca; Cantarella, Cristina; Mataluni, Giorgia; Sacchetti, Lucia; Napolitano, Francesco; Castelli, Maura; Caltagirone, Carlo; Bernardi, Giorgio; Maccarrone, Mauro; Usiello, Alessandro; Centonze, Diego

    2010-06-16

    The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in emotional processes suggests an interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Here, we addressed the functional interplay between BDNF and cannabinoid CB(1) receptors (CB(1)Rs) in the striatum, a brain area in which both BDNF and CB(1)s play a role in the emotional consequences of stress and of rewarding experiences. BDNF potently inhibited CB(1)R function in the striatum, through a mechanism mediated by altered cholesterol metabolism and membrane lipid raft function. The effect of BDNF was restricted to CB(1)Rs controlling GABA-mediated IPSCs (CB(1)R(GABA)), whereas CB(1)Rs modulating glutamate transmission and GABA(B) receptors were not affected. The action of BDNF on CB(1)R(GABA) function was tyrosine kinase dependent and was complete even after receptor sensitization with cocaine or environmental manipulations activating the dopamine (DA)-dependent reward system. In mice lacking one copy of the BDNF gene (BDNF(+/-)), CB(1)R(GABA) responses were potentiated and were preserved from the action of haloperidol, a DA D(2) receptor (D(2)R) antagonist able to fully abolish CB(1)R(GABA) function in rewarded animals. Haloperidol also enhanced BDNF levels in the striatum, suggesting that this neurotrophin may act as a downstream effector of D(2)Rs in the modulation of cannabinoid signaling. Accordingly, 5 d cocaine exposure both reduced striatal BDNF levels and increased CB(1)R(GABA) activity, through a mechanism dependent on D(2)Rs. The present study identifies a novel mechanism of CB(1)R regulation mediated by BDNF and cholesterol metabolism and provides some evidence that DA D(2)R-dependent modulation of striatal CB(1)R activity is mediated by this neurotrophin.

  19. Enzymatic synthesis of anandamide, an endogenous ligand for the cannabinoid receptor, by brain membranes.

    OpenAIRE

    Devane, W A; Axelrod, J

    1994-01-01

    Anandamide, an endogenous eicosanoid derivative (arachidonoylethanolamide), binds to the cannabinoid receptor, a member of the G protein-coupled superfamily. It also inhibits both adenylate cyclase and N-type calcium channel opening. The enzymatic synthesis of anandamide in bovine brain tissue was examined by incubating brain membranes with [14C]ethanolamine and arachidonic acid. Following incubation and extraction into toluene, a radioactive product was identified which had the same Rf value...

  20. Ligands that target cannabinoid receptors in the brain: from THC to anandamide and beyond.

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    Pertwee, Roger G

    2008-06-01

    A major finding--that (-)-trans-Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) is largely responsible for the psychotropic effects of cannabis--prompted research in the 1970s and 1980s that led to the discovery that this plant cannabinoid acts through at least two types of cannabinoid receptor, CB(1) and CB(2), and that Delta(9)-THC and other compounds that target either or both of these receptors as agonists or antagonists have important therapeutic applications. It also led to the discovery that mammalian tissues can themselves synthesize and release agonists for cannabinoid receptors, the first of these to be discovered being arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. These 'endocannabinoids' are released onto their receptors in a manner that appears to maintain homeostasis within the central nervous system and sometimes either to oppose or to mediate or exacerbate the unwanted effects of certain disorders. This review provides an overview of the pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors and their ligands. It also describes actual and potential clinical uses both for cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists and for compounds that affect the activation of cannabinoid receptors less directly, for example by inhibiting the enzymatic hydrolysis of endocannabinoids following their release.

  1. BIASED AGONISM OF THREE DIFFERENT CANNABINOID RECEPTOR AGONISTS IN MOUSE BRAIN CORTEX

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebeca Diez-Alarcia

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoid receptors are able to couple to different families of G-proteins when activated by an agonist drug. It has been suggested that different intracellular responses may be activated depending on the ligand. The goal of the present study was to characterize the pattern of G protein subunit stimulation triggered by three different cannabinoid ligands, THC, WIN55212-2 and ACEA in mouse brain cortex.Stimulation of the [35S]GTPS binding coupled to specific immunoprecipitation with antibodies against different subtypes of G proteins (Gαi1, Gαi2, Gαi3, Gαo, Gαz, Gαs, Gαq/11, and Gα12/13, in the presence of Δ9-THC, WIN55212-2 and ACEA (submaximal concentration 10 µM was determined by Scintillation Proximity Assay (SPA technique in mouse cortex of wild type, CB1 knock-out, CB2 knock-out and CB1/CB2 double knock-out mice. Results show that, in mouse brain cortex, cannabinoid agonists are able to significantly stimulate not only the classical inhibitory Gαi/o subunits but also other G subunits like Gαz, Gαq/11, and Gα12/13. Moreover, the specific pattern of G protein subunit activation is different depending on the ligand. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that, in mice brain native tissue, different exogenous cannabinoid ligands are able to selectively activate different inhibitory and non-inhibitory Gα protein subtypes, through the activation of CB1 and/or CB2 receptors. Results of the present study may help to understand the specific molecular pathways involved in the pharmacological effects of cannabinoid-derived drugs.

  2. Cannabinoid-induced alterations in brain disposition of drugs of abuse.

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    Reid, M J; Bornheim, L M

    2001-06-01

    Marijuana contains a complex mixture of compounds including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive constituent, and cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive constituent. We have shown previously that CBD pretreatment of mice increases brain levels of THC and have now further characterized this effect and determined whether the brain pharmacokinetics of other drugs are also affected. CBD pretreatment of mice (30-60 min) increased brain levels of THC nearly 3-fold, whereas CBD co-administration did not. Because marijuana is often consumed with other drugs, the influence of cannabinoids on the brain levels of several other drugs of abuse was also determined. CBD pretreatment of mice increased brain levels (2- to 4-fold) of subsequently administered cocaine as well as phencyclidine (PCP). Although CBD pretreatment increased blood and brain levels of cocaine comparably, blood levels of PCP were only modestly elevated (up to 50%). Behavioral tests indicated that the CBD-mediated increases in the brain levels of THC, cocaine, and PCP correlated with increased pharmacological responses. Pretreatment with THC instead of CBD could similarly increase brain levels of cocaine, PCP, and CBD, although with a lower potency than CBD. On the other hand, pretreatment of mice with CBD had no effect on the brain levels of several other drugs of abuse including morphine, methadone, or methylenedioxyphenyl-methamphetamine. These findings demonstrate that cannabinoids can increase the brain concentrations and pharmacological actions of several other drugs of abuse, thereby providing a biochemical basis for the common practice of using marijuana concurrently with such drugs.

  3. Cannabinoid modulation of fear extinction brain circuits: a novel target to advance anxiety treatment.

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    Rabinak, Christine A; Phan, K Luan

    2014-01-01

    Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress (PTSD), panic, and phobic disorders, can be conceptualized as a failure to inhibit inappropriate fear responses. A common, effective treatment strategy involves repeated presentations to the feared cue without any danger (extinction). However, extinction learning has a number of important limitations, and enhancing its effects, generalizability and durability via cognitive enhancers may improve its therapeutic impact. In this review we focus specifically on the role of the cannabinoid system in fear extinction learning and its retention. We address the following questions: What are the neural circuits mediating fear extinction?; Can we make fear extinction more effective?; Can cannabinoids facilitate fear extinction in humans?; How might the cannabinoid system effect fear extinction? Collectively, translational evidence suggest that enhancing cannabinoid transmission may facilitate extinction learning and its recall, and that the cannabinoid system is a potential pharmacological target for improving the active learning that occurs during exposure-based behavioral treatments prompting future research in terms of mechanisms research, novel treatment approaches ('cognitive enhancers'), and pharmacotherapeutic drug discovery.

  4. Cannabinoid system in neurodegeneration: new perspectives in Alzheimer's disease.

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    Campillo, N E; Páez, J A

    2009-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disorder. The presence of functional cannabinoid CB2 receptors in central nervous system (CNS) has provoked that this receptor and its agonist ligands are now considered as promising pharmacological targets for neurological diseases. Herein, we review the evidences supporting the potential role of the ECS as a therapeutic target, focused on CB2 receptor and its ligands, for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

  5. The role of cannabinoids in adult neurogenesis

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    Prenderville, Jack A; Kelly, Áine M; Downer, Eric J

    2015-01-01

    The processes underpinning post-developmental neurogenesis in the mammalian brain continue to be defined. Such processes involve the proliferation of neural stem cells and neural progenitor cells (NPCs), neuronal migration, differentiation and integration into a network of functional synapses within the brain. Both intrinsic (cell signalling cascades) and extrinsic (neurotrophins, neurotransmitters, cytokines, hormones) signalling molecules are intimately associated with adult neurogenesis and largely dictate the proliferative activity and differentiation capacity of neural cells. Cannabinoids are a unique class of chemical compounds incorporating plant-derived cannabinoids (the active components of Cannabis sativa), the endogenous cannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid ligands, and these compounds are becoming increasingly recognized for their roles in neural developmental processes. Indeed, cannabinoids have clear modulatory roles in adult neurogenesis, probably through activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors. In recent years, a large body of literature has deciphered the signalling networks involved in cannabinoid-mediated regulation of neurogenesis. This timely review summarizes the evidence that the cannabinoid system is intricately associated with neuronal differentiation and maturation of NPCs and highlights intrinsic/extrinsic signalling mechanisms that are cannabinoid targets. Overall, these findings identify the central role of the cannabinoid system in adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus and the lateral ventricles and hence provide insight into the processes underlying post-developmental neurogenesis in the mammalian brain. PMID:25951750

  6. Mechanism of the Interaction of Cannabinoid System in Central Amygdale with Opioid System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sarahroodi

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and objectivesCannabinoids which are active compounds of marijuana show some pharmacological effects similar to the opioids. There are also functional interactions between both cannabinoid and opioid systems. In this study we investigated the role of cannabinoid receptors in central amygdala and its interaction with opioid system.MethodsIn the present study, we investigated the effects of intraperitoneal injection of opioid drugs on response-induced by intra-amygdala (intra-Amyg microinjection of cannabinoid agents in rats, using elevated plus-maze test of anxiety. ResultsIntraperitoneal injection of morphine (3, 6 and 9 mg/kg increased %OAT and %OAE, but not locomotor activity, showing an anxiolytic response. However, some doses of the opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone reduced %OAT and locomotor activity as well. Intra-Amyg administration of CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist, ACPA (at the dose of 1.25 and 5 ng/rat increased %OAT and %OAE but not locomotor activity, thus showing an anxiolytic response, which was increased by morphine (6 mg/kg, i.p. without any interaction. Naloxone also reduced ACPA effects. Intra-Amyg administration of CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist, AM251 (2.5, 25 and 100 ng/rat did not alter %OAT and %OAE but higher doses of drug (25 and 100 ng/rat reduced locomotor activity. However, the drug in combination of morphine anxiolytic response and with naloxone decreased anxiety.ConclusionThe results may indicate an anxiolytic for CB1 cannabinoid. Our results also showed that opioid system may have interaction with cannabinoid receptor in the amygdale. Keywords: Cannabinoids, Morphine; Naloxone, Anxiety, Elevated Plus-Maze

  7. Preclinical Science Regarding Cannabinoids as Analgesics: An Overview

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    ME Lynch

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Modern pharmacology of cannabinoids began in 1964 with the isolation and partial synthesis of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive agent in herbal cannabis. Since then, potent antinociceptive and antihyperalgesic effects of cannabinoid agonists in animal models of acute and chronic pain; the presence of cannabinoid receptors in pain-processing areas of the brain, spinal cord and periphery; and evidence supporting endogenous modulation of pain systems by cannabinoids has provided support that cannabinoids exhibit significant potential as analgesics. The present article presents an overview of the preclinical science.

  8. Synergistic interaction of the cannabinoid and death receptor systems - a potential target for future cancer therapies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keresztes, Attila; Streicher, John M

    2017-10-01

    Cannabinoid receptors have been shown to interact with other receptors, including tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily (TNFRS) members, to induce cancer cell death. When cannabinoids and death-inducing ligands (including TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) are administered together, they have been shown to synergize and demonstrate enhanced antitumor activity in vitro. Certain cannabinoid ligands have been shown to sensitize cancer cells and synergistically interact with members of the TNFRS, thus suggesting that the combination of cannabinoids with death receptor (DR) ligands induces additive or synergistic tumor cell death. This review summarizes recent findings on the interaction of the cannabinoid and DR systems and suggests possible clinical co-application of cannabinoids and DR ligands in the treatment of various malignancies. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  9. Augmented inhibition from cannabinoid sensitive interneurons diminishes CA1 output after traumatic brain injury

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    Brian Neal Johnson

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The neurological impairments associated with traumatic brain injury include learning and memory deficits and increased risk of seizures. The hippocampus is critically involved in both of these phenomena and highly susceptible to damage by traumatic brain injury. To examine network activity in the hippocampal CA1 region after lateral fluid percussion injury, we used a combination of voltage sensitive dye, field potential and patch clamp recording in mouse hippocampal brain slices. When the stratum radiatum was stimulated in slices from injured mice we found decreased depolarization in stratum radiatum and increased hyperpolarization in stratum oriens, together with a decrease in the percentage of pyramidal neurons firing stimulus-evoked action potentials. Increased hyperpolarization in stratum oriens persisted when glutamatergic transmission was blocked. However, we found no changes in stratum oriens responses when the alveus was stimulated to directly activate stratum oriens. These results suggest that the increased stratum oriens hyperpolarization evoked by stratum radiatum stimulation was mediated by interneurons that have cell bodies and/or axons in stratum radiatum, and form synapses in stratum pyramidale and stratum oriens. A low concentration (100 nM of the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55,212-2,restored CA1 output in slices from injured animals. These findings support the hypothesis that increased GABAergic signaling by cannabinoid sensitive interneurons contributes to the reduced CA1 output following traumatic brain injury.

  10. Rising stars: modulation of brain functions by astroglial type-1 cannabinoid receptors.

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    Metna-Laurent, Mathilde; Marsicano, Giovanni

    2015-03-01

    The type-1-cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptor is amongst the most widely expressed G protein-coupled receptors in the brain. In few decades, CB1 receptors have been shown to regulate a large array of functions from brain cell development and survival to complex cognitive processes. Understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying these functions of CB1 is complex due to the heterogeneity of the brain cell types on which the receptor is expressed. Although the large majority of CB1 receptors act on neurons, early studies pointed to a direct control of CB1 receptors over astroglial functions including brain energy supply and neuroprotection. In line with the growing concept of the tripartite synapse highlighting astrocytes as direct players in synaptic plasticity, astroglial CB1 receptor signaling recently emerged as the mediator of several forms of synaptic plasticity associated to important cognitive functions. Here, we shortly review the current knowledge on CB1 receptor-mediated astroglial functions. This functional spectrum is large and most of the mechanisms by which CB1 receptors control astrocytes, as well as their consequences in vivo, are still unknown, requiring innovative approaches to improve this new cannabinoid research field. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Exposure to a Highly Caloric Palatable Diet during the Perinatal Period Affects the Expression of the Endogenous Cannabinoid System in the Brain, Liver and Adipose Tissue of Adult Rat Offspring.

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    María Teresa Ramírez-López

    Full Text Available Recent studies have linked gestational exposure to highly caloric diets with a disrupted endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS. In the present study, we have extended these studies by analyzing the impact of the exposure to a palatable diet during gestation and lactation on a the adult expression of endocannabinoid-related behaviors, b the metabolic profile of adult offspring and c the mRNA expression of the signaling machinery of the ECS in the hypothalamus, the liver and the adipose tissue of adult offspring of both sexes. Exposure to a palatable diet resulted in a sex-dimorphic and perinatal diet specific feeding behaviors, including the differential response to the inhibitory effects of the cannabinoid receptor inverse agonist AM251, b features of metabolic syndrome including increased adiposity, hyperleptinemia, hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia and c tissue and sex-specific changes in the expression of both CB1 and CB2 receptors and in that of the endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes FAAH and MAGL, being the adipose tissue the most affected organ analyzed. Since the effects were observed in adult animals that were weaned while consuming a normal diet, the present results indicate that the ECS is one of the targets of maternal programming of the offspring energy expenditure. These results clearly indicate that the maternal diet has long-term effects on the development of pups through multiple alterations of signaling homeostatic pathways that include the ECS. The potential relevance of these alterations for the current obesity epidemic is discussed.

  12. Synthetic Cannabinoids and Their Effects on the Cardiovascular System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Von Der Haar, Jonathan; Talebi, Soheila; Ghobadi, Farzaneh; Singh, Shailinder; Chirurgi, Roger; Rajeswari, Pingle; Kalantari, Hossein; Hassen, Getaw Worku

    2016-02-01

    In the past couple of years, there has been an outbreak of synthetic cannabinoid (SC) use in major cities in the United States. Patients can present with various symptoms affecting the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. The effects of endocannabinoid on contractility and Ca(2+) signaling have been shown through both cannabinoid receptors and a direct effect on ion channels. These effects result in abnormalities in ionotropy, chronotropy, and conduction. Here we report on two cases of SC abuse and abnormalities in the cardiovascular system. These cases raise concerns about the adverse effects of SCs and the possibility of QTc prolongation and subsequent complications when using antipsychotic medication in the presence of SC abuse. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: Given the rise in SC use and the potential effect on the cardiovascular system, physicians need to be mindful of potential cardiac complications, such as QTc prolongation and torsade de pointe, especially when administering medications that have the potential to cause QTc prolongation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Cerebral Metabolism: Potential Applications in Stroke and Disorders of the Central Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorre, Julius Gene S; Schmidt, Elena B

    2015-09-01

    No compound has generated more attention in both the scientific and recently in the political arena as much as cannabinoids. These diverse groups of compounds referred collectively as cannabinoids have both been vilified due to its dramatic and potentially harmful psychotropic effects and glorified due to its equally dramatic and potential application in a number of acute and chronic neurological conditions. Previously illegal to possess, cannabis, the plant where natural form of cannabinoids are derived, is now accepted in a growing number of states for medicinal purpose, and some even for recreational use, increasing opportunities for more scientific experimentation. The purpose of this review is to summarize the growing body of literature on cannabinoids and to present an overview of our current state of knowledge of the human endocannabinoid system in the hope of defining the future of cannabinoids and its potential applications in disorders of the central nervous system, focusing on stroke.

  14. Brain neuronal CB2 cannabinoid receptors in drug abuse and depression: from mice to human subjects.

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    Emmanuel S Onaivi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Addiction and major depression are mental health problems associated with stressful events in life with high relapse and reoccurrence even after treatment. Many laboratories were not able to detect the presence of cannabinoid CB2 receptors (CB2-Rs in healthy brains, but there has been demonstration of CB2-R expression in rat microglial cells and other brain associated cells during inflammation. Therefore, neuronal expression of CB2-Rs had been ambiguous and controversial and its role in depression and substance abuse is unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study we tested the hypothesis that genetic variants of CB2 gene might be associated with depression in a human population and that alteration in CB2 gene expression may be involved in the effects of abused substances including opiates, cocaine and ethanol in rodents. Here we demonstrate that a high incidence of (Q63R but not (H316Y polymorphism in the CB2 gene was found in Japanese depressed subjects. CB2-Rs and their gene transcripts are expressed in the brains of naïve mice and are modulated following exposure to stressors and administration of abused drugs. Mice that developed alcohol preference had reduced CB2 gene expression and chronic treatment with JWH015 a putative CB2-R agonist, enhanced alcohol consumption in stressed but not in control mice. The direct intracerebroventricular microinjection of CB2 anti-sense oligonucleotide into the mouse brain reduced mouse aversions in the plus-maze test, indicating the functional presence of CB2-Rs in the brain that modifies behavior. We report for the using electron microscopy the sub cellular localization of CB2-Rs that are mainly on post-synaptic elements in rodent brain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data demonstrate the functional expression of CB2-Rs in brain that may provide novel targets for the effects of cannabinoids in depression and substance abuse disorders beyond neuro-immunocannabinoid activity.

  15. Functional interactions between endogenous cannabinoid and opioid systems: focus on alcohol, genetics and drug-addicted behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Moreno, J A; López-Jiménez, A; Gorriti, M A; de Fonseca, F Rodríguez

    2010-04-01

    Although the first studies regarding the endogenous opioid system and addiction were published during the 1940s, addiction and cannabinoids were not addressed until the 1970s. Currently, the number of opioid addiction studies indexed in PubMed-Medline is 16 times greater than the number of cannabinoid addiction reports. More recently, functional interactions have been demonstrated between the endogenous cannabinoid and opioid systems. For example, the cannabinoid brain receptor type 1 (CB1) and mu opioid receptor type 1 (MOR1) co-localize in the same presynaptic nerve terminals and signal through a common receptor-mediated G-protein pathway. Here, we review a great variety of behavioral models of drug addiction and alcohol-related behaviors. We also include data providing clear evidence that activation of the cannabinoid and opioid endogenous systems via WIN 55,512-2 (0.4-10 mg/kg) and morphine (1.0-10 mg/kg), respectively, produces similar levels of relapse to alcohol in operant alcohol self-administration tasks. Finally, we discuss genetic studies that reveal significant associations between polymorphisms in MOR1 and CB1 receptors and drug addiction. For example, the SNP A118G, which changes the amino acid aspartate to asparagine in the MOR1 gene, is highly associated with altered opioid system function. The presence of a microsatellite polymorphism of an (AAT)n triplet near the CB1 gene is associated with drug addiction phenotypes. But, studies exploring haplotypes with regard to both systems, however, are lacking.

  16. Cannabinoid Receptors CB1 and CB2 Form Functional Heteromers in Brain*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callén, Lucía; Moreno, Estefanía; Barroso-Chinea, Pedro; Moreno-Delgado, David; Cortés, Antoni; Mallol, Josefa; Casadó, Vicent; Lanciego, José Luis; Franco, Rafael; Lluis, Carmen; Canela, Enric I.; McCormick, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    Exploring the role of cannabinoid CB2 receptors in the brain, we present evidence of CB2 receptor molecular and functional interaction with cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Using biophysical and biochemical approaches, we discovered that CB2 receptors can form heteromers with CB1 receptors in transfected neuronal cells and in rat brain pineal gland, nucleus accumbens, and globus pallidus. Within CB1-CB2 receptor heteromers expressed in a neuronal cell model, agonist co-activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors resulted in a negative cross-talk in Akt phosphorylation and neurite outgrowth. Moreover, one specific characteristic of CB1-CB2 receptor heteromers consists of both the ability of CB1 receptor antagonists to block the effect of CB2 receptor agonists and, conversely, the ability of CB2 receptor antagonists to block the effect of CB1 receptor agonists, showing a bidirectional cross-antagonism phenomenon. Taken together, these data illuminate the mechanism by which CB2 receptors can negatively modulate CB1 receptor function. PMID:22532560

  17. The anabolic steroid nandrolone alters cannabinoid self-administration and brain CB1 receptor density and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Struik, Dicky; Fadda, Paola; Zara, Tamara; Zamberletti, Erica; Rubino, Tiziana; Parolaro, Daniela; Fratta, Walter; Fattore, Liana

    2017-01-01

    Clinical and pre-clinical observations indicate that anabolic-androgenic steroids can induce neurobiological changes that alter the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse. In this study, we investigated the effect of the anabolic steroid nandrolone on the rewarding properties of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN) in rats. Lister Hooded male rats were treated intramuscularly with nandrolone (15mg/kg) or vehicle for 14 consecutive days, and then allowed to self-administer WIN (12.5μg/kg/infusion) intravenously. After reaching stable drug intake, self-administration behavior was extinguished to examine drug- and cue-induced reinstatement of cannabinoid-seeking behavior. Other behavioral parameters presumed to influence drug-taking and drug-seeking behaviors were examined to gain more insight into the behavioral specificity of nandrolone treatment. Finally, animals were sacrificed for analysis of CB1 receptor density and function in selected brain areas. We found that nandrolone-treated rats self-administered up to 2 times more cannabinoid than vehicle-treated rats, but behaved similarly to control rats when tested for drug- and cue-induced reinstatement of cannabinoid-seeking behavior. Enhanced cannabinoid intake by nandrolone-treated rats was not accompanied by changes in locomotor activity, sensorimotor gating, or memory function. However, our molecular data show that after chronic WIN self-administration nandrolone-treated rats display altered CB1 receptor density and function in selected brain areas. We hypothesize that increased cannabinoid self-administration in nandrolone-treated rats results from a nandrolone-induced decrease in reward function, which rats seem to compensate by voluntarily increasing their cannabinoid intake. Altogether, our findings corroborate the hypothesis that chronic exposure to anabolic-androgenic steroids induces dysfunction of the reward pathway in rats and might represent a potential risk factor for abuse of

  18. Activation of cannabinoid system in anterior cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal cortex modulates cost-benefit decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khani, Abbas; Kermani, Mojtaba; Hesam, Soghra; Haghparast, Abbas; Argandoña, Enrike G; Rainer, Gregor

    2015-06-01

    Despite the evidence for altered decision making in cannabis abusers, the role of the cannabinoid system in decision-making circuits has not been studied. Here, we examined the effects of cannabinoid modulation during cost-benefit decision making in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), key brain areas involved in decision making. We trained different groups of rats in a delay-based and an effort-based form of cost-benefit T-maze decision-making task. During test days, the rats received local injections of either vehicle or ACEA, a cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1R) agonist in the ACC or OFC. We measured spontaneous locomotor activity following the same treatments and characterized CB1Rs localization on different neuronal populations within these regions using immunohistochemistry. We showed that CB1R activation in the ACC impaired decision making such that rats were less willing to invest physical effort to gain high reward. Similarly, CB1R activation in the OFC induced impulsive pattern of choice such that rats preferred small immediate rewards to large delayed rewards. Control tasks ensured that the effects were specific for differential cost-benefit tasks. Furthermore, we characterized widespread colocalizations of CB1Rs on GABAergic axonal ends but few colocalizations on glutamatergic, dopaminergic, and serotonergic neuronal ends. These results provide first direct evidence that the cannabinoid system plays a critical role in regulating cost-benefit decision making in the ACC and OFC and implicate cannabinoid modulation of synaptic ends of predominantly interneurons and to a lesser degree other neuronal populations in these two frontal regions.

  19. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor-interacting proteins: novel targets for central nervous system drug discovery?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smith, Tricia H; Sim-Selley, Laura J; Selley, Dana E

    2010-01-01

    ...), including CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptor is the major cannabinoid receptor in the central nervous system and has gained increasing interest as a target for drug discovery for treatment of nausea, cachexia, obesity, pain...

  20. Interaction between Cannabinoid System and Toll-Like Receptors Controls Inflammation

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    Kathleen L. McCoy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system consisting of cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands, and biosynthetic and metabolizing enzymes, interest has been renewed in investigating the promise of cannabinoids as therapeutic agents. Abundant evidence indicates that cannabinoids modulate immune responses. An inflammatory response is triggered when innate immune cells receive a danger signal provided by pathogen- or damage-associated molecular patterns engaging pattern-recognition receptors. Toll-like receptor family members are prominent pattern-recognition receptors expressed on innate immune cells. Cannabinoids suppress Toll-like receptor-mediated inflammatory responses. However, the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and innate immune system may not be one-sided. Innate immune cells express cannabinoid receptors and produce endogenous cannabinoids. Hence, innate immune cells may play a role in regulating endocannabinoid homeostasis, and, in turn, the endocannabinoid system modulates local inflammatory responses. Studies designed to probe the interaction between the innate immune system and the endocannabinoid system may identify new potential molecular targets in developing therapeutic strategies for chronic inflammatory diseases. This review discusses the endocannabinoid system and Toll-like receptor family and evaluates the interaction between them.

  1. Pharmacological activation/inhibition of the cannabinoid system affects alcohol withdrawal-induced neuronal hypersensitivity to excitotoxic insults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Rubio

    Full Text Available Cessation of chronic ethanol consumption can increase the sensitivity of the brain to excitotoxic damages. Cannabinoids have been proposed as neuroprotectants in different models of neuronal injury, but their effect have never been investigated in a context of excitotoxicity after alcohol cessation. Here we examined the effects of the pharmacological activation/inhibition of the endocannabinoid system in an in vitro model of chronic ethanol exposure and withdrawal followed by an excitotoxic challenge. Ethanol withdrawal increased N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA-evoked neuronal death, probably by altering the ratio between GluN2A and GluN2B NMDA receptor subunits. The stimulation of the endocannabinoid system with the cannabinoid agonist HU-210 decreased NMDA-induced neuronal death exclusively in ethanol-withdrawn neurons. This neuroprotection could be explained by a decrease in NMDA-stimulated calcium influx after the administration of HU-210, found exclusively in ethanol-withdrawn neurons. By contrast, the inhibition of the cannabinoid system with the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant (SR141716 during ethanol withdrawal increased death of ethanol-withdrawn neurons without any modification of NMDA-stimulated calcium influx. Moreover, chronic administration of rimonabant increased NMDA-stimulated toxicity not only in withdrawn neurons, but also in control neurons. In summary, we show for the first time that the stimulation of the endocannabinoid system is protective against the hyperexcitability developed during alcohol withdrawal. By contrast, the blockade of the endocannabinoid system is highly counterproductive during alcohol withdrawal.

  2. Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid-based drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Thomas W; Newton, Catherine A

    2007-01-01

    Cannabinoid-based drugs modeled on cannabinoids originally isolated from marijuana are now known to significantly impact the functioning of the endocannabinoid system of mammals. This system operates not only in the brain but also in organs and tissues in the periphery including the immune system. Natural and synthetic cannabinoids are tricyclic terpenes, whereas the endogenous physiological ligands are eicosanoids. Several receptors for these compounds have been extensively described, CB1 and CB2, and are G protein-coupled receptors; however, cannabinoid-based drugs are also demonstrated to function independently of these receptors. Cannabinoids regulate many physiological functions and their impact on immunity is generally antiinflammatory as powerful modulators of the cytokine cascade. This anti-inflammatory potency has led to the testing of these drugs in chronic inflammatory laboratory paradigms and even in some human diseases. Psychoactive and nonpsychoactive cannabinoid-based drugs such as Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, HU-211, and ajulemic acid have been tested and found moderately effective in clinical trials of multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Furthermore, although clinical trials are not yet reported, preclinical data with cannabinoid-based drugs suggest efficacy in other inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.

  3. Characterization of CB1 cannabinoid receptor immunoreactivity in postmortem human brain homogenates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Jesús, M López; Sallés, J; Meana, J J; Callado, L F

    2006-06-30

    The CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is the predominant type of cannabinoid receptor in the CNS, in which it displays a unique anatomical distribution and is present at higher densities than most other known seven transmembrane domain receptors. Nevertheless, as with almost all seven transmembrane domain receptors, the tertiary and quaternary structure of this receptor is still unknown. Studies of CB1 in rat cerebral tissue are scarce, and even less is known regarding the expression of CB1 in the human brain. Thus, the aim of the present work was to characterize CB1 expression in membranes from postmortem human brain using specific antisera raised against this protein. Western blot analysis of P1 and P2 fractions, and crude plasma membrane preparations from the prefrontal cortex showed that CB1 migrated as a 60 kDa monomer under reducing conditions. These data were confirmed by blotting experiments carried out with human U373MG astrocytoma cells as a positive control for CB1 expression and wild-type CHO cells as negative control. In addition, when proteins were solubilized in the absence of dithiothreitol, the anti-human CB1 antiserum detected a new band migrating at around 120 kDa corresponding in size to a putative CB1 dimer. This band was sensitive to reducing agents (50 mM dithiothreitol) and showed sodium dodecylsulphate stability, suggesting the existence of disulfide-linked CB1 dimers in the membrane preparations. Important differences in the anatomical distribution of CB1 were observed with regard to that described previously in monkey and rat; in the human brain, CB1 levels were higher in cortex and caudate than in the cerebellum.

  4. Cannabinoid control of brain bioenergetics: Exploring the subcellular localization of the CB1 receptor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebert-Chatelain, Etienne; Reguero, Leire; Puente, Nagore; Lutz, Beat; Chaouloff, Francis; Rossignol, Rodrigue; Piazza, Pier-Vincenzo; Benard, Giovanni; Grandes, Pedro; Marsicano, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Brain mitochondrial activity is centrally involved in the central control of energy balance. When studying mitochondrial functions in the brain, however, discrepant results might be obtained, depending on the experimental approaches. For instance, immunostaining experiments and biochemical isolation of organelles expose investigators to risks of false positive and/or false negative results. As an example, the functional presence of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors on brain mitochondrial membranes (mtCB1) was recently reported and rapidly challenged, claiming that the original observation was likely due to artifact results. Here, we addressed this issue by directly comparing the procedures used in the two studies. Our results show that the use of appropriate controls and quantifications allows detecting mtCB1 receptor with CB1 receptor antibodies, and that, if mitochondrial fractions are enriched and purified, CB1 receptor agonists reliably decrease respiration in brain mitochondria. These data further underline the importance of adapted experimental procedures to study brain mitochondrial functions. PMID:24944910

  5. Endogenous cannabinoids and appetite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkham, T C; Williams, C M

    2001-06-01

    Since pre-history, Cannabis sativa has been exploited for its potent and manifold pharmacological actions. Amongst the most renowned of these actions is a tendency to provoke ravenous eating. The characterization of the psychoactive principals in cannabis (exogenous cannabinoids) and, more recently, the discovery of specific brain cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) has stimulated research into the physiological roles of endocannabinoid systems. In this review, we critically discuss evidence from the literature that describe studies on animals and human subjects to support endocannabinoid involvement in the control of appetite. We describe the hyperphagic actions of the exogenous cannabinoid, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, and the endogenous CB1 ligands, anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol, and present evidence to support a specific role of endocannabinoid systems in appetitive processes related to the incentive and reward properties of food. A case is made for more comprehensive and systematic analyses of cannabinoid actions on eating, in the anticipation of improved therapies for disorders of appetite and body weight, and a better understanding of the biopsychological processes underlying hunger.

  6. Mechanism of the Interaction of Cannabinoid System in Central Amygdale with Opioid System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Sarahroodi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available

    Background and objectives

    Cannabinoids which are active compounds of marijuana show some pharmacological effects similar to the opioids. There are also functional interactions between both cannabinoid and opioid systems. In this study we investigated the role of cannabinoid receptors in central amygdala and its interaction with opioid system.

                                                                                                                             

    Methods

    In the present study, we investigated the effects of intraperitoneal injection of opioid drugs on response-induced by intra-amygdala (intra-Amyg microinjection of cannabinoid agents in rats, using elevated plus-maze test of anxiety.

     

    Results

    Intraperitoneal injection of morphine (3, 6 and 9 mg/kg increased %OAT and %OAE, but not locomotor activity, showing an anxiolytic response. However, some doses of the opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone reduced %OAT and locomotor activity as well. Intra-Amyg administration of CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist, ACPA (at the dose of 1.25 and 5 ng/rat increased %OAT and %OAE but not locomotor activity, thus showing an anxiolytic response, which was increased by morphine (6 mg/kg, i.p. without any interaction. Naloxone also reduced ACPA effects.  

    Intra-Amyg administration of CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist, AM251 (2.5, 25 and 100 ng/rat did not alter %OAT and %OAE but higher doses of drug (25 and 100 ng/rat reduced locomotor activity. However, the drug in combination of morphine anxiolytic response and with naloxone decreased anxiety.

    Conclusion

    The results may indicate an anxiolytic for CB1 cannabinoid. Our results also showed that opioid

  7. The Cannabinoid System in the Retrosplenial Cortex Modulates Fear Memory Consolidation, Reconsolidation, and Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sachser, Ricardo Marcelo; Crestani, Ana Paula; Quillfeldt, Jorge Alberto; e Souza, Tadeu Mello; de Oliveira Alvares, Lucas

    2015-01-01

    Despite the fact that the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) plays a pivotal role in emotional memory processing in different regions of the brain, its function in the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) remains unknown. Here, using contextual fear conditioning in rats, we showed that a post-training intra-RSC infusion of the CB1R antagonist AM251…

  8. Animal models of cannabinoid reward

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panlilio, Leigh V; Justinova, Zuzana; Goldberg, Steven R

    2010-01-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in numerous physiological and neuropsychological functions. Medications that target this system hold promise for the treatment of a wide variety of disorders. However, as reward is one of the most prominent of these functions, medications that activate this system must be evaluated for abuse potential. Meanwhile, cannabis is already being used chronically by millions of people, many of whom eventually seek treatment for cannabis dependence. Therefore, there is a need for procedures that can be used to: (i) better understand the mechanisms of cannabinoid reward; (ii) evaluate the abuse potential of new medications; and (iii) evaluate the effectiveness of medications developed for treating cannabis dependence. Animal models of cannabinoid reward provide a means of accomplishing these goals. In this review, we briefly describe and evaluate these models, their advantages and their shortcomings. Special emphasis is placed on intravenous cannabinoid self-administration in squirrel monkeys, a valid, reliable and flexible model that we have developed over the past decade. Although the conditions under which cannabinoid drugs have rewarding effects may be more restricted than with other drugs of abuse such as cocaine and heroin, work with these models indicates that cannabinoid reward involves similar brain mechanisms and produces the same kinds of reward-related behaviour. By continuing to use these animal models as tools in the development of new medications, it should be possible to take advantage of the potential benefits provided by the endocannabinoid system while minimizing its potential for harm. This article is part of a themed issue on Cannabinoids. To view the editorial for this themed issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.00831.x PMID:20590560

  9. Cannabinoids and Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Michael Walker

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids have been used to treat pain for many centuries. However, only during the past several decades have rigorous scientific methods been applied to understand the mechanisms of cannabinoid action. Cannabinoid receptors were discovered in the late 1980s and have been found to mediate the effects of cannabinoids on the nervous system. Several endocannabinoids were subsequently identified. Many studies of cannabinoid analgesia in animals during the past century showed that cannabinoids block all types of pain studied. These effects were found to be due to the suppression of spinal and thalamic nociceptive neurons, independent of any actions on the motor systems. Spinal, supraspinal and peripheral sites of cannabinoid analgesia have been identified. Endocannabinoids are released upon electrical stimulation of the periaqueductal gray, and in response to inflammation in the extremities. These observations and others thus suggest that a natural function of cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands is to regulate pain sensitivity. The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids remains an important topic for future investigations, with previous work suggesting utility in clinical studies of cancer and surgical pain. New modes of delivery and/or new compounds lacking the psychotropic properties of the standard cannabinoid ligands offer promise for cannabinoid therapeutics for pain.

  10. Beyond THC: The New Generation of Cannabinoid Designer Drugs

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Fattore, Liana; Fratta, Walter

    2011-01-01

    Synthetic cannabinoids are functionally similar to delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive principle of cannabis, and bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain and peripheral organs...

  11. Cannabinoids: mechanisms and therapeutic applications in the CNS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drysdale, Alison J; Platt, Bettina

    2003-12-01

    Cannabinoids comprise three classes of compounds, the active components of marijuana (Cannabis sativa), as well as endogenous and synthetic derivatives. To date, two distinct cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) have been discovered, but evidence for further receptor types has been brought forward. The potential use of cannabinoids for medicinal purposes has long been known, but the mechanisms of action of both exogenously applied and endogenous cannabinoids are only partly established. For nervous system disorders, cannabinoids may be useful by modulating neurotransmission and calcium homeostasis as well as by anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant actions. Some cannabinoids can also trigger cell death, which may be of therapeutic benefit in the treatment of malignant tumours. A number of both in vitro and in vivo models have provided promising but diverse evidence for cannabinoid protection in glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity, hypoxia and glucose deprivation, brain trauma, epilepsy and MS. Subsequent to many preclinical investigations, clinical trials are now underway in a variety of the above applications. Overall, the understanding of the therapeutic relevance of cannabinoids will rely on further investigations into the neuroprotective and neurotoxic potency of cannabinoids in animal models and humans, as much as on a further advancement of our general understanding of the endocannabinoid system and the development of specific compounds devoid of unwanted psychoactive side effects.

  12. Cannabinoids and Innate Immunity: Taking a Toll on Neuroinflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric J. Downer

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The biologically active components of cannabis have therapeutic potential in neuroinflammatory disorders due to their anti-inflammatory propensity. Cannabinoids influence immune function in both the peripheral and the central nervous system (CNS, and the components of the cannabinoid system, the cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids, have been detected on immune cells as well as in brain glia. Neuroinflammation is the complex innate immune response of neural tissue to control infection and eliminate pathogens, and Toll-like receptors (TLRs, a major family of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs that mediate innate immunity, have emerged as players in the neuroinflammatory processes underpinning various CNS diseases. This review will highlight evidence that cannabinoids interact with the immune system by impacting TLR-mediated signaling events, which may provide cues for devising novel therapeutic approaches for cannabinoid ligands.

  13. Pharmacology of cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotenhermen, Franjo

    2004-01-01

    Dronabinol (Delta 9-tetrahydocannabinol, THC), the main source of the pharmacological effects caused by the use of cannabis, is an agonist to both the CB1 and the CB2 subtype of cannabinoid receptors. It is available on prescription in several countries. The non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD), some analogues of natural cannabinoids and their metabolites, antagonists at the cannabinoid receptors and modulators of the endogenous cannabinoid system are also promising candidates for clinical research and therapeutic uses. Cannabinoid receptors are distributed in the central nervous system and many peripheral tissues including spleen, leukocytes; reproductive, urinary and gastrointestinal tracts; endocrine glands, arteries and heart. Five endogenous cannabinoids have been detected so far, of whom anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol are best characterized. There is evidence that besides the two cannabinoid receptor subtypes cloned so far additional cannabinoid receptor subtypes and vanilloid receptors are involved in the complex physiological functions of the cannabinoid system that include motor coordination, memory procession, control of appetite, pain modulation and neuroprotection. Strategies to modulate their activity include inhibition of re-uptake into cells and inhibition of their degradation to increase concentration and duration of action. Properties of cannabinoids that might be of therapeutic use include analgesia, muscle relaxation, immunosuppression, anti-inflammation, anti-allergic effects, sedation, improvement of mood, stimulation of appetite, anti-emesis, lowering of intraocular pressure, bronchodilation, neuroprotection and antineoplastic effects.

  14. A cannabinoid link between mitochondria and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebert-Chatelain, Etienne; Desprez, Tifany; Serrat, Román; Bellocchio, Luigi; Soria-Gomez, Edgar; Busquets-Garcia, Arnau; Pagano Zottola, Antonio Christian; Delamarre, Anna; Cannich, Astrid; Vincent, Peggy; Varilh, Marjorie; Robin, Laurie M; Terral, Geoffrey; García-Fernández, M Dolores; Colavita, Michelangelo; Mazier, Wilfrid; Drago, Filippo; Puente, Nagore; Reguero, Leire; Elezgarai, Izaskun; Dupuy, Jean-William; Cota, Daniela; Lopez-Rodriguez, Maria-Luz; Barreda-Gómez, Gabriel; Massa, Federico; Grandes, Pedro; Bénard, Giovanni; Marsicano, Giovanni

    2016-11-24

    Cellular activity in the brain depends on the high energetic support provided by mitochondria, the cell organelles which use energy sources to generate ATP. Acute cannabinoid intoxication induces amnesia in humans and animals, and the activation of type-1 cannabinoid receptors present at brain mitochondria membranes (mtCB 1 ) can directly alter mitochondrial energetic activity. Although the pathological impact of chronic mitochondrial dysfunctions in the brain is well established, the involvement of acute modulation of mitochondrial activity in high brain functions, including learning and memory, is unknown. Here, we show that acute cannabinoid-induced memory impairment in mice requires activation of hippocampal mtCB 1 receptors. Genetic exclusion of CB 1 receptors from hippocampal mitochondria prevents cannabinoid-induced reduction of mitochondrial mobility, synaptic transmission and memory formation. mtCB 1 receptors signal through intra-mitochondrial Gα i protein activation and consequent inhibition of soluble-adenylyl cyclase (sAC). The resulting inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent phosphorylation of specific subunits of the mitochondrial electron transport system eventually leads to decreased cellular respiration. Hippocampal inhibition of sAC activity or manipulation of intra-mitochondrial PKA signalling or phosphorylation of the Complex I subunit NDUFS2 inhibit bioenergetic and amnesic effects of cannabinoids. Thus, the G protein-coupled mtCB 1 receptors regulate memory processes via modulation of mitochondrial energy metabolism. By directly linking mitochondrial activity to memory formation, these data reveal that bioenergetic processes are primary acute regulators of cognitive functions.

  15. Pharmacological and therapeutic secrets of plant and brain (endo)cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanus, Lumír Ondrej

    2009-03-01

    Research on the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids has reached enormous proportions, with approximately 15,000 articles on Cannabis sativa L. and cannabinoids and over 2,000 articles on endocannabinoids. The present review deals with the history of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, its uses, constituent compounds and their biogeneses, and similarity to compounds from Radula spp. In addition, details of the pharmacology of natural cannabinoids, as well as synthetic agonists and antagonists are presented. Finally, details regarding the pioneering isolation of the endocannabinoid anandamide, as well as the pharmacology and potential therapeutic uses of endocannabinoid congeners are presented. (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Focus on cannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Boisselier, R; Alexandre, J; Lelong-Boulouard, V; Debruyne, D

    2017-02-01

    The recent emergence of a multitude of synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) has generated a wealth of new information, suggesting the usefulness of state-of-the-art on lato sensu cannabinoids. By modulating a plurality of neurotransmission pathways, the endocannabinoid system is involved in many physiological processes that are increasingly explored. SCs desired and adverse effects are considered to be more intense than those observed with cannabis smoking, which is partly explained by the full agonist activity and higher affinity for cannabinoid receptors. Neurological and cardiovascular side effects observed after cannabinoid poisoning generally respond to conventional supportive care, but severe outcomes may occur in a minority of cases, mainly observed with SCs. The likelihood of severe abuse and addiction produced by SCs are of concern for the scientific community also interested in the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoids. © 2016 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

  17. Cannabinoids in cancer pain management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huskey, Angela

    2006-01-01

    The clinical use of cannabinoids in cancer pain management is reviewed. The endocannabionoid system, cannabinoid receptors, evidence for analgesic effects, other uses in cancer and related issues are discussed.

  18. Cannabinoid-based drugs targeting CB1 and TRPV1, the sympathetic nervous system, and arthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowin, Torsten; Straub, Rainer H

    2015-09-06

    Chronic inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is accompanied by activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which can support the immune system to perpetuate inflammation. Several animal models of arthritis already demonstrated a profound influence of adrenergic signaling on the course of RA. Peripheral norepinephrine release from sympathetic terminals is controlled by cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), which is activated by two major endocannabinoids (ECs), arachidonylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonylglycerol. These ECs also modulate function of transient receptor potential channels (TRPs) located on sensory nerve fibers, which are abundant in arthritic synovial tissue. TRPs not only induce the sensation of pain but also support inflammation via secretion of pro-inflammatory neuropeptides. In addition, many cell types in synovial tissue express CB1 and TRPs. In this review, we focus on CB1 and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1)-mediated effects on RA since most anti-inflammatory mechanisms induced by cannabinoids are attributed to cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) activation. We demonstrate how CB1 agonism or antagonism can modulate arthritic disease. The concept of functional antagonism with continuous CB1 activation is discussed. Since fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is a major EC-degrading enzyme, the therapeutic possibility of FAAH inhibition is studied. Finally, the therapeutic potential of ECs is examined since they interact with cannabinoid receptors and TRPs but do not produce central side effects.

  19. Cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system in lower urinary tract function and dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedlund, Petter

    2014-01-01

    To review knowledge on cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system in lower urinary tract function and dysfunction. Review of MEDLINE using defined search terms, and manual analysis. Articles published in English were included. Components of the endocannabinoid system—cannabinoid (CB)receptor types 1 and 2, anandamide, and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which degrades anandamide and related fatty-acid amides—have been located to lower urinary tract tissues of mice, rats, monkeys, and humans. Studies have located CB receptors in urothelium and sensory nerves and FAAH in the urothelium. CB receptor- and FAAH-related activities have also been reported in the lumbosacral spinal cord. Data on supraspinal CB functions in relation to micturition are lacking. Cannabinoids are reported to reduce sensory activity of isolated tissues, cause antihyperalgesia in animal studies of bladder inflammation, affect urodynamics parameters reflecting sensory functions in animals models, and appear to have effects on storage symptoms in humans. FAAH inhibitors have affected sensory bladder functions and reduced bladder overactivity in rat models. Cannabinoids may modify nerve-mediated functions of isolated lower urinary tract tissues. Evidence suggests components of the endocannabinoid system are involved in regulation of bladder function, possibly at several levels of the micturition pathway. It is unclear if either CB receptor has a dominant role in modification of sensory signals or if differences exist at peripheral and central nervous sites. Amplification of endocannabinoid activity by FAAH inhibitors may be an attractive drug target in specific pathways involved in LUTS.

  20. Cannabinoid receptor binding and messenger RNA expression in human brain: an in vitro receptor autoradiography and in situ hybridization histochemistry study of normal aged and Alzheimer's brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westlake, T M; Howlett, A C; Bonner, T I; Matsuda, L A; Herkenham, M

    1994-12-01

    The distribution and density of cannabinoid receptor binding and messenger RNA expression in aged human brain were examined in several forebrain and basal ganglia structures. In vitro binding of [3H]CP-55,940, a synthetic cannabinoid, was examined by autoradiography in fresh frozen brain sections from normal aged humans (n = 3), patients who died with Alzheimer's disease (n = 5) and patients who died with other forms of cortical pathology (n = 5). In the structures examined--hippocampal formation, neocortex, basal ganglia and parts of the brainstem--receptor binding showed a characteristic pattern of high densities in the dentate gyrus molecular layer, globus pallidus and substantia nigra pars reticulata, moderate densities in the hippocampus, neocortex, amygdala and striatum, and low densities in the white matter and brainstem. In situ hybridization histochemistry of human cannabinoid receptor, a ribonucleotide probe for the human cannabinoid receptor messenger RNA, showed a pattern of extremely dense transcript levels in subpopulations of cells in the hippocampus and cortex, moderate levels in hippocampal pyramidal neurons and neurons of the striatum, amygdala and hypothalamus, and no signal over dentate gyrus granule cells and most of the cells of the thalamus and upper brainstem, including the substantia nigra. In Alzheimer's brains, compared to normal brains, [3H]CP-55,940 binding was reduced by 37-45% in all of the subfields of the hippocampal formation and by 49% in the caudate. Lesser reductions (20-24%) occurred in the substantia nigra and globus pallidus, internal segment. Other neocortical and basal ganglia structures were not different from control levels. Levels of messenger RNA expression did not differ between Alzheimer's and control brains, but there were regionally discrete statistically significant losses of the intensely expressing cells in the hippocampus. The reductions in binding did not correlate with or localize to areas showing

  1. Regulation of MMP-9 by a WIN-binding site in the monocyte-macrophage system independent from cannabinoid receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svantje Tauber

    Full Text Available The cannabinoid system is known to be involved in the regulation of inflammatory processes. Therefore, drugs targeting cannabinoid receptors are considered as candidates for anti-inflammatory and tissue protective therapy. We demonstrated that the prototypical cannabinoid agonist R(+WIN55,212-2 (WIN reduced the secretion of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9 in a murine model of cigarette-smoke induced lung inflammation. In experiments using primary cells and cell lines of the monocyte-macrophage-system we found that binding of the cannabinoid-receptor agonist WIN to a stereo-selective, specific binding site in cells of the monocyte-macrophage-system induced a significant down-regulation of MMP-9 secretion and disturbance of intracellular processing, which subsequently down-regulated MMP-9 mRNA expression via a ERK1/2-phosphorylation-dependent pathway. Surprisingly, the anti-inflammatory effect was independent from classical cannabinoid receptors. Our experiments supposed an involvement of TRPV1, but other yet unidentified sites are also possible. We conclude that cannabinoid-induced control of MMP-9 in the monocyte-macrophage system via a cannabinoid-receptor independent pathway represents a general option for tissue protection during inflammation, such as during lung inflammation and other diseases associated with inflammatory tissue damage.

  2. Inverse agonism of cannabinoid CB1 receptor blocks the adhesion of encephalitogenic T cells in inflamed brain venules by a protein kinase A-dependent mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Barbara; Zenaro, Elena; Angiari, Stefano; Ottoboni, Linda; Bach, Simona; Piccio, Laura; Pietronigro, Enrica C; Scarpini, Elio; Fusco, Mariella; Leon, Alberta; Constantin, Gabriela

    2011-04-01

    It is well known that the cannabinoid system has a significant role in the regulation of the immune responses. Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are expressed on T lymphocytes and mediate the immunomodulatory effects of cannabinoids on T cell functions. Here we show that the treatment of proteolipid protein (PLP)139-151-specific T cells with SR141716A, a CB1 inverse agonist and prototype of the diarylpyrazoles series, induced a strong inhibition of firm adhesion in inflamed brain venules in intravital microscopy experiments. In contrast, SR144528, a potent CB2 inverse agonist, had no significant effect on both rolling and arrest of activated T cells. In addition, two analogs of SR141716A and CB1 inverse agonists, AM251 and AM281 inhibited encephalitogenic T cell adhesion suggesting that selective CB1 inverse agonism interfere with lymphocyte trafficking in the CNS. Flow cytometry experiments showed that CB1 inverse agonists have no effect on adhesion molecule expression suggesting that CB1 blockade interferes with signal transduction pathways controlling T cell adhesion in inflamed brain venules. In addition, integrin clustering was not altered after treatment with CB1 inverse agonists suggesting that adhesion blockade is not due to the modulation of integrin valency. Notably, the inhibitory effect exerted by AM251 and AM281 on the adhesive interactions was completely reverted in the presence of protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H89, suggesting that cAMP and PKA activation play a key role in the adhesion blockade mediated by CB1 inverse agonists. To further strengthen these results and unveil a previously unknown inhibitory role of cAMP on activated T cell adhesion in vivo in the context of CNS inflammation, we showed that intracellular increase of cAMP induced by treatment with Bt2cAMP, a permeable analog of cAMP, and phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor theophylline efficiently blocked the arrest of encephalitogenic T cells in inflamed brain venules. Our data show

  3. Cannabinoids: Well-Suited Candidates for the Treatment of Perinatal Brain Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Martínez-Orgado

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Perinatal brain injury can be induced by a number of different damaging events occurring during or shortly after birth, including neonatal asphyxia, neonatal hypoxia-ischemia and stroke-induced focal ischemia. Typical manifestations of these conditions are the presence of glutamate excitoxicity, neuroinflammation and oxidative stress, the combination of which can potentially result in apoptotic-necrotic cell death, generation of brain lesions and long-lasting functional impairment. In spite of the high incidence of perinatal brain injury, the number of clinical interventions available for the treatment of the affected newborn babies is extremely limited. Hence, there is a dramatic need to develop new effective therapies aimed to prevent acute brain damage and enhance the endogenous mechanisms of long-term brain repair. The endocannabinoid system is an endogenous neuromodulatory system involved in the control of multiple central and peripheral functions. An early responder to neuronal injury, the endocannabinoid system has been described as an endogenous neuroprotective system that once activated can prevent glutamate excitotoxicity, intracellular calcium accumulation, activation of cell death pathways, microglia activation, neurovascular reactivity and infiltration of circulating leukocytes across the blood-brain barrier. The modulation of the endocannabinoid system has proven to be an effective neuroprotective strategy to prevent and reduce neonatal brain injury in different animal models and species. Also, the beneficial role of the endocannabinoid system on the control of the endogenous repairing responses (neurogenesis and white matter restoration to neonatal brain injury has been described in independent studies. This review addresses the particular effects of several drugs that modulate the activity of the endocannabinoid system on the progression of different manifestations of perinatal brain injury during both the acute and chronic

  4. The antitumor action of cannabinoids on glioma tumorigenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zogopoulos, Panagiotis; Korkolopoulou, Penelope; Patsouris, Efstratios; Theocharis, Stamatios

    2015-06-01

    Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds with a wide spectrum of pharmacological effects, mediated by two specific plasma membrane receptors (CB1 and CB2). Recently, CB1 and CB2 expression levels have been detected in human tumors, including those of brain. Cannabinoids-endocannabinoids exert anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, anti-invasive, anti-metastatic and pro-apoptotic effects in different cancer types, both in vitro and in vivo in animal models, after local or systemic administration. We present the available experimental and clinical data, to date, regarding the antitumor action of cannabinoids on the tumorigenesis of gliomas.

  5. Antiaversive Effects of Cannabinoids: Is the Periaqueductal Gray Involved?

    OpenAIRE

    F. S. Guimarães; L. B. Resstel; A. L. Terzian; S. F. Lisboa; A. C. Campos; D. C. Aguiar; F. A. Moreira

    2008-01-01

    Cannabinoids play an important role in activity-dependent changes in synaptic activity and can interfere in several brain functions, including responses to aversive stimuli. The regions responsible for their effects, however, are still unclear. Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors are widely distributed in the central nervous system and are present in the periaqueductal gray (PAG), a midbrain structure closely involved in responses related to aversive states. Accordingly, exposure to stressful ...

  6. Cannabinoids as Anticancer Drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramer, Robert; Hinz, Burkhard

    2017-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system encompassing cannabinoid receptors, endogenous receptor ligands (endocannabinoids), as well as enzymes conferring the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids has emerged as a considerable target for pharmacotherapeutical approaches of numerous diseases. Besides palliative effects of cannabinoids used in cancer treatment, phytocannabinoids, synthetic agonists, as well as substances that increase endogenous endocannabinoid levels have gained interest as potential agents for systemic cancer treatment. Accordingly, cannabinoid compounds have been reported to inhibit tumor growth and spreading in numerous rodent models. The underlying mechanisms include induction of apoptosis, autophagy, and cell cycle arrest in tumor cells as well as inhibition of tumor cell invasion and angiogenic features of endothelial cells. In addition, cannabinoids have been shown to suppress epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, to enhance tumor immune surveillance, and to support chemotherapeutics' effects on drug-resistant cancer cells. However, unwanted side effects include psychoactivity and possibly pathogenic effects on liver health. Other cannabinoids such as the nonpsychoactive cannabidiol exert a comparatively good safety profile while exhibiting considerable anticancer properties. So far experience with anticarcinogenic effects of cannabinoids is confined to in vitro studies and animal models. Although a bench-to-bedside conversion remains to be established, the current knowledge suggests cannabinoid compounds to serve as a group of drugs that may offer significant advantages for patients suffering from cancer diseases. The present review summarizes the role of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid compounds in tumor progression. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The neurobiology and evolution of cannabinoid signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elphick, M R; Egertová, M

    2001-03-29

    The plant Cannabis sativa has been used by humans for thousands of years because of its psychoactivity. The major psychoactive ingredient of cannabis is Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, which exerts effects in the brain by binding to a G-protein-coupled receptor known as the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. The discovery of this receptor indicated that endogenous cannabinoids may occur in the brain, which act as physiological ligands for CB1. Two putative endocannabinoid ligands, arachidonylethanolamide ('anandamide') and 2-arachidonylglycerol, have been identified, giving rise to the concept of a cannabinoid signalling system. Little is known about how or where these compounds are synthesized in the brain and how this relates to CB1 expression. However, detailed neuroanatomical and electrophysiological analysis of mammalian nervous systems has revealed that the CB1 receptor is targeted to the presynaptic terminals of neurons where it acts to inhibit release of 'classical' neurotransmitters. Moreover, an enzyme that inactivates endocannabinoids, fatty acid amide hydrolase, appears to be preferentially targeted to the somatodendritic compartment of neurons that are postsynaptic to CB1-expressing axon terminals. Based on these findings, we present here a model of cannabinoid signalling in which anandamide is synthesized by postsynaptic cells and acts as a retrograde messenger molecule to modulate neurotransmitter release from presynaptic terminals. Using this model as a framework, we discuss the role of cannabinoid signalling in different regions of the nervous system in relation to the characteristic physiological actions of cannabinoids in mammals, which include effects on movement, memory, pain and smooth muscle contractility. The discovery of the cannabinoid signalling system in mammals has prompted investigation of the occurrence of this pathway in non-mammalian animals. Here we review the evidence for the existence of cannabinoid receptors in non-mammalian vertebrates

  8. Cannabinoid and Cholinergic Systems Interact during Performance of a Short-Term Memory Task in the Rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goonawardena, Anushka V.; Robinson, Lianne; Hampson, Robert E.; Riedel, Gernot

    2010-01-01

    It is now well established that cannabinoid agonists such as [delta][superscript 9]-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), anandamide, and WIN 55,212-2 (WIN-2) produce potent and specific deficits in working memory (WM)/short-term memory (STM) tasks in rodents. Although mediated through activation of CB1 receptors located in memory-related brain regions such…

  9. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharkey, Keith A; Darmani, Nissar A; Parker, Linda A

    2014-01-05

    Nausea and vomiting (emesis) are important elements in defensive or protective responses that animals use to avoid ingestion or digestion of potentially harmful substances. However, these neurally-mediated responses are at times manifested as symptoms of disease and they are frequently observed as side-effects of a variety of medications, notably those used to treat cancer. Cannabis has long been known to limit or prevent nausea and vomiting from a variety of causes. This has led to extensive investigations that have revealed an important role for cannabinoids and their receptors in the regulation of nausea and emesis. With the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, novel ways to regulate both nausea and vomiting have been discovered that involve the production of endogenous cannabinoids acting centrally. Here we review recent progress in understanding the regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, and we discuss the potential to utilize the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of these frequently debilitating conditions. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Targeting Cannabinoid Signaling in the Immune System: “High”-ly Exciting Questions, Possibilities, and Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Attila Oláh

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that certain active ingredients of the plants of Cannabis genus, i.e., the “phytocannabinoids” [pCBs; e.g., (−-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, (−-cannabidiol, etc.] can influence a wide array of biological processes, and the human body is able to produce endogenous analogs of these substances [“endocannabinoids” (eCB, e.g., arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG, etc.]. These ligands, together with multiple receptors (e.g., CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, etc., and a complex enzyme and transporter apparatus involved in the synthesis and degradation of the ligands constitute the endocannabinoid system (ECS, a recently emerging regulator of several physiological processes. The ECS is widely expressed in the human body, including several members of the innate and adaptive immune system, where eCBs, as well as several pCBs were shown to deeply influence immune functions thereby regulating inflammation, autoimmunity, antitumor, as well as antipathogen immune responses, etc. Based on this knowledge, many in vitro and in vivo studies aimed at exploiting the putative therapeutic potential of cannabinoid signaling in inflammation-accompanied diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis or in organ transplantation, and to dissect the complex immunological effects of medical and “recreational” marijuana consumption. Thus, the objective of the current article is (i to summarize the most recent findings of the field; (ii to highlight the putative therapeutic potential of targeting cannabinoid signaling; (iii to identify open questions and key challenges; and (iv to suggest promising future directions for cannabinoid-based drug development.

  11. Time course of opioid and cannabinoid gene transcription alterations induced by repeated administration with fluoxetine in the rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, José M; Urigüen, Leyre; Pérez-Rial, Sandra; Manzanares, Jorge

    2005-10-01

    This study examined the time course effects (8, 16 and 31 days) of fluoxetine administration (1 mg/kg, p.o./day) on serotonin transporter (5-HTT), opioid, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and cannabinoid CB1 receptor gene expressions in selected regions of the rat brain. Treatment with fluoxetine progressively decreased (35-55%) 5-HTT gene expression in dorsal raphe nucleus at 8, 16 and 31 days. The results revealed that fluoxetine administration decreased (30%) proenkephalin gene expression in nucleus accumbens shell (AcbS) and caudate-putamen (CPu) (31 days) but was without effect in nucleus accumbens core AcbC. A pronounced and time related decrease (25-65%) in prodynorphin gene expression was detected in AcbC, AcbS, CPu, hypothalamic supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei at all time points as well as in proopiomelanocortin gene expression (20-30%) in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus. On days 16 and 31, tyrosine hydroxylase gene expression in ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra and cannabinoid CB1 receptor gene expression in the CPu decreased (approximately 45-50% from vehicle). In conclusion, fluoxetine by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin produced pronounced and time related alterations in genes involved in the regulation of emotional behaviour, suggesting that these neuroplastic changes may be involved, at least in part, in the clinical efficacy of this drug in neuropsychiatric disorders.

  12. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor-interacting proteins: novel targets for central nervous system drug discovery?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tricia H; Sim-Selley, Laura J; Selley, Dana E

    2010-01-01

    The main pharmacological effects of marijuana, as well as synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids, are mediated through G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), including CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptor is the major cannabinoid receptor in the central nervous system and has gained increasing interest as a target for drug discovery for treatment of nausea, cachexia, obesity, pain, spasticity, neurodegenerative diseases and mood and substance abuse disorders. Evidence has accumulated to suggest that CB1 receptors, like other GPCRs, interact with and are regulated by several other proteins beyond the established role of heterotrimeric G-proteins. These proteins, which include the GPCR kinases, β-arrestins, GPCR-associated sorting proteins, factor associated with neutral sphingomyelinase, other GPCRs (heterodimerization) and the novel cannabinoid receptor-interacting proteins: CRIP1a/b, are thought to play important roles in the regulation of intracellular trafficking, desensitization, down-regulation, signal transduction and constitutive activity of CB1 receptors. This review examines CB1 receptor-interacting proteins, including heterotrimeric G-proteins, but with particular emphasis on non-G-protein entities, that might comprise the CB1 receptosomal complex. The evidence for direct interaction with CB1 receptors and potential functional roles of these interacting proteins is discussed, as are future directions and challenges in this field with an emphasis on the possibility of eventually targeting these proteins for drug discovery. This article is part of a themed issue on Cannabinoids. To view the editorial for this themed issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.00831.x PMID:20590557

  13. Changes in nociceptin/orphanin FQ levels in rat brain regions after acute and chronic cannabinoid treatment in conjunction with the development of antinociceptive tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulugol, Ahmet; Topuz, Ruhan D; Gunduz, Ozgur; Kizilay, Gulnur; Karadag, Hakan C

    2016-12-01

    It has been indicated that acute and chronic morphine administrations enhance nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) levels in the brain, which might play role in the development of tolerance to the antinociceptive effect of morphine. Accordingly, N/OFQ receptor (NOP) antagonists have been shown to prevent the development of antinociceptive tolerance to morphine. Our aim is to observe whether cannabinoids, similarly to opioids, enhance N/OFQ levels in pain-related brain regions and whether antagonism of NOP receptors attenuates the development of tolerance to the antinociceptive effect of cannabinoids. Hot plate and Tail flick tests are used to assess the antinociceptive response in Sprague-Dawley rats. N/OFQ levels are measured in cortex, amygdala, hypothalamus, periaqueductal gray, nucleus raphe magnus and locus coeruleus of rat brains using Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Within 9 days, animals became completely tolerant to the antinociceptive effect of the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 (2, 4, 6 mg/kg, i.p.). Chronic administration of JTC-801, a NOP receptor antagonist, at a dose that exerted no effect on its own (1 mg/kg, i.p.), attenuated development of tolerance to the antinociceptive effect of WIN 55,212-2 (4 mg/kg, i.p.). Western blotting and immunohistochemistry results showed that N/OFQ levels significantly increased in amygdala, periaqueductal gray, nucleus raphe magnus and locus coeruleus of rat brains when WIN 55,212-2 was combined with JTC-801. We hypothesize that, similar to opioids, chronic cannabinoid + NOP antagonist administration may enhance N/OFQ levels and NOP receptor antagonism prevents development of tolerance to cannabinoid antinociception. © 2016 Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique.

  14. Cannabinoids: is there a potential treatment role in epilepsy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Robert E; Deshpande, Laxmikant S; DeLorenzo, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    Cannabinoids have been used medicinally for centuries, and in the last decade, attention has focused on their broad therapeutic potential particularly in seizure management. While some cannabinoids have demonstrated anticonvulsant activity in experimental studies, their efficacy for managing clinical seizures has not been fully established. This commentary will touch on our understanding of the brain endocannabinoid system's regulation of synaptic transmission in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions, and review the findings from both experimental and clinical studies on the effectiveness of cannabinoids to suppress epileptic seizures. At present, there is preliminary evidence that non-psychoactive cannabinoids may be useful as anticonvulsants, but additional clinical trials are needed to fully evaluate the efficacy and safety of these compounds for the treatment of epilepsy.

  15. Alzheimer's disease; taking the edge off with cannabinoids?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, V A; Gowran, A

    2007-11-01

    Alzheimer's disease is an age-related neurodegenerative condition associated with cognitive decline. The pathological hallmarks of the disease are the deposition of beta-amyloid protein and hyperphosphorylation of tau, which evoke neuronal cell death and impair inter-neuronal communication. The disease is also associated with neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity and oxidative stress. In recent years the proclivity of cannabinoids to exert a neuroprotective influence has received substantial interest as a means to mitigate the symptoms of neurodegenerative conditions. In brains obtained from Alzheimer's patients alterations in components of the cannabinoid system have been reported, suggesting that the cannabinoid system either contributes to, or is altered by, the pathophysiology of the disease. Certain cannabinoids can protect neurons from the deleterious effects of beta-amyloid and are capable of reducing tau phosphorylation. The propensity of cannabinoids to reduce beta-amyloid-evoked oxidative stress and neurodegeneration, whilst stimulating neurotrophin expression neurogenesis, are interesting properties that may be beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol can also inhibit acetylcholinesterase activity and limit amyloidogenesis which may improve cholinergic transmission and delay disease progression. Targeting cannabinoid receptors on microglia may reduce the neuroinflammation that is a feature of Alzheimer's disease, without causing psychoactive effects. Thus, cannabinoids offer a multi-faceted approach for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease by providing neuroprotection and reducing neuroinflammation, whilst simultaneously supporting the brain's intrinsic repair mechanisms by augmenting neurotrophin expression and enhancing neurogenesis. The evidence supporting a potential role for the cannabinoid system as a therapeutic target for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease will be reviewed herewith.

  16. Preclinical evaluation and quantification of [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 as a radioligand for PET imaging of the type 1 cannabinoid receptor in rat brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casteels, Cindy [K.U. Leuven, University Hospital Leuven, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); K.U. Leuven, MoSAIC, Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center, Leuven (Belgium); University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); Koole, Michel; Laere, Koen van [K.U. Leuven, University Hospital Leuven, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); K.U. Leuven, MoSAIC, Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center, Leuven (Belgium); Celen, Sofie; Bormans, Guy [K.U. Leuven, MoSAIC, Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center, Leuven (Belgium); K.U. Leuven, Laboratory for Radiopharmacy, Leuven (Belgium)

    2012-09-15

    [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 is an inverse agonist for the type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor allowing its use in PET imaging. We characterized the kinetics of [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 and evaluated its ability to quantify CB1 receptor availability in the rat brain. Dynamic small-animal PET scans with [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 were performed in Wistar rats on a FOCUS-220 system for up to 10 h. Both plasma and perfused brain homogenates were analysed using HPLC to quantify radiometabolites. Displacement and blocking experiments were done using cold MK-9470 and another inverse agonist, SR141716A. The distribution volume (V{sub T}) of [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 was used as a quantitative measure and compared to the use of brain uptake, expressed as SUV, a simplified method of quantification. The percentage of intact [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 in arterial plasma samples was 80 {+-} 23 % at 10 min, 38 {+-} 30 % at 40 min and 13 {+-} 14 % at 210 min. A polar radiometabolite fraction was detected in plasma and brain tissue. The brain radiometabolite concentration was uniform across the whole brain. Displacement and pretreatment studies showed that 56 % of the tracer binding was specific and reversible. V{sub T} values obtained with a one-tissue compartment model plus constrained radiometabolite input had good identifiability ({<=}10 %). Ignoring the radiometabolite contribution using a one-tissue compartment model alone, i.e. without constrained radiometabolite input, overestimated the [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 V{sub T}, but was correlated. A correlation between [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 V{sub T} and SUV in the brain was also found (R {sup 2} = 0.26-0.33; p {<=} 0.03). While the presence of a brain-penetrating radiometabolite fraction complicates the quantification of [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 in the rat brain, its tracer kinetics can be modelled using a one-tissue compartment model with and without constrained radiometabolite input. (orig.)

  17. Cannabinoids and haemostasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Zakrzeska

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Elements of the endocannabinoid system (cannabinoid receptors CB1, CB2, CBPT and CBED, endocannabinoids, enzymes involved in the synthesis and metabolism of endocannabinoids are located on the structures involved in the process of hemostasis. An increasing level of endocannabinoids was also observed in some pathological conditions, which may occur in disorders of hemostasis. At the same time, disconcertingly, there is an increased number of reports about incidents of cardiovascular events in smokers of marijuana. Experimental and clinical studies demonstrated multidirectional, often contradictory, effects of cannabinoids on hemostasis, including effects of the compounds on platelets, vascular endothelium, fibrinolysis and plasma coagulation systems. The mechanisms of action of cannabinoids on homeostasis depend on the cannabinoid receptors CB1, CB2, CBPT and CBED, receptors of other systems stimulated by endocannabinoids, as well as metabolites of endocannabinoids and nitrogen oxide. The range of biological functions of endo- and plant cannabinoids, expanded to include the process of hemostasis, may constitute a condition for their recognition as a new factor responsible for thromboembolism in smokers of marijuana, in pathological disorders with increased levels of endocannabinoids and in individuals with polymorphisms of FAAH C385A and A385A. On the other hand, there are compelling reasons for anti‑hemostatic action of cannabinoids.

  18. Spatial distribution of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) in normal canine central and peripheral nervous system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Tipold, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system is a regulatory pathway consisting of two main types of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids. The CB1 receptor is highly expressed in the central and peripheral nervous systems (PNS) in mammalians and is involved in neuromodulatory functions. Since endocannabinoids were shown to be elevated in cerebrospinal fluid of epileptic dogs, knowledge about the species specific CB receptor expression in the nervous system is required. Therefore, we assessed the spatial distribution of CB1 receptors in the normal canine CNS and PNS. Immunohistochemistry of several regions of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves from a healthy four-week-old puppy, three six-month-old dogs, and one ten-year-old dog revealed strong dot-like immunoreactivity in the neuropil of the cerebral cortex, Cornu Ammonis (CA) and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, midbrain, cerebellum, medulla oblongata and grey matter of the spinal cord. Dense CB1 expression was found in fibres of the globus pallidus and substantia nigra surrounding immunonegative neurons. Astrocytes were constantly positive in all examined regions. CB1 labelled neurons and satellite cells of the dorsal root ganglia, and myelinating Schwann cells in the PNS. These results demonstrate for the first time the spatial distribution of CB1 receptors in the healthy canine CNS and PNS. These results can be used as a basis for further studies aiming to elucidate the physiological consequences of this particular anatomical and cellular distribution. PMID:28700706

  19. Effect of cannabinoids on the binding of /sup 3/H-(3-MeHis/sup 2/)TRH to rat brain membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matwyshyn, G.A.; Das, S.; Bhargava, H.N.

    1986-03-05

    Cannabinoids, particularly ..delta../sup 9/-THC is known to affect thyroid function. The effect of naturally occurring and synthetic cannabinoids on brain TRH receptors labeled with /sup 3/H-(3-MeHis/sup 2/)TRH(MeTRH) was determined. /sup 3/H-MeTRH bound to brain membranes at a single high affinity binding sites with a B/sub max/ of 48 +/- 2 fmol/mg protein and K/sub d/ of 4.2 +/- 0.4 nM. At 2 nM concentration the amount of /sup 3/H-MeTRH bound specifically was 10.9 +/- 0.6 fmol/mg protein. ..delta.. /sup 9/-THC (10/sup -7/ to 10/sup -3/ M) stimulated the binding of /sup 3/H-MeTRH with maximal stimulation of 60% at 10/sup -4/M concentration. Cannabinol (10/sup -6/-/sup -4/M) also enhanced the binding of /sup 3/H-MeTRH with maximal (58%) stimulation occurring at 10/sup -5/M concentration. Cannabidiol, on the other hand, had no effect on the binding of /sup 3/H-MeTRH up to 10/sup -5/M concentration. However, at 10/sup -4/M concentration of cannabidiol, the binding of /sup 3/H-MeTRH was decreased by 65%. The water soluble synthetic cannabinoids, naboctate, menabitan and SP 111 A inhibited the binding of /sup 3/H-MeTRH only at 10/sup -4/ or 10/sup -3/M concentration. These results suggest differential interaction of cannabinoids with brain TRH receptors.

  20. Sphingosine lysolipids in the CNS: endogenous cannabinoid antagonists or a parallel pain modulatory system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selley, Dana E; Welch, Sandra P; Sim-Selley, Laura J

    2013-08-14

    A significant number of patients experience chronic pain and the intractable side effects of currently prescribed pain medications. Recent evidence indicates important pain-modulatory roles for two classes of G-protein-coupled receptors that are activated by endogenous lipid ligands, the endocannabinoid (eCB) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors, which are widely expressed in both the immune and nervous systems. In the central nervous system (CNS), CB1 cannabinoid and S1P1 receptors are most abundantly expressed and exhibit overlapping anatomical distributions and similar signaling mechanisms. The eCB system has emerged as a potential target for treatment of chronic pain, but comparatively little is known about the roles of S1P in pain regulation. Both eCB and S1P systems modulate pain perception via the central and peripheral nervous systems. In most paradigms studied, the eCB system mainly inhibits pain perception. In contrast, S1P acting peripherally at S1P1 and S1P3 receptors can enhance sensitivity to various pain stimuli or elicit spontaneous pain. However, S1P acting at S1P1 receptors and possibly other targets in the CNS can attenuate sensitivity to various pain stimuli. Interestingly, other endogenous sphingolipid derivatives might play a role in central pain sensitization. Moreover, these sphingolipids can also act as CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonists, but the physiological relevance of this interaction is unknown. Overall, both eCB and sphingolipid systems offer promising targets for the treatment of chronic pain. This review compares and contrasts the eCB and S1P systems with a focus on their roles in pain modulation, and considers possible points of interaction between these systems. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Synthesis, Biodistribution and In vitro Evaluation of Brain Permeable High Affinity Type 2 Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists [11C]MA2 and [18F]MA3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahamed, Muneer; van Veghel, Daisy; Ullmer, Christoph; Van Laere, Koen; Verbruggen, Alfons; Bormans, Guy M.

    2016-01-01

    The type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2) is a member of the endocannabinoid system and is known for its important role in (neuro)inflammation. A PET-imaging agent that allows in vivo visualization of CB2 expression may thus allow quantification of neuroinflammation. In this paper, we report the synthesis, radiosynthesis, biodistribution and in vitro evaluation of a carbon-11 ([11C]MA2) and a fluorine-18 ([18F]MA3) labeled analog of a highly potent N-arylamide oxadiazole CB2 agonist (EC50 = 0.015 nM). MA2 and MA3 behaved as potent CB2 agonist (EC50: 3 nM and 0.1 nM, respectively) and their in vitro binding affinity for hCB2 was found to be 87 nM and 0.8 nM, respectively. Also MA3 (substituted with a fluoro ethyl group) was found to have higher binding affinity and EC50 values when compared to the originally reported trifluoromethyl analog 12. [11C]MA2 and [18F]MA3 were successfully synthesized with good radiochemical yield, high radiochemical purity and high specific activity. In mice, both tracers were efficiently cleared from blood and all major organs by the hepatobiliary pathway and importantly these compounds showed high brain uptake. In conclusion, [11C]MA2 and [18F]MA3 are shown to be high potent CB2 agonists with good brain uptake, these favorable characteristics makes them potential PET probes for in vivo imaging of brain CB2 receptors. However, in view of its higher affinity and selectivity, further detailed evaluation of MA3 as a PET tracer for CB2 is warranted. PMID:27713686

  2. Synthesis, biodistribution and in vitro evaluation of brain permeable high affinity type 2 cannabinoid receptor agonists [11C]MA2 and [18F]MA3

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muneer Ahamed

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2 is a member of the endocannabinoid system and is known for its important role in (neuroinflammation. A PET-imaging agent that allows in vivo visualization of CB2 expression may thus allow quantification of neuroinflammation. In this paper, we report the synthesis, radiosynthesis, biodistribution and in vitro evaluation of a carbon-11 ([11C]MA2 and a fluorine-18 ([18F]MA3 labeled analogue of a highly potent N-arylamide oxadiazole CB2 agonist (EC50 = 0.015 nM. MA2 and MA3 behaved as potent CB2 agonist (EC50: 3 nM and 0.1 nM, respectively and their in vitro binding affinity for hCB2 was found to be 87 nM and 0.8 nM, respectively. Also MA3 (substituted with a fluoro ethyl group was found to have higher binding affinity and EC50 values when compared to the originally reported trifluoromethyl analogue 12. [11C]MA2 and [18F]MA3 were successfully synthesized with good radiochemical yield, high radiochemical purity and high specific activity. In mice, both tracers were efficiently cleared from blood and all major organs by the hepatobiliary pathway and importantly these compounds showed high brain uptake. In conclusion, [11C]MA2 and [18F]MA3 are shown to be high potent CB2 agonists with good brain uptake, these favorable characteristics makes them potential PET probes for in vivo imaging of brain CB2 receptors. However in view of its higher affinity and selectivity, further detailed evaluation of MA3 as a PET tracer for CB2 is warranted.

  3. Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years

    OpenAIRE

    Pertwee, Roger G.

    2006-01-01

    Research into the pharmacology of individual cannabinoids that began in the 1940s, several decades after the presence of a cannabinoid was first detected in cannabis, is concisely reviewed. Also described is how this pharmacological research led to the discovery of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and of endogenous ligands for these receptors, to the development of CB1- and CB2-selective agonists and antagonists and to the realization that the endogenous cannabinoid system has significant ro...

  4. PHARMACOLOGY OF CANNABINOIDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilonka Ferjan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid system has led to the potential therapeutic use of cannabis derivatives. Cannabinoids acting through the CB1 receptors modulate the release of other neurotransmitters in central nervous system, whereas the activation of peripheral CB2 receptors results in decreased inflammatory response and increased apoptosis of some tumor cells populations. The cannabinoids have been authorized for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; stimulation of appetite; to alleviate neuropathic pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis, and to reduce pain in cancer patients. Efficacy in other diseases and clinical conditions should be proven in ongoing or future clinical trials. Isolation and identification of different cannabinoids from cannabis and synthesis of novel, more selective, derivatives widens their therapeutic potential. However, there are numerous adverse effects reported, especially when cannabinoids formulations with unknown quantitative and qualitative composition are used. Addiction, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, increased risk of acute myocardial re-infarction, and increased risk of psychosis or worsening of psychosis are the most common adverse effects of cannabinoids. Acute adverse effects e. g. severe central nervous system depression, are more pronounced in children than in adults. Potential cannabinoid medicines should be subject to the same regulations as other potential drugs. Safety and efficacy of any potential drug candidate, regardless whether it is plant-derived or synthesized, should be proven in non-clinical studies and clinical trials, as well as the marketing authorization must be issued by the appropriate drug authority. Patients deserve a quality manufactured product, which always contains the specified amount of "Remedium cardinale."

  5. Kinetic analysis of the cannabinoid-1 receptor PET tracer [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 in human brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanabria-Bohorquez, Sandra Marina; Hamill, Terence G.; Burns, H.D. [Merck Research Laboratories, Imaging, West Point, PA (United States); Goffin, Karolien; Laere, Koen van [University Hospital and K.U. Leuven, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); Lepeleire, Inge de [Merck Research Laboratories, Brussels (Belgium); Bormans, Guy [K.U. Leuven, Laboratory of Radiopharmacy, Leuven (Belgium)

    2010-05-15

    Quantitative imaging of the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) opens perspectives for many neurological and psychiatric disorders. We characterized the kinetics and reproducibility of the CB1R tracer [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 in human brain. [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 data were analysed using reversible models and the distribution volume V{sub T} and V{sub ND} k{sub 3} (V{sub ND} k{sub 3} = K{sub 1} k{sub 2}) were estimated. Tracer binding was also evaluated using irreversible kinetics and the irreversible uptake constant K{sub i} and fractional uptake rate (FUR) were estimated. The effect of blood flow on these parameters was evaluated. Additionally, the possibility of determining the tracer plasma kinetics using a reduced number of blood samples was also examined. A reversible two-tissue compartment model using a global k{sub 4} value was necessary to describe brain kinetics. Both V{sub T} and V{sub ND} k{sub 3} were estimated satisfactorily and their test-retest variability was between 10% and 30%. Irreversible methods adequately described brain kinetics and FUR values were equivalent to K{sub i}. The linear relationship between K{sub i} and V{sub ND} k{sub 3} demonstrated that K{sub i} or FUR and thus the simple measure of tracer brain uptake provide CB1R availability information. The test-retest variability of K{sub i} and FUR was <10% and estimates were independent of blood flow. Brain uptake can be used as a receptor availability index, albeit at the expense of potential bias due to between-subject differences in tracer plasma kinetics. [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 specific binding can be accurately determined using FUR values requiring a short scan 90 to 120 min after tracer administration. Our results suggest that [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 plasma kinetics can be assessed using a few venous samples. (orig.)

  6. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotenhermen, Franjo

    2003-01-01

    Delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main source of the pharmacological effects caused by the consumption of cannabis, both the marijuana-like action and the medicinal benefits of the plant. However, its acid metabolite THC-COOH, the non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD), several cannabinoid analogues and newly discovered modulators of the endogenous cannabinoid system are also promising candidates for clinical research and therapeutic uses. Cannabinoids exert many effects through activation of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors in the brain and peripheral tissues. Additionally, there is evidence for non-receptor-dependent mechanisms. Natural cannabis products and single cannabinoids are usually inhaled or taken orally; the rectal route, sublingual administration, transdermal delivery, eye drops and aerosols have only been used in a few studies and are of little relevance in practice today. The pharmacokinetics of THC vary as a function of its route of administration. Pulmonary assimilation of inhaled THC causes a maximum plasma concentration within minutes, psychotropic effects start within seconds to a few minutes, reach a maximum after 15-30 minutes, and taper off within 2-3 hours. Following oral ingestion, psychotropic effects set in with a delay of 30-90 minutes, reach their maximum after 2-3 hours and last for about 4-12 hours, depending on dose and specific effect. At doses exceeding the psychotropic threshold, ingestion of cannabis usually causes enhanced well-being and relaxation with an intensification of ordinary sensory experiences. The most important acute adverse effects caused by overdosing are anxiety and panic attacks, and with regard to somatic effects increased heart rate and changes in blood pressure. Regular use of cannabis may lead to dependency and to a mild withdrawal syndrome. The existence and the intensity of possible long-term adverse effects on psyche and cognition, immune system, fertility and pregnancy remain controversial

  7. Evaluation of MRI and cannabinoid type 1 receptor PET templates constructed using DARTEL for spatial normalization of rat brains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kronfeld, Andrea; Müller-Forell, Wibke [Institute of Neuroradiology, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Langenbeckstraße 1, Mainz 55131 (Germany); Buchholz, Hans-Georg; Maus, Stephan; Reuss, Stefan; Schreckenberger, Mathias; Miederer, Isabelle, E-mail: isabelle.miederer@unimedizin-mainz.de [Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Langenbeckstraße 1, Mainz 55131 (Germany); Lutz, Beat [Institute of Physiological Chemistry, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Duesbergweg 6, Mainz 55128 (Germany)

    2015-12-15

    Purpose: Image registration is one prerequisite for the analysis of brain regions in magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) or positron-emission-tomography (PET) studies. Diffeomorphic anatomical registration through exponentiated Lie algebra (DARTEL) is a nonlinear, diffeomorphic algorithm for image registration and construction of image templates. The goal of this small animal study was (1) the evaluation of a MRI and calculation of several cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor PET templates constructed using DARTEL and (2) the analysis of the image registration accuracy of MR and PET images to their DARTEL templates with reference to analytical and iterative PET reconstruction algorithms. Methods: Five male Sprague Dawley rats were investigated for template construction using MRI and [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 PET for CB1 receptor representation. PET images were reconstructed using the algorithms filtered back-projection, ordered subset expectation maximization in 2D, and maximum a posteriori in 3D. Landmarks were defined on each MR image, and templates were constructed under different settings, i.e., based on different tissue class images [gray matter (GM), white matter (WM), and GM + WM] and regularization forms (“linear elastic energy,” “membrane energy,” and “bending energy”). Registration accuracy for MRI and PET templates was evaluated by means of the distance between landmark coordinates. Results: The best MRI template was constructed based on gray and white matter images and the regularization form linear elastic energy. In this case, most distances between landmark coordinates were <1 mm. Accordingly, MRI-based spatial normalization was most accurate, but results of the PET-based spatial normalization were quite comparable. Conclusions: Image registration using DARTEL provides a standardized and automatic framework for small animal brain data analysis. The authors were able to show that this method works with high reliability and validity. Using DARTEL

  8. Cannabinoid function in learning, memory and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel, G; Davies, S N

    2005-01-01

    Marijuana and its psychoactive constituents induce a multitude of effects on brain function. These include deficits in memory formation, but care needs to be exercised since many human studies are flawed by multiple drug abuse, small sample sizes, sample selection and sensitivity of psychological tests for subtle differences. The most robust finding with respect to memory is a deficit in working and short-term memory. This requires intact hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, two brain regions richly expressing CB1 receptors. Animal studies, which enable a more controlled drug regime and more constant behavioural testing, have confirmed human results and suggest, with respect to hippocampus, that exogenous cannabinoid treatment selectively affects encoding processes. This may be different in other brain areas, for instance the amygdala, where a predominant involvement in memory consolidation and forgetting has been firmly established. While cannabinoid receptor agonists impair memory formation, antagonists reverse these deficits or act as memory enhancers. These results are in good agreement with data obtained from electrophysiological recordings, which reveal reduction in neural plasticity following cannabinoid treatment, and increased plasticity following antagonist exposure. The mixed receptor properties of the pharmacological tool, however, make it difficult to define the exact role of any CB1 receptor population in memory processes with any certainty. This makes it all the more important that behavioural studies use selective administration of drugs to specific brain areas, rather than global administration to whole animals. The emerging role of the endogenous cannabinoid system in the hippocampus may be to facilitate the induction of long-term potentiation/the encoding of information. Administration of exogenous selective CB1 agonists may therefore disrupt hippocampus-dependent learning and memory by 'increasing the noise', rather than 'decreasing the signal' at

  9. Blockade of cannabinoid CB receptor function protects against in vivo disseminating brain damage following NMDA-induced excitotoxicity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, H.H.; Ramos, J.A.; Fernández-Ruiz, J.

    2002-01-01

    The ability of cannabinoid CB, receptors to influence glutamatergic excitatory neurotransmission has fueled interest in how these receptors and their endogenous ligands may interact in conditions of excitotoxic insults. The present study characterized the impact of stimulated and inhibited CB...

  10. [The pharmacology of cannabinoid derivatives: are there applications to treatment of pain?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaulieu, P; Rice, A S C

    2002-06-01

    To present the cannabinoid system together with recent findings on the pharmacology of these compounds in the treatment of pain. Search through Medline database of articles published in French and English since 1966. Also use of other publications such as books on cannabis. All the relevant documents within the theme of this review were used. All the data linked to the present topic were searched. Recent advances have dramatically increased our understanding of cannabinoid pharmacology. The psychoactive constituents of Cannabis sativa have been isolated, synthetic cannabinoids described and an endocannabinoid system identified, together with its component receptors and ligands. Strong laboratory evidence now underwrites anecdotal claims of cannabinoid analgesia in inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Sites of analgesic action have been identified in brain, spinal cord and the periphery, with the latter two presenting attractive targets for divorcing the analgesic and psychotrophic effects of cannabinoids. Clinical trials are now required, but are hindered by a paucity of cannabinoids of suitable bioavailability and therapeutic ratio. The cannabinoid system is a major target in the treatment of pain and its therapeutic potential should be assessed in the near future by the performance of new clinical trials.

  11. The effects of cannabinoids on body temperature and brain catecholamine synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloom, A S; Johnson, K M; Dewey, W L

    1978-04-01

    delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, 11-OH-delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and 9-nor-9beta-OH-hexahydrocannabinol produced hypothermia and increased catecholamine synthesis in mouse brain. The potencies of the effects of these compounds were correlated. Cannabinol and cannabidiol were inactive in both tests.

  12. The Synthetic Cannabinoids Phenomenon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karila, Laurent; Benyamina, Amine; Blecha, Lisa; Cottencin, Olivier; Billieux, Joël

    2016-01-01

    « Spice » is generally used to describe the diverse types of herbal blends that encompass synthetic cannabinoids on the market. The emergence of smokable herbal products containing synthetic cannabinoids, which mimic the effects of cannabis, appears to become increasingly popular, in the new psychoactive substances landscape. In 2014, the existence of 134 different types of synthetic cannabinoids were reported by the European Union Early Warning System. These drugs are mainly sold online as an alternative to controlled and regulated psychoactive substances. They appear to have a life cycle of about 1-2 years before being replaced by a next wave of products. Legislation controlling these designer drugs has been introduced in many countries with the objective to limit the spread of existing drugs and control potential new analogs. The majority of the synthetic cannabinoids are full agonists at the CB1 receptor and do not contain tobacco or cannabis. They are becoming increasingly popular in adolescents, students and clubbers as an abused substance. Relatively high incidence of adverse effects associated with synthetic cannabinoids use has been documented in the literature. Numerous fatalities linked with their use and abuse have been reported. In this paper, we will review the available data regarding the use and effects of synthetic cannabinoids in humans in order to highlight their impact on public health. To reach this objective, a literature search was performed on two representative databases (Pubmed, Google Scholar), the Erowid Center website (a US non-profit educational organization that provides information about psychoactive plants and chemicals), and various governmental websites. The terms used for the database search were: "synthetic cannabinoids", "spice", "new psychoactive substances", and/or "substance use disorder", and/or "adverse effects", and/or "fatalities". The search was limited to years 2005 to 2016 due to emerging scientific literature at

  13. Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pertwee, Roger G

    2006-01-01

    Research into the pharmacology of individual cannabinoids that began in the 1940s, several decades after the presence of a cannabinoid was first detected in cannabis, is concisely reviewed. Also described is how this pharmacological research led to the discovery of cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors and of endogenous ligands for these receptors, to the development of CB(1)- and CB(2)-selective agonists and antagonists and to the realization that the endogenous cannabinoid system has significant roles in both health and disease, and that drugs which mimic, augment or block the actions of endogenously released cannabinoids must have important therapeutic applications. Some goals for future research are identified.

  14. Distinct Second Extracellular Loop Structures of the Brain Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor: Implication in Ligand Binding and Receptor Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shim, Joong-Youn; Rudd, James; Ding, Tomas T.

    2010-01-01

    The G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) second extracellular loop (E2) is known to play an important role in receptor structure and function. The brain cannabinoid (CB1) receptor is unique in that it lacks the inter-loop E2 disulfide linkage to the transmembrane (TM) helical bundle, a characteristic of many GPCRs. Recent mutation studies of the CB1 receptor, however, suggest the presence of an alternative intra-loop disulfide bond between two E2 Cys residues. Considering the oxidation state of these Cys residues, we determine the molecular structures of the 17-residue E2 in the dithiol form (E2dithiol) and in the disulfide form (E2disulfide) of the CB1 receptor in a fully hydrated 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) bilayer, employing a combination of simulated annealing (SA) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation approaches. We characterize the CB1 receptor models with these two E2 forms, CB1(E2dithiol) and CB1(E2disulfide), by analyzing interaction energy, contact number, core crevice and cross-correlation. The results show that the distinct E2 structures interact differently with the TM helical bundle and uniquely modify the TM helical topology, suggesting that E2 plays a critical role in stabilizing receptor structure, regulating ligand binding, and ultimately modulating receptor activation. Further studies on the role of E2 of the CB1 receptor are warranted; particularly comparisons of the ligand-bound form with the present ligand-free form. PMID:21120862

  15. Biodistribution of [{sup 18}f] SR144385 and [{sup 18}f] SR147963: selective radioligands for positron emission tomographic studies of brain cannabinoid receptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathews, William B. E-mail: bmathews@petscan.nm.jhu.edu; Scheffel, Ursula; Finley, Paige; Ravert, Hayden T.; Frank, Richard A.; Rinaldi-Carmona, Murielle; Barth, Francis; Dannals, Robert F

    2000-11-01

    [{sup 18}F] SR144385 and [{sup 18}F] SR147963 were synthesized in a multistep reaction in which fluorine-18 was introduced by nucleophilic halogen displacement on a bromo precursor. The fluorine-18-labeled intermediate was deprotected and coupled with the appropriate alkyl amine to give the final products. Both radioligands had appropriate regional brain distribution for cannabinoid receptors with a target to nontarget ratio of 1.7 for [{sup 18}F] SR147963 and 2.5 for [{sup 18}F] SR144385 at 60 and 90 min postinjection, respectively. The uptake of both tracers was blocked with a 1 mg/kg dose of SR141716A.

  16. Synthetic Cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Brooke; Yepes, Andres; Nugent, Kenneth

    2015-07-01

    Synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs), also known under the brand names of "Spice," "K2," "herbal incense," "Cloud 9," "Mojo" and many others, are becoming a large public health concern due not only to their increasing use but also to their unpredictable toxicity and abuse potential. There are many types of SCBs, each having a unique binding affinity for cannabinoid receptors. Although both Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and SCBs stimulate the same receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), studies have shown that SCBs are associated with higher rates of toxicity and hospital admissions than is natural cannabis. This is likely due to SCBs being direct agonists of the cannabinoid receptors, whereas THC is a partial agonist. Furthermore, the different chemical structures of SCBs found in Spice or K2 may interact in unpredictable ways to elicit previously unknown, and the commercial products may have unknown contaminants. The largest group of users is men in their 20s who participate in polydrug use. The most common reported toxicities with SCB use based on studies using Texas Poison Control records are tachycardia, agitation and irritability, drowsiness, hallucinations, delusions, hypertension, nausea, confusion, dizziness, vertigo and chest pain. Acute kidney injury has also been strongly associated with SCB use. Treatment mostly involves symptom management and supportive care. More research is needed to identify which contaminants are typically found in synthetic marijuana and to understand the interactions between different SBCs to better predict adverse health outcomes.

  17. NSAIDs, Opioids, Cannabinoids and the Control of Pain by the Central Nervous System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Horacio Vanegas

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs act upon peripheral tissues and upon the central nervous system to produce analgesia. A major central target of NSAIDs is the descending pain control system. The rostral structures of the descending pain control system send impulses towards the spinal cord and regulate the transmission of pain messages. Key structures of the descending pain control system are the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG and the rostral ventromedial region of the medulla (RVM, both of which are critical targets for endogenous opioids and opiate pharmaceuticals. NSAIDs also act upon PAG and RVM to produce analgesia and, if repeatedly administered, induce tolerance to themselves and cross-tolerance to opioids. Experimental evidence shows that this is due to an interaction of NSAIDs with endogenous opioids along the descending pain control system. Analgesia by NSAIDs along the descending pain control system also requires an activation of the CB1 endocannabinoid receptor. Several experimental approaches suggest that opioids, NSAIDs and cannabinoids in PAG and RVM cooperate to decrease GABAergic inhibition and thus enhance the descending flow of impulses that inhibit pain.

  18. The endocannabinoid system and plant-derived cannabinoids in diabetes and diabetic complications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horváth, Béla; Mukhopadhyay, Partha; Haskó, György; Pacher, Pál

    2012-02-01

    Oxidative stress and inflammation play critical roles in the development of diabetes and its complications. Recent studies provided compelling evidence that the newly discovered lipid signaling system (ie, the endocannabinoid system) may significantly influence reactive oxygen species production, inflammation, and subsequent tissue injury, in addition to its well-known metabolic effects and functions. The modulation of the activity of this system holds tremendous therapeutic potential in a wide range of diseases, ranging from cancer, pain, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases to obesity and metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and diabetic complications. This review focuses on the role of the endocannabinoid system in primary diabetes and its effects on various diabetic complications, such as diabetic cardiovascular dysfunction, nephropathy, retinopathy, and neuropathy, particularly highlighting the mechanisms beyond the metabolic consequences of the activation of the endocannabinoid system. The therapeutic potential of targeting the endocannabinoid system and certain plant-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin, which are devoid of psychotropic effects and possess potent anti-inflammatory and/or antioxidant properties, in diabetes and diabetic complications is also discussed. Copyright © 2012 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. [Therapeutic applications and biomedical effects of cannabinoids; pharmacological starting points].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killestein, J; Nelemans, S A

    1997-08-30

    A broad range of therapeutic applications has been suggested for cannabis or its pharmacologically active compound (tetrahydrocannabinol; THC) in many publications. Psychotropic side effects and the anecdotal character of the research have limited the pharmacotherapeutic use of THC until now. Therefore, the Netherlands Health Council recently decided negatively on this matter. Besides several cannabinoid receptor subtypes present in the central nervous system and peripheral tissues endogenous cannabinoids have been detected. These endogenous cannabinoids appear to play an important role in signal transduction, which may be starting points for therapy regarding: cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord disorders. cerebrovascular accident and brain trauma, neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, pain management, glaucoma, oncologic and aids-related disorders such as nausea, vomiting and appetite problems.

  20. Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermanson, Daniel J; Marnett, Lawrence J

    2011-12-01

    The endocannabinoid system consists of an array of endogenously produced bioactive lipids that activate cannabinoid receptors. Although the primary focus of endocannabinoid biology has been on neurological and psychiatric effects, recent work has revealed several important interactions between the endocannabinoid system and cancer. Several different types of cancer have abnormal regulation of the endocannabinoid system that contributes to cancer progression and correlates to clinical outcomes. Modulation of the endocannabinoid system by pharmacological agents in various cancer types reveals that it can mediate antiproliferative and apoptotic effects by both cannabinoid receptor-dependent and -independent pathways. Selective agonists and antagonists of the cannabinoid receptors, inhibitors of endocannabinoid hydrolysis, and cannabinoid analogs have been utilized to probe the pathways involved in the effects of the endocannabinoid system on cancer cell apoptosis, proliferation, migration, adhesion, and invasion. The antiproliferative and apoptotic effects produced by some of these pharmacological probes reveal that the endocannabinoid system is a promising new target for the development of novel chemotherapeutics to treat cancer.

  1. High-affinity cannabinoid binding site in brain: A possible marijuana receptor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nye, J.S.

    1988-01-01

    The mechanism by which delta{sup 9} tetrahydrocannabinol (delta{sup 9}THC), the major psychoactive component of marijuana or hashish, produces its potent psychological and physiological effects is unknown. To find receptor binding sites for THC, we designed a water-soluble analog for use as a radioligand. 5{prime}-Trimethylammonium-delta{sup 8}THC (TMA) is a positively charged analog of delta-{sup 8}THC modified on the 5{prime} carbon, a portion of the molecule not important for its psychoactivity. We have studied the binding of ({sup 3}H)-5{prime}-trimethylammonium-delta-{sup 8}THC (({sup 3}H)TMA) to rat neuronal membranes. ({sup 3}H)TMA binds saturably and reversibly to brain membranes with high affinity to apparently one class of sites. Highest binding site density occurs in brain, but several peripheral organs also display specific binding. Detergent solubilizes the sites without affecting their pharmacologial properties. Molecular sieve chromatography reveals a bimodal peak of ({sup 3}H)TMA binding activity of approximately 60,000 daltons apparent molecular weight.

  2. Additive actions of the cannabinoid and neuropeptide Y systems on adiposity and lipid oxidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, L; Lee, N J; Nguyen, A D; Enriquez, R F; Riepler, S J; Stehrer, B; Yulyaningsih, E; Lin, S; Shi, Y C; Baldock, P A; Herzog, H; Sainsbury, A

    2010-07-01

    Energy homeostasis is regulated by a complex interaction of molecules and pathways, and new antiobesity treatments are likely to require multiple pharmacological targeting of anorexigenic or orexigenic pathways to achieve effective loss of excess body weight and adiposity. Cannabinoids, acting via the cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptor, and neuropeptide Y (NPY) are important modulators of feeding behaviour, energy metabolism and body composition. We investigated the interaction of CB1 and NPY in the regulation of energy homeostasis, hypothesizing that dual blockade of CB1 and NPY signalling will induce greater weight and/or fat loss than that induced by single blockade of either system alone. We studied the effects of the CB1 antagonist Rimonabant on food intake, body weight, body composition, energy metabolism and bone physiology in wild-type (WT) and NPY knockout (NPY(-/-)) mice. Rimonabant was administered orally at 10 mg/kg body weight twice per day for 3 weeks. Oral Rimonabant was delivered voluntarily to mice via a novel method enabling studies to be carried out in the absence of gavage-induced stress. Mice with dual blockade of CB1 and NPY signalling (Rimonabant-treated NPY(-/-) mice) exhibited greater reductions in body weight and adiposity than mice with single blockade of either system alone (Rimonabant-treated WT or vehicle-treated NPY(-/-) mice). These changes occurred without loss of lean tissue mass or bone mass. Furthermore, Rimonabant-treated NPY(-/-) mice showed a lower respiratory exchange ratio than that seen in Rimonabant-treated WT or vehicle-treated NPY(-/-) mice, suggesting that this additive effect of dual blockade of CB1 and NPY involves promotion of lipid oxidation. On the other hand, energy expenditure and physical activity were comparable amongst all treatment groups. Interestingly, Rimonabant similarly and transiently reduced spontaneous and fasting-induced food intake in WT and NPY(-/-) mice in the first hour after administration only

  3. The role of the cannabinoid system in the pathogenesis and treatment of alcohol dependence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogusława Pietrzak

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The lack of satisfactory results of alcohol dependence treatment force us to search for new directions of research. Recent studies concentrate on endocannabinoid transmission. The results show an interplay between the endocannabinoid and dopaminergic signaling in activation of the limbic reward system. The mechanisms leading to development of dependence are very complex and poorly recognized. Endogenous cannabinoids seem to have an important role in the functioning of this system, both directly and indirectly affecting the level of different neurotransmitters. The effect of alcohol on the endocannabinoid system is also complex and involves changes at the molecular level. Experimental studies have demonstrated an important role of the CB1 receptors in the neurochemical mechanism of alcohol consumption and its regulation. SR141716 (rimonabant, a CB1 receptor antagonist, significantly lowers voluntary alcohol intake and motivation for its consumption in various experimental studies. Very encouraging results of preclinical studies were not completely confirmed in the clinical studies. However, further clinical studies are still necessary.

  4. The anabolic steroid nandrolone alters cannabinoid self-administration and brain CB1 receptor density and function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Struik, Dicky; Fadda, Paola; Zara, Tamara; Zamberletti, Erica; Rubino, Tiziana; Parolaro, Daniela; Fratta, Walter; Fattore, Liana

    Clinical and pre-clinical observations indicate that anabolic-androgenic steroids can induce neurobiological changes that alter the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse. In this study, we investigated the effect of the anabolic steroid nandrolone on the rewarding properties of the cannabinoid CBI

  5. CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor Knockout in Mice Impairs Contextual Long-Term Memory and Enhances Spatial Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Li

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Neurocognitive effects of cannabinoids have been extensively studied with a focus on CB1 cannabinoid receptors because CB1 receptors have been considered the major cannabinoid receptor in the nervous system. However, recent discoveries of CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the brain demand accurate determination of whether and how CB2 receptors are involved in the cognitive effects of cannabinoids. CB2 cannabinoid receptors are primarily involved in immune functions, but also implicated in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. Here, we examined the effects of CB2 receptor knockout in mice on memory to determine the roles of CB2 receptors in modulating cognitive function. Behavioral assays revealed that hippocampus-dependent, long-term contextual fear memory was impaired whereas hippocampus-independent, cued fear memory was normal in CB2 receptor knockout mice. These mice also displayed enhanced spatial working memory when tested in a Y-maze. Motor activity and anxiety of CB2 receptor knockout mice were intact when assessed in an open field arena and an elevated zero maze. In contrast to the knockout of CB2 receptors, acute blockade of CB2 receptors by AM603 in C57BL/6J mice had no effect on memory, motor activity, or anxiety. Our results suggest that CB2 cannabinoid receptors play diverse roles in regulating memory depending on memory types and/or brain areas.

  6. Cannabinoids: Medical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrot, Richard J; Hubbard, John R

    2016-01-01

    Herbal cannabis has been used for thousands of years for medical purposes. With elucidation of the chemical structures of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and with discovery of the human endocannabinoid system, the medical usefulness of cannabinoids has been more intensively explored. While more randomized clinical trials are needed for some medical conditions, other medical disorders, like chronic cancer and neuropathic pain and certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis, have substantial evidence supporting cannabinoid efficacy. While herbal cannabis has not met rigorous FDA standards for medical approval, specific well-characterized cannabinoids have met those standards. Where medical cannabis is legal, patients typically see a physician who "certifies" that a benefit may result. Physicians must consider important patient selection criteria such as failure of standard medical treatment for a debilitating medical disorder. Medical cannabis patients must be informed about potential adverse effects, such as acute impairment of memory, coordination and judgment, and possible chronic effects, such as cannabis use disorder, cognitive impairment, and chronic bronchitis. In addition, social dysfunction may result at work/school, and there is increased possibility of motor vehicle accidents. Novel ways to manipulate the endocannbinoid system are being explored to maximize benefits of cannabinoid therapy and lessen possible harmful effects.

  7. Evaluation of the endogenous cannabinoid system in mediating the behavioral effects of dipyrone (metamizol) in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlosburg, Joel E.; Radanova, Lilyana; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Imming, Peter; Lichtman, Aron H.

    2013-01-01

    Dipyrone is a common nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic, which, in many countries, is available over the counter and is more widely used than paracetamol or aspirin. However, the exact mechanisms by which dipyrone acts remain inconclusive. Two novel arachidonoyl-conjugated metabolites are formed in mice following the administration of dipyrone that are dependent on the activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which also represents the major catabolic enzyme of the endogenous cannabinoid ligand anandamide. These arachidonoyl metabolites not only inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX-1/COX-2) but also bind to cannabinoid receptors at low micromolar concentrations. The relative contributions of cannabinoid receptors and FAAH in the overall behavioral response to dipyrone remain untested. Accordingly, the two primary objectives of the present study were to determine whether the behavioral effects of dipyrone would (a) be blocked by cannabinoid receptor antagonists and (b) occur in FAAH−/− mice. Here, we report that thermal antinociceptive, hypothermic, and locomotor suppressive actions of dipyrone are mediated by a noncannabinoid receptor mechanism of action and occurred after acute or repeated administration irrespective of FAAH. These findings indicate that FAAH-dependent arachidonoyl metabolites and cannabinoid receptors are not requisites by which dipyrone exerts these pharmacological effects under noninflammatory conditions. PMID:22954646

  8. A Review of the Therapeutic Antitumor Potential of Cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogdanović, Višnja; Mrdjanović, Jasminka; Borišev, Ivana

    2017-11-01

    The aim of this review is to discuss cannabinoids from a preclinical and clinical oncological perspective and provide the audience with a concise, retrospective overview of the most significant findings concerning the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment. A literature survey of medical and scientific databases was conducted with a focus on the biological and medical potential of cannabinoids in cancer treatment. Cannabis sativa is a plant rich in more than 100 types of cannabinoids. Besides exogenous plant cannabinoids, mammalian endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid analogues have been identified. Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) have been isolated and characterized from mammalian cells. Through cannabinoid receptor and non-receptor signaling pathways, cannabinoids show specific cytotoxicity against tumor cells, while protecting healthy tissue from apoptosis. The dual antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of cannabinoids and associated signaling pathways have been investigated on a large panel of cancer cell lines. Cannabinoids also display potent anticancer activity against tumor xenografts, including tumors that express high resistance to standard chemotherapeutics. Few studies have investigated the possible synergistic effects of cannabinoids with standard oncology therapies, and are based on the preclinically confirmed concept of "cannabinoid sensitizers." Also, clinical trials aimed to confirm the antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids have only been evaluated on a small number of subjects, with no consensus conclusions regarding their effectiveness. A large number of cannabinoid compounds have been discovered, developed, and used to study the effects of cannabinoids on cancers in model systems. However, few clinical trials have been conducted on the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancers in humans. Further studies require extensive monitoring of the effects of cannabinoids alone or in combination with

  9. Effects of cannabinoids and cannabinoid-enriched Cannabis extracts on TRP channels and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Petrocellis, Luciano; Ligresti, Alessia; Moriello, Aniello Schiano; Allarà, Marco; Bisogno, Tiziana; Petrosino, Stefania; Stott, Colin G; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) interact with transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and enzymes of the endocannabinoid system. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH The effects of 11 pure cannabinoids and botanical extracts [botanical drug substance (BDS)] from Cannabis varieties selected to contain a more abundant cannabinoid, on TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPM8, TRPA1, human recombinant diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGLα), rat brain fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), COS cell monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), human recombinant N-acylethanolamine acid amide hydrolase (NAAA) and anandamide cellular uptake (ACU) by RBL-2H3 cells, were studied using fluorescence-based calcium assays in transfected cells and radiolabelled substrate-based enzymatic assays. Cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), the acids (CBDA, CBGA, THCA) and propyl homologues (CBDV, CBGV, THCV) of CBD, cannabigerol (CBG) and THC, and tetrahydrocannabivarin acid (THCVA) were also tested. KEY RESULTS CBD, CBG, CBGV and THCV stimulated and desensitized human TRPV1. CBC, CBD and CBN were potent rat TRPA1 agonists and desensitizers, but THCV-BDS was the most potent compound at this target. CBG-BDS and THCV-BDS were the most potent rat TRPM8 antagonists. All non-acid cannabinoids, except CBC and CBN, potently activated and desensitized rat TRPV2. CBDV and all the acids inhibited DAGLα. Some BDS, but not the pure compounds, inhibited MAGL. CBD was the only compound to inhibit FAAH, whereas the BDS of CBC > CBG > CBGV inhibited NAAA. CBC = CBG > CBD inhibited ACU, as did the BDS of THCVA, CBGV, CBDA and THCA, but the latter extracts were more potent inhibitors. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS These results are relevant to the analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids and Cannabis extracts. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed issue on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011

  10. The orexigenic effect of ghrelin is mediated through central activation of the endogenous cannabinoid system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blerina Kola

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Ghrelin and cannabinoids stimulate appetite, this effect possibly being mediated by the activation of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK, a key enzyme in appetite and metabolism regulation. The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 antagonist rimonabant can block the orexigenic effect of ghrelin. In this study, we have elucidated the mechanism of the putative ghrelin-cannabinoid interaction.The effects of ghrelin and CB1 antagonist rimonabant in wild-type mice, and the effect of ghrelin in CB1-knockout animals, were studied on food intake, hypothalamic AMPK activity and endogenous cannabinoid content. In patch-clamp electrophysiology experiments the effect of ghrelin was assessed on the synaptic inputs in parvocellular neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, with or without the pre-administration of a CB1 antagonist or of cannabinoid synthesis inhibitors.Ghrelin did not induce an orexigenic effect in CB1-knockout mice. Correspondingly, both the genetic lack of CB1 and the pharmacological blockade of CB1 inhibited the effect of ghrelin on AMPK activity. Ghrelin increased the endocannabinoid content of the hypothalamus in wild-type mice and this effect was abolished by rimonabant pre-treatment, while no effect was observed in CB1-KO animals. Electrophysiology studies showed that ghrelin can inhibit the excitatory inputs on the parvocellular neurons of the paraventricular nucleus, and that this effect is abolished by administration of a CB1 antagonist or an inhibitor of the DAG lipase, the enzyme responsible for 2-AG synthesis. The effect is also lost in the presence of BAPTA, an intracellular calcium chelator, which inhibits endocannabinoid synthesis in the recorded parvocellular neuron and therefore blocks the retrograde signaling exerted by endocannabinoids. In summary, an intact cannabinoid signaling pathway is necessary for the stimulatory effects of ghrelin on AMPK activity and food intake, and for the inhibitory effect

  11. Positron Emission Tomographic Imaging of the Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptor System with [11C]OMAR ([11C]JHU75528: Improvements in Image Quantification Using Wild-Type and Knockout Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Herance

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we assessed the feasibility of using positron emission tomography (PET and the tracer [11C]OMAR ([11C]JHU75528, an analogue of rimonabant, to study the brain cannabinoid type 1 (CB1 receptor system. Wild-type (WT andCB1 knockout (KO animals were imaged at baseline and after pretreatment with blocking doses of rimonabant. Brain uptake in WT animals was higher (50% than in KO animals in baseline conditions. After pretreatment with rimonabant, WT uptake lowered to the level of KO animals. The results of this study support the feasibility of using PET with the radiotracer [11C]JHU75528 to image the brain CB1 receptor system in mice. In addition, this methodology can be used to assess the effect of new drugs in preclinical studies using genetically manipulated animals.

  12. Brain and Nervous System

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the left side; when you're listening to music, you're using the right side. It's believed that some people are more "right-brained" or "left-brained" while others are more "whole-brained," meaning they use both halves of their brain to the same degree. The outer layer of ...

  13. Targeting cannabinoid CB2 receptors in the Central Nervous System. Medicinal chemistry approaches with focus on neurodegenerative disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gema Navarro

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Endocannabinoids activate two types of specific receptors, namely cannabinoid CB1 and CB2. Contrary to the psychotropic actions of agonists of CB1 receptors, and serious side effects of the selective antagonists of this receptor, drugs acting on CB2 receptors appear as promising drugs to combat CNS diseases. Differential localization of CB2 receptors in neural cell types and upregulation in neuroinflammation are keys to understand the therapeutic potential in inter alia diseases that imply progressive neurodegeneration. Medicinal chemistry approaches are now engaged to develop imaging tools to map receptors in the living human brain, to develop more efficacious agonists, and to investigate the possibility to develop allosteric modulators.

  14. Male and female rats differ in brain cannabinoid CB1 receptor density and function and in behavioural traits predisposing to drug addiction: effect of ovarian hormones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castelli, Maria Paola; Fadda, Paola; Casu, Angelo; Spano, Maria Sabrina; Casti, Alberto; Fratta, Walter; Fattore, Liana

    2014-01-01

    Sex-dependent differences are frequently observed in the biological and behavioural effects of substances of abuse, including cannabis. We recently demonstrated a modulating effect of sex and oestrous cycle on cannabinoid-taking and seeking behaviours. Here, we investigated the influence of sex and oestrogen in the regulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor density and function, measured by [(3)H]CP55940 and CP55940-stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS binding autoradiography, respectively, in the prefrontal cortex (Cg1 and Cg3), caudate- putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala and hippocampus of male and cycling female rats, as well as ovariectomised (OVX) rats and OVX rats primed with oestradiol (10 µg/rat) (OVX+E). CB1 receptor density was significantly lower in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of cycling females than in males and in OVX females, a difference that appeared to be oestradiol-dependent, because it was no more evident in the OVX+E group. CP55940-stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS binding was significantly higher in the Cg3 of OVX rats relative to cycling and OVX+E rats. No difference was observed in CB1 receptor density or function in any of the other brain areas analysed. Finally, sex and oestradiol were also found to affect motor activity, social behaviour and sensorimotor gating in rats tested in locomotor activity boxes, social interaction and prepulse inhibition tasks, respectively. Our findings provide biochemical evidence for sex- and hormone- dependent differences in the density and function of CB1 receptors in selected brain regions, and in behaviours associated with greater vulnerability to drug addiction, revealing a more vulnerable behavioural phenotype in female than in male rats.

  15. Delta FosB and AP-1-mediated transcription modulate cannabinoid CB₁ receptor signaling and desensitization in striatal and limbic brain regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazenka, Matthew F; David, Bethany G; Lichtman, Aron H; Nestler, Eric J; Selley, Dana E; Sim-Selley, Laura J

    2014-10-01

    Repeated Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) administration produces cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB₁R) desensitization and downregulation, as well as tolerance to its in vivo pharmacological effects. However, the magnitude of CB₁R desensitization varies by brain region, with CB₁Rs in the striatum and its output nuclei undergoing less desensitization than other regions. A growing body of data indicates that regional differences in CB₁R desensitization are produced, in part, by THC-mediated induction of the stable transcription factor, ΔFosB, and subsequent regulation of CB₁Rs. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether THC-mediated induction of ΔFosB in the striatum inhibits CB₁R desensitization in the striatum and output nuclei. This hypothesis was tested using bitransgenic mice with inducible expression of ΔFosB or ΔcJun, a dominant negative inhibitor of AP-1-mediated transcription, in specific forebrain regions. Mice were treated repeatedly with escalating doses of THC or vehicle for 6.5 days, and CB₁R-mediated G-protein activation was assessed using CP55,940-stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS autoradiography. Overexpression of ΔFosB in striatal dopamine type 1 receptor-containing (D1R) medium spiny neurons (MSNs) attenuated CB₁R desensitization in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area (VTA) and amygdala. Expression of ΔcJun in striatal D1R- and dopamine type 2 receptor (D2R)-containing MSNs enhanced CB₁R desensitization in the caudate-putamen and attenuated desensitization in the hippocampus and VTA. THC-mediated in vivo pharmacological effects were then assessed in ΔcJun-expressing mice. Tolerance to THC-mediated hypomotility was enhanced in ΔcJun-expressing mice. These data reveal that ΔFosB and possibly other AP-1 binding proteins regulate CB₁R signaling and adaptation in the striatum and limbic system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Cannabinoid Hyperemesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Sullivan

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is characterized by chronic, heavy use of cannabis, recurrent episodes of severe nausea and intractable vomiting, and abdominal pain. Temporary relief of symptoms is achieved by taking a hot bath or shower, and resolution of the problem when cannabis use is stopped. Failure to recognize the syndrome leads to misdiagnoses such as psychogenic vomiting, the cyclic vomiting syndrome, an eating disorder or ‘drug-seeking behaviour’, and may lead to extensive, expensive and unproductive investigations, psychiatric referrals and ineffective treatments. Other than stopping cannabis use, there is no proven treatment. Why a substance known for its antiemetic properties should cause such a syndrome is unknown.

  17. Preparation of iodine-123 labeled AM251: a potential SPECT radioligand for the brain cannabinoid CB1 receptor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lan, Ruoxi; Makriyannis, Alexandros [Connecticut Univ., Molecular and Cell Biology Dept., Storrs, CT (United States); Gatley, S.J. [Brookhaven National Lab., Medical Dept., Upton, NY (United States)

    1996-10-01

    We report the synthesis and labeling with iodine-123 of N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-1-(2, 4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide (AM251). This compound is an analog of the recently described cannabinoid receptor antagonist, SR141716A, in which a 4-chlorophenyl group is replaced by 4-iodophenyl. Labeling in good yield (62%) and radiochemical purity (> 95%), and high specific activity (> 2500 Ci/mmol) was achieved by an iododestannylation reaction using the tributyltin precursor, no carrier added I-123 iodide, and chloramine-T. (author).

  18. The role of cannabinoids and endocannabinoid system in the treatment of epilepsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pędracka Monika

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. The treatment of epilepsy is still a major challenge. Despite the introduction of many new antiepileptic drugs, approximately 30% of patients still remain drug resistant. In the absence of a satisfactory therapy outcome, which is sometimes associated with numerous side effects, there is a need for new and effective drugs with low toxicity. Cannabinoids have been shown in preliminary animal model studies and in studies of patients with epilepsy to have antiepileptic activity.

  19. Immunoactive effects of cannabinoids: considerations for the therapeutic use of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greineisen, William E.; Turner., Helen

    2013-01-01

    The active constituents of Cannabis sativa have been used for centuries as recreational drugs and medicinal agents. Today, marijuana is the most prevalent drug of abuse in the United States and, conversely, therapeutic use of marijuana constituents are gaining mainstream clinical and political acceptance. Given the documented contributions of endocannabinoid signaling to a range of physiological systems, including cognitive function, and the control of eating behaviors, it is unsurprising that cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists are showing significant clinical potential. In addition to the neuroactive effects of cannabinoids, an emerging body of data suggests that both endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids are potently immunoactive. The central premise of this review article is that the immunological effects of cannabinoids should be considered in the context of each prescribing decision. We present evidence that the immunological effects of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists are highly relevant to the spectrum of disorders for which cannabinoid therapeutics are currently offered. PMID:20219697

  20. Effects of cannabinoids and cannabinoid-enriched Cannabis extracts on TRP channels and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Petrocellis, Luciano; Ligresti, Alessia; Moriello, Aniello Schiano; Allarà, Marco; Bisogno, Tiziana; Petrosino, Stefania; Stott, Colin G; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2011-08-01

    Cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) interact with transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and enzymes of the endocannabinoid system. The effects of 11 pure cannabinoids and botanical extracts [botanical drug substance (BDS)] from Cannabis varieties selected to contain a more abundant cannabinoid, on TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPM8, TRPA1, human recombinant diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGLα), rat brain fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), COS cell monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), human recombinant N-acylethanolamine acid amide hydrolase (NAAA) and anandamide cellular uptake (ACU) by RBL-2H3 cells, were studied using fluorescence-based calcium assays in transfected cells and radiolabelled substrate-based enzymatic assays. Cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), the acids (CBDA, CBGA, THCA) and propyl homologues (CBDV, CBGV, THCV) of CBD, cannabigerol (CBG) and THC, and tetrahydrocannabivarin acid (THCVA) were also tested. CBD, CBG, CBGV and THCV stimulated and desensitized human TRPV1. CBC, CBD and CBN were potent rat TRPA1 agonists and desensitizers, but THCV-BDS was the most potent compound at this target. CBG-BDS and THCV-BDS were the most potent rat TRPM8 antagonists. All non-acid cannabinoids, except CBC and CBN, potently activated and desensitized rat TRPV2. CBDV and all the acids inhibited DAGLα. Some BDS, but not the pure compounds, inhibited MAGL. CBD was the only compound to inhibit FAAH, whereas the BDS of CBC > CBG > CBGV inhibited NAAA. CBC = CBG > CBD inhibited ACU, as did the BDS of THCVA, CBGV, CBDA and THCA, but the latter extracts were more potent inhibitors. These results are relevant to the analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids and Cannabis extracts. © 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.

  1. The cerebral type 1 cannabinoid receptor as modulator in dopaminergic transmission disorders: addiction and psychosis:De cerebrale type 1 cannabinoid receptor als modulator bij stoornissen in de dopaminerge neurotransmissie: verslaving en psychose

    OpenAIRE

    Ceccarini, Jenny

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY : The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a widespread neuromodulatory system in the brain. The ECS consists mainly of cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) of which anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are the best characterized examples, and transport and degradation proteins. Endocannabinoids are lipids synthesized and released ‘on-demand’ in dendrites subjected to membrane depolarization. In contrast to classic neurotransmitters, endocannabinoid...

  2. Cannabis, cannabinoids and reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Boram; McPartland, John M; Glass, Michelle

    2004-02-01

    In most countries Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug. Its use during pregnancy in developed nations is estimated to be approximately 10%. Recent evidence suggests that the endogenous cannabinoid system, now consisting of two receptors and multiple endocannabinoid ligands, may also play an important role in the maintenance and regulation of early pregnancy and fertility. The purpose of this review is therefore twofold, to examine the impact that cannabis use may have on fertility and reproduction, and to review the potential role of the endocannabinoid system in hormonal regulation, embryo implantation and maintenance of pregnancy.

  3. The effect of anaesthesia on [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 binding to the type 1 cannabinoid receptor in the rat brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casteels, Cindy; Van Laere, Koen [KU Leuven and University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); KU Leuven, MoSAIC, Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center, Leuven (Belgium); Bormans, Guy [KU Leuven, MoSAIC, Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center, Leuven (Belgium); KU Leuven, Laboratory for Radiopharmacy, Leuven (Belgium)

    2010-06-15

    Small animal PET can be applied to study molecular processes in animal models of a variety of human diseases. In order to keep the animals in a restricted position during imaging, anaesthesia is in many instances inevitable. Using small animal PET and ex vivo autoradiography, we examined the influence of pentobarbital and isoflurane anaesthesia on the rat brain uptake of [{sup 18}F]MK-9470, a radioligand for the type 1 cannabinoid receptor. PET imaging was performed on adult Wistar rats under pentobarbital (n=6) and isoflurane anaesthesia (n=7), and under control conditions (free moving during tracer uptake, n=8). Parametric PET images were generated, anatomically standardized and analysed by voxel-based Statistical Parametric Mapping and a predefined volume of interest approach. Immediately after in vivo PET, brains were processed for ex vivo autoradiography using manually placed regions of interest. An extra group (n=6) was included ex vivo, in which animals were intravenously injected without the use of anaesthetics. Using in vivo and ex vivo molecular imaging techniques, no significant changes in absolute [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 uptake were present in the brain of pentobarbital and isoflurane rats as compared to control conditions. Relative [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 uptake PET values obtained applying global scaling were, however, decreased in the cortex under both anaesthetics (pentobarbital: -13.3{+-}1.4%; isoflurane -8.7 {+-} 3.1%), while an increase was seen in the cerebellum by 13.5 {+-} 4.0% and 13.9 {+-} 4.1% under pentobarbital and isoflurane, respectively. Ex vivo results were in agreement with in vivo findings. These findings suggest a similar, regionally specific interference of pentobarbital and isoflurane anaesthesia with in vivo CB1 receptor imaging using [{sup 18}F]MK-9470. (orig.)

  4. Differences in basal cannabinoid CB1 receptor function in selective brain areas and vulnerability to voluntary alcohol consumption in Fawn Hooded and Wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Sergio; Oliva, José M; Pérez-Rial, Sandra; Palomo, Tomás; Manzanares, Jorge

    2004-01-01

    To specify the functional activity of cannabinoid CB1 receptor in alcohol-preferring Fawn Hooded and alcohol nonpreferring Wistar rats under naïve conditions. Cannabinoid CB1 (WIN-55,212)-stimulated [35S]-GTPgammas binding autoradiography, and cannabinoid CB1 receptor gene expression were measured in rats of both strains that received only water. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor stimulated [35S]-GTPgammas binding was significantly lower in cingulate cortex (Cg), caudate-putamen (CPu), nucleus accumbens (Acc), ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN), amygdaloid area (AMG), fields (CA1, CA3) of the hippocampus and dentate gyrus (DG) in Fawn Hooded than in Wistar rats, whereas no differences were found either in substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) nor CA2 field of the hippocampus. In addition, cannabinoid CB1 receptor gene expression was lower in Cg, CPu, VMN and CA3 field of the hippocampus in Fawn Hooded than in Wistar rats. We speculate that lower cannabinoid function appears to be related to greater vulnerability to alcohol consumption. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor may represent a key target in the treatment of alcohol dependence.

  5. Designing microorganisms for heterologous biosynthesis of cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Ângela; Hansen, Esben Halkjær; Kayser, Oliver; Carlsen, Simon; Stehle, Felix

    2017-06-01

    During the last decade, the use of medical Cannabis has expanded globally and legislation is getting more liberal in many countries, facilitating the research on cannabinoids. The unique interaction of cannabinoids with the human endocannabinoid system makes these compounds an interesting target to be studied as therapeutic agents for the treatment of several medical conditions. However, currently there are important limitations in the study, production and use of cannabinoids as pharmaceutical drugs. Besides the main constituent tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, the structurally related compound cannabidiol is of high interest as drug candidate. From the more than 100 known cannabinoids reported, most can only be extracted in very low amounts and their pharmacological profile has not been determined. Today, cannabinoids are isolated from the strictly regulated Cannabis plant, and the supply of compounds with sufficient quality is a major problem. Biotechnological production could be an attractive alternative mode of production. Herein, we explore the potential use of synthetic biology as an alternative strategy for synthesis of cannabinoids in heterologous hosts. We summarize the current knowledge surrounding cannabinoids biosynthesis and present a comprehensive description of the key steps of the genuine and artificial pathway, systems biotechnology needs and platform optimization. © FEMS 2017.

  6. Cannabinoids in intestinal inflammation and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izzo, Angelo A; Camilleri, Michael

    2009-08-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that cannabinoids may exert beneficial effects in intestinal inflammation and cancer. Adaptive changes of the endocannabinoid system have been observed in intestinal biopsies from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. Studies on epithelial cells have shown that cannabinoids exert antiproliferative, antimetastatic and apoptotic effects as well as reducing cytokine release and promoting wound healing. In vivo, cannabinoids - via direct or indirect activation of CB(1) and/or CB(2) receptors - exert protective effects in well-established models of intestinal inflammation and colon cancer. Pharmacological elevation of endocannabinoid levels may be a promising strategy to counteract intestinal inflammation and colon cancer.

  7. Antiaversive Effects of Cannabinoids: Is the Periaqueductal Gray Involved?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. S. Guimarães

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids play an important role in activity-dependent changes in synaptic activity and can interfere in several brain functions, including responses to aversive stimuli. The regions responsible for their effects, however, are still unclear. Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1 receptors are widely distributed in the central nervous system and are present in the periaqueductal gray (PAG, a midbrain structure closely involved in responses related to aversive states. Accordingly, exposure to stressful stimuli increases endocannabinoid (eCB levels in the PAG, and local administration of CB1 agonists or drugs that facilitate eCB-mediated neurotransmission produces antinociceptive and antiaversive effects. To investigate if these drugs would also interfere in animal models that are sensitive to anxiolytic drugs, we verified the responses to intra-PAG injection of CB1 agonists in rats submitted to the elevated plus-maze, the Vogel punished licking test, or contextual aversive conditioning model. The drugs induced anxiolytic-like effects in all tests. The same was observed with the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine and with cannabidiol, a nonpsychotomimetic phytocannabinoid that produces anxiolytic-like effects after systemic administration in humans and laboratory animals. These results, therefore, suggest that the PAG could be an important site for the antiaversive effects of cannabinoids.

  8. Antiaversive effects of cannabinoids: is the periaqueductal gray involved?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, F A; Aguiar, D C; Campos, A C; Lisboa, S F; Terzian, A L; Resstel, L B; Guimarães, F S

    2009-01-01

    Cannabinoids play an important role in activity-dependent changes in synaptic activity and can interfere in several brain functions, including responses to aversive stimuli. The regions responsible for their effects, however, are still unclear. Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors are widely distributed in the central nervous system and are present in the periaqueductal gray (PAG), a midbrain structure closely involved in responses related to aversive states. Accordingly, exposure to stressful stimuli increases endocannabinoid (eCB) levels in the PAG, and local administration of CB1 agonists or drugs that facilitate eCB-mediated neurotransmission produces antinociceptive and antiaversive effects. To investigate if these drugs would also interfere in animal models that are sensitive to anxiolytic drugs, we verified the responses to intra-PAG injection of CB1 agonists in rats submitted to the elevated plus-maze, the Vogel punished licking test, or contextual aversive conditioning model. The drugs induced anxiolytic-like effects in all tests. The same was observed with the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) antagonist capsazepine and with cannabidiol, a nonpsychotomimetic phytocannabinoid that produces anxiolytic-like effects after systemic administration in humans and laboratory animals. These results, therefore, suggest that the PAG could be an important site for the antiaversive effects of cannabinoids.

  9. Therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in neurodegenerative disorders: a selective review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velayudhan, Latha; Van Diepen, Erik; Marudkar, Mangesh; Hands, Oliver; Suribhatla, Srinivas; Prettyman, Richard; Murray, Jonathan; Baillon, Sarah; Bhattacharyya, Sagnik

    2014-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is now recognised as an important modulator of various central nervous system processes. More recently, an increasing body of evidence has accumulated to suggest antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective roles of ECS. In this review we discuss the role and therapeutic potential of ECS in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease, Tourette's syndrome, brain ischemia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Elements of the ECS, such as fatty acid amide hydrolase or the cannabinoid receptors are now considered as promising pharmacological targets for some diseases. Although still preliminary, recent reports suggest that modulation of the ECS may constitute a novel approach for the treatment of AD. There are windows of opportunity in conditions caused by acute events such as trauma and ischemia as well in conditions that may involve altered functionality of the target receptors of the ECS, such as in AD. The ECS changes in Parkinson's disease could be compensatory as well as pathogenic of the illness process and needs further understanding and clinical studies are still in the preliminary stage. There is not enough evidence to support use of cannabinoids in treating Huntington's disease, tics and obsessive compulsive behaviour in Tourette's syndrome. Evidence on therapeutic use of cannabinoids in multiple sclerosis and ALS is currently limited. A major challenge for future research is the development of novel compounds with more selectivity for various components of the ECS which could target different neurotoxic pathways and be used in combination therapy.

  10. Cannabinoids for treatment of Alzheimer's disease: moving toward the clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aso, Ester; Ferrer, Isidre

    2014-01-01

    The limited effectiveness of current therapies against Alzheimer's disease (AD) highlights the need for intensifying research efforts devoted to developing new agents for preventing or retarding the disease process. During the last few years, targeting the endogenous cannabinoid system has emerged as a potential therapeutic approach to treat Alzheimer. The endocannabinoid system is composed by a number of cannabinoid receptors, including the well-characterized CB1 and CB2 receptors, with their endogenous ligands and the enzymes related to the synthesis and degradation of these endocannabinoid compounds. Several findings indicate that the activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors by natural or synthetic agonists, at non-psychoactive doses, have beneficial effects in Alzheimer experimental models by reducing the harmful β-amyloid peptide action and tau phosphorylation, as well as by promoting the brain's intrinsic repair mechanisms. Moreover, endocannabinoid signaling has been demonstrated to modulate numerous concomitant pathological processes, including neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, and oxidative stress. The present paper summarizes the main experimental studies demonstrating the polyvalent properties of cannabinoid compounds for the treatment of AD, which together encourage progress toward a clinical trial.

  11. Cannabinoids and cancer: causation, remediation, and palliation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Wayne; Christie, MacDonald; Currow, David

    2005-01-01

    This review discusses three different associations between cannabinoids and cancer. First, it assesses evidence that smoking of cannabis preparations may cause cancers of the aerodigestive and respiratory system. There have been case reports of upper-respiratory-tract cancers in young adults who smoke cannabis, but evidence from a few epidemiological cohort studies and case-control studies is inconsistent. Second, there is mixed evidence on the effects of THC and other cannabinoids on cancers: in some in vitro and in vivo studies THC and some synthetic cannabinoids have had antineoplastic effects, but in other studies THC seems to impair the immune response to cancer. As yet there is no evidence that THC or other cannabinoids have anticancer effects in humans. Third, Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may treat the symptoms and side-effects of cancer, and there is evidence that it and other cannabinoids may be useful adjuvant treatments that improve appetite, reduce nausea and vomiting, and alleviate moderate neuropathic pain in patients with cancer. The main challenge for the medical use of cannabinoids is the development of safe and effective methods of use that lead to therapeutic effects but that avoid adverse psychoactive effects. Furthermore, medical, legal, and regulatory obstacles hinder the smoking of cannabis for medical purposes. These very different uses of cannabinoids are in danger of being confused in public debate, especially in the USA where some advocates for the medical use of cannabinoids have argued for smoked cannabis rather than pharmaceutical cannabinoids. We review the available evidence on these three issues and consider their implications for policy.

  12. Human Laboratory Studies on Cannabinoids and Psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherif, Mohamed; Radhakrishnan, Rajiv; D'Souza, Deepak Cyril; Ranganathan, Mohini

    2016-04-01

    Some of the most compelling evidence supporting an association between cannabinoid agonists and psychosis comes from controlled laboratory studies in humans. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover laboratory studies demonstrate that cannabinoid agonists, including phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids, produce a wide range of positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms and psychophysiologic deficits in healthy human subjects that resemble the phenomenology of schizophrenia. These effects are time locked to drug administration, are dose related, and are transient and rarely necessitate intervention. The magnitude of effects is similar to the effects of ketamine but qualitatively distinct from other psychotomimetic drugs, including ketamine, amphetamine, and salvinorin A. Cannabinoid agonists have also been shown to transiently exacerbate symptoms in individuals with schizophrenia in laboratory studies. Patients with schizophrenia are more vulnerable than healthy control subjects to the acute behavioral and cognitive effects of cannabinoid agonists and experience transient exacerbation of symptoms despite treatment with antipsychotic medications. Furthermore, laboratory studies have failed to demonstrate any "beneficial" effects of cannabinoid agonists in individuals with schizophrenia-challenging the cannabis self-medication hypothesis. Emerging evidence suggests that polymorphisms of several genes related to dopamine metabolism (e.g., COMT, DAT1, and AKT1) may moderate the effects of cannabinoid agonists in laboratory studies. Cannabinoid agonists induce dopamine release, although the magnitude of release does not appear to be commensurate to the magnitude and spectrum of their acute psychotomimetic effects. Interactions between the endocannabinoid, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and glutamate systems and their individual and interactive effects on neural oscillations provide a plausible mechanism underlying the psychotomimetic effects of

  13. Pharmacokinetics of Cannabinoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iain J McGilveray

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC is the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis (marijuana. The present review focuses on the pharmacokinetics of THC, but also includes known information for cannabinol and cannabidiol, as well as the synthetic marketed cannabinoids, dronabinol (synthetic THC and nabilone. The variability of THC in plant material (0.3% to 30% leads to variability in tissue THC levels from smoking, which is, in itself, a highly individual process. THC bioavailability averages 30%. With a 3.55% THC cigarette, a peak plasma level of 152±86.3 ng/mL occured approximately 10 min after inhalation. Oral THC, on the other hand, is only 4% to 12% bioavailable and absorption is highly variable. THC is eliminated from plasma in a multiphasic manner, with low amounts detectable for over one week after dosing. A major active 11-hydroxy metabolite is formed after both inhalation and oral dosing (20% and 100% of parent, respectively. THC is widely distributed, particularly to fatty tissues, but less than 1% of an administered dose reaches the brain, while the spleen and body fat are long-term storage sites. The elimination of THC and its many metabolites (from all routes occurs via the feces and urine. Metabolites persist in the urine and feces for severalweeks. Nabilone is well absorbed and the pharmacokinetics, although variable, appear to be linear from oral doses of 1 mg to 4 mg (these doses show a plasma elimination half-life of approximately 2 h. As with THC, there is a high first-pass effect, and the feces to urine ratio of excretion is similar to other cannabinoids. Pharmacokineticpharmacodynamic modelling with plasma THC versus cardiac and psychotropic effects show that after equilibrium is reached, the intensity of effect is proportional to the plasma THC profile. Clinical trials have found that nabilone produces less tachycardia and less euphoria than THC for a similar antiemetic response.

  14. Increased expression of cannabinoid CB₁ receptors in Achilles tendinosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmelie Björklund

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in the control of pain. However, little is known as to the integrity of the cannabinoid system in human pain syndromes. Here we investigate the expression of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB₁ in human Achilles tendons from healthy volunteers and from patients with Achilles tendinosis. METHODOLOGY: Cannabinoid CB₁ receptor immunoreactivity (CB₁IR was evaluated in formalin-fixed biopsies from individuals suffering from painful Achilles tendinosis in comparison with healthy human Achilles tendons. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: CB₁IR was seen as a granular pattern in the tenocytes. CB₁IR was also observed in the blood vessel wall and in the perineurium of the nerve. Quantification of the immunoreactivity in tenocytes showed an increase of CB₁ receptor expression in tendinosis tissue compared to control tissue. CONCLUSION: Expression of cannabinoid receptor 1 is increased in human Achilles tendinosis suggesting that the cannabinoid system may be dysregulated in this disorder.

  15. Increased Expression of Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors in Achilles Tendinosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björklund, Emmelie; Forsgren, Sture; Alfredson, Håkan; Fowler, Christopher J.

    2011-01-01

    Background The endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in the control of pain. However, little is known as to the integrity of the cannabinoid system in human pain syndromes. Here we investigate the expression of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) in human Achilles tendons from healthy volunteers and from patients with Achilles tendinosis. Methodology Cannabinoid CB1 receptor immunoreactivity (CB1IR) was evaluated in formalin-fixed biopsies from individuals suffering from painful Achilles tendinosis in comparison with healthy human Achilles tendons. Principal Findings CB1IR was seen as a granular pattern in the tenocytes. CB1IR was also observed in the blood vessel wall and in the perineurium of the nerve. Quantification of the immunoreactivity in tenocytes showed an increase of CB1 receptor expression in tendinosis tissue compared to control tissue. Conclusion Expression of cannabinoid receptor 1 is increased in human Achilles tendinosis suggesting that the cannabinoid system may be dysregulated in this disorder. PMID:21931835

  16. Cannabinoids, eating behaviour, and energy homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Zerbo, Silvana Y; Bermúdez-Silva, Francisco J

    2014-01-01

    Soon after the discovery of cannabis by western societies, its psychotropic effects overshadowed its medical benefits. However, investigation into the molecular action of the main constituents of cannabis has led to the discovery of an intercellular signalling system, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS comprises a set of molecular components, including enzymes, signalling lipids and G-protein coupled receptors, which has an outstanding role in modulating eating behaviour and energy homeostasis. Interestingly, evidence has shown that the ECS is present at the central and peripheral nervous system, modulating the function of the hypothalamus, the brain reward system and the brainstem, and coordinating the crosstalk between these brain structures and peripheral organs. Indeed, the ECS is present and functional in metabolically relevant peripheral tissues, directly modulating their physiology. In the context of a global obesity pandemic, these discoveries are highly suggestive in order to design novel pharmaceutical tools to fight obesity and related morbidities. In fact, a cannabinoid-based first generation of drugs was developed and marketed. Their failure, due to central side-effects, is leading to a second generation of these drugs unable to cross the blood-brain barrier, as well as other ECS-focused strategies that are still in the pipeline. In the next few years we will hopefully know whether such an important player in energy homeostasis can be successfully targeted without significantly affecting other vital processes related to mood and sense of well-being. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids on primary neuronal cells of the forebrain: the involvement of cannabinoid CB{sub 1} receptors and apoptotic cell death

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tomiyama, Ken-ichi; Funada, Masahiko, E-mail: mfunada@ncnp.go.jp

    2014-01-01

    The abuse of herbal products containing synthetic cannabinoids has become an issue of public concern. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the acute cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids on mouse brain neuronal cells. Cytotoxicity induced by synthetic cannabinoid (CP-55,940, CP-47,497, CP-47,497-C8, HU-210, JWH-018, JWH-210, AM-2201, and MAM-2201) was examined using forebrain neuronal cultures. These synthetic cannabinoids induced cytotoxicity in the forebrain cultures in a concentration-dependent manner. The cytotoxicity was suppressed by preincubation with the selective CB{sub 1} receptor antagonist AM251, but not with the selective CB{sub 2} receptor antagonist AM630. Furthermore, annexin-V-positive cells were found among the treated forebrain cells. Synthetic cannabinoid treatment induced the activation of caspase-3, and preincubation with a caspase-3 inhibitor significantly suppressed the cytotoxicity. These synthetic cannabinoids induced apoptosis through a caspase-3-dependent mechanism in the forebrain cultures. Our results indicate that the cytotoxicity of synthetic cannabinoids towards primary neuronal cells is mediated by the CB{sub 1} receptor, but not by the CB{sub 2} receptor, and further suggest that caspase cascades may play an important role in the apoptosis induced by these synthetic cannabinoids. In conclusion, excessive synthetic cannabinoid abuse may present a serious acute health concern due to neuronal damage or deficits in the brain. - Highlights: • Synthetic cannabinoids (classical cannabinoids, non-classical cannabinoids, and aminoalkylindole derivatives) induce cytotoxicity in mouse forebrain cultures. • Synthetic cannabinoid-induced cytotoxicity towards forebrain cultures is mediated by the CB{sub 1} receptor, but not by the CB{sub 2} receptor, and involves caspase-dependent apoptosis. • A high concentration of synthetic cannabinoids may be toxic to neuronal cells that express CB{sub 1} receptors.

  18. Cannabinoids and Cytochrome P450 Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zendulka, Ondřej; Dovrtělová, Gabriela; Nosková, Kristýna; Turjap, Miroslav; Šulcová, Alexandra; Hanuš, Lumír; Juřica, Jan

    2016-01-01

    This review consists of three parts, representing three different possibilities of interactions between cannabinoid receptor ligands of both exogenous and endogenous origin and cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs). The first part deals with cannabinoids as CYP substrates, the second summarizes current knowledge on the influence of various cannabinoids on the metabolic activity of CYP, and the third outline a possible involvement of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid ligands in the regulation of CYP liver activity. We performed a structured search of bibliographic and drug databases for peer-reviewed literature using focused review questions. Biotransformation via a hydrolytic pathway is the major route of endocannabinoid metabolism and the deactivation of substrates is characteristic, in contrast to the minor oxidative pathway via CYP involved in the bioactivation reactions. Phytocannabinoids are extensively metabolized by CYPs. The enzymes CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP3A4 catalyze most of their hydroxylations. Similarly, CYP represents a major metabolic pathway for both synthetic cannabinoids used therapeutically and drugs that are abused. In vitro experiments document the mostly CYP inhibitory activity of the major phytocannabinoids, with cannabidiol as the most potent inhibitor of many CYPs. The drug-drug interactions between cannabinoids and various drugs at the CYP level are reported, but their clinical relevance remains unclear. The direct activation/inhibition of nuclear receptors in the liver cells by cannabinoids may result in a change of CYP expression and activity. Finally, we hypothesize the interplay of central cannabinoid receptors with numerous nervous systems, resulting in a hormone-mediated signal towards nuclear receptors in hepatocytes.

  19. Expression of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in the gymnotiform fish brain and its implications for the organization of the teleost pallium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey-Girard, Erik; Giassi, Ana C C; Ellis, William; Maler, Leonard

    2013-03-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1R) are widely distributed in the brains of many vertebrates, but whether their functions are conserved is unknown. The weakly electric fish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus (Apt), has been well studied for its brain structure, behavior, sensory processing, and learning and memory. It therefore offers an attractive model for comparative studies of CB1R functions. We sequenced partial AptCB1R mRNAs and performed in situ hybridization to localize its expression. Partial AptCB1R protein sequence was highly conserved to zebrafish (90.7%) and mouse (81.9%) orthologs. AptCB1R mRNA was highly expressed in the telencephalon. Subpallial neurons (dorsal, central, intermediate regions and part of the ventral region, Vd/Vc/Vi, and Vv) expressed high levels of AptCB1R transcript. The central region of dorsocentral telencephalon (DC(core) ) strongly expressed CB1R mRNA; cells in DC(core) project to midbrain regions involved in electrosensory/visual function. The lateral and rostral regions of DC surrounding DC(core) (DC(shell) ) lack AptCB1R mRNA. The rostral division of the dorsomedial telencephalon (DM1) highly expresses AptCB1R mRNA. In dorsolateral division (DL) AptCB1R mRNA was expressed in a gradient that declined in a rostrocaudal manner. In diencephalon, AptCB1R RNA probe weakly stained the central-posterior (CP) and prepacemaker (PPn) nuclei. In mesencephalon, AptCB1R mRNA is expressed in deep layers of the dorsal (electrosensory) torus semicircularis (TSd). In hindbrain, AptCB1R RNA probe weakly labeled inhibitory interneurons in the electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL). Unlike mammals, only few cerebellar granule cells expressed AptCB1R transcripts and these were located in the center of eminentia granularis pars posterior (EGp), a cerebellar region involved in feedback to ELL. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Effects of cannabinoids and their receptors on viral infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahamtan, Alireza; Tavakoli-Yaraki, Masoumeh; Rygiel, Tomasz P; Mokhtari-Azad, Talat; Salimi, Vahid

    2016-01-01

    Cannabinoids, the active ingredient in marijuana, and their derivatives have received remarkable attention in the last two decades because they can affect tumor growth and metastasis. There is a large body of evidence from in vivo and in vitro models showing that cannabinoids and their receptors influence the immune system, viral pathogenesis, and viral replication. The present study reviews current insights into the role of cannabinoids and their receptors on viral infections. The results reported here indicate that cannabinoids and their receptors have different sequels for viral infection. Although activation or inhibition of cannabinoid receptors in the majority of viral infections are proper targets for development of safe and effective treatments, caution is required before using pharmaceutical cannabinoids as a treatment agent for patients with viral infections. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Cannabinoids and zebrafish

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akhtar, Muhammad Tayyab

    2013-01-01

    Cannabinoids are a group of terpenophenolic compounds and are naturally found in the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa L). Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) is the psychoactive cannabinoid. The high lipophilicity of Δ9-THC is a hindering factor in the further development of this compound into a large

  2. Impact of cannabis, cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in the lungs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Turcotte

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Since the identification of cannabinoid receptors in the 1990s, a research field has been dedicated to exploring the role of the cannabinoid system in immunity and the inflammatory response in human tissues and animal models. Although the cannabinoid system is present and crucial in many human tissues, studying the impact of cannabinoids on the lungs is particularly relevant because of their contact with exogenous cannabinoids is the context of marijuana consumption. In the past two decades, the scientific community has gathered a large body of evidence supporting that the activation of the cannabinoid system alleviates pain and reduces inflammation. In the context of lung inflammation, exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids have shown therapeutic potential because of their inhibitory effects on immune cell recruitment and functions. On the other hand, cannabinoids were shown to be deleterious to lung function and to impact respiratory pathogen clearance. In this review, we present the existing data on the regulation of lung immunity and inflammation by phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids and endocannabinoids.

  3. Pleasure systems in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berridge, Kent C; Kringelbach, Morten L

    2015-05-06

    Pleasure is mediated by well-developed mesocorticolimbic circuitry and serves adaptive functions. In affective disorders, anhedonia (lack of pleasure) or dysphoria (negative affect) can result from breakdowns of that hedonic system. Human neuroimaging studies indicate that surprisingly similar circuitry is activated by quite diverse pleasures, suggesting a common neural currency shared by all. Wanting for reward is generated by a large and distributed brain system. Liking, or pleasure itself, is generated by a smaller set of hedonic hot spots within limbic circuitry. Those hot spots also can be embedded in broader anatomical patterns of valence organization, such as in a keyboard pattern of nucleus accumbens generators for desire versus dread. In contrast, some of the best known textbook candidates for pleasure generators, including classic pleasure electrodes and the mesolimbic dopamine system, may not generate pleasure after all. These emerging insights into brain pleasure mechanisms may eventually facilitate better treatments for affective disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Combination Chemistry: Structure-Activity Relationships of Novel Psychoactive Cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, Jenny L; Marusich, Julie A; Thomas, Brian F

    2017-01-01

    Originally developed as research tools for use in structure-activity relationship studies, synthetic cannabinoids contributed to significant scientific advances in the cannabinoid field. Unfortunately, a subset of these compounds was diverted for recreational use beginning in the early 2000s. As these compounds were banned, they were replaced with additional synthetic cannabinoids with increasingly diverse chemical structures. This chapter focuses on integration of recent results with those covered in previous reviews. Whereas most of the early compounds were derived from the prototypic naphthoylindole JWH-018, currently popular synthetic cannabinoids include tetramethylcyclopropyl ketones and indazole-derived cannabinoids (e.g., AB-PINACA, AB-CHMINACA). Despite their structural differences, psychoactive synthetic cannabinoids bind with high affinity to CB1 receptors in the brain and, when tested, have been shown to activate these receptors and to produce a characteristic profile of effects, including suppression of locomotor activity, antinociception, hypothermia, and catalepsy, as well as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-like discriminative stimulus effects in mice. When they have been tested, synthetic cannabinoids are often found to be more efficacious at activation of the CB1 receptor and more potent in vivo. Further, their chemical alteration by thermolysis during use and their uncertain stability and purity may result in exposure to degradants that differ from the parent compound contained in the original product. Consequently, while their intoxicant effects may be similar to those of THC, use of synthetic cannabinoids may be accompanied by unpredicted, and sometimes harmful, effects.

  5. Dendritic Cell Regulation by Cannabinoid-Based Drugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mattias Svensson

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoid pharmacology has made important advances in recent years after the cannabinoid system was discovered. Studies in experimental models and in humans have produced promising results using cannabinoid-based drugs for the treatment of obesity and cancer, as well as neuroinflammatory and chronic inflammatory diseases. Moreover, as we discuss here, additional studies also indicates that these drugs have immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties including modulation of immune cell function. Thus, manipulation of the endocannabinoid system in vivo may provide novel therapeutic strategies against inflammatory disorders. At least two types of cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoid 1 and cannabinoid 2 receptors are expressed on immune cells such as dendritic cells (DC. Dendritic cells are recognized for their critical role in initiating and maintaining immune responses. Therefore, DC are potential targets for cannabinoid-mediated modulation. Here, we review the effects of cannabinoids on DC and provide some perspective concerning the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for the treatment of human diseases involving aberrant inflammatory processes.

  6. Cannabinoids - a new weapon against cancer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokrywka, Małgorzata; Góralska, Joanna; Solnica, Bogdan

    2016-12-29

    Cannabis has been cultivated by man since Neolithic times. It was used, among others for fiber and rope production, recreational purposes and as an excellent therapeutic agent. The isolation and characterization of the structure of one of the main active ingredients of cannabis - Δ9 - tetrahydrocannabinol as well the discovery of its cannabinoid binding receptors CB1 and CB2, has been a milestone in the study of the possibilities of the uses of Cannabis sativa and related products in modern medicine. Many scientific studies indicate the potential use of cannabinoids in the fight against cancer. Experiments carried out on cell lines in vitro and on animal models in vivo have shown that phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids and their analogues can lead to inhibition of the growth of many tumor types, exerting cytostatic and cytotoxic neoplastic effect on cells thereby negatively influencing neo-angiogenesis and the ability of cells to metastasize. The main molecular mechanism leading to inhibition of proliferation of cancer cells by cannabinoids is apoptosis. Studies have shown, however, that the process of apoptosis in cells, treated with recannabinoids, is a consequence of induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy. On the other hand, in the cellular context and dosage dependence, cannabinoids may enhance the proliferation of tumor cells by suppressing the immune system or by activating mitogenic factors. Leading from this there is a an obvious need to further explore cannabinoid associated molecular pathways making it possible to develop safe therapeutic drug agents for patients in the future.

  7. Effects of cannabinoid drugs on aversive or rewarding drug-associated memory extinction and reconsolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Cristina A J; de Carvalho, Cristiane R; Bertoglio, Leandro J; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2017-07-17

    Posttraumatic stress and drug use disorders may stem from aberrant memory formation. As the endocannabinoid (eCB) system has a pivotal role in emotional memory processing and related synaptic plasticity, here we seek to review and discuss accumulating evidence on how and where in the brain interventions targeting the eCB system would attenuate outcomes associated with traumatic events and/or drug addiction through memory extinction facilitation or reconsolidation disruption. Currently available data from mouse, rat, monkey and healthy human studies investigating the effects of cannabinoid drugs on extinction and reconsolidation of aversive memories are more consistent than those related to rewarding drug-associated memories. Interventions able to attenuate aversive memories by extinction facilitation or reconsolidation disruption have boosted the anandamide-induced activation of cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors. A still limited number of studies report that CB1 receptor activation could also be effective in facilitating the extinction or disrupting the reconsolidation of rewarding drug-associated memories. The reinstatement of extinguished drug memories (relapse) is reduced by CB1 receptor antagonism. The cannabidiol has shown to be effective in any of the aforementioned cases, albeit its mechanism of action is not fully understood. Brain areas in which cannabinoid drugs induce these effects include the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, and/or nucleus accumbens. The potential role of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptors in emotional memory extinction and reconsolidation is currently under investigation. Overall, preclinical data support a closer look into certain cannabinoid drugs owing to their safety and potential therapeutic value against stress-related and drug use disorders. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Activation of type-1 cannabinoid receptor shifts the balance between excitation and inhibition towards excitation in layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the rat prelimbic cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Boon, F.S.; Werkman, T.R.; Schaafsma-Zhao, Q.; Houthuijs, K.; Vitalis, T.; Kruse, C.G.; Wadman, W.J.; Chameau, P.

    2015-01-01

    Activation of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system by exogenous cannabinoids (drug abuse) can alter the physiology of the brain circuits involved in higher-order cognitive functions such as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). A proper balance between excitation and inhibition (E/I balance) is critical

  9. Cannabinoids for the treatment of dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, Sarada; Cairns, Ruth; Howard, Robert

    2009-04-15

    Following the discovery of an endogenous cannabinoid system and the identification of specific cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, much work has been done to investigate the main effects of these compounds. There is increasing evidence that the cannabinoid system may regulate neurodegenerative processes such as excessive glutamate production, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Neurodegeneration is a feature common to the various types of dementia and this has led to interest in whether cannabinoids may be clinically useful in the treatment of people with dementia. Recent studies have also shown that cannabinoids may have more specific effects in interrupting the pathological process in Alzheimer's disease. To determine from available research whether cannabinoids are clinically effective in the treatment of dementia. The Specialized Register of the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group (CDCIG), The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and LILACS were searched on 11 April 2008 using the terms: cannabis or cannabinoid* or endocannabinoid* or cannabidiol or THC or CBD or dronabinol or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or marijuana or marihuana or hashish. The CDCIG Specialized Register contains records from all major health care databases (The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, LILACS) as well as from many clinical trials registries and grey literature sources. All double-blind and single (rater)-blind randomized placebo controlled trials assessing the efficacy of cannabinoids at any dose in the treatment of people with dementia. Two reviewers independently examined the retrieved studies for inclusion according to the selection criteria. They then independently assessed the methodological quality of selected trials and extracted data where possible. Only one study met the inclusion criteria. The data in the study report were presented in such a way that they could not be extracted for further analysis and

  10. Cannabinoids and Psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Deepak Cyril; Radhakrishnan, Rajiv; Sherif, Mohamed; Cortes-Briones, Jose; Cahill, John; Gupta, Swapnil; Skosnik, Patrick D; Ranganathan, Mohini

    2016-01-01

    There is growing interest in the relationship between cannabis and psychosis. The link between cannabis use and psychosis comprises three distinct relationships: acute psychosis associated with cannabis intoxication, acute psychosis that lasts beyond the period of acute intoxication, and persistent psychosis not time-locked to exposure. Experimental studies reveal that cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and synthetic cannabinoids reliably produce transient positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms in healthy volunteers. Case-studies indicate that cannabinoids can induce acute psychosis which lasts beyond the period of acute intoxication and persisting as long as a month. Exposure to cannabis in adolescence is associated with an increased risk for later psychotic disorder in adulthood; this association is consistent, somewhat specific, shows a dose-response, and is biologically plausible. The link between cannabinoids and psychosis is greater with earlier age of exposure to cannabinoids, childhood abuse and genetic vulnerability. However, cannabinoids are neither necessary nor sufficient to cause a persistent psychotic disorder. More likely cannabinoids are a 'component cause' interacting with other known (family history) and unknown factors to result in psychosis outcomes. While more research is needed to better understand the relationship between cannabinoid use and psychosis, and the neural underpinnings of this link, clinicians should be mindful of the potential risk of psychosis especially in vulnerable populations, including adolescents and those with a psychosis diathesis. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  11. Comparative study of chitosan- and PEG-coated lipid and PLGA nanoparticles as oral delivery systems for cannabinoids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Durán-Lobato, Matilde; Martín-Banderas, Lucía, E-mail: luciamartin@us.es [Universidad de Sevilla, Departmento Farmacia y Tecnología Farmacéutica, Facultad de Farmacia (España) (Spain); Gonçalves, Lídia M. D. [Universidade de Lisboa, Research Institute for Medicines and Pharmaceutical Sciences (iMed.UL), Faculdade de Farmácia (Portugal); Fernández-Arévalo, Mercedes [Universidad de Sevilla, Departmento Farmacia y Tecnología Farmacéutica, Facultad de Farmacia (España) (Spain); Almeida, Antonio J. [Universidade de Lisboa, Research Institute for Medicines and Pharmaceutical Sciences (iMed.UL), Faculdade de Farmácia (Portugal)

    2015-02-15

    The cannabinoid derivative 1-naphthalenyl[4-(pentyloxy)-1-naphthalenyl]methanone (CB13) has an important therapeutic potential as analgesic in chronic pain states that respond poorly to conventional drugs. However, the incidence of its mild-to-moderate and dose-dependent adverse effects, as well as its pharmacokinetic profile, actually holds back its use in humans. Thus, the use of a suitable carrier system for oral delivery of CB13 becomes an attractive strategy to develop a valuable therapy. Polymeric poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) and lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are widely studied delivery vehicles that improve the bioavailability of lipophilic compounds and present special interest in oral delivery. Their surface can be modified to improve the adhesion of particles to the oral mucosa and increase their circulation time in blood with additives such as chitosan (CS) and polyethylene glycol (PEG), which can be feasibly incorporated onto these particles in a post-production step. In this work, CS- and PEG-modified polymeric PLGA and LNPs were successfully obtained and comparatively evaluated under the same experimental conditions as oral carriers for CB13. All the formulations presented adequate blood compatibility and absence of cytotoxicity in Caco-2 cells. Coating with CS led to a higher interaction with Caco-2 cells and a limited uptake in THP1 cells, while coating with PEG led to a limited uptake in Caco-2 cells and strongly prevented THP1 cells uptake. The performance of each formulation is discussed as a comparison of the potential of these carriers as oral delivery systems of CB13.

  12. Comparative study of chitosan- and PEG-coated lipid and PLGA nanoparticles as oral delivery systems for cannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durán-Lobato, Matilde; Martín-Banderas, Lucía; Gonçalves, Lídia M. D.; Fernández-Arévalo, Mercedes; Almeida, Antonio J.

    2015-02-01

    The cannabinoid derivative 1-naphthalenyl[4-(pentyloxy)-1-naphthalenyl]methanone (CB13) has an important therapeutic potential as analgesic in chronic pain states that respond poorly to conventional drugs. However, the incidence of its mild-to-moderate and dose-dependent adverse effects, as well as its pharmacokinetic profile, actually holds back its use in humans. Thus, the use of a suitable carrier system for oral delivery of CB13 becomes an attractive strategy to develop a valuable therapy. Polymeric poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) and lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are widely studied delivery vehicles that improve the bioavailability of lipophilic compounds and present special interest in oral delivery. Their surface can be modified to improve the adhesion of particles to the oral mucosa and increase their circulation time in blood with additives such as chitosan (CS) and polyethylene glycol (PEG), which can be feasibly incorporated onto these particles in a post-production step. In this work, CS- and PEG-modified polymeric PLGA and LNPs were successfully obtained and comparatively evaluated under the same experimental conditions as oral carriers for CB13. All the formulations presented adequate blood compatibility and absence of cytotoxicity in Caco-2 cells. Coating with CS led to a higher interaction with Caco-2 cells and a limited uptake in THP1 cells, while coating with PEG led to a limited uptake in Caco-2 cells and strongly prevented THP1 cells uptake. The performance of each formulation is discussed as a comparison of the potential of these carriers as oral delivery systems of CB13.

  13. Cannabinoid 2 Receptor Agonist Improves Systemic Sensitivity to Insulin in High-Fat Diet/Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiuyuan Zhang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The endocannabinoid signalling (ECS system has been known to regulate glucose homeostasis. Previous studies have suggested that the cannabinoid 2 (CB2 receptor may play a regulatory role on insulin secretion, immune modulation and insulin resistance. Given that diabetes and insulin resistance are attributable to elevated inflammatory tone, we investigated the role of CB2 receptor on glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in high-fat diet (HFD/streptozotocin (STZ-induced mice. Methods: Diabetes was induced in male ICR mice by HFD/STZ and exposed to a CB2 receptor agonist, SER601, for 2- or 4-weeks via subcutaneous implantation of osmotic minipumps. Glucose and insulin tolerance tests were performed at the end of treatment. Islets were isolated for assessment of β-cell function. Pancreases and skeletal muscles were also obtained for histological analyses. Results: Despite a lack of impact on glucose tolerance, substantial improvement on insulin sensitivity was observed in SER601-treated mice, which could partly be attributed to improved islet β-cell function, shown as increased glucose-induced insulin secretion and insulin content. No changes on islet macrophage infiltration or skeletal muscle fat deposition were detectable from SER601-treated mice. However, a major decrease in body weight was recorded at the end of 4-week SER601 exposure, accompanied by a lack of epididymal adipose mass in SER601-treated mice. Conclusion: Our data suggest a lipolytic role of SER601 in HFD/STZ-induced diabetic mice, which results in significant improvement of systemic insulin sensitivity. Thus, the CB2 receptor may be considered a promising target for therapeutic development against insulin resistance and obesity-related diabetes.

  14. Cannabinoid 2 Receptor Agonist Improves Systemic Sensitivity to Insulin in High-Fat Diet/Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiuyuan; Gao, Shan; Niu, Jinfeng; Li, Pan; Deng, Juan; Xu, Shixin; Wang, Zhihong; Wang, Weiwei; Kong, Deling; Li, Chen

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid signalling (ECS) system has been known to regulate glucose homeostasis. Previous studies have suggested that the cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor may play a regulatory role on insulin secretion, immune modulation and insulin resistance. Given that diabetes and insulin resistance are attributable to elevated inflammatory tone, we investigated the role of CB2 receptor on glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in high-fat diet (HFD)/streptozotocin (STZ)-induced mice. Diabetes was induced in male ICR mice by HFD/STZ and exposed to a CB2 receptor agonist, SER601, for 2- or 4-weeks via subcutaneous implantation of osmotic minipumps. Glucose and insulin tolerance tests were performed at the end of treatment. Islets were isolated for assessment of β-cell function. Pancreases and skeletal muscles were also obtained for histological analyses. Despite a lack of impact on glucose tolerance, substantial improvement on insulin sensitivity was observed in SER601-treated mice, which could partly be attributed to improved islet β-cell function, shown as increased glucose-induced insulin secretion and insulin content. No changes on islet macrophage infiltration or skeletal muscle fat deposition were detectable from SER601-treated mice. However, a major decrease in body weight was recorded at the end of 4-week SER601 exposure, accompanied by a lack of epididymal adipose mass in SER601-treated mice. Our data suggest a lipolytic role of SER601 in HFD/STZ-induced diabetic mice, which results in significant improvement of systemic insulin sensitivity. Thus, the CB2 receptor may be considered a promising target for therapeutic development against insulin resistance and obesity-related diabetes. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. The arguments for and against cannabinoids application in glaucomatous retinopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panahi, Yunes; Manayi, Azadeh; Nikan, Marjan; Vazirian, Mahdi

    2017-02-01

    Glaucoma represents several optic neuropathies leading to irreversible blindness through progressive retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss. Reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) is known as the only modifiable factor in the treatment of this disorder. Application of exogenous cannabinoids to lower IOP has attracted attention of scientists as potential agents for the treatment of glaucoma. Accordingly, neuroprotective effect of these agents has been recently described through modulation of endocannabinoid system in the eye. In the present work, pertinent information regarding ocular endocannabinoid system, mechanism of exogenous cannabinoids interaction with the ocular endocannabinoid system to reduce IOP, and neuroprotection property of cannabinoids will be discussed according to current scientific literature. In addition to experimental studies, bioavailability of cannabinoids, clinical surveys, and adverse effects of application of cannabinoids in glaucoma will be reviewed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... inflammatory effects that may play a role in pain relief. Animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may prevent nerve problems (pain, numbness, tingling, swelling, and muscle weakness) caused by ...

  17. Laboratory detection of cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, D L; Martel, P A; O'Donnell, C M

    1987-09-01

    Cannabis, or marijuana, has been known and used as a drug for many thousands of years. Recent interest in drug abuse and detection has spurred the development of several methodologies for cannabinoid detection. These methods include immunoassays and chromatography. Laboratories routinely performing cannabinoid testing use two or more methodologies; the accepted method is to screen with one methodology and confirm by a second. These methodologies vary widely in sensitivity, specificity, and time required for analysis. Although therapeutic applications of cannabis constituents often produce undesirable side effects, two cannabinoids, delta 9-THC and nabilone, have been approved for use as antiemetics in chemotherapy. Further investigations of cannabinoid pharmacology and structure-activity relationships may result in the development of promising new therapeutic agents.

  18. Excitability of prefrontal cortical pyramidal neurons is modulated by activation of intracellular type-2 cannabinoid receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Boon, Femke S; Chameau, Pascal; Schaafsma-Zhao, Qiluan; van Aken, Willem; Bari, Monica; Oddi, Sergio; Kruse, Chris G; Maccarrone, Mauro; Wadman, Wytse J; Werkman, Taco R

    2012-02-28

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is widely expressed throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and the functionality of type-1 cannabinoid receptors in neurons is well documented. In contrast, there is little knowledge about type-2 cannabinoid receptors (CB(2)Rs) in the CNS. Here, we show that CB(2)Rs are located intracellularly in layer II/III pyramidal cells of the rodent medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and that their activation results in IP(3)R-dependent opening of Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channels. To investigate the functional role of CB(2)R activation, we induced neuronal firing and observed a CB(2)R-mediated reduction in firing frequency. The description of this unique CB(2)R-mediated signaling pathway, controlling neuronal excitability, broadens our knowledge of the influence of the eCB system on brain function.

  19. Expression and function of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 and their cognate cannabinoid ligands in murine embryonic stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuxian Jiang

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Characterization of intrinsic and extrinsic factors regulating the self-renewal/division and differentiation of stem cells is crucial in determining embryonic stem (ES cell fate. ES cells differentiate into multiple hematopoietic lineages during embryoid body (EB formation in vitro, which provides an experimental platform to define the molecular mechanisms controlling germ layer fate determination and tissue formation.The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2 are members of the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR family, that are activated by endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids. CB1 receptor expression is abundant in brain while CB2 receptors are mostly expressed in hematopoietic cells. However, the expression and the precise roles of CB1 and CB2 and their cognate ligands in ES cells are not known. We observed significant induction of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors during the hematopoietic differentiation of murine ES (mES-derived embryoid bodies. Furthermore, mES cells as well as ES-derived embryoid bodies at days 7 and 14, expressed endocannabinoids, the ligands for both CB1 and CB2. The CB1 and CB2 antagonists (AM251 and AM630, respectively induced mES cell death, strongly suggesting that endocannabinoids are involved in the survival of mES cells. Treatment of mES cells with the exogenous cannabinoid ligand Delta(9-THC resulted in the increased hematopoietic differentiation of mES cells, while addition of AM251 or AM630 blocked embryoid body formation derived from the mES cells. In addition, cannabinoid agonists induced the chemotaxis of ES-derived embryoid bodies, which was specifically inhibited by the CB1 and CB2 antagonists.This work has not been addressed previously and yields new information on the function of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, as components of a novel pathway regulating murine ES cell differentiation. This study provides insights into cannabinoid system involvement in ES cell

  20. Expression and function of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 and their cognate cannabinoid ligands in murine embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Shuxian; Fu, Yigong; Williams, John; Wood, Jodianne; Pandarinathan, Lakshmipathi; Avraham, Shiri; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Avraham, Shalom; Avraham, Hava Karsenty

    2007-07-25

    Characterization of intrinsic and extrinsic factors regulating the self-renewal/division and differentiation of stem cells is crucial in determining embryonic stem (ES) cell fate. ES cells differentiate into multiple hematopoietic lineages during embryoid body (EB) formation in vitro, which provides an experimental platform to define the molecular mechanisms controlling germ layer fate determination and tissue formation. The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) are members of the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) family, that are activated by endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids. CB1 receptor expression is abundant in brain while CB2 receptors are mostly expressed in hematopoietic cells. However, the expression and the precise roles of CB1 and CB2 and their cognate ligands in ES cells are not known. We observed significant induction of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors during the hematopoietic differentiation of murine ES (mES)-derived embryoid bodies. Furthermore, mES cells as well as ES-derived embryoid bodies at days 7 and 14, expressed endocannabinoids, the ligands for both CB1 and CB2. The CB1 and CB2 antagonists (AM251 and AM630, respectively) induced mES cell death, strongly suggesting that endocannabinoids are involved in the survival of mES cells. Treatment of mES cells with the exogenous cannabinoid ligand Delta(9)-THC resulted in the increased hematopoietic differentiation of mES cells, while addition of AM251 or AM630 blocked embryoid body formation derived from the mES cells. In addition, cannabinoid agonists induced the chemotaxis of ES-derived embryoid bodies, which was specifically inhibited by the CB1 and CB2 antagonists. This work has not been addressed previously and yields new information on the function of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, as components of a novel pathway regulating murine ES cell differentiation. This study provides insights into cannabinoid system involvement in ES cell survival and

  1. Prevention of Alzheimer's disease pathology by cannabinoids: Neuroprotection mediated by blockade of microglial activation

    OpenAIRE

    Ramírez, Belén G.; Blázquez, Cristina; Gómez del Pulgar, Teresa; Guzmán, Manuel; Ceballos, María L. de

    2005-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by enhanced β-amyloid peptide (βA) deposition along with glial activation in senile plaques, selective neuronal loss, and cognitive deficits. Cannabinoids are neuroprotective agents against excitotoxicity in vitro and acute brain damage in vivo. This background prompted us to study the localization, expression, and function of cannabinoid receptors in AD and the possible protective role of cannabinoids after βA treatment, both in vivo and in vitro. He...

  2. Cannabinoids, inflammation, and fibrosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurier, Robert B; Burstein, Sumner H

    2016-11-01

    Cannabinoids apparently act on inflammation through mechanisms different from those of agents such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). As a class, the cannabinoids are generally free from the adverse effects associated with NSAIDs. Their clinical development thus provides a new approach to treatment of diseases characterized by acute and chronic inflammation and fibrosis. A concise survey of the anti-inflammatory actions of the phytocannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol, cannabichromene, and cannabinol is presented. Mention is also made of the noncannabinoid plant components and pyrolysis products, followed by a discussion of 3 synthetic preparations-Cesamet (nabilone; Meda Pharmaceuticals, Somerset, NJ, USA), Marinol (dronabinol; THC; AbbVie, Inc., North Chicago, IL, USA), and Sativex (Cannabis extract; GW Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge United Kingdom)-that have anti-inflammatory effects. A fourth synthetic cannabinoid, ajulemic acid (AJA; CT-3; Resunab; Corbus Pharmaceuticals, Norwood, MA, USA), is discussed in greater detail because it represents the most recent advance in this area and is currently undergoing 3 phase 2 clinical trials by Corbus Pharmaceuticals. The endogenous cannabinoids, including the closely related lipoamino acids, are then discussed. The review concludes with a presentation of a possible mechanism for the anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic actions of these substances. Thus, several cannabinoids may be considered candidates for development as anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic agents. Of special interest is their possible use for treatment of chronic inflammation, a major unmet medical need.-Zurier, R. B., Burstein, S. H. Cannabinoids, inflammation, and fibrosis. © FASEB.

  3. Cannabinoids and Dementia: A Review of Clinical and Preclinical Data

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    Michael Halpern

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system has been shown to be associated with neurodegenerative diseases and dementia. We review the preclinical and clinical data on cannabinoids and four neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer’s disease (AD, Huntington’s disease (HD, Parkinson’s disease (PD and vascular dementia (VD. Numerous studies have demonstrated an involvement of the cannabinoid system in neurotransmission, neuropathology and neurobiology of dementias. In addition, several candidate compounds have demonstrated efficacy in vitro. However, some of the substances produced inconclusive results in vivo. Therefore, only few trials have aimed to replicate the effects seen in animal studies in patients. Indeed, the literature on cannabinoid administration in patients is scarce. While preclinical findings suggest causal treatment strategies involving cannabinoids, clinical trials have only assessed the suitability of cannabinoid receptor agonists, antagonists and cannabidiol for the symptomatic treatment of dementia. Further research is needed, including in vivo models of dementia and human studies.

  4. Functional role of cannabinoid receptors in urinary bladder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pradeep Tyagi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa (marijuana, and their derivatives produce a wide spectrum of central and peripheral effects, some of which may have clinical applications. The discovery of specific cannabinoid receptors and a family of endogenous ligands of those receptors has attracted much attention to the general cannabinoid pharmacology. In recent years, studies on the functional role of cannabinoid receptors in bladder have been motivated by the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids on voiding dysfunction in multiple sclerosis patients. In this review, we shall summarize the literature on the expression of cannabinoid receptors in urinary bladder and the peripheral influence of locally and systemically administered cannabinoids in the bladder. The ongoing search for cannabinoid-based therapeutic strategies devoid of psychotropic effects can be complemented with local delivery into bladder by the intravesical route. A greater understanding of the role of the peripheral CB 1 and CB 2 receptor system in lower urinary tract is necessary to allow the development of new treatment for pelvic disorders.

  5. Cannabinoids:their role in pain and palliation.

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    McCarberg, Bill H

    2007-01-01

    Controversy is associated with the issue of cannabis and cannabinoids in clinical care in the United States. Recent research has demonstrated the underlying mechanisms of cannabinoid analgesia via endocannabinoids, an endogenous system of retrograde neuromodulatory messengers that work in tandem with endogenous opioids. Additional receptor and non-receptor mechanisms of cannabinoid drugs have pertinent activity, including anti-carcinogenesis and neuroprotection, that may be of key importance in aging and terminal patient populations. The results of clinical trials with synthetic and plant-based cannabinoids suggest that the role of formulation and delivery system is critical in optimizing the risk-benefit profile of cannabinoid products. Synergy between opioids and cannabinoids may produce opioid-sparing effects, as well as extend the duration of analgesia and reduce opioid tolerance and dependence. This article reviews the mechanism of action of cannabinoids, examines marketed agents and those in clinical trials, and addresses their role in treatment of chronic pain, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and HIV/ AIDS. The ability of cannabinoid medicines to treat pain, associated sleep disorders, appetite loss, muscle spasm and a wide variety of other symptoms suggests that such agents may in the future play an important role in palliative care.

  6. Functional role of cannabinoid receptors in urinary bladder.

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    Tyagi, Pradeep; Tyagi, Vikas; Yoshimura, Naoki; Chancellor, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa (maijuana), and their derivatives produce a wide spectrum of central and peripheral effects, some of which may have clinical applications. The discovery of specific cannabinoid receptors and a family of endogenous ligands of those receptors has attracted much attention to the general cannabinoid pharmacology. In recent years, studies on the functional role of cannabinoid receptors in bladder have been motivated by the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids on voiding dysfunction in multiple sclerosis patients. In this review, we shall summarize the literature on the expression of cannabinoid receptors in urinary bladder and the peripheral influence of locally and systemically administered cannabinoids in the bladder. The ongoing search for cannabinoid-based therapeutic strategies devoid of psychotropic effects can be complemented with local delivery into bladder by the intravesical route. A greater understanding of the role of the peripheral CB(1) and CB(2) receptor system in lower urinary tract is necessary to allow the development of new treatment for pelvic disorders.

  7. Cannabinoids and autoimmune diseases: A systematic review.

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    Katchan, Valeria; David, Paula; Shoenfeld, Yehuda

    2016-06-01

    Cannabinoids have shown to have a variety effects on body systems. Through CB1 and CB2 receptors, amongst other, they exert an effect by modulating neurotransmitter and cytokine release. Current research in the role of cannabinoids in the immune system shows that they possess immunosuppressive properties. They can inhibit proliferation of leucocytes, induce apoptosis of T cells and macrophages and reduce secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In mice models, they are effective in reducing inflammation in arthritis, multiple sclerosis, have a positive effect on neuropathic pain and in type 1 diabetes mellitus. They are effective as treatment for fibromyalgia and have shown to have anti-fibrotic effect in scleroderma. Studies in human models are scarce and not conclusive and more research is required in this field. Cannabinoids can be therefore promising immunosuppressive and anti-fibrotic agents in the therapy of autoimmune disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The therapeutic potential of cannabis and cannabinoids.

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    Grotenhermen, Franjo; Müller-Vahl, Kirsten

    2012-07-01

    Cannabis-based medications have been a topic of intense study since the endogenous cannabinoid system was discovered two decades ago. In 2011, for the first time, a cannabis extract was approved for clinical use in Germany. Selective literature review. Cannabis-based medications exert their effects mainly through the activation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). More than 100 controlled clinical trials of cannabinoids or whole-plant preparations for various indications have been conducted since 1975. The findings of these trials have led to the approval of cannabis-based medicines (dronabinol, nabilone, and a cannabis extract [THC:CBD=1:1]) in several countries. In Germany, a cannabis extract was approved in 2011 for the treatment of moderate to severe refractory spasticity in multiple sclerosis. It is commonly used off label for the treatment of anorexia, nausea, and neuropathic pain. Patients can also apply for government permission to buy medicinal cannabis flowers for self-treatment under medical supervision. The most common side effects of cannabinoids are tiredness and dizziness (in more than 10% of patients), psychological effects, and dry mouth. Tolerance to these side effects nearly always develops within a short time. Withdrawal symptoms are hardly ever a problem in the therapeutic setting. There is now clear evidence that cannabinoids are useful for the treatment of various medical conditions.

  9. Cannabinoids in late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

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    Ahmed, Aia; van der Marck, M A; van den Elsen, Gah; Olde Rikkert, Mgm

    2015-06-01

    Given the lack of effective treatments for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) and the substantial burden on patients, families, health care systems, and economies, finding an effective therapy is one of the highest medical priorities. The past few years have seen a growing interest in the medicinal uses of cannabinoids, the bioactive components of the cannabis plant, including the treatment of LOAD and other physical conditions that are common in older people. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids can reduce oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, the key hallmarks of LOAD. In addition, in population-based studies, cannabinoids reduced dementia-related symptoms (e.g., behavioral disturbances). The current article provides an overview of the potential of cannabinoids in the treatment of LOAD and related neuropsychiatric symptoms in older people. We also discuss the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of cannabinoid-based drugs in older people with dementia. © 2015 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

  10. Cannabinoid receptors in invertebrates.

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    McPartland, J M; Agraval, J; Gleeson, D; Heasman, K; Glass, M

    2006-03-01

    Two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, are expressed in mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. The presence of cannabinoid receptors in invertebrates has been controversial, due to conflicting evidence. We conducted a systematic review of the literature, using expanded search parameters. Evidence presented in the literature varied in validity, ranging from crude in vivo behavioural assays to robust in silico ortholog discovery. No research existed for several clades of invertebrates; we therefore tested for cannabinoid receptors in seven representative species, using tritiated ligand binding assays with [3H]CP55,940 displaced by the CB1-selective antagonist SR141716A. Specific binding of [3H]CP55,940 was found in neural membranes of Ciona intestinalis (Deuterstoma, a positive control), Lumbricusterrestris (Lophotrochozoa), and three ecdysozoans: Peripatoides novae-zealandiae (Onychophora), Jasus edwardi (Crustacea) and Panagrellus redivivus (Nematoda); the potency of displacement by SR141716A was comparable to measurements on rat cerebellum. No specific binding was observed in Actinothoe albocincta (Cnidaria) or Tethya aurantium (Porifera). The phylogenetic distribution of cannabinoid receptors may address taxonomic questions; previous studies suggested that the loss of CB1 was a synapomorphy shared by ecdysozoans. Our discovery of cannabinoid receptors in some nematodes, onychophorans, and crustaceans does not contradict the Ecdysozoa hypothesis, but gives it no support. We hypothesize that cannabinoid receptors evolved in the last common ancestor of bilaterians, with secondary loss occurring in insects and other clades. Conflicting data regarding Cnidarians precludes hypotheses regarding the last common ancestor of eumetazoans. No cannabinoid receptors are expressed in sponges, which probably diverged before the origin of the eumetazoan ancestor.

  11. Cannabinoids in the management of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis

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    Anna Maria Malfitano

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Anna Maria Malfitano, Maria Chiara Proto, Maurizio BifulcoDipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Università degli Studi di SalernoAbstract: The endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid-based treatments have been involved in a wide number of diseases. In particular, several studies suggest that cannabinoids and endocannabinoids may have a key role in the pathogenesis and therapy of multiple sclerosis (MS. In this study we highlight the main findings reported in literature about the relevance of cannabinoid drugs in the management and treatment of MS. An increasing body of evidence suggests that cannabinoids have beneficial effects on the symptoms of MS, including spasticity and pain. In this report we focus on the effects of cannabinoids in the relief of spasticity describing the main findings in vivo, in the mouse experimental allergic encephalomyelitis model of MS. We report on the current treatments used to control MS symptoms and the most recent clinical studies based on cannabinoid treatments, although long-term studies are required to establish whether cannabinoids may have a role beyond symptom amelioration in MS.Keywords: cannabinoids, multiple sclerosis, spasticity

  12. Cannabinoids and Pain: Sites and Mechanisms of Action.

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    Starowicz, Katarzyna; Finn, David P

    2017-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system, consisting of the cannabinoid1 receptor (CB1R) and cannabinoid2 receptor (CB2R), endogenous cannabinoid ligands (endocannabinoids), and metabolizing enzymes, is present throughout the pain pathways. Endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists have antinociceptive effects in animal models of acute, inflammatory, and neuropathic pain. CB1R and CB2R located at peripheral, spinal, or supraspinal sites are important targets mediating these antinociceptive effects. The mechanisms underlying the analgesic effects of cannabinoids likely include inhibition of presynaptic neurotransmitter and neuropeptide release, modulation of postsynaptic neuronal excitability, activation of the descending inhibitory pain pathway, and reductions in neuroinflammatory signaling. Strategies to dissociate the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids from their analgesic effects have focused on peripherally restricted CB1R agonists, CB2R agonists, inhibitors of endocannabinoid catabolism or uptake, and modulation of other non-CB1R/non-CB2R targets of cannabinoids including TRPV1, GPR55, and PPARs. The large body of preclinical evidence in support of cannabinoids as potential analgesic agents is supported by clinical studies demonstrating their efficacy across a variety of pain disorders. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Do cannabinoids have a role in cancer pain management?

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    Farquhar-Smith, W Paul

    2009-03-01

    Historically cannabinoids have been used for both therapy and recreation, yet the elucidation of the endocannabinoid system and their chemistry has been relatively recent. Prohibition of cannabis has meant few clinical trials, especially in cancer pain. This review will consider previous animal and clinical data and assess more recent investigations of clinical effectiveness of cannabinoids in pain and specifically cancer pain. Meta-analyses based on historical studies question the utility of cannabinoids in pain due to modest analgesia and problematic central side effects. However, there has been a resurgence in clinical trials of cannabis extracts and analogues. New data have contributed to the understanding of how cannabinoids work and proposed how to obtain analgesia unfettered by adverse effects. Moreover, recent clinical trials have demonstrated the current role of cannabinoids may be to attain small but significant benefit in refractory chronic and cancer pain. Cannabinoids may be a useful addition to current analgesic treatments. The evidence supports a possible role for cannabinoids in refractory cancer pain. However, to realize the full potential of cannabinoids suggested by preclinical data, it is likely that peripheral CB1 or CB2 receptors or modulation of endocannabinoids will have to be targeted to achieve analgesia without dose limiting side effects.

  14. Cannabinoid receptor type-1: breaking the dogmas [version 1; referees: 3 approved

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    Arnau Busquets Garcia

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system (ECS is abundantly expressed in the brain. This system regulates a plethora of physiological functions and is composed of cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids, and the enzymes involved in the metabolism of endocannabinoids. In this review, we highlight the new advances in cannabinoid signaling, focusing on a key component of the ECS, the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1. In recent years, the development of new imaging and molecular tools has demonstrated that this receptor can be distributed in many cell types (e.g., neuronal or glial cells and intracellular compartments (e.g., mitochondria. Interestingly, cellular and molecular effects are differentially mediated by CB1 receptors according to their specific localization (e.g., glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons. Moreover, this receptor is expressed in the periphery, where it can modulate periphery-brain connections. Finally, the better understanding of the CB1 receptor structure led researchers to propose interesting and new allosteric modulators. Thus, the advances and the new directions of the CB1 receptor field will provide new insights and better approaches to profit from its interesting therapeutic profile.

  15. Non-Selective Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists, Hinokiresinols Reduce Infiltration of Microglia/Macrophages into Ischemic Brain Lesions in Rat via Modulating 2-Arachidonolyglycerol-Induced Migration and Mitochondrial Activity.

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    Angela M A Anthony Jalin

    Full Text Available Growing evidence suggests that therapeutic strategies to modulate the post-ischemic inflammatory responses are promising approaches to improve stroke outcome. Although the endocannabinoid system has been emerged as an endogenous therapeutic target to regulate inflammation after stroke insult, the downstream mechanisms and their potentials for therapeutic intervention remain controversial. Here we identified trans- and cis-hinokiresinols as novel non-selective antagonists for two G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoid receptor type 1 and type 2. The Electric Cell-substrate Impedance Sensing and Boyden chamber migration assays using primary microglial cultures revealed that both hinokiresinols significantly inhibited an endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol-induced migration. Hinokiresinols modulated 2-arachidonoylglycerol-induced mitochondrial bioenergetics in microglia as evidenced by inhibition of ATP turnover and reduction in respiratory capacity, thereby resulting in impaired migration activity. In rats subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (1.5-h followed by 24-h reperfusion, post-ischemic treatment with hinokiresinols (2 and 7-h after the onset of ischemia, 10 mg/kg significantly reduced cerebral infarct and infiltration of ED1-positive microglial/macrophage cells into cerebral ischemic lesions in vivo. Co-administration of exogenous 2-AG (1 mg/kg, i.v., single dose at 2 h after starting MCAO abolished the protective effect of trans-hinokiresionol. These results suggest that hinokiresinols may serve as stroke treatment by targeting the endocannabinoid system. Alteration of mitochondrial bioenergetics and consequent inhibition of inflammatory cells migration may be a novel mechanism underlying anti-ischemic effects conferred by cannabinoid receptor antagonists.

  16. Cannabinoids and gliomas.

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    Velasco, Guillermo; Carracedo, Arkaitz; Blázquez, Cristina; Lorente, Mar; Aguado, Tania; Haro, Amador; Sánchez, Cristina; Galve-Roperh, Ismael; Guzmán, Manuel

    2007-08-01

    Cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa L., act in the body by mimicking endogenous substances--the endocannabinoids--that activate specific cell surface receptors. Cannabinoids exert various palliative effects in cancer patients. In addition, cannabinoids inhibit the growth of different types of tumor cells, including glioma cells, in laboratory animals. They do so by modulating key cell signaling pathways, mostly the endoplasmic reticulum stress response, thereby inducing antitumoral actions such as the apoptotic death of tumor cells and the inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. Of interest, cannabinoids seem to be selective antitumoral compounds, as they kill glioma cells, but not their non-transformed astroglial counterparts. On the basis of these preclinical findings, a pilot clinical study of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme has been recently run. The good safety profile of THC, together with its possible growth-inhibiting action on tumor cells, justifies the setting up of future trials aimed at evaluating the potential antitumoral activity of cannabinoids.

  17. Cannabinoids and omega-3/6 endocannabinoids as cell death and anticancer modulators.

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    Brown, Iain; Cascio, Maria G; Rotondo, Dino; Pertwee, Roger G; Heys, Steven D; Wahle, Klaus W J

    2013-01-01

    Cannabinoids-endocannaboids are possible preventatives of common diseases including cancers. Cannabinoid receptors (CB(½), TRPV1) are central components of the system. Many disease-ameliorating effects of cannabinoids-endocannabinoids are receptor mediated, but many are not, indicating non-CBR signaling pathways. Cannabinoids-endocannabinoids are anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, anti-invasive, anti-metastatic and pro-apoptotic in most cancers, in vitro and in vivo in animals. They signal through p38, MAPK, JUN, PI3, AKT, ceramide, caspases, MMPs, PPARs, VEGF, NF-κB, p8, CHOP, TRB3 and pro-apoptotic oncogenes (p53,p21 waf1/cip1) to induce cell cycle arrest, autophagy, apoptosis and tumour inhibition. Paradoxically they are pro-proliferative and anti-apoptotic in some cancers. Differences in receptor expression and concentrations of cannabinoids in cancer and immune cells can elicit anti- or pro-cancer effects through different signal cascades (p38MAPK or PI3/AKT). Similarities between effects of cannabinoids-endocannabinoids, omega-3 LCPUFA and CLAs/CLnAs as anti-inflammatory, antiangiogenic, anti-invasive anti-cancer agents indicate common signaling pathways. Evidence in vivo and in vitro shows EPA and DHA can form endocannabinoids that: (i) are ligands for CB(½) receptors and possibly TRPV-1, (ii) have non-receptor mediated bioactivity, (iii) induce cell cycle arrest, (iii) increase autophagy and apoptosis, and (iv) augment chemotherapeutic actions in vitro. They can also form bioactive, eicosanoid-like products that appear to be non-CBR ligands but have effects on PPARs and NF-kB transcription factors. The use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment is currently limited to chemo- and radio-therapy-associated nausea and cancer-associated pain apart from one trial on brain tumours in patients. Further clinical studies are urgently required to determine the true potential of these intriguing, low toxicity compounds in cancer therapy. Particularly in view of

  18. Cannabis sativa and the endogenous cannabinoid system: therapeutic potential for appetite regulation.

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    Farrimond, Jonathan A; Mercier, Marion S; Whalley, Benjamin J; Williams, Claire M

    2011-02-01

    The herb Cannabis sativa (C. sativa) has been used in China and on the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years as a medicine. However, since it was brought to the UK and then the rest of the western world in the late 19th century, its use has been a source of controversy. Indeed, its psychotropic side effects are well reported but only relatively recently has scientific endeavour begun to find valuable uses for either the whole plant or its individual components. Here, we discuss evidence describing the endocannabinoid system, its endogenous and exogenous ligands and their varied effects on feeding cycles and meal patterns. Furthermore we also critically consider the mounting evidence which suggests non-Δ(9) tetrahydrocannabinol phytocannabinoids play a vital role in C. sativa-induced feeding pattern changes. Indeed, given the wide range of phytocannabinoids present in C. sativa and their equally wide range of intra-, inter- and extra-cellular mechanisms of action, we demonstrate that non-Δ(9) tetrahydrocannabinol phytocannabinoids retain an important and, as yet, untapped clinical potential. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Spicing things up: synthetic cannabinoids.

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    Spaderna, Max; Addy, Peter H; D'Souza, Deepak Cyril

    2013-08-01

    Recently, products containing synthetic cannabinoids, collectively referred to as Spice, are increasingly being used recreationally. The availability, acute subjective effects-including self-reports posted on Erowid-laboratory detection, addictive potential, and regulatory challenges of the Spice phenomenon are reviewed. Spice is sold under the guise of potpourri or incense. Unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the synthetic cannabinoids present in Spice are high-potency, high-efficacy, cannabinoid receptor full agonists. Since standard urine toxicology does not test for the synthetic cannabinoids in Spice, it is often used by those who want to avoid detection of drug use. These compounds have not yet been subjected to rigorous testing in humans. Acute psychoactive effects include changes in mood, anxiety, perception, thinking, memory, and attention. Adverse effects include anxiety, agitation, panic, dysphoria, psychosis, and bizarre behavior. Psychosis outcomes associated with Spice provide additional data linking cannabinoids and psychosis. Adverse events necessitating intervention by Poison Control Centers, law enforcement, emergency responders, and hospitals are increasing. Despite statutes prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, and sale of Spice products, manufacturers are replacing banned compounds with newer synthetic cannabinoids that are not banned. There is an urgent need for better research on the effects of synthetic cannabinoids to help clinicians manage adverse events and to better understand cannabinoid pharmacology in humans. The reported psychosis outcomes associated with synthetic cannabinoids contribute to the ongoing debate on the association between cannabinoids and psychosis. Finally, drug detection tests for synthetic cannabinoids need to become clinically available.

  20. Spicing thing up: Synthetic cannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaderna, Max; Addy, Peter H; D’Souza, Deepak Cyril

    2013-01-01

    Rationale Recently, products containing synthetic cannabinoids, collectively referred to as Spice, are increasingly being used recreationally. Objectives The availability, acute subjective effects—including self-reports posted on Erowid—laboratory detection, addictive potential, and regulatory challenges of the Spice phenomenon are reviewed. Results Spice is sold under the guise of potpourri or incense. Unlike THC, the synthetic cannabinoids present in Spice are high-potency, high-efficacy, cannabinoid-receptor full agonists. Since standard urine toxicology does not test for the synthetic cannabinoids in Spice, it is often used by those who want to avoid detection of drug use. These compounds have not yet been subjected to rigorous testing in humans. Acute psychoactive effects include changes in mood, anxiety, perception, thinking, memory, and attention. Adverse effects include anxiety, agitation, panic, dysphoria, psychosis, and bizarre behavior. Psychosis outcomes associated with Spice provide additional data linking cannabinoids and psychosis. Adverse events necessitating intervention by Poison Control Centers, law enforcement, emergency responders, and hospitals are increasing. Despite statutes prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, and sale of Spice products, manufacturers are replacing banned compounds with newer synthetic cannabinoids that are not banned. Conclusions There is an urgent need for better research on the effects of synthetic cannabinoids to help clinicians manage adverse events and to better understand cannabinoid pharmacology in humans. The reported psychosis outcomes associated with synthetic cannabinoids contribute to the ongoing debate on the association between cannabinoids and psychosis. Finally, drug-detection tests for synthetic cannabinoids need to become clinically available. PMID:23836028

  1. Synthetic cannabinoids revealing adrenoleukodystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellner, Avi; Benninger, Felix; Djaldetti, Ruth

    2016-02-01

    We report a 41-year-old man who presented with a first generalized tonic-clonic seizure after recent consumption of a synthetic cannabinoid. MRI showed extensive bilateral, mainly frontal, white matter lesions. Blood analysis for very long chain fatty acids was compatible with adrenoleukodystrophy, and a missense mutation in the ABCD1 gene confirmed the diagnosis. We hypothesize that cannabinoid use might have contributed to metabolic decompensation with subacute worsening of the underlying condition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Cannabinoids – a new weapon against cancer?

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    Małgorzata Pokrywka

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Cannabis has been cultivated by man since Neolithic times. It was used, among others for fiber and rope production, recreational purposes and as an excellent therapeutic agent. The isolation and characterization of the structure of one of the main active ingredients of cannabis – Δ9 – tetrahydrocannabinol as well the discovery of its cannabinoid binding receptors CB1 and CB2, has been a milestone in the study of the possibilities of the uses of Cannabis sativa and related products in modern medicine. Many scientific studies indicate the potential use of cannabinoids in the fight against cancer. Experiments carried out on cell lines in vitro and on animal models in vivo have shown that phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids and their analogues can lead to inhibition of the growth of many tumor types, exerting cytostatic and cytotoxic neoplastic effect on cells thereby negatively influencing neo-angiogenesis and the ability of cells to metastasize.The main molecular mechanism leading to inhibition of proliferation of cancer cells by cannabinoids is apoptosis. Studies have shown, however, that the process of apoptosis in cells, treated with recannabinoids, is a consequence of induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy. On the other hand, in the cellular context and dosage dependence, cannabinoids may enhance the proliferation of tumor cells by suppressing the immune system or by activating mitogenic factors. Leading from this there is a an obvious need to further explore cannabinoid associated molecular pathways making it possible to develop safe therapeutic drug agents for patients in the future.

  3. Deletion of CB2 cannabinoid receptors reduces synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the mouse hippocampus.

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    Li, Yong; Kim, Jimok

    2016-03-01

    The effects of cannabinoids are mostly mediated by two types of cannabinoid receptors--CB1 receptors in the nervous system and CB2 receptors in the immune system. However, CB2 cannabinoid receptors have recently been discovered in the brain and also implicated in neurophysiological functions. The deletion of CB2 receptors in mice induces long-term memory deficits and schizophrenia-like behaviors, implying that endogenous activity of CB2 receptors might be involved in neuropsychiatric effects. Little is known about the cellular mechanisms by which physiological activation of CB2 receptors modulates neuronal functions. We aimed to determine how deletion of CB2 receptors in mice affects synaptic transmission and plasticity. Electrophysiological and morphological studies indicated that CB2 receptor knockout resulted in decreases in excitatory synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation, and dendritic spine density in the hippocampus. Our data imply that endogenous activity of CB2 receptors might contribute to the maintenance of synaptic functions and the expression of normal long-term potentiation. This study provides insights into the role of CB2 cannabinoid receptors in regulating cognitive functions such as long-term memory. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Cannabinoid-based medicines for neurological disorders--clinical evidence.

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    Wright, Stephen

    2007-08-01

    Whereas the cannabis plant has a long history of medicinal use, it is only in recent years that a sufficient understanding of the pharmacology of the main plant constituents has allowed for a better understanding of the most rational therapeutic targets. The distribution of cannabinoid receptors, both within the nervous system and without, and the development of pharmacological tools to investigate their function has lead to a substantial increase in efforts to develop cannabinoids as therapeutic agents. Concomitant with these efforts, the understanding of the pharmacology of plant cannabinoids at receptor and other systems distinct from the cannabinoid receptors suggests that the therapeutic applications of plant-derived cannabinoids (and presumably their synthetic derivatives also) may be diverse. This review aims to discuss the clinical evidence investigating the use of medicines derived, directly or indirectly, from plant cannabinoids with special reference to neurological disorders. Published studies suggest that the oral administration of cannabinoids may not be the preferred route of administration and that plant extracts show greater evidence of efficacy than synthetic compounds. One of these, Sativex (GW Pharmaceuticals), was approved as a prescription medicine in Canada in 2005 and is currently under regulatory review in the EU.

  5. Cannabinoids and cancer.

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    Kogan, Natalya M

    2005-10-01

    Marijuana has been used in medicine for millennia, but it was not until 1964 that delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC), its major psychoactive component, was isolated in pure form and its structure was elucidated. Shortly thereafter it was synthesized and became readily available. However, it took another decade until the first report on its antineoplastic activity appeared. In 1975, Munson discovered that cannabinoids suppress Lewis lung carcinoma cell growth. The mechanism of this action was shown to be inhibition of DNA synthesis. Antiproliferative action on some other cancer cells was also found. In spite of the promising results from these early studies, further investigations in this area were not reported until a few years ago, when almost simultaneously two groups initiated research on the antiproliferative effects of cannabinoids on cancer cells: Di Marzo's group found that cannabinoids inhibit breast cancer cell proliferation, and Guzman's group found that cannabinoids inhibit the growth of C6 glioma cell. Other groups also started work in this field, and today, a wide array of cancer cell lines that are affected is known, and some mechanisms involved have been elucidated.

  6. Effects of endocannabinoid system modulation on cognitive and emotional behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio eZanettini

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Cannabis has long been known to produce cognitive and emotional effects. Research has shown that cannabinoid drugs produce these effects by driving the brain's endogenous cannabinoid system and that this system plays a modulatory role in many cognitive and emotional processes. This review focuses on the effects of endocannabinoid-system modulation in animal models of cognition (learning and memory and emotion (anxiety and depression. We review studies in which natural or synthetic cannabinoid agonists were administered to directly stimulate cannabinoid receptors or, conversely, where cannabinoid antagonists were administered to inhibit the activity of cannabinoid receptors. In addition, studies are reviewed that involved genetic disruption of cannabinoid receptors or genetic or pharmacological manipulation of the endocannabinoid-degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH. Endocannabinoids affect the function of many neurotransmitter systems, some of which play opposing roles. The diversity of cannabinoid roles and the complexity of task-dependent activation of neuronal circuits may lead to the effects of endocannabinoid system modulation being strongly dependent on environmental conditions. Recent findings are reviewed that raise the possibility that endocannabinoid signaling may change the impact of environmental influences on emotional and cognitive behavior rather than affecting one or another specific behavior.

  7. CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor As Potential Target against Alzheimer's Disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Aso, Ester; Ferrer, Isidro

    2016-01-01

    The CB2 receptor is one of the components of the endogenous cannabinoid system, a complex network of signaling molecules and receptors involved in the homeostatic control of several physiological functions...

  8. Established and potential therapeutic applications of cannabinoids in oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Declan; Nelson, Kristine A; Mahmoud, Fade Aziz

    2003-03-01

    Cannabis occurs naturally in the dried flowering or fruiting tops of the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis is most often consumed by smoking marihuana. Cannabinoids are the active compounds extracted from cannabis. Recently, there has been renewed interest in cannabinoids for medicinal purposes. The two proven indications for the use of the synthetic cannabinoid (dronabinol) are chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS-related anorexia. Other possible effects that may prove beneficial in the oncology population include analgesia, antitumor effect, mood elevation, muscle relaxation, and relief of insomnia. Two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, have been detected. CB1 receptors are expressed mainly in the central and peripheral nervous system. CB2 receptors are found in certain nonneuronal tissues, particularly in the immune cells. Recent discovery of both the cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids has opened a new era in research on the pharmaceutical applications of cannabinoids. The use of cannabinoids should be continued in the areas indicated, and further studies are needed to evaluate other potential uses in clinical oncology.

  9. FABP-1 gene ablation impacts brain endocannabinoid system in male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Gregory G; Chung, Sarah; Landrock, Danilo; Landrock, Kerstin K; Huang, Huan; Dangott, Lawrence J; Peng, Xiaoxue; Kaczocha, Martin; Seeger, Drew R; Murphy, Eric J; Golovko, Mikhail Y; Kier, Ann B; Schroeder, Friedhelm

    2016-08-01

    Liver fatty acid-binding protein (FABP1, L-FABP) has high affinity for and enhances uptake of arachidonic acid (ARA, C20:4, n-6) which, when esterified to phospholipids, is the requisite precursor for synthesis of endocannabinoids (EC) such as arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). The brain derives most of its ARA from plasma, taking up ARA and transporting it intracellularly via cytosolic fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs 3,5, and 7) localized within the brain. In contrast, the much more prevalent cytosolic FABP1 is not detectable in the brain but is instead highly expressed in the liver. Therefore, the possibility that FABP1 outside the central nervous system may regulate brain AEA and 2-AG was examined in wild-type (WT) and FABP1 null (LKO) male mice. LKO increased brain levels of AA-containing EC (AEA, 2-AG), correlating with increased free and total ARA in brain and serum. LKO also increased brain levels of non-ARA that contain potentiating endocannabinoids (EC*) such as oleoyl ethanolamide (OEA), PEA, 2-OG, and 2-PG. Concomitantly, LKO decreased serum total ARA-containing EC, but not non-ARA endocannabinoids. LKO did not elicit these changes in the brain EC and EC* as a result of compensatory up-regulation of brain protein levels of enzymes in EC synthesis (NAPEPLD, DAGLα) or cytosolic EC chaperone proteins (FABPs 3, 5, 7, SCP-2, HSP70), or cannabinoid receptors (CB1, TRVP1). These data show for the first time that the non-CNS fatty acid-binding protein FABP1 markedly affected brain levels of both ARA-containing endocannabinoids (AEA, 2-AG) as well as their non-ARA potentiating endocannabinoids. Fatty acid-binding protein-1 (FABP-1) is not detectable in brain but instead is highly expressed in liver. The possibility that FABP1 outside the central nervous system may regulate brain endocannabinoids arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) was examined in wild-type (WT) and FABP-1 null (LKO) male mice. LKO

  10. Interactions of Cannabinoids With Biochemical Substrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian F Thomas

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent decades have seen much progress in the identification and characterization of cannabinoid receptors and the elucidation of the mechanisms by which derivatives of the Cannabis sativa plant bind to receptors and produce their physiological and psychological effects. The information generated in this process has enabled better understanding of the fundamental physiological and psychological processes controlled by the central and peripheral nervous systems and has fostered the development of natural and synthetic cannabinoids as therapeutic agents. A negative aspect of this decades-long effort is the proliferation of clandestinely synthesized analogs as recreational street drugs with dangerous effects. Currently, the interactions of cannabinoids with their biochemical substrates are extensively but inadequately understood, and the clinical application of derived and synthetic receptor ligands remains quite limited. The wide anatomical distribution and functional complexity of the cannabinoid system continue to indicate potential for both therapeutic and side effects, which offers challenges and opportunities for medicinal chemists involved in drug discovery and development.

  11. Piperine-pro-nanolipospheres as a novel oral delivery system of cannabinoids: Pharmacokinetic evaluation in healthy volunteers in comparison to buccal spray administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherniakov, Irina; Izgelov, Dvora; Barasch, Dinorah; Davidson, Elyad; Domb, Abraham J; Hoffman, Amnon

    2017-11-28

    Nowadays, therapeutic indications for cannabinoids, specifically Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are widening. However, the oral consumption of the molecules is very limited due to their highly lipophilic nature that leads to poor solubility at the aqueous environment. Additionally, THC and CBD are prone to extensive first pass mechanisms. These absorption obstacles render the molecules with low and variable oral bioavailability. To overcome these limitations we designed and developed the advanced pro-nanolipospheres (PNL) formulation. The PNL delivery system is comprised of a medium chain triglyceride, surfactants, a co-solvent and the unique addition of a natural absorption enhancer: piperine. Piperine was selected due to its distinctive inhibitory properties affecting both Phase I and Phase II metabolism. This constellation self emulsifies into nano particles that entrap the cannabinoids and the piperine in their core and thus improve their solubility while piperine and the other PNL excipients inhibit their intestinal metabolism. Another clear advantage of the formulation is that its composition of materials is approved for human consumption. The safe nature of the excipients enabled their direct evaluation in humans. In order to evaluate the pharmacokinetic profile of the THC-CBD-piperine-PNL formulation, a two-way crossover, single administration clinical study was conducted. The trial comprised of 9 healthy volunteers under fasted conditions. Each subject received a THC-CBD (10.8mg, 10mg respectively) piperine (20mg)-PNL filled capsule and an equivalent dose of the oromucosal spray Sativex® with a washout period in between treatments. Single oral administration of the piperine-PNL formulation resulted in a 3-fold increase in Cmax and a 1.5-fold increase in AUC for THC when compared to Sativex®. For CBD, a 4-fold increase in Cmax and a 2.2-fold increase in AUC was observed. These findings demonstrate the potential this formulation has

  12. Cannabinoids and Dementia: A Review of Clinical and Preclinical Data

    OpenAIRE

    Michael Halpern; Sebastian Walther

    2010-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been shown to be associated with neurodegenerative diseases and dementia. We review the preclinical and clinical data on cannabinoids and four neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Huntington’s disease (HD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and vascular dementia (VD). Numerous studies have demonstrated an involvement of the cannabinoid system in neurotransmission, neuropathology and neurobiology of dementias. In addition, several candidate compounds have...

  13. Long-term consequences of adolescent cannabinoid exposure in adult psychopathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justine eRenard

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among adolescents and young adults. Unique cognitive, emotional, and social changes occur during this critical period of development from childhood into adulthood. The adolescent brain is in a state of transition and differs from the adult brain with respect to both anatomy (e.g., neuronal connections and morphology and neurochemistry (e.g., dopamine, GABA, and glutamate. These changes are thought to support the emergence of adult cerebral processes and behaviors. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in development by acting on synaptic plasticity, neuronal cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Delta-9-tetrahydrocanabinol (THC, the principal psychoactive component in marijuana, acts as an agonist of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R. Thus, over-activation of the endocannabinoid system by chronic exposure to CB1R agonists (e.g. THC, CP-55,940, and WIN55,212-2 during adolescence can dramatically alter brain maturation and cause long-lasting neurobiological changes that ultimately affect the function and behavior of the adult brain. Indeed, emerging evidence from both human and animal studies demonstrates that early-onset marijuana use has long-lasting consequences on cognition; moreover, in humans, this use is associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of developing a psychotic disorder. Here, we review the relationship between cannabinoid exposure during adolescence and the increased risk of neuropsychiatric disorders, focusing on both clinical and animal studies.

  14. The role of cannabinoids in modulating emotional and non-emotional memory processes in the hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irit eAkirav

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoid agonists generally have a disruptive effect on memory, learning, and operant behavior that is considered to be hippocampus-dependent. Nevertheless, under certain conditions, cannabinoid receptor activation may facilitate neuronal learning processes. For example, CB1 receptors are essential for the extinction of conditioned fear associations, indicating an important role for this receptor in neuronal emotional learning and memory. This review examines the diverse effects of cannabinoids on hippocampal memory and plasticity. It shows how the effects of cannabinoid receptor activation may vary depending on the route of administration, the nature of the task (aversive or not, and whether it involves emotional memory formation (e.g. conditioned fear and extinction learning or non-emotional memory formation (e.g. spatial learning. It also examines the memory stage under investigation (acquisition, consolidation, retrieval, extinction, and the brain areas involved. Differences between the effects of exogenous and endogenous agonists are also discussed. The apparently biphasic effects of cannabinoids on anxiety is noted as this implies that the effects of cannabinoid receptor agonists on hippocampal learning and memory may be attributable to a general modulation of anxiety or stress levels and not to memory per se. The review concludes that cannabinoids have diverse effects on hippocampal memory and plasticity that cannot be categorized simply into an impairing or an enhancing effect. A better understanding of the involvement of cannabinoids in memory processes will help determine whether the benefits of the clinical use of cannabinoids outweigh the risks of possible memory impairments.

  15. CB1 AND CB2 CANNABINOID RECEPTOR EXPRESSION DURING DEVELOPMENT AND IN EPILEPTOGENIC DEVELOPMENTAL PATHOLOGIES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zurolo, E.; Iyer, A. M.; Spliet, W. G. M.; van Rijen, P. C.; Troost, D.; Gorter, J. A.; Aronica, E.

    2010-01-01

    Recent data support the involvement of the endocannabinoid signaling in early brain development, as well as a key role of cannabinoid receptors (CBR) in pathological conditions associated with unbalanced neuronal excitability and inflammation. Using immunocytochemistry, we explored the expression

  16. CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor expression during development and in epileptogenic developmental pathologies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zurolo, E.; Iyer, A.M.; Spliet, W.G.M.; van Rijen, P.C.; Troost, D.; Gorter, J.A.; Aronica, E.

    2010-01-01

    Recent data support the involvement of the endocannabinoid signaling in early brain development, as well as a key role of cannabinoid receptors (CBR) in pathological conditions associated with unbalanced neuronal excitability and inflammation. Using immunocytochemistry, we explored the expression

  17. Detection of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 within basal ganglia output neurons in macaques: changes following experimental parkinsonism

    OpenAIRE

    S. Sierra; Luquin, N. (Natasha); Rico, A.J. (Alberto J.); Gomez-Bautista, V. (V.); Roda, E; Dopeso-Reyes, I G; Vazquez, A.; Martinez-Pinilla, E. (Eva); Labandeira-Garcia, J.L. (José L.); Franco, R.; J.L. Lanciego

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Although type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1- Rs) are expressed abundantly throughout the brain, the presence of type 2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2Rs) in neurons is still somewhat controversial. Taking advantage of newly designed CB1R and CB2R mRNA riboprobes, we demonstrate by PCR and in situ hybridization that transcripts for both cannabinoid receptors are present within labeled pallidothalamic-projecting neurons of control and MPTP-treated macaques, whereas th...

  18. Sex-dependent long-term effects of adolescent exposure to THC and/or MDMA on neuroinflammation and serotoninergic and cannabinoid systems in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Rodriguez, Ana Belen; Llorente-Berzal, Alvaro; Garcia-Segura, Luis M; Viveros, Maria-Paz

    2014-03-01

    Many young people consume ecstasy as a recreational drug and often in combination with cannabis. In this study, we aimed to mimic human consumption patterns and investigated, in male and female animals, the long-term effects of Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on diverse neuroinflammation and neurotoxic markers. Male and female Wistar rats were chronically treated with increasing doses of THC and/or MDMA during adolescence. The effects of THC and/or MDMA on glial reactivity and on serotoninergic and cannabinoid systems were assessed by immunohistochemistry in the hippocampus and parietal cortex. THC increased the area staining for glial fibrilar acidic protein in both sexes. In males, both drugs, either separately or in combination, increased the proportion of reactive microglia cells [ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba-1)]. In contrast, in females, each drug, administered alone, decreased of this proportion, whereas the combination of both drugs resulted in a 'normalization' to control values. In males, MDMA reduced the number of SERT positive fibres, THC induced the opposite effect and the group receiving both drugs did not significantly differ from the controls. In females, MDMA reduced the number of SERT positive fibres and the combination of both drugs counteracted this effect. THC also reduced immunostaining for CB1 receptors in females and this effect was aggravated by the combination with MDMA. Adolescent exposure of rats to THC and/or MDMA induced long-term, sex-dependent neurochemical and glial alterations, and revealed interactions between the two drugs. This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids 2013. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2014.171.issue-6. © 2013 The British Pharmacological Society.

  19. Your Brain and Nervous System

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... when you ride your bike or play other sports that require head protection. Don't drink alcohol, take drugs, or use tobacco. Use your brain by doing challenging activities, such as puzzles, reading, playing music, making art, or anything else that gives your ...

  20. Prevention of Alzheimer's disease pathology by cannabinoids: neuroprotection mediated by blockade of microglial activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, Belén G; Blázquez, Cristina; Gómez del Pulgar, Teresa; Guzmán, Manuel; de Ceballos, María L

    2005-02-23

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by enhanced beta-amyloid peptide (betaA) deposition along with glial activation in senile plaques, selective neuronal loss, and cognitive deficits. Cannabinoids are neuroprotective agents against excitotoxicity in vitro and acute brain damage in vivo. This background prompted us to study the localization, expression, and function of cannabinoid receptors in AD and the possible protective role of cannabinoids after betaA treatment, both in vivo and in vitro. Here, we show that senile plaques in AD patients express cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, together with markers of microglial activation, and that CB1-positive neurons, present in high numbers in control cases, are greatly reduced in areas of microglial activation. In pharmacological experiments, we found that G-protein coupling and CB1 receptor protein expression are markedly decreased in AD brains. Additionally, in AD brains, protein nitration is increased, and, more specifically, CB1 and CB2 proteins show enhanced nitration. Intracerebroventricular administration of the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 to rats prevent betaA-induced microglial activation, cognitive impairment, and loss of neuronal markers. Cannabinoids (HU-210, WIN55,212-2, and JWH-133) block betaA-induced activation of cultured microglial cells, as judged by mitochondrial activity, cell morphology, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha release; these effects are independent of the antioxidant action of cannabinoid compounds and are also exerted by a CB2-selective agonist. Moreover, cannabinoids abrogate microglia-mediated neurotoxicity after betaA addition to rat cortical cocultures. Our results indicate that cannabinoid receptors are important in the pathology of AD and that cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in the disease.

  1. The influence of cannabinoids on generic traits of neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagan, S G; Campbell, V A

    2014-03-01

    In an increasingly ageing population, the incidence of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease are rising. While the aetiologies of these disorders are different, a number of common mechanisms that underlie their neurodegenerative components have been elucidated; namely neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction and reduced trophic support. Current therapies focus on treatment of the symptoms and attempt to delay the progression of these diseases but there is currently no cure. Modulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system is emerging as a potentially viable option in the treatment of neurodegeneration. Endocannabinoid signalling has been found to be altered in many neurodegenerative disorders. To this end, pharmacological manipulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system, as well as application of phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids have been investigated. Signalling from the CB1 and CB2 receptors are known to be involved in the regulation of Ca(2+) homeostasis, mitochondrial function, trophic support and inflammatory status, respectively, while other receptors gated by cannabinoids such as PPARγ, are gaining interest in their anti-inflammatory properties. Through multiple lines of evidence, this evolutionarily conserved neurosignalling system has shown neuroprotective capabilities and is therefore a potential target for neurodegenerative disorders. This review details the mechanisms of neurodegeneration and highlights the beneficial effects of cannabinoid treatment. This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids 2013. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2014.171.issue-6. © 2013 The British Pharmacological Society.

  2. SR 141716A, a cannabinoid receptor antagonist, produces hyperalgesia in untreated mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, J D; Aanonsen, L; Hargreaves, K M

    1997-01-29

    Antinociceptive effects of cannabinoids are well documented. However, the physiological role of endogenous cannabinoids in nociception is unknown. We evaluated the effects of the cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716A (N-piperidino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2, 4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-3-pyrazolecarboxamide) on mouse hot plate latencies. Intrathecal injection of SR 141716A evoked a significant thermal hyperalgesia. These results suggest that the cannabinoid system tonically regulates thermal nociceptive thresholds. Furthermore, the absence of this regulation results in hyperalgesia suggesting that hypoactivity of this system may be involved in certain types of chronic pain.

  3. Therapeutic effects of cannabinoids in animal models of seizures, epilepsy, epileptogenesis, and epilepsy-related neuroprotection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Evan C; Patra, Pabitra H; Whalley, Benjamin J

    2017-05-01

    The isolation and identification of the discrete plant cannabinoids in marijuana revived interest in analyzing historical therapeutic claims made for cannabis in clinical case studies and anecdotes. In particular, sources as old as the 11th and 15th centuries claimed efficacy for crude marijuana extracts in the treatment of convulsive disorders, prompting a particularly active area of preclinical research into the therapeutic potential of plant cannabinoids in epilepsy. Since that time, a large body of literature has accumulated describing the effects of several of the >100 individual plant cannabinoids in preclinical models of seizures, epilepsy, epileptogenesis, and epilepsy-related neuroprotection. We surveyed the literature for relevant reports of such plant cannabinoid effects and critically reviewed their findings. We found that acute CB 1 R agonism in simple models of acute seizures in rodents typically produces anti-convulsant effects whereas CB 1 R antagonists exert converse effects in the same models. However, when the effects of such ligands are examined in more complex models of epilepsy, epileptogenesis and neuroprotection, a less simplistic narrative emerges. Here, the complex interactions between (i) brain regions involved in a given model, (ii) relative contributions of endocannabinoid signaling to modulation of synaptic transmission in such areas, (iii) multi-target effects, (iv) cannabinoid type 1 and type 2 receptor signaling interactions and, (v) timing, (vi) duration and (vii) localization of ligand administration suggest that there is both anti-epileptic therapeutic potential and a pro-epileptic risk in up- and down-regulation of endocannabinoid signaling in the central nervous system. Factors such receptor desensitization and specific pharmacology of ligands used (e.g. full vs partial agonists and neutral antagonists vs inverse agonists) also appear to play an important role in the effects reported. Furthermore, the effects of several plant

  4. Quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry screening for synthetic cannabinoids in herbal blends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibáñez, María; Bijlsma, Lubertus; van Nuijs, Alexander L N; Sancho, Juan V; Haro, Gonzalo; Covaci, Adrian; Hernández, Félix

    2013-06-01

    'Legal highs' are novel substances which are intended to elicit a psychoactive response. They are sold from 'head shops', the internet and from street suppliers and may be possessed without legal restriction. Several months ago, a 19-year-old woman came searching for medical treatment as she had health problems caused by smoking legal highs. The substances were sold as herbal blends in plastic bags under four different labels. In this work, samples of these herbal blends have been analysed to investigate the presence of psychoactive substances without any reference standard being available at the laboratory. A screening strategy for a large number of synthetic and natural cannabinoids has been applied based on the use of ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF MS) under MS(E) mode. A customized home-made database containing literature-based exact masses for parent and product ions of around 200 synthetic and natural cannabinoids was compiled. The presence of the (de)protonated molecule measured at its accurate mass was evaluated in the samples. When a peak was detected, collision-induced dissociation fragments and characteristic isotopic ions were also evaluated and used for tentative identification. After this tentative identification, four synthetic cannabinoids (JWH-081, JWH-250, JWH-203 and JWH-019) were unequivocally confirmed by subsequent acquisition of reference standards. The presence in the herbal blends of these synthetic cannabinoids might explain the psychotic and catatonic symptoms observed in the patient, as JWH compounds could act as potent agonists of CB1 and CB2 receptors located in the Limbic System and Basal ganglia of the human brain. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Differential role of cannabinoids in the pathogenesis of skin cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glodde, Nicole; Jakobs, Mira; Bald, Tobias; Tüting, Thomas; Gaffal, Evelyn

    2015-10-01

    Cannabinoids (CB) like ∆(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can induce cancer cell apoptosis and inhibit angiogenesis. However, the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of malignant diseases is discussed controversially because of their immunomodulatory effects which can suppress anti-tumor immunity. Here we investigated the role of exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids in mouse skin cancer. First we examined the effect of THC, which binds to CB receptors (CB1, CB2), on the growth of the mouse melanoma cell lines B16 and HCmel12 in vitro and in vivo in wild type (WT) and CB1/CB2-receptor deficient mice (Cnr1/2(-/-)). Next we evaluated the role of the endogenous cannabinoid system by studying the growth of chemically induced melanomas, fibrosarcoma and papillomas in WT and Cnr1/2(-/-) mice. THC significantly inhibited tumor growth of transplanted HCmel12 melanomas in a CB receptor-dependent manner in vivo through antagonistic effects on its characteristic pro-inflammatory microenvironment. Chemically induced skin tumors developed in a similar manner in Cnr1/2(-/-) mice when compared to WT mice. Our results confirm the value of exogenous cannabinoids for the treatment of melanoma but do not support a role for the endogenous cannabinoid system in the pathogenesis of skin cancer. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. IACM 2nd Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotenhermen, Franjo; Müller-Vahl, Kirsten

    2003-12-01

    The International Association for Cannabis as Medicine 2nd Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine focused on new clinical research with cannabis and single cannabinoids (Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, CT-3) and on animal research with possible therapeutic implications. The meeting brought together basic researchers, clinicians and physicians to facilitate an exchange of knowledge and experience in this field. Even a talk by a patient with multiple sclerosis was included in a workshop on neurology. Current clinical research with cannabinoids focuses mainly on chronic pain and neurological disorders adding to accepted indications such as anorexia in AIDS-wasting and antiemetic effects in cancer chemotherapy. First results are promising and larger studies are underway or have recently been completed and are awaiting publication. New basic research opens further areas of possible uses for modulators of the endogenous cannabinoid system, including osteoporosis, cancer and inflammation. A workshop on psychiatry focused on effects of cannabis use on onset, incidence and the course of schizophrenia. Basic and clinical research shows that adolescents might be more vulnerable than adults to possible psychiatric effects of cannabinoids. It was concluded that possible side effects of cannabinoids should be taken into account but do not preclude a legitimate medical use.

  7. [Different views on the association between cannabinoids and cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidinský, B; Gál, P; Mojzis, J

    2006-01-01

    Cannabinoids are the major active components of the most widely used illegal drug - marihuana. They have a long history of the medicinal use. However, they are still a controversial topic in oncological praxis. Cannabinoids play a role in different organs of human body and they are an integral part of the newly described endocannabinoid system, which regulates several body functions. The important function of endocannabinoids which is related to cancer, is the regulation of cell cycle and cell survival pathways. Presented review gives three different views on the association between cannabinoids and cancer. First, the treatment of adverse symptoms of oncological therapy - nausea and vomiting inhibition, appetite stimulation, pain relieving, mood modulation and muscle stiffness relieving. Second, in the late 1990s, three possible mechanisms of antitumour action were identified - apoptosis induction, direct cell cycle arrest and angiogenesis and metastasis inhibition. The phase I/II of clinical trials are carrying out in Spain. They study effects of local administration of tetrahydrokanabinol on the growth of glioblastoma multiforme. Third, the results of the newest study focused on the association between cannabinoids use and cancer risk showed no significant association between increased cancer incidence and cannabinoids use and it does not depend on the amount of used cannabis. It is important to establish the association between marihuana use and cancer risk regarding the consideration of advantages and risks of medicinal cannabinoids use and the impact on public health.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Cannabis Signaling in the Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronan, Patrick J; Wongngamnit, Narin; Beresford, Thomas P

    2016-01-01

    Cannabis has been cultivated and used by humans for thousands of years. Research for decades was focused on understanding the mechanisms of an illegal/addictive drug. This led to the discovery of the vast endocannabinoid system. Research has now shifted to understanding fundamental biological questions related to one of the most widespread signaling systems in both the brain and the body. Our understanding of cannabinoid signaling has advanced significantly in the last two decades. In this review, we discuss the state of knowledge on mechanisms of Cannabis signaling in the brain and the modulation of key brain neurotransmitter systems involved in both brain reward/addiction and psychiatric disorders. It is highly probable that various cannabinoids will be found to be efficacious in the treatment of a number of psychiatric disorders. However, while there is clearly much potential, marijuana has not been properly vetted by the medical-scientific evaluation process and there are clearly a range of potentially adverse side-effects-including addiction. We are at crossroads for research on endocannabinoid function and therapeutics (including the use of exogenous treatments such as Cannabis). With over 100 cannabinoid constituents, the majority of which have not been studied, there is much Cannabis research yet to be done. With more states legalizing both the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana the rigorous scientific investigation into cannabinoid signaling is imperative. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Excitability of prefrontal cortical pyramidal neurons is modulated by activation of intracellular type-2 cannabinoid receptors.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Boon, F.S.; Chameau, P.; Schaafsma-Zhao, Q.; van Aken, W.; Bari, M.; Oddi, S.; Kruse, C.G.; Maccarrone, M.; Wadman, W.J.; Werkman, T.R.

    2012-01-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is widely expressed throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and the functionality of type-1 cannabinoid receptors in neurons is well documented. In contrast, there is little knowledge about type-2 cannabinoid receptors (CB(2)Rs) in the CNS. Here, we show that

  10. Stress Response, Brain Noradrenergic System and Cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winklewski, Pawel J; Radkowski, Marek; Wszedybyl-Winklewska, Magdalena; Demkow, Urszula

    2017-01-01

    Locus coeruleus is a critical component of the brain noradrenergic system. The brain noradrenergic system provides the neural substrate for the architecture supporting the interaction with, and navigation through, an external world complexity. Changes in locus coeruleus tonic and phasic activity and the interplay between norepinephrine and α1- and α2-adrenoceptors in the prefrontal cortex are the key elements of this sophisticated architecture. In this narrative review we discuss how the brain noradrenergic system is affected by increased exposure to corticotropin-releasing hormone triggered by stress response. In particular, we present the mechanisms responsible for thinking inflexibility often observed under highly stressful conditions. Finally, the main directions for future research are highlighted.

  11. Cannabinoids Regulate the Diameter of Pericyte-Containing Retinal Capillaries in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Zong

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Cannabinoids are vasoactive substances that act as key regulators of arterial tone in the blood vessels supplying peripheral tissues and the central nervous system. We therefore investigated the effect of cannabinoids on retinal capillaries and pericytes. Methods: The effects of cannabinoids on capillary diameters were determined using an ex vivo whole-mount rat retinal model. Western blotting, quantitative PCR, and immunohistochemistry were performed to explore the underlying mechanism. Results: Endogenous cannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide and exogenous cannabinoid (R-(+-WIN55212-2 dilated the noradrenaline-precontracted capillaries in a concentration-dependent manner (1 µM to 0.1 mM. The extent of vasorelaxation was positively correlated with changes in pericyte width. The effects of R-(+-WIN55212-2 on vasorelaxation and pericyte width were inhibited by a cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1 antagonist, AM251 or rimonabant (SR141716A, the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor l-NAME, and the guanylate cyclase inhibitor ODQ. They were also abolished by the removal of the endothelium, but not by the cannabinoid receptor-2 antagonist SR144528, the endothelial cannabinoid receptor antagonist O-1918, or the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin. Conclusion: The exogenous cannabinoid R-(+-WIN55212-2 promotes the vasorelaxation of pericyte-containing rat retinal capillaries. This effect of R-(+-WIN55212-2 is dependent on CB1 and the nitric oxide–cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway, and requires an intact endothelium.

  12. Exogenous and Endogenous Cannabinoids Suppress Inhibitory Neurotransmission in the Human Neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Flora E; Knop, Tim; Urbanski, Michal J; Freiman, Ilka; Freiman, Thomas M; Feuerstein, Thomas J; Zentner, Josef; Szabo, Bela

    2012-01-01

    Activation of CB1 receptors on axon terminals by exogenous cannabinoids (eg, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and by endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) released by postsynaptic neurons leads to presynaptic inhibition of neurotransmission. The aim of this study was to characterize the effect of cannabinoids on GABAergic synaptic transmission in the human neocortex. Brain slices were prepared from neocortical tissues surgically removed to eliminate epileptogenic foci. Spontaneous GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) were recorded in putative pyramidal neurons using patch-clamp techniques. To enhance the activity of cannabinoid-sensitive presynaptic axons, muscarinic receptors were continuously stimulated by carbachol. The synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 decreased the cumulative amplitude of sIPSCs. The CB1 antagonist rimonabant prevented this effect, verifying the involvement of CB1 receptors. WIN55212-2 decreased the frequency of miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin, but did not change their amplitude, indicating that the neurotransmission was inhibited presynaptically. Depolarization of postsynaptic pyramidal neurons induced a suppression of sIPSCs. As rimonabant prevented this suppression, it is very likely that it was due to endocannabinods acting on CB1 receptors. This is the first demonstration that an exogenous cannabinoid inhibits synaptic transmission in the human neocortex and that endocannabinoids released by postsynaptic neurons suppress synaptic transmission in the human brain. Interferences of cannabinoid agonists and antagonists with synaptic transmission in the cortex may explain the cognitive and memory deficits elicited by these drugs. PMID:22048459

  13. A vapourized Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC) delivery system part II: comparison of behavioural effects of pulmonary versus parenteral cannabinoid exposure in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manwell, Laurie A; Ford, Brittany; Matthews, Brittany A; Heipel, Heather; Mallet, Paul E

    2014-01-01

    Studies of the rewarding and addictive properties of cannabinoids using rodents as animal models of human behaviour often fail to replicate findings from human studies. Animal studies typically employ parenteral routes of administration, whereas humans typically smoke cannabis, thus discrepancies may be related to different pharmacokinetics of parenteral and pulmonary routes of administration. Accordingly, a novel delivery system of vapourized Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC) was developed and assessed for its pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and behavioural effects in rodents. A commercially available vapourizer was used to assess the effects of pulmonary (vapourized) administration of Δ(9)-THC and directly compared to parenteral (intraperitoneal, IP) administration of Δ(9)-THC. Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to pure Δ(9)-THC vapour (1, 2, 5, 10, and 20mg/pad), using a Volcano® vapourizing device (Storz and Bickel, Germany) or IP-administered Δ(9)-THC (0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 1.0mg/kg), and drug effects on locomotor activity, food and water consumption, and cross-sensitization to morphine (5mg/kg) were measured. Vapourized Δ(9)-THC significantly increased feeding during the first hour following exposure, whereas IP-administered Δ(9)-THC failed to produce a reliable increase in feeding at all doses tested. Acute administration of 10mg of vapourized Δ(9)-THC induced a short-lasting stimulation in locomotor activity compared to control in the first of four hours of testing over 7days of repeated exposure; this chronic exposure to 10mg of vapourized Δ(9)-THC did not induce behavioural sensitization to morphine. These results suggest vapourized Δ(9)-THC administration produces behavioural effects qualitatively different from those induced by IP administration in rodents. Furthermore, vapourized Δ(9)-THC delivery in rodents may produce behavioural effects more comparable to those observed in humans. We conclude that some of the conflicting findings in animal

  14. Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: A Paradoxical Cannabis Effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivonne Marie Figueroa-Rivera

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite well-established antiemetic properties of marijuana, there has been increasing evidence of a paradoxical effect in the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system, given rise to a new and underrecognized clinical entity called the Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. Reported cases in the medical literature have established a series of patients exhibiting a classical triad of symptoms: cyclic vomiting, chronic marijuana use, and compulsive bathing. We present a case of a 29-year-old man whose clinical presentation strongly correlates with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Despite a diagnosis of exclusion, this syndrome should be considered plausible in the setting of a patient with recurrent intractable vomiting and a strong history of cannabis use as presented in this case.

  15. Antitumorigenic targets of cannabinoids - current status and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramer, Robert; Hinz, Burkhard

    2016-10-01

    Molecular structures of the endocannabinoid system have gained interest as potential pharmacotherapeutical targets for systemic cancer treatment. The present review covers the contribution of the endocannabinoid system to cancer progression. Particular focus will be set on the accumulating preclinical data concerning antimetastatic, anti-invasive and anti-angiogenic mechanisms induced by cannabinoids. The main goal of targeting endocannabinoid structures for systemic anticancer treatment is the comparatively good safety profile of cannabinoid compounds. In addition, antitumorigenic mechanisms of cannabinoids are not restricted to a single molecular cascade but involve multiple effects on various levels of cancer progression such as angiogenesis and metastasis. Particularly the latter effect has gained interest for pharmacological interventions. Thus, drugs aiming at the endocannabinoid system may represent potential 'antimetastatics' for an upgrade of a future armamentarium against cancer diseases.

  16. Cannabis and cannabinoids: pharmacology and rationale for clinical use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pertwee, R G

    1999-10-01

    It is now known that there are at least two types of cannabinoid receptors. These are CB1 receptors, present mainly on central and peripheral neurones, and CB2 receptors, present mainly on immune cells. Endogenous cannabinoid receptor agonists ('endocannabinoids') have also been identified. The discovery of this 'endogenous cannabinoid system' has led to the development of selective CB1 and CB2 receptor ligands and fueled renewed interest in the clinical potential of cannabinoids. Two cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists are already used clinically, as antiemetics or as appetite stimulants. These are D 9 - tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and nabilone. Other possible uses for CB1 receptor agonists include the suppression of muscle spasm/spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury, the relief of chronic pain and the management of glaucoma and bronchial asthma. CB1 receptor antagonists may also have clinical applications, e. g. as appetite suppressants and in the management of schizophrenia or disorders of cognition and memory. So too may CB2 receptor ligands and drugs that activate cannabinoid receptors indirectly by augmenting endocannabinoid levels at cannabinoid receptors. When taken orally, THC seems to undergo variable absorption and to have a narrow 'therapeutic window' (dose range in which it is effective without producing significant unwanted effects). This makes it difficult to predict an oral dose that will be both effective and tolerable to a patient and indicates a need for better cannabinoid formulations and modes of administration. For the therapeutic potential of cannabis or CB1 receptor agonists to be fully exploited, it will be important to establish objectively and conclusively (a) whether these agents have efficacy against selected symptoms that is of clinical significance and, if so, whether the benefits outweigh the risks, (b) whether cannabis has therapeutic advantages over individual cannabinoids, (c) whether there is a need for

  17. Novelty-induced emotional arousal modulates cannabinoid effects on recognition memory and adrenocortical activity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Campolongo, P.; Morena, M.; Scaccianoce, S.; Trezza, V.; Chiarotti, F.; Schelling, G.; Cuomo, V.; Roozendaal, B.

    2013-01-01

    Although it is well established that cannabinoid drugs can influence cognitive performance, the findings-describing both enhancing and impairing effects-have been ambiguous. Here, we investigated the effects of posttraining systemic administration of the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2

  18. Prejunctional and peripheral effects of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor inverse agonist rimonabant (SR 141716)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Diepen, Hester; Schlicker, Eberhard; Michel, Martin C.

    2008-01-01

    Rimonabant is an inverse agonist specific for cannabinoid receptors and selective for their cannabinoid-1 (CB1) subtype. Although CB1 receptors are more abundant in the central nervous system, rimonabant has many effects in the periphery, most of which are related to prejunctional modulation of

  19. Synthetic Cannabinoids: Epidemiology, Pharmacodynamics, and Clinical Implications*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castaneto, Marisol S.; Gorelick, David A.; Desrosiers, Nathalie A.; Hartman, Rebecca L.; Pirard, Sandrine; Huestis, Marilyn A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Synthetic cannabinoids (SC) are a heterogeneous group of compounds developed to probe the endogenous cannabinoid system or as potential therapeutics. Clandestine laboratories subsequently utilized published data to develop SC variations marketed as abuseable “designer drugs.” In the early 2000’s, SC became popular as “legal highs” under brand names such as “Spice” and “K2,” in part due to their ability to escape detection by standard cannabinoid screening tests. The majority of SC detected in herbal products have greater binding affinity to the cannabinoid CB1 receptor than does Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, and greater affinity at the CB1 than the CB2 receptor. In-vitro and animal in-vivo studies show SC pharmacological effects 2-100 times more potent than THC, including analgesic, anti-seizure, weight-loss, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer growth effects. SC produce physiological and psychoactive effects similar to THC, but with greater intensity, resulting in medical and psychiatric emergencies. Human adverse effects include nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath or depressed breathing, hypertension, tachycardia, chest pain, muscle twitches, acute renal failure, anxiety, agitation, psychosis, suicidal ideation, and cognitive impairment. Long-term or residual effects are unknown. Due to these public health consequences, many SC are classified as controlled substances. However, frequent structural modification by clandestine laboratories results in a stream of novel SC that may not be legally controlled or detectable by routine laboratory tests. Methods We present here a comprehensive review, based on a systematic electronic literature search, of SC epidemiology and pharmacology and their clinical implications. PMID:25220897

  20. Synthetic cannabinoids: epidemiology, pharmacodynamics, and clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castaneto, Marisol S; Gorelick, David A; Desrosiers, Nathalie A; Hartman, Rebecca L; Pirard, Sandrine; Huestis, Marilyn A

    2014-11-01

    Synthetic cannabinoids (SC) are a heterogeneous group of compounds developed to probe the endogenous cannabinoid system or as potential therapeutics. Clandestine laboratories subsequently utilized published data to develop SC variations marketed as abusable designer drugs. In the early 2000s, SC became popular as "legal highs" under brand names such as Spice and K2, in part due to their ability to escape detection by standard cannabinoid screening tests. The majority of SC detected in herbal products have greater binding affinity to the cannabinoid CB1 receptor than does Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, and greater affinity at the CB1 than the CB2 receptor. In vitro and animal in vivo studies show SC pharmacological effects 2-100 times more potent than THC, including analgesic, anti-seizure, weight-loss, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer growth effects. SC produce physiological and psychoactive effects similar to THC, but with greater intensity, resulting in medical and psychiatric emergencies. Human adverse effects include nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath or depressed breathing, hypertension, tachycardia, chest pain, muscle twitches, acute renal failure, anxiety, agitation, psychosis, suicidal ideation, and cognitive impairment. Long-term or residual effects are unknown. Due to these public health consequences, many SC are classified as controlled substances. However, frequent structural modification by clandestine laboratories results in a stream of novel SC that may not be legally controlled or detectable by routine laboratory tests. We present here a comprehensive review, based on a systematic electronic literature search, of SC epidemiology and pharmacology and their clinical implications. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  1. Beyond THC: the new generation of cannabinoid designer drugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liana eFattore

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic cannabinoids are functionally similar to delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive principle of cannabis, and bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain and peripheral organs. From 2008, synthetic cannabinoids were detected in herbal smoking mixtures sold on websites and in head shops under the brand name of Spice Gold, Yucatan Fire, Aroma, and others. Although these products (also known as Spice drugs or legal highs do not contain tobacco or cannabis, when smoked they produce effects similar to THC. Intoxication, withdrawal, psychosis and death have been recently reported after consumption, posing difficult social, political and health challenges. More than 140 different Spice products have been identified to date. The ability to induce strong cannabis-like psychoactive effects, along with the fact that they are readily available on the Internet, still legal in many countries, marketed as natural safe substances, and undetectable by conventional drug screening tests, has rendered these drugs very popular and particularly appealing to young and drug-naïve individuals seeking new experiences. An escalating number of compounds with cannabinoid receptor activity are currently being found as ingredients of Spice, of which almost nothing is known in terms of pharmacology, toxicology and safety. Since legislation started to control the synthetic cannabinoids identified in these herbal mixtures, many new analogs have appeared on the market. New cannabimimetic compounds are likely to be synthesized in the near future to replace banned synthetic cannabinoids, leading to a dog chasing its tail situation. Spice smokers are exposed to drugs that are extremely variable in composition and potency, and are at risk of serious, if not lethal, outcomes. Social and health professionals should maintain a high degree of alertness for Spice use and its possible psychiatric effects in vulnerable people.

  2. Effects of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant on distinct measures of impulsive behavior in rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pattij, Tommy; Janssen, Mieke; Schepers, Inga; González-Cuevas, Gustavo; Vries, de Taco; Schoffelmeer, Anton

    2007-01-01

    Rationale Pathological impulsivity is a prominent feature in several psychiatric disorders, but detailed understanding of the specific neuronal processes underlying impulsive behavior is as yet lacking. Objectives As recent findings have suggested involvement of the brain cannabinoid

  3. Repeated administration of phytocannabinoid Δ(9)-THC or synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018 and JWH-073 induces tolerance to hypothermia but not locomotor suppression in mice, and reduces CB1 receptor expression and function in a brain region-specific manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tai, S; Hyatt, W S; Gu, C; Franks, L N; Vasiljevik, T; Brents, L K; Prather, P L; Fantegrossi, W E

    2015-12-01

    These studies probed the relationship between intrinsic efficacy and tolerance/cross-tolerance between ∆(9)-THC and synthetic cannabinoid drugs of abuse (SCBs) by examining in vivo effects and cellular changes concomitant with their repeated administration in mice. Dose-effect relationships for hypothermic effects were determined in order to confirm that SCBs JWH-018 and JWH-073 are higher efficacy agonists than ∆(9)-THC in mice. Separate groups of mice were treated with saline, sub-maximal hypothermic doses of JWH-018 or JWH-073 (3.0mg/kg or 10.0mg/kg, respectively) or a maximally hypothermic dose of 30.0mg/kg ∆(9)-THC once per day for 5 consecutive days while core temperature and locomotor activity were monitored via biotelemetry. Repeated administration of all drugs resulted in tolerance to hypothermic effects, but not locomotor effects, and this tolerance was still evident 14 days after the last drug administration. Further studies treated mice with 30.0mg/kg ∆(9)-THC once per day for 4 days, then tested with SCBs on day 5. Mice with a ∆(9)-THC history were cross-tolerant to both SCBs, and this cross-tolerance also persisted 14 days after testing. Select brain regions from chronically treated mice were examined for changes in CB1 receptor expression and function. Expression and function of hypothalamic CB1Rs were reduced in mice receiving chronic drugs, but cortical CB1R expression and function were not altered. Collectively, these data demonstrate that repeated ∆(9)-THC, JWH-018 and JWH-073 can induce long-lasting tolerance to some in vivo effects, which is likely mediated by region-specific downregulation and desensitization of CB1Rs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Central functional response to the novel peptide cannabinoid, hemopressin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Garron T; Worth, Amy A; Hodkinson, Duncan J; Srivastava, Raj K; Lutz, Beat; Williams, Steve R; Luckman, Simon M

    2013-08-01

    Hemopressin is the first peptide ligand to be described for the CB₁ cannabinoid receptor. Hemopressin acts as an inverse agonist in vivo and can cross the blood-brain barrier to both inhibit appetite and induce antinociception. Despite being highly effective, synthetic CB₁ inverse agonists are limited therapeutically due to unwanted, over dampening of central reward pathways. However, hemopressin appears to have its effect on appetite by affecting satiety rather than reward, suggesting an alternative mode of action which might avoid adverse side effects. Here, to resolve the neuronal circuitry mediating hemopressin's actions, we have combined blood-oxygen-level-dependent, pharmacological-challenge magnetic resonance imaging with c-Fos functional activity mapping to compare brain regions responsive to systemic administration of hemopressin and the synthetic CB₁ inverse agonist, AM251. Using these complementary methods, we demonstrate that hemopressin activates distinct neuronal substrates within the brain, focused mainly on the feeding-related circuits of the mediobasal hypothalamus and in nociceptive regions of the periaqueductal grey (PAG) and dorsal raphe (DR). In contrast to AM251, there is a distinct lack of activation of the brain reward centres, such as the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal cortex, which normally form a functional activity signature for the central action of synthetic CB₁ receptor inverse agonists. Thus, hemopressin modulates the function of key feeding-related brain nuclei of the mediobasal hypothalamus, and descending pain pathways of the PAG and DR, and not higher limbic structures. Thus, hemopressin may offer behaviourally selective effects on nociception and appetite, without engaging reward pathways. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Naturally occurring and related synthetic cannabinoids and their potential therapeutic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galal, Ahmed M; Slade, Desmond; Gul, Waseem; El-Alfy, Abir T; Ferreira, Daneel; Elsohly, Mahmoud A

    2009-06-01

    Naturally occurring cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) are biosynthetically related terpenophenolic compounds uniquely produced by the highly variable plant, Cannabis sativa L. Natural and synthetic cannabinoids have been extensively studied since the discovery that the psychotropic effects of cannabis are mainly due to Delta(9)-THC. However, cannabinoids exert pharmacological actions on other biological systems such as the cardiovascular, immune and endocrine systems. Most of these effects have been attributed to the ability of these compounds to interact with the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors. The FDA approval of Marinol, a product containing synthetic Delta(9)-THC (dronabinol), in 1985 for the control of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, and in 1992 as an appetite stimulant for AIDS patients, has further intensified the research interest in these compounds. This article reviews patents (2003-2007) that describe methods for isolation of cannabinoids from cannabis, chemical and chromatographic methods for their purification, synthesis, and potential therapeutic applications of these compounds.

  6. The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids for Movement Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kluger, Benzi; Triolo, Piera; Jones, Wallace; Jankovic, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Background There is growing interest in the therapeutic potential of marijuana (cannabis) and cannabinoid-based chemicals within the medical community and particularly for neurologic conditions. This interest is driven both by changes in the legal status of cannabis in many areas and increasing research into the roles of endocannabinoids within the central nervous system and their potential as symptomatic and/or neuroprotective therapies. We review basic science, preclinical and clinical studies on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids specifically as it relates to movement disorders. Results The pharmacology of cannabis is complex with over 60 neuroactive chemicals identified to date. The endocannabinoid system modulates neurotransmission involved in motor function, particularly within the basal ganglia. Preclinical research in animal models of several movement disorders have shown variable evidence for symptomatic benefits but more consistently suggest potential neuroprotective effects in several animal models of Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD). Clinical observations and clinical trials of cannabinoid-based therapies suggests a possible benefit of cannabinoids for tics and probably no benefit for tremor in multiple sclerosis or dyskinesias or motor symptoms in PD. Data are insufficient to draw conclusions regarding HD, dystonia or ataxia and nonexistent for myoclonus or restless legs syndrome. Conclusions Despite the widespread publicity about the medical benefits of cannabinoids, further preclinical and clinical research is needed to better characterize the pharmacological, physiological and therapeutic effects of this class of drugs in movement disorders. PMID:25649017

  7. Peripherally Restricted Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Sandoval, E Alfonso; Asbill, Scott; Paige, Candler A; Byrd-Glover, Kiara

    2015-10-01

    The use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic diseases has increased in the United States, with 23 states having legalized the use of marijuana. Although currently available cannabinoid compounds have shown effectiveness in relieving symptoms associated with numerous diseases, the use of cannabis or cannabinoids is still controversial mostly due to their psychotropic effects (e.g., euphoria, laughter) or central nervous system (CNS)-related undesired effects (e.g., tolerance, dependence). A potential strategy to use cannabinoids for medical conditions without inducing psychotropic or CNS-related undesired effects is to avoid their actions in the CNS. This approach could be beneficial for conditions with prominent peripheral pathophysiologic mechanisms (e.g., painful diabetic neuropathy, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy). In this article, we discuss the scientific evidence to target the peripheral cannabinoid system as an alternative to cannabis use for medical purposes, and we review the available literature to determine the pros and cons of potential strategies that can be used to this end. © 2015 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.

  8. Cannabinoids reduce markers of inflammation and fibrosis in pancreatic stellate cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph W Michalski

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: While cannabinoids have been shown to ameliorate liver fibrosis, their effects in chronic pancreatitis and on pancreatic stellate cells (PSC are unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The activity of the endocannabinoid system was evaluated in human chronic pancreatitis (CP tissues. In vitro, effects of blockade and activation of cannabinoid receptors on pancreatic stellate cells were characterized. In CP, cannabinoid receptors were detected predominantly in areas with inflammatory changes, stellate cells and nerves. Levels of endocannabinoids were decreased compared with normal pancreas. Cannabinoid-receptor-1 antagonism effectuated a small PSC phenotype and a trend toward increased invasiveness. Activation of cannabinoid receptors, however, induced de-activation of PSC and dose-dependently inhibited growth and decreased IL-6 and MCP-1 secretion as well as fibronectin, collagen1 and alphaSMA levels. De-activation of PSC was partially reversible using a combination of cannabinoid-receptor-1 and -2 antagonists. Concomitantly, cannabinoid receptor activation specifically decreased invasiveness of PSC, MMP-2 secretion and led to changes in PSC phenotype accompanied by a reduction of intracellular stress fibres. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Augmentation of the endocannabinoid system via exogenously administered cannabinoid receptor agonists specifically induces a functionally and metabolically quiescent pancreatic stellate cell phenotype and may thus constitute an option to treat inflammation and fibrosis in chronic pancreatitis.

  9. Cannabinoid receptors in the kidney.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hryciw, Deanne H; McAinch, Andrew J

    2016-09-01

    The endocannabinoid system modulates cell signaling targets that are essential for energy homeostasis. Endocannabinoids bind to G protein-coupled receptors in the central nervous system and periphery, including the kidney. Modulation of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and CB2 activity in the kidney in diabetes and obesity has been identified as potential therapeutic target to reduce albuminuria and renal fibrosis. This review will highlight the results of recent studies that have identified a role for CB1 and CB2 in normal and pathological renal conditions. CB1 and CB2 have been reported to play key roles in renal function and dysfunction. Recent studies have determined that antagonism of CB1 and agonism of CB2 in diabetic nephropathy and obesity associated kidney disease can reduce albuminuria, potentially by acting on both the glomeruli and tubules. Emerging studies have also identified a role for CB1 in renal diseases associated with fibrosis, with CB1 upregulated in multiple models of human nephropathies. Emerging studies using isolated cells, rodent models, and human studies have identified a critical role for the endocannabinoid system in renal function and disease. Thus, therapeutics that modulate the activity of CB1 and CB2 in renal disease could become clinically relevant.

  10. The sleeping brain as a complex system.

    OpenAIRE

    Olbrich Eckehard; Achermann Peter; Wennekers Thomas

    2011-01-01

    'Complexity science' is a rapidly developing research direction with applications in a multitude of fields that study complex systems consisting of a number of nonlinear elements with interesting dynamics and mutual interactions. This Theme Issue 'The complexity of sleep' aims at fostering the application of complexity science to sleep research because the brain in its different sleep stages adopts different global states that express distinct activity patterns in large and complex networks o...

  11. Cannabinoids and Reproduction: A Lasting and Intriguing History

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilda Cobellis

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Starting from an historical overview of lasting Cannabis use over the centuries, we will focus on a description of the cannabinergic system, with a comprehensive analysis of chemical and pharmacological properties of endogenous and synthetic cannabimimetic analogues. The metabolic pathways and the signal transduction mechanisms, activated by cannabinoid receptors stimulation, will also be discussed. In particular, we will point out the action of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids on the different neuronal networks involved in reproductive axis, and locally, on male and female reproductive tracts, by emphasizing the pivotal role played by this system in the control of fertility.

  12. Cannabinoids and Reproduction: A Lasting and Intriguing History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacciola, Giovanna; Chianese, Rosanna; Chioccarelli, Teresa; Ciaramella, Vincenza; Fasano, Silvia; Pierantoni, Riccardo; Meccariello, Rosaria; Cobellis, Gilda

    2010-01-01

    Starting from an historical overview of lasting Cannabis use over the centuries, we will focus on a description of the cannabinergic system, with a comprehensive analysis of chemical and pharmacological properties of endogenous and synthetic cannabimimetic analogues. The metabolic pathways and the signal transduction mechanisms, activated by cannabinoid receptors stimulation, will also be discussed. In particular, we will point out the action of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids on the different neuronal networks involved in reproductive axis, and locally, on male and female reproductive tracts, by emphasizing the pivotal role played by this system in the control of fertility.

  13. Update on the Role of Cannabinoid Receptors after Ischemic Stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano S. A. Capettini

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids are considered as key mediators in the pathophysiology of inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis. In particular, they have been shown to reduce the ischemic injury after acute cardiovascular events, such as acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. These protective and anti-inflammatory properties on peripheral tissues and circulating inflammatory have been demonstrated to involve their binding with both selective cannabinoid type 1 (CB1 and type 2 (CB2 transmembrane receptors. On the other hands, the recent discoveries of novel different classes of cannabinoids and receptors have increased the complexity of this system in atherosclerosis. Although only preliminary data have been reported on the activities of novel cannabinoid receptors, several studies have already investigated the role of CB1 and CB2 receptors in ischemic stroke. While CB1 receptor activation has been shown to directly reduce atherosclerotic plaque inflammation, controversial data have been shown on neurotransmission and neuroprotection after stroke. Given its potent anti-inflammatory activities on circulating leukocytes, the CB2 activation has been proven to produce protective effects against acute poststroke inflammation. In this paper, we will update evidence on different cannabinoid-triggered avenues to reduce inflammation and neuronal injury in acute ischemic stroke.

  14. Engineering yeasts as platform organisms for cannabinoid biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zirpel, Bastian; Degenhardt, Friederike; Martin, Chantale; Kayser, Oliver; Stehle, Felix

    2017-10-10

    Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is a plant derived secondary natural product from the plant Cannabis satival. The discovery of the human endocannabinoid system in the late 1980s resulted in a growing number of known physiological functions of both synthetic and plant derived cannabinoids. Thus, manifold therapeutic indications of cannabinoids currently comprise a significant area of research. Here we reconstituted the final biosynthetic cannabinoid pathway in yeasts. The use of the soluble prenyltransferase NphB from Streptomyces sp. strain CL190 enables the replacement of the native transmembrane prenyltransferase cannabigerolic acid synthase from C. sativa. In addition to the desired product cannabigerolic acid, NphB catalyzes an O-prenylation leading to 2-O-geranyl olivetolic acid. We show for the first time that the bacterial prenyltransferase and the final enzyme of the cannabinoid pathway tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase can both be actively expressed in the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Komagataella phaffii simultaneously. While enzyme activities in S. cerevisiae were insufficient to produce THCA from olivetolic acid and geranyl diphosphate, genomic multi-copy integrations of the enzyme's coding sequences in K. phaffii resulted in successful synthesis of THCA from olivetolic acid and geranyl diphosphate. This study is an important step toward total biosynthesis of valuable cannabinoids and derivatives and demonstrates the potential for developing a sustainable and secure yeast bio-manufacturing platform. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The antitumor activity of plant-derived non-psychoactive cannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAllister, Sean D.; Soroceanu, Liliana; Desprez, Pierre-Yves

    2015-01-01

    As a therapeutic agent, most people are familiar with the palliative effects of the primary psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa (CS), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a molecule active at both the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor subtypes. Through the activation primarily of CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, THC can reduce nausea, emesis and pain in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. During the last decade, however, several studies have now shown that CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists can act as direct antitumor agents in a variety of aggressive cancers. In addition to THC, there are many other cannabinoids found in CS, and a majority produces little to no psychoactivity due to the inability to activate cannabinoid receptors. For example, the second most abundant cannabinoid in CS is the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD). Using animal models, CBD has been shown to inhibit the progression of many types of cancer including glioblastoma (GBM), breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer. This review will center on mechanisms by which CBD, and other plant-derived cannabinoids inefficient at activating cannabinoid receptors, inhibit tumor cell viability, invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis, and the stem-like potential of cancer stem cells. We will also discuss the ability of non-psychoactive cannabinoids to induce autophagy and apoptotic-mediated cancer cell death, and enhance the activity of first-line agents commonly used in cancer treatment. PMID:25916739

  16. The Antitumor Activity of Plant-Derived Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAllister, Sean D; Soroceanu, Liliana; Desprez, Pierre-Yves

    2015-06-01

    As a therapeutic agent, most people are familiar with the palliative effects of the primary psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa (CS), Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a molecule active at both the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor subtypes. Through the activation primarily of CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, THC can reduce nausea, emesis and pain in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. During the last decade, however, several studies have now shown that CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists can act as direct antitumor agents in a variety of aggressive cancers. In addition to THC, there are many other cannabinoids found in CS, and a majority produces little to no psychoactivity due to the inability to activate cannabinoid receptors. For example, the second most abundant cannabinoid in CS is the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD). Using animal models, CBD has been shown to inhibit the progression of many types of cancer including glioblastoma (GBM), breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer. This review will center on mechanisms by which CBD, and other plant-derived cannabinoids inefficient at activating cannabinoid receptors, inhibit tumor cell viability, invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis, and the stem-like potential of cancer cells. We will also discuss the ability of non-psychoactive cannabinoids to induce autophagy and apoptotic-mediated cancer cell death, and enhance the activity of first-line agents commonly used in cancer treatment.

  17. A vapourized Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC) delivery system part I: development and validation of a pulmonary cannabinoid route of exposure for experimental pharmacology studies in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manwell, Laurie A; Charchoglyan, Armen; Brewer, Dyanne; Matthews, Brittany A; Heipel, Heather; Mallet, Paul E

    2014-01-01

    Most studies evaluating the effects of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC) in animal models administer it via a parenteral route (e.g., intraperitoneal (IP) or intravenous injection (IV)), however, the common route of administration for human users is pulmonary (e.g., smoking or vapourizing marijuana). A vapourized Δ(9)-THC delivery system for rodents was developed and used to compare the effects of pulmonary and parenteral Δ(9)-THC administration on blood cannabinoid levels and behaviour. Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to pulmonary Δ(9)-THC (1, 5, and 10mg of inhaled vapour) delivered via a Volcano® vapourizing device (Storz and Bickel, Germany) or to parenteral Δ(9)-THC (0.25, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5mg/kg injected IP). Quantification of Δ(9)-THC and its psychoactive metabolite, 11-hydroxy-Δ(9)-THC (11-OH-Δ(9)-THC), in blood was determined by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS). In order to verify the potential for the vapourization procedure to produce a robust conditioned place preference (CPP) or conditioned place avoidance CPA, classical conditioning procedures were systematically varied by altering the exposure time (10 or 20min) and number of exposed rats (1 or 2) while maintaining the same vapourization dose (10mg). Blood collected at 20min intervals showed similar dose-dependent and time-dependent changes in Δ(9)-THC and 11-OH-Δ(9)-THC for both pulmonary and parenteral administration of Δ(9)-THC. However, vapourized Δ(9)-THC induced CPP under certain conditions whereas IP-administered Δ(9)-THC induced CPA. These results support and extend the limited evidence (e.g., in humans, Naef et al., 2004; in rodents, Niyuhire et al., 2007) that Δ(9)-THC produces qualitatively different effects on behaviour depending upon the route of administration. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Effect of synthetic cannabinoid HU210 on memory deficits and neuropathology in Alzheimer's disease mouse model.

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    Chen, B; Bromley-Brits, K; He, G; Cai, F; Zhang, X; Song, W

    2010-05-01

    Cannabinoids have been shown to increase neurogenesis in adult brain, as well as protect neurons from excitotoxicity, calcium influx, inflammation, and ischemia. Recent studies have shown that synthetic cannabinoids can alleviate water maze impairments in rats treated with intracranial amyloid beta protein (Abeta); however it is unknown whether this effect is due to the cannabinoids' anti-inflammatory properties or whether it affects Abeta processing. Here we investigate whether cannabinoids have any effect on Alzheimer's disease in vivo. We found that HU210, a potent synthetic cannabinoid, did not improve water maze performance or a contextual fear conditioning task in an APP23/PS45 double transgenic mouse model of AD. HU210 had no effect on APP processing and Abeta generation, as well as neuritic plaque formation in the brains of AD transgenic mice. Our study showed that synthetic cannabinoid HU210 had no beneficial effects on AD neuropathology and behavioral deficits of AD model mice, which advises caution of such drug's application in AD therapies.

  19. The Analgesic Potential of Cannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elikottil, Jaseena; Gupta, Pankaj; Gupta, Kalpna

    2013-01-01

    Historically and anecdotally cannabinoids have been used as analgesic agents. In recent years, there has been an escalating interest in developing cannabis-derived medications to treat severe pain. This review provides an overview of the history of cannabis use in medicine, cannabinoid signaling pathways, and current data from preclinical as well as clinical studies on using cannabinoids as potential analgesic agents. Clinical and experimental studies show that cannabis-derived compounds act as anti-emetic, appetite modulating and analgesic agents. However, the efficacy of individual products is variable and dependent upon the route of administration. Since opioids are the only therapy for severe pain, analgesic ability of cannabinoids may provide a much-needed alternative to opioids. Moreover, cannabinoids act synergistically with opioids and act as opioid sparing agents, allowing lower doses and fewer side effects from chronic opioid therapy. Thus, rational use of cannabis based medications deserves serious consideration to alleviate the suffering of patients due to severe pain. PMID:20073408

  20. Cannabinoids in health and disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogan, Natalya M.; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2007-01-01

    Cannabis sativa L. preparations have been used in medicine for millenia. However, concern over the dangers of abuse led to the banning of the medicinal use of marijuana in most countries in the 1930s. Only recently, marijuana and individual natural and synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as chemically related compounds, whose mechanism of action is still obscure, have come back to being considered of therapeutic value. However, their use is highly restricted. Despite the mild addiction to cannabis and the possible enhancement of addiction to other substances of abuse, when combined with cannabis, the therapeutic value of cannabinoids is too high to be put aside. Numerous diseases, such as anorexia, emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Tourette's syndrome, Alzheimer's disease), epilepsy, glaucoma, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, and metabolic syndrome-related disorders, to name just a few, are being treated or have the potential to be treated by cannabinoid agonists/antagonists/cannabinoid-related compounds. In view of the very low toxicity and the generally benign side effects of this group of compounds, neglecting or denying their clinical potential is unacceptable - instead, we need to work on the development of more selective cannabinoid receptor agonists/antagonists and related compounds, as well as on novel drugs of this family with better selectivity, distribution patterns, and pharmacokinetics, and - in cases where it is impossible to separate the desired clinical action and the psychoactivity - just to monitor these side effects carefully. PMID:18286801

  1. Cannabinoids: occurrence and medicinal chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appendino, G; Chianese, G; Taglialatela-Scafati, O

    2011-01-01

    With an inventory of several hundreds secondary metabolites identified, Cannabis sativa L. (hemp) is one of the phytochemically best characterized plant species. The biomedical relevance of hemp undoubtedly underlies the wealth of data on its constituents and their biological activities, and cannabinoids, a class of unique meroterpenoids derived from the alkylation of an olivetollike alkyl resorcinol with a monoterpene unit, are the most typical constituents of Cannabis. In addition to the well-known psychotropic properties of Δ(9)-THC, cannabinoids have been reported to show potential in various fields of medicine, with the capacity to address unmet needs like the relief of chemotherapy-derived nausea and anorexia, and symptomatic mitigation of multiple sclerosis. Many of the potential therapeutic uses of cannabinoids are related to the interaction with (at least) two cannabinoid G-protein coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2). However, a number of activities, like the antibacterial or the antitumor properties are non totally dependent or fully independent from the interaction with these proteins. These pharmacological activities are particularly interesting since, in principle, they could be easily dissociated by the unwanted psychotropic effects. This review aims at giving readers a survey of the more recent advances in both phytochemistry of C. sativa, the medicinal chemistry of cannabinoids, and their distribution in plants, highlighting the impact that research in these hot fields could have for modern medicinal chemistry and pharmacology.

  2. Insulin Action in Brain Regulates Systemic Metabolism and Brain Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinridders, André; Ferris, Heather A.; Cai, Weikang

    2014-01-01

    Insulin receptors, as well as IGF-1 receptors and their postreceptor signaling partners, are distributed throughout the brain. Insulin acts on these receptors to modulate peripheral metabolism, including regulation of appetite, reproductive function, body temperature, white fat mass, hepatic glucose output, and response to hypoglycemia. Insulin signaling also modulates neurotransmitter channel activity, brain cholesterol synthesis, and mitochondrial function. Disruption of insulin action in the brain leads to impairment of neuronal function and synaptogenesis. In addition, insulin signaling modulates phosphorylation of tau protein, an early component in the development of Alzheimer disease. Thus, alterations in insulin action in the brain can contribute to metabolic syndrome, and the development of mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24931034

  3. A dedicated neonatal brain imaging system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winchman, Tobias; Padormo, Francesco; Teixeira, Rui; Wurie, Julia; Sharma, Maryanne; Fox, Matthew; Hutter, Jana; Cordero‐Grande, Lucilio; Price, Anthony N.; Allsop, Joanna; Bueno‐Conde, Jose; Tusor, Nora; Arichi, Tomoki; Edwards, A. D.; Rutherford, Mary A.; Counsell, Serena J.; Hajnal, Joseph V.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The goal of the Developing Human Connectome Project is to acquire MRI in 1000 neonates to create a dynamic map of human brain connectivity during early development. High‐quality imaging in this cohort without sedation presents a number of technical and practical challenges. Methods We designed a neonatal brain imaging system (NBIS) consisting of a dedicated 32‐channel receive array coil and a positioning device that allows placement of the infant's head deep into the coil for maximum signal‐to‐noise ratio (SNR). Disturbance to the infant was minimized by using an MRI‐compatible trolley to prepare and transport the infant and by employing a slow ramp‐up and continuation of gradient noise during scanning. Scan repeats were minimized by using a restart capability for diffusion MRI and retrospective motion correction. We measured the 1) SNR gain, 2) number of infants with a completed scan protocol, and 3) number of anatomical images with no motion artifact using NBIS compared with using an adult 32‐channel head coil. Results The NBIS has 2.4 times the SNR of the adult coil and 90% protocol completion rate. Conclusion The NBIS allows advanced neonatal brain imaging techniques to be employed in neonatal brain imaging with high protocol completion rates. Magn Reson Med 78:794–804, 2017. © 2016 The Authors Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. PMID:27643791

  4. A dedicated neonatal brain imaging system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Emer J; Winchman, Tobias; Padormo, Francesco; Teixeira, Rui; Wurie, Julia; Sharma, Maryanne; Fox, Matthew; Hutter, Jana; Cordero-Grande, Lucilio; Price, Anthony N; Allsop, Joanna; Bueno-Conde, Jose; Tusor, Nora; Arichi, Tomoki; Edwards, A D; Rutherford, Mary A; Counsell, Serena J; Hajnal, Joseph V

    2017-08-01

    The goal of the Developing Human Connectome Project is to acquire MRI in 1000 neonates to create a dynamic map of human brain connectivity during early development. High-quality imaging in this cohort without sedation presents a number of technical and practical challenges. We designed a neonatal brain imaging system (NBIS) consisting of a dedicated 32-channel receive array coil and a positioning device that allows placement of the infant's head deep into the coil for maximum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Disturbance to the infant was minimized by using an MRI-compatible trolley to prepare and transport the infant and by employing a slow ramp-up and continuation of gradient noise during scanning. Scan repeats were minimized by using a restart capability for diffusion MRI and retrospective motion correction. We measured the 1) SNR gain, 2) number of infants with a completed scan protocol, and 3) number of anatomical images with no motion artifact using NBIS compared with using an adult 32-channel head coil. The NBIS has 2.4 times the SNR of the adult coil and 90% protocol completion rate. The NBIS allows advanced neonatal brain imaging techniques to be employed in neonatal brain imaging with high protocol completion rates. Magn Reson Med 78:794-804, 2017. © 2016 The Authors Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. © 2016 The Authors Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  5. The peptide hemopressin acts through CB1 cannabinoid receptors to reduce food intake in rats and mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Garron T; Mancini, Giacomo; Lutz, Beat; Luckman, Simon M

    2010-05-26

    Hemopressin is a short, nine amino acid peptide (H-Pro-Val-Asn-Phe-Lys-Leu-Leu-Ser-His-OH) isolated from rat brain that behaves as an inverse agonist at the cannabinoid receptor CB(1), and is shown here to inhibit agonist-induced receptor internalization in a heterologous cell model. Since this peptide occurs naturally in the rodent brain, we determined its effect on appetite, an established central target of cannabinoid signaling. Hemopressin dose-dependently decreases night-time food intake in normal male rats and mice, as well as in obese ob/ob male mice, when administered centrally or systemically, without causing any obvious adverse side effects. The normal, behavioral satiety sequence is maintained in male mice fasted overnight, though refeeding is attenuated. The anorectic effect is absent in CB(1) receptor null mutant male mice, and hemopressin can block CB(1) agonist-induced hyperphagia in male rats, providing strong evidence for antagonism of the CB(1) receptor in vivo. We speculate that hemopressin may act as an endogenous functional antagonist at CB(1) receptors and modulate the activity of appetite pathways in the brain.

  6. Localization and function of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in the anterolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.

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    Nagore Puente

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST is involved in behaviors related to natural reward, drug addiction and stress. In spite of the emerging role of the endogenous cannabinoid (eCB system in these behaviors, little is known about the anatomy and function of this system in the anterolateral BNST (alBNST. The aim of this study was to provide a detailed morphological characterization of the localization of the cannabinoid 1 (CB1 receptor a necessary step toward a better understanding of the physiological roles of the eCB system in this region of the brain. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have combined anatomical approaches at the confocal and electron microscopy level to ex-vivo electrophysiological techniques. Here, we report that CB1 is localized on presynaptic membranes of about 55% of immunopositive synaptic terminals for the vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (vGluT1, which contain abundant spherical, clear synaptic vesicles and make asymmetrical synapses with alBNST neurons. About 64% of vGluT1 immunonegative synaptic terminals show CB1 immunolabeling. Furthermore, 30% and 35% of presynaptic boutons localize CB1 in alBNST of conditional mutant mice lacking CB1 mainly from GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1-KO mice and mainly from cortical glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1-KO mice, respectively. Extracellular field recordings and whole cell patch clamp in the alBNST rat brain slice preparation revealed that activation of CB1 strongly inhibits excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study supports the anterolateral BNST as a potential neuronal substrate of the effects of cannabinoids on stress-related behaviors.

  7. Localization and function of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in the anterolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puente, Nagore; Elezgarai, Izaskun; Lafourcade, Mathieu; Reguero, Leire; Marsicano, Giovanni; Georges, François; Manzoni, Olivier J; Grandes, Pedro

    2010-01-25

    The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is involved in behaviors related to natural reward, drug addiction and stress. In spite of the emerging role of the endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) system in these behaviors, little is known about the anatomy and function of this system in the anterolateral BNST (alBNST). The aim of this study was to provide a detailed morphological characterization of the localization of the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor a necessary step toward a better understanding of the physiological roles of the eCB system in this region of the brain. We have combined anatomical approaches at the confocal and electron microscopy level to ex-vivo electrophysiological techniques. Here, we report that CB1 is localized on presynaptic membranes of about 55% of immunopositive synaptic terminals for the vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (vGluT1), which contain abundant spherical, clear synaptic vesicles and make asymmetrical synapses with alBNST neurons. About 64% of vGluT1 immunonegative synaptic terminals show CB1 immunolabeling. Furthermore, 30% and 35% of presynaptic boutons localize CB1 in alBNST of conditional mutant mice lacking CB1 mainly from GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1-KO mice) and mainly from cortical glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1-KO mice), respectively. Extracellular field recordings and whole cell patch clamp in the alBNST rat brain slice preparation revealed that activation of CB1 strongly inhibits excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. This study supports the anterolateral BNST as a potential neuronal substrate of the effects of cannabinoids on stress-related behaviors.

  8. Cannabinoids enhance gastric X/A-like cells activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogusław Sawicki

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available It has been reported that cannabinoids may cause overeating in humans and in laboratory animals. Although, endogenous cannabinoids and their receptors (CB1 have been found in the hypothalamus, and recently also in gastrointestinal tract, the precise mechanism of appetite control by cannabinoids remains unknown. Recently, ghrelin--a hormone secreted mainly from the stomach X/A-like cells was proposed to be an appetite stimulating agent. The aim of this study was the evaluation of the influence of a single ip injection of a stable analogue of endogenous cannabinoid--anandamide, R-(+-methanandamide (2.5 mg/kg and CP 55,940 (0.25 mg/kg, an exogenous agonist of CB1 receptors, on ghrelin plasma concentration and on ghrelin immunoreactivity in the gastric mucosa of male Wistar rats. Four hours after a single injection of both cannabinoids or vehicle, the animals were anaesthetized and blood was taken from the abdominal aorta to determinate plasma ghrelin concentration by RIA. Subsequently, the animals underwent resection of distal part of stomach. Immunohistochemical study of gastric mucosa, using the EnVision method and specific monoclonal antibodies against ghrelin was performed. The intensity of ghrelin immunoreactivity in X/A-like cells was analyzed using Olympus Cell D image analysis system. The attenuation of ghrelin-immunoreactivity of gastric mucosa, after a single injection of R-(+-methanandamide and CP 55,940 was accompanied by a significant increase of ghrelin plasma concentration. These results indicate that stimulation of appetite exerted by cannabinoids may be connected with an increase of ghrelin secretion from gastric X/A-like cells.

  9. Cannabinoids for fibromyalgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walitt, Brian; Klose, Petra; Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann; Phillips, Tudor; Häuser, Winfried

    2016-07-18

    This review is one of a series on drugs used to treat fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a clinically well-defined chronic condition of unknown aetiology characterised by chronic widespread pain that often co-exists with sleep problems and fatigue affecting approximately 2% of the general population. People often report high disability levels and poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Drug therapy focuses on reducing key symptoms and disability, and improving HRQoL. Cannabis has been used for millennia to reduce pain and other somatic and psychological symptoms. To assess the efficacy, tolerability and safety of cannabinoids for fibromyalgia symptoms in adults. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and EMBASE to April 2016, together with reference lists of retrieved papers and reviews, three clinical trial registries, and contact with trial authors. We selected randomised controlled trials of at least four weeks' duration of any formulation of cannabis products used for the treatment of adults with fibromyalgia. Two review authors independently extracted the data of all included studies and assessed risk of bias. We resolved discrepancies by discussion. We performed analysis using three tiers of evidence. First tier evidence was derived from data meeting current best standards and subject to minimal risk of bias (outcome equivalent to substantial pain intensity reduction, intention-to-treat analysis without imputation for drop-outs; at least 200 participants in the comparison, eight to 12 weeks' duration, parallel design), second tier evidence from data that did not meet one or more of these criteria and were considered at some risk of bias but with adequate numbers (i.e. data from at least 200 participants) in the comparison, and third tier evidence from data involving small numbers of participants that were considered very likely to be biased or used outcomes of limited clinical utility, or both. We assessed the

  10. Preclinical and Clinical Assessment of Cannabinoids as Anti-Cancer Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel A. Ladin

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States with 1.7 million new cases estimated to be diagnosed in 2016. This disease remains a formidable clinical challenge and represents a substantial financial burden to the US health care system. Therefore, research and development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer is of high priority. Cannabinoids and their derivatives have been utilized for their medicinal and therapeutic properties throughout history. Cannabinoid activity is regulated through the endocannabinoid system, which is comprised of cannabinoid receptors, transporters, and enzymes involved in cannabinoid synthesis and breakdown. More recently, cannabinoids have gained special attention for their role in cancer development and reduction. However, many studies investigated these roles using in vitro models which may not adequately mimic tumor growth and metastasis. As such, this article aims to review study results which evaluated effects of cannabinoids from plant, synthetic and endogenous origins on cancer development in preclinical models and to examine the current standing of cannabinoids currently being tested in human cancer patients.

  11. Cannabinoids Modulate Neuronal Activity and Cancer by CB1 and CB2 Receptor-Independent Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderstrom, Ken; Soliman, Eman; Van Dross, Rukiyah

    2017-01-01

    Cannabinoids include the active constituents of Cannabis or are molecules that mimic the structure and/or function of these Cannabis-derived molecules. Cannabinoids produce many of their cellular and organ system effects by interacting with the well-characterized CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, it has become clear that not all effects of cannabinoid drugs are attributable to their interaction with CB1 and CB2 receptors. Evidence now demonstrates that cannabinoid agents produce effects by modulating activity of the entire array of cellular macromolecules targeted by other drug classes, including: other receptor types; ion channels; transporters; enzymes, and protein- and non-protein cellular structures. This review summarizes evidence for these interactions in the CNS and in cancer, and is organized according to the cellular targets involved. The CNS represents a well-studied area and cancer is emerging in terms of understanding mechanisms by which cannabinoids modulate their activity. Considering the CNS and cancer together allow identification of non-cannabinoid receptor targets that are shared and divergent in both systems. This comparative approach allows the identified targets to be compared and contrasted, suggesting potential new areas of investigation. It also provides insight into the diverse sources of efficacy employed by this interesting class of drugs. Obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the diverse mechanisms of cannabinoid action may lead to the design and development of therapeutic agents with greater efficacy and specificity for their cellular targets.

  12. Cannabinoids Modulate Neuronal Activity and Cancer by CB1 and CB2 Receptor-Independent Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Soderstrom

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids include the active constituents of Cannabis or are molecules that mimic the structure and/or function of these Cannabis-derived molecules. Cannabinoids produce many of their cellular and organ system effects by interacting with the well-characterized CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, it has become clear that not all effects of cannabinoid drugs are attributable to their interaction with CB1 and CB2 receptors. Evidence now demonstrates that cannabinoid agents produce effects by modulating activity of the entire array of cellular macromolecules targeted by other drug classes, including: other receptor types; ion channels; transporters; enzymes, and protein- and non-protein cellular structures. This review summarizes evidence for these interactions in the CNS and in cancer, and is organized according to the cellular targets involved. The CNS represents a well-studied area and cancer is emerging in terms of understanding mechanisms by which cannabinoids modulate their activity. Considering the CNS and cancer together allow identification of non-cannabinoid receptor targets that are shared and divergent in both systems. This comparative approach allows the identified targets to be compared and contrasted, suggesting potential new areas of investigation. It also provides insight into the diverse sources of efficacy employed by this interesting class of drugs. Obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the diverse mechanisms of cannabinoid action may lead to the design and development of therapeutic agents with greater efficacy and specificity for their cellular targets.

  13. Preclinical and Clinical Assessment of Cannabinoids as Anti-Cancer Agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladin, Daniel A; Soliman, Eman; Griffin, LaToya; Van Dross, Rukiyah

    2016-01-01

    Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States with 1.7 million new cases estimated to be diagnosed in 2016. This disease remains a formidable clinical challenge and represents a substantial financial burden to the US health care system. Therefore, research and development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer is of high priority. Cannabinoids and their derivatives have been utilized for their medicinal and therapeutic properties throughout history. Cannabinoid activity is regulated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is comprised of cannabinoid receptors, transporters, and enzymes involved in cannabinoid synthesis and breakdown. More recently, cannabinoids have gained special attention for their role in cancer cell proliferation and death. However, many studies investigated these effects using in vitro models which may not adequately mimic tumor growth and metastasis. As such, this article aims to review study results which evaluated effects of cannabinoids from plant, synthetic and endogenous origins on cancer development in preclinical animal models and to examine the current standing of cannabinoids that are being tested in human cancer patients.

  14. 76 FR 71351 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Development of Cannabinoid(s) and Cannabidiol(s) Based...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

    ... Cannabinoid(s) and Cannabidiol(s) Based Therapeutics To Treat Hepatic Encephalopathy in Humans. AGENCY... be limited to: The development and sale of cannabinoid(s) and cannabidiol(s) based therapeutics as... chronic neurodegenerative diseases. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as Cannabidiol (CBD), are...

  15. Human studies of cannabinoids and medicinal cannabis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robson, P

    2005-01-01

    Cannabis has been known as a medicine for several thousand years across many cultures. It reached a position of prominence within Western medicine in the nineteenth century but became mired in disrepute and legal controls early in the twentieth century. Despite unremitting world-wide suppression, recreational cannabis exploded into popular culture in the 1960s and has remained easily obtainable on the black market in most countries ever since. This ready availability has allowed many thousands of patients to rediscover the apparent power of the drug to alleviate symptoms of some of the most cruel and refractory diseases known to humankind. Pioneering clinical research in the last quarter of the twentieth century has given some support to these anecdotal reports, but the methodological challenges to human research involving a pariah drug are formidable. Studies have tended to be small, imperfectly controlled, and have often incorporated unsatisfactory synthetic cannabinoid analogues or smoked herbal material of uncertain composition and irregular bioavailability. As a result, the scientific evaluation of medicinal cannabis in humans is still in its infancy. New possibilities in human research have been opened up by the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, a rapidly expanding knowledge of cannabinoid pharmacology, and a more sympathetic political environment in several countries. More and more scientists and clinicians are becoming interested in exploring the potential of cannabis-based medicines. Future targets will extend beyond symptom relief into disease modification, and already cannabinoids seem to offer particular promise in the treatment of certain inflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions. This chapter will begin with an outline of the development and current status of legal controls pertaining to cannabis, following which the existing human research will be reviewed. Some key safety issues will then be considered, and the chapter will conclude with

  16. Cannabinoids and the regulation of ingestive behaviour.

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    Vickers, S P; Kennett, G A

    2005-03-01

    Over past centuries, Cannabis sativa (Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol being the principal active ingredient) has been used extensively for both medicinal and recreational uses, and one widely reported effect is the onset of a ravenous appetite and eating behaviour. The pharmacological properties of such exogenous cannabinoids are mediated through the activation of two receptor subtypes, the CB(1) and CB(2) receptors. A number of endogenous ligands for these receptors, the endocannabinoids, have now also been identified allowing their effects on ingestive behaviour to be determined. In a number of species, including man, the administration of exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids leads to robust increases in food intake and can promote body weight gain. These effects are believed to be mediated through activation of the CB(1) receptor. Conversely, experiments with selective CB(1) receptor antagonists have demonstrated reductions in food intake and body weight with repeated compound administration. These reductions in body weight appear to be greater in obese animals and may be the result of a dual effect on both food intake and metabolic processes. Such findings have led to a number of pharmaceutical companies developing selective CB(1) receptor antagonists for the treatment of obesity. The most advanced compound is Sanofi-Synthelabo's inverse agonist, rimonabant (Acomplia; SR-141716), and early Phase III results have recently demonstrated significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference and improvement of lipid and glucose metabolism in overweight and obese humans. Accordingly, the cannabinoid system appears to have an important role in the regulation of ingestive behaviour in man and animals.

  17. Effects of a selective cannabinoid CB2 agonist and antagonist on intravenous nicotine self administration and reinstatement of nicotine seeking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Islam Gamaleddin

    Full Text Available Over the last decade there have been significant advances in the discovery and understanding of the cannabinoid system along with the development of pharmacologic tools that modulate its function. Characterization of the crosstalk between nicotine addiction and the cannabinoid system may have significant implications on our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying nicotine dependence. Two types of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 have been identified. CB1 receptors are expressed in the brain and modulate drug taking and drug seeking for various drugs of abuse, including nicotine. CB2 receptors have been recently identified in the brain and have been proposed to play a functional role in mental disorders and drug addiction. Our objective was to explore the role of CB2 receptors on intravenous nicotine self administration under two schedules of reinforcement (fixed and progressive ratio and on nicotine seeking induced by nicotine priming or by nicotine associated cues. For this, we evaluated the effects of various doses of the selective CB2 antagonist AM630 (1.25 to 5 mg/kg and CB2 agonist AM1241 (1 to 10 mg/kg on these behavioral responses in rats. Different groups of male Long Evans rats were trained to lever press for nicotine at a unit dose of 30 µg/kg/infusion. Subsequently, animals were randomized using a Latin-square design and injected with either AM1241 or AM630 using a counterbalanced within subject design. Administration of the CB2 ligands did not affect either nicotine-taking nicotine-seeking behavior. Our results do not support the involvement of CB2 receptors in nicotine-taking or nicotine-seeking behavior.

  18. Cannabinoids attenuate cancer pain and proliferation in a mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saghafi, Negin; Lam, David K; Schmidt, Brian L

    2011-01-25

    We investigated the effects of cannabinoid receptor agonists on (1) oral cancer cell viability in vitro and (2) oral cancer pain and tumor growth in a mouse cancer model. We utilized immunohistochemistry and Western blot to show that human oral cancer cells express CBr1 and CBr2. When treated with WIN55,212-2 (non-selective), ACEA (CBr1-selective) or AM1241 (CBr2-selective) agonists in vitro, oral cancer cell proliferation was significantly attenuated in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo, systemic administration (0.013M) of WIN55,212-2, ACEA, or AM1241 significantly attenuated cancer-induced mechanical allodynia. Tumor growth was also significantly attenuated with systemic AM1241 administration. Our findings suggest a direct role for cannabinoid mechanisms in oral cancer pain and proliferation. The systemic administration of cannabinoid receptor agonists may have important therapeutic implications wherein cannabinoid receptor agonists may reduce morbidity and mortality of oral cancer. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Activation of type-1 cannabinoid receptor shifts the balance between excitation and inhibition towards excitation in layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the rat prelimbic cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Boon, Femke S; Werkman, Taco R; Schaafsma-Zhao, Qiluan; Houthuijs, Kas; Vitalis, Tania; Kruse, Chris G; Wadman, Wytse J; Chameau, Pascal

    2015-07-01

    Activation of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system by exogenous cannabinoids (drug abuse) can alter the physiology of the brain circuits involved in higher-order cognitive functions such as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). A proper balance between excitation and inhibition (E/I balance) is critical for neuronal network oscillations underlying cognitive functions. Since type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs), expressed in many brain areas including the mPFC, can modulate excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, we aimed to determine whether CB1R activation results in modifications of the E/I balance. We first confirm the presence of functional presynaptic CB1Rs that can modulate both excitatory and inhibitory inputs to layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the prelimbic (PL) area of the mPFC. By decomposing the synaptic response evoked by layer I stimulation into its excitatory and inhibitory components, we show that in vitro CB1R activation with the cannabinoid receptor agonists WIN55,212-2 (WIN) and CP-55940 (CP) modulates the balance between excitation and inhibition (E/I balance) of layer II/III pyramidal neurons. This treatment caused a significant shift of the E/I balance towards excitation, from 18/82 % to 25/75 % (WIN) and from 17/83 to 30/70 % (CP). Finally, when animals were injected with a cannabinoid receptor agonist, we observed a shift of the E/I balance (measured in vitro) towards excitation 1 h after WIN (24/76 %) or after CP injection (30/70 %) when compared to vehicle-injected animals (18/82 %). This modulation of the E/I balance by CB1Rs may thus be fundamental in the regulation of local PL cortical network excitability and could be the mechanism through which excessive CB1R activation (cannabis abuse) affects cognitive functions.

  20. Thujone exhibits low affinity for cannabinoid receptors but fails to evoke cannabimimetic responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meschler, J P; Howlett, A C

    1999-03-01

    Absinthe, an abused drug in the early 1900s, has been speculated to activate the receptors responsible for marijuana intoxication (the CB1 cannabinoid receptor) (Nature 253:365-356; 1975). To test this hypothesis, we investigated oil of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) the active plant product found in absinthe, and thujone, the active compound found in oil of wormwood. Radioligand receptor binding assays employing membrane preparations from rat brains containing CB1 cannabinoid receptors, and human tonsils containing CB2 receptors, demonstrated that thujone displaced [3H]CP55940, a cannabinoid agonist, only at concentrations above 10 microM. HPLC analysis of oil of wormwood revealed that only the fractions having mobility close to thujone displaced [3H]CP55940 from the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. [35S]GTPgammaS binding assays revealed that thujone failed to stimulate G-proteins even at 0.1 mM. Thujone failed to inhibit forskolin-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity in N18TG2 membranes at 1 mM. Rats administered thujone exhibited different behavioral characteristics compared with rats administered a potent cannabinoid agonist, levonantradol. Therefore, the hypothesis that activation of cannabinoid receptors is responsible for the intoxicating effects of thujone is not supported by the present data.

  1. CB2 cannabinoid receptor as potential target against Alzheimer’s disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ester eAso; Isidro eFerrer

    2016-01-01

    The CB2 receptor is one of the components of the endogenous cannabinoid system, a complex network of signaling molecules and receptors involved in the homeostatic control of several physiological functions...

  2. Evaluation of the In Vivo and Ex Vivo Binding of Novel BC1 Cannabinoid Receptor Radiotracers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, A.; Gatley, J.; Gifford, A.

    2002-01-01

    The primary active ingredient of marijuana, 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, exerts its psychoactive effects by binding to cannabinoid CB1 receptors. These receptors are found throughout the brain with high concentrations in the hippocampus and cerebellum. The current study was conducted to evaluate the binding of a newly developed putative cannabinoid antagonist, AM630, and a classical cannabinoid 8-tetrahydrocannabinol as potential PET and/or SPECT imaging agents for brain CB1 receptors. For both of these ligands in vivo and ex vivo studies in mice were conducted. AM630 showed good overall brain uptake (as measure by %IA/g) and a moderately rapid clearance from the brain with a half-clearance time of approximately 30 minutes. However, AM630 did not show selective binding to CB1 cannabinoid receptors. Ex vivo autoradiography supported the lack of selective binding seen in the in vivo study. Similar to AM630, 8-tetrahydrocanibol also failed to show selective binding to CB1 receptor rich brain areas. The 8-tetrahydrocanibol showed moderate overall brain uptake and relatively slow brain clearance as compared to AM630. Further studies were done with AM2233, a cannabinoid ligand with a similar structure as AM630. These studies were done to develop an ex vivo binding assay to quantify the displacement of [131I]AM2233 binding by other ligands in Swiss-Webster and CB1 receptor knockout mice. By developing this assay we hoped to determine the identity of an unknown binding site for AM2233 present in the hippocampus of CB1 knockout mice. Using an approach based on incubation of brain slices prepared from mice given intravenous [131I]AM2233 in either the presence or absence of AM2233 (unlabelled) it was possible to demonstrate a significant AM2233-displacable binding in the Swiss-Webster mice. Future studies will determine if this assay is appropriate for identifying the unknown binding site for AM2233 in the CB1 knockout mice.

  3. Cannabinoid Receptor–Interacting Protein 1a Modulates CB1 Receptor Signaling and Regulation

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Tricia H.; Blume, Lawrence C.; Straiker, Alex; Cox, Jordan O.; David, Bethany G.; McVoy, Julie R. Secor; Sayers, Katherine W.; Poklis, Justin L.; Abdullah, Rehab A; Egertová, Michaela; Chen, Ching-Kang; Mackie, Ken; Elphick, Maurice R.; Howlett, Allyn C.; Selley, Dana E.

    2015-01-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) mediate the presynaptic effects of endocannabinoids in the central nervous system (CNS) and most behavioral effects of exogenous cannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptor–interacting protein 1a (CRIP1a) binds to the CB1R C-terminus and can attenuate constitutive CB1R-mediated inhibition of Ca2+ channel activity. We now demonstrate cellular colocalization of CRIP1a at neuronal elements in the CNS and show that CRIP1a inhibits both constitutive and agonist-stimulated ...

  4. Cannabinoid Receptor Signaling in Central Regulation of Feeding Behavior: A Mini-Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Koch

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids are lipid messengers that modulate a variety of physiological processes and modify the generation of specific behaviors. In this regard, the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 represents the most relevant target molecule of cannabinoids so far. One main function of central CB1 signaling is to maintain whole body energy homeostasis. Thus, cannabinoids functionally interact with classical neurotransmitters in neural networks that control energy metabolism and feeding behavior. The promotion of CB1 signaling can increase appetite and stimulate feeding, while blockade of CB1 suppresses hunger and induces hypophagia. However, in order to treat overeating, pharmacological blockade of CB1 by the inverse agonist rimonabant not only suppressed feeding but also resulted in psychiatric side effects. Therefore, research within the last decade focused on deciphering the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of central cannabinoid signaling that control feeding and other behaviors, with the overall aim still being the identification of specific targets to develop safe pharmacological interventions for the treatment of obesity. Today, many studies unraveled the subcellular localization of CB1 and the function of cannabinoids in neurons and glial cells within circumscribed brain regions that represent integral parts of neural circuitries controlling feeding behavior. Here, these novel experimental findings will be summarized and recent advances in understanding the mechanisms of CB1-dependent cannabinoid signaling being relevant for central regulation of feeding behavior will be highlighted. Finally, presumed alternative pathways of cannabinoids that are not driven by CB1 activation but also contributing to control of feeding behavior will be introduced.

  5. High-resolution crystal structure of the human CB1 cannabinoid receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Zhenhua; Yin, Jie; Chapman, Karen; Grzemska, Magdalena; Clark, Lindsay; Wang, Junmei; Rosenbaum, Daniel M

    2016-11-16

    The human cannabinoid G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) CB1 and CB2 mediate the functional responses to the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG), as well as the widely consumed plant (phyto)cannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)(1). The cannabinoid receptors have been the targets of intensive drug discovery efforts owing to the therapeutic potential of modulators for controlling pain(2), epilepsy(3), obesity(4), and other maladies. Although much progress has recently been made in understanding the biophysical properties of GPCRs, investigations of the molecular mechanisms of the cannabinoids and their receptors have lacked high-resolution structural data. We used GPCR engineering and lipidic cubic phase (LCP) crystallization to determine the structure of the human CB1 receptor bound to the inhibitor taranabant at 2.6 Å resolution. The extracellular surface of CB1, including the highly conserved membrane-proximal amino-terminal (N-terminal) region, is distinct from other lipid-activated GPCRs and forms a critical part of the ligand binding pocket. Docking studies further demonstrate how this same pocket may accommodate the cannabinoid agonist THC. Our CB1 structure provides an atomic framework for studying cannabinoid receptor function, and will aid the design and optimization of cannabinoid system modulators for therapeutic ends.

  6. CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor As Potential Target against Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aso, Ester; Ferrer, Isidro

    2016-01-01

    The CB2 receptor is one of the components of the endogenous cannabinoid system, a complex network of signaling molecules and receptors involved in the homeostatic control of several physiological functions. Accumulated evidence suggests a role for CB2 receptors in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and indicates their potential as a therapeutic target against this neurodegenerative disease. Levels of CB2 receptors are significantly increased in post-mortem AD brains, mainly in microglia surrounding senile plaques, and their expression levels correlate with the amounts of Aβ42 and β-amyloid plaque deposition. Moreover, several studies on animal models of AD have demonstrated that specific CB2 receptor agonists, which are devoid of psychoactive effects, reduce AD-like pathology, resulting in attenuation of the inflammation associated with the disease but also modulating Aβ and tau aberrant processing, among other effects. CB2 receptor activation also improves cognitive impairment in animal models of AD. This review discusses available data regarding the role of CB2 receptors in AD and the potential usefulness of specific agonists of these receptors against AD.

  7. Cannabinoids for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: moving toward the clinic

    OpenAIRE

    Aso, Ester; Ferrer, Isidre

    2014-01-01

    The limited effectiveness of current therapies against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) highlights the need for intensifying research efforts devoted to developing new agents for preventing or retarding the disease process. During the last few years, targeting the endogenous cannabinoid system has emerged as a potential therapeutic approach to treat Alzheimer. The endocannabinoid system is composed by a number of cannabinoid receptors, including the well-characterized CB1 and CB2 receptors, with thei...

  8. Cannabinoids for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: moving towards the clinic

    OpenAIRE

    Isidro eFerrer

    2014-01-01

    The limited effectiveness of current therapies against Alzheimer’s disease highlights the need for intensifying research efforts devoted to developing new agents for preventing or retarding the disease process. During the last few years, targeting the endogenous cannabinoid system has emerged as a potential therapeutic approach to treat Alzheimer. The endocannabinoid system is composed by a number of cannabinoid receptors, including the well-characterized CB1 and CB2 receptors, with their end...

  9. Cannabinoid antagonist in nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs): design, characterization and in vivo study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esposito, Elisabetta; Ravani, Laura [Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, I-44121 Ferrara (Italy); Drechsler, Markus [BIMF/Soft Matter Electron Microscopy, University of Bayreuth (Germany); Mariani, Paolo [Department of Life and Environmental Sciences and CNISM, Università Politecnica delle Marche, I-60100 Ancona (Italy); Contado, Catia [Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ferrara, I-44121 Ferrara (Italy); Ruokolainen, Janne [Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University, 00076 Aalto (Finland); Ratano, Patrizia; Campolongo, Patrizia [Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Roma (Italy); Trezza, Viviana [Department of Science, Roma Tre University, 00146 Roma (Italy); Nastruzzi, Claudio, E-mail: nas@unife.it [Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, I-44121 Ferrara (Italy); Cortesi, Rita [Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, I-44121 Ferrara (Italy)

    2015-03-01

    This study describes the preparation, characterization, and in vivo evaluation in rats of nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) encapsulating rimonabant (RMN) as prototypical cannabinoid antagonist. A study was conducted in order to optimize NLC production by melt and ultrasonication method. NLCs were prepared by alternatively adding the lipid phase into the aqueous one (direct protocol) or the aqueous phase into the lipid one (reverse protocol). RMN-NLCs have been characterized by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), X-ray, photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS) and sedimentation field flow fractionation (SdFFF). Reverse NLCs were treated with polysorbate 80. RMN release kinetics have been determined in vitro by dialysis method. In vivo RMN biodistribution in rats was evaluated after intranasal (i.n.) administration of reverse RMN-NLC. The reverse protocol enabled to prevent the lost of lipid phase and to achieve higher RMN encapsulation efficacy (EE) with respect to the direct protocol (98% w/w versus 67% w/w). The use of different protocols did not affect NLC morphology and dimensional distribution. An in vitro dissolutive release rate of RMN was calculated. The in vivo data indicate that i.n. administration of RMN by reverse NLC treated with polysorbate 80 increased RMN concentration in the brain with respect to the drug in solution. The nanoencapsulation protocol presented here appears as an optimal strategy to improve the low solubility of cannabinoid compounds in an aqueous system suitable for in vivo administration. - Highlights: • Rimonabant (RMN) can be encapsulated in nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs). • Nanoencapsulation improves RMN solubility in a stable physiologic aqueous formulation. • RMN is released in vitro from NLC by a controlled dissolutive release modality. • I.n. administration leads to higher RMN concentration in the brain with respect to plasma. • NLC increases RMN concentration in the brain with respect to

  10. Cannabinoids as Modulators of Cell Death: Clinical Applications and Future Directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, B M; Teixeira, N A; Correia-da-Silva, G

    2017-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are bioactive lipids that modulate various physiological processes through G-protein-coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2) and other putative targets. By sharing the activation of the same receptors, some phytocannabinoids and a multitude of synthetic cannabinoids mimic the effects of endocannabinoids. In recent years, a growing interest has been dedicated to the study of cannabinoids properties for their analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. In addition to these well-recognized effects, various studies suggest that cannabinoids may affect cell survival, cell proliferation or cell death. These observations indicate that cannabinoids may play an important role in the regulation of cellular homeostasis and, thus, may contribute to tissue remodelling and cancer treatment. For a long time, the study of cannabinoid receptor signalling has been focused on the classical adenylyl cyclase/cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway. However, this pathway does not totally explain the wide array of biological responses to cannabinoids. In addition, the diversity of receptors and signalling pathways that endocannabinoids modulate offers an interesting opportunity for the development of specific molecules to disturb selectively the endogenous system. Moreover, emerging evidences suggest that cannabinoids ability to limit cell proliferation and to induce tumour-selective cell death may offer a novel strategy in cancer treatment. This review describes the main properties of cannabinoids in cell death and attempts to clarify the different pathways triggered by these compounds that may help to understand the complexity of respective molecular mechanisms and explore the potential clinical benefit of cannabinoids use in cancer therapies.

  11. The use of cannabinoids as anticancer agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasco, Guillermo; Hernández-Tiedra, Sonia; Dávila, David; Lorente, Mar

    2016-01-04

    It is well-established that cannabinoids exert palliative effects on some cancer-associated symptoms. In addition evidences obtained during the last fifteen years support that these compounds can reduce tumor growth in animal models of cancer. Cannabinoids have been shown to activate an ER-stress related pathway that leads to the stimulation of autophagy-mediated cancer cell death. In addition, cannabinoids inhibit tumor angiogenesis and decrease cancer cell migration. The mechanisms of resistance to cannabinoid anticancer action as well as the possible strategies to develop cannabinoid-based combinational therapies to fight cancer have also started to be explored. In this review we will summarize these observations (that have already helped to set the bases for the development of the first clinical studies to investigate the potential clinical benefit of using cannabinoids in anticancer therapies) and will discuss the possible future avenues of research in this area. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. An update on PPAR activation by cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Sullivan, Saoirse Elizabeth

    2016-06-01

    Some cannabinoids activate the different isoforms of PPARs (α, β and γ), as shown through the use of reporter gene assays, binding studies, selective antagonists and knockout studies. Activation of all isoforms, but primarily PPARα and γ, mediates some (but not all) of the analgesic, neuroprotective, neuronal function modulation, anti-inflammatory, metabolic, anti-tumour, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular effects of some cannabinoids, often in conjunction with activation of the more traditional target sites of action such as the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and the TRPV1 ion channel. PPARs also mediate some of the effects of inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation or transport. Cannabinoids may be chaperoned to the PPARs by fatty acid binding proteins. The aims of this review are to update the evidence supporting PPAR activation by cannabinoids and to review the physiological responses to cannabinoids that are mediated, and not mediated, by PPAR activation. © 2016 The British Pharmacological Society.

  13. The endocannabinoid system: A new player in the neurochemical control of vestibular function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Paul F; Ashton, John C; Darlington, Cynthia L

    2006-01-01

    The results of recent clinical trials of medicinal cannabinoid drugs show that dizziness and vertigo are commonly reported adverse side-effects. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors were initially thought to be expressed in very low densities in the vestibular nucleus complex (VNC). Recent immunohistochemical studies have challenged this idea and suggested that CB1 receptors may exist in numbers similar to the granule cell layer of the cerebellum. This, together with evidence that brainstem CB1 receptors have a higher efficacy than those in many other parts of the brain and that application of cannabinoids can elicit potent electrophysiological effects in VNC neurons, suggests that CB1 receptors and their endogenous ligands may be important in central vestibular function. In this review, we consider the potential clinical significance of the endocannabinoid system for the development of vestibular disorders, the effects of recreational cannabis use and the therapeutic use of medicinal cannabinoids. Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Cannabinoids: New Promising Agents in the Treatment of Neurological Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Giacoppo

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, Cannabis sativa is considered the most extensively used narcotic. Nevertheless, this fame obscures its traditional employ in native medicine of South Africa, South America, Turkey, Egypt and in many regions of Asia as a therapeutic drug. In fact, the use of compounds containing Cannabis and their introduction in clinical practice is still controversial and strongly limited by unavoidable psychotropic effects. So, overcoming these adverse effects represents the main open question on the utilization of cannabinoids as new drugs for treatment of several pathologies. To date, therapeutic use of cannabinoid extracts is prescribed in patients with glaucoma, in the control of chemotherapy-related vomiting and nausea, for appetite stimulation in patients with anorexia-cachexia syndrome by HIV, and for the treatment of multiple sclerosis symptoms. Recently, researcher efforts are aimed to employ the therapeutic potentials of Cannabis sativa in the modulation of cannabinoid receptor activity within the central nervous system, particularly for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as psychiatric and non-psychiatric disorders. This review evaluates the most recent available data on cannabinoids utilization in experimental and clinical studies, and highlights their beneficial effects in the prevention of the main neurological diseases and for the clinical treatment of symptoms with them correlated.

  15. Cannabinoids for cancer treatment: progress and promise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarfaraz, Sami; Adhami, Vaqar M; Syed, Deeba N; Afaq, Farrukh; Mukhtar, Hasan

    2008-01-15

    Cannabinoids are a class of pharmacologic compounds that offer potential applications as antitumor drugs, based on the ability of some members of this class to limit inflammation, cell proliferation, and cell survival. In particular, emerging evidence suggests that agonists of cannabinoid receptors expressed by tumor cells may offer a novel strategy to treat cancer. Here, we review recent work that raises interest in the development and exploration of potent, nontoxic, and nonhabit forming cannabinoids for cancer therapy.

  16. Acute Poisonings from Synthetic Cannabinoids - 50 U.S. Toxicology Investigators Consortium Registry Sites, 2010-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riederer, Anne M; Campleman, Sharan L; Carlson, Robert G; Boyer, Edward W; Manini, Alex F; Wax, Paul M; Brent, Jeffrey A

    2016-07-15

    Recent reports suggest that acute intoxications by synthetic cannabinoids are increasing in the United States (1,2). Synthetic cannabinoids, which were research compounds in the 1980s, are now produced overseas; the first shipment recognized to contain synthetic cannabinoids was seized at a U.S. border in 2008 (3). Fifteen synthetic cannabinoids are Schedule I controlled substances (3), but enforcement is hampered by the continual introduction of new chemical compounds (1,3). Studies of synthetic cannabinoids indicate higher cannabinoid receptor binding affinities, effects two to 100 times more potent than Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis), noncannabinoid receptor binding, and genotoxicity (4,5). Acute synthetic cannabinoid exposure reportedly causes a range of mild to severe neuropsychiatric, cardiovascular, renal, and other effects (4,6,7); chronic use might lead to psychosis (6,8). During 2010-2015, physicians in the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) treated 456 patients for synthetic cannabinoid intoxications; 277 of the 456 patients reported synthetic cannabinoids as the sole toxicologic agent. Among these 277 patients, the most common clinical signs of intoxication were neurologic (agitation, central nervous system depression/coma, and delirium/toxic psychosis). Relative to all cases logged by 50 different sites in the ToxIC Case Registry, there was a statistically significant association between reporting year and the annual proportion of synthetic cannabinoid cases. In 2015, reported cases of synthetic cannabinoid intoxication increased at several ToxIC sites, corroborating reported upward trends in the numbers of such cases (1,2) and underscoring the need for prevention.

  17. Cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Amy; Smith, Paul F; Rosengren, Rhonda J

    2009-11-18

    Cannabinoids, the active components of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, along with their endogenous counterparts and synthetic derivatives, have elicited anti-cancer effects in many different in vitro and in vivo models of cancer. While the various cannabinoids have been examined in a variety of cancer models, recent studies have focused on the role of cannabinoid receptor agonists (both CB(1) and CB(2)) in the treatment of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. This review will summarize the anti-cancer properties of the cannabinoids, discuss their potential mechanisms of action, as well as explore controversies surrounding the results.

  18. Antidepressant-like effect of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L

    OpenAIRE

    El-Alfy, Abir T.; Ivey, Kelly; Robinson, Keisha; Ahmed, Safwat; Radwan, Mohamed; Slade, Desmond; Khan, Ikhlas; ElSohly, Mahmoud; Ross, Samir

    2010-01-01

    The antidepressant action of cannabis as well as the interaction between antidepressants and the endocannabinoid system has been reported. This study was conducted to assess the antidepressant-like activity of Δ9-THC and other cannabinoids. Cannabinoids were initially evaluated in the mouse tetrad assay to determine doses that do not induce hypothermia or catalepsy. The automated mouse forced swim (FST) and tail suspension (TST) tests were used to determine antidepressant action. At doses lac...

  19. Preclinical and Clinical Assessment of Cannabinoids as Anti-Cancer Agents

    OpenAIRE

    Ladin, Daniel A.; Soliman, Eman; Griffin, LaToya; Van Dross, Rukiyah

    2016-01-01

    Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States with 1.7 million new cases estimated to be diagnosed in 2016. This disease remains a formidable clinical challenge and represents a substantial financial burden to the US health care system. Therefore, research and development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer is of high priority. Cannabinoids and their derivatives have been utilized for their medicinal and therapeutic properties throughout history. Cannabinoid a...

  20. Cannabinoids cases in polish athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Pokrywka

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the number of cases and the profiles of Polish athletes who had occasionally been using marijuana or hashish throughout the period of 1998-2004, with respect to: sex, age, and discipline of sport as well as the period of testing (in- and out-of-competition. Results of the study were compared with some data reported by other WADA accredited anti-doping laboratories. Totally, 13 631 urine samples taken from Polish athletes of both sexes, aged 10-67 years, performing 46 disciplines of sport were tested. Cannabinoids were detected in 267 samples. Among Polish athletes the relative number of positive THC (tetrahydrocannabinol samples was one of the highest in Europe. The group of young Polish athletes (aged 16-24 years was the most THC-positive. THC-positive cases were noted more frequently in male athletes tested during out of competitions. The so-called contact sports (rugby, ice hockey, skating, boxing, badminton, body building and acrobatic sports were those sports, where the higher risk of cannabis use was observed. The legal interpretation of some positive cannabinoids results would be difficult because of some accidental and unintentional use of the narcotics by sportsmen. It was concluded that national anti-doping organizations (NADO’s, which are competent to judge whether the anti-doping rules were violated, should take into account the possibility of non-intentional doping use of cannabinoids via passive smoking of marijuana.

  1. Microbiota-gut-brain axis and the central nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiqun; Han, Yong; Du, Jing; Liu, Renzhong; Jin, Ketao; Yi, Wei

    2017-08-08

    The gut and brain form the gut-brain axis through bidirectional nervous, endocrine, and immune communications. Changes in one of the organs will affect the other organs. Disorders in the composition and quantity of gut microorganisms can affect both the enteric nervous system and the central nervous system (CNS), thereby indicating the existence of a microbiota-gut-brain axis. Due to the intricate interactions between the gut and the brain, gut symbiotic microorganisms are closely associated with various CNS diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and multiple sclerosis. In this paper, we will review the latest advances of studies on the correlation between gut microorganisms and CNS functions & diseases.

  2. The Role of Cannabinoid Receptors in the Descending Modulation of Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Rossi

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The endogenous antinociceptive descending pathway represents a circuitry of the supraspinal central nervous system whose task is to counteract pain. It includes the periaqueductal grey (PAG-rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM-dorsal horn (DH axis, which is the best characterized pain modulation system through which pain is endogenously inhibited. Thus, an alternative rational strategy for silencing pain is the activation of this anatomical substrate. Evidence of the involvement of cannabinoid receptors (CB in the supraspinal modulation of pain can be found in several studies in which intra-cerebral microinjections of cannabinoid ligands or positive modulators have proved to be analgesic in different pain models, whereas cannabinoid receptor antagonists or antisense nucleotides towards CB1 receptors have facilitated pain. Like opioids, cannabinoids produce centrally-mediated analgesia by activating a descending pathway which includes PAG and its projection to downstream RVM neurons, which in turn send inhibitory projections to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Indeed, several studies underline a supraspinal regulation of cannabinoids on g-aminobutyric acid (GABA and glutamate release which inhibit and enhance the antinociceptive descending pathway, respectively. Cannabinoid receptor activation expressed on presynaptic GABAergic terminals reduces the probability of neurotransmitter release thus dis-inhibiting the PAG-RVM-dorsal horn antinociceptive pathway. Cannabinoids seem to increase glutamate release (maybe as consequence of GABA decrease and to require glutamate receptor activation to induce antinociception. The consequent outcome is behavioral analgesia, which is reproduced in several pain conditions, from acute to chronic pain models such as inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Taken together these findings would suggest that supraspinal cannabinoid receptors have broad applications, from pain control to closely related central nervous system

  3. Male-female differences in the effects of cannabinoids on sexual behavior and gonadal hormone function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorzalka, Boris B; Hill, Matthew N; Chang, Sabrina C H

    2010-06-01

    The putative role of the endocannabinoid system and the effects of cannabis use in male and female sexual functioning are summarized. The influence of cannabis intake on sexual behavior and arousability appear to be dose-dependent in both men and women, although women are far more consistent in reporting facilitatory effects. Furthermore, evidence from nonhuman species indicate somewhat more beneficial than debilitating effects of cannabinoids on female sexual proceptivity and receptivity while suggesting predominantly detrimental effects on male sexual motivation and erectile functioning. Data from human and nonhuman species converge on the ephemeral nature of THC-induced testosterone decline. However, it is clear that cannabinoid-induced inhibition of male sexual behavior is independent of concurrent declines in testosterone levels. Investigations also reveal a suppression of gonadotropin release by cannabinoids across various species. Historical milestones and promising future directions in the area of cannabinoid and sexuality research are also outlined in this review. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Cannabinoids as treatment for nausea and vomiting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin M. Rock

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Despite the advent of classic anti-emetics, chemotherapy-induced nausea is still problematic, with vomiting being somewhat better managed in the clinic. If post-treatment nausea and vomiting are not properly controlled, anticipatory nausea—a conditioned response to the contextual cues associated with illness-inducing chemotherapy— can develop. Once it develops, anticipatory nausea is refractive to current anti-emetics, highlighting the need for alternative treatment options. One of the first documented medicinal uses of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC was for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and recent evidence is accumulating to suggest a role for the endocannabinoid system in modulating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Here, we review studies assessing the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and manipulations of the endocannabinoid system in human patients and pre-clinical animal models of nausea and vomiting.

  5. Multiple sleep alterations in mice lacking cannabinoid type 1 receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Silvani

    Full Text Available Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1 receptors are highly expressed in the brain and play a role in behavior control. Endogenous cannabinoid signaling is modulated by high-fat diet (HFD. We investigated the consequences of congenital lack of CB1 receptors on sleep in mice fed standard diet (SD and HFD. CB1 cannabinoid receptor knock-out (KO and wild-type (WT mice were fed SD or HFD for 4 months (n = 9-10 per group. Mice were instrumented with electroencephalographic (EEG and electromyographic electrodes. Recordings were performed during baseline (48 hours, sleep deprivation (gentle handling, 6 hours, sleep recovery (18 hours, and after cage switch (insomnia model paradigm, 6 hours. We found multiple significant effects of genotype on sleep. In particular, KO spent more time awake and less time in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep (NREMS and rapid-eye-movement sleep (REMS than WT during the dark (active period but not during the light (rest period, enhancing the day-night variation of wake-sleep amounts. KO had slower EEG theta rhythm during REMS. REMS homeostasis after sleep deprivation was less effective in KO than in WT. Finally, KO habituated more rapidly to the arousing effect of the cage-switch test than WT. We did not find any significant effects of diet or of diet x genotype interaction on sleep. The occurrence of multiple sleep alterations in KO indicates important roles of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in limiting arousal during the active period of the day, in sleep regulation, and in sleep EEG in mice.

  6. Multiple sleep alterations in mice lacking cannabinoid type 1 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvani, Alessandro; Berteotti, Chiara; Bastianini, Stefano; Lo Martire, Viviana; Mazza, Roberta; Pagotto, Uberto; Quarta, Carmelo; Zoccoli, Giovanna

    2014-01-01

    Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors are highly expressed in the brain and play a role in behavior control. Endogenous cannabinoid signaling is modulated by high-fat diet (HFD). We investigated the consequences of congenital lack of CB1 receptors on sleep in mice fed standard diet (SD) and HFD. CB1 cannabinoid receptor knock-out (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice were fed SD or HFD for 4 months (n = 9-10 per group). Mice were instrumented with electroencephalographic (EEG) and electromyographic electrodes. Recordings were performed during baseline (48 hours), sleep deprivation (gentle handling, 6 hours), sleep recovery (18 hours), and after cage switch (insomnia model paradigm, 6 hours). We found multiple significant effects of genotype on sleep. In particular, KO spent more time awake and less time in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep (NREMS) and rapid-eye-movement sleep (REMS) than WT during the dark (active) period but not during the light (rest) period, enhancing the day-night variation of wake-sleep amounts. KO had slower EEG theta rhythm during REMS. REMS homeostasis after sleep deprivation was less effective in KO than in WT. Finally, KO habituated more rapidly to the arousing effect of the cage-switch test than WT. We did not find any significant effects of diet or of diet x genotype interaction on sleep. The occurrence of multiple sleep alterations in KO indicates important roles of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in limiting arousal during the active period of the day, in sleep regulation, and in sleep EEG in mice.

  7. A Brain System for Auditory Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sukhbinder; Joseph, Sabine; Gander, Phillip E; Barascud, Nicolas; Halpern, Andrea R; Griffiths, Timothy D

    2016-04-20

    The brain basis for auditory working memory, the process of actively maintaining sounds in memory over short periods of time, is controversial. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in human participants, we demonstrate that the maintenance of single tones in memory is associated with activation in auditory cortex. In addition, sustained activation was observed in hippocampus and inferior frontal gyrus. Multivoxel pattern analysis showed that patterns of activity in auditory cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus distinguished the tone that was maintained in memory. Functional connectivity during maintenance was demonstrated between auditory cortex and both the hippocampus and inferior frontal cortex. The data support a system for auditory working memory based on the maintenance of sound-specific representations in auditory cortex by projections from higher-order areas, including the hippocampus and frontal cortex. In this work, we demonstrate a system for maintaining sound in working memory based on activity in auditory cortex, hippocampus, and frontal cortex, and functional connectivity among them. Specifically, our work makes three advances from the previous work. First, we robustly demonstrate hippocampal involvement in all phases of auditory working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval): the role of hippocampus in working memory is controversial. Second, using a pattern classification technique, we show that activity in the auditory cortex and inferior frontal gyrus is specific to the maintained tones in working memory. Third, we show long-range connectivity of auditory cortex to hippocampus and frontal cortex, which may be responsible for keeping such representations active during working memory maintenance. Copyright © 2016 Kumar et al.

  8. [Short-and long-term effects of cannabinoids on memory, cognition and mental illness].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagie, Shira; Eliasi, Yehuda; Livneh, Ido; Bart, Yosi; Monovich, Einat

    2013-12-01

    Marijuana is considered the most commonly used drug in the world, with estimated millions of users. There is dissent in the medical world about the positive and negative effects of marijuana, and recently, a large research effort has been directed to that domain. The main influencing drug ingredient is THC, which acts on the cannabinoid system and binds to the CB1 receptor. The discovery of the receptor led to the finding of an endogenous ligand, anandamide, and another receptor-CB2. The researchers also discovered that cannabinoids have extensive biological activity, and its short and long-term effects may cause cognitive and emotional deficiencies. Findings show that the short-term effects, such as shortterm memory and verbal Learning, are reversible. However, despite the accumulation of evidence about long-term cognitive damage due to cannabis use, it is difficult to find unequivocal results, arising from the existence of many variables such as large differences between cannabis users, frequency of use, dosage and endogenous brain compensation. Apart from cognitive damage, current studies investigate how marijuana affects mental illness: a high correlation between cannabis use and schizophrenia was found and a high risk to undergo a psychotic attack. Furthermore, patients with schizophrenia who used cannabis showed a selective neuro-psychological disruption, and similar cognitive deficiencies and brain morphological changes were found among healthy cannabis users and schizophrenia patients. In contrast to the negative effects of marijuana including addiction, there are the medical uses: reducing pain, anxiety and nausea, increasing appetite and an anti-inflammatory activity. Medicalization of marijuana encourages frequent use, which may elevate depression.

  9. Role of Cannabinoids in the Regulation of Bone Remodelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aymen I Idris

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in regulating a variety of physiological processes such as appetite control and energy balance, pain perception, and immune responses. Recent studies have implicated the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of bone cell activity and bone remodelling. These studies showed that endogenous cannabinoid ligands, cannabinoid receptors and the enzymes responsible for ligand synthesis and breakdown all play important roles in bone mass and in the regulation of bone disease. These findings suggest that the endocannabinoid pathway could be of value as a therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of bone diseases. Here, we review the role of the skeletal endocannabinoid system in the regulation of bone remodelling in health and disease.

  10. Cannabis and Cannabinoids for Chronic Pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Sandoval, E Alfonso; Kolano, Ashley L; Alvarado-Vázquez, P Abigail

    2017-10-05

    The purpose of this study was to provide the most up-to-date scientific evidence of the potential analgesic effects, or lack thereof, of the marijuana plant (cannabis) or cannabinoids, and of safety or tolerability of their long-term use. We found that inhaled (smoked or vaporized) cannabis is consistently effective in reducing chronic non-cancer pain. Oral cannabinoids seem to improve some aspects of chronic pain (sleep and general quality of life), or cancer chronic pain, but they do not seem effective in acute postoperative pain, abdominal chronic pain, or rheumatoid pain. The available literature shows that inhaled cannabis seems to be more tolerable and predictable than oral cannabinoids. Cannabis or cannabinoids are not universally effective for pain. Continued research on cannabis constituents and improving bioavailability for oral cannabinoids is needed. Other aspects of pain management in patients using cannabis require further open discussion: concomitant opioid use, medical vs. recreational cannabis, abuse potential, etc.

  11. Transmembrane Helical Domain of the Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor

    OpenAIRE

    Shim, Joong-Youn

    2009-01-01

    Brain cannabinoid (CB1) receptors are G-protein coupled receptors and belong to the rhodopsin-like subfamily. A homology model of the inactive state of the CB1 receptor was constructed using the x-ray structure of β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) as the template. We used 105 ns duration molecular-dynamics simulations of the CB1 receptor embedded in a 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) bilayer to gain some insight into the structure and function of the CB1 receptor. As judged...

  12. Cannabinoid modulation of drug reward and the implications of marijuana legalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covey, Dan P; Wenzel, Jennifer M; Cheer, Joseph F

    2015-12-02

    Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug worldwide. Recent trends indicate that this may soon change; not due to decreased marijuana use, but to an amendment in marijuana's illegal status. The cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor mediates marijuana's psychoactive and reinforcing properties. CB1 receptors are also part of the brain endocannabinoid (eCB) system and support numerous forms of learning and memory, including the conditioned reinforcing properties of cues predicting reward or punishment. This is accomplished via eCB-dependent alterations in mesolimbic dopamine function, which plays an obligatory role in reward learning and motivation. Presynaptic CB1 receptors control midbrain dopamine neuron activity and thereby shape phasic dopamine release in target regions, particularly the nucleus accumbens (NAc). By also regulating synaptic input to the NAc, CB1 receptors modulate NAc output onto downstream neurons of the basal ganglia motor circuit, and thereby support goal-directed behaviors. Abused drugs promote short- and long-term adaptations in eCB-regulation of mesolimbic dopamine function, and thereby hijack neural systems related to the pursuit of rewards to promote drug abuse. By pharmacologically targeting the CB1 receptors, marijuana has preferential access to this neuronal system and can potently alter eCB-dependent processing of reward-related stimuli. As marijuana legalization progresses, greater access to this drug should increase the utility of marijuana as a research tool to better understand the eCB system, which has the potential to advance cannabinoid-based treatments for drug addiction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Cannabinoids for treating inflammatory bowel diseases: where are we and where do we go?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasenoehrl, Carina; Storr, Martin; Schicho, Rudolf

    2017-04-01

    Fifty years after the discovery of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as the psychoactive component of Cannabis, we are assessing the possibility of translating this herb into clinical treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Here, a discussion on the problems associated with a potential treatment is given. From first surveys and small clinical studies in patients with IBD we have learned that Cannabis is frequently used to alleviate diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. Single ingredients from Cannabis, such as THC and cannabidiol, commonly described as cannabinoids, are responsible for these effects. Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists are also termed cannabinoids, some of which, like dronabinol and nabilone, are already available with a narcotic prescription. Areas covered: Recent data on the effects of Cannabis/cannabinoids in experimental models of IBD and in clinical trials with IBD patients have been reviewed using a PubMed database search. A short background on the endocannabinoid system is also provided. Expert commentary: Cannabinoids could be helpful for certain symptoms of IBD, but there is still a lack of clinical studies to prove efficacy, tolerability and safety of cannabinoid-based medication for IBD patients, leaving medical professionals without evidence and guidelines.

  14. Phyto-, endo- and synthetic cannabinoids: promising chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of breast and prostate carcinomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraguas-Sánchez, A I; Fernández-Carballido, A; Torres-Suárez, A I

    2016-11-01

    The term 'cannabinoids' designates a family of compounds with activity upon cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids are classified in three groups: phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and the synthetic analogues of both groups. They have become a promising tool in the treatment of cancer disease, not only as palliative agents, but also as antitumor drugs, due to their ability to inhibit the proliferation, adhesion, migration, invasion, and angiogenesis of tumour cells. Two of the cancers where they have shown high anticancer activity are breast and prostate tumours. Despite this potential clinical interest, several studies have also reported that cannabinoids can stimulate the proliferation of cancer cells at very low concentrations. Areas covered: The aim of this review is to evaluate the promising chemotherapeutic utility of phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids in breast and prostate cancer. Expert opinion: Cannabinoids, in particular the non-psychoactive CBD, may be promising tools in combination therapy for breast and prostate cancer, due to their direct antitumor effects, their ability to improve the efficacy of conventional antitumor drugs and their usefulness as palliative treatment. Nevertheless, deeper studies to fully establish the mechanisms responsible for their antitumour and pro-tumour properties and their formulation in efficient delivery systems remain to be established.

  15. Cannabinoid pharmacology in cancer research: A new hope for cancer patients?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javid, Farideh A; Phillips, Roger M; Afshinjavid, S; Verde, Roberta; Ligresti, Alessia

    2016-03-15

    Cannabinoids have been used for many centuries to ease pain and in the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a number of pathophysiological conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity, and osteoporosis. Several studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids also have anti-cancer activity and as cannabinoids are usually well tolerated and do not produce the typical toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies, there is considerable merit in the development of cannabinoids as potential anticancer therapies. Whilst the presence of psychoactive effects of cannabinoids could prevent any progress in this field, recent studies have shown the value of the non-psychoactive components of cannabinoids in activating apoptotic pathways, inducing anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic effects. The aforementioned effects are suggested to be through pathways such as ERK, Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways and hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1), all of which are important contributors to the hallmarks of cancer. Many important questions still remain unanswered or are poorly addressed thus necessitating further research at basic pre-clinical and clinical levels. In this review, we address these issues with a view to identifying the key challenges that future research needs to address. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. (-)-Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol antagonizes the peripheral cannabinoid receptor-mediated inhibition of adenylyl cyclase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayewitch, M; Rhee, M H; Avidor-Reiss, T; Breuer, A; Mechoulam, R; Vogel, Z

    1996-04-26

    (-)-Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol ((-)-Delta9-THC) is the major active psychotropic component of the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. The membrane proteins that have been found to bind this material or its derivatives have been called the cannabinoid receptors. Two GTP-binding protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors have been cloned. CB1 or the neuronal cannabinoid receptor is found mostly in neuronal cells and tissues while CB2 or the peripheral cannabinoid receptor has been detected in spleen and in several cells of the immune system. It has previously been shown that activation of CB1 or CB2 receptors by cannabinoid agonists inhibits adenylyl cyclase activity. Utilizing Chinese hamster ovary cells and COS cells transfected with the cannabinoid receptors we report that (-)-Delta9-THC binds to both receptors with similar affinity. However, in contrast to its capacity to serve as an agonist for the CB1 receptor, (-)-Delta9-THC was only able to induce a very slight inhibition of adenylyl cyclase at the CB2 receptor. Morever, (-)-Delta9-THC antagonizes the agonist-induced inhibition of adenylyl cyclase mediated by CB2. Therefore, we conclude that (-)-Delta9-THC constitutes a weak antagonist for the CB2 receptor.

  17. Short- and long-term cognitive effects of chronic cannabinoids administration in late-adolescence rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hila Abush

    Full Text Available The use of cannabis can impair cognitive function, especially short-term memory. A controversial question is whether long-term cannabis use during the late-adolescence period can cause irreversible deficits in higher brain function that persist after drug use stops. In order to examine the short- and long-term effects of chronic exposure to cannabinoids, rats were administered chronic i.p. treatment with the CB1/CB2 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN; 1.2 mg/kg for two weeks during the late adolescence period (post-natal days 45-60 and tested for behavioral and electrophysiological measures of cognitive performance 24 hrs, 10 and 30 days after the last drug injection. The impairing effects of chronic WIN on short-term memory in the water maze and the object recognition tasks as well as long-term potentiation (LTP in the ventral subiculum (vSub-nucleus accumbens (NAc pathway were temporary as they lasted only 24 h or 10 d after withdrawal. However, chronic WIN significantly impaired hippocampal dependent short-term memory measured in the object location task 24 hrs, 10, 30, and 75 days after the last drug injection. Our findings suggest that some forms of hippocampal-dependent short-term memory are sensitive to chronic cannabinoid administration but other cognitive impairments are temporary and probably result from a residue of cannabinoids in the brain or acute withdrawal effects from cannabinoids. Understanding the effects of cannabinoids on cognitive function may provide us with tools to overcome these impairments and for cannabinoids to be more favorably considered for clinical use.

  18. Progress in brain targeting drug delivery system by nasal route.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Abdur Rauf; Liu, Mengrui; Khan, Muhammad Wasim; Zhai, Guangxi

    2017-09-06

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) restricts the transport of potential therapeutic moieties to the brain. Direct targeting the brain via olfactory and trigeminal neural pathways by passing the BBB has gained an important consideration for delivery of wide range of therapeutics to brain. Intranasal route of transportation directly delivers the drugs to brain without systemic absorption, thus avoiding the side effects and enhancing the efficacy of neurotherapeutics. Over the last several decades, different drug delivery systems (DDSs) have been studied for targeting the brain by the nasal route. Novel DDSs such as nanoparticles (NPs), liposomes and polymeric micelles have gained potential as useful tools for targeting the brain without toxicity in nasal mucosa and central nervous system (CNS). Complex geometry of the nasal cavity presented a big challenge to effective delivery of drugs beyond the nasal valve. Recently, pharmaceutical firms utilized latest and emerging nasal drug delivery technologies to overcome these barriers. This review aims to describe the latest development of brain targeted DDSs via nasal administration. Carbopol 934p (PubChem CID: 6581) Carboxy methylcellulose (PubChem CID: 24748) Penetratin (PubChem CID: 101111470) Poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PubChem CID: 23111554) Tween 80 (PubChem CID: 5284448). Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Dynamic Brain-Machine Interface: a novel paradigm for bidirectional interaction between brains and dynamical systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymanski, Francois D; Semprini, Marianna; Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando A; Fadiga, Luciano; Panzeri, Stefano; Vato, Alessandro

    2011-01-01

    Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) are systems which mediate communication between brains and artificial devices. Their long term goal is to restore motor functions, and this ultimately demands the development of a new generation of bidirectional brain-machine interfaces establishing a two-way brain-world communication channel, by both decoding motor commands from neural activity and providing feedback to the brain by electrical stimulation. Taking inspiration from how the spinal cord of vertebrates mediates communication between the brain and the limbs, here we present a model of a bidirectional brain-machine interface that interacts with a dynamical system by generating a control policy in the form of a force field. In our model, bidirectional communication takes place via two elements: (a) a motor interface decoding activities recorded from a motor cortical area, and (b) a sensory interface encoding the state of the controlled device into electrical stimuli delivered to a somatosensory area. We propose a specific mathematical model of the sensory and motor interfaces guiding a point mass moving in a viscous medium, and we demonstrate its performance by testing it on realistically simulated neural responses.

  20. Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research (FITBIR) Informatics System

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — The Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research (FITBIR) informatics system is an extensible, scalable informatics platform for TBI relevant imaging,...

  1. Romantic love: a mammalian brain system for mate choice

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Helen E Fisher; Arthur Aron; Lucy L Brown

    2006-01-01

    ...’ is associated with dopaminergic reward pathways in the brain. It has been proposed that intense romantic love, a human cross-cultural universal, is a developed form of this attraction system...

  2. The Navigation System of the Brain

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 20; Issue 5. The Navigation Sysem of the Brain: 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Prasanna Venkhatesh V. General ... Author Affiliations. Prasanna Venkhatesh V1. Center for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru 560 012, India ...

  3. The Brain Melanocortin System, Sympathetic Control, and Obesity Hypertension

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Carmo, Jussara M.; Wang, Zhen; Hall, John E.

    2014-01-01

    Excess weight gain is the most significant, preventable cause of increased blood pressure (BP) in patients with primary (essential) hypertension and increases the risk for cardiovascular and renal diseases. In this review, we discuss the role of the brain melanocortin system in causing increased sympathetic activity in obesity and other forms of hypertension. In addition, we highlight potential mechanisms by which the brain melanocortin system modulates metabolic and cardiovascular functions. PMID:24789984

  4. The brain melanocortin system, sympathetic control, and obesity hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Alexandre A; do Carmo, Jussara M; Wang, Zhen; Hall, John E

    2014-05-01

    Excess weight gain is the most significant, preventable cause of increased blood pressure (BP) in patients with primary (essential) hypertension and increases the risk for cardiovascular and renal diseases. In this review, we discuss the role of the brain melanocortin system in causing increased sympathetic activity in obesity and other forms of hypertension. In addition, we highlight potential mechanisms by which the brain melanocortin system modulates metabolic and cardiovascular functions.

  5. New Trend in Narcotic Drugs Synthetic Cannabinoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selahattin Artuç

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Natural cannabis (Δ9-THC, tetrahydrocannabinol is obtained from Indian hemp plant (Cannabis sativa and it acts on cannabinoid receptors expressed as CB1, CB2. The therapeutic effects of cannabis is known from far away times. At the present time, some drugs containing kannabinoid are used for medical purposes. Synthetic cannabinoids’ chemical structure is quite different than natural cannabis. Cannabinoid receptor affinity and activity are greater than the natural cannabis. Substances containing synthetic cannabinoids are generally called “Spice”, “K2” abroad and, “Bonzai” or “Jamaica” in Turkey. Legal sale of herbal mixtures containing synthetic cannabinoids at places called “head shop” and “smart shop” in some countries and having easily access to them from the internet is an attractive feature for users. Moreover the impact stronger than cannabis, affordability, easy accessibility and getting rid of standard material tests contribute to increasing use of synthetic cannabinoids. As there is absence of reference standards of synthetic cannabinoids, it is not easy to identify them. In order to overcome legal barriers, new cannabinomimetic analogs are presented to market constantly. When taking into consideration of the increase of the use of synthetic cannabinoids, it is expected to be one of the most problematic drugs in the near future. Due to the widespread abuse of synthetic cannabinoids, further investigation of these substances is needed for better identification of their pharmacology and toxicology and to make appropriate legal planning and arrangements. Keywords: Synthetic cannabinoid, bonzai, narcotic drug.

  6. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Thiophene-Based Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 Radiotracers for PET Imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Haider

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Over the past two decades, our understanding of the endocannabinoid system has greatly improved due to the wealth of results obtained from exploratory studies. Currently, two cannabinoid receptor subtypes have been well characterized. The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 is widely expressed in the central nervous system, while the levels of the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2 in the brain and spinal cord of healthy individuals are relatively low. However, recent studies demonstrated a CB2 upregulation on activated microglia upon neuroinflammation, an indicator of neurodegeneration. Our research group aims to develop a suitable positron emission tomography (PET tracer to visualize the CB2 receptor in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. Herein we report two novel thiophene-based 11C-labeled PET ligands designated [11C]AAT-015 and [11C]AAT-778. The reference compounds were synthesized using Gewald reaction conditions to obtain the aminothiophene intermediates, followed by amide formation. Saponification of the esters provided their corresponding precursors. Binding affinity studies revealed Ki values of 3.3 ± 0.5 nM (CB2 and 1.0 ± 0.2 µM (CB1 for AAT-015. AAT-778 showed similar Ki values of 4.3 ± 0.7 nM (CB2 and 1.1 ± 0.1 µM (CB1. Radiosynthesis was carried out under basic conditions using [11C]iodomethane as methylating agent. After semi-preparative HPLC purification both radiolabeled compounds were obtained in 99% radiochemical purity and the radiochemical yields ranged from 12 to 37%. Specific activity was between 96 - 449 GBq/µmol for both tracers. In order to demonstrate CB2 specificity of [11C]AAT-015 and [11C]AAT-778, we carried out autoradiography studies using CB2-positive mouse/rat spleen tissues. The obtained results revealed unspecific binding in spleen tissue that was not blocked by an excess of CB2-specific ligand GW402833. For in vivo analysis, [11C]AAT-015 was administered to healthy rats via tail

  7. Cannabinoid inhibits HIV-1 Tat-stimulated adhesion of human monocyte-like cells to extracellular matrix proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raborn, Erinn S.; Jamerson, Melissa; Marciano-Cabral, Francine; Cabral, Guy A.

    2014-01-01

    Aims The aim of this study was to assess the effect of select cannabinoids on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transactivating (Tat) protein-enhanced monocyte-like cell adhesion to proteins of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Main Methods Collagen IV, laminin, or an ECM gel were used to construct extracellular matrix layers. Human U937 monocyte-like cells were exposed to Tat in the presence of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CP55,940, and other select cannabinoids. Cell attachment to ECM proteins was assessed using an adhesion assay. Key findings THC and CP55,940 inhibited Tat-enhanced attachment of U937 cells to ECM proteins in a mode that was linked to the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R). The cannabinoid treatment of Tat-activated U937 cells was associated with altered β1-integrin expression and distribution of polymerized actin, suggesting a modality by which these cannabinoids inhibited adhesion to the ECM. Significance The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a complex structure that is composed of cellular elements and an extracellular matrix (ECM). HIV-1 Tat promotes transmigration of monocytes across this barrier, a process that includes interaction with ECM proteins. The results indicate that cannabinoids that activate the CB2R inhibit the ECM adhesion process. Thus, this receptor has potential to serve as a therapeutic agent for ablating neuroinflammation associated with HIV-elicited influx of monocytes across the BBB. PMID:24742657

  8. Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Adverse Effects of Synthetic Cannabinoid Drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurney, S M R; Scott, K S; Kacinko, S L; Presley, B C; Logan, B K

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic cannabinoid drugs have become an established part of the recreational drug landscape in the United States and internationally. These drugs are manufactured in clandestine laboratories internationally and distributed in the United States in smoking mixtures, use of which produces effects very similar to use of marijuana. The adverse-effect profile of the drugs has not been studied in humans and infrequently in animal models, so much of the information about their toxicity comes from emergency department and treatment reports and forensic case studies. This review considers the discovery and characterization of the endocannabinoid system, approaches to receptor-binding studies of various synthetic cannabinoids from the first wave of naphthoylindoles (e.g., JWH-018) to the emerging adamantoylindole drugs (e.g., AKB-48), and their analogs, to evaluate the potential activity of drugs in this class. Currently employed approaches to assessing functional activity of the drugs using in vitro and in vivo models is also described, and comparisons made to the effects of THC. The physiological effects of activation of the endocannabinoid system in humans are reviewed, and the physiological effects of cannabinoid use are described. Case reports of adverse events including emergency department admissions, mental health admissions, and clinical and forensic case reports are presented in detail and discussed to summarize the current state of knowledge of adverse effects, both clinical and forensic in humans, including effects on driving ability, and tissue injury and death. The greatest weight is accorded to those reports that include toxicological confirmation of use. Finally, we discuss the current status of attempts to schedule and control the distribution of synthetic cannabinoids and the relevance of receptor binding and functional activity in this context. There is growing toxicological and pharmacological evidence of impairment, psychosis, tissue injury, and

  9. Trends and Challenges in Neuroengineering: Toward "Intelligent" Neuroprostheses through Brain-"Brain Inspired Systems" Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vassanelli, Stefano; Mahmud, Mufti

    2016-01-01

    Future technologies aiming at restoring and enhancing organs function will intimately rely on near-physiological and energy-efficient communication between living and artificial biomimetic systems. Interfacing brain-inspired devices with the real brain is at the forefront of such emerging field, with the term "neurobiohybrids" indicating all those systems where such interaction is established. We argue that achieving a "high-level" communication and functional synergy between natural and artificial neuronal networks in vivo, will allow the development of a heterogeneous world of neurobiohybrids, which will include "living robots" but will also embrace "intelligent" neuroprostheses for augmentation of brain function. The societal and economical impact of intelligent neuroprostheses is likely to be potentially strong, as they will offer novel therapeutic perspectives for a number of diseases, and going beyond classical pharmaceutical schemes. However, they will unavoidably raise fundamental ethical questions on the intermingling between man and machine and more specifically, on how deeply it should be allowed that brain processing is affected by implanted "intelligent" artificial systems. Following this perspective, we provide the reader with insights on ongoing developments and trends in the field of neurobiohybrids. We address the topic also from a "community building" perspective, showing through a quantitative bibliographic analysis, how scientists working on the engineering of brain-inspired devices and brain-machine interfaces are increasing their interactions. We foresee that such trend preludes to a formidable technological and scientific revolution in brain-machine communication and to the opening of new avenues for restoring or even augmenting brain function for therapeutic purposes.

  10. Small Molecules from Nature Targeting G-Protein Coupled Cannabinoid Receptors: Potential Leads for Drug Discovery and Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charu Sharma

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The cannabinoid molecules are derived from Cannabis sativa plant which acts on the cannabinoid receptors types 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2 which have been explored as potential therapeutic targets for drug discovery and development. Currently, there are numerous cannabinoid based synthetic drugs used in clinical practice like the popular ones such as nabilone, dronabinol, and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol mediates its action through CB1/CB2 receptors. However, these synthetic based Cannabis derived compounds are known to exert adverse psychiatric effect and have also been exploited for drug abuse. This encourages us to find out an alternative and safe drug with the least psychiatric adverse effects. In recent years, many phytocannabinoids have been isolated from plants other than Cannabis. Several studies have shown that these phytocannabinoids show affinity, potency, selectivity, and efficacy towards cannabinoid receptors and inhibit endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes, thus reducing hyperactivity of endocannabinoid systems. Also, these naturally derived molecules possess the least adverse effects opposed to the synthetically derived cannabinoids. Therefore, the plant based cannabinoid molecules proved to be promising and emerging therapeutic alternative. The present review provides an overview of therapeutic potential of ligands and plants modulating cannabinoid receptors that may be of interest to pharmaceutical industry in search of new and safer drug discovery and development for future therapeutics.

  11. Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids, and Related Analogs in Inflammation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Burstein, Sumner H; Zurier, Robert B

    2009-01-01

    ..., and finally, noncannabinoid components of Cannabis that show anti-inflammatory action. It is intended to be an update on the topic of the involvement of cannabinoids in the process of inflammation...

  12. Antitumorigenic effects of cannabinoids beyond apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freimuth, Nadine; Ramer, Robert; Hinz, Burkhard

    2010-02-01

    According to the World Health Organization, the cases of death caused by cancer will have been doubled until the year 2030. By 2010, cancer is expected to be the number one cause of death. Therefore, it is necessary to explore novel approaches for the treatment of cancer. Over past years, the antitumorigenic effects of cannabinoids have emerged as an exciting field in cancer research. Apart from their proapoptotic and antiproliferative action, recent research has shown that cannabinoids may likewise affect tumor cell angiogenesis, migration, invasion, adhesion, and metastasization. This review will summarize the data concerning the influence of cannabinoids on these locomotive processes beyond modulation of cancer cell apoptosis and proliferation. The findings discussed here provide a new perspective on the antitumorigenic potential of cannabinoids.

  13. Neuropathic orofacial pain: cannabinoids as a therapeutic avenue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonough, Patrick; McKenna, Joseph P; McCreary, Christine; Downer, Eric J

    2014-10-01

    Neuropathic orofacial pain (NOP) exists in several forms including pathologies such as burning mouth syndrome (BMS), persistent idiopathic facial pain (PIFP), trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). BMS and PIFP are classically diagnosed by excluding other facial pain syndromes. TN and PHN are most often diagnosed based on a typical history and presenting pain characteristics. The pathophysiology of some of these conditions is still unclear and hence treatment options tend to vary and include a wide variety of treatments including cognitive behaviour therapy, anti-depressants, anti-convulsants and opioids; however such treatments often have limited efficacy with a great amount of inter-patient variability and poorly tolerated side effects. Analgesia is one the principal therapeutic targets of the cannabinoid system and many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of cannabinoid compounds in the treatment of neuropathic pain. This review will investigate the potential use of cannabinoids in the treatment of symptoms associated with NOP. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. FDTD analysis of a noninvasive hyperthermia system for brain tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yacoob, Sulafa M; Hassan, Noha S

    2012-08-14

    Hyperthermia is considered one of the new therapeutic modalities for cancer treatment and is based on the difference in thermal sensitivity between healthy tissues and tumors. During hyperthermia treatment, the temperature of the tumor is raised to 40-45°C for a definite period resulting in the destruction of cancer cells. This paper investigates design, modeling and simulation of a new non-invasive hyperthermia applicator system capable of effectively heating deep seated as well as superficial brain tumors using inexpensive, simple, and easy to fabricate components without harming surrounding healthy brain tissues. The proposed hyperthermia applicator system is composed of an air filled partial half ellipsoidal chamber, a patch antenna, and a head model with an embedded tumor at an arbitrary location. The irradiating antenna is placed at one of the foci of the hyperthermia chamber while the center of the brain tumor is placed at the other focus. The finite difference time domain (FDTD) method is used to compute both the SAR patterns and the temperature distribution in three different head models due to two different patch antennas at a frequency of 915 MHz. The obtained results suggest that by using the proposed noninvasive hyperthermia system it is feasible to achieve sufficient and focused energy deposition and temperature rise to therapeutic values in deep seated as well as superficial brain tumors without harming surrounding healthy tissue. The proposed noninvasive hyperthermia system proved suitable for raising the temperature in tumors embedded in the brain to therapeutic values by carefully selecting the systems components. The operator of the system only needs to place the center of the brain tumor at a pre-specified location and excite the antenna at a single frequency of 915 MHz. Our study may provide a basis for a clinical applicator prototype capable of heating brain tumors.

  15. FDTD analysis of a noninvasive hyperthermia system for brain tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yacoob Sulafa M

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hyperthermia is considered one of the new therapeutic modalities for cancer treatment and is based on the difference in thermal sensitivity between healthy tissues and tumors. During hyperthermia treatment, the temperature of the tumor is raised to 40–45°C for a definite period resulting in the destruction of cancer cells. This paper investigates design, modeling and simulation of a new non-invasive hyperthermia applicator system capable of effectively heating deep seated as well as superficial brain tumors using inexpensive, simple, and easy to fabricate components without harming surrounding healthy brain tissues. Methods The proposed hyperthermia applicator system is composed of an air filled partial half ellipsoidal chamber, a patch antenna, and a head model with an embedded tumor at an arbitrary location. The irradiating antenna is placed at one of the foci of the hyperthermia chamber while the center of the brain tumor is placed at the other focus. The finite difference time domain (FDTD method is used to compute both the SAR patterns and the temperature distribution in three different head models due to two different patch antennas at a frequency of 915 MHz. Results The obtained results suggest that by using the proposed noninvasive hyperthermia system it is feasible to achieve sufficient and focused energy deposition and temperature rise to therapeutic values in deep seated as well as superficial brain tumors without harming surrounding healthy tissue. Conclusions The proposed noninvasive hyperthermia system proved suitable for raising the temperature in tumors embedded in the brain to therapeutic values by carefully selecting the systems components. The operator of the system only needs to place the center of the brain tumor at a pre-specified location and excite the antenna at a single frequency of 915 MHz. Our study may provide a basis for a clinical applicator prototype capable of heating brain tumors.

  16. Interacting Brain Systems Modulate Memory Consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, Christa K.; McGaugh, James L.; Williams, Cedric L.

    2011-01-01

    Emotional arousal influences the consolidation of long-term memory. This review discusses experimental approaches and relevant findings that provide the foundation for current understanding of coordinated interactions between arousal activated peripheral hormones and the brain processes that modulate memory formation. Rewarding or aversive experiences release the stress hormones epinephrine (adrenalin) and glucocorticoids from the adrenal glands into the bloodstream. The effect of these hormones on memory consolidation depends upon binding of norepinephrine to beta-adrenergic receptors in the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA). Much evidence indicates that the stress hormones influence release of norepinephrine in the BLA through peripheral actions on the vagus nerve which stimulates, through polysynaptic connections, cells of the locus coeruleus to release norepinephrine. The BLA influences memory storage by actions on synapses, distributed throughout the brain, that are engaged in sensory and cognitive processing at the time of amygdala activation. The implications of the activation of these stress-activated memory processes are discussed in relation to stress-related memory disorders. PMID:22085800

  17. Are cannabinoids effective for epilepsy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Peña

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Resumen En el último tiempo se han descrito diversos beneficios con el uso de canabinoides en diferentes situaciones clínicas. Dentro de ellas se ha planteado un posible efecto en el control de la epilepsia, pero la real utilidad clínica es tema de debate. Utilizando la base de datos Epistemonikos, la cual es mantenida mediante búsquedas en múltiples bases de datos, identificamos cinco revisiones sistemáticas que en conjunto incluyen cuatro estudios aleatorizados. Extrajimos los datos y realizamos una síntesis mediante tablas de resumen de los resultados utilizando el método GRADE. Concluimos que no está claro si los cannabinoides disminuyen la frecuencia de las convulsiones porque la certeza de la evidencia es muy baja, pero probablemente se asocian a efectos adversos frecuentes.

  18. Synthesis of deuterium labeled cannabinoids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Banijamali, A.R.; Abou-Taleb, N.; Van der Schyf, C.J.; Charalambous, A.; Makriyannis, A.

    1988-01-01

    Several methods for the specific deuteration of cannabinoids are described. Deuteration of the phenolic ring was accomplished by treatment with BF/sub 3/center dotEt/sub 2/O followed by quenching with a solution of Na/sub 2/ CO/sub 3/ in D/sub 2/ O resulting in deuterium incorporation in both the 2 and 4 positions. Regioselective incorporation of deuterium into either the 2 or 4 position of ..delta../sup 8/-THC was achieved using Florisil spiked with either D/sub 2/O or H/sub 2/O. Deuteration at positions 8, 10 and 11 was achieved by addition of DC1 gas to the appropriate tetrahydrocannabinol to form 9-chlorohexahydrocannabinol labeled at either of the above positions, followed by elimination of hydrogen- or deuterium chloride with potassium-tert-amylate. UV irradiation of specifically labeled ..delta../sup 8/-THC gave the correspondingly labeled ..delta..sup(9,11)-THC.

  19. Multiple brain atlas database and atlas-based neuroimaging system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowinski, W L; Fang, A; Nguyen, B T; Raphel, J K; Jagannathan, L; Raghavan, R; Bryan, R N; Miller, G A

    1997-01-01

    For the purpose of developing multiple, complementary, fully labeled electronic brain atlases and an atlas-based neuroimaging system for analysis, quantification, and real-time manipulation of cerebral structures in two and three dimensions, we have digitized, enhanced, segmented, and labeled the following print brain atlases: Co-Planar Stereotaxic Atlas of the Human Brain by Talairach and Tournoux, Atlas for Stereotaxy of the Human Brain by Schaltenbrand and Wahren, Referentially Oriented Cerebral MRI Anatomy by Talairach and Tournoux, and Atlas of the Cerebral Sulci by Ono, Kubik, and Abernathey. Three-dimensional extensions of these atlases have been developed as well. All two- and three-dimensional atlases are mutually preregistered and may be interactively registered with an actual patient's data. An atlas-based neuroimaging system has been developed that provides support for reformatting, registration, visualization, navigation, image processing, and quantification of clinical data. The anatomical index contains about 1,000 structures and over 400 sulcal patterns. Several new applications of the brain atlas database also have been developed, supported by various technologies such as virtual reality, the Internet, and electronic publishing. Fusion of information from multiple atlases assists the user in comprehensively understanding brain structures and identifying and quantifying anatomical regions in clinical data. The multiple brain atlas database and atlas-based neuroimaging system have substantial potential impact in stereotactic neurosurgery and radiotherapy by assisting in visualization and real-time manipulation in three dimensions of anatomical structures, in quantitative neuroradiology by allowing interactive analysis of clinical data, in three-dimensional neuroeducation, and in brain function studies.

  20. The Depressed Brain: An Evolutionary Systems Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badcock, Paul B; Davey, Christopher G; Whittle, Sarah; Allen, Nicholas B; Friston, Karl J

    2017-03-01

    Major depression is a debilitating condition characterised by diverse neurocognitive and behavioural deficits. Nevertheless, our species-typical capacity for depressed mood implies that it serves an adaptive function. Here we apply an interdisciplinary theory of brain function to explain depressed mood and its clinical manifestations. Combining insights from the free-energy principle (FEP) with evolutionary theorising in psychology, we argue that depression reflects an adaptive response to perceived threats of aversive social outcomes (e.g., exclusion) that minimises the likelihood of surprising interpersonal exchanges (i.e., those with unpredictable outcomes). We suggest that psychopathology typically arises from ineffectual attempts to alleviate interpersonal difficulties and/or hyper-reactive neurobiological responses to social stress (i.e., uncertainty), which often stems from early experience that social uncertainty is difficult to resolve. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Brain-Based Indices for User System Symbiosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erp, J.B.F. van; Veltman, J.A.; Grootjen, M.

    2010-01-01

    The future generation user system interfaces need to be user-centric which goes beyond user-friendly and includes understanding and anticipating user intentions. We introduce the concept of operator models, their role in implementing user-system symbiosis, and the usefulness of brain-based indices

  2. Developing of a Computerized Brain Diagnosing System for Case ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The main purpose of this project is to design a computerized brain diagnosing system that would be used in carrying out the daily diagnosing activity in the clinic. The developed computerized system has numerous advantages over manual operation which is very tedious and time consuming. As part of the research method ...

  3. PET evaluation of the dopamine system of the human brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Volkow, N.D.; Fowler, J.S.; Gatley, S. [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY (United States)]|[SUNY-Stony Brook, NY (United States)] [and others

    1996-07-01

    Dopamine plays a pivotal role in the regulation and control of movement, motivation and cognition. It also is closely linked to reward, reinforcement and addiction. Abnormalities in brain dopamine are associated with many neurological and psychiatric disorders including Parkinson`s disease, schizophrenia and substance abuse. This close association between dopamine and neurological and psychiatric diseases and with substance abuse make it an important topic in research in the neurosciences and an important molecular target in drug development. PET enables the direct measurement of components of the dopamine system in the living human brain. It relies on radiotracers which label dopamine receptors, dopamine transporters, precursors of dopamine or compounds which have specificity for the enzymes which degrade dopamine. Additionally, by using tracers that provide information on regional brain metabolism or blood flow as well as neurochemically specific pharmacological interventions, PET can be used to assess the functional consequences of change in brain dopamine activity. PET dopamine measurements have been used to investigate the normal human brain and its involvement in psychiatric and neurological diseases. It has also been used in psychopharmacological research to investigate dopamine drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson`s disease and of schizophrenia as well as to investigate the effects of drugs of abuse on the dopamine system. Since various functional and neurochemical parameters can be studied in the same subject, PET enables investigation of the functional integrity of the dopamine system in the human brain and investigation of the interactions of dopamine with other neurotransmitters. This paper summarizes the different tracers and experimental strategies developed to evaluate the various elements of the dopamine system in the human brain with PET and their applications to clinical research. 254 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  4. The Endocannabinoid System Modulating Levels of Consciousness, Emotions and Likely Dream Contents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murillo-Rodriguez, Eric; Pastrana-Trejo, Jose Carlos; Salas-Crisóstomo, Mireille; de-la-Cruz, Miriel

    2017-01-01

    Cannabinoids are derivatives that are either compounds occurring naturally in the plant, Cannabis sativa or synthetic analogs of these molecules. The first and most widely investigated of the cannabinoids is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which is the main psychotropic constituent of cannabis and undergoes significant binding to cannabinoid receptors. These cannabinoid receptors are seven-transmembrane receptors that received their name from the fact that they respond to cannabinoid compounds, including Δ9-THC. The cannabinoid receptors have been described in rat, human and mouse brains and they have been named the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Later, an endogenous molecule that exerts pharmacological effects similar to those described by Δ9-THC and binds to the cannabinoid receptors was discovered. This molecule, named anandamide, was the first of five endogenous cannabinoid receptor agonists described to date in the mammalian brain and other tissues. Of these endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids, the most thoroughly investigated to date have been anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Over the years, a significant number of articles have been published in the field of endogenous cannabinoids, suggesting a modulatory profile in multiple neurobiological roles of endocannabinoids. The general consensus accepts that the endogenous cannabinoid system includes natural ligands (such as anandamide and 2- AG), receptors (CB1 and CB2), and the main enzymes responsible for the hydrolysis of anandamide and 2-AG (fatty acid amide hydrolase [FAAH] and monoacylglycerol lipase [MAGL], respectively) as well as the anandamide membrane transporter (AMT). To date, diverse pieces of evidence have shown that the endocannabinoid system controls multiple functions such as feeding, pain, learning and memory and has been linked with various disturbances, such as Parkinson´s disease. Among the modulatory properties of the endocannabinoid system, current data

  5. Cannabinoids therapeutic use: what is our current understanding following the introduction of THC, THC:CBD oromucosal spray and others?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccarrone, Mauro; Maldonado, Rafael; Casas, Miguel; Henze, Thomas; Centonze, Diego

    2017-04-01

    The complexity of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system is becoming better understood and new drivers of eCB signaling are emerging. Modulation of the activities of the eCB system can be therapeutic in a number of diseases. Research into the eCB system has been paralleled by the development of agents that interact with cannabinoid receptors. In this regard it should be remembered that herbal cannabis contains a myriad of active ingredients, and the individual cannabinoids have quite distinct biological activities requiring independent studies. Areas covered: This article reviews the most important current data involving the eCB system in relation to human diseases, to reflect the present (based mainly on the most used prescription cannabinoid medicine, THC/CBD oromucosal spray) and potential future uses of cannabinoid-based therapy. Expert commentary: From the different therapeutic possibilities, THC/CBD oromucosal spray has been in clinical use for approximately five years in numerous countries world-wide for the management of multiple sclerosis (MS)-related moderate to severe resistant spasticity. Clinical trials have confirmed its efficacy and tolerability. Other diseases in which different cannabinoids are currently being investigated include various pain states, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and epilepsy. The continued characterization of individual cannabinoids in different diseases remains important.

  6. Pharmacological blockade of either, cannabinoid CB1 or CB2 receptors, prevents both cocaine-induced conditioned locomotion and cocaine-induced reduction of cell proliferation in the hippocampus of adult male rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EDUARDO eBLANCO-CALVO

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Addiction to major drugs of abuse such as cocaine has been recently linked to alterations on adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The endogenous cannabinoid system modulated this proliferative response since pharmacological activation/blockade of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors by modulating not only neurogenesis but also cell death in the brain. In the present study, we evaluated whether the endogenous cannabinoid system affects cocaine-induced alterations in cell proliferation . To this end we examined if pharmacological blockade of either CB1 (Rimonabant, 3 mg/kg or CB2 receptors (AM630, 3 mg/kg affects cell proliferation (labeled with BrdU, found in the subventricular zone (SVZ of the lateral ventricles and the dentate subgranular zone (SGZ. In addition, we measured cell apoptosis (monitored by the expression of cleaved caspase-3 and glial activation ( by analizing the expression of GFAP and Iba-1 in the striatum and hippocampus, during acute or repeated (4 days cocaine administration (20 mg/kg. Results showed that acute cocaine decreased the number of BrdU+ cells in SVZ and SGZ. In contrast, repeated cocaine reduced the number of BrdU+ cells in SVZ only. Both acute and repeated cocaine increased the number of cleaved caspase-3+, GFAP+ and Iba1+ cells in the hippocampus, an effect counteracted by AM630 or Rimonabant that increased the number of BrdU+, GFAP+ and Iba1+ cells in the hippocampus. These results indicate that changes on neurogenic, apoptotic and gliosis processes, which were produced as a consequence of repeated cocaine administration, were normalized by the pharmacological blockade of CB1 and CB2. The restoring effects of cannabinoid receptor blockade on hippocampal cell proliferation were associated with a prevention of the induction of conditioned locomotion, but not of cocaine-induced sensitization.

  7. Genetic Variations in the Human Cannabinoid Receptor Gene Are Associated with Happiness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, Masahiro; Isowa, Tokiko; Yamakawa, Kaori; Fukuyama, Seisuke; Shinoda, Jun; Yamada, Jitsuhiro; Ohira, Hideki

    2014-01-01

    Happiness has been viewed as a temporary emotional state (e.g., pleasure) and a relatively stable state of being happy (subjective happiness level). As previous studies demonstrated that individuals with high subjective happiness level rated their current affective states more positively when they experience positive events, these two aspects of happiness are interrelated. According to a recent neuroimaging study, the cytosine to thymine single-nucleotide polymorphism of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene is associated with sensitivity to positive emotional stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that our genetic traits, such as the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes, are closely related to the two aspects of happiness. In Experiment 1, 198 healthy volunteers were used to compare the subjective happiness level between cytosine allele carriers and thymine-thymine carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene. In Experiment 2, we used positron emission tomography with 20 healthy participants to compare the brain responses to positive emotional stimuli of cytosine allele carriers to that of thymine-thymine carriers. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, cytosine allele carriers have a higher subjective happiness level. Regression analysis indicated that the cytosine allele is significantly associated with subjective happiness level. The positive mood after watching a positive film was significantly higher for the cytosine allele carriers compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Positive emotion-related brain region such as the medial prefrontal cortex was significantly activated when the cytosine allele carriers watched the positive film compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Thus, the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes are closely related to two aspects of happiness. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, the cytosine allele carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene, who are sensitive to positive emotional stimuli, exhibited greater magnitude

  8. Genetic variations in the human cannabinoid receptor gene are associated with happiness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, Masahiro; Isowa, Tokiko; Yamakawa, Kaori; Fukuyama, Seisuke; Shinoda, Jun; Yamada, Jitsuhiro; Ohira, Hideki

    2014-01-01

    Happiness has been viewed as a temporary emotional state (e.g., pleasure) and a relatively stable state of being happy (subjective happiness level). As previous studies demonstrated that individuals with high subjective happiness level rated their current affective states more positively when they experience positive events, these two aspects of happiness are interrelated. According to a recent neuroimaging study, the cytosine to thymine single-nucleotide polymorphism of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene is associated with sensitivity to positive emotional stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that our genetic traits, such as the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes, are closely related to the two aspects of happiness. In Experiment 1, 198 healthy volunteers were used to compare the subjective happiness level between cytosine allele carriers and thymine-thymine carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene. In Experiment 2, we used positron emission tomography with 20 healthy participants to compare the brain responses to positive emotional stimuli of cytosine allele carriers to that of thymine-thymine carriers. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, cytosine allele carriers have a higher subjective happiness level. Regression analysis indicated that the cytosine allele is significantly associated with subjective happiness level. The positive mood after watching a positive film was significantly higher for the cytosine allele carriers compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Positive emotion-related brain region such as the medial prefrontal cortex was significantly activated when the cytosine allele carriers watched the positive film compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Thus, the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes are closely related to two aspects of happiness. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, the cytosine allele carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene, who are sensitive to positive emotional stimuli, exhibited greater magnitude

  9. Genetic variations in the human cannabinoid receptor gene are associated with happiness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Matsunaga

    Full Text Available Happiness has been viewed as a temporary emotional state (e.g., pleasure and a relatively stable state of being happy (subjective happiness level. As previous studies demonstrated that individuals with high subjective happiness level rated their current affective states more positively when they experience positive events, these two aspects of happiness are interrelated. According to a recent neuroimaging study, the cytosine to thymine single-nucleotide polymorphism of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene is associated with sensitivity to positive emotional stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that our genetic traits, such as the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes, are closely related to the two aspects of happiness. In Experiment 1, 198 healthy volunteers were used to compare the subjective happiness level between cytosine allele carriers and thymine-thymine carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene. In Experiment 2, we used positron emission tomography with 20 healthy participants to compare the brain responses to positive emotional stimuli of cytosine allele carriers to that of thymine-thymine carriers. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, cytosine allele carriers have a higher subjective happiness level. Regression analysis indicated that the cytosine allele is significantly associated with subjective happiness level. The positive mood after watching a positive film was significantly higher for the cytosine allele carriers compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Positive emotion-related brain region such as the medial prefrontal cortex was significantly activated when the cytosine allele carriers watched the positive film compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Thus, the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes are closely related to two aspects of happiness. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, the cytosine allele carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene, who are sensitive to positive emotional stimuli, exhibited greater

  10. Chronic psychoemotional stress impairs cannabinoid-receptor-mediated control of GABA transmission in the striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Silvia; De Chiara, Valentina; Musella, Alessandra; Kusayanagi, Hajime; Mataluni, Giorgia; Bernardi, Giorgio; Usiello, Alessandro; Centonze, Diego

    2008-07-16

    Exposure to stressful events has a myriad of consequences in animals and in humans, and triggers synaptic adaptations in many brain areas. Stress might also alter cannabinoid-receptor-mediated transmission in the brain, but no physiological study has addressed this issue so far. In the present study, we found that social defeat stress, induced in mice by exposure to aggression, altered cannabinoid CB(1)-receptor-mediated control of synaptic transmission in the striatum. In fact, the presynaptic inhibition of GABAergic IPSCs induced by the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor agonist HU210 [(6aR)-trans-3-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-6a,7,10,10a-tetrahydro-1-hydroxy-6,6-dimethyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-9-methanol] was reduced after a single stressful episode and fully abolished after 3 and 7 d of stress exposure. Repeated psychoemotional stress also impaired the sensitivity of GABA synapses to endocannabinoids mobilized by group I metabotropic glutamate receptor stimulation, whereas the cannabinoid CB(1)-mediated control of glutamate transmission was unaffected by repeated exposure to an aggressor. Corticosteroids released in response to the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis played a major role in the synaptic defects observed in stressed animals, because these alterations were fully prevented by pharmacological blockade of glucocorticoid receptors and were mimicked by corticosterone injections. The recovery of stress-induced synaptic defects was favored when stressed mice were given access to a running wheel or to sucrose consumption, which function as potent natural rewards. A similar rescuing effect was obtained by a single injection of cocaine, a psychostimulant with strong rewarding properties. Targeting cannabinoid CB(1) receptors or endocannabinoid metabolism might be a valuable option to treat stress-associated neuropsychiatric conditions.

  11. Multitarget cannabinoids as novel strategy for Alzheimer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Naranjo, Pedro; Campillo, Nuria E; Pérez, Concepción; Páez, Juan A

    2013-03-01

    During the last years the development of approaches to multitarget drug design and discovery is gaining acceptance. The cannabinoids are potentially excellent multi-target drug candidates because of their interesting pharmacological profiles, among which stands out the dual capacity of cannabinoid ligands to act as cannabinoid agonist and cholinesterase inhibitors. In this article, inhibition, kinetics studies and docking simulations with a representative set of cannabinoids are presented. The results of these studies showed the inhibitory capacity of some agonist cannabinoids with selectivity at AChE or BuChE enzymes. The kinetic and modelling studies allowed us to postulate the potential mode of action and the binding site of the cannabinoids. In general, the studied cannabinoids showed a mixed type inhibition mode of action. The exception to this behaviour was found for the agonist CP-55,940 that showed a non-competitive inhibition, suggesting that this cannabinoid only binds to the peripheral site.

  12. Sustainable Production of Cannabinoids with Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Technologies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perrotin-Brunel, H.

    2011-01-01

    This thesis concerns the production of natural compounds from plant material for pharmaceutical and food applications. It describes the production (extraction and isolation) of cannabinoids, the active components present in cannabis. Many cannabinoids have medicinal properties but not all

  13. Can cannabinoids be a potential therapeutic tool in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Giacoppo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is the most common degenerative disease of the motor neuron system. Over the last years, a growing interest was aimed to discovery new innovative and safer therapeutic ap-proaches in the ALS treatment. In this context, the bioactive compounds of Cannabis sativa have shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in preclinical models of central nervous system disease. However, most of the studies proving the ability of cannabinoids in delay disease progression and prolong survival in ALS were performed in animal model, whereas the few clinical trials that investigated cannabinoids-based medicines were focused only on the alleviation of ALS-related symptoms, not on the control of disease progression. The aim of this report was to provide a short but important overview of evidences that are useful to better characterize the efficacy as well as the molecular pathways modulated by cannabinoids.

  14. Brain-machine interface circuits and systems

    CERN Document Server

    Zjajo, Amir

    2016-01-01

    This book provides a complete overview of significant design challenges in respect to circuit miniaturization and power reduction of the neural recording system, along with circuit topologies, architecture trends, and (post-silicon) circuit optimization algorithms. The introduced novel circuits for signal conditioning, quantization, and classification, as well as system configurations focus on optimized power-per-area performance, from the spatial resolution (i.e. number of channels), feasible wireless data bandwidth and information quality to the delivered power of implantable system.

  15. Cannabinoids mediate opposing effects on inflammation-induced intestinal permeability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhamoruni, A; Wright, KL; Larvin, M; O'Sullivan, SE

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Activation of cannabinoid receptors decreases emesis, inflammation, gastric acid secretion and intestinal motility. The ability to modulate intestinal permeability in inflammation may be important in therapy aimed at maintaining epithelial barrier integrity. The aim of the present study was to determine whether cannabinoids modulate the increased permeability associated with inflammation in vitro. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Confluent Caco-2 cell monolayers were treated for 24 h with IFNγ and TNFα (10 ng·mL−1). Monolayer permeability was measured using transepithelial electrical resistance and flux measurements. Cannabinoids were applied either apically or basolaterally after inflammation was established. Potential mechanisms of action were investigated using antagonists for CB1, CB2, TRPV1, PPARγ and PPARα. A role for the endocannabinoid system was established using inhibitors of the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids. KEY RESULTS Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol accelerated the recovery from cytokine-induced increased permeability; an effect sensitive to CB1 receptor antagonism. Anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol further increased permeability in the presence of cytokines; this effect was also sensitive to CB1 antagonism. No role for the CB2 receptor was identified in these studies. Co-application of THC, cannabidiol or a CB1 antagonist with the cytokines ameliorated their effect on permeability. Inhibiting the breakdown of endocannabinoids worsened, whereas inhibiting the synthesis of endocannabinoids attenuated, the increased permeability associated with inflammation. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS These findings suggest that locally produced endocannabinoids, acting via CB1 receptors play a role in mediating changes in permeability with inflammation, and that phytocannabinoids have therapeutic potential for reversing the disordered intestinal permeability associated with inflammation. LINKED ARTICLES This

  16. Shared visual attention and memory systems in the Drosophila brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno van Swinderen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Selective attention and memory seem to be related in human experience. This appears to be the case as well in simple model organisms such as the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Mutations affecting olfactory and visual memory formation in Drosophila, such as in dunce and rutabaga, also affect short-term visual processes relevant to selective attention. In particular, increased optomotor responsiveness appears to be predictive of visual attention defects in these mutants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To further explore the possible overlap between memory and visual attention systems in the fly brain, we screened a panel of 36 olfactory long term memory (LTM mutants for visual attention-like defects using an optomotor maze paradigm. Three of these mutants yielded high dunce-like optomotor responsiveness. We characterized these three strains by examining their visual distraction in the maze, their visual learning capabilities, and their brain activity responses to visual novelty. We found that one of these mutants, D0067, was almost completely identical to dunce(1 for all measures, while another, D0264, was more like wild type. Exploiting the fact that the LTM mutants are also Gal4 enhancer traps, we explored the sufficiency for the cells subserved by these elements to rescue dunce attention defects and found overlap at the level of the mushroom bodies. Finally, we demonstrate that control of synaptic function in these Gal4 expressing cells specifically modulates a 20-30 Hz local field potential associated with attention-like effects in the fly brain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study uncovers genetic and neuroanatomical systems in the fly brain affecting both visual attention and odor memory phenotypes. A common component to these systems appears to be the mushroom bodies, brain structures which have been traditionally associated with odor learning but which we propose might be also involved in generating oscillatory brain activity

  17. Computing the Social Brain Connectome Across Systems and States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcalá-López, Daniel; Smallwood, Jonathan; Jefferies, Elizabeth; Van Overwalle, Frank; Vogeley, Kai; Mars, Rogier B; Turetsky, Bruce I; Laird, Angela R; Fox, Peter T; Eickhoff, Simon B; Bzdok, Danilo

    2017-05-18

    Social skills probably emerge from the interaction between different neural processing levels. However, social neuroscience is fragmented into highly specialized, rarely cross-referenced topics. The present study attempts a systematic reconciliation by deriving a social brain definition from neural activity meta-analyses on social-cognitive capacities. The social brain was characterized by meta-analytic connectivity modeling evaluating coactivation in task-focused brain states and physiological fluctuations evaluating correlations in task-free brain states. Network clustering proposed a functional segregation into (1) lower sensory, (2) limbic, (3) intermediate, and (4) high associative neural circuits that together mediate various social phenomena. Functional profiling suggested that no brain region or network is exclusively devoted to social processes. Finally, nodes of the putative mirror-neuron system were coherently cross-connected during tasks and more tightly coupled to embodied simulation systems rather than abstract emulation systems. These first steps may help reintegrate the specialized research agendas in the social and affective sciences. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Monitoring of brain and systemic oxygenation in neurocritical care patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oddo, Mauro; Bösel, Julian

    2014-12-01

    Maintenance of adequate oxygenation is a mainstay of intensive care, however, recommendations on the safety, accuracy, and the potential clinical utility of invasive and non-invasive tools to monitor brain and systemic oxygenation in neurocritical care are lacking. A literature search was conducted for English language articles describing bedside brain and systemic oxygen monitoring in neurocritical care patients from 1980 to August 2013. Imaging techniques e.g., PET are not considered. A total of 281 studies were included, the majority described patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). All tools for oxygen monitoring are safe. Parenchymal brain oxygen (PbtO2) monitoring is accurate to detect brain hypoxia, and it is recommended to titrate individual targets of cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), ventilator parameters (PaCO2, PaO2), and transfusion, and to manage intracranial hypertension, in combination with ICP monitoring. SjvO2 is less accurate than PbtO2. Given limited data, NIRS is not recommended at present for adult patients who require neurocritical care. Systemic monitoring of oxygen (PaO2, SaO2, SpO2) and CO2 (PaCO2, end-tidal CO2) is recommended in patients who require neurocritical care.

  19. Cannabinoids inhibit energetic metabolism and induce AMPK-dependent autophagy in pancreatic cancer cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dando, I; Donadelli, M; Costanzo, C; Dalla Pozza, E; D'Alessandro, A; Zolla, L; Palmieri, M

    2013-01-01

    The anti-tumoral effects of cannabinoids have been described in different tumor systems, including pancreatic adenocarcinoma, but their mechanism of action remains unclear. We used cannabinoids specific for the CB1 (ACPA) and CB2 (GW) receptors and metabolomic analyses to unravel the potential pathways mediating cannabinoid-dependent inhibition of pancreatic cancer cell growth. Panc1 cells treated with cannabinoids show elevated AMPK activation induced by a ROS-dependent increase of AMP/ATP ratio. ROS promote nuclear translocation of GAPDH, which is further amplified by AMPK, thereby attenuating glycolysis. Furthermore, ROS determine the accumulation of NADH, suggestive of a blockage in the respiratory chain, which in turn inhibits the Krebs cycle. Concomitantly, inhibition of Akt/c-Myc pathway leads to decreased activity of both the pyruvate kinase isoform M2 (PKM2), further downregulating glycolysis, and glutamine uptake. Altogether, these alterations of pancreatic cancer cell metabolism mediated by cannabinoids result in a strong induction of autophagy and in the inhibition of cell growth. PMID:23764845

  20. Cannabinoids inhibit energetic metabolism and induce AMPK-dependent autophagy in pancreatic cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dando, I; Donadelli, M; Costanzo, C; Dalla Pozza, E; D'Alessandro, A; Zolla, L; Palmieri, M

    2013-06-13

    The anti-tumoral effects of cannabinoids have been described in different tumor systems, including pancreatic adenocarcinoma, but their mechanism of action remains unclear. We used cannabinoids specific for the CB1 (ACPA) and CB2 (GW) receptors and metabolomic analyses to unravel the potential pathways mediating cannabinoid-dependent inhibition of pancreatic cancer cell growth. Panc1 cells treated with cannabinoids show elevated AMPK activation induced by a ROS-dependent increase of AMP/ATP ratio. ROS promote nuclear translocation of GAPDH, which is further amplified by AMPK, thereby attenuating glycolysis. Furthermore, ROS determine the accumulation of NADH, suggestive of a blockage in the respiratory chain, which in turn inhibits the Krebs cycle. Concomitantly, inhibition of Akt/c-Myc pathway leads to decreased activity of both the pyruvate kinase isoform M2 (PKM2), further downregulating glycolysis, and glutamine uptake. Altogether, these alterations of pancreatic cancer cell metabolism mediated by cannabinoids result in a strong induction of autophagy and in the inhibition of cell growth.

  1. Current Knowledge on Cannabinoids in Oral Fluid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dayong; Huestis, Marilyn A.

    2015-01-01

    Oral fluid (OF) is a new biological matrix for clinical and forensic drug testing, offering non-invasive and directly observable sample collection reducing adulteration potential, ease of multiple sample collections, lower biohazard risk during collection, recent exposure identification, and stronger correlation with blood than urine concentrations. Because cannabinoids are usually the most prevalent analytes in illicit drug testing, application of OF drug testing requires sufficient scientific data to support sensitive and specific OF cannabinoid detection. This review presents current knowledge on OF cannabinoids, evaluating pharmacokinetic properties, detection windows, and correlation with other biological matrices and impairment from field applications and controlled drug administration studies. In addition, on-site screening technologies, confirmatory analytical methods, drug stability, and effects of sample collection procedure, adulterants, and passive environmental exposure are reviewed. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol OF concentrations could be > 1000 μg/L shortly after smoking, whereas minor cannabinoids are detected at 10-fold and metabolites at 1000-fold lower concentrations. OF research over the past decade demonstrated that appropriate interpretation of test results requires a comprehensive understanding of distinct elimination profiles and detection windows for different cannabinoids, which are influenced by administration route, dose, and drug use history. Thus, each drug testing program should establish cutoff criteria, collection/analysis procedures, and storage conditions tailored to its purposes. Building a scientific basis for OF testing is on-going, with continuing OF cannabinoids research on passive environmental exposure, drug use history, donor physiological conditions, and oral cavity metabolism needed to better understand mechanisms of cannabinoid OF disposition and expand OF drug testing applicability. PMID:23983217

  2. Cannabinoid Receptors: A Novel Target for Therapy of Prostate Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa linnaeus (marijuana) and their derivatives are drawing renewed attention because of their diverse...its treatment has become a challenging issue. In recent years, cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa linnaeus (marijuana) and their...the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids under in vivo situation on cell proliferation, apoptosis, markers of angiogenesis and PSA levels. We

  3. Pharmacological actions and therapeutic uses of cannabis and cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, R N; Chambers, W A; Pertwee, R G

    2001-11-01

    This review highlights the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacological actions, therapeutic uses and adverse effects of cannabinoids. The effect of cannabinoids on anaesthesia is mentioned briefly. Important advances have taken place in cannabinoid research over the last few years and have led to the discovery of novel ligands. The possible clinical applications of these ligands and the direction of future research are discussed.

  4. Labelling and biological evaluation of [{sup 11}C]methoxy-Sch225336: a radioligand for the cannabinoid-type 2 receptor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Evens, Nele [Laboratory for Radiopharmacy, K.U.Leuven, Leuven 3000 (Belgium); Bosier, Barbara [Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Radiopharmacy, U.C.L., Brussels 1200 (Belgium); Lavey, Brian J.; Kozlowski, Joseph A. [Schering Plough Research Institute, Kenilworth, NJ 07033 (United States); Vermaelen, Peter [Division of Nuclear Medicine, K.U.Leuven, Leuven 3000 (Belgium); Baudemprez, Luc; Busson, Roger [Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry, K.U.Leuven, Leuven 3000 (Belgium); Lambert, Didier M. [Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Radiopharmacy, U.C.L., Brussels 1200 (Belgium); Van Laere, Koen [Division of Nuclear Medicine, K.U.Leuven, Leuven 3000 (Belgium); Verbruggen, Alfons M. [Laboratory for Radiopharmacy, K.U.Leuven, Leuven 3000 (Belgium); Bormans, Guy M. [Laboratory for Radiopharmacy, K.U.Leuven, Leuven 3000 (Belgium)], E-mail: guy.bormans@pharm.kuleuven.be

    2008-10-15

    Introduction: The cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB{sub 2} receptor) is part of the endocannabinoid system and has been suggested as mediator of a number of central and peripheral inflammatory processes. In the present study, we have synthesized N-[(1s)-1-[4-[[4-methoxy-2-[(4-[{sup 11}C]methoxyphenyl)sulfonyl) -phenyl]sulfonyl] phenyl]ethyl]methanesulfonamide ([{sup 11}C]methoxy-Sch225336) and evaluated this new tracer agent as a potential positron emission tomography radioligand for the in vivo visualization of CB{sub 2} receptors. Methods: Sch225336 was demethylated and the resulting phenol precursor was radiolabelled with a carbon-11 methyl group by methylation using [{sup 11}C]methyl iodide, followed by purification by high-performance liquid chromatography. The log P of [{sup 11}C]methoxy-Sch225336 and its biodistribution in normal mice were determined. Enhancement of brain uptake by inhibition of blood-brain barrier (BBB) efflux transporters was studied. Mouse plasma was analysed to quantify the formation of radiometabolites. The affinity of Sch225336 for the human cannabinoid type 1 and type 2 receptor was determined. Results: [{sup 11}C]methoxy-Sch225336 was obtained with a decay corrected radiochemical yield of about 30% and a specific activity of 88.8 GBq/{mu}mol (end of synthesis). After intravenous injection in mice, the compound is rapidly cleared from the blood through the hepatobiliary pathway and does not show particular retention in any of the major organs. Polar metabolites were found in mouse plasma. Brain uptake was low despite the favourable log P value of 2.15, which is partly due to efflux by BBB pumps. Conclusion: [{sup 11}C]methoxy-Sch225336 is a good candidate for in vivo imaging of the CB{sub 2} receptor, although the low blood-brain barrier penetration limits its potential for central nervous system imaging.

  5. Understanding Functional Residues of the Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor for Drug Discovery

    OpenAIRE

    Shim, Joong-Youn

    2010-01-01

    The brain cannabinoid (CB1) receptor that mediates numerous physiological processes in response to marijuana and other psychoactive compounds is a G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) and shares common structural features with many rhodopsin class GPCRs. For the rational development of therapeutic agents targeting the CB1 receptor, understanding of the ligand-specific CB1 receptor interactions responsible for unique G protein signals is crucial. For a more than a decade, a combination of mutagen...

  6. Relationship of Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor and Cholecystokinin Immunoreactivity in Monkey Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Eggan, Stephen M.; Melchitzky, Darlene S.; Sesack, Susan R.; Fish, Kenneth N.; Lewis, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to cannabis impairs cognitive functions reliant on the circuitry of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and increases the risk of schizophrenia. The actions of cannabis are mediated via the brain cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R), which in rodents is heavily localized to the axon terminals of cortical GABA basket neurons that contain cholecystokinin (CCK). Differences in the laminar distribution of CB1R-immunoreactive (IR) axons have been reported between rodent and monkey neocort...

  7. Local activation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the urinary bladder reduces the inflammation-induced sensitization of bladder afferents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cervero Fernando

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Systemic administration of cannabinoid agonists is known to reduce pain induced by bladder inflammation and to modulate cystometric parameters in vivo. We have previously reported that intravesical administration of a cannabinoid agonist reduces the electrical activity of bladder afferents under normal conditions. However, the effects of local activation of bladder cannabinoid receptors on afferent activity during inflammation are unknown. This study was aimed to assess the effects of intravesical administration of a cannabinoid agonist on the discharges of afferent fibers in inflamed bladders ex vivo. We also characterized the expression of CB1 receptors in the bladder and their localization and co-expression with TRPV1, a marker of nociceptive afferents. Results Compared to untreated animals, afferent fiber activity in inflamed bladders was increased for intravesical pressures between 10 and 40 mmHg. Local treatment with a non selective cannabinoid agonist (AZ12646915 significantly reduced the afferent activity at intravesical pressures above 20 mmHg. This effect was blocked by AM251 but not by AM630 (selective for CB1 and CB2 respectively. Finally, CB1 was co-expressed with TRPV1 in control and inflamed bladders. Conclusion These results demonstrate that sensitization of bladder afferents induced by inflammation is partly suppressed by intravesical activation of cannabinoid receptors, an effect that appears to be mediated by CB1 receptors. Also, TRPV1 positive fibers were found to co-express CB1, supporting the hypothesis of a direct action of the cannabinoid agonist on nociceptive afferents. Taken together, these results indicate a peripheral modulation by the cannabinoid system of bladder hypersensitivity during inflammation.

  8. Type 1 Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands Display Functional Selectivity in a Cell Culture Model of Striatal Medium Spiny Projection Neurons*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laprairie, Robert B.; Bagher, Amina M.; Kelly, Melanie E. M.; Dupré, Denis J.; Denovan-Wright, Eileen M.

    2014-01-01

    Modulation of type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) activity has been touted as a potential means of treating addiction, anxiety, depression, and neurodegeneration. Different agonists of CB1 are known to evoke varied responses in vivo. Functional selectivity is the ligand-specific activation of certain signal transduction pathways at a receptor that can signal through multiple pathways. To understand cannabinoid-specific functional selectivity, different groups have examined the effect of individual cannabinoids on various signaling pathways in heterologous expression systems. In the current study, we compared the functional selectivity of six cannabinoids, including two endocannabinoids (2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA)), two synthetic cannabinoids (WIN55,212-2 and CP55,940), and two phytocannabinoids (cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) on arrestin2-, Gαi/o-, Gβγ-, Gαs-, and Gαq-mediated intracellular signaling in the mouse STHdhQ7/Q7 cell culture model of striatal medium spiny projection neurons that endogenously express CB1. In this system, 2-AG, THC, and CP55,940 were more potent mediators of arrestin2 recruitment than other cannabinoids tested. 2-AG, AEA, and WIN55,212-2, enhanced Gαi/o and Gβγ signaling, with 2-AG and AEA treatment leading to increased total CB1 levels. 2-AG, AEA, THC, and WIN55,212-2 also activated Gαq-dependent pathways. CP55,940 and CBD both signaled through Gαs. CP55,940, but not CBD, activated downstream Gαs pathways via CB1 targets. THC and CP55,940 promoted CB1 internalization and decreased CB1 protein levels over an 18-h period. These data demonstrate that individual cannabinoids display functional selectivity at CB1 leading to activation of distinct signaling pathways. To effectively match cannabinoids with therapeutic goals, these compounds must be screened for their signaling bias. PMID:25037227

  9. MEMORY SYSTEMS AND THE ADDICTED BRAIN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarid eGoodman

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The view that anatomically distinct memory systems differentially contribute to the development of drug addiction and relapse has received extensive support. The present brief review revisits this hypothesis as it was originally proposed twenty years ago (White, 1996 and highlights several recent developments. Extensive research employing a variety of animal learning paradigms indicates that dissociable neural systems mediate distinct types of learning and memory. Each memory system potentially contributes unique components to the learned behavior supporting drug addiction and relapse. In particular, the shift from recreational drug use to compulsive drug abuse may reflect a neuroanatomical shift from cognitive control of behavior mediated by the hippocampus/dorsomedial striatum toward habitual control of behavior mediated by the dorsolateral striatum (DLS. In addition, stress/anxiety may constitute a cofactor that facilitates DLS-dependent memory, and this may serve as a neurobehavioral mechanism underlying the increased drug use and relapse in humans following stressful life events. Evidence supporting the multiple systems view of drug addiction comes predominantly from studies of learning and memory that have employed as reinforcers addictive substances often considered within the context of drug addiction research, including cocaine, alcohol, and amphetamines. In addition, recent evidence suggests that the memory systems approach may also be helpful for understanding topical sources of addiction that reflect emerging health concerns, including marijuana use, high-fat diet, and video game playing.

  10. Effects of cannabinoids on neuropeptide Y and β-endorphin expression in the rat hypothalamic arcuate nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakkali-Kassemi, Lamiae; El Ouezzani, Seloua; Magoul, Rabia; Merroun, Ikram; Lopez-Jurado, Maria; Errami, Mohammed

    2011-02-01

    The control of appetite and satiety is extremely complex and involves a balance between neurotransmitters and neuropeptides to stimulate and/or inhibit feeding behaviour. The effect of cannabinoids on food intake is well established, but little is known about the mechanism of action underlying their activity. In the present report, the effect of pharmacological manipulation of the cannabinoid receptor on the expression of hypothalamic neuropeptides is investigated. We used an immunohistochemical approach to examine the effect of intracerebroventricular administration of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 and the inverse agonist AM251 on neuropeptide Y (NPY) and the β-endorphin (β-end) neuronal hypothalamic systems. Double immunohistochemistry (c-fos/β-end) was used to assess the number of β-end neurons activated by the cannabinoid agonist. The present results showed that 1 μg WIN 55,212-2 increases β-end immunoreactivity within the arcuate nucleus while no significant changes were noted in the NPY-immunoreactive nerve fibres network in comparison to the control group. Injection of 1 μg AM251 decreases both NPY and β-end immunoreactivity within the arcuate nucleus. The number of β-end neurons exhibiting c-fos increased significantly in WIN 55,212-2 compared with the control group. These results suggest that cannabinoids affect the expression of hypothalamic neuropeptides, notably the NPY and β-end systems, which may have implications in the orexigenic action of cannabinoids.

  11. Leaner and greener analysis of cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudge, Elizabeth M; Murch, Susan J; Brown, Paula N

    2017-05-01

    There is an explosion in the number of labs analyzing cannabinoids in marijuana (Cannabis sativa L., Cannabaceae) but existing methods are inefficient, require expert analysts, and use large volumes of potentially environmentally damaging solvents. The objective of this work was to develop and validate an accurate method for analyzing cannabinoids in cannabis raw materials and finished products that is more efficient and uses fewer toxic solvents. An HPLC-DAD method was developed for eight cannabinoids in cannabis flowers and oils using a statistically guided optimization plan based on the principles of green chemistry. A single-laboratory validation determined the linearity, selectivity, accuracy, repeatability, intermediate precision, limit of detection, and limit of quantitation of the method. Amounts of individual cannabinoids above the limit of quantitation in the flowers ranged from 0.02 to 14.9% w/w, with repeatability ranging from 0.78 to 10.08% relative standard deviation. The intermediate precision determined using HorRat ratios ranged from 0.3 to 2.0. The LOQs for individual cannabinoids in flowers ranged from 0.02 to 0.17% w/w. This is a significant improvement over previous methods and is suitable for a wide range of applications including regulatory compliance, clinical studies, direct patient medical services, and commercial suppliers.

  12. Prolonged oral cannabinoid administration prevents neuroinflammation, lowers β-amyloid levels and improves cognitive performance in Tg APP 2576 mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín-Moreno Ana María

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alzheimer's disease (AD brain shows an ongoing inflammatory condition and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories diminish the risk of suffering the neurologic disease. Cannabinoids are neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory agents with therapeutic potential. Methods We have studied the effects of prolonged oral administration of transgenic amyloid precursor protein (APP mice with two pharmacologically different cannabinoids (WIN 55,212-2 and JWH-133, 0.2 mg/kg/day in the drinking water during 4 months on inflammatory and cognitive parameters, and on 18F-fluoro-deoxyglucose (18FDG uptake by positron emission tomography (PET. Results Novel object recognition was significantly reduced in 11 month old Tg APP mice and 4 month administration of JWH was able to normalize this cognitive deficit, although WIN was ineffective. Wild type mice cognitive performance was unaltered by cannabinoid administration. Tg APP mice showed decreased 18FDG uptake in hippocampus and cortical regions, which was counteracted by oral JWH treatment. Hippocampal GFAP immunoreactivity and cortical protein expression was unaffected by genotype or treatment. In contrast, the density of Iba1 positive microglia was increased in Tg APP mice, and normalized following JWH chronic treatment. Both cannabinoids were effective at reducing the enhancement of COX-2 protein levels and TNF-α mRNA expression found in the AD model. Increased cortical β-amyloid (Aβ levels were significantly reduced in the mouse model by both cannabinoids. Noteworthy both cannabinoids enhanced Aβ transport across choroid plexus cells in vitro. Conclusions In summary we have shown that chronically administered cannabinoid showed marked beneficial effects concomitant with inflammation reduction and increased Aβ clearance.

  13. Preclinical studies on the reinforcing effects of cannabinoids. A tribute to the scientific research of Dr. Steve Goldberg

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanda, Gianluigi

    2016-01-01

    Rationale The reinforcing effects of most abused drugs have been consistently demonstrated and studied in animal models, although those of marijuana were not, until the demonstration fifteen years ago that THC could serve as a reinforcer in self-administration (SA) procedures in squirrel monkeys. Until then, those effects were inferred using indirect assessments. Objectives The aim of this manuscript is to review the primary preclinical procedures used to indirectly and directly infer reinforcing effects of cannabinoid drugs. Methods Results will be reviewed from studies of cannabinoid-discrimination, intracranial-self-stimulation (ICSS), conditioned place preference (CPP), as well as change in levels of dopamine assessed in brain areas related to reinforcement, and finally from self-administration procedures. For each procedure, an evaluation will be made of the predictive validity in detecting the potential abuse liability of cannabinoids based on seminal papers, with the addition of selected reports from more recent years especially those from Dr. Goldberg’s research group. Results and Conclusions ICSS and CPP do not provide consistent results for the assessment of potential for abuse of cannabinoids. However, drug-discrimination and neurochemistry procedures appear to detect potential for abuse of cannabinoids, as well as several novel “designer cannabinoid drugs.” Though after 15 years it remains somewhat problematic transfer the self-administration model of marijuana abuse from squirrel monkeys to other species, studies with the former species have substantially advanced the field, and several reports have been published with consistent self-administration of cannabinoid agonists in rodents. PMID:27026633

  14. Prolonged oral cannabinoid administration prevents neuroinflammation, lowers β-amyloid levels and improves cognitive performance in Tg APP 2576 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-Moreno, Ana María; Brera, Begoña; Spuch, Carlos; Carro, Eva; García-García, Luis; Delgado, Mercedes; Pozo, Miguel A; Innamorato, Nadia G; Cuadrado, Antonio; de Ceballos, María L

    2012-01-16

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain shows an ongoing inflammatory condition and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories diminish the risk of suffering the neurologic disease. Cannabinoids are neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory agents with therapeutic potential. We have studied the effects of prolonged oral administration of transgenic amyloid precursor protein (APP) mice with two pharmacologically different cannabinoids (WIN 55,212-2 and JWH-133, 0.2 mg/kg/day in the drinking water during 4 months) on inflammatory and cognitive parameters, and on ¹⁸F-fluoro-deoxyglucose (¹⁸FDG) uptake by positron emission tomography (PET). Novel object recognition was significantly reduced in 11 month old Tg APP mice and 4 month administration of JWH was able to normalize this cognitive deficit, although WIN was ineffective. Wild type mice cognitive performance was unaltered by cannabinoid administration. Tg APP mice showed decreased ¹⁸FDG uptake in hippocampus and cortical regions, which was counteracted by oral JWH treatment. Hippocampal GFAP immunoreactivity and cortical protein expression was unaffected by genotype or treatment. In contrast, the density of Iba1 positive microglia was increased in Tg APP mice, and normalized following JWH chronic treatment. Both cannabinoids were effective at reducing the enhancement of COX-2 protein levels and TNF-α mRNA expression found in the AD model. Increased cortical β-amyloid (Aβ) levels were significantly reduced in the mouse model by both cannabinoids. Noteworthy both cannabinoids enhanced Aβ transport across choroid plexus cells in vitro. In summary we have shown that chronically administered cannabinoid showed marked beneficial effects concomitant with inflammation reduction and increased Aβ clearance.

  15. Systems biology: From the cell to the brain

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Systems biology: From the cell to the brain. SITABHRA SINHA. 1,∗. , T JESAN. 2 and NIVEDITA CHATTERJEE. 3. 1. The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, CIT Campus, Taramani, Chennai 600 113, India. 2. Health Physics Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Kalpakkam 603 201, India. 3. Vision Research ...

  16. 381 Developing of a Computerized Brain Diagnosing System for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    computerized brain diagnosing system that would be used in carrying out the daily diagnosing activity in the clinic .... Stand-alone Units are being used to monitor and control operations in factories and office buildings. .... he understood in terms of the numeric manipulations involved in expected value computations, which is ...

  17. The nicotinic cholinergic system function in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nees, Frauke

    2015-09-01

    Research on the nicotinic cholinergic system function in the brain was previously mainly derived from animal studies, yet, research in humans is growing. Up to date, findings allow significant advances on the understanding of nicotinic cholinergic effects on human cognition, emotion and behavior using a range of functional brain imaging approaches such as pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography. Studies provided insights across various mechanistic psychological domains using different tasks as well as at rest in both healthy individuals and patient populations, with so far partly mixed results reporting both enhancements and decrements of neural activity related to the nicotinic cholinergic system. Moreover, studies on the relation between brain structure and the nicotinic cholinergic system add important information in this context. The present review summarizes the current status of human brain imaging studies and presents the findings within a theoretical and clinical perspective as they may be useful not only for an advancement of the understanding of basic nicotinic cholinergic-related mechanisms, but also for the development and integration of psychological and pharmacological treatment approaches. Patterns of functional neuroanatomy and neural circuitry across various cognitive and emotional domains may be used as neuropsychological markers of mental disorders such as addiction, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson disease or schizophrenia, where nicotinic cholinergic system changes are characteristic. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Deep brain transcranial magnetic stimulation using variable "Halo coil" system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Y.; Hadimani, R. L.; Crowther, L. J.; Xu, Z.; Qu, J.; Jiles, D. C.

    2015-05-01

    Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has the potential to treat various neurological disorders non-invasively and safely. The "Halo coil" configuration can stimulate deeper regions of the brain with lower surface to deep-brain field ratio compared to other coil configurations. The existing "Halo coil" configuration is fixed and is limited in varying the site of stimulation in the brain. We have developed a new system based on the current "Halo coil" design along with a graphical user interface system that enables the larger coil to rotate along the transverse plane. The new system can also enable vertical movement of larger coil. Thus, this adjustable "Halo coil" configuration can stimulate different regions of the brain by adjusting the position and orientation of the larger coil on the head. We have calculated magnetic and electric fields inside a MRI-derived heterogeneous head model for various positions and orientations of the coil. We have also investigated the mechanical and thermal stability of the adjustable "Halo coil" configuration for various positions and orientations of the coil to ensure safe operation of the system.

  19. Designer drugs. Patients may be using synthetic cannabinoids more than you think.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisi, Donna M

    2014-09-01

    Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) are a large family of man-made chemical compounds functionally or biologically similar to natural cannabinoids. They produce marijuana-like effects from binding to cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) and have sometimes been referred to as "fake pot," "legal weed," "new marijuana" and "legal high." These substances are marketed to teens and young adults and have become the second most-abused illicit substance in the United States after marijuana. They appeal to young people because they're relatively inexpensive, easily available and aren't detectable on routine drug screens. There's also a major misconception that these drugs are natural, legal, safe and produce less adverse effects than marijuana.

  20. The Role of Cannabinoid Transmission in Emotional Memory Formation: Implications for Addiction and Schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huibing eTan

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Emerging evidence from both basic and clinical research demonstrates an important role for endocannabinoid (ECB signaling in the processing of emotionally salient information, learning and memory. Cannabinoid transmission within neural circuits involved in emotional processing has been shown to modulate the acquisition, recall and extinction of emotionally salient memories and importantly, can strongly modulate the emotional salience of incoming sensory information. Two neural regions in particular, the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC and the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA, play important roles in emotional regulation and contain high levels of cannabinoid receptors. Furthermore, both regions show profound abnormalities in neuropsychiatric disorders such as addiction and schizophrenia. Considerable evidence has demonstrated that cannabinoid transmission functionally interacts with dopamine (DA, a neurotransmitter system that is of exceptional importance for both addictive behaviours and the neuropsychopathology of disorders like schizophrenia. Research in our laboratory has focused on how cannabinoid transmission both within and extrinsic to the mesolimbic DA system, including the BLAmPFC circuitry, can modulate both rewarding and aversive emotional information. In this review, we will summarize clinical and basic neuroscience research demonstrating the importance of cannabinoid signaling within this neural circuitry. In particular, evidence will be reviewed emphasizing the importance of cannabinoid signaling within the BLAmPFC circuitry in the context of emotional salience processing, memory formation and memory-related plasticity. We propose that aberrant states of hyper or hypoactive ECB signaling within the amygdala-prefrontal cortical circuit may lead to dysregulation of mesocorticolimbic DA transmission controlling the processing of emotionally salient information. These disturbances may in turn lead to emotional processing

  1. Progress in EEG-Based Brain Robot Interaction Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoqian Mao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The most popular noninvasive Brain Robot Interaction (BRI technology uses the electroencephalogram- (EEG- based Brain Computer Interface (BCI, to serve as an additional communication channel, for robot control via brainwaves. This technology is promising for elderly or disabled patient assistance with daily life. The key issue of a BRI system is to identify human mental activities, by decoding brainwaves, acquired with an EEG device. Compared with other BCI applications, such as word speller, the development of these applications may be more challenging since control of robot systems via brainwaves must consider surrounding environment feedback in real-time, robot mechanical kinematics, and dynamics, as well as robot control architecture and behavior. This article reviews the major techniques needed for developing BRI systems. In this review article, we first briefly introduce the background and development of mind-controlled robot technologies. Second, we discuss the EEG-based brain signal models with respect to generating principles, evoking mechanisms, and experimental paradigms. Subsequently, we review in detail commonly used methods for decoding brain signals, namely, preprocessing, feature extraction, and feature classification, and summarize several typical application examples. Next, we describe a few BRI applications, including wheelchairs, manipulators, drones, and humanoid robots with respect to synchronous and asynchronous BCI-based techniques. Finally, we address some existing problems and challenges with future BRI techniques.

  2. Progress in EEG-Based Brain Robot Interaction Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xiaoqian; Li, Mengfan; Li, Wei; Niu, Linwei; Xian, Bin; Zeng, Ming; Chen, Genshe

    2017-01-01

    The most popular noninvasive Brain Robot Interaction (BRI) technology uses the electroencephalogram- (EEG-) based Brain Computer Interface (BCI), to serve as an additional communication channel, for robot control via brainwaves. This technology is promising for elderly or disabled patient assistance with daily life. The key issue of a BRI system is to identify human mental activities, by decoding brainwaves, acquired with an EEG device. Compared with other BCI applications, such as word speller, the development of these applications may be more challenging since control of robot systems via brainwaves must consider surrounding environment feedback in real-time, robot mechanical kinematics, and dynamics, as well as robot control architecture and behavior. This article reviews the major techniques needed for developing BRI systems. In this review article, we first briefly introduce the background and development of mind-controlled robot technologies. Second, we discuss the EEG-based brain signal models with respect to generating principles, evoking mechanisms, and experimental paradigms. Subsequently, we review in detail commonly used methods for decoding brain signals, namely, preprocessing, feature extraction, and feature classification, and summarize several typical application examples. Next, we describe a few BRI applications, including wheelchairs, manipulators, drones, and humanoid robots with respect to synchronous and asynchronous BCI-based techniques. Finally, we address some existing problems and challenges with future BRI techniques.

  3. The PennBMBI: Design of a General Purpose Wireless Brain-Machine-Brain Interface System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xilin; Zhang, Milin; Subei, Basheer; Richardson, Andrew G; Lucas, Timothy H; Van der Spiegel, Jan

    2015-04-01

    In this paper, a general purpose wireless Brain-Machine-Brain Interface (BMBI) system is presented. The system integrates four battery-powered wireless devices for the implementation of a closed-loop sensorimotor neural interface, including a neural signal analyzer, a neural stimulator, a body-area sensor node and a graphic user interface implemented on the PC end. The neural signal analyzer features a four channel analog front-end with configurable bandpass filter, gain stage, digitization resolution, and sampling rate. The target frequency band is configurable from EEG to single unit activity. A noise floor of 4.69 μVrms is achieved over a bandwidth from 0.05 Hz to 6 kHz. Digital filtering, neural feature extraction, spike detection, sensing-stimulating modulation, and compressed sensing measurement are realized in a central processing unit integrated in the analyzer. A flash memory card is also integrated in the analyzer. A 2-channel neural stimulator with a compliance voltage up to ± 12 V is included. The stimulator is capable of delivering unipolar or bipolar, charge-balanced current pulses with programmable pulse shape, amplitude, width, pulse train frequency and latency. A multi-functional sensor node, including an accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a flexiforce sensor and a general sensor extension port has been designed. A computer interface is designed to monitor, control and configure all aforementioned devices via a wireless link, according to a custom designed communication protocol. Wireless closed-loop operation between the sensory devices, neural stimulator, and neural signal analyzer can be configured. The proposed system was designed to link two sites in the brain, bridging the brain and external hardware, as well as creating new sensory and motor pathways for clinical practice. Bench test and in vivo experiments are performed to verify the functions and performances of the system.

  4. Development of double density whole brain fNIRS with EEG system for brain machine interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, A; Udagawa, H; Masuda, Y; Kohno, S; Amita, T; Inoue, Y

    2011-01-01

    Brain-machine interfaces (BMI) are expected as new man-machine interfaces. Non-invasive BMI have the potential to improve the quality of life of many disabled individuals with safer operation. The non-invasive BMI using the functional functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) with the electroencephalogram (EEG) has potential applicability beyond the restoration of lost movement and rehabilitation in paraplegics and would enable normal individuals to have direct brain control of external devices in their daily lives. To shift stage of the non-invasive BMI from laboratory to clinical, the key factor is to develop high-accuracy signal decoding technology and highly restrictive of the measurement area. In this article, we present the development of a high-accuracy brain activity measurement system by combining fNIRS and EEG. The new fNIRS had high performances with high spatial resolution using double density technique and a large number of measurement channels to cover a whole human brain.

  5. Fun cube based brain gym cognitive function assessment system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Lin, Chung-Chih; Yu, Tsang-Chu; Sun, Jing; Hsu, Wen-Chuin; Wong, Alice May-Kuen

    2017-05-01

    The aim of this study is to design and develop a fun cube (FC) based brain gym (BG) cognitive function assessment system using the wireless sensor network and multimedia technologies. The system comprised (1) interaction devices, FCs and a workstation used as interactive tools for collecting and transferring data to the server, (2) a BG information management system responsible for managing the cognitive games and storing test results, and (3) a feedback system used for conducting the analysis of cognitive functions to assist caregivers in screening high risk groups with mild cognitive impairment. Three kinds of experiments were performed to evaluate the developed FC-based BG cognitive function assessment system. The experimental results showed that the Pearson correlation coefficient between the system's evaluation outcomes and the traditional Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores was 0.83. The average Technology Acceptance Model 2 score was close to six for 31 elderly subjects. Most subjects considered that the brain games are interesting and the FC human-machine interface is easy to learn and operate. The control group and the cognitive impairment group had statistically significant difference with respect to the accuracy of and the time taken for the brain cognitive function assessment games, including Animal Naming, Color Search, Trail Making Test, Change Blindness, and Forward / Backward Digit Span. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Toxic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Animal Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Beaulieu

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The present article reviews the main toxic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids in animals. Toxic effects can be separated into acute and chronic classifications. Acute toxicity studies show that it is virtually impossible to die from acute administration of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Chronic toxicity involves lesions of airway and lung tissues, as well as problems of neurotoxicity, tolerance and dependence, and dysregulations in the immune and hormonal systems. Animal toxicity data, however, are difficult to extrapolate to humans.

  7. Cannabinoid and opioid interactions: implications for opiate dependence and withdrawal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scavone, J.L.; Sterling, R.C.; Van Bockstaele, E.J.

    2013-01-01

    Withdrawal from opiates, such as heroin or oral narcotics, is characterized by a host of aversive physical and emotional symptoms. High rates of relapse and limited treatment success rates for opiate addiction have prompted a search for new approaches. For many opiate addicts, achieving abstinence may be further complicated by poly-drug use and co-morbid mental disorders. Research over the past decade has shed light on the influence of endocannabinoids on the opioid system. Evidence from both animal and clinical studies point towards an interaction between these two systems, and suggest that targeting the endocannabinoid system may provide novel interventions for managing opiate dependence and withdrawal. This review will summarize the literature surrounding the molecular effects of cannabinoids and opioids system on the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system, a key circuit implicated in the negative sequelae of opiate addiction. A consideration of the trends and effects of marijuana use in those seeking treatment to abstain from opiates in the clinical setting will also be presented. In summary, the present review details how cannabinoid-opioid interactions may inform novel interventions in management of opiate dependence and withdrawal. PMID:23624062

  8. Comparison of outcome expectancies for synthetic cannabinoids and botanical marijuana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauritsen, Kirstin J; Rosenberg, Harold

    2016-07-01

    Although initially developed for medical purposes, synthetic cannabinoids have also been consumed for recreational purposes. To evaluate whether agreement with positive and negative outcome expectancies differed for synthetic cannabinoids versus botanical marijuana, and assess reported reasons for using synthetic cannabinoids. Using a web-based recruitment and data collection procedure, 186 adults who had used both synthetic cannabinoids and botanical marijuana and 181 adults who had used botanical marijuana but not synthetic cannabinoids, completed measures of outcome expectancies and other relevant questionnaires. A significant interaction revealed that participants who had used both synthetic cannabinoids and botanical marijuana indicated lower agreement with positive expectancies for synthetic cannabinoids, and higher agreement with positive expectancies for botanical marijuana, than did those participants who used only botanical marijuana. There was no interaction between type of drug and use history on agreement with negative expectancies, and participants agreed more strongly with negative outcome expectancies for synthetic cannabinoids than for botanical marijuana whether they had used one or both types of these drugs. The most frequently provided reasons for using synthetic cannabinoids included availability, perceived legality, cost, curiosity, and social interaction. Given growing public acceptance of recreational and medical marijuana, coupled with negative perceptions and increasing regulation of synthetic cannabinoid compounds, botanical marijuana is likely to remain more available and more popular than synthetic cannabinoids.

  9. Cannabinoid Markers in Biological Fluids and Tissues: Revealing Intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huestis, Marilyn A; Smith, Michael L

    2018-02-01

    Understanding cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid intake history is vital for treating drug dependence, investigating cannabinoid effects, and providing information to healthcare personnel, medical examiners, and public health officials; this is particularly relevant today with cannabis medicalization and legalization. Required information includes identifying exposure, time of use, frequency of use, relapse, withdrawal, and predicting cannabinoid effects. Recent controlled cannabinoid administration studies enable the development of models and markers to better identify patterns of intake and exposure. Future challenges include developing behavioral markers of cannabis impairment, bringing to market breathalyzers for cannabinoid detection, and identifying markers of recent cannabis intake in diverse biological matrices. We posit that biological monitoring of cannabinoids and metabolites will improve the characterization of cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid intake history. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Role of Cannabinoids in Gastrointestinal Mucosal Defense and Inflammation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyires, Klára; Zádori, Zoltán S.

    2016-01-01

    Modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system influences various gastrointestinal physiological and pathophysiological processes, and cannabinoid receptors as well as regulatory enzymes responsible for the synthesis or degradation of endocannabinoids representing potential targets to reduce the development of gastrointestinal mucosal lesions, hemorrhage and inflammation. Direct activation of CB1 receptors by plant-derived, endogenous or synthetic cannabinoids effectively reduces both gastric acid secretion and gastric motor activity, and decreases the formation of gastric mucosal lesions induced by stress, pylorus ligation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or alcohol, partly by peripheral, partly by central mechanisms. Similarly, indirect activation of cannabinoid receptors through elevation of endocannabinoid levels by globally acting or peripherally restricted inhibitors of their metabolizing enzymes (FAAH, MAGL) or by inhibitors of their cellular uptake reduces the gastric mucosal lesions induced by NSAIDs in a CB1 receptor-dependent fashion. Dual inhibition of FAAH and cyclooxygenase enzymes induces protection against both NSAID-induced gastrointestinal damage and intestinal inflammation. Moreover, in intestinal inflammation direct or indirect activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors exerts also multiple beneficial effects. Namely, activation of both CB receptors was shown to ameliorate intestinal inflammation in various murine colitis models, to decrease visceral hypersensitivity and abdominal pain, as well as to reduce colitis-associated hypermotility and diarrhea. In addition, CB1 receptors suppress secretory processes and also modulate intestinal epithelial barrier functions. Thus, experimental data suggest that the endocannabinoid system represents a promising target in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases, and this assumption is also confirmed by preliminary clinical studies. PMID:26935536

  11. The song system of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Steven; Martinez, Michael J; Hodges, Donald A; Fox, Peter T; Parsons, Lawrence M

    2004-08-01

    Although sophisticated insights have been gained into the neurobiology of singing in songbirds, little comparable knowledge exists for humans, the most complex singers in nature. Human song complexity is evidenced by the capacity to generate both richly structured melodies and coordinated multi-part harmonizations. The present study aimed to elucidate this multi-faceted vocal system by using 15O-water positron emission tomography to scan "listen and respond" performances of amateur musicians either singing repetitions of novel melodies, singing harmonizations with novel melodies, or vocalizing monotonically. Overall, major blood flow increases were seen in the primary and secondary auditory cortices, primary motor cortex, frontal operculum, supplementary motor area, insula, posterior cerebellum, and basal ganglia. Melody repetition and harmonization produced highly similar patterns of activation. However, whereas all three tasks activated secondary auditory cortex (posterior Brodmann Area 22), only melody repetition and harmonization activated the planum polare (BA 38). This result implies that BA 38 is responsible for an even higher level of musical processing than BA 22. Finally, all three of these "listen and respond" tasks activated the frontal operculum (Broca's area), a region involved in cognitive/motor sequence production and imitation, thereby implicating it in musical imitation and vocal learning.

  12. A Review of Hybrid Brain-Computer Interface Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Setare Amiri

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing number of research activities and different types of studies in brain-computer interface (BCI systems show potential in this young research area. Research teams have studied features of different data acquisition techniques, brain activity patterns, feature extraction techniques, methods of classifications, and many other aspects of a BCI system. However, conventional BCIs have not become totally applicable, due to the lack of high accuracy, reliability, low information transfer rate, and user acceptability. A new approach to create a more reliable BCI that takes advantage of each system is to combine two or more BCI systems with different brain activity patterns or different input signal sources. This type of BCI, called hybrid BCI, may reduce disadvantages of each conventional BCI system. In addition, hybrid BCIs may create more applications and possibly increase the accuracy and the information transfer rate. However, the type of BCIs and their combinations should be considered carefully. In this paper, after introducing several types of BCIs and their combinations, we review and discuss hybrid BCIs, different possibilities to combine them, and their advantages and disadvantages.

  13. Interaction between lexical and grammatical language systems in the brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardila, Alfredo

    2012-06-01

    This review concentrates on two different language dimensions: lexical/semantic and grammatical. This distinction between a lexical/semantic system and a grammatical system is well known in linguistics, but in cognitive neurosciences it has been obscured by the assumption that there are several forms of language disturbances associated with focal brain damage and hence language includes a diversity of functions (phoneme discrimination, lexical memory, grammar, repetition, language initiation ability, etc.), each one associated with the activity of a specific brain area. The clinical observation of patients with cerebral pathology shows that there are indeed only two different forms of language disturbances (disturbances in the lexical/semantic system and disturbances in the grammatical system); these two language dimensions are supported by different brain areas (temporal and frontal) in the left hemisphere. Furthermore, these two aspects of the language are developed at different ages during child's language acquisition, and they probably appeared at different historical moments during human evolution. Mechanisms of learning are different for both language systems: whereas the lexical/semantic knowledge is based in a declarative memory, grammatical knowledge corresponds to a procedural type of memory. Recognizing these two language dimensions can be crucial in understanding language evolution and human cognition.

  14. Control of Inhibition by the Direct Action of Cannabinoids on GABAA Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golovko, Tatiana; Min, Rogier; Lozovaya, Natalia; Falconer, Caroline; Yatsenko, Natalia; Tsintsadze, Timur; Tsintsadze, Vera; Ledent, Catherine; Harvey, Robert J; Belelli, Delia; Lambert, Jeremy J; Rozov, Andrei; Burnashev, Nail

    2015-09-01

    Cannabinoids are known to regulate inhibitory synaptic transmission via activation of presynaptic G protein-coupled cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs). Additionally, recent studies suggest that cannabinoids can also directly interact with recombinant GABAA receptors (GABAARs), potentiating currents activated by micromolar concentrations of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). However, the impact of this direct interaction on GABAergic inhibition in central nervous system is unknown. Here we report that currents mediated by recombinant GABAARs activated by high (synaptic) concentrations of GABA as well as GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) at neocortical fast spiking (FS) interneuron to pyramidal neuron synapses are suppressed by exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids in a CB1R-independent manner. This IPSC suppression may account for disruption of inhibitory control of pyramidal neurons by FS interneurons. At FS interneuron to pyramidal neuron synapses, endocannabinoids induce synaptic low-pass filtering of GABAAR-mediated currents evoked by high-frequency stimulation. The CB1R-independent suppression of inhibition is synapse specific. It does not occur in CB1R containing hippocampal cholecystokinin-positive interneuron to pyramidal neuron synapses. Furthermore, in contrast to synaptic receptors, the activity of extrasynaptic GABAARs in neocortical pyramidal neurons is enhanced by cannabinoids in a CB1R-independent manner. Thus, cannabinoids directly interact differentially with synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAARs, providing a potent novel context-dependent mechanism for regulation of inhibition. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. The blood-brain barrier in systemic lupus erythematosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, N J; Mendonça, L L F; Dolman, D E M

    2003-01-01

    Central nervous system (CNS) involvement may occur in 20-70% of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients where neurological symptoms are overt; this is termed neuropsychiatric lupus or NPSLE. This review summarizes evidence that damage to the brain endothelium forming the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a contributory factor in NPSLE. The normal CNS is protected by blood-tissue barriers at three sites, the brain endothelium (BBB), the choroid plexus epithelium (blood-CSF barrier) and the arachnoid epithelium. The tight junctions of the barrier layers severely restrict entry of plasma constituents including proteins, so that the CSF and brain interstitial fluid contain low levels of protein. Methods for diagnosing BBB damage include imaging (CT, MRI) using contrast agents, and analysing protein content and profiles of CSF Changes in the albumin quotient Qalbumin show evidence for barrier damage, while changes in the immunoglobulin (Ig) index can indicate intrathecal antibody production. However, BBB damage may be transient, and hence undetected or underestimated. Few mechanistic studies exist, but the two main candidate mechanisms for BBB damage are microthrombi in cerebral vessels leading to ischaemia, and immune-mediated attack and activation of the endothelium leading to local cytokine production. Both can result in barrier breakdown. Neurological syndromes could then be secondary to damage to the BBB. The implications for treatment of NPSLE are discussed.

  16. A new microcontroller-based human brain hypothermia system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapidere, Metin; Ahiska, Raşit; Güler, Inan

    2005-10-01

    Many studies show that artificial hypothermia of brain in conditions of anesthesia with the rectal temperature lowered down to 33 degrees C produces pronounced prophylactic effect protecting the brain from anoxia. Out of the methods employed now in clinical practice for reducing the oxygen consumption by the cerebral tissue, the most efficacious is craniocerebral hypothermia (CCH). It is finding even more extensive application in cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, neurorenimatology and many other fields of medical practice. In this study, a microcontroller-based designed human brain hypothermia system (HBHS) is designed and constructed. The system is intended for cooling and heating the brain. HBHS consists of a thermoelectric hypothermic helmet, a control and a power unit. Helmet temperature is controlled by 8-bit PIC16F877 microcontroller which is programmed using MPLAB editor. Temperature is converted to 10-bit digital and is controlled automatically by the preset values which have been already entered in the microcontroller. Calibration is controlled and the working range is tested. Temperature of helmet is controlled between -5 and +46 degrees C by microcontroller, with the accuracy of +/-0.5 degrees C.

  17. Core and Shell Song Systems Unique to the Parrot Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Mukta; Walløe, Solveig; Nedergaard, Signe; Fridel, Emma E.; Dabelsteen, Torben; Pakkenberg, Bente; Bertelsen, Mads F.; Dorrestein, Gerry M.; Brauth, Steven E.; Durand, Sarah E.; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to imitate complex sounds is rare, and among birds has been found only in parrots, songbirds, and hummingbirds. Parrots exhibit the most advanced vocal mimicry among non-human animals. A few studies have noted differences in connectivity, brain position and shape in the vocal learning systems of parrots relative to songbirds and hummingbirds. However, only one parrot species, the budgerigar, has been examined and no differences in the presence of song system structures were found with other avian vocal learners. Motivated by questions of whether there are important differences in the vocal systems of parrots relative to other vocal learners, we used specialized constitutive gene expression, singing-driven gene expression, and neural connectivity tracing experiments to further characterize the song system of budgerigars and/or other parrots. We found that the parrot brain uniquely contains a song system within a song system. The parrot “core” song system is similar to the song systems of songbirds and hummingbirds, whereas the “shell” song system is unique to parrots. The core with only rudimentary shell regions were found in the New Zealand kea, representing one of the only living species at a basal divergence with all other parrots, implying that parrots evolved vocal learning systems at least 29 million years ago. Relative size differences in the core and shell regions occur among species, which we suggest could be related to species differences in vocal and cognitive abilities. PMID:26107173

  18. Type 1 cannabinoid receptor mapping with [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 PET in the rat brain after quinolinic acid lesion: a comparison to dopamine receptors and glucose metabolism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casteels, Cindy [KU Leuven and University Hospital Leuven, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); KU Leuven, MoSAIC, Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center, Leuven (Belgium); University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); Martinez, Emili; Camon, Lluisa; Vera, Nuria de; Planas, Anna M. [IDIBAPS, Institute for Biomedical Research (IIBB-CSIC), Barcelona (Spain); Bormans, Guy [KU Leuven, MoSAIC, Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center, Leuven (Belgium); KU Leuven, Laboratory for Radiopharmacy, Leuven (Belgium); Baekelandt, Veerle [KU Leuven, Laboratory for Neurobiology and Gene Therapy, Leuven (Belgium); Laere, Koen van [KU Leuven and University Hospital Leuven, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Leuven (Belgium); KU Leuven, MoSAIC, Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center, Leuven (Belgium)

    2010-12-15

    Several lines of evidence imply early alterations in metabolic, dopaminergic and endocannabinoid neurotransmission in Huntington's disease (HD). Using [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 and small animal PET, we investigated cerebral changes in type 1 cannabinoid (CB{sub 1}) receptor binding in the quinolinic acid (QA) rat model of HD in relation to glucose metabolism, dopamine D{sub 2} receptor availability and amphetamine-induced turning behaviour. Twenty-one Wistar rats (11 QA and 10 shams) were investigated. Small animal PET acquisitions were conducted on a Focus 220 with approximately 18 MBq of [{sup 18}F]MK-9470, [{sup 18}F]FDG and [{sup 11}C]raclopride. Relative glucose metabolism and parametric CB{sub 1} receptor and D{sub 2} binding images were anatomically standardized to Paxinos space and analysed voxel-wise using Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM2). In the QA model, [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 uptake, glucose metabolism and D{sub 2} receptor binding were reduced in the ipsilateral caudate-putamen by 7, 35 and 77%, respectively (all p < 2.10{sup -5}), while an increase for these markers was observed on the contralateral side (>5%, all p < 7.10{sup -4}). [{sup 18}F]MK-9470 binding was also increased in the cerebellum (p = 2.10{sup -5}), where it was inversely correlated to the number of ipsiversive turnings (p = 7.10{sup -6}), suggesting that CB{sub 1} receptor upregulation in the cerebellum is related to a better functional outcome. Additionally, glucose metabolism was relatively increased in the contralateral hippocampus, thalamus and sensorimotor cortex (p = 1.10{sup -6}). These data point to in vivo changes in endocannabinoid transmission, specifically for CB{sub 1} receptors in the QA model, with involvement of the caudate-putamen, but also distant regions of the motor circuitry, including the cerebellum. These data also indicate the occurrence of functional plasticity on metabolism, D{sub 2} and CB{sub 1} neurotransmission in the contralateral hemisphere. (orig.)

  19. The dopaminergic system in the aging brain of Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine E White

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila models of Parkinson’s disease are characterised by two principal phenotypes: the specific loss of dopaminergic neurons in the aging brain and defects in motor behavior. However, an age-related analysis of these baseline parameters in wildtype Drosophila is lacking. Here we analysed the dopaminergic system and motor behavior in aging Drosophila. Dopaminergic neurons in the adult brain can be grouped into bilateral symmetric clusters, each comprising a stereotypical number of cells. Analysis of TH>mCD8::GFP and cell type-specific MARCM clones revealed that dopaminergic neurons show cluster-specific, stereotypical projection patterns with terminal arborization in target regions that represent distinct functional areas of the adult brain. Target areas include the mushroom bodies, involved in memory formation and motivation, and the central complex, involved in the control of motor behavior, indicating that similar to the mammalian brain, dopaminergic neurons in the fly brain are involved in the regulation of specific behaviors. Behavioral analysis revealed that Drosophila show an age-related decline in startle-induced locomotion and negative geotaxis. Motion tracking however, revealed that walking activity and exploration behavior, but not centrophobism increase at late stages of life. Analysis of TH>Dcr2, mCD8::GFP revealed a specific effect of Dcr2 expression on walking activity but not on exploratory or centrophobic behavior, indicating that the siRNA pathway may modulate distinct dopaminergic behaviors in Drosophila. Moreover, dopaminergic neurons were maintained between early- and late life, as quantified by TH>mCD8::GFP and anti-TH labelling, indicating that adult onset, age-related degeneration of dopaminergic neurons does not occur in the aging brain of Drosophila. Taken together, our data establish baseline parameters in Drosophila for the study of Parkinson’s disease as well as other disorders affecting dopaminergic neurons

  20. Cannabinoids Reverse the Effects of Early Stress on Neurocognitive Performance in Adulthood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alteba, Shirley; Korem, Nachshon; Akirav, Irit

    2016-01-01

    Early life stress (ES) significantly increases predisposition to psychopathologies. Cannabinoids may cause cognitive deficits and exacerbate the effects of ES. Nevertheless, the endocannabinoid system has been suggested as a therapeutic target for the treatment of stress- and anxiety-related disorders. Here we examined whether cannabinoids…

  1. Peripheral cannabinoid 1 receptor blockade activates brown adipose tissue and diminishes dyslipidemia and obesity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boon, M.R.; Kooijman, S.; Dam, A.D. van; Pelgrom, L.R.; Berbée, J.F.P.; Visseren, C.A.R.; Aggele, R.C. van; Hoek, A.M. van den; Sips, H.C.M.; Lombès, M.; Havekes, L.M.; Tamsma, J.T.; Guigas, B.; Meijer, O.C.; Jukema, J.W.; Rensen, P.C.N.

    2014-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system is an important player in energy metabolism by regulating appetite, lipolysis, and energy expenditure. Chronic blockade of the cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) leads to long-term maintenance of weight loss and reduction of dyslipidemia in experimental and human obesity. The

  2. Failure to extinguish fear and genetic variability in the human cannabinoid receptor 1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heitland, I.; Klumpers, F.; Oosting, R.S.; Evers, D.J.; Leon Kenemans, J.; Baas, J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Failure to extinguish fear can lead to persevering anxiety and has been postulated as an important mechanism in the pathogenesis of human anxiety disorders. In animals, it is well documented that the endogenous cannabinoid system has a pivotal role in the successful extinction of fear, most

  3. Neurophysiological evidence for the presence of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soni, Neeraj; Satpathy, Shankha; Kohlmeier, Kristi Anne

    2014-01-01

    Marijuana, which acts within the endocannabinoid (eCB) system as an agonist of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), exhibits addictive properties and has powerful actions on the state of arousal of an organism. The laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT), as a component of the reticular activating...

  4. Pineal Proteins Upregulate Specific Antioxidant Defense Systems in the Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijay K. Bharti

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The neuroendocrine functions of the pineal affect a wide variety of glandular and nervous system processes. Beside melatonin (MEL, the pineal gland secretes and expresses certain proteins essential for various physiological functions. It has been suggested that the pineal gland may also have an antioxidant role due to secretory product other than MEL. Therefore, the present study was designed to study the effect of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis pineal proteins (PP on the antioxidant defense system in the brain of female rats. The twenty-four rats were taken in present study and were divided into four groups: control (0 day, control (28 day, vehicle control and buffalo PP. The PP was injected 100 µg/kg BW intraperitoneal (i.p. daily for 28 days. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD, glutathione peroxidase (GPx, catalase (CAT, glutathione reductase (GR and reduced glutathione (GSH concentration and the levels of lipid peroxidation (LPO in the brain tissue were measured to assess the antioxidant systems. These enzymes protect from adverse effects of free radicals and help in amelioration of oxidative stress. Buffalo pineal proteins administration did not cause any effect on brain LPO, whereas GPx, GR and GSH were significantly (p < 0.05 decreased. However, SOD and CAT activities were increased to significant levels than the control in PP treated rats. Our study herein suggested that buffalo (Bubalus bubalis pineal proteins upregulates specific antioxidant defense systems and can be useful in control of various oxidative stress-induced neuronal diseases.

  5. The brain as a complex system: using network science as a tool for understanding the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telesford, Qawi K; Simpson, Sean L; Burdette, Jonathan H; Hayasaka, Satoru; Laurienti, Paul J

    2011-01-01

    Although graph theory has been around since the 18th century, the field of network science is more recent and continues to gain popularity, particularly in the field of neuroimaging. The field was propelled forward when Watts and Strogatz introduced their small-world network model, which described a network that provided regional specialization with efficient global information transfer. This model is appealing to the study of brain connectivity, as the brain can be viewed as a system with various interacting regions that produce complex behaviors. In practice, graph metrics such as clustering coefficient, path length, and efficiency measures are often used to characterize system properties. Centrality metrics such as degree, betweenness, closeness, and eigenvector centrality determine critical areas within the network. Community structure is also essential for understanding network organization and topology. Network science has led to a paradigm shift in the neuroscientific community, but it should be viewed as more than a simple "tool du jour." To fully appreciate the utility of network science, a greater understanding of how network models apply to the brain is needed. An integrated appraisal of multiple network analyses should be performed to better understand network structure rather than focusing on univariate comparisons to find significant group differences; indeed, such comparisons, popular with traditional functional magnetic resonance imaging analyses, are arguably no longer relevant with graph-theory based approaches. These methods necessitate a philosophical shift toward complexity science. In this context, when correctly applied and interpreted, network scientific methods have a chance to revolutionize the understanding of brain function.

  6. Cannabinoids and schizophrenia: therapeutic prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robson, P J; Guy, G W; Di Marzo, V

    2014-01-01

    Approximately one third of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia do not achieve adequate symptom control with standard antipsychotic drugs (APs). Some of these may prove responsive to clozapine, but non-response to APs remains an important clinical problem and cause of increased health care costs. In a significant proportion of patients, schizophrenia is associated with natural and iatrogenic metabolic abnormalities (obesity, dyslipidaemia, impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes mellitus), hyperadrenalism and an exaggerated HPA response to stress, and chronic systemic inflammation. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the brain plays an important role in maintaining normal mental health. ECS modulates emotion, reward processing, sleep regulation, aversive memory extinction and HPA axis regulation. ECS overactivity contributes to visceral fat accumulation, insulin resistance and impaired energy expenditure. The cannabis plant synthesises a large number of pharmacologically active compounds unique to it known as phytocannabinoids. In contrast to the euphoric and pro-psychotic effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), certain non-intoxicating phytocannabinoids have emerged in pre-clinical and clinical models as potential APs. Since the likely mechanism of action does not rely upon dopamine D2 receptor antagonism, synergistic combinations with existing APs are plausible. The anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of the non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) are well established and are summarised below. Preliminary data reviewed in this paper suggest that CBD in combination with a CB1 receptor neutral antagonist could not only augment the effects of standard APs but also target the metabolic, inflammatory and stress-related components of the schizophrenia phenotype.

  7. Core and shell song systems unique to the parrot brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chakraborty, Mukta; Harpøth, Solveig Walløe; Nedergaard, Signe

    2015-01-01

    The ability to imitate complex sounds is rare, and among birds has been found only in parrots, songbirds, and hummingbirds. Parrots exhibit the most advanced vocal mimicry among non-human animals. A few studies have noted differences in connectivity, brain position and shape in the vocal learning...... systems of parrots relative to songbirds and hummingbirds. However, only one parrot species, the budgerigar, has been examined and no differences in the presence of song system structures were found with other avian vocal learners. Motivated by questions of whether there are important differences...... contains a song system within a song system. The parrot "core" song system is similar to the song systems of songbirds and hummingbirds, whereas the "shell" song system is unique to parrots. The core with only rudimentary shell regions were found in the New Zealand kea, representing one of the only living...

  8. The Potential of Systems Thinking in Teacher Reform as Theorized for the Teaching Brain Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Vanessa

    2013-01-01

    The teaching brain is a dynamic system that is in constant interaction with the learning brain. If we fail to explore the teaching brain we will continue to design educational reform policies that ignore the most important lens in the classroom: the teachers'. Master teachers recognize their perspective and leverage their teaching brains to embody…

  9. Synthetic cannabinoids: the multi-organ failure and metabolic derangements associated with getting high

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dolkar Sherpa

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic cannabinoids (SC, though not detected with routine urine toxicology screening, can cause severe metabolic derangements and widespread deleterious effects in multiple organ systems. The diversity of effects is related to the wide distribution of cannabinoid receptors in multiple organ systems. Both cannabinoid-receptor-mediated and non-receptor-mediated effects can result in severe cardiovascular, renal, and neurologic manifestations. We report the case of a 45-year-old African American male with ST-elevation myocardial infarction, subarachnoid hemorrhage, reversible cardiomyopathy, acute rhabdomyolysis, and severe metabolic derangement associated with the use of K2, an SC. Though each of these complications has been independently associated with SCs, the combination of these effects in a single patient has not been heretofore reported. This case demonstrates the range and severity of complications associated with the recreational use of SCs. Though now banned in the United States, use of systemic cannabinoids is still prevalent, especially among adolescents. Clinicians should be aware of their continued use and the potential for harm. To prevent delay in diagnosis, tests to screen for these substances should be made more readily available.

  10. Cannabinoid receptor CB2 modulates axon guidance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Duff, Gabriel; Argaw, Anteneh; Cecyre, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    Navigation of retinal projections towards their targets is regulated by guidance molecules and growth cone transduction mechanisms. Here, we present in vitro and in vivo evidences that the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) is expressed along the retino-thalamic pathway and exerts a modulatory action ...

  11. Dedicated brain PET system of PET/MR for brain research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cheng, Li; Liu, Yaqiang; Ma, Tianyu; Wang, Shi; Wei, Qingyang; Xu, Tianpeng [Institute of Medical Physics, Department of Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing (China)

    2015-05-18

    This work is to replace PET ring in human brain PET/MR system with a dedicated wearable PET insert, aimed at improving both patient feasibility and system performance for brain imaging. The designed PET/MR system includes two parts: the inside parts, including a radio frequency (RF) coil and PET ring, are mounted on patient’s head, and the outside part, a MR imager, is dependent of patient. The RF coil is the innermost layer, surrounded by an outer PET-ring layer. They are supported by a MRcompatible structure. And both RF coil and PET detectors are placed inside a standard clinical 3-T MR imager. From the design of the system we can infer that some advantages can be achieved. First, high sensitivity will be achieved with the same amount crystals as the PET ring is more close to region-of-interest area, at a reduced cost. Second, by using a 2-layer depth of interaction (DOI) detector, the parallax effect can be minimized. The resolution will benefit from short positron range caused by magnetic field and smaller ring diameter will also reduce the effect of non-collinearity. Thirdly, as the PET ring is mounted on head, impact of patient motion will be reduced.

  12. Conditional gene expression systems in the transgenic rat brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schönig Kai

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Turning gene expression on and off at will is one of the most powerful tools for the study of gene function in vivo. While several conditional systems were successful in invertebrates, in mice the Cre/loxP recombination system and the tet-controlled transcription activation system are predominant. Both expression systems allow for spatial and temporal control of gene activities, and, in the case of tet regulation, even for the reversible activation/inactivation of gene expression. Although the rat is the principal experimental model in biomedical research, in particular in studies of neuroscience, conditional rat transgenic systems are exceptionally rare in this species. Results We addressed this lack of technology, and established and thoroughly characterized CreERT2 and tTA transgenic rats with forebrain-specific transgene expression, controlled by the CaMKII alpha promoter. In addition, we developed new universal rat reporter lines for both transcription control systems and established inducible and efficient reporter gene expression in forebrain neurons. Conclusions We demonstrate that conditional genetic manipulations in the rat brain are both feasible and practicable and outline advantages and limitations of the Tet and Cre/loxP system in the rat brain.

  13. Cannabinoids for Symptom Management and Cancer Therapy: The Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Mellar P

    2016-07-01

    Cannabinoids bind not only to classical receptors (CB1 and CB2) but also to certain orphan receptors (GPR55 and GPR119), ion channels (transient receptor potential vanilloid), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. Cannabinoids are known to modulate a multitude of monoamine receptors. Structurally, there are 3 groups of cannabinoids. Multiple studies, most of which are of moderate to low quality, demonstrate that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and oromucosal cannabinoid combinations of THC and cannabidiol (CBD) modestly reduce cancer pain. Dronabinol and nabilone are better antiemetics for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) than certain neuroleptics, but are not better than serotonin receptor antagonists in reducing delayed emesis, and cannabinoids have largely been superseded by neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists and olanzapine; both cannabinoids have been recommended for breakthrough nausea and vomiting among other antiemetics. Dronabinol is ineffective in ameliorating cancer anorexia but does improve associated cancer-related dysgeusia. Multiple cancers express cannabinoid receptors directly related to the degree of anaplasia and grade of tumor. Preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that cannabinoids may have anticancer activity. Paradoxically, cannabinoid receptor antagonists also have antitumor activity. There are few randomized smoked or vaporized cannabis trials in cancer on which to judge the benefits of these forms of cannabinoids on symptoms and the clinical course of cancer. Smoked cannabis has been found to contain Aspergillosis. Immunosuppressed patients should be advised of the risks of using "medical marijuana" in this regard. Copyright © 2016 by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

  14. New insights into antimetastatic and antiangiogenic effects of cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramer, Robert; Hinz, Burkhard

    2015-01-01

    Cannabinoids exert antitumorigenic effects via multiple mechanisms. Of these, antimetastatic and antiangiogenic actions have attracted considerable interest in the past years. Regarding the underlying antimetastatic mechanism, several studies revealed cannabinoids to alter the gene expression of cancer cells toward a less-aggressive phenotype and to modulate their secretomic profile. Cannabinoids likewise modulate the release of factors from tumor cells that subsequently suppress the chemoattraction of vessel cells thereby conferring antiangiogenesis. Among the diverse mediators of cannabinoids' antitumorigenic action, the tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1, which is released from cancer cells upon cannabinoid treatment, has been implicated as a pivotal factor conferring both anti-invasive properties of cancer cells as well as antiangiogenic capacities of endothelial cells. In addition, cannabinoids have been shown to inhibit angiogenic capacities of endothelial cells directly via suppressing their proliferation, tube formation, and migration. This chapter reviews the cell- and substance-specific antitumorigenic mechanisms of cannabinoids with particular consideration of their antimetastatic/anti-invasive and antiangiogenic actions. In addition, beneficial interactions of cannabinoids with currently used chemotherapeutics as well as the influence of cannabinoids on tumor-immune surveillance are addressed. Collectively, the currently available data suggest cannabinoids as a potential tool in modern cancer pharmacotherapy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Control of Inhibition by the Direct Action of Cannabinoids on GABAA Receptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Golovko, Tatiana; Min, R.; Lozovaya, Natalia; Falconer, Caroline; Yatsenko, Natalia; Tsintsadze, Timur; Tsintsadze, Vera; Ledent, Catherine; Harvey, Robert J; Belelli, Delia; Lambert, Jeremy J; Rozov, Andrei; Burnashev, Nail

    Cannabinoids are known to regulate inhibitory synaptic transmission via activation of presynaptic G protein-coupled cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs). Additionally, recent studies suggest that cannabinoids can also directly interact with recombinant GABAA receptors (GABAARs), potentiating currents

  16. Cannabinoids induce incomplete maturation of cultured human leukemia cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murison, G.; Chubb, C.B.H.; Maeda, S.; Gemmell, M.A.; Huberman, E.

    1987-08-01

    Monocyte maturation markers were induced in cultured human myeloblastic ML-2 leukemia cells after treatment for 1-6 days with 0.03-30 ..mu..M ..delta../sup 9/-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive component of marijuana. After a 2-day or longer treatment, 2- to 5-fold increases were found in the percentages of cells exhibiting reactivity with either the murine OKM1 monoclonal antibody of the Leu-M5 monoclonal antibody, staining positively for nonspecific esterase activity, and displaying a promonocyte morphology. The increases in these differentiation markers after treatment with 0.03-1 ..mu..M THC were dose dependent. At this dose range, THC did not cause an inhibition of cell growth. The THC-induced cell maturation was also characterized by specific changes in the patterns of newly synthesized proteins. The THC-induced differentiation did not, however, result in cells with a highly developed mature monocyte phenotype. However, treatment of these incompletely matured cells with either phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate of 1..cap alpha..,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, which are inducers of differentiation in myeloid leukemia cells (including ML-2 cells), produced cells with a mature monocyte morphology. The ML-2 cell system described here may be a useful tool for deciphering critical biochemical events that lead to the cannabinoid-induced incomplete cell differentiation of ML-2 cells and other related cell types. Findings obtained from this system may have important implications for studies of cannabinoid effects on normal human bone-marrow progenitor cells.

  17. Inhibitory effect of salvinorin A, from Salvia divinorum, on ileitis-induced hypermotility: cross-talk between kappa-opioid and cannabinoid CB(1) receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capasso, R; Borrelli, F; Cascio, M G; Aviello, G; Huben, K; Zjawiony, J K; Marini, P; Romano, B; Di Marzo, V; Capasso, F; Izzo, A A

    2008-11-01

    Salvinorin A, the active component of the hallucinogenic herb Salvia divinorum, inhibits intestinal motility through activation of kappa-opioid receptors (KORs). However, this compound may have target(s) other than the KORs in the inflamed gut. Because intestinal inflammation upregulates cannabinoid receptors and endogenous cannabinoids, in the present study we investigated the possible involvement of the endogenous cannabinoid system in salvinorin A-induced delay in motility in the inflamed gut. Motility in vivo was measured by evaluating the distribution of a fluorescent marker along the small intestine; intestinal inflammation was induced by the irritant croton oil; direct or indirect activity at cannabinoid receptors was evaluated by means of binding, enzymic and cellular uptake assays. Salvinorin A as well as the KOR agonist U-50488 reduced motility in croton oil treated mice. The inhibitory effect of both salvinorin A and U-50488 was counteracted by the KOR antagonist nor-binaltorphimine and by the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist rimonabant. Rimonabant, however, did not counteract the inhibitory effect of salvinorin A on motility in control mice. Binding experiments showed very weak affinity of salvinorin A for cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) and no inhibitory effect on 2-arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide hydrolysis and cellular uptake. The inhibitory effect of salvinorin A on motility reveals a functional interaction between cannabinoid CB(1) receptors and KORs in the inflamed--but not in the normal--gut in vivo.

  18. Inhibitory effect of salvinorin A, from Salvia divinorum, on ileitis-induced hypermotility: cross-talk between κ-opioid and cannabinoid CB1 receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capasso, R; Borrelli, F; Cascio, M G; Aviello, G; Huben, K; Zjawiony, J K; Marini, P; Romano, B; Di Marzo, V; Capasso, F; Izzo, A A

    2008-01-01

    Background and purpose: Salvinorin A, the active component of the hallucinogenic herb Salvia divinorum, inhibits intestinal motility through activation of κ-opioid receptors (KORs). However, this compound may have target(s) other than the KORs in the inflamed gut. Because intestinal inflammation upregulates cannabinoid receptors and endogenous cannabinoids, in the present study we investigated the possible involvement of the endogenous cannabinoid system in salvinorin A-induced delay in motility in the inflamed gut. Experimental approach: Motility in vivo was measured by evaluating the distribution of a fluorescent marker along the small intestine; intestinal inflammation was induced by the irritant croton oil; direct or indirect activity at cannabinoid receptors was evaluated by means of binding, enzymic and cellular uptake assays. Key results: Salvinorin A as well as the KOR agonist U-50488 reduced motility in croton oil treated mice. The inhibitory effect of both salvinorin A and U-50488 was counteracted by the KOR antagonist nor-binaltorphimine and by the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant. Rimonabant, however, did not counteract the inhibitory effect of salvinorin A on motility in control mice. Binding experiments showed very weak affinity of salvinorin A for cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 and no inhibitory effect on 2-arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide hydrolysis and cellular uptake. Conclusions and implications: The inhibitory effect of salvinorin A on motility reveals a functional interaction between cannabinoid CB1 receptors and KORs in the inflamed—but not in the normal—gut in vivo. PMID:18622408

  19. Cannabinoid receptor-specific mechanisms to alleviate pain in sickle cell anemia via inhibition of mast cell activation and neurogenic inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Lucile; Vang, Derek; Nguyen, Julia; Benson, Barbara; Lei, Jianxun; Gupta, Kalpna

    2016-05-01

    Sickle cell anemia is a manifestation of a single point mutation in hemoglobin, but inflammation and pain are the insignia of this disease which can start in infancy and continue throughout life. Earlier studies showed that mast cell activation contributes to neurogenic inflammation and pain in sickle mice. Morphine is the common analgesic treatment but also remains a major challenge due to its side effects and ability to activate mast cells. We, therefore, examined cannabinoid receptor-specific mechanisms to mitigate mast cell activation, neurogenic inflammation and hyperalgesia, using HbSS-BERK sickle and cannabinoid receptor-2-deleted sickle mice. We show that cannabinoids mitigate mast cell activation, inflammation and neurogenic inflammation in sickle mice via both cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2. Thus, cannabinoids influence systemic and neural mechanisms, ameliorating the disease pathobiology and hyperalgesia in sickle mice. This study provides 'proof of principle' for the potential of cannabinoid/cannabinoid receptor-based therapeutics to treat several manifestations of sickle cell anemia. Copyright© Ferrata Storti Foundation.

  20. Contactless decontamination of hair samples: cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restolho, José; Barroso, Mário; Saramago, Benilde; Dias, Mário; Afonso, Carlos A M

    2017-02-01

    Room temperature ionic liquids (ILs) have already been shown to provide efficient extraction media for several systems, and to capture volatile compounds, namely opiates. In this work, a novel, contactless, artefact-free extraction procedure for the removal of Δ 9 -tetrahrydrocannabinol (THC) from the surface of human hair is presented. To prepare in vitro cannabinoids-contaminated hair, samples were flushed with hashish smoke for 7 h. The decontamination experiments were carried at 100 °C for 24 h, according to the procedure previously described. Fifty-three ILs were screened and presented decontamination efficiencies ranging from 0 to 96 %. Although the majority of the ILs presented efficiencies above 90%, the 1-ethanol-3-methyl tetrafluoroborate (96%) was chosen for further process optimization. The Design of Experiments results demonstrated that all studied variables were significant for the process and the obtained optimum conditions were: 100 °C, 13 h and 175 mg of IL. In the work of Perrotin-Brunel et al. (J. Mol. Struct. 2011, 987, 67), it is demonstrated that, at 100 °C, full conversion of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) into THC is obtained after 60 min. Since our decontamination takes place over 13 h at 100 °C, full conversion of THCA into THC is expected. Additionally, our method was compared with the method proposed by Cairns et al. (Forensic Sci. Int. 2004, 145, 97), through the analysis of 15 in vitro contaminated hair samples. The results demonstrated that with our method a mean extraction efficiency of 11 % higher was obtained. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Anti-inflammatory lipoxin A4 is an endogenous allosteric enhancer of CB1 cannabinoid receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamplona, Fabricio A; Ferreira, Juliano; Menezes de Lima, Octávio; Duarte, Filipe Silveira; Bento, Allisson Freire; Forner, Stefânia; Villarinho, Jardel G; Bellocchio, Luigi; Bellochio, Luigi; Wotjak, Carsten T; Lerner, Raissa; Monory, Krisztina; Lutz, Beat; Canetti, Claudio; Matias, Isabelle; Calixto, João Batista; Marsicano, Giovanni; Guimarães, Marilia Z P; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2012-12-18

    Allosteric modulation of G-protein-coupled receptors represents a key goal of current pharmacology. In particular, endogenous allosteric modulators might represent important targets of interventions aimed at maximizing therapeutic efficacy and reducing side effects of drugs. Here we show that the anti-inflammatory lipid lipoxin A(4) is an endogenous allosteric enhancer of the CB(1) cannabinoid receptor. Lipoxin A(4) was detected in brain tissues, did not compete for the orthosteric binding site of the CB(1) receptor (vs. (3)H-SR141716A), and did not alter endocannabinoid metabolism (as opposed to URB597 and MAFP), but it enhanced affinity of anandamide at the CB1 receptor, thereby potentiating the effects of this endocannabinoid both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, lipoxin A(4) displayed a CB(1) receptor-dependent protective effect against β-amyloid (1-40)-induced spatial memory impairment in mice. The discovery of lipoxins as a class of endogenous allosteric modulators of CB(1) receptors may foster the therapeutic exploitation of the endocannabinoid system, in particular for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

  2. CB2 cannabinoid receptor as potential target against Alzheimer’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ester eAso

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The CB2 receptor is one of the components of the endogenous cannabinoid system, a complex network of signaling molecules and receptors involved in the homeostatic control of several physiological functions. Accumulated evidence suggests a role for CB2 receptors in Alzheimer's disease (AD and indicates their potential as a therapeutic target against this neurodegenerative disease. Levels of CB2 receptors are significantly increased in post-mortem AD brains, mainly in microglia surrounding senile plaques, and their expression levels correlate with the amounts of Aβ42 and β-amyloid plaque deposition. Moreover, several studies on animal models of AD have demonstrated that specific CB2 receptor agonists, which are devoid of psychoactive effects, reduce AD-like pathology, resulting in attenuation of the inflammation associated with the disease but also modulating Aβ and tau aberrant processing, among other effects. CB2 receptor activation also improves cognitive impairment in animal models of AD. This review discusses available data regarding the role of CB2 receptors in AD and the potential usefulness of specific agonists of these receptors against AD.

  3. Lipidomic metabolism analysis of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide (N-arachidonylethanolamide)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Placzek, Ekaterina A.; Cooper, Bruce R.; Placzek, Andrew T.; Chester, Julia A.; Davisson, V. Jo; Barker, Eric L.

    2010-01-01

    Elucidation of pathways involved with lipid metabolism has been limited by analytical challenges associated with detection and structure identification. A discovery-based mass spectrometry lipidomic approach has been applied to identify metabolites of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide (N-arachidonylethanolamide). Previously, a model system was established to show that anandamide can be recycled by cells to form new endocannabinoids suggesting recycling of the arachidonate carbon chain. We hypothesized that distinct cellular pathways exist to direct the anandamide-derived arachidonate chain into a specific set of metabolites, different from the metabolite pool that is comprised of non-anandamide-derived arachidonic acid. Using stable isotope encoding and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, we identified a distinct pool of lipid metabolites derived from exogenous anandamide or arachidonic acid in RBL-2H3 cells. We discovered that arachidonic acid-derived metabolites were primarily comprised of the eicosanoid lipid class, whereas anandamide-derived arachidonic acid, in addition to eicosanoids, was metabolized into diradylglycerols, fatty acid amides, sterols, and glycerophospholipids. From the list of anandamide metabolites of particular interest was 1-O-arachidonyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. Furthermore, we determined that while 1-O-arachidonyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine may be a metabolite of anandamide, the sn-2 compound was more abundant in mouse brain tissue. Overall, our results provide a novel approach to study the metabolic fate of endocannabinoids and fatty acid-derived signaling molecules. PMID:20417049

  4. Clinical Characteristics of Patients Diagnosed with Synthetic Cannabinoid (Bonsai Intoxication in Intensive Care Unit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hatice Betül Altınışık

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective: In recent years, synthetic cannabinoids (bonsai poisoning is a widely seen case that needs to be treated in intensive care unit (ICU in our country. In this study, it was aimed to discuss the clinical characteristics of patients diagnosed with synthetic cannabinoid intoxication followed in ICU. Material and Method: Patients followed in ICU of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University and Çanakkale State Hospital between 2014 and 2015 were studied retrospectively. Results: Twelve cases were included. In neurological system; confusions (n=4, drowsiness (n=7, restlessness/agitations (n=5, hallucinations (n=2, anxieties/panics (n=3, acute psychosis (n=1 and amnesias (n=11 were detected. One patient was intubated. In cardiovascular system; tachycardias (n=3, bradycardias (n=2, hypertensions (n=2, hypotension (n=1, and arrhythmias (n=2 were observed. In laboratory tests, leukocytosis (n=4, leukopenia (n=1, hypoglycemias (n=3, elevation in liver and renal function tests (n=1 were identified. The average recovery time was 19.3-hours and the average ICU stay was 3-days. Conclusion: In the synthetic cannabinoid intoxication cases; it should be kept in mind that seizure activities may occur in the first hours, myocardial infarction risk in the first 3-days. Liver-kidney functions should be monitored. Hypopotasemia is the most common electrolyte disorder. Cases without any complication are expected to recover in 24-hours. However, new types of synthetic cannabinoids are put on the market every day.

  5. The dynamic nature of type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) gene transcription

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laprairie, RB; Kelly, MEM; Denovan-Wright, EM

    2012-01-01

    The type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is an integral component of the endocannabinoid system that modulates several functions in the CNS and periphery. The majority of our knowledge of the endocannabinoid system involves ligand–receptor binding, mechanisms of signal transduction, and protein–protein interactions. In contrast, comparatively little is known about regulation of CB1 gene expression. The levels and anatomical distribution of CB1 mRNA and protein are developmental stage-specific and are dysregulated in several pathological conditions. Moreover, exposure to a variety of drugs, including cannabinoids themselves, alters CB1 gene expression and mRNA levels. As such, alterations in CB1 gene expression are likely to affect the optimal response to cannabinoid-based therapies, which are being developed to treat a growing number of conditions. Here, we will examine the regulation of CB1 mRNA levels and the therapeutic potential inherent in manipulating expression of this gene. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2012.167.issue-8 PMID:22924606

  6. Local delivery of cannabinoid-loaded microparticles inhibits tumor growth in a murine xenograft model of glioblastoma multiforme.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dolores Hernán Pérez de la Ossa

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana and their derivatives, are currently investigated due to their potential therapeutic application for the management of many different diseases, including cancer. Specifically, Δ(9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC and Cannabidiol (CBD - the two major ingredients of marijuana - have been shown to inhibit tumor growth in a number of animal models of cancer, including glioma. Although there are several pharmaceutical preparations that permit the oral administration of THC or its analogue nabilone or the oromucosal delivery of a THC- and CBD-enriched cannabis extract, the systemic administration of cannabinoids has several limitations in part derived from the high lipophilicity exhibited by these compounds. In this work we analyzed CBD- and THC-loaded poly-ε-caprolactone microparticles as an alternative delivery system for long-term cannabinoid administration in a murine xenograft model of glioma. In vitro characterization of THC- and CBD-loaded microparticles showed that this method of microencapsulation facilitates a sustained release of the two cannabinoids for several days. Local administration of THC-, CBD- or a mixture (1:1 w:w of THC- and CBD-loaded microparticles every 5 days to mice bearing glioma xenografts reduced tumour growth with the same efficacy than a daily local administration of the equivalent amount of those cannabinoids in solution. Moreover, treatment with cannabinoid-loaded microparticles enhanced apoptosis and decreased cell proliferation and angiogenesis in these tumours. Our findings support that THC- and CBD-loaded microparticles could be used as an alternative method of cannabinoid delivery in anticancer therapies.

  7. Brain-computer interface after nervous system injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Alexis; Adeli, Hojjat; Buford, John A

    2014-12-01

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) has proven to be a useful tool for providing alternative communication and mobility to patients suffering from nervous system injury. BCI has been and will continue to be implemented into rehabilitation practices for more interactive and speedy neurological recovery. The most exciting BCI technology is evolving to provide therapeutic benefits by inducing cortical reorganization via neuronal plasticity. This article presents a state-of-the-art review of BCI technology used after nervous system injuries, specifically: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, and disorders of consciousness. Also presented is transcending, innovative research involving new treatment of neurological disorders. © The Author(s) 2014.

  8. Brain-computer interface systems: progress and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, Brendan Z; Wolpaw, Elizabeth Winter; Wolpaw, Jonathan R

    2007-07-01

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems support communication through direct measures of neural activity without muscle activity. BCIs may provide the best and sometimes the only communication option for users disabled by the most severe neuromuscular disorders and may eventually become useful to less severely disabled and/or healthy individuals across a wide range of applications. This review discusses the structure and functions of BCI systems, clarifies terminology and addresses practical applications. Progress and opportunities in the field are also identified and explicated.

  9. Endocannabinoid system in neurodegenerative disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basavarajappa, Balapal S; Shivakumar, Madhu; Joshi, Vikram; Subbanna, Shivakumar

    2017-09-01

    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 system in NDDs and converse the therapeutic efficacy of targeting the endocannabinoid system to rescue NDDs. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  10. Proteomics of the photoneuroendocrine circadian system of the brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Morten; Lund-Andersen, Casper; Rovsing, Louise

    2010-01-01

    The photoneuroendocrine circadian system of the brain consists of (a) specialized photoreceptors in the retina, (b) a circadian generator located in the forebrain that contains "clock genes," (c) specialized nuclei in the forebrain involved in neuroendocrine secretion, and (d) the pineal gland....... The circadian generator is a nucleus, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The neurons of this nucleus contain "clock genes," the transcription of which exhibits a circadian rhythm. Most circadian rhythms are generated by the neurons of this nucleus and, via neuronal and humoral connections, the SCN...... controls circadian activity of the brain and peripheral tissues. The endogenous oscillator of the SCN is each day entrained to the length of the daily photoperiod by light that reach the retina, and specialized photoreceptors transmit impulses to the SCN via the optic nerves. Mass screening for day...

  11. Romantic love: a mammalian brain system for mate choice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Helen E; Aron, Arthur; Brown, Lucy L

    2006-12-29

    Mammals and birds regularly express mate preferences and make mate choices. Data on mate choice among mammals suggest that this behavioural 'attraction system' is associated with dopaminergic reward pathways in the brain. It has been proposed that intense romantic love, a human cross-cultural universal, is a developed form of this attraction system. To begin to determine the neural mechanisms associated with romantic attraction in humans, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study 17 people who were intensely 'in love'. Activation specific to the beloved occurred in the brainstem right ventral tegmental area and right postero-dorsal body of the caudate nucleus. These and other results suggest that dopaminergic reward and motivation pathways contribute to aspects of romantic love. We also used fMRI to study 15 men and women who had just been rejected in love. Preliminary analysis showed activity specific to the beloved in related regions of the reward system associated with monetary gambling for uncertain large gains and losses, and in regions of the lateral orbitofrontal cortex associated with theory of mind, obsessive/compulsive behaviours and controlling anger. These data contribute to our view that romantic love is one of the three primary brain systems that evolved in avian and mammalian species to direct reproduction. The sex drive evolved to motivate individuals to seek a range of mating partners; attraction evolved to motivate individuals to prefer and pursue specific partners; and attachment evolved to motivate individuals to remain together long enough to complete species-specific parenting duties. These three behavioural repertoires appear to be based on brain systems that are largely distinct yet interrelated, and they interact in specific ways to orchestrate reproduction, using both hormones and monoamines. Romantic attraction in humans and its antecedent in other mammalian species play a primary role: this neural mechanism motivates

  12. Cannabinoid receptor CB1 mediates baseline and activity-induced survival of new neurons in adult hippocampal neurogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Müller Anke

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Adult neurogenesis is a particular example of brain plasticity that is partially modulated by the endocannabinoid system. Whereas the impact of synthetic cannabinoids on the neuronal progenitor cells has been described, there has been lack of information about the action of plant-derived extracts on neurogenesis. Therefore we here focused on the effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC and Cannabidiol (CBD fed to female C57Bl/6 and Nestin-GFP-reporter mice on proliferation and maturation of neuronal progenitor cells and spatial learning performance. In addition we used cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1 deficient mice and treatment with CB1 antagonist AM251 in Nestin-GFP-reporter mice to investigate the role of the CB1 receptor in adult neurogenesis in detail. Results THC and CBD differed in their effects on spatial learning and adult neurogenesis. CBD did not impair learning but increased adult neurogenesis, whereas THC reduced learning without affecting adult neurogenesis. We found the neurogenic effect of CBD to be dependent on the CB1 receptor, which is expressed over the whole dentate gyrus. Similarly, the neurogenic effect of environmental enrichment and voluntary wheel running depends on the presence of the CB1 receptor. We found that in the absence of CB1 receptors, cell proliferation was increased and neuronal differentiation reduced, which could be related to CB1 receptor mediated signaling in Doublecortin (DCX-expressing intermediate progenitor cells. Conclusion CB1 affected the stages of adult neurogenesis that involve intermediate highly proliferative progenitor cells and the survival and maturation of new neurons. The pro-neurogenic effects of CBD might explain some of the positive therapeutic features of CBD-based compounds.

  13. Interferon-γ causes mood abnormalities by altering cannabinoid CB1 receptor function in the mouse striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandolesi, Georgia; Bullitta, Silvia; Fresegna, Diego; Gentile, Antonietta; De Vito, Francesca; Dolcetti, Ettore; Rizzo, Francesca R; Strimpakos, Georgios; Centonze, Diego; Musella, Alessandra

    2017-12-01

    Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and in its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) are heavily involved in MS pathophysiology, and a growing body of evidence suggests that mood disturbances reflect specific effects of proinflammatory cytokines on neuronal activity. Here, we investigated whether IFN-γ could exert a role in the anxiety- and depressive-like behavior observed in mice with EAE, and in the modulation of CB1Rs. Anxiety and depression in fact are often diagnosed in MS, and have already been shown to depend on cannabinoid system. We performed biochemical, behavioral and electrophysiological experiments to assess the role of IFN-γ on mood control and on synaptic transmission in mice. Intracerebroventricular delivery of IFN-γ caused a depressive- and anxiety-like behavior in mice, associated with the selective dysfunction of CB1Rs controlling GABA transmission in the striatum. EAE induction was associated with increased striatal expression of IFN-γ, and with CB1R transmission deficits, which were rescued by pharmacological blockade of IFN-γ. IFN-γ was unable to replicate the effects of EAE on excitatory and inhibitory transmission in the striatum, but mimicked the effects of EAE on CB1R function in this brain area. Overall these results indicate that IFN-γ exerts a relevant control on mood, through the modulation of CB1R function. A better understanding of the biological pathways underling the psychological disorders during neuroinflammatory conditions is crucial for developing effective therapeutic strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The Pharmacologic and Clinical Effects of Illicit Synthetic Cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, C Michael

    2017-03-01

    This article presents information on illicitly used synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids are structurally heterogeneous and commonly used drugs of abuse that act as full agonists of the cannabinoid type-1 receptor but have a variety of additional pharmacologic effects. There are numerous cases of patient harm and death in the United States, Europe, and Australia with many psychological, neurological, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal adverse events. Although most users prefer using cannabis, there are convenience, legal, and cost reasons driving the utilization of synthetic cannabinoids. Clinicians should be aware of pharmacologic and clinical similarities and differences between synthetic cannabinoid and cannabis use, the limited ability to detect synthetic cannabinoids in the urine or serum, and guidance to treat adverse events. © 2016, The American College of Clinical Pharmacology.

  15. Cannabinoid-induced autophagy: Protective or death role?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Lia; Amaral, Cristina; Teixeira, Natércia; Correia-da-Silva, Georgina; Fonseca, Bruno M

    2016-01-01

    Autophagy, the "self-digestion" mechanism of the cells, is an evolutionary conserved catabolic process that targets portions of cytoplasm, damaged organelles and proteins for lysosomal degradation, which plays a crucial role in development and disease. Cannabinoids are active compounds of Cannabis sativa and the most prevalent psychoactive substance is Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinoid compounds can be divided in three types: the plant-derived natural products (phytocannabinoids), the cannabinoids produced endogenously (endocannabinoids) and the synthesized compounds (synthetic cannabinoids). Various studies reported a cannabinoid-induced autophagy mechanism in cancer and non-cancer cells. In this review we focus on the recent advances in the cannabinoid-induced autophagy and highlight the molecular mechanisms involved in these processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 75 FR 71635 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Five Synthetic Cannabinoids Into...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-24

    ... with these synthetic cannabinoids and their related products including agitation, anxiety, vomiting... cannabinoids is geared towards teens and young adults. Despite disclaimers that the products are not intended...

  17. Internet and Social Media Use After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker-Sparr, Christina; Hart, Tessa; Bergquist, Thomas; Bogner, Jennifer; Dreer, Laura; Juengst, Shannon; Mellick, David; OʼNeil-Pirozzi, Therese M; Sander, Angelle M; Whiteneck, Gale G

    To characterize Internet and social media use among adults with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to compare demographic and socioeconomic factors associated with Internet use between those with and without TBI. Ten Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems centers. Persons with moderate to severe TBI (N = 337) enrolled in the TBI Model Systems National Database and eligible for follow-up from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015. Prospective cross-sectional observational cohort study. Internet usage survey. The proportion of Internet users with TBI was high (74%) but significantly lower than those in the general population (84%). Smartphones were the most prevalent means of Internet access for persons with TBI. The majority of Internet users with TBI had a profile account on a social networking site (79%), with more than half of the sample reporting multiplatform use of 2 or more social networking sites. Despite the prevalence of Internet use among persons with TBI, technological disparities remain in comparison with the general population. The extent of social media use among persons with TBI demonstrates the potential of these platforms for social engagement and other purposes. However, further research examining the quality of online activities and identifying potential risk factors of problematic use is recommended.

  18. Gz mediates the long-lasting desensitization of brain CB1 receptors and is essential for cross-tolerance with morphine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodríguez-Muñoz María

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although the systemic administration of cannabinoids produces antinociception, their chronic use leads to analgesic tolerance as well as cross-tolerance to morphine. These effects are mediated by cannabinoids binding to peripheral, spinal and supraspinal CB1 and CB2 receptors, making it difficult to determine the relevance of each receptor type to these phenomena. However, in the brain, the CB1 receptors (CB1Rs are expressed at high levels in neurons, whereas the expression of CB2Rs is marginal. Thus, CB1Rs mediate the effects of smoked cannabis and are also implicated in emotional behaviors. We have analyzed the production of supraspinal analgesia and the development of tolerance at CB1Rs by the direct injection of a series of cannabinoids into the brain. The influence of the activation of CB1Rs on supraspinal analgesia evoked by morphine was also evaluated. Results Intracerebroventricular (icv administration of cannabinoid receptor agonists, WIN55,212-2, ACEA or methanandamide, generated a dose-dependent analgesia. Notably, a single administration of these compounds brought about profound analgesic tolerance that lasted for more than 14 days. This decrease in the effect of cannabinoid receptor agonists was not mediated by depletion of CB1Rs or the loss of regulated G proteins, but, nevertheless, it was accompanied by reduced morphine analgesia. On the other hand, acute morphine administration produced tolerance that lasted only 3 days and did not affect the CB1R. We found that both neural mu-opioid receptors (MORs and CB1Rs interact with the HINT1-RGSZ module, thereby regulating pertussis toxin-insensitive Gz proteins. In mice with reduced levels of these Gz proteins, the CB1R agonists produced no such desensitization or morphine cross-tolerance. On the other hand, experimental enhancement of Gz signaling enabled an acute icv administration of morphine to produce a long-lasting tolerance at MORs that persisted for more than

  19. The Potential Role of Cannabinoids in Modulating Serotonergic Signaling by Their Influence on Tryptophan Metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dietmar Fuchs

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Phytocannabinoids present in Cannabis plants are well known to exert potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Previously, we have demonstrated that the psychoactive D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC and the non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD modulate mitogen-induced Th1-type immune responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC. The suppressive effect of both cannabinoids on mitogen-induced tryptophan degradation mediated by indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO, suggests an additional mechanism by which antidepressive effects of cannabinoids might be linked to the serotonergic system. Here, we will review the role of tryptophan metabolism in the course of cell mediated immune responses and the relevance of cannabinoids in serotonergic signaling. We conclude that in particular the non-psychotropic CBD might be useful for the treatment of mood disorders in patients with inflammatory diseases, since this cannabinoid seems to be safe and its effects on activation-induced tryptophan degradation by CBD were more potent as compared to THC.

  20. Exploratory comparative study on the diffusion of synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arfken, Cynthia L; Owens, Darlene; Madeja, Cheryl; DeAngelis, Christina

    2014-01-01

    The use of synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones in southeastern Michigan was explored using Roger's Diffusion of Innovation theory. A mixed methods approach after specific synthetic cannabinoids and cathinone compounds were scheduled was used that included analysis of treatment admissions for two years, surveys of 15 substance abuse treatment providers, and qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of 24 participants. The participant system norm supported trying new drugs, and both drugs were confirmed to have been easier to access than traditional drugs. The participants had negative views of synthetic cathinones due to one sensational news story without counterbalancing positive experiences in their social environment. Although synthetic cannabinoids were also linked to a sensational news story, it was counterbalanced by positive personal experiences. These differences contributed to greater use of synthetic cannabinoids compared to synthetic cathinones as evidenced by admissions, providers' reports, and participants' reports. All participants expressed a preference for traditional drugs, indicating that novel drugs had no relative advantage over other drugs of abuse. Diffusion of Innovation theory can provide a framework for understanding the differential use of novel drugs.

  1. Cannabinoider i behandling av kroniske smertetilstander : En systematisk litteraturgjennomgang

    OpenAIRE

    Viken, Erlend; Osnes, John Erik

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To establish whether cannabis is an effective and safe analgesic in chronic painful conditions. Background: The medical applications of Cannabis have long been a focus of public and scientific interest. Cannabinoids are the active compounds extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Recently there has been renewed interest in cannabinoids for medicinal purposes. The discovery of cannabinoid CB1/CB2 receptors and endogenous ligands, has shed new light on the therapeutic potential...

  2. Regulation of brain copper homeostasis by the brain barrier systems: Effects of Fe-overload and Fe-deficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monnot, Andrew D.; Behl, Mamta; Ho, Sanna; Zheng, Wei, E-mail: wzheng@purdue.edu

    2011-11-15

    Maintaining brain Cu homeostasis is vital for normal brain function. The role of systemic Fe deficiency (FeD) or overload (FeO) due to metabolic diseases or environmental insults in Cu homeostasis in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and brain tissues remains unknown. This study was designed to investigate how blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-SCF barrier (BCB) regulated Cu transport and how FeO or FeD altered brain Cu homeostasis. Rats received an Fe-enriched or Fe-depleted diet for 4 weeks. FeD and FeO treatment resulted in a significant increase (+ 55%) and decrease (- 56%) in CSF Cu levels (p < 0.05), respectively; however, neither treatment had any effect on CSF Fe levels. The FeD, but not FeO, led to significant increases in Cu levels in brain parenchyma and the choroid plexus. In situ brain perfusion studies demonstrated that the rate of Cu transport into the brain parenchyma was significantly faster in FeD rats (+ 92%) and significantly slower (- 53%) in FeO rats than in controls. In vitro two chamber Transwell transepithelial transport studies using primary choroidal epithelial cells revealed a predominant efflux of Cu from the CSF to blood compartment by the BCB. Further ventriculo-cisternal perfusion studies showed that Cu clearance by the choroid plexus in FeD animals was significantly greater than control (p < 0.05). Taken together, our results demonstrate that both the BBB and BCB contribute to maintain a stable Cu homeostasis in the brain and CSF. Cu appears to enter the brain primarily via the BBB and is subsequently removed from the CSF by the BCB. FeD has a more profound effect on brain Cu levels than FeO. FeD increases Cu transport at the brain barriers and prompts Cu overload in the CNS. The BCB plays a key role in removing the excess Cu from the CSF.

  3. Multiple brain metastases irradiation with Eleka Axesse stereotactic system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filatov, P. V.; Polovnikov, E. S.; Orlov, K. Yu.; Krutko, A. V.; Kirilova, I. A.; Moskalev, A. V.; Filatova, E. V.; Zheravin, A. A.

    2017-09-01

    Brain metastases are one of the factors complicating the treatment of a malignant tumor. Radiation therapy, especially radiosurgery, plays an important role in the modern treatment practice. During 2011-2016, 32 patients (from 29 to 67 years old) with multiple brain metastases underwent the treatment with SRS or SRT in our center. The number of secondary lesions varied from 2 to 11. Eight patients underwent microsurgery resection. Seven patients had recurrence after whole brain radiotherapy. Thirty patient underwent single fraction SRS and two patients with large metastases (bigger than 3 cm) underwent fractionated SRT. The treatment was done with dedicated linear accelerator stereotactic system Elekta Axesse (Elekta AB, Stockholm, Sweden). Different stereotactic fixation devices were used, namely, Leksell G frame, non-invasive HeadFIX frame, and reinforced thermoplastic mask (IMRT perforation). All treatments included a volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) technique and of Inage Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) technique. All lesions were treated from a single isocenter, which allowed reducing the treatment time and overall dose to the patient's body. All patients suffered the treatment satisfactorily. No adverse reactions or complications were met in any case during or right after the treatment. Different stereotactic fixation devices and modern treatment techniques allowed creating an optimal, safe and comfortable way for patient treatment. The treatment time was from 15 to 50 minutes. Patient position verification after or during the treatment demonstrated good accuracy for all fixation types and low level of intrafraction motion.

  4. Prognostic Value of A Qualitative Brain MRI Scoring System After Cardiac Arrest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hirsch, Karen G.; Mlynash, Michael; Jansen, Sofie; Persoon, Suzanne; Eyngorn, Irina; Krasnokutsky, Michael V.; Wijman, Christine A. C.; Fischbein, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSETo develop a qualitative brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scoring system for comatose cardiac arrest patients that can be used in clinical practice. METHODSConsecutive comatose postcardiac arrest patients were prospectively enrolled. Routine MR brain sequences were scored

  5. The decrease of dopamine D2/D3 receptor densities in the putamen and nucleus caudatus goes parallel with maintained levels of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in Parkinson's disease: a preliminary autoradiographic study with the selective dopamine D2/D3 antagonist [3H]raclopride and the novel CB1 inverse agonist [125I]SD7015

    OpenAIRE

    Farkas Szabolcs (1983-) (orvos); Nagy Katalin; Jia, Zhisheng; Harkány Tibor; Palkovits Miklós; Donohue, Sean; Pike, Victor; Halldin, Christer; Máthé Domokos; Csiba László (1952-) (neurológus, pszichiáter); Gulyás Balázs

    2012-01-01

    Cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB1Rs) modulate synaptic neurotransmission by participating in retrograde signaling in the adult brain. Increasing evidence suggests that cannabinoids through CB1Rs play an important role in the regulation of motor activities in the striatum. In the present study, we used human brain samples to examine the relationship between CB1R and dopamine receptor density in case of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

  6. Cannabinoids in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: beyond prevention of acute emesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slatkin, Neal E

    2007-05-01

    Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) remains a significant problem in the care of cancer patients. Although the use of serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonists, as well as neurokinin-1 inhibitors, has reduced rates of acute emesis, many patients still experience acute vomiting; moreover, these agents have reduced efficacy in preventing nausea, delayed CINV, and breakthrough CINV. Nausea, in particular, continues to have a major--and often overlooked--impact on patients' quality of life. Optimizing the treatment for CINV likely will involve combinations of agents that inhibit the numerous neurotransmitter systems involved in nausea and vomiting reflexes. Cannabinoids are active in many of these systems, and two oral formulations, dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet), are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in CINV refractory to conventional antiemetic therapy. Agents in this class have shown superiority to dopamine receptor antagonists in preventing CINV, and there is some evidence that the combination of a dopamine antagonist and cannabinoid is superior to either alone and is particularly effective in preventing nausea. The presence of side effects from the cannabinoids may have slowed their adoption into clinical practice, but in a number of comparative clinical trials, patients have expressed a clear preference for the cannabinoid, choosing its efficacy over any undesired effects. Improvement in antiemetic therapy across the entire spectrum of CINV will involve the use of agents with different mechanisms of action in concurrent or sequential combinations, and the best such combinations should be identified. In this effort, the utility of the cannabinoids should not be overlooked.

  7. Involvement of central and peripheral cannabinoid receptors on antinociceptive effect of tetrahydrocannabinol in muscle pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagüés, Ana; Martín, M Isabel; Sánchez-Robles, Eva M

    2014-12-15

    Cannabinoid (CB) receptors have emerged as an attractive therapeutic target for pain management in recent years and the interest in the use of cannabinoids is gradually increasing, particularly in patients where conventional treatments fail. Muscle pain is a major clinical problem and new pharmacological approaches are being studied. Recently, we have demonstrated that cannabinoid synthetic agonists are useful to reduce muscular pain in two animal models, where the local administration is effective. Now, we want to know if tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabinoid natural derivative with therapeutic use in humans, is also effective in reducing acute muscle pain. The antinociceptive effect of THC by systemic (i.p.) and local (i.m.) administration was tested in two animal models of acute muscle pain, rat masseter and gastrocnemius, induced by hypertonic saline (HS) injection. The drugs used were the non-selective agonist THC and two selective cannabinoid antagonists, AM251 (CB1) and AM630 (CB2). THC, i.p. and i.m. administered, reduced the nociceptive behaviours induced by HS in both muscular pain models. The antinociceptive effect induced by the systemic administration of THC was mediated by CB1 receptors in the masseter muscle whereas in gastrocnemius both CB1 and CB2 receptors participated. When THC was administered locally, only CB2 receptors were involved in the antinociceptive effect in both muscles. This study suggests that THC could be a future pharmacological option in the treatment of muscle pain. The local administration of THC could be an interesting option to treat this type of pain avoiding the central adverse effects. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Cholinergic System Under Aluminium Toxicity in Rat Brain

    OpenAIRE

    Yellamma, K.; Saraswathamma, S.; Kumari, B. Nirmala

    2010-01-01

    The present investigation envisages the toxic effects of aluminium on the cholinergic system of male albino rat brain. Aluminium toxicity (LD50/24 h) evaluated as per Probit method was found to be 700 mg/kg body weight. One-fifth of lethal dose was taken as the sublethal dose. For acute dose studies, rats were given a single lethal dose of aluminium acetate orally for one day only and for chronic dose studies, the rats were administered with sublethal dose of aluminium acetate once in a day f...

  9. Emotional arousal and multiple memory systems in the mammalian brain

    OpenAIRE

    Packard, Mark G.; Jarid eGoodman

    2012-01-01

    Emotional arousal induced by stress and/or anxiety can exert complex effects on learning and memory processes in mammals. Recent studies have begun to link study of the influence of emotional arousal on memory with earlier research indicating that memory is organized in multiple systems in the brain that differ in terms of the “type” of memory they mediate. Specifically, these studies have examined whether emotional arousal may have a differential effect on the “cognitive” and stimulus-respon...

  10. PET study of cholinergic system in the brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shinotoh, Hitoshi [Chiba Univ. (Japan). School of Medicine

    1999-01-01

    Recently, we have developed a method to measure acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, a functional marker for cholinergic system, by positron emission tomography (PET) and carbon-11 labeled N-methyl-4-piperidyl acetate. Kinetic analysis of the radioactivity in the brain and the plasma yielded a rate constant ``k 3`` as an index of AChE activity. The ratios for the k 3 values for the cerebral cortex/thalamus/cerebellum/striatum found in healthy participants were 1/ 3/ 8/ 10, respectively, corresponding well with AChE activity ratios in the brain at necropsy (1/ 3/ 8/ 38), except for the striatum. In 23 healthy volunteers (age range: 24-89 years), there was no age-related decline of k 3 values in the cerebral cortex, suggesting AChE activity is preserved in aged cerebral cortex. In 11 patients with Alzheimer`s disease, there was a significant reduction (-24%) of k 3 values in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, suggesting a loss of ascending cholinergic system from the basal forebrain to the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. In 16 patients with Parkinson`s disease, there was a significant reduction (-18%) of k 3 values in the cerebral cortex. In 10 patients with progressive supra nuclear palsy, there was a significant reduction (-38%) of k 3 values in the thalamus. This technique is useful for investigating central cholinergic system in neuro degenerative disorders with dementia. (author)

  11. A Gut Gone to Pot: A Case of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome due to K2, a Synthetic Cannabinoid

    OpenAIRE

    Anene Ukaigwe; Paras Karmacharya; Anthony Donato

    2014-01-01

    Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) was first described in 2004. Due to its novelty, CHS is often unrecognized by clinicians leading to expensive workup of these patients with cyclical symptoms. It may take up to 9 years to diagnose CHS. CHS is characterized by cyclical nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and an unusual compulsion to take hot showers in the presence of chronic use of cannabinoids. Cannabicyclohexanol is a synthetic cannabinoid, popularly known as K2 spice. It is a popular...

  12. Planarian brain regeneration as a model system for developmental neurotoxicology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagstrom, Danielle; Cochet‐Escartin, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Freshwater planarians, famous for their regenerative prowess, have long been recognized as a valuable in vivo animal model to study the effects of chemical exposure. In this review, we summarize the current techniques and tools used in the literature to assess toxicity in the planarian system. We focus on the planarian's particular amenability for neurotoxicology and neuroregeneration studies, owing to the planarian's unique ability to regenerate a centralized nervous system. Zooming in from the organismal to the molecular level, we show that planarians offer a repertoire of morphological and behavioral readouts while also being amenable to mechanistic studies of compound toxicity. Finally, we discuss the open challenges and opportunities for planarian brain regeneration to become an important model system for modern toxicology. PMID:27499880

  13. Systems Nutrigenomics Reveals Brain Gene Networks Linking Metabolic and Brain Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingying Meng

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Nutrition plays a significant role in the increasing prevalence of metabolic and brain disorders. Here we employ systems nutrigenomics to scrutinize the genomic bases of nutrient–host interaction underlying disease predisposition or therapeutic potential. We conducted transcriptome and epigenome sequencing of hypothalamus (metabolic control and hippocampus (cognitive processing from a rodent model of fructose consumption, and identified significant reprogramming of DNA methylation, transcript abundance, alternative splicing, and gene networks governing cell metabolism, cell communication, inflammation, and neuronal signaling. These signals converged with genetic causal risks of metabolic, neurological, and psychiatric disorders revealed in humans. Gene network modeling uncovered the extracellular matrix genes Bgn and Fmod as main orchestrators of the effects of fructose, as validated using two knockout mouse models. We further demonstrate that an omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, reverses the genomic and network perturbations elicited by fructose, providing molecular support for nutritional interventions to counteract diet-induced metabolic and brain disorders. Our integrative approach complementing rodent and human studies supports the applicability of nutrigenomics principles to predict disease susceptibility and to guide personalized medicine.

  14. Systems Nutrigenomics Reveals Brain Gene Networks Linking Metabolic and Brain Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Qingying; Ying, Zhe; Noble, Emily; Zhao, Yuqi; Agrawal, Rahul; Mikhail, Andrew; Zhuang, Yumei; Tyagi, Ethika; Zhang, Qing; Lee, Jae-Hyung; Morselli, Marco; Orozco, Luz; Guo, Weilong; Kilts, Tina M; Zhu, Jun; Zhang, Bin; Pellegrini, Matteo; Xiao, Xinshu; Young, Marian F; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Yang, Xia

    2016-05-01

    Nutrition plays a significant role in the increasing prevalence of metabolic and brain disorders. Here we employ systems nutrigenomics to scrutinize the genomic bases of nutrient-host interaction underlying disease predisposition or therapeutic potential. We conducted transcriptome and epigenome sequencing of hypothalamus (metabolic control) and hippocampus (cognitive processing) from a rodent model of fructose consumption, and identified significant reprogramming of DNA methylation, transcript abundance, alternative splicing, and gene networks governing cell metabolism, cell communication, inflammation, and neuronal signaling. These signals converged with genetic causal risks of metabolic, neurological, and psychiatric disorders revealed in humans. Gene network modeling uncovered the extracellular matrix genes Bgn and Fmod as main orchestrators of the effects of fructose, as validated using two knockout mouse models. We further demonstrate that an omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, reverses the genomic and network perturbations elicited by fructose, providing molecular support for nutritional interventions to counteract diet-induced metabolic and brain disorders. Our integrative approach complementing rodent and human studies supports the applicability of nutrigenomics principles to predict disease susceptibility and to guide personalized medicine. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Longitudinal Examination of Resilience After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marwitz, Jennifer H; Sima, Adam P; Kreutzer, Jeffrey S; Dreer, Laura E; Bergquist, Thomas F; Zafonte, Ross; Johnson-Greene, Douglas; Felix, Elizabeth R

    2018-02-01

    To evaluate (1) the trajectory of resilience during the first year after a moderate-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI); (2) factors associated with resilience at 3, 6, and 12 months postinjury; and (3) changing relationships over time between resilience and other factors. Longitudinal analysis of an observational cohort. Five inpatient rehabilitation centers. Patients with TBI (N=195) enrolled in the resilience module of the TBI Model Systems study with data collected at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up. Not applicable. Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. Initially, resilience levels appeared to be stable during the first year postinjury. Individual growth curve models were used to examine resilience over time in relation to demographic, psychosocial, and injury characteristics. After adjusting for these characteristics, resilience actually declined over time. Higher levels of resilience were related to nonminority status, absence of preinjury substance abuse, lower anxiety and disability level, and greater life satisfaction. Resilience is a construct that is relevant to understanding brain injury outcomes and has potential value in planning clinical interventions. Copyright © 2017 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Implication of cannabinoids in neurological diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsasua del Valle, Angela

    2006-01-01

    1. Preparations from Cannabis sativa (marijuana) have been used for many centuries both medicinally and recreationally. 2. Recent advances in the knowledge of its pharmacological and chemical properties in the organism, mainly due to Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, and the physiological roles played by the endocannabinoids have opened up new strategies in the treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases. 3. Potential therapeutic uses of cannabinoid receptor agonists include the management of spasticity and tremor in multiple sclerosis/spinal cord injury, pain, inflammatory disorders, glaucoma, bronchial asthma, cancer, and vasodilation that accompanies advanced cirrhosis. CB(1) receptor antagonists have therapeutic potential in Parkinson's disease. 4. Dr. Julius Axelrod also contributed in studies on the neuroprotective actions of cannabinoids.

  17. Are cannabinoids effective in multiple sclerosis?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Meza

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Resumen En el último tiempo, se han descrito diversos beneficios con el uso de cannabinoides en diferentes situaciones clínicas. Dentro de ellas se ha planteado un posible efecto en el control de la esclerosis múltiple, pero la real utilidad clínica es tema de debate. Para responder a esta pregunta utilizamos la base de datos Epistemonikos, la cual es mantenida mediante búsquedas en múltiples bases de datos. Identificamos 25 revisiones sistemáticas que en conjunto incluyen 35 estudios que responden la pregunta de interés, entre ellos 26 estudios aleatorizados. Extrajimos los datos, realizamos un metanálisis y preparamos una tabla de resumen de los resultados utilizando el método GRADE. Concluimos que el uso de cannabinoides en esclerosis múltiple no reduce la espasticidad ni el dolor, y probablemente se asocia a efectos adversos frecuentes.

  18. Influence of 22-day treatment on the anticonvulsant properties of cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karler, R; Borys, H K; Turkanis, S A

    1982-08-01

    Mice were given delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) cannabidiol (CBD) or phenytoin (PHT) daily for 22 days. Drug activity was measured weekly in three different anticonvulsant tests: the maximal electroshock threshold, the 60-Hz-electroshock threshold and the 6-Hz-electroshock threshold. In order to correlate potential pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic changes resulting from repeated treatment, brain-drug concentrations were determined at each test time. The results from the delta-9-THC study indicate that, although tolerance developed in all three tests, there were no changes in the brain-drug concentration. For CBD the pharmacodynamics were strikingly different: an increase in sensitivity to the drug developed in two of the tests, tolerance in only one test. Here again, there were no changes in brain-drug concentrations. The results of the PHT study differed from both the cannabinoids, for tolerance developed in one test, an increase in sensitivity in one test, and the activity was unchanged in the third test. Again, the brain concentrations remained constant throughout. The results demonstrate that both tolerance and increased sensitivity can develop concomitantly with anticonvulsant effects of the cannabinoids and PHT, and that these modifications in drug activity appear to result from cellular or functional rather than dispositional changes.

  19. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors in distinct circuits of the extended amygdala determine fear responsiveness to unpredictable threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, M D; Daldrup, T; Remmers, F; Szkudlarek, H J; Lesting, J; Guggenhuber, S; Ruehle, S; Jüngling, K; Seidenbecher, T; Lutz, B; Pape, H C

    2017-10-01

    The brain circuits underlying behavioral fear have been extensively studied over the last decades. Although the vast majority of experimental studies assess fear as a transient state of apprehension in response to a discrete threat, such phasic states of fear can shift to a sustained anxious apprehension, particularly in face of diffuse cues with unpredictable environmental contingencies. Unpredictability, in turn, is considered an important variable contributing to anxiety disorders. The networks of the extended amygdala have been suggested keys to the control of phasic and sustained states of fear, although the underlying synaptic pathways and mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the endocannabinoid system acting in synaptic circuits of the extended amygdala can explain the fear response profile during exposure to unpredictable threat. Using fear training with predictable or unpredictable cues in mice, combined with local and cell-type-specific deficiency and rescue of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors, we found that presynaptic CB1 receptors on distinct amygdala projections to bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) are both necessary and sufficient for the shift from phasic to sustained fear in response to an unpredictable threat. These results thereby identify the causal role of a defined protein in a distinct brain pathway for the temporal development of a sustained state of anxious apprehension during unpredictability of environmental influences, reminiscent of anxiety symptoms in humans.

  20. Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new therapeutic opportunities from an ancient herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izzo, Angelo A; Borrelli, Francesca; Capasso, Raffaele; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2009-10-01

    Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol binds cannabinoid (CB(1) and CB(2)) receptors, which are activated by endogenous compounds (endocannabinoids) and are involved in a wide range of physiopathological processes (e.g. modulation of neurotransmitter release, regulation of pain perception, and of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and liver functions). The well-known psychotropic effects of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, which are mediated by activation of brain CB(1) receptors, have greatly limited its clinical use. However, the plant Cannabis contains many cannabinoids with weak or no psychoactivity that, therapeutically, might be more promising than Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. Here, we provide an overview of the recent pharmacological advances, novel mechanisms of action, and potential therapeutic applications of such non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoids. Special emphasis is given to cannabidiol, the possible applications of which have recently emerged in inflammation, diabetes, cancer, affective and neurodegenerative diseases, and to Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabivarin, a novel CB(1) antagonist which exerts potentially useful actions in the treatment of epilepsy and obesity.

  1. Treatment of Tourette Syndrome with Cannabinoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten R. Müller-Vahl

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids have been used for hundred of years for medical purposes. To day, the cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC and the cannabis extract nabiximols are approved for the treatment of nausea, anorexia and spasticity, respectively. In Tourette syndrome (TS several anecdotal reports provided evidence that marijuana might be effective not only in the suppression of tics, but also in the treatment of associated behavioural problems. At the present time there are only two controlled trials available investigating the effect of THC in the treatment of TS. Using both self and examiner rating scales, in both studies a significant tic reduction could be observed after treatment with THC compared to placebo, without causing significant adverse effects. Available data about the effect of THC on obsessive-compulsive symptoms are inconsistent. According to a recent Cochrane review on the efficacy of cannabinoids in TS, definite conclusions cannot be drawn, because longer trials including a larger number of patients are missing. Notwithstanding this appraisal, by many experts THC is recommended for the treatment of TS in adult patients, when first line treatments failed to improve the tics. In treatment resistant adult patients, therefore, treatment with THC should be taken into consideration.

  2. Quantification of Cannabinoid Content in Cannabis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Y.; Zhang, F.; Jia, K.; Wen, M.; Yuan, Ch.

    2015-09-01

    Cannabis is an economically important plant that is used in many fields, in addition to being the most commonly consumed illicit drug worldwide. Monitoring the spatial distribution of cannabis cultivation and judging whether it is drug- or fiber-type cannabis is critical for governments and international communities to understand the scale of the illegal drug trade. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the cannabinoids content in cannabis could be spectrally quantified using a spectrometer and to identify the optimal wavebands for quantifying the cannabinoid content. Spectral reflectance data of dried cannabis leaf samples and the cannabis canopy were measured in the laboratory and in the field, respectively. Correlation analysis and the stepwise multivariate regression method were used to select the optimal wavebands for cannabinoid content quantification based on the laboratory-measured spectral data. The results indicated that the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in cannabis leaves could be quantified using laboratory-measured spectral reflectance data and that the 695 nm band is the optimal band for THC content quantification. This study provides prerequisite information for designing spectral equipment to enable immediate quantification of THC content in cannabis and to discriminate drug- from fiber-type cannabis based on THC content quantification in the field.

  3. [Therapeutical use of the cannabinoids in psychiatry].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crippa, José Alexandre S; Zuardi, Antonio Waldo; Hallak, Jaime E C

    2010-05-01

    To review the main advances related to the potential therapeutic use of cannabinoid compounds in psychiatry. A search was performed in the online databases PubMed, ScieELO, and Lilacs for studies and literature reviews concerning therapeutic applications of cannabinoids in psychiatry, especially cannabidiol, rimonabant, Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, and their analogues. Cannabidiol was found to have therapeutic potential with antipsychotic, anxiolytic, and antidepressant properties, in addition to being effective in other conditions. Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and its analogues were shown to have anxiolytic effects in the treatment of cannabis dependence and to function as an adjuvant in the treatment of schizophrenia, although additional studies are necessary to support this finding. Rimonabant was effective in the treatment of the subjective and physiological symptoms of cannabis intoxication and functioned as an adjuvant in the treatment of tobacco addiction. The potential to induce adverse reactions such as depression and anxiety restrained the clinical use of this CB(1) antagonist. Cannabinoids may be of great therapeutic interest to psychiatry; however, further controlled trials are necessary to confirm the existing findings and to establish the safety of such compounds.

  4. The discovery of a cannabinoid receptor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Devane, W.A.

    1989-01-01

    A tritiated form of CP-55,940, a Pfizer cannabinoid analog that is 20- to 100-fold more potent than {Delta}{sup 9}-tetrahydrocannabinol in various in vivo and in vitro models of cannabimimetric activity, was used as the tool with which to probe for a cannabinoid receptor in rat cortical membranes. The bound and free ligand were successfully separated using a centrifugation assay. Specific binding was saturable, rapidly attained, and completely reversible. The K{sub D}'s derived from kinetic analysis of binding agreed well with the K{sub D}'s derived from saturation and displacement analysis. The ({sup 3}H)CP-55,940 binding site exhibited high affinity with a K{sub D} of 68 pM as determined by LIGAND analysis of homologous displacement studies. The ability of other cannabinoid drugs to displace ({sup 3}H)CP-55,940 binding correlated well with the potency of these drugs in in vivo and in vitro models of cannabimimetic activity. The K{sub i} of {Delta}{sup 9}-THC was 1.6 nM. Cannabidiol and cannabigerol, which both lack psychoactivity in man, displaced specific binding by less than 50% at 1 {mu}M.

  5. Marijuana and other cannabinoids as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: A literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenkamp, Maria M; Blessing, Esther M; Galatzer-Levy, Isaac R; Hollahan, Laura C; Anderson, William T

    2017-03-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common in the general population, yet there are limitations to the effectiveness, tolerability, and acceptability of available first-line interventions. We review the extant knowledge on the effects of marijuana and other cannabinoids on PTSD. Potential therapeutic effects of these agents may largely derive from actions on the endocannabinoid system and we review major animal and human findings in this area. Preclinical and clinical studies generally support the biological plausibility for cannabinoids' potential therapeutic effects, but underscore heterogeneity in outcomes depending on dose, chemotype, and individual variation. Treatment outcome studies of whole plant marijuana and related cannabinoids on PTSD are limited and not methodologically rigorous, precluding conclusions about their potential therapeutic effects. Reported benefits for nightmares and sleep (particularly with synthetic cannabinoid nabilone) substantiate larger controlled trials to determine effectiveness and tolerability. Of concern, marijuana use has been linked to adverse psychiatric outcomes, including conditions commonly comorbid with PTSD such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, and substance misuse. Available evidence is stronger for marijuana's harmful effects on the development of psychosis and substance misuse than for the development of depression and anxiety. Marijuana use is also associated with worse treatment outcomes in naturalistic studies, and with maladaptive coping styles that may maintain PTSD symptoms. Known risks of marijuana thus currently outweigh unknown benefits for PTSD. Although controlled research on marijuana and other cannabinoids' effects on PTSD remains limited, rapid shifts in the legal landscape may now enable such studies, potentially opening new avenues in PTSD treatment research. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Cannabinoids and post-traumatic stress disorder: clinical and preclinical evidence for treatment and prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizrachi Zer-Aviv, Tomer; Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit

    2016-10-01

    There is substantial evidence from studies in humans and animal models for a role of the endocannabinoid system in the control of emotional states. Several studies have shown an association between exposure to trauma and substance use. Specifically, it has been shown that there is increased prevalence of cannabis use in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients and vice versa. Clinical studies suggest that PTSD patients may cope with their symptoms by using cannabis. This treatment-seeking strategy may explain the high prevalence of cannabis use among individuals with PTSD. Preliminary studies in humans also suggest that treatment with cannabinoids may decrease PTSD symptoms including sleep quality, frequency of nightmares, and hyperarousal. However, there are no large-scale, randomized, controlled studies investigating this specifically. Studies in animal models have shown that cannabinoids can prevent the effects of stress on emotional function and memory processes, facilitate fear extinction, and have an anti-anxiety-like effect in a variety of tasks. Moreover, cannabinoids administered shortly after exposure to a traumatic event were found to prevent the development of PTSD-like phenotype. In this article, we review the existing literature on the use of cannabinoids for treating and preventing PTSD in humans and animal models. There is a need for large-scale clinical trials examining the potential decrease in PTSD symptomatology with the use of cannabis. In animal models, there is a need for a better understanding of the mechanism of action and efficacy of cannabis. Nevertheless, the end result of the current clinical and preclinical data is that cannabinoid agents may offer therapeutic benefits for PTSD.

  7. Resilience Following Traumatic Brain Injury: A Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreutzer, Jeffrey S; Marwitz, Jennifer H; Sima, Adam P; Bergquist, Thomas F; Johnson-Greene, Douglas; Felix, Elizabeth R; Whiteneck, Gale G; Dreer, Laura E

    2016-05-01

    To examine resilience at 3 months after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Cross-sectional analysis of an ongoing observational cohort. Five inpatient rehabilitation centers, with 3-month follow-up conducted primarily by telephone. Persons with TBI (N=160) enrolled in the resilience module of the TBI Model System study with 3-month follow-up completed. Not applicable. Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. Resilience scores were lower than those of the general population. A multivariable regression model, adjusting for other predictors, showed that higher education, absence of preinjury substance abuse, and less anxiety at follow-up were significantly related to greater resilience. Analysis suggests that lack of resilience may be an issue for some individuals after moderate to severe TBI. Identifying persons most likely at risk for low resilience may be useful in planning clinical interventions. Copyright © 2016 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Brain systems underlying encounter expectancy bias in spider phobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aue, Tatjana; Hoeppli, Marie-Eve; Piguet, Camille; Hofstetter, Christoph; Rieger, Sebastian W; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2015-06-01

    Spider-phobic individuals are characterized by exaggerated expectancies to be faced with spiders (so-called encounter expectancy bias). Whereas phobic responses have been linked to brain systems mediating fear, little is known about how the recruitment of these systems relates to exaggerated expectancies of threat. We used fMRI to examine spider-phobic and control participants while they imagined visiting different locations in a forest after having received background information about the likelihood of encountering different animals (spiders, snakes, and birds) at these locations. Critically, imagined encounter expectancies modulated brain responses differently in phobics as compared with controls. Phobics displayed stronger negative modulation of activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and visual cortex by encounter expectancies for spiders, relative to snakes or birds (within-participants analysis); these effects were not seen in controls. Between-participants correlation analyses within the phobic group further corroborated the hypothesis that these phobia-specific modulations may underlie irrationality in encounter expectancies (deviations of encounter expectancies from objective background information) in spider phobia; the greater the negative modulation a phobic participant displayed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and visual cortex, the stronger was her bias in encounter expectancies for spiders. Interestingly, irrationality in expectancies reflected in frontal areas relied on right rather than left hemispheric deactivations. Our data accord with the idea that expectancy biases in spider phobia may reflect deficiencies in cognitive control and contextual integration that are mediated by right frontal and parietal areas.

  9. Modulation of Network Oscillatory Activity and GABAergic Synaptic Transmission by CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors in the Rat Medial Entorhinal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola H. Morgan

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids modulate inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission in many brain regions. Within the temporal lobe, cannabinoid receptors are highly expressed, and are located presynaptically at inhibitory terminals. Here, we have explored the role of type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs at the level of inhibitory synaptic currents and field-recorded network oscillations. We report that arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA; 10 M, an agonist at CB1R, inhibits GABAergic synaptic transmission onto both superficial and deep medial entorhinal (mEC neurones, but this has little effect on network oscillations in beta/gamma frequency bands. By contrast, the CB1R antagonist/inverse agonist LY320135 (500 nM, increased GABAergic synaptic activity and beta/gamma oscillatory activity in superficial mEC, was suppressed, whilst that in deep mEC was enhanced. These data indicate that cannabinoid-mediated effects on inhibitory synaptic activity may be constitutively active in vitro, and that modulation of CB1R activation using inverse agonists unmasks complex effects of CBR function on network activity.

  10. Vascular Dysfunction in a Transgenic Model of Alzheimer's Disease: Effects of CB1R and CB2R Cannabinoid Agonists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Dorado, Jorge; Villalba, Nuria; Prieto, Dolores; Brera, Begoña; Martín-Moreno, Ana M; Tejerina, Teresa; de Ceballos, María L

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence of altered vascular function, including cerebrovascular, in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and transgenic models of the disease. Indeed vasoconstrictor responses are increased, while vasodilation is reduced in both conditions. β-Amyloid (Aβ) appears to be responsible, at least in part, of alterations in vascular function. Cannabinoids, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory agents, induce vasodilation both in vivo and in vitro. We have demonstrated a beneficial effect of cannabinoids in models of AD by preventing glial activation. In this work we have studied the effects of these compounds on vessel density in amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice, line 2576, and on altered vascular responses in aortae isolated ring. First we showed increased collagen IV positive vessels in AD brain compared to control subjects, with a similar increase in TgAPP mice, which was normalized by prolonged oral treatment with the CB1/CB2 mixed agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) and the CB2 selective agonist JWH-133 (JWH). In Tg APP mice the vasoconstriction induced by phenylephrine and the thromboxane agonist U46619 was significantly increased, and no change in the vasodilation to acetylcholine (ACh) was observed. Tg APP displayed decreased vasodilation to both cannabinoid agonists, which were able to prevent decreased ACh relaxation in the presence of Aβ. In summary, we have confirmed and extended the existence of altered vascular responses in Tg APP mice. Moreover, our results suggest that treatment with cannabinoids may ameliorate the vascular responses in AD-type pathology.

  11. Brain CB2 Receptors: Implications for Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Roche

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Although previously thought of as the peripheral cannabinoid receptor, it is now accepted that the CB2 receptor is expressed in the central nervous system on microglia, astrocytes and subpopulations of neurons. Expression of the CB2 receptor in the brain is significantly lower than that of the CB1 receptor. Conflicting findings have been reported on the neurological effects of pharmacological agents targeting the CB2 receptor under normal conditions. Under inflammatory conditions, CB2 receptor expression in the brain is enhanced and CB2 receptor agonists exhibit potent anti-inflammatory effects. These findings have prompted research into the CB2 receptor as a possible target for the treatment of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. Neuroinflammatory alterations are also associated with neuropsychiatric disorders and polymorphisms in the CB2 gene have been reported in depression, eating disorders and schizophrenia. This review will examine the evidence to date for a role of brain CB2 receptors in neuropsychiatric disorders.

  12. Ligand-Induced Regulation and Localization of Cannabinoid CB1 and Dopamine D2L Receptor HeterodimersS⃞

    OpenAIRE

    Przybyla, Julie A.; Val J Watts

    2010-01-01

    The cannabinoid CB1 (CB1) and dopamine D2 (D2) receptors are coexpressed in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain involved in such processes as cognition, motor function, and emotional control. Several lines of evidence suggest that CB1 and D2 receptors may oligomerize, providing a unique pharmacology in vitro and in vivo. However, limited information exists on the regulation of CB1 and D2 receptor ...

  13. Evaluation of a Compact Hybrid Brain-Computer Interface System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaeyoung Shin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We realized a compact hybrid brain-computer interface (BCI system by integrating a portable near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS device with an economical electroencephalography (EEG system. The NIRS array was located on the subjects’ forehead, covering the prefrontal area. The EEG electrodes were distributed over the frontal, motor/temporal, and parietal areas. The experimental paradigm involved a Stroop word-picture matching test in combination with mental arithmetic (MA and baseline (BL tasks, in which the subjects were asked to perform either MA or BL in response to congruent or incongruent conditions, respectively. We compared the classification accuracies of each of the modalities (NIRS or EEG with that of the hybrid system. We showed that the hybrid system outperforms the unimodal EEG and NIRS systems by 6.2% and 2.5%, respectively. Since the proposed hybrid system is based on portable platforms, it is not confined to a laboratory environment and has the potential to be used in real-life situations, such as in neurorehabilitation.

  14. Methamphetamine exposure during brain development alters the brain acetylcholine system in adolescent mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Jessica A; Park, Byung S; Raber, Jacob

    2011-10-01

    Children exposed to methamphetamine during brain development as a result of maternal drug use have long-term hippocampus-dependent cognitive impairments, but the mechanisms underlying these impairments are not understood. The acetylcholine system plays an important role in cognitive function and potential methamphetamine-induced acetylcholine alterations may be related to methamphetamine-induced cognitive impairments. In this study, we investigated the potential long-term effects of methamphetamine exposure during hippocampal development on the acetylcholine system in adolescence mice on postnatal day 30 and in adult mice on postnatal day 90. Methamphetamine exposure increased the density of acetylcholine neurons in regions of the basal forebrain and the area occupied by acetylcholine axons in the hippocampus in adolescent female mice. In contrast, methamphetamine exposure did not affect the density of GABA cells or total neurons in the basal forebrain. Methamphetamine exposure also increased the number of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the hippocampus of adolescent male and female mice. Our results demonstrate for the first time that methamphetamine exposure during hippocampal development affects the acetylcholine system in adolescent mice and that these changes are more profound in females than males. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  15. Constitutive cannabinoid 1 and mu opioid receptor activity in the ventral tegmental area: occurrence, function and therapeutic relevance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meye, F.J.

    2012-01-01

    Cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1Rs) play a crucial role in regulating systems dedicated to processing rewards and emotions. It was known that in artificial systems, CB1Rs can exhibit activity that is independent of the typical agonist-driven form. However, it remained largely unclear whether this

  16. Multiple sclerosis following treatment with a cannabinoid receptor-1 antagonist

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oosten, B. W.; Killestein, J.; Mathus-Vliegen, E. M. H.; Polman, C. H.

    2004-01-01

    Laboratory research including animal models of human disease suggests that cannabinoids might have therapeutic potential in multiple sclerosis (MS). We have recently seen a 46-year-old woman who developed MS after starting treatment with a cannabinoid receptor antagonist for obesity. The occurrence

  17. The effects of synthetic cannabinoids on executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, K; Kapitány-Fövény, M; Mama, Y; Arieli, M; Rosca, P; Demetrovics, Z; Weinstein, A

    2017-04-01

    There is a growing use of novel psychoactive substances (NPSs) including synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoid products have effects similar to those of natural cannabis but the new synthetic cannabinoids are more potent and dangerous and their use has resulted in various adverse effects. The purpose of the study was to assess whether persistent use of synthetic cannabinoids is associating with impairments of executive function in chronic users. A total of 38 synthetic cannabinoids users, 43 recreational cannabis users, and 41 non-user subjects were studied in two centers in Hungary and Israel. Computerized cognitive function tests, the classical Stroop word-color task, n-back task, and a free-recall memory task were used. Synthetic cannabinoid users performed significantly worse than both recreational and non-cannabis users on the n-back task (less accuracy), the Stroop task (overall slow responses and less accuracy), and the long-term memory task (less word recall). Additionally, they have also shown higher ratings of depression and anxiety compared with both recreational and non-users groups. This study showed impairment of executive function in synthetic cannabinoid users compared with recreational users of cannabis and non-users. This may have major implications for our understanding of the long-term consequences of synthetic cannabinoid based drugs.

  18. Functional development of the brain's face-processing system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haist, Frank; Anzures, Gizelle

    2017-01-01

    In the first 20 years of life, the human brain undergoes tremendous growth in size, weight, and synaptic connectedness. Over the same time period, a person achieves remarkable transformations in perception, thought, and behavior. One important area of development is face processing ability, or the ability to quickly and accurately extract extensive information about a person's identity, emotional state, attractiveness, intention, and numerous other types of information that are crucial to everyday social interaction and communication. Associating particular brain changes with specific behavioral and intellectual developments has historically been a serious challenge for researchers. Fortunately, modern neuroimaging is dramatically advancing our ability to make associations between morphological and behavioral developments. In this article, we demonstrate how neuroimaging has revolutionized our understanding of the development of face processing ability to show that this essential perceptual and cognitive skill matures consistently yet slowly over the first two decades of life. In this manner, face processing is a model system of many areas of complex cognitive development. WIREs Cogn Sci 2017, 8:e1423. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1423 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Safety Issues Concerning the Medical Use of Cannabis and Cannabinoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A Ware

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Safety issues are a major barrier to the use of cannabis and cannabinoid medications for clinical purposes. Information on the safety of herbal cannabis may be derived from studies of recreational cannabis use, but cannabis exposure and effects may differ widely between medical and recreational cannabis users. Standardized, quality-controlled cannabinoid products are available in Canada, and safety profiles of approved medications are available through the Canadian formulary. In the present article, the evidence behind major safety issues related to cannabis use is summarized, with the aim of promoting informed dialogue between physicians and patients in whom cannabinoid therapy is being considered. Caution is advised in interpreting these data, because clinical experience with cannabinoid use is in the early stages. There is a need for long-term safety monitoring of patients using cannabinoids for a wide variety of conditions, to further guide therapeutic decisions and public policy.

  20. Synthetic cannabinoid hyperemesis resulting in rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argamany, Jacqueline R; Reveles, Kelly R; Duhon, Bryson

    2016-04-01

    Synthetic cannabinoid usage has increased in the past decade. Concurrently, emergency management of associated adverse effects due to synthetic cannabinoid usage has also risen. Reported toxicities include psychosis, seizures, cardiotoxicity, acute kidney injury, and death. While cannabis was first described as a cause of acute hyperemesis in 2004, a more recent case series also describes the association between cannabinoid hyperemesis and risk of acute renal failure. Synthetic cannabinoids have also been reported to cause acute hyperemesis and acute renal failure; however, the risk of rhabdomyolysis-induced renal failure has yet to be elucidated. In this article, we report the first known case of synthetic cannabinoid hyperemesis leading to rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure.

  1. BrainFrame: a knowledge visualization system for the neurosciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Steven J.; Shaw, Chris D.

    2009-01-01

    Neuroscience has benefited from an explosion of new experimental techniques; many have only become feasible in the wake of improvements in computing speed and data storage. At the same time, these new computation-intensive techniques have led to a growing gulf between the data and the knowledge extracted from those data. That is, in the neurosciences there is a paucity of effective knowledge management techniques and an accelerating accumulation of experimental data. The purpose of the project described in the present paper is to create a visualization of the knowledge base of the neurosciences. At run-time, this 'BrainFrame' project accesses several web-based ontologies and generates a semantically zoomable representation of any one of many levels of the human nervous system.

  2. Designing Guiding Systems for Brain-Computer Interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosmyna, Nataliya; Lécuyer, Anatole

    2017-01-01

    Brain–Computer Interface (BCI) community has focused the majority of its research efforts on signal processing and machine learning, mostly neglecting the human in the loop. Guiding users on how to use a BCI is crucial in order to teach them to produce stable brain patterns. In this work, we explore the instructions and feedback for BCIs in order to provide a systematic taxonomy to describe the BCI guiding systems. The purpose of our work is to give necessary clues to the researchers and designers in Human–Computer Interaction (HCI) in making the fusion between BCIs and HCI more fruitful but also to better understand the possibilities BCIs can provide to them. PMID:28824400

  3. Designing Guiding Systems for Brain-Computer Interfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nataliya Kosmyna

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Brain–Computer Interface (BCI community has focused the majority of its research efforts on signal processing and machine learning, mostly neglecting the human in the loop. Guiding users on how to use a BCI is crucial in order to teach them to produce stable brain patterns. In this work, we explore the instructions and feedback for BCIs in order to provide a systematic taxonomy to describe the BCI guiding systems. The purpose of our work is to give necessary clues to the researchers and designers in Human–Computer Interaction (HCI in making the fusion between BCIs and HCI more fruitful but also to better understand the possibilities BCIs can provide to them.

  4. The Human Nervous System: A Framework for Teaching and the Teaching Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Vanessa

    2013-01-01

    The teaching brain is a new concept that mirrors the complex, dynamic, and context-dependent nature of the learning brain. In this article, I use the structure of the human nervous system and its sensing, processing, and responding components as a framework for a re-conceptualized teaching system. This teaching system is capable of responses on an…