WorldWideScience

Sample records for endocannabinoid signaling reduces

  1. Endocannabinoid signaling and synaptic function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Pablo E.; Younts, Thomas J.; Chávez, Andrés E.; Hashimotodani, Yuki

    2012-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are key modulators of synaptic function. By activating cannabinoid receptors expressed in the central nervous system, these lipid messengers can regulate several neural functions and behaviors. As experimental tools advance, the repertoire of known endocannabinoid-mediated effects at the synapse, and their underlying mechanism, continues to expand. Retrograde signaling is the principal mode by which endocannabinoids mediate short- and long-term forms of plasticity at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. However, growing evidence suggests that endocannabinoids can also signal in a non-retrograde manner. In addition to mediating synaptic plasticity, the endocannabinoid system is itself subject to plastic changes. Multiple points of interaction with other neuromodulatory and signaling systems have now been identified. Synaptic endocannabinoid signaling is thus mechanistically more complex and diverse than originally thought. In this review, we focus on new advances in endocannabinoid signaling and highlight their role as potent regulators of synaptic function in the mammalian brain. PMID:23040807

  2. Endocannabinoid Signaling Regulates Sleep Stability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Pava

    Full Text Available The hypnogenic properties of cannabis have been recognized for centuries, but endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid regulation of vigilance states is poorly characterized. We report findings from a series of experiments in mice measuring sleep with polysomnography after various systemic pharmacological manipulations of the endocannabinoid system. Rapid, unbiased scoring of vigilance states was achieved using an automated algorithm that we devised and validated. Increasing endocannabinoid tone with a selective inhibitor of monoacyglycerol lipase (JZL184 or fatty acid amide hydrolase (AM3506 produced a transient increase in non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep due to an augmentation of the length of NREM bouts (NREM stability. Similarly, direct activation of type 1 cannabinoid (CB1 receptors with CP47,497 increased NREM stability, but both CP47,497 and JZL184 had a secondary effect that reduced NREM sleep time and stability. This secondary response to these drugs was similar to the early effect of CB1 blockade with the antagonist/inverse agonist AM281, which fragmented NREM sleep. The magnitude of the effects produced by JZL184 and AM281 were dependent on the time of day this drug was administered. While activation of CB1 resulted in only a slight reduction in gamma power, CB1 blockade had dramatic effects on broadband power in the EEG, particularly at low frequencies. However, CB1 blockade did not significantly reduce the rebound in NREM sleep following total sleep deprivation. These results support the hypothesis that endocannabinoid signaling through CB1 is necessary for NREM stability but it is not necessary for sleep homeostasis.

  3. Endocannabinoid Signaling Regulates Sleep Stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pava, Matthew J; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Lovinger, David M

    2016-01-01

    The hypnogenic properties of cannabis have been recognized for centuries, but endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) regulation of vigilance states is poorly characterized. We report findings from a series of experiments in mice measuring sleep with polysomnography after various systemic pharmacological manipulations of the endocannabinoid system. Rapid, unbiased scoring of vigilance states was achieved using an automated algorithm that we devised and validated. Increasing endocannabinoid tone with a selective inhibitor of monoacyglycerol lipase (JZL184) or fatty acid amide hydrolase (AM3506) produced a transient increase in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep due to an augmentation of the length of NREM bouts (NREM stability). Similarly, direct activation of type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors with CP47,497 increased NREM stability, but both CP47,497 and JZL184 had a secondary effect that reduced NREM sleep time and stability. This secondary response to these drugs was similar to the early effect of CB1 blockade with the antagonist/inverse agonist AM281, which fragmented NREM sleep. The magnitude of the effects produced by JZL184 and AM281 were dependent on the time of day this drug was administered. While activation of CB1 resulted in only a slight reduction in gamma power, CB1 blockade had dramatic effects on broadband power in the EEG, particularly at low frequencies. However, CB1 blockade did not significantly reduce the rebound in NREM sleep following total sleep deprivation. These results support the hypothesis that endocannabinoid signaling through CB1 is necessary for NREM stability but it is not necessary for sleep homeostasis.

  4. Endocannabinoid Signaling Regulates Sleep Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pava, Matthew J.; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Lovinger, David M.

    2016-01-01

    The hypnogenic properties of cannabis have been recognized for centuries, but endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) regulation of vigilance states is poorly characterized. We report findings from a series of experiments in mice measuring sleep with polysomnography after various systemic pharmacological manipulations of the endocannabinoid system. Rapid, unbiased scoring of vigilance states was achieved using an automated algorithm that we devised and validated. Increasing endocannabinoid tone with a selective inhibitor of monoacyglycerol lipase (JZL184) or fatty acid amide hydrolase (AM3506) produced a transient increase in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep due to an augmentation of the length of NREM bouts (NREM stability). Similarly, direct activation of type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors with CP47,497 increased NREM stability, but both CP47,497 and JZL184 had a secondary effect that reduced NREM sleep time and stability. This secondary response to these drugs was similar to the early effect of CB1 blockade with the antagonist/inverse agonist AM281, which fragmented NREM sleep. The magnitude of the effects produced by JZL184 and AM281 were dependent on the time of day this drug was administered. While activation of CB1 resulted in only a slight reduction in gamma power, CB1 blockade had dramatic effects on broadband power in the EEG, particularly at low frequencies. However, CB1 blockade did not significantly reduce the rebound in NREM sleep following total sleep deprivation. These results support the hypothesis that endocannabinoid signaling through CB1 is necessary for NREM stability but it is not necessary for sleep homeostasis. PMID:27031992

  5. Astrocytes in endocannabinoid signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Marta; Díez, Adolfo; Araque, Alfonso

    2014-10-19

    Astrocytes are emerging as integral functional components of synapses, responding to synaptically released neurotransmitters and regulating synaptic transmission and plasticity. Thus, they functionally interact with neurons establishing tripartite synapses: a functional concept that refers to the existence of communication between astrocytes and neurons and its crucial role in synaptic function. Here, we discuss recent evidence showing that astrocytes are involved in the endocannabinoid (ECB) system, responding to exogenous cannabinoids as well as ECBs through activation of type 1 cannabinoid receptors, which increase intracellular calcium and stimulate the release of glutamate that modulates synaptic transmission and plasticity. We also discuss the consequences of ECB signalling in tripartite synapses on the astrocyte-mediated regulation of synaptic function, which reveal novel properties of synaptic regulation by ECBs, such as the spatially controlled dual effect on synaptic strength and the lateral potentiation of synaptic efficacy. Finally, we discuss the potential implications of ECB signalling for astrocytes in brain pathology and animal behaviour. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Endocannabinoid signaling in neurotoxicity and neuroprotection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, C; Mechoulam, R; Parsons, L

    2010-09-01

    The cannabis plant and products produced from it, such as marijuana and hashish, have been used for centuries for their psychoactive properties. The mechanism for how Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active constituent of cannabis, elicits these neurological effects remained elusive until relatively recently, when specific G-protein coupled receptors were discovered that appeared to mediate cellular actions of THC. Shortly after discovery of these specific receptors, endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) were identified. Since that time, an extensive number of papers have been published on the endocannabinoid signaling system, a widespread neuromodulatory mechanism that influences neurotransmission throughout the nervous system. This paper summarizes presentations given at the 12th International Neurotoxicology Association meeting that described the potential role of endocannabinoids in the expression of neurotoxicity. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam first gave an overview of the discovery of exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids and their potential for neuroprotection in a variety of conditions. Dr. Larry Parsons then described studies suggesting that endocannabinoid signaling may play a selective role in drug reinforcement. Dr. Carey Pope presented information on the role that endocannabinoid signaling may have in the expression of cholinergic toxicity following anticholinesterase exposures. Together, these presentations highlighted the diverse types of neurological insults that may be modulated by endocannabinoids and drugs/toxicants which might influence endocannabinoid signaling pathways. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Cerebellar endocannabinoids: retrograde signaling from purkinje cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcaggi, Païkan

    2015-06-01

    The cerebellar cortex exhibits a strikingly high expression of type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1), the cannabinoid binding protein responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. CB1 is primarily found in presynaptic elements in the molecular layer. While the functional importance of cerebellar CB1 is supported by the effect of gene deletion or exogenous cannabinoids on animal behavior, evidence for a role of endocannabinoids in synaptic signaling is provided by in vitro experiments on superfused acute rodent cerebellar slices. These studies have demonstrated that endocannabinoids can be transiently released by Purkinje cells and signal at synapses in a direction opposite to information transfer (retrograde). Here, following a description of the reported expression pattern of the endocannabinoid system in the cerebellum, I review the accumulated in vitro data, which have addressed the mechanism of retrograde endocannabinoid signaling and identified 2-arachidonoylglycerol as the mediator of this signaling. The mechanisms leading to endocannabinoid release, the effects of CB1 activation, and the associated synaptic plasticity mechanisms are discussed and the remaining unknowns are pointed. Notably, it is argued that the spatial specificity of this signaling and the physiological conditions required for its induction need to be determined in order to understand endocannabinoid function in the cerebellar cortex.

  8. A collaboration investigating endocannabinoid signalling in brain and bone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmer, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Investigations into the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the psychoactive effects of cannabis preparations have led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system. Interest in the central nervous system effects was initially the main focus of the research, but it soon became evident that the endocannabinoid system affects virtually every organ. The research field has therefore experienced a tremendous growth over the last decade and is now truly interdisciplinary. This short review provides a personal account of an interdisciplinary collaboration between Itai Bab from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the author. It describes the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in bone and the analysis of its functions. I am summarising the role of CB1 signalling as a modulator of sympathetic inhibition of bone formation. Thus, activation of CB1 receptors on sympathetic nerve terminals in bone, presumably from endocannabinoids released from apposing osteoblasts, reduces the inhibition of bone formation of sympathetic norepinephrine. CB2 receptors on osteoblasts and osteoclasts also modulate the proliferation and functions of these cells. Thus, activation of CB2 stimulates bone formation and represses bone resorption, whereas the genetic disruption of CB2 results in an osteoporosis-like phenotype. This signalling mechanism is clinically relevant, as shown by the association of polymorphisms in the CB2 receptor gene, CNR2, with bone density and osteoporosis. Finally, the review provides a summary of the recently discovered role of endocannabinoid signalling in one elongation. This review will also discuss the benefits of interdisciplinary and international collaborations.

  9. Cannabis and Endocannabinoid Signaling in Epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katona, István

    2015-01-01

    The antiepileptic potential of Cannabis sativa preparations has been historically recognized. Recent changes in legal restrictions and new well-documented cases reporting remarkably strong beneficial effects have triggered an upsurge in exploiting medical marijuana in patients with refractory epilepsy. Parallel research efforts in the last decade have uncovered the fundamental role of the endogenous cannabinoid system in controlling neuronal network excitability raising hopes for cannabinoid-based therapeutic approaches. However, emerging data show that patient responsiveness varies substantially, and that cannabis administration may sometimes even exacerbate seizures. Qualitative and quantitative chemical variability in cannabis products and personal differences in the etiology of seizures, or in the pathological reorganization of epileptic networks, can all contribute to divergent patient responses. Thus, the consensus view in the neurologist community is that drugs modifying the activity of the endocannabinoid system should first be tested in clinical trials to establish efficacy, safety, dosing, and proper indication in specific forms of epilepsies. To support translation from anecdote-based practice to evidence-based therapy, the present review first introduces current preclinical and clinical efforts for cannabinoid- or endocannabinoid-based epilepsy treatments. Next, recent advances in our knowledge of how endocannabinoid signaling limits abnormal network activity as a central component of the synaptic circuit-breaker system will be reviewed to provide a framework for the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of the beneficial and adverse effects. Finally, accumulating evidence demonstrating robust synapse-specific pathophysiological plasticity of endocannabinoid signaling in epileptic networks will be summarized to gain better understanding of how and when pharmacological interventions may have therapeutic relevance.

  10. Enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling protects against cocaine-induced neurotoxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vilela, Luciano R. [Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Gobira, Pedro H.; Viana, Thercia G. [Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Medeiros, Daniel C.; Ferreira-Vieira, Talita H. [Department of Physiology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Doria, Juliana G. [Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Rodrigues, Flávia [Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Aguiar, Daniele C. [Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Pereira, Grace S.; Massessini, André R. [Department of Physiology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Ribeiro, Fabíola M. [Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Oliveira, Antonio Carlos P. de [Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Moraes, Marcio F.D., E-mail: mfdm@icb.ufmg.br [Department of Physiology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Moreira, Fabricio A., E-mail: fabriciomoreira@icb.ufmg.br [Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil)

    2015-08-01

    Cocaine is an addictive substance with a potential to cause deleterious effects in the brain. The strategies for treating its neurotoxicity, however, are limited. Evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system exerts neuroprotective functions against various stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the main enzyme responsible for terminating the actions of the endocannabinoid anandamide, reduces seizures and cell death in the hippocampus in a model of cocaine intoxication. Male Swiss mice received injections of endocannabinoid-related compounds followed by the lowest dose of cocaine that induces seizures, electroencephalographic activity and cell death in the hippocampus. The molecular mechanisms were studied in primary cell culture of this structure. The FAAH inhibitor, URB597, reduced cocaine-induced seizures and epileptiform electroencephalographic activity. The cannabinoid CB{sub 1} receptor selective agonist, ACEA, mimicked these effects, whereas the antagonist, AM251, prevented them. URB597 also inhibited cocaine-induced activation and death of hippocampal neurons, both in animals and in primary cell culture. Finally, we investigated if the PI3K/Akt/ERK intracellular pathway, a cell surviving mechanism coupled to CB{sub 1} receptor, mediated these neuroprotective effects. Accordingly, URB597 injection increased ERK and Akt phosphorylation in the hippocampus. Moreover, the neuroprotective effect of this compound was reversed by the PI3K inhibitor, LY294002. In conclusion, the pharmacological facilitation of the anandamide/CB1/PI3K signaling protects the brain against cocaine intoxication in experimental models. This strategy may be further explored in the development of treatments for drug-induced neurotoxicity. - Highlights: • Cocaine toxicity is characterized by seizures and hippocampal cell death. • The endocannabinoid anandamide acts as a brain protective mechanism. • Inhibition of anandamide hydrolysis

  11. Enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling protects against cocaine-induced neurotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vilela, Luciano R.; Gobira, Pedro H.; Viana, Thercia G.; Medeiros, Daniel C.; Ferreira-Vieira, Talita H.; Doria, Juliana G.; Rodrigues, Flávia; Aguiar, Daniele C.; Pereira, Grace S.; Massessini, André R.; Ribeiro, Fabíola M.; Oliveira, Antonio Carlos P. de; Moraes, Marcio F.D.; Moreira, Fabricio A.

    2015-01-01

    Cocaine is an addictive substance with a potential to cause deleterious effects in the brain. The strategies for treating its neurotoxicity, however, are limited. Evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system exerts neuroprotective functions against various stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the main enzyme responsible for terminating the actions of the endocannabinoid anandamide, reduces seizures and cell death in the hippocampus in a model of cocaine intoxication. Male Swiss mice received injections of endocannabinoid-related compounds followed by the lowest dose of cocaine that induces seizures, electroencephalographic activity and cell death in the hippocampus. The molecular mechanisms were studied in primary cell culture of this structure. The FAAH inhibitor, URB597, reduced cocaine-induced seizures and epileptiform electroencephalographic activity. The cannabinoid CB 1 receptor selective agonist, ACEA, mimicked these effects, whereas the antagonist, AM251, prevented them. URB597 also inhibited cocaine-induced activation and death of hippocampal neurons, both in animals and in primary cell culture. Finally, we investigated if the PI3K/Akt/ERK intracellular pathway, a cell surviving mechanism coupled to CB 1 receptor, mediated these neuroprotective effects. Accordingly, URB597 injection increased ERK and Akt phosphorylation in the hippocampus. Moreover, the neuroprotective effect of this compound was reversed by the PI3K inhibitor, LY294002. In conclusion, the pharmacological facilitation of the anandamide/CB1/PI3K signaling protects the brain against cocaine intoxication in experimental models. This strategy may be further explored in the development of treatments for drug-induced neurotoxicity. - Highlights: • Cocaine toxicity is characterized by seizures and hippocampal cell death. • The endocannabinoid anandamide acts as a brain protective mechanism. • Inhibition of anandamide hydrolysis attenuates

  12. Endocannabinoid Signaling and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillard, Cecilia J; Beatka, Margaret; Sarvaideo, Jenna

    2016-12-06

    The elucidation of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol as the active principal of Cannabis sativa in 1963 initiated a fruitful half-century of scientific discovery, culminating in the identification of the endocannabinoid signaling system, a previously unknown neuromodulatory system. A primary function of the endocannabinoid signaling system is to maintain or recover homeostasis following psychological and physiological threats. We provide a brief introduction to the endocannabinoid signaling system and its role in synaptic plasticity. The majority of the article is devoted to a summary of current knowledge regarding the role of endocannabinoid signaling as both a regulator of endocrine responses to stress and as an effector of glucocorticoid and corticotrophin-releasing hormone signaling in the brain. We summarize data demonstrating that cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) signaling can both inhibit and potentiate the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis by stress. We present a hypothesis that the inhibitory arm has high endocannabinoid tone and also serves to enhance recovery to baseline following stress, while the potentiating arm is not tonically active but can be activated by exogenous agonists. We discuss recent findings that corticotropin-releasing hormone in the amygdala enables hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation via an increase in the catabolism of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonylethanolamine. We review data supporting the hypotheses that CB1R activation is required for many glucocorticoid effects, particularly feedback inhibition of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, and that glucocorticoids mobilize the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol. These features of endocannabinoid signaling make it a tantalizing therapeutic target for treatment of stress-related disorders but to date, this promise is largely unrealized. © 2017 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 7:1-15, 2017. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  13. The Endocannabinoid Signaling System in the CNS: A Primer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillard, Cecilia J

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this chapter is to provide an introduction to the mechanisms for the regulation of endocannabinoid signaling through CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system. The processes involved in the synthesis and degradation of the two most well-studied endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol and N-arachidonylethanolamine are outlined along with information regarding the regulation of the proteins involved. Signaling mechanisms and pharmacology of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor are outlined, as is the paradigm of endocannabinoid/CB1 receptor regulation of neurotransmitter release. The reader is encouraged to appreciate the importance of the endocannabinoid/CB1 receptor signaling system in the regulation of synaptic activity in the brain. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The evolution and comparative neurobiology of endocannabinoid signalling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elphick, Maurice R.

    2012-01-01

    CB1- and CB2-type cannabinoid receptors mediate effects of the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide in mammals. In canonical endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity, 2-AG is generated postsynaptically by diacylglycerol lipase alpha and acts via presynaptic CB1-type cannabinoid receptors to inhibit neurotransmitter release. Electrophysiological studies on lampreys indicate that this retrograde signalling mechanism occurs throughout the vertebrates, whereas system-level studies point to conserved roles for endocannabinoid signalling in neural mechanisms of learning and control of locomotor activity and feeding. CB1/CB2-type receptors originated in a common ancestor of extant chordates, and in the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis a CB1/CB2-type receptor is targeted to axons, indicative of an ancient role for cannabinoid receptors as axonal regulators of neuronal signalling. Although CB1/CB2-type receptors are unique to chordates, enzymes involved in biosynthesis/inactivation of endocannabinoids occur throughout the animal kingdom. Accordingly, non-CB1/CB2-mediated mechanisms of endocannabinoid signalling have been postulated. For example, there is evidence that 2-AG mediates retrograde signalling at synapses in the nervous system of the leech Hirudo medicinalis by activating presynaptic transient receptor potential vanilloid-type ion channels. Thus, postsynaptic synthesis of 2-AG or anandamide may be a phylogenetically widespread phenomenon, and a variety of proteins may have evolved as presynaptic (or postsynaptic) receptors for endocannabinoids. PMID:23108540

  15. Endocannabinoids and the processing of value-related signals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam eMelis

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Endocannabinoids serve as retrograde signaling molecules at many synapses within the CNS, particularly GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses. Synapses onto midbrain dopamine (DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA make no exception to this rule. In fact, the effects of cannabinoids on dopamine transmission as well as DA-related behaviors are generally exerted through the modulation of inhibitory and excitatory afferents impinging onto DA neurons. Endocannabinoids, by regulating different forms of synaptic plasticity in the VTA, provide a critical modulation of the DA neuron output and, ultimately, of the systems driving and regulating motivated behaviors. Because DA cells exhibit diverse states of activity, which crucially depend on their intrinsic properties and afferent drive, the understanding of the role played by endocannabinoids in synaptic modulations is critical for their overall functions. Particularly, endocannabinoids by selectively inhibiting afferent activity may alter the functional states of DA neurons and potentiate the responsiveness of the reward system to phasic DA.

  16. Peripheral endocannabinoid signaling controls hyperphagia in western diet-induced obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argueta, Donovan A; DiPatrizio, Nicholas V

    2017-03-15

    The endocannabinoid system in the brain and periphery plays a major role in controlling food intake and energy balance. We reported that tasting dietary fats was met with increased levels of the endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG) and anandamide, in the rat upper small intestine, and pharmacological inhibition of this local signaling event dose-dependently blocked sham feeding of fats. We now investigated the contribution of peripheral endocannabinoid signaling in hyperphagia associated with chronic consumption of a western-style diet in mice ([WD] i.e., high fat and sucrose). Feeding patterns were assessed in male C57BL/6Tac mice maintained for 60days on WD or a standard rodent chow (SD), and the role for peripheral endocannabinoid signaling at CB 1 Rs in controlling food intake was investigated via pharmacological interventions. In addition, levels of the endocannabinoids, 2-AG and anandamide, in the upper small intestine and circulation of mice were analyzed via liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry to evaluate diet-related changes in endocannabinoid signaling and the potential impact on food intake. Mice fed WD for 60days exhibited large increases in body weight, daily caloric intake, average meal size, and rate of feeding when compared to control mice fed SD. Inhibiting peripheral CB 1 Rs with the peripherally-restricted neutral cannabinoid CB 1 receptor antagonist, AM6545 (10mg/kg), significantly reduced intake of WD during a 6h test, but failed to modify intake of SD in mice. AM6545 normalized intake of WD, average meal size, and rate of feeding to levels found in SD control mice. These results suggest that endogenous activity at peripheral CB 1 Rs in WD mice is critical for driving hyperphagia. In support of this hypothesis, levels of 2-AG and anandamide in both, jejunum mucosa and plasma, of ad-libitum fed WD mice increased when compared to SC mice. Furthermore, expression of genes for primary components of the

  17. Endocannabinoids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Harald S.; Petersen, G.; Artmann, A.

    2006-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system embraces a group of lipid molecules, enzymes and receptor proteins. This system appears to be involved in the modulation of neurotransmitter release thereby modifying learning and memory, in the regulation of food intake, and in the modulation of inflammation and pain...

  18. Genetic Disruption of 2-Arachidonoylglycerol Synthesis Reveals a Key Role for Endocannabinoid Signaling in Anxiety Modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian C. Shonesy

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Endocannabinoid (eCB signaling has been heavily implicated in the modulation of anxiety and depressive behaviors and emotional learning. However, the role of the most-abundant endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG in the physiological regulation of affective behaviors is not well understood. Here, we show that genetic deletion of the 2-AG synthetic enzyme diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGLα in mice reduces brain, but not circulating, 2-AG levels. DAGLα deletion also results in anxiety-like and sex-specific anhedonic phenotypes associated with impaired activity-dependent eCB retrograde signaling at amygdala glutamatergic synapses. Importantly, acute pharmacological normalization of 2-AG levels reverses both phenotypes of DAGLα-deficient mice. These data suggest 2-AG deficiency could contribute to the pathogenesis of affective disorders and that pharmacological normalization of 2-AG signaling could represent an approach for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. : The role of the primary endogenous cannabinoid 2-AG in mood and anxiety regulation is not well understood. Shonesy et al. show that deletion of a primary 2-AG synthetic enzyme, DAGLα, results in anxiety and sex-specific depressive phenotypes, which can be rapidly reversed by pharmacological normalization of endocannabinoid levels.

  19. Cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization decreases the expression of endocannabinoid signaling-related proteins in the mouse hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Eduardo; Galeano, Pablo; Palomino, Ana; Pavón, Francisco J; Rivera, Patricia; Serrano, Antonia; Alen, Francisco; Rubio, Leticia; Vargas, Antonio; Castilla-Ortega, Estela; Decara, Juan; Bilbao, Ainhoa; de Fonseca, Fernando Rodríguez; Suárez, Juan

    2016-03-01

    In the reward mesocorticolimbic circuits, the glutamatergic and endocannabinoid systems are implicated in neurobiological mechanisms underlying cocaine addiction. However, the involvement of both systems in the hippocampus, a critical region to process relational information relevant for encoding drug-associated memories, in cocaine-related behaviors remains unknown. In the present work, we studied whether the hippocampal gene/protein expression of relevant glutamate signaling components, including glutamate-synthesizing enzymes and metabotropic and ionotropic receptors, and the hippocampal gene/protein expression of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes were altered following acute and/or repeated cocaine administration resulting in conditioned locomotion and locomotor sensitization. Results showed that acute cocaine administration induced an overall down-regulation of glutamate-related gene expression and, specifically, a low phosphorylation level of GluA1. In contrast, locomotor sensitization to cocaine produced an up-regulation of several glutamate receptor-related genes and, specifically, an increased protein expression of the GluN1 receptor subunit. Regarding the endocannabinoid system, acute and repeated cocaine administration were associated with an increased gene/protein expression of CB1 receptors and a decreased gene/protein expression of the endocannabinoid-synthesis enzymes N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine D (NAPE-PLD) and diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DAGLα). These changes resulted in an overall decrease in endocannabinoid synthesis/degradation ratios, especially NAPE-PLD/fatty acid amide hydrolase and DAGLα/monoacylglycerol lipase, suggesting a reduced endocannabinoid production associated with a compensatory up-regulation of CB1 receptor. Overall, these findings suggest that repeated cocaine administration resulting in locomotor sensitization induces a down-regulation of the endocannabinoid signaling that could

  20. Endocannabinoid signals in the developmental programming of delayed-onset neuropsychiatric and metabolic illnesses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keimpema, Erik; Calvigioni, Daniela; Harkany, Tibor

    2013-12-01

    It is increasingly recognized that maternal exposure to metabolic (nutritional) stimuli, infections, illicit or prescription drugs and environmental stressors during pregnancy can predispose affected offspring to developing devastating postnatal illnesses. If detrimental maternal stimuli coincide with critical periods of tissue production and organogenesis then they can permanently derail key cellular differentiation programs. Maternal programming can thus either provoke developmental failure directly ('direct hit') or introduce latent developmental errors that enable otherwise sub-threshold secondary stressors to manifest as disease ('double hit') postnatally. Accumulating evidence suggests that nervous system development is tightly controlled by maternal metabolic stimuli, and whose synaptic wiring and integrative capacity are adversely affected by dietary and hormonal challenges, infections or episodes of illicit drug use. Endocannabinoids, a family of signal lipids derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids, have been implicated in neuronal fate determination, the control of axonal growth, synaptogenesis and synaptic neurotransmission. Therefore the continuum and interdependence of endocannabinoid actions during the formation and function of synapses together with dynamic changes in focal and circulating endocannabinoid levels upon maternal nutritional imbalance suggest that endocannabinoids can execute the 'reprogramming' of specific neuronal networks. In the present paper, we review molecular evidence suggesting that maternal nutrition and metabolism during pregnancy can affect the formation and function of the hippocampus and hypothalamus by altering endocannabinoid signalling such that neuropsychiatric diseases and obesity respectively ensue in affected offspring. Moreover, we propose that the placenta, fetal adipose and nervous tissues interact via endocannabinoid signals. Thus endocannabinoids are hypothesized to act as a molecular substrate of maternal

  1. Control of synaptic function by endocannabinoid-mediated retrograde signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    KANO, Masanobu

    2014-01-01

    Since the first reports in 2001, great advances have been made towards the understanding of endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. Electrophysiological studies have revealed that one of the two major endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), is produced from membrane lipids upon postsynaptic Ca2+ elevation and/or activation of Gq/11-coupled receptors, and released from postsynaptic neurons. The released 2-AG then acts retrogradely onto presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors and induces suppression of neurotransmitter release either transiently or persistently. These forms of 2-AG-mediated retrograde synaptic modulation are functional throughout the brain. The other major endocannabinoid, anandamide, mediates a certain form of endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression (LTD). Anandamide also functions as an agonist for transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor type 1 (TRPV1) and mediates endocannabinoid-independent and TRPV1-dependent forms of LTD. It has also been demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system itself is plastic, which can be either up- or down-regulated by experimental or environmental conditions. In this review, I will make an overview of the mechanisms underlying endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. PMID:25169670

  2. Endocannabinoid Signaling, Glucocorticoid-Mediated Negative Feedback and Regulation of the HPA Axis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, M. N.; Tasker, J. G.

    2012-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulates the outflow of glucocorticoid hormones under basal conditions and in response to stress. Within the last decade, a large body of evidence has mounted indicating that the endocannabinoid system is involved in the central regulation of the stress response; however, the specific role endocannabinoid signalling plays in phases of HPA axis regulation, or the neural sites of action mediating this regulation, was not mapped out until recently. This review aims to collapse the current state of knowledge regarding the role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of the HPA axis to put together a working model of how and where endocannabinoids act within the brain to regulate outflow of the HPA axis. Specifically, we discuss the role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of the HPA axis under basal conditions, activation in response to acute stress and glucocorticoid-mediated negative feedback. Interestingly, there appears to be some anatomical specificity to the role of the endocannabinoid system in each phase of HPA axis regulation, as well as distinct roles of both anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol in these phases. Ultimately, the current level of information indicates that endocannabinoid signalling acts to suppress HPA axis activity through concerted actions within the prefrontal cortex, amygdala and hypothalamus. PMID:22214537

  3. Endocannabinoid signaling at the periphery: 50 years after THC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccarrone, Mauro; Bab, Itai; Bíró, Tamás; Cabral, Guy A.; Dey, Sudhansu K.; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Konje, Justin C.; Kunos, George; Mechoulam, Raphael; Pacher, Pal; Sharkey, Keith A.; Zimmer, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Fifty years ago (in 1964) the psychoactive ingredient of Cannabis sativa, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was isolated. Nearly 30 years later the endogenous counterparts of THC, collectively termed endocannabinoids (eCBs), were discovered: N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA) in 1992, and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in 1995. Since then, considerable research has shed light on the impact of eCBs on human health and disease, identifying an ensemble of proteins that bind, synthesize and degrade them, and that altogether form the eCB system. eCBs control basic biological processes, including cell-choice between survival and death, and progenitor/stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Not surprisingly, in the past two decades, eCBs have been recognized as key mediators of several aspects of human pathophysiology, and thus have emerged among the most widespread and versatile signaling molecules ever discovered. Here, some of the pioneers of this research field review the state-of-the-art of critical eCB functions in peripheral organs. Our community effort is aimed at establishing consensus views on the relevance of the peripheral eCB system for human health and disease pathogenesis, as well as to highlight emerging challenges and therapeutic hopes. PMID:25796370

  4. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Potential Role of Endocannabinoids Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balapal S. Basavarajappa

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available One of the unique features of prenatal alcohol exposure in humans is impaired cognitive and behavioral function resulting from damage to the central nervous system (CNS, which leads to a spectrum of impairments referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD. Human FASD phenotypes can be reproduced in the rodent CNS following prenatal ethanol exposure. Several mechanisms are expected to contribute to the detrimental effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing fetus, particularly in the developing CNS. These mechanisms may act simultaneously or consecutively and differ among a variety of cell types at specific developmental stages in particular brain regions. Studies have identified numerous potential mechanisms through which alcohol can act on the fetus. Among these mechanisms are increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage, interference with the activity of growth factors, glia cells, cell adhesion molecules, gene expression during CNS development and impaired function of signaling molecules involved in neuronal communication and circuit formation. These alcohol-induced deficits result in long-lasting abnormalities in neuronal plasticity and learning and memory and can explain many of the neurobehavioral abnormalities found in FASD. In this review, the author discusses the mechanisms that are associated with FASD and provides a current status on the endocannabinoid system in the development of FASD.

  5. Pharmacotherapeutic targeting of the endocannabinoid signaling system: drugs for obesity and the metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vemuri, V Kiran; Janero, David R; Makriyannis, Alexandros

    2008-03-18

    Endogenous signaling lipids ("endocannabinoids") functionally related to Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana (Cannabis), are important biomediators and metabolic regulators critical to mammalian (patho)physiology. The growing family of endocannabinoids, along with endocannabinoid biosynthetic and inactivating enzymes, transporters, and at least two membrane-bound, G-protein coupled receptors, comprise collectively the mammalian endocannabinoid signaling system. The ubiquitous and diverse regulatory actions of the endocannabinoid system in health and disease have supported the regulatory approval of natural products and synthetic agents as drugs that alter endocannabinoid-system activity. More recent data support the concept that the endocananbinoid system may be modulated for therapeutic gain at discrete pharmacological targets with safety and efficacy. Potential medications based on the endocannabinoid system have thus become a central focus of contemporary translational research for varied indications with important unmet medical needs. One such indication, obesity, is a global pandemic whose etiology has a pathogenic component of endocannabinoid-system hyperactivity and for which current pharmacological treatment is severely limited. Application of high-affinity, selective CB1 cannabinoid receptor ligands to attenuate endocannabinoid signaling represents a state-of-the-art approach for improving obesity pharmacotherapy. To this intent, several selective CB1 receptor antagonists with varied chemical structures are currently in advanced preclinical or clinical trials, and one (rimonabant) has been approved as a weight-management drug in some markets. Emerging preclinical data suggest that CB1 receptor neutral antagonists may represent breakthrough medications superior to antagonists/inverse agonists such as rimonabant for therapeutic attenuation of CB1 receptor transmission. Since obesity is a predisposing condition for the

  6. Lipidomic Analysis of Endocannabinoid Signaling: Targeted Metabolite Identification and Quantification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jantana Keereetaweep

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamide (or anandamide, AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG belong to the larger groups of N-acylethanolamines (NAEs and monoacylglycerol (MAG lipid classes, respectively. They are biologically active lipid molecules that activate G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors found in various organisms. After AEA and 2-AG were discovered in the 1990s, they have been extensively documented to have a broad range of physiological functions. Along with AEA, several NAEs, for example, N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA, N-stearoylethanolamine (SEA, and N-oleoylethanolamine (OEA are also present in tissues, usually at much larger concentrations than AEA. Any perturbation that involves the endocannabinoid pathway may subsequently alter basal level or metabolism of these lipid mediators. Further, the altered levels of these molecules often reflect pathological conditions associated with tissue damage. Robust and sensitive methodologies to analyze these lipid mediators are essential to understanding how they act as endocannabinoids. The recent advances in mass spectrometry allow researchers to develop lipidomics approaches and several methodologies have been proposed to quantify endocannabinoids in various biological systems.

  7. Lipidomic Analysis of Endocannabinoid Signaling: Targeted Metabolite Identification and Quantification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keereetaweep, Jantana; Chapman, Kent D.

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamide (or anandamide, AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) belong to the larger groups of N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) and monoacylglycerol (MAG) lipid classes, respectively. They are biologically active lipid molecules that activate G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors found in various organisms. After AEA and 2-AG were discovered in the 1990s, they have been extensively documented to have a broad range of physiological functions. Along with AEA, several NAEs, for example, N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA), N-stearoylethanolamine (SEA), and N-oleoylethanolamine (OEA) are also present in tissues, usually at much larger concentrations than AEA. Any perturbation that involves the endocannabinoid pathway may subsequently alter basal level or metabolism of these lipid mediators. Further, the altered levels of these molecules often reflect pathological conditions associated with tissue damage. Robust and sensitive methodologies to analyze these lipid mediators are essential to understanding how they act as endocannabinoids. The recent advances in mass spectrometry allow researchers to develop lipidomics approaches and several methodologies have been proposed to quantify endocannabinoids in various biological systems. PMID:26839710

  8. Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Persistently Alters Endocannabinoid Signaling and Endocannabinoid-Mediated Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity in Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausknecht, Kathryn; Shen, Ying-Ling; Wang, Rui-Xiang; Haj-Dahmane, Samir; Shen, Roh-Yu

    2017-06-14

    Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) leads to increased addiction risk which could be mediated by enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. Previous studies have shown that PE enhances excitatory synaptic strength by facilitating an anti-Hebbian form of long-term potentiation (LTP). In this study, we investigated the effect of PE on endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression (eCB-LTD) in VTA DA neurons. Rats were exposed to moderate (3 g/kg/d) or high (6 g/kg/d) levels of ethanol during gestation. Whole-cell recordings were conducted in male offspring between 4 and 10 weeks old.We found that PE led to increased amphetamine self-administration. Both moderate and high levels of PE persistently reduced low-frequency stimulation-induced eCB-LTD. Furthermore, action potential-independent glutamate release was regulated by tonic eCB signaling in PE animals. Mechanistic studies for impaired eCB-LTD revealed that PE downregulated CB1 receptor function. Interestingly, eCB-LTD in PE animals was rescued by metabotropic glutamate receptor I activation, suggesting that PE did not impair the synthesis/release of eCBs. In contrast, eCB-LTD in PE animals was not rescued by increasing presynaptic activity, which actually led to LTP in PE animals, whereas LTD was still observed in controls. This result shows that the regulation of excitatory synaptic plasticity is fundamentally altered in PE animals. Together, PE leads to impaired eCB-LTD at the excitatory synapses of VTA DA neurons primarily due to CB1 receptor downregulation. This effect could contribute to enhanced LTP and the maintenance of augmented excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons and increased addiction risk after PE. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) is among many adverse developmental factors known to increase drug addiction risk. Increased excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons is a critical cellular mechanism for addiction risk. Our

  9. Dysregulation of the endocannabinoid signaling system in the cerebellum and brainstem in a transgenic mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type-3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Cueto, Carmen; Hernández-Gálvez, Mariluz; Hillard, Cecilia J; Maciel, Patricia; García-García, Luis; Valdeolivas, Sara; Pozo, Miguel A; Ramos, José A; Gómez-Ruiz, María; Fernández-Ruiz, Javier

    2016-12-17

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type-3 (SCA-3) is a rare disease but it is the most frequent type within the autosomal dominant inherited ataxias. The disease lacks an effective treatment to alleviate major symptoms and to modify disease progression. Our recent findings that endocannabinoid receptors and enzymes are significantly altered in the post-mortem cerebellum of patients affected by autosomal-dominant hereditary ataxias suggest that targeting the endocannabinoid signaling system may be a promising therapeutic option. Our goal was to investigate the status of the endocannabinoid signaling system in a transgenic mouse model of SCA-3, in the two CNS structures most affected in this disease - cerebellum and brainstem. These animals exhibited progressive motor incoordination, imbalance, abnormal gait, muscle weakness, and dystonia, in parallel to reduced in vivo brain glucose metabolism, deterioration of specific neuron subsets located in the dentate nucleus and pontine nuclei, small changes in microglial morphology, and reduction in glial glutamate transporters. Concerning the endocannabinoid signaling, our data indicated no changes in CB 2 receptors. By contrast, CB 1 receptors increased in the Purkinje cell layer, in particular in terminals of basket cells, but they were reduced in the dentate nucleus. We also measured the levels of endocannabinoid lipids and found reductions in anandamide and oleoylethanolamide in the brainstem. These changes correlated with an increase in the FAAH enzyme in the brainstem, which also occurred in some cerebellar areas, whereas other endocannabinoid-related enzymes were not altered. Collectively, our results in SCA-3 mutant mice confirm a possible dysregulation in the endocannabinoid system in the most important brain structures affected in this type of ataxia, suggesting that a pharmacological manipulation addressed to correct these changes could be a promising option in SCA-3. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All

  10. Climbing fiber-evoked endocannabinoid signaling heterosynaptically suppresses presynaptic cerebellar long-term potentiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    B.J. van Beugen (Boeke); R.Y. Nagaraja (Raghavendra); C.R.W. Hansel (Christian)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractEndocannabinoid signaling has been demonstrated to mediate depolarization-induced suppression of excitation at climbing fiber (CF) and parallel fiber (PF) synapses onto cerebellar Purkinje cells. Here, we show that CF-evoked release of cannabinoids (CBs) additionally suppresses a

  11. Endocannabinoids and the Heart

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiley, C. Robin

    2009-01-01

    Endocannabinoids, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, are synthesized from membrane phospholipids in the heart and other cardiovascular tissues. They activate cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, TRPV1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors and perhaps a novel vascular G-protein-coupled receptor. Inactivation is by cellular uptake and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Endocannabinoids relax coronary and other arteries and decrease cardiac work, but seem not to be involved in tonic regulation of cardiovascular function. They act as a stress response system which is activated, for example, in myocardial infarction and circulatory shock. Endocannabinoids are largely protective; they decrease tissue damage and arrhythmia in myocardial infarction, may reduce progression of atherosclerosis (CB2 receptor stimulation inhibits lesion progression), and FAAH knockout mice (which have enhanced endocannabinoid levels) show decreased cardiac dysfunction with age compared to wild-types. However, endocannabinoids may mediate doxorubicin-induced cardiac dysfunction. Their signaling pathways are not fully elucidated but they can lead to changed expression of a variety of genes, including those involved in inflammatory responses. There is potential for therapeutic targeting of endocannabinoids and their receptors, but their apparent involvement in both protective and deleterious actions on the heart mean that careful risk assessment is needed before any treatment can be introduced. PMID:19276990

  12. Individual differences in frontolimbic circuitry and anxiety emerge with adolescent changes in endocannabinoid signaling across species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gee, Dylan G.; Fetcho, Robert N.; Jing, Deqiang; Li, Anfei; Glatt, Charles E.; Drysdale, Andrew T.; Cohen, Alexandra O.; Dellarco, Danielle V.; Yang, Rui R.; Dale, Anders M.; Jernigan, Terry L.; Lee, Francis S.; Casey, B.J.

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety disorders peak in incidence during adolescence, a developmental window that is marked by dynamic changes in gene expression, endocannabinoid signaling, and frontolimbic circuitry. We tested whether genetic alterations in endocannabinoid signaling related to a common polymorphism in fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which alters endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) levels, would impact the development of frontolimbic circuitry implicated in anxiety disorders. In a pediatric imaging sample of over 1,000 3- to 21-y-olds, we show effects of the FAAH genotype specific to frontolimbic connectivity that emerge by ∼12 y of age and are paralleled by changes in anxiety-related behavior. Using a knock-in mouse model of the FAAH polymorphism that controls for genetic and environmental backgrounds, we confirm phenotypic differences in frontoamygdala circuitry and anxiety-related behavior by postnatal day 45 (P45), when AEA levels begin to decrease, and also, at P75 but not before. These results, which converge across species and level of analysis, highlight the importance of underlying developmental neurobiology in the emergence of genetic effects on brain circuitry and function. Moreover, the results have important implications for the identification of risk for disease and precise targeting of treatments to the biological state of the developing brain as a function of developmental changes in gene expression and neural circuit maturation. PMID:27001846

  13. Opposing actions of endocannabinoids on cholangiocarcinoma growth is via the differential activation of Notch signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frampton, Gabriel; Coufal, Monique; Li, Huang; Ramirez, Jonathan; DeMorrow, Sharon

    2010-01-01

    The endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) have opposing effects on cholangiocarcinoma growth. Implicated in cancer, Notch signaling requires the γ-secretase complex for activation. The aims of this study were to determine if the opposing effects of endocannabinoids depend on the differential activation of the Notch receptors; and to demonstrate that the differential activation of these receptors are due to presenilin 1 containing- and presenilin 2-containing- γ-secretase complexes. Mz-ChA-1 cells were treated with AEA or 2-AG. Notch receptor expression, activation and nuclear translocation was determined. Specific roles for Notch 1 and 2 on cannabinoid-induced effects were determined by transient transfection of Notch 1 or 2 shRNA vectors prior to stimulation with AEA or 2-AG. Expression of presenilin 1 and 2 was determined after AEA or 2-AG treatment and the involvement of presenilin 1 and 2 in the cannabinoid induced effects were demonstrated in cell lines with low presenilin 1 or 2 expression. Antiproliferative effects of AEA required increased Notch 1 mRNA, activation and nuclear translocation, whereas the growth-promoting effects induced by 2-AG required increased Notch 2 mRNA expression, activation and nuclear translocation. AEA increased presenilin 1 expression and recruitment into the γ-secretase complex whereas 2-AG increased expression and recruitment of presenilin 2. The development of novel therapeutic strategies aimed at modulating the endocannabinoid system, or mimicking the mode of action of AEA on Notch signaling pathways would prove beneficial for cholangiocarcinoma management. PMID:20347808

  14. Opposing actions of endocannabinoids on cholangiocarcinoma growth is via the differential activation of Notch signaling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frampton, Gabriel; Coufal, Monique [Department of Internal Medicine, Texas A and M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Temple, TX (United States); Li, Huang [Department of Internal Medicine, Texas A and M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Temple, TX (United States); Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou (China); Ramirez, Jonathan [Digestive Disease Research Center, Scott and White Hospital, Temple, TX (United States); DeMorrow, Sharon, E-mail: demorrow@medicine.tamhsc.edu [Department of Internal Medicine, Texas A and M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Temple, TX (United States); Digestive Disease Research Center, Scott and White Hospital, Temple, TX (United States)

    2010-05-15

    The endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) have opposing effects on cholangiocarcinoma growth. Implicated in cancer, Notch signaling requires the {gamma}-secretase complex for activation. The aims of this study were to determine if the opposing effects of endocannabinoids depend on the differential activation of the Notch receptors and to demonstrate that the differential activation of these receptors are due to presenilin 1 containing- and presenilin 2 containing-{gamma}-secretase complexes. Mz-ChA-1 cells were treated with AEA or 2-AG. Notch receptor expression, activation, and nuclear translocation were determined. Specific roles for Notch 1 and 2 on cannabinoid-induced effects were determined by transient transfection of Notch 1 or 2 shRNA vectors before stimulation with AEA or 2-AG. Expression of presenilin 1 and 2 was determined after AEA or 2-AG treatment, and the involvement of presenilin 1 and 2 in the cannabinoid-induced effects was demonstrated in cell lines with low presenilin 1 or 2 expression. Antiproliferative effects of AEA required increased Notch 1 mRNA, activation, and nuclear translocation, whereas the growth-promoting effects induced by 2-AG required increased Notch 2 mRNA expression, activation, and nuclear translocation. AEA increased presenilin 1 expression and recruitment into the {gamma}-secretase complex, whereas 2-AG increased expression and recruitment of presenilin 2. The development of novel therapeutic strategies aimed at modulating the endocannabinoid system or mimicking the mode of action of AEA on Notch signaling pathways would prove beneficial for cholangiocarcinoma management.

  15. Opposing actions of endocannabinoids on cholangiocarcinoma growth is via the differential activation of Notch signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frampton, Gabriel; Coufal, Monique; Li, Huang; Ramirez, Jonathan; DeMorrow, Sharon

    2010-05-15

    The endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) have opposing effects on cholangiocarcinoma growth. Implicated in cancer, Notch signaling requires the gamma-secretase complex for activation. The aims of this study were to determine if the opposing effects of endocannabinoids depend on the differential activation of the Notch receptors and to demonstrate that the differential activation of these receptors are due to presenilin 1 containing- and presenilin 2 containing-gamma-secretase complexes. Mz-ChA-1 cells were treated with AEA or 2-AG. Notch receptor expression, activation, and nuclear translocation were determined. Specific roles for Notch 1 and 2 on cannabinoid-induced effects were determined by transient transfection of Notch 1 or 2 shRNA vectors before stimulation with AEA or 2-AG. Expression of presenilin 1 and 2 was determined after AEA or 2-AG treatment, and the involvement of presenilin 1 and 2 in the cannabinoid-induced effects was demonstrated in cell lines with low presenilin 1 or 2 expression. Antiproliferative effects of AEA required increased Notch 1 mRNA, activation, and nuclear translocation, whereas the growth-promoting effects induced by 2-AG required increased Notch 2 mRNA expression, activation, and nuclear translocation. AEA increased presenilin 1 expression and recruitment into the gamma-secretase complex, whereas 2-AG increased expression and recruitment of presenilin 2. The development of novel therapeutic strategies aimed at modulating the endocannabinoid system or mimicking the mode of action of AEA on Notch signaling pathways would prove beneficial for cholangiocarcinoma management. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Neurotrophins, endocannabinoids and thermo-transient receptor potential: a threesome in pain signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devesa, Isabel; Ferrer-Montiel, Antonio

    2014-02-01

    Because of the social and economic costs of chronic pain, there is a growing interest in unveiling the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying it with the aim of developing more effective medications. Pain signalling is a multicomponent process that involves the peripheral and central nervous systems. At the periphery, nociceptor sensitisation by pro-inflammatory mediators is a primary step in pain transduction. Although pain is multifactorial at cellular and molecular levels, it is widely accepted that neurotrophin (TrkA, p75NTR, Ret and GFRs), cannabinoid (CB1 and CB2), and thermo-transient receptor potential (TRPs; TRPV1, TRPA1 and TRPM8) receptors play a pivotal role. They form a threesome for which endocannabinoids appear to be a first line of defence against pain, while neurotrophins and thermoTRPs are the major generators of painful signals. However, endocannabinoids may exhibit nociceptive activity while some neurotrophins may display anti-nociception. Accordingly, a clear-cut knowledge of the modulation and context-dependent function of these signalling cascades, along with the molecular and dynamic details of their crosstalk, is critical for understanding and controlling pain transduction. Here, the recent progress in this fascinating topic, as well as the tantalizing questions that remain unanswered, will be discussed. Furthermore, we will underline the need for using a systems biology approach (referred to as systems pain) to uncover the dynamics and interplay of these intricate signalling cascades, taking into consideration the molecular complexity and cellular heterogeneity of nociceptor populations. Nonetheless, the available information confirms that pharmacological modulation of this signalling triad is a highly valuable therapeutic strategy for effectively treating pain syndromes. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Distinctive effects of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in regulating neural stem cell fate are mediated via endocannabinoid signalling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyall, S C; Mandhair, H K; Fincham, R E A; Kerr, D M; Roche, M; Molina-Holgado, F

    2016-08-01

    Emerging evidence suggests a complex interplay between the endocannabinoid system, omega-3 fatty acids and the immune system in the promotion of brain self-repair. However, it is unknown if all omega-3 fatty acids elicit similar effects on adult neurogenesis and if such effects are mediated or regulated by interactions with the endocannabinoid system. This study investigated the effects of DHA and EPA on neural stem cell (NSC) fate and the role of the endocannabinoid signalling pathways in these effects. EPA, but not DHA, significantly increased proliferation of NSCs compared to controls, an effect associated with enhanced levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) and p-p38 MAPK, effects attenuated by pre-treatment with CB1 (AM251) or CB2 (AM630) receptor antagonists. Furthermore, in NSCs derived from IL-1β deficient mice, EPA significantly decreased proliferation and p-p38 MAPK levels compared to controls, suggesting a key role for IL-1β signalling in the effects observed. Although DHA similarly increased 2-AG levels in wild-type NSCs, there was no concomitant increase in proliferation or p-p38 MAPK activity. In addition, in NSCs from IL-1β deficient mice, DHA significantly increased proliferation without effects on p-P38 MAPK, suggesting effects of DHA are mediated via alternative signalling pathways. These results provide crucial new insights into the divergent effects of EPA and DHA in regulating NSC proliferation and the pathways involved, and highlight the therapeutic potential of their interplay with endocannabinoid signalling in brain repair. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Endocannabinoids as Guardians of Metastasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tegeder, Irmgard

    2016-02-10

    Endocannabinoids including anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are involved in cancer pathophysiology in several ways, including tumor growth and progression, peritumoral inflammation, nausea and cancer pain. Recently we showed that the endocannabinoid profiles are deranged during cancer to an extent that this manifests in alterations of plasma endocannabinoids in cancer patients, which was mimicked by similar changes in rodent models of local and metastatic cancer. The present topical review summarizes the complexity of endocannabinoid signaling in the context of tumor growth and metastasis.

  19. Extinction of avoidance behavior by safety learning depends on endocannabinoid signaling in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micale, Vincenzo; Stepan, Jens; Jurik, Angela; Pamplona, Fabricio A; Marsch, Rudolph; Drago, Filippo; Eder, Matthias; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2017-07-01

    The development of exaggerated avoidance behavior is largely responsible for the decreased quality of life in patients suffering from anxiety disorders. Studies using animal models have contributed to the understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying the acquisition of avoidance responses. However, much less is known about its extinction. Here we provide evidence in mice that learning about the safety of an environment (i.e., safety learning) rather than repeated execution of the avoided response in absence of negative consequences (i.e., response extinction) allowed the animals to overcome their avoidance behavior in a step-down avoidance task. This process was context-dependent and could be blocked by pharmacological (3 mg/kg, s.c.; SR141716) or genetic (lack of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in neurons expressing dopamine D1 receptors) inactivation of CB1 receptors. In turn, the endocannabinoid reuptake inhibitor AM404 (3 mg/kg, i.p.) facilitated safety learning in a CB1-dependent manner and attenuated the relapse of avoidance behavior 28 days after conditioning. Safety learning crucially depended on endocannabinoid signaling at level of the hippocampus, since intrahippocampal SR141716 treatment impaired, whereas AM404 facilitated safety learning. Other than AM404, treatment with diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.) impaired safety learning. Drug effects on behavior were directly mirrored by drug effects on evoked activity propagation through the hippocampal trisynaptic circuit in brain slices: As revealed by voltage-sensitive dye imaging, diazepam impaired whereas AM404 facilitated activity propagation to CA1 in a CB1-dependent manner. In line with this, systemic AM404 enhanced safety learning-induced expression of Egr1 at level of CA1. Together, our data render it likely that AM404 promotes safety learning by enhancing information flow through the trisynaptic circuit to CA1. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shenglong Zou

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The biological effects of cannabinoids, the major constituents of the ancient medicinal plant Cannabis sativa (marijuana are mediated by two members of the G-protein coupled receptor family, cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1R and 2. The CB1R is the prominent subtype in the central nervous system (CNS and has drawn great attention as a potential therapeutic avenue in several pathological conditions, including neuropsychological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, cannabinoids also modulate signal transduction pathways and exert profound effects at peripheral sites. Although cannabinoids have therapeutic potential, their psychoactive effects have largely limited their use in clinical practice. In this review, we briefly summarized our knowledge of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, focusing on the CB1R and the CNS, with emphasis on recent breakthroughs in the field. We aim to define several potential roles of cannabinoid receptors in the modulation of signaling pathways and in association with several pathophysiological conditions. We believe that the therapeutic significance of cannabinoids is masked by the adverse effects and here alternative strategies are discussed to take therapeutic advantage of cannabinoids.

  1. Endocannabinoids and immune regulation☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Rupal; Mousawy, Khalida; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Nagarkatti, Prakash

    2010-01-01

    Cannabinoid pharmacology has made important advances in recent years after the discovery of the cannabinoid receptors. These discoveries have added to our understanding of exogenous and endogenous cannabinoid signaling along with exploring the various pathways of their biosynthesis, molecular structure, inactivation, and anatomical distribution of their receptors throughout the body. The endocannabinoid system is involved in immunoregulation and neuroprotection. In this article, we have reviewed the possible mechanisms of the regulation of the immune response by endocannabinoids which include modulation of immune response in different cell types, effect on cytokine network, induction of apoptosis in immune cells and downregulation of innate and adaptive immune response. Studies from our laboratory have suggested that administration of endocannabinoids or use of inhibitors of enzymes that breakdown the endocannabinoids, leads to immunosuppression and recovery from immune-mediated injury to organs such as the liver. Thus, manipulation of endocannabinoids in vivo may constitute a novel treatment modality against inflammatory disorders. PMID:19428268

  2. Impaired endocannabinoid signalling in the rostral ventromedial medulla underpins genotype-dependent hyper-responsivity to noxious stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rea, Kieran; Olango, Weredeselam M; Okine, Bright N; Madasu, Manish K; McGuire, Iseult C; Coyle, Kathleen; Harhen, Brendan; Roche, Michelle; Finn, David P

    2014-01-01

    Pain is both a sensory and an emotional experience, and is subject to modulation by a number of factors including genetic background modulating stress/affect. The Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat exhibits a stress-hyper-responsive and depressive-like phenotype and increased sensitivity to noxious stimuli, compared with other rat strains. Here, we show that this genotype-dependent hyperalgesia is associated with impaired pain-related mobilisation of endocannabinoids and transcription of their synthesising enzymes in the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM). Pharmacological blockade of the Cannabinoid1 (CB1) receptor potentiates the hyperalgesia in WKY rats, whereas inhibition of the endocannabinoid catabolising enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase, attenuates the hyperalgesia. The latter effect is mediated by CB1 receptors in the RVM. Together, these behavioural, neurochemical, and molecular data indicate that impaired endocannabinoid signalling in the RVM underpins hyper-responsivity to noxious stimuli in a genetic background prone to heightened stress/affect. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Short-Term Adaptation of Conditioned Fear Responses Through Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Central Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamprath, Kornelia; Romo-Parra, Hector; Häring, Martin; Gaburro, Stefano; Doengi, Michael; Lutz, Beat; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2011-01-01

    The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) are both known to have crucial roles in the processing of fear and anxiety, whereby they appear to be especially involved in the control of fear states. However, in contrast to many other brain regions including the cortical subregions of the amygdala, the existence of CB1 in the CeA remains enigmatic. In this study we show that CB1 is expressed in the CeA of mice and that CB1 in the CeA mediates short-term synaptic plasticity, namely depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE) and inhibition (DSI). Moreover, the CB1 antagonist AM251 increased both excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic responses in CeA neurons. Local application of AM251 in the CeA in vivo resulted in an acutely increased fear response in an auditory fear conditioning paradigm. Upon application of AM251 in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) in an otherwise identical protocol, no such acute behavioral effects were detected, but CB1 blockade resulted in increased fear responses during tone exposures on the subsequent days. Moreover, we observed that the efficacy of DSE and DSI in the CeA was increased on the day following fear conditioning, indicating that a single tone-shock pairing resulted in changes in endocannabinoid signaling in the CeA. Taken together, our data show the existence of CB1 proteins in the CeA, and their critical role for ensuring short-term adaptation of responses to fearful events, thereby suggesting a potential therapeutic target to accompany habituation-based therapies of post-traumatic symptoms. PMID:20980994

  4. The Endocannabinoid System: A Dynamic Signalling System at the Crossroads Between Metabolism and Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witkamp, R.F.

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the early 1990s of last century generated high expectations of new therapeutic opportunities. Its central role and pleiotropic character seemed to offer promising indications in the fields of pain, inflammation, CNS disorders, weight management

  5. Seeing through the smoke: Human and animal studies of cannabis use and endocannabinoid signalling in corticolimbic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silveira, Mason M; Arnold, Jonathon C; Laviolette, Steven R; Hillard, Cecilia J; Celorrio, Marta; Aymerich, María S; Adams, Wendy K

    2017-05-01

    Public opinion surrounding the recreational use and therapeutic potential of cannabis is shifting. This review describes new work examining the behavioural and neural effects of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, highlighting key regions within corticolimbic brain circuits. First, we consider the role of human genetic factors and cannabis strain chemotypic differences in contributing to interindividual variation in the response to cannabinoids, such as THC, and review studies demonstrating that THC-induced impairments in decision-making processes are mediated by actions at prefrontal CB 1 receptors. We further describe evidence that signalling through prefrontal or ventral hippocampal CB 1 receptors modulates mesolimbic dopamine activity, aberrations of which may contribute to emotional processing deficits in schizophrenia. Lastly, we review studies suggesting that endocannabinoid tone in the amygdala is a critical regulator of anxiety, and report new data showing that FAAH activity is integral to this response. Together, these findings underscore the importance of cannabinoid signalling in the regulation of cognitive and affective behaviours, and encourage further research given their social, political, and therapeutic implications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Endocannabinoids and Endovanilloids: A Possible Balance in the Regulation of the Testicular GnRH Signalling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosanna Chianese

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive functions are regulated both at central (brain and gonadal levels. In this respect, the endocannabinoid system (eCS has a very influential role. Interestingly, the characterization of eCS has taken many advantages from the usage of animal models different from mammals. Therefore, this review is oriented to summarize the main pieces of evidence regarding eCS coming from the anuran amphibian Rana esculenta, with particular interest to the morphofunctional relationship between eCS and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH. Furthermore, a novel role for endovanilloids in the regulation of a testicular GnRH system will be also discussed.

  7. Cocaine-Induced Behavioral Sensitization Is Associated With Changes in the Expression of Endocannabinoid and Glutamatergic Signaling Systems in the Mouse Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Eduardo; Pavón, Francisco J.; Palomino, Ana; Luque-Rojas, María Jesús; Serrano, Antonia; Rivera, Patricia; Bilbao, Ainhoa; Alen, Francisco; Vida, Margarita; Suárez, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Background: Endocannabinoids modulate the glutamatergic excitatory transmission by acting as retrograde messengers. A growing body of studies has reported that both signaling systems in the mesocorticolimbic neural circuitry are involved in the neurobiological mechanisms underlying drug addiction. Methods: We investigated whether the expression of both endocannabinoid and glutamatergic systems in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) were altered by an acute and/or repeated cocaine administration schedule that resulted in behavioral sensitization. We measured the protein and mRNA expression of the main endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes and the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1). We also analyzed the mRNA expression of relevant components of the glutamate-signaling system, including glutamate-synthesizing enzymes, metabotropic receptors, and ionotropic receptors. Results: Although acute cocaine (10mg/kg) produced no significant changes in the endocannabinoid-related proteins, repeated cocaine administration (20mg/kg daily) induced a pronounced increase in the CB1 receptor expression. In addition, acute cocaine administration (10mg/kg) in cocaine-sensitized mice (referred to as cocaine priming) induced a selective increase in the endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). These protein changes were accompanied by an overall decrease in the ratios of endocannabinoid synthesis/degradation, especially the N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D/FAAH and diacylglycerol lipase alpha/MAGL ratios. Regarding mRNA expression, while acute cocaine administration produced a decrease in CB1 receptors and N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D, repeated cocaine treatment enhanced CB1 receptor expression. Cocaine-sensitized mice that were administered priming injections of cocaine mainly displayed an increased FAAH expression. These endocannabinoid changes were associated with modifications in glutamatergic

  8. Cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization is associated with changes in the expression of endocannabinoid and glutamatergic signaling systems in the mouse prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Eduardo; Pavón, Francisco J; Palomino, Ana; Luque-Rojas, María Jesús; Serrano, Antonia; Rivera, Patricia; Bilbao, Ainhoa; Alen, Francisco; Vida, Margarita; Suárez, Juan; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2014-10-31

    Endocannabinoids modulate the glutamatergic excitatory transmission by acting as retrograde messengers. A growing body of studies has reported that both signaling systems in the mesocorticolimbic neural circuitry are involved in the neurobiological mechanisms underlying drug addiction. We investigated whether the expression of both endocannabinoid and glutamatergic systems in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) were altered by an acute and/or repeated cocaine administration schedule that resulted in behavioral sensitization. We measured the protein and mRNA expression of the main endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes and the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1). We also analyzed the mRNA expression of relevant components of the glutamate-signaling system, including glutamate-synthesizing enzymes, metabotropic receptors, and ionotropic receptors. Although acute cocaine (10 mg/kg) produced no significant changes in the endocannabinoid-related proteins, repeated cocaine administration (20 mg/kg daily) induced a pronounced increase in the CB1 receptor expression. In addition, acute cocaine administration (10 mg/kg) in cocaine-sensitized mice (referred to as cocaine priming) induced a selective increase in the endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). These protein changes were accompanied by an overall decrease in the ratios of endocannabinoid synthesis/degradation, especially the N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D/FAAH and diacylglycerol lipase alpha/MAGL ratios. Regarding mRNA expression, while acute cocaine administration produced a decrease in CB1 receptors and N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D, repeated cocaine treatment enhanced CB1 receptor expression. Cocaine-sensitized mice that were administered priming injections of cocaine mainly displayed an increased FAAH expression. These endocannabinoid changes were associated with modifications in glutamatergic transmission-related genes. An

  9. Endocannabinoid signaling within the basolateral amygdala integrates multiple stress hormone effects on memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atsak, Piray; Hauer, Daniela; Campolongo, Patrizia; Schelling, Gustav; Fornari, Raquel V; Roozendaal, Benno

    2015-05-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones are known to act synergistically with other stress-activated neuromodulatory systems, such as norepinephrine and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), within the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) to induce optimal strengthening of the consolidation of long-term memory of emotionally arousing experiences. However, as the onset of these glucocorticoid actions appear often too rapid to be explained by genomic regulation, the neurobiological mechanism of how glucocorticoids could modify the memory-enhancing properties of norepinephrine and CRF remained elusive. Here, we show that the endocannabinoid system, a rapidly activated retrograde messenger system, is a primary route mediating the actions of glucocorticoids, via a glucocorticoid receptor on the cell surface, on BLA neural plasticity and memory consolidation. Furthermore, glucocorticoids recruit downstream endocannabinoid activity within the BLA to interact with both the norepinephrine and CRF systems in enhancing memory consolidation. These findings have important implications for understanding the fine-tuned crosstalk between multiple stress hormone systems in the coordination of (mal)adaptive stress and emotional arousal effects on neural plasticity and memory consolidation.

  10. Endocannabinoids in the Dentate Gyrus

    OpenAIRE

    Frazier, Charles J.

    2007-01-01

    Recent years have produced rapid and enormous growth in our understanding of endocannabinoid-mediated signalling in the CNS. While much of the recent progress has focused on other areas of the brain, a significant body of evidence has developed that indicates the presence of a robust system for endocannabinoid-mediated signalling in the dentate gyrus. This chapter will provide an overview of our current understanding of that system based on available anatomical and physiological data.

  11. The Role of Endocannabinoid Signaling in Cortical Inhibitory Neuron Dysfunction in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, David W; Lewis, David A

    2016-04-01

    Cannabis use has been reported to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and to worsen symptoms of the illness. Both of these outcomes might be attributable to the disruption by cannabis of the endogenous cannabinoid system's spatiotemporal regulation of the inhibitory circuitry in the prefrontal cortex that is essential for core cognitive processes, such as working memory, which are impaired in schizophrenia. In the healthy brain, the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonylglycerol 1) is synthesized by diacylglycerol lipase in pyramidal neurons; 2) travels retrogradely to nearby inhibitory axon terminals that express the primary type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R); 3) binds to CB1R, which inhibits gamma-aminobutyric acid release from the cholecystokinin-containing population of interneurons; and 4) is metabolized by either monoglyceride lipase, which is located in the inhibitory axon terminal, or by α-β-hydrolase domain 6, which is co-localized presynaptically with diacylglycerol lipase. Investigations of the endogenous cannabinoid system in the prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia have found evidence of higher metabolism of 2-arachidonylglycerol, as well as both greater CB1R receptor binding and lower levels of CB1R messenger RNA and protein. Current views on the potential pathogenesis of these alterations, including disturbances in the development of the endogenous cannabinoid system, are discussed. In addition, how interactions between these alterations in the endocannabinoid system and those in other inhibitory neurons in the prefrontal cortex in subjects with schizophrenia might increase the liability to adverse outcomes with cannabis use is considered. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Adverse social experiences in adolescent rats result in enduring effects on social competence, pain sensitivity and endocannabinoid signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peggy Schneider

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Social affiliation is essential for many species and gains significant importance during adolescence. Disturbances in social affiliation, in particular social rejection experiences during adolescence, affect an individual’s well-being and are involved in the emergence of psychiatric disorders. The underlying mechanisms are still unknown, partly because of a lack of valid animal models. By using a novel animal model for social peer-rejection, which compromises adolescent rats in their ability to appropriately engage in playful activities, here we report on persistent impairments in social behavior and dysregulations in the endocannabinoid system. From postnatal day (pd 21 to pd 50 adolescent female Wistar rats were either reared with same-strain partners (control or within a group of Fischer 344 rats (inadequate social rearing, ISR, previously shown to serve as inadequate play partners for the Wistar strain. Adult ISR animals showed pronounced deficits in social interaction, social memory, processing of socially transmitted information, and decreased pain sensitivity. Molecular analysis revealed increased CB1 receptor protein levels and CP55,940 stimulated 35SGTPγS binding activity specifically in the amygdala and thalamus in previously peer-rejected rats. Along with these changes, increased levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide and a corresponding decrease of its degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase were seen in the amygdala. Our data indicate lasting consequences in social behavior and pain sensitivity following peer-rejection in adolescent female rats. These behavioral impairments are accompanied by persistent alterations in CB1 receptor signaling. Finally, we provide a novel translational approach to characterize neurobiological processes underlying social peer-rejection in adolescence.

  13. Impact of embedded endocannabinoids and their oxygenation by lipoxygenase on membrane properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dainese, Enrico; Sabatucci, Annalaura; Angelucci, Clotilde B; Barsacchi, Daniela; Chiarini, Marco; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2012-05-16

    N-Arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are the best characterized endocannabinoids. Their biological activity is subjected to metabolic control whereby a dynamic equilibrium among biosynthetic, catabolic, and oxidative pathways drives their intracellular concentrations. In particular, lipoxygenases can generate hydroperoxy derivatives of endocannabinoids, endowed with distinct activities within cells. The in vivo interaction between lipoxygenases and endocannabinoids is likely to occur within cell membranes; thus, we sought to ascertain whether a prototypical enzyme like soybean (Glycine max) 15-lipoxygenase-1 is able to oxygenate endocannabinoids embedded in synthetic vesicles and how these substances could affect the binding ability of the enzyme to different lipid bilayers. We show that (i) embedded endocannabinoids increase membrane fluidity; (ii) 15-lipoxygenase-1 preferentially binds to endocannabinoid-containing bilayers; and that (iii) 15-lipoxygenase-1 oxidizes embedded endocannabinoids and thus reduces fluidity and local hydration of membrane lipids. Together, the present findings reveal further complexity in the regulation of endocannabinoid signaling within the central nervous system, disclosing novel control by oxidative pathways.

  14. Endocannabinoids shape accumbal encoding of cue-motivated behavior via CB1 receptor activation in the ventral tegmentum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Erik B; Beckert, Michael V; Morra, Joshua T; Lansink, Carien S; Cachope, Roger; Abdullah, Rehab A; Loriaux, Amy L; Schetters, Dustin; Pattij, Tommy; Roitman, Mitchell F; Lichtman, Aron H; Cheer, Joseph F

    2012-01-26

    Transient increases in nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine concentration are observed when animals are presented with motivationally salient stimuli and are theorized to energize reward seeking. They arise from high-frequency firing of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which also results in the release of endocannabinoids from dopamine cell bodies. In this context, endocannabinoids are thought to regulate reward seeking by modulating dopamine signaling, although a direct link has never been demonstrated. To test this, we pharmacologically manipulated endocannabinoid neurotransmission in the VTA while measuring transient changes in dopamine concentration in the NAc during reward seeking. Disrupting endocannabinoid signaling dramatically reduced, whereas augmenting levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) increased, cue-evoked dopamine concentrations and reward seeking. These data suggest that 2AG in the VTA regulates reward seeking by sculpting ethologically relevant patterns of dopamine release during reward-directed behavior. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Acylethanolamides and endocannabinoid signaling system in dorsal striatum of rats exposed to perinatal asphyxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holubiec, Mariana I; Romero, Juan I; Blanco, Eduardo; Tornatore, Tamara Logica; Suarez, Juan; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Galeano, Pablo; Capani, Francisco

    2017-07-13

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) and acylethanolamides (AEs) have lately received more attention due to their neuroprotective functions in neurological disorders. Here we analyze the alterations induced by perinatal asphyxia (PA) in the main metabolic enzymes and receptors of the eCBs/AEs in the dorsal striatum of rats. To induce PA, we used a model developed by Bjelke et al. (1991). Immunohistochemical techniques were carried out to determine the expression of neuronal and glial markers (NeuN and GFAP), eCBs/AEs synthesis and degradation enzymes (DAGLα, NAPE-PLD and FAAH) and their receptors (CB1 and PPARα). We found a decrease in NAPE-PLD and PPARα expression. Since NAPE-PLD and PPARα take part in the production and reception of biochemical actions of AEs, such as oleoylethanolamide, these results may suggest that PA plays a key role in the regulation of this system. These data agree with previous results obtained in the hippocampus and encourage us to develop further studies using AEs as potential neuroprotective compounds. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. The endocannabinoid system and pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guindon, Josée; Hohmann, Andrea G

    2009-12-01

    The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids has been the topic of extensive investigation following the discovery of cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands. Cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands are present at supraspinal, spinal and peripheral levels. Cannabinoids suppress behavioral responses to noxious stimulation and suppress nociceptive processing through activation of cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptor subtypes. Endocannabinoids, the brain's own cannabis-like substances, share the same molecular target as Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component in cannabis. Endocannabinoids serve as synaptic circuit breakers and regulate multiple physiological and pathological conditions, e.g. regulation of food intake, immunomodulation, inflammation, analgesia, cancer, addictive behavior, epilepsy and others. This review will focus on uncovering the roles of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, the two best characterized endocannabinoids identified to date, in controlling nociceptive responding. The roles of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, released under physiological conditions, in modulating nociceptive responding at different levels of the neuraxis will be emphasized in this review. Effects of modulation of endocannabinoid levels through inhibition of endocannabinoid hydrolysis and uptake is also compared with effects of exogenous administration of synthetic endocannabinoids in acute, inflammatory and neuropathic pain models. Finally, the therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid signaling system is discussed in the context of identifying novel pharmacotherapies for the treatment of pain.

  17. Modulation of sweet taste sensitivities by endogenous leptin and endocannabinoids in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niki, Mayu; Jyotaki, Masafumi; Yoshida, Ryusuke; Yasumatsu, Keiko; Shigemura, Noriatsu; DiPatrizio, Nicholas V; Piomelli, Daniele; Ninomiya, Yuzo

    2015-06-01

    Potential roles of endogenous leptin and endocannabinoids in sweet taste were examined by using pharmacological antagonists and mouse models including leptin receptor deficient (db/db) and diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. Chorda tympani (CT) nerve responses of lean mice to sweet compounds were increased after administration of leptin antagonist (LA) but not affected by administration of cannabinoid receptor antagonist (AM251). db/db mice showed clear suppression of CT responses to sweet compounds after AM251, increased endocannabinoid levels in the taste organ, and enhanced expression of a biosynthesizing enzyme of endocannabinoids in taste cells. The effect of LA was gradually decreased and that of AM251 was increased during the course of obesity in DIO mice. These findings suggest that circulating leptin, but not local endocannabinoids, is a dominant modulator for sweet taste in lean mice and endocannabinoids become more effective modulators of sweet taste under conditions of deficient leptin signalling. Leptin is an anorexigenic mediator that reduces food intake by acting on hypothalamic receptor Ob-Rb. In contrast, endocannabinoids are orexigenic mediators that act via cannabinoid CB1 receptors in hypothalamus, limbic forebrain, and brainstem. In the peripheral taste system, leptin administration selectively inhibits behavioural, taste nerve and taste cell responses to sweet compounds. Opposing the action of leptin, endocannabinoids enhance sweet taste responses. However, potential roles of endogenous leptin and endocannabinoids in sweet taste remain unclear. Here, we used pharmacological antagonists (Ob-Rb: L39A/D40A/F41A (LA), CB1 : AM251) and examined the effects of their blocking activation of endogenous leptin and endocannabinoid signalling on taste responses in lean control, leptin receptor deficient db/db, and diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. Lean mice exhibited significant increases in chorda tympani (CT) nerve responses to sweet compounds after LA

  18. Differences in chloride gradients allow for three distinct types of synaptic modulation by endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanqing; Burrell, Brian D

    2016-08-01

    Endocannabinoids can elicit persistent depression of excitatory and inhibitory synapses, reducing or enhancing (disinhibiting) neural circuit output, respectively. In this study, we examined whether differences in Cl(-) gradients can regulate which synapses undergo endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic depression vs. disinhibition using the well-characterized central nervous system (CNS) of the medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana Exogenous application of endocannabinoids or capsaicin elicits potentiation of pressure (P) cell synapses and depression of both polymodal (Npoly) and mechanical (Nmech) nociceptive synapses. In P synapses, blocking Cl(-) export prevented endocannabinoid-mediated potentiation, consistent with a disinhibition process that has been indicated by previous experiments. In Nmech neurons, which are depolarized by GABA due to an elevated Cl(-) equilibrium potentials (ECl), endocannabinoid-mediated depression was prevented by blocking Cl(-) import, indicating that this decrease in synaptic signaling was due to depression of excitatory GABAergic input (disexcitation). Npoly neurons are also depolarized by GABA, but endocannabinoids elicit depression in these synapses directly and were only weakly affected by disruption of Cl(-) import. Consequently, the primary role of elevated ECl may be to protect Npoly synapses from disinhibition. All forms of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity required activation of transient potential receptor vanilloid (TRPV) channels. Endocannabinoid/TRPV-dependent synaptic plasticity could also be elicited by distinct patterns of afferent stimulation with low-frequency stimulation (LFS) eliciting endocannabinoid-mediated depression of Npoly synapses and high-frequency stimulus (HFS) eliciting endocannabinoid-mediated potentiation of P synapses and depression of Nmech synapses. These findings demonstrate a critical role of differences in Cl(-) gradients between neurons in determining the sign, potentiation vs. depression, of

  19. Tonic and transient endocannabinoid regulation of AMPAergic mPSCs and homeostatic plasticity in embryonic motor networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Islas, Carlos; Garcia-Bereguiain, Miguel Angel

    2012-01-01

    Endocannabinoid signaling has been shown to mediate synaptic plasticity by retrogradely inhibiting presynaptic transmitter release in several systems. We found that endocannabinoids act tonically to regulate AMPA mPSC frequency in embryonic motor circuits of the chick spinal cord. Further, strong postsynaptic depolarizations also induced a short-lived endocannabinoid–mediated suppression of mEPSC frequency. Unlike many previous studies, endocannabinoid signaling was not found to influence evoked transmitter release. The results suggest a special role for spontaneous glutamatergic mPSCs, and their control by endocannabinoids in the developing spinal cord. We determined that blocking endocannabinoid signaling, which increases spontaneous glutamatergic release, increased spontaneous network activity in vitro and in vivo. Previous work in spinal motoneurons had shown that reducing SNA chronically in vivo led to homeostatic increases in AMPA and GABA mPSC amplitude (homeostatic synaptic plasticity). Blocking endocannabinoid signaling in vivo, and thus increasing SNA, triggered compensatory decreases of both AMPA and GABA mPSC amplitudes. These findings, combined with previous results, are consistent with the idea that this form of homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a bidirectional process in the living embryo. Together, our results suggest a role for tonic signaling of endocannabinoids as a potential mechanism to regulate the level of SNA, which is known to be critical for synaptic maturation in the embryonic spinal cord. PMID:23015449

  20. The endocannabinoid system and cancer: therapeutic implication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guindon, Josée; Hohmann, Andrea G

    2011-08-01

    The endocannabinoid system is implicated in a variety of physiological and pathological conditions (inflammation, immunomodulation, analgesia, cancer and others). The main active ingredient of cannabis, Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9) -THC), produces its effects through activation of CB(1) and CB(2) receptors. CB(1) receptors are expressed at high levels in the central nervous system (CNS), whereas CB(2) receptors are concentrated predominantly, although not exclusively, in cells of the immune system. Endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid-signalling molecules that are generated in the cell membrane from phospholipid precursors. The two best characterized endocannabinoids identified to date are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Here we review the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and anti-tumour actions (inhibition of cell proliferation and migration, induction of apoptosis, reduction of tumour growth) of the cannabinoids in different types of cancer. This review will focus on examining how activation of the endocannabinoid system impacts breast, prostate and bone cancers in both in vitro and in vivo systems. The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for cancer, as identified in clinical trials, is also discussed. Identification of safe and effective treatments to manage and improve cancer therapy is critical to improve quality of life and reduce unnecessary suffering in cancer patients. In this regard, cannabis-like compounds offer therapeutic potential for the treatment of breast, prostate and bone cancer in patients. Further basic research on anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids as well as clinical trials of cannabinoid therapeutic efficacy in breast, prostate and bone cancer is therefore warranted. © 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.

  1. Targeted metabolomics shows plasticity in the evolution of signaling lipids and uncovers old and new endocannabinoids in the plant kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gachet, María Salomé; Schubert, Alexandra; Calarco, Serafina; Boccard, Julien; Gertsch, Jürg

    2017-01-25

    The remarkable absence of arachidonic acid (AA) in seed plants prompted us to systematically study the presence of C20 polyunsaturated fatty acids, stearic acid, oleic acid, jasmonic acid (JA), N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) and endocannabinoids (ECs) in 71 plant species representative of major phylogenetic clades. Given the difficulty of extrapolating information about lipid metabolites from genetic data we employed targeted metabolomics using LC-MS/MS and GC-MS to study these signaling lipids in plant evolution. Intriguingly, the distribution of AA among the clades showed an inverse correlation with JA which was less present in algae, bryophytes and monilophytes. Conversely, ECs co-occurred with AA in algae and in the lower plants (bryophytes and monilophytes), thus prior to the evolution of cannabinoid receptors in Animalia. We identified two novel EC-like molecules derived from the eicosatetraenoic acid juniperonic acid, an omega-3 structural isomer of AA, namely juniperoyl ethanolamide and 2-juniperoyl glycerol in gymnosperms, lycophytes and few monilophytes. Principal component analysis of the targeted metabolic profiles suggested that distinct NAEs may occur in different monophyletic taxa. This is the first report on the molecular phylogenetic distribution of apparently ancient lipids in the plant kingdom, indicating biosynthetic plasticity and potential physiological roles of EC-like lipids in plants.

  2. Effects of acute versus repeated cocaine exposure on the expression of endocannabinoid signaling-related proteins in the mouse cerebellum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana ePalomino

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Growing awareness of cerebellar involvement in addiction is based on the cerebellum’s intermediary position between motor and reward, potentially acting as an interface between motivational and cognitive functions. Here, we examined the impact of acute and repeated cocaine exposure on the two main signaling systems in the mouse cerebellum: the endocannabinoid (eCB and glutamate systems. To this end, we investigated whether eCB signaling-related gene and protein expression (CB1 receptors and enzymes that produce (DAGLα/β and NAPE-PLD and degrade (MAGL and FAAH eCB were altered. In addition, we analyzed the gene expression of relevant components of the glutamate signaling system (glutamate synthesizing enzymes LGA and KGA, mGluR3/5 metabotropic receptors, and NR1/2A/2B/2C-NMDA and GluR1/2/3/4-AMPA ionotropic receptor subunits and the gene expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate-limiting enzyme in catecholamine biosynthesis, because noradrenergic terminals innervate the cerebellar cortex. Results indicated that acute cocaine exposure decreased DAGLα expression, suggesting a down-regulation of 2-AG production, as well as gene expression of TH, KGA, mGluR3 and all ionotropic receptor subunits analyzed in the cerebellum. The acquisition of conditioned locomotion and sensitization after repeated cocaine exposure were associated with an increased NAPE-PLD/FAAH ratio, suggesting enhanced anandamide production, and a decreased DAGLβ/MAGL ratio, suggesting decreased 2-AG generation. Repeated cocaine also increased LGA gene expression but had no effect on glutamate receptors. These findings indicate that acute cocaine modulates the expression of the eCB and glutamate systems. Repeated cocaine results in normalization of glutamate receptor expression, although sustained changes in eCB is observed. We suggest that cocaine-induced alterations to cerebellar eCB should be considered when analyzing the adaptations imposed by psychostimulants that

  3. Endocannabinoid System in Neurological Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranieri, Roberta; Laezza, Chiara; Bifulco, Maurizio; Marasco, Daniela; Malfitano, Anna M

    2016-01-01

    Several studies support the evidence that the endocannabinoid system and cannabimimetic drugs might have therapeutic potential in numerous pathologies. These pathologies range from neurological disorders, atherosclerosis, stroke, cancer to obesity/metabolic syndrome and others. In this paper we review the endocannabinoid system signaling and its alteration in neurodegenerative disorders like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease and discuss the main findings about the use of cannabinoids in the therapy of these pathologies. Despite different etiologies, neurodegenerative disorders exhibit similar mechanisms like neuro-inflammation, excitotoxicity, deregulation of intercellular communication, mitochondrial dysfunction and disruption of brain tissue homeostasis. Current treatments ameliorate the symptoms but are not curative. Interfering with the endocannabinoid signaling might be a valid therapeutic option in neuro-degeneration. To this aim, pharmacological intervention to modulate the endocannabinoid system and the use of natural and synthetic cannabimimetic drugs have been assessed. CB1 and CB2 receptor signaling contributes to the control of Ca2+ homeostasis, trophic support, mitochondrial activity, and inflammatory conditions. Several studies and patents suggest that the endocannabinoid system has neuro-protective properties and might be a target in neurodegenerative diseases.

  4. Associative, Bidirectional Changes in Neural Signaling Utilizing NMDA Receptor- and Endocannabinoid-Dependent Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qin; Burrell, Brian D.

    2011-01-01

    Persistent, bidirectional changes in synaptic signaling (that is, potentiation and depression of the synapse) can be induced by the precise timing of individual pre- and postsynaptic action potentials. However, far less attention has been paid to the ability of paired trains of action potentials to elicit persistent potentiation or depression. We…

  5. Effects of acute versus repeated cocaine exposure on the expression of endocannabinoid signaling-related proteins in the mouse cerebellum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomino, Ana; Pavón, Francisco-Javier; Blanco-Calvo, Eduardo; Serrano, Antonia; Arrabal, Sergio; Rivera, Patricia; Alén, Francisco; Vargas, Antonio; Bilbao, Ainhoa; Rubio, Leticia; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Suárez, Juan

    2014-01-01

    Growing awareness of cerebellar involvement in addiction is based on the cerebellum’s intermediary position between motor and reward, potentially acting as an interface between motivational and cognitive functions. Here, we examined the impact of acute and repeated cocaine exposure on the two main signaling systems in the mouse cerebellum: the endocannabinoid (eCB) and glutamate systems. To this end, we investigated whether eCB signaling-related gene and protein expression {cannabinoid receptor type 1 receptors and enzymes that produce [diacylglycerol lipase alpha/beta (DAGLα/β) and N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD)] and degrade [monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) and fatty acid amino hydrolase (FAAH)] eCB} were altered. In addition, we analyzed the gene expression of relevant components of the glutamate signaling system [glutamate synthesizing enzymes liver-type glutaminase isoform (LGA) and kidney-type glutaminase isoform (KGA), metabotropic glutamatergic receptor (mGluR3/5), NMDA-ionotropic glutamatergic receptor (NR1/2A/2B/2C) and AMPA-ionotropic receptor subunits (GluR1/2/3/4)] and the gene expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in catecholamine biosynthesis, because noradrenergic terminals innervate the cerebellar cortex. Results indicated that acute cocaine exposure decreased DAGLα expression, suggesting a down-regulation of 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) production, as well as gene expression of TH, KGA, mGluR3 and all ionotropic receptor subunits analyzed in the cerebellum. The acquisition of conditioned locomotion and sensitization after repeated cocaine exposure were associated with an increased NAPE-PLD/FAAH ratio, suggesting enhanced anandamide production, and a decreased DAGLβ/MAGL ratio, suggesting decreased 2-AG generation. Repeated cocaine also increased LGA gene expression but had no effect on glutamate receptors. These findings indicate that acute cocaine modulates the expression of the eCB and

  6. Fatty acids, endocannabinoids and inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witkamp, Renger

    2016-08-15

    From their phylogenetic and pharmacological classification it might be inferred that cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands constitute a rather specialised and biologically distinct signalling system. However, the opposite is true and accumulating data underline how much the endocannabinoid system is intertwined with other lipid and non-lipid signalling systems. Endocannabinoids per se have many structural congeners, and these molecules exist in dynamic equilibria with different other lipid-derived mediators, including eicosanoids and prostamides. With multiple crossroads and shared targets, this creates a versatile system involved in fine-tuning different physiological and metabolic processes, including inflammation. A key feature of this 'expanded' endocannabinoid system, or 'endocannabinoidome', is its subtle orchestration based on interactions between a relatively small number of receptors and multiple ligands with different but partly overlapping activities. Following an update on the role of the 'endocannabinoidome' in inflammatory processes, this review continues with possible targets for intervention at the level of receptors or enzymes involved in formation or breakdown of endocannabinoids and their congeners. Although its pleiotropic character poses scientific challenges, the 'expanded' endocannabinoid system offers several opportunities for prevention and therapy of chronic diseases. In this respect, successes are more likely to come from 'multiple-target' than from 'single-target' strategies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Endocannabinoids and neuropathic pain: focus on neuron-glia and endocannabinoid-neurotrophin interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luongo, Livio; Maione, Sabatino; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2014-02-01

    Although originally described as a signalling system encompassing the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, their endogenous agonists (the endocannabinoids), and metabolic enzymes regulating the levels of such agonists, the endocannabinoid system is now viewed as being more complex, and including metabolically related endocannabinoid-like mediators and their molecular targets as well. The function and dysfunction of this complex signalling system in the molecular and cellular mechanisms of pain transduction and control has been widely studied over the last two decades. In this review article, we describe some of the latest advances in our knowledge on the role of the endocannabinoid system, in its most recent and wider conception, in pain pathways, by focusing on: (1) neuron-glia interactions; and (2) emerging data on endocannabinoid cross-talk with neurotrophins, such as nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Effects of Adolescent Intermittent Alcohol Exposure on the Expression of Endocannabinoid Signaling-Related Proteins in the Spleen of Young Adult Rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Javier Pavón

    Full Text Available Intermittent alcohol exposure is a common pattern of alcohol consumption among adolescents and alcohol is known to modulate the expression of the endocannabinoid system (ECS, which is involved in metabolism and inflammation. However, it is unknown whether this pattern may have short-term consequences on the ECS in the spleen. To address this question, we examined the plasma concentrations of metabolic and inflammatory signals and the splenic ECS in early adult rats exposed to alcohol during adolescence. A 4-day drinking in the dark (DID procedure for 4 weeks was used as a model of intermittent forced-alcohol administration (20%, v/v in female and male Wistar rats, which were sacrificed 2 weeks after the last DID session. First, there was no liver damage or alterations in plasma metabolic parameters. However, certain plasma inflammatory signals were altered according to sex and alcohol exposition. Whereas fractalkine [chemokine (C-X3-C motif ligand 1] was only affected by sex with lower concentration in male rats, there was an interaction between sex and alcohol exposure in the TNF-α and interleukin-6 concentrations and only female rats displayed changes. Regarding the mRNA and protein expression of the ECS, the receptors and endocannabinoid-synthesizing enzymes were found to be altered with area-specific expression patterns in the spleen. Overall, whereas the expression of the cannabinoid receptor CB1 and the nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor PPARα were lower in alcohol-exposed rats compared to control rats, the CB2 expression was higher. Additionally, the N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D expression was high in female alcohol-exposed rats and low in male alcohol-exposed rats. In conclusion, intermittent alcohol consumption during adolescence may be sufficient to induce short-term changes in the expression of splenic endocannabinoid signaling-related proteins and plasma pro-inflammatory cytokines in

  9. Role of endocannabinoids in regulating drug dependence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Parolaro

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Daniela Parolaro, Daniela Vigano’, Natalia Realini, Tiziana RubinoNeuroscience Center, DBSF, University of Insubria, Busto Arsizio, ItalyAbstract: This review will discuss the latest knowledge of how the endocannabinoid system might be involved in treating addiction to the most common illicit drugs. Experimental models are providing increasing evidence for the pharmacological management of endocannabinoid signaling not only to block the direct reinforcing effects of cannabis, opioids, nicotine and ethanol, but also for preventing relapse to the various drugs of abuse, including opioids, cocaine, nicotine, alcohol and metamphetamine. Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system can be manipulated by the CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A, that might constitute a new generation of compounds for treating addiction across different classes of abused drugs.Keywords: Endocannabinoids, drug dependence, opioids, nicotine, alcohol, psychostimulants

  10. The Endocannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in Glaucoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cairns, Elizabeth A.; Baldridge, William H.; Kelly, Melanie E. M.

    2016-01-01

    Glaucoma is an irreversible blinding eye disease which produces progressive retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is currently the only modifiable risk factor, and lowering IOP results in reduced risk of progression of the disorder. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has attracted considerable attention as a potential target for the treatment of glaucoma, largely due to the observed IOP lowering effects seen after administration of exogenous cannabinoids. However, recent evidence has suggested that modulation of the ECS may also be neuroprotective. This paper will review the use of cannabinoids in glaucoma, presenting pertinent information regarding the pathophysiology of glaucoma and how alterations in cannabinoid signalling may contribute to glaucoma pathology. Additionally, the mechanisms and potential for the use of cannabinoids and other novel agents that target the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of glaucoma will be discussed. PMID:26881140

  11. The Endocannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in Glaucoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Cairns

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Glaucoma is an irreversible blinding eye disease which produces progressive retinal ganglion cell (RGC loss. Intraocular pressure (IOP is currently the only modifiable risk factor, and lowering IOP results in reduced risk of progression of the disorder. The endocannabinoid system (ECS has attracted considerable attention as a potential target for the treatment of glaucoma, largely due to the observed IOP lowering effects seen after administration of exogenous cannabinoids. However, recent evidence has suggested that modulation of the ECS may also be neuroprotective. This paper will review the use of cannabinoids in glaucoma, presenting pertinent information regarding the pathophysiology of glaucoma and how alterations in cannabinoid signalling may contribute to glaucoma pathology. Additionally, the mechanisms and potential for the use of cannabinoids and other novel agents that target the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of glaucoma will be discussed.

  12. Dietary DHA reduced downstream endocannabinoid and inflammatory gene expression, epididymal fat mass, and improved aspects of glucose use in muscle in C57BL/6J mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Objective: Endocannabinoid system (ECS) overactivation is associated with increased adiposity and likely contributes to type II diabetes risk. Elevated tissue cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and circulating endocannabinoids derived from the n-6 polyunsaturated acid (PUFA) arachidonic acid occur in obes...

  13. Endocannabinoid System and Synaptic Plasticity: Implications for Emotional Responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María-Paz Viveros

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system has been involved in the regulation of anxiety, and proposed as an inhibitory modulator of neuronal, behavioral and adrenocortical responses to stressful stimuli. Brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus and cortex, which are directly involved in the regulation of emotional behavior, contain high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors show anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors as well as an altered hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis activity, whereas enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling produces anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Genetic and pharmacological approaches also support an involvement of endocannabinoids in extinction of aversive memories. Thus, the endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states. Endocannabinoids have emerged as mediators of short- and long- term synaptic plasticity in diverse brain structures. Despite the fact that most of the studies on this field have been performed using in vitro models, endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity might be considered as a plausible candidate underlying some of the diverse physiological functions of the endogenous cannabinoid system, including developmental, affective and cognitive processes. In this paper, we will focus on the functional relevance of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity within the framework of emotional responses. Alterations of the endocannabinoid system may constitute an important factor in the aetiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders, and, in turn, enhancers of endocannabinoid signaling could represent a potential therapeutical tool in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive symptoms.

  14. Chemical Probes of Endocannabinoid Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    The endocannabinoid signaling system regulates diverse physiologic processes and has attracted considerable attention as a potential pharmaceutical target for treating diseases, such as pain, anxiety/depression, and metabolic disorders. The principal ligands of the endocannabinoid system are the lipid transmitters N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), which activate the two major cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. Anandamide and 2-AG signaling pathways in the nervous system are terminated by enzymatic hydrolysis mediated primarily by the serine hydrolases fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), respectively. In this review, we will discuss the development of FAAH and MAGL inhibitors and their pharmacological application to investigate the function of anandamide and 2-AG signaling pathways in preclinical models of neurobehavioral processes, such as pain, anxiety, and addiction. We will place emphasis on how these studies are beginning to discern the different roles played by anandamide and 2-AG in the nervous system and the resulting implications for advancing endocannabinoid hydrolase inhibitors as next-generation therapeutics. PMID:23512546

  15. Endocannabinoid system: potential novel targets for treatment of schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Saito, Atsushi; Ballinger, Michael; Pletnikov, Mikhail V.; Wong, Dean F.; Kamiya, Atsushi

    2012-01-01

    Accumulating epidemiological evidences suggest that cannabis use during adolescence is a potential environmental risk for the development of psychosis, including schizophrenia. Consistently, clinical and preclinical studies, using pharmacological approaches and genetically engineered animals to target endocannabinoid signaling, reveal the multiple varieties of endocannabinoid system-mediated human and animal behaviors, including cognition and emotion. Recently, there has been substantial prog...

  16. Gut feelings about the endocannabinoid system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Marzo, V; Piscitelli, F

    2011-05-01

    Stemming from the centuries-old and well known effects of Cannabis on intestinal motility and secretion, research on the role of the endocannabinoid system in gut function and dysfunction has received ever increasing attention since the discovery of the cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids. In this article, some of the most recent developments in this field are discussed, with particular emphasis on new data, most of which are published in Neurogastroenterology & Motility, on the potential tonic endocannabinoid control of intestinal motility, the function of cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors in gastric function, visceral pain, inflammation and sepsis, the emerging role of cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptors in the gut, and the pharmacology of endocannabinoid-related molecules and plant cannabinoids not necessarily acting via cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors. These novel data highlight the multi-faceted aspects of endocannabinoid function in the GI tract, support the feasibility of the future therapeutic exploitation of this signaling system for the treatment of GI disorders, and leave space for some intriguing new hypotheses on the role of endocannabinoids in the gut. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-related mediators: Targets, metabolism and role in neurological disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iannotti, Fabio Arturo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Petrosino, Stefania

    2016-04-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is composed of two G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, and the two main endogenous lipid ligands of such receptors (also known as the "endocannabinoids"), anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol. The ECS is a pleiotropic signalling system involved in all aspects of mammalian physiology and pathology, and for this reason it represents a potential target for the design and development of new therapeutic drugs. However, the endocannabinoids as well as some of their congeners also interact with a much wider range of receptors, including members of the Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels, Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs), and other GPCRs. Indeed, following the discovery of the endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid-related lipid mediators, which often share the same metabolic pathways of the endocannabinoids, have also been identified or rediscovered. In this review article, we discuss the role of endocannabinoids and related lipids during physiological functions, as well as their involvement in some of the most common neurological disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Enhanced anandamide signaling reduces flight behavior elicited by an approaching robo-beetle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Daniel E; Genewsky, Andreas; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2017-11-01

    Our current knowledge of the implications of endocannabinoids in fear and anxiety is largely based on fear conditioning paradigms and approach-avoidance conflicts. Here we establish the ethobehavioral beetle mania task (BMT), which confronts mice with an erratically moving robo-beetle. With the help of this task we demonstrate decreased tolerance yet increased avoidance responses to an approaching beetle in high-anxiety behavior (HAB) and BALBc mice compared to C57BL/6N, CD1 and normal-anxiety behavior (NAB) mice. Also DBA/2N mice showed decreased passive and increased active behavior, but followed the robo-beetle more often than HAB and BALBc mice. Treatment with diazepam (1 mg/kg) increased tolerance without affecting avoidance behavior in HAB mice. Treatment with the MAGL inhibitor JZL184 (8 mg/kg) increased flight behavior, but did not affect tolerance. The FAAH inhibitor URB597 (0.3 mg/kg), however, reduced flight behavior and enhanced tolerance to the robo-beetle. The latter effects were blocked by co-treatment with the CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A (3 mg/kg), which failed to affect the behavior by itself. Taken together, we validate the BMT as a novel test for studying endocannabinoids beyond traditional paradigms and for assessing active fear responses in mice. Furthermore, we demonstrate panicolytic consequences of pharmacological enhancement of anandamide, but not 2-AG signaling. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Increased Cortical Inhibition in Autism-Linked Neuroligin-3R451C Mice Is Due in Part to Loss of Endocannabinoid Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speed, Haley E; Masiulis, Irene; Gibson, Jay R; Powell, Craig M

    2015-01-01

    A single, maternally inherited, X-linked point mutation leading to an arginine to cysteine substitution at amino acid 451 (R451C) of Neuroligin 3 (NLGN3R451C) is a likely cause of autism in two brothers. Knockin mice expressing the Nlgn3R451C mutation in place of wild-type Nlgn3 demonstrate increased inhibitory synaptic strength in somatosensory cortex, resulting in an excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) imbalance that is potentially relevant for autism-associated behavioral deficits characteristic of these mice. We have replicated the increase in evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSCs) onto layer II/III cortical pyramidal neurons. We also find that increased frequency of spontaneous mIPSCs in Nlgn3R451C mice occurs in the absence of action potential-driven transmission. This suggests the E/I imbalance is due to changes at the synapse level, as opposed to the network level. Next, we use paired whole-cell recordings in an attempt to identify specific interneuron subtypes affected by the Nlgn3R451C mutation. Curiously, we observe no change in the amplitude of cell-to-cell, unitary IPSCs (uIPSCs) from parvalbumin-positive (PV) or somatostatin-positive (SOM) interneurons onto pyramidal neurons. We also observe no change in the number or density of PV and SOM interneurons in LII/III of somatosensory cortex. This effectively rules out a role for these particular interneurons in the increased inhibitory synaptic transmission, pointing to perhaps alternative interneuron subtypes. Lastly, impaired endocannabinoid signaling has been implicated in hippocampal synaptic dysfunction in Nlgn3R451C mice, but has not been investigated at cortical synapses. We find that bath application of the CB1 antagonist, AM 251 in WT mice eliminates the Nlgn3R451C increase in eIPSC amplitude and mIPSC frequency, indicating that increased inhibitory transmission in mutant mice is due, at least in part, to a loss of endocannabinoid signaling through CB1 receptors likely acting at interneurons

  20. Increased Cortical Inhibition in Autism-Linked Neuroligin-3R451C Mice Is Due in Part to Loss of Endocannabinoid Signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haley E Speed

    Full Text Available A single, maternally inherited, X-linked point mutation leading to an arginine to cysteine substitution at amino acid 451 (R451C of Neuroligin 3 (NLGN3R451C is a likely cause of autism in two brothers. Knockin mice expressing the Nlgn3R451C mutation in place of wild-type Nlgn3 demonstrate increased inhibitory synaptic strength in somatosensory cortex, resulting in an excitatory/inhibitory (E/I imbalance that is potentially relevant for autism-associated behavioral deficits characteristic of these mice. We have replicated the increase in evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSCs onto layer II/III cortical pyramidal neurons. We also find that increased frequency of spontaneous mIPSCs in Nlgn3R451C mice occurs in the absence of action potential-driven transmission. This suggests the E/I imbalance is due to changes at the synapse level, as opposed to the network level. Next, we use paired whole-cell recordings in an attempt to identify specific interneuron subtypes affected by the Nlgn3R451C mutation. Curiously, we observe no change in the amplitude of cell-to-cell, unitary IPSCs (uIPSCs from parvalbumin-positive (PV or somatostatin-positive (SOM interneurons onto pyramidal neurons. We also observe no change in the number or density of PV and SOM interneurons in LII/III of somatosensory cortex. This effectively rules out a role for these particular interneurons in the increased inhibitory synaptic transmission, pointing to perhaps alternative interneuron subtypes. Lastly, impaired endocannabinoid signaling has been implicated in hippocampal synaptic dysfunction in Nlgn3R451C mice, but has not been investigated at cortical synapses. We find that bath application of the CB1 antagonist, AM 251 in WT mice eliminates the Nlgn3R451C increase in eIPSC amplitude and mIPSC frequency, indicating that increased inhibitory transmission in mutant mice is due, at least in part, to a loss of endocannabinoid signaling through CB1 receptors likely acting at

  1. Classical endocannabinoid-like compounds and their regulation by nutrients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kleberg, Karen; Hassing, Helle A.; Hansen, Harald S.

    2014-01-01

    Endocannabinoid-like compounds are structurally related to the true endocannabinoids but do not contain highly unsaturated fatty acids, and they do not bind the cannabinoid receptors. The classical endocannabinoid-like compounds include N-acylethanolamines and 2-monoacylglycerols, and their struc......Endocannabinoid-like compounds are structurally related to the true endocannabinoids but do not contain highly unsaturated fatty acids, and they do not bind the cannabinoid receptors. The classical endocannabinoid-like compounds include N-acylethanolamines and 2-monoacylglycerols......, and their structural resemblance to the endocannabinoids makes them players in the endocannabinoid system, where they can interfere with the actions of the true endocannabinoids, because they in several cases engage the same synthesizing and degrading enzymes. In addition they have pharmacological actions of their own...... in regulating food intake, through signaling via PPARα and the vagus nerve to the brain appetite center. A chronic high-fat diet will decrease intestinal levels of these anorectic N-acylethanolamines and this may contribute to the hyperphagic effect of high-fat diet; 2-monoacylglycerols mediate endocrine...

  2. Endocannabinoid metabolism by cytochrome P450 monooxygenases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelasko, Susan; Arnold, William R; Das, Aditi

    2015-01-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid system was first uncovered following studies of the recreational drug Cannabis sativa. It is now recognized as a vital network of signaling pathways that regulate several physiological processes. Following the initial discovery of the cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2), activated by Cannabis-derived analogs, many endogenous fatty acids termed "endocannabinoids" are now known to be partial agonists of the CB receptors. At present, the most thoroughly studied endocannabinoid signaling molecules are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), which are both derived from arachidonic acid. Both AEA and 2-AG are also substrates for the eicosanoid-synthesizing pathways, namely, certain cyclooxygenase (COX), lipoxygenase (LOX), and cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes. In the past, research in the endocannabinoid field focused on the interaction of AEA and 2-AG with the COX and LOX enzymes, but accumulating evidence also points to the involvement of CYPs in modulating endocannabinoid signaling. The focus of this review is to explore the current understanding of CYP-mediated metabolism of endocannabinoids. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Endocannabinoid system: potential novel targets for treatment of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Atsushi; Ballinger, Michael D L; Pletnikov, Mikhail V; Wong, Dean F; Kamiya, Atsushi

    2013-05-01

    Accumulating epidemiological evidences suggest that cannabis use during adolescence is a potential environmental risk for the development of psychosis, including schizophrenia. Consistently, clinical and preclinical studies, using pharmacological approaches and genetically engineered animals to target endocannabinoid signaling, reveal the multiple varieties of endocannabinoid system-mediated human and animal behaviors, including cognition and emotion. Recently, there has been substantial progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of the endocannabinoid system for synaptic communications in the central nervous system. Furthermore, the impact of endocannabinoid signaling on diverse cellular processes during brain development has emerged. Thus, although schizophrenia has etiological complexities, including genetic heterogeneities and multiple environmental factors, it now becomes crucial to explore molecular pathways of convergence of genetic risk factors and endocannabinoid signaling, which may provide us with clues to find novel targets for therapeutic intervention. In this review, epidemiological, clinical, and pathological evidences on the role of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiologies of schizophrenia will be presented. We will also make a brief overview of the recent progress in understanding molecular mechanisms of the endocannabinoid system for brain development and function, with particular focus on cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R)-mediated cascade, the most well-characterized cannabinoid receptor. Lastly, we will discuss the potential of the endocannabinoid system in finding novel therapeutic targets for prevention and treatment of schizophrenia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Metabolism of endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biernacki, Michał; Skrzydlewska, Elżbieta

    2016-08-11

    Endocannabinoids belong to a group of ester, ether and amide derivatives of fatty acids, which are endogenous ligands of receptors CB1, CB2, TRPV1 and GPR55 that are included in the endocannabinoid system of the animal organism. The best known endocannabinoids are: N-arachidonylethanolamide called anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). They occur in all organisms, and their highest level is observed in the brain. In this review the mechanisms of synthesis and degradation of both AEA and 2-AG are shown. Endocannabinoids are synthesized from phospholipids (mainly phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, and phosphatidylinositol) located in the cell membrane. As a result of arachidonic acid transfer from phosphatidylcholine to phosphatidylethanolamine, N-arachidonoyl phosphatidylethanolamine is formed, which is hydrolyzed to AEA by phospholipase D, C and A2. However, 2-AG is formed during the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol catalyzed mainly by DAGL. The primary role of endocannabinoids is the activation of cannabinoid receptors. Both AEA and 2-AG are primarily agonists of the CB1 receptor and to a lower degree CB2 and TRPV1r eceptors, but 2-AG has stronger affinity for these receptors. Through activation of receptors, endocannabinoids affect cellular metabolism and participate in the metabolic processes by receptor-independent pathways. Endocannabinoids which are not bound to the receptors are degraded. The main enzymes responsible for the hydrolysis of AEA and 2-AG are FAAH and MAGL, respectively. Apart from hydrolytic degradation, endocannabinoids may also be oxidized by cyclooxygenase-2, lipoxygenases, and cytochrome P450. It has been shown that the metabolites of both endocannabinoids also have biological significance.

  5. Metabolism of endocannabinoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michał Biernacki

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Endocannabinoids belong to a group of ester, ether and amide derivatives of fatty acids, which are endogenous ligands of receptors CB1, CB2, TRPV1 and GPR55 that are included in the endocannabinoid system of the animal organism. The best known endocannabinoids are: N-arachidonylethanolamide called anandamide (AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG. They occur in all organisms, and their highest level is observed in the brain. In this review the mechanisms of synthesis and degradation of both AEA and 2-AG are shown. Endocannabinoids are synthesized from phospholipids (mainly phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, and phosphatidylinositol located in the cell membrane. As a result of arachidonic acid transfer from phosphatidylcholine to phosphatidylethanolamine, N-arachidonoyl phosphatidylethanolamine is formed, which is hydrolyzed to AEA by phospholipase D, C and A2. However, 2-AG is formed during the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol catalyzed mainly by DAGL. The primary role of endocannabinoids is the activation of cannabinoid receptors. Both AEA and 2-AG are primarily agonists of the CB1 receptor and to a lower degree CB2 and TRPV1r eceptors, but 2-AG has stronger affinity for these receptors. Through activation of receptors, endocannabinoids affect cellular metabolism and participate in the metabolic processes by receptor-independent pathways. Endocannabinoids which are not bound to the receptors are degraded. The main enzymes responsible for the hydrolysis of AEA and 2-AG are FAAH and MAGL, respectively. Apart from hydrolytic degradation, endocannabinoids may also be oxidized by cyclooxygenase-2, lipoxygenases, and cytochrome P450. It has been shown that the metabolites of both endocannabinoids also have biological significance.

  6. Visualization of Endocannabinoids in the Cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oddi, Sergio; Totaro, Antonio; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2016-01-01

    A still unsolved, although critical, issue in endocannabinoid research is the mechanism by which the lipophilic compound anandamide (AEA) moves from its site of synthesis, crosses the aqueous milieu, and reaches the different intracellular compartments, where its metabolic and signaling pathways take place. The difficulty of studying intracellular AEA transport and distribution results from the lack of specific probes and techniques to track and visualize this bioactive lipid within the cell. Here, we describe the use of a biotinylated, non-hydrolyzable derivative of AEA (biotin-AEA, b-AEA) for visualizing the subcellular distribution of this endocannabinoid by means of confocal fluorescence microscopy.

  7. Endocannabinoids and exercise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dietrich, A; McDaniel, WF

    2004-01-01

    Exercise induces changes in mental status, particularly analgesia, sedation, anxiolysis, and a sense of wellbeing. The mechanisms underlying these changes remain unknown. Recent findings show that exercise increases serum concentrations of endocannabinoids, suggesting a possible explanation for a

  8. The endocannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of cannabis dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clapper, Jason R; Mangieri, Regina A; Piomelli, Daniele

    2009-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system modulates neurotransmission at inhibitory and excitatory synapses in brain regions relevant to the regulation of pain, emotion, motivation, and cognition. This signaling system is engaged by the active component of cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC), which exerts its pharmacological effects by activation of G protein-coupled type-1 (CB1) and type-2 (CB2) cannabinoid receptors. During frequent cannabis use a series of poorly understood neuroplastic changes occur, which lead to the development of dependence. Abstinence in cannabinoid-dependent individuals elicits withdrawal symptoms that promote relapse into drug use, suggesting that pharmacological strategies aimed at alleviating cannabis withdrawal might prevent relapse and reduce dependence. Cannabinoid replacement therapy and CB1 receptor antagonism are two potential treatments for cannabis dependence that are currently under investigation. However, abuse liability and adverse side-effects may limit the scope of each of these approaches. A potential alternative stems from the recognition that (i) frequent cannabis use may cause an adaptive down-regulation of brain endocannabinoid signaling, and (ii) that genetic traits that favor hyperactivity of the endocannabinoid system in humans may decrease susceptibility to cannabis dependence. These findings suggest in turn that pharmacological agents that elevate brain levels of the endocannabinoid neurotransmitters, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), might alleviate cannabis withdrawal and dependence. One such agent, the fatty-acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597, selectively increases anandamide levels in the brain of rodents and primates. Preclinical studies show that URB597 produces analgesic, anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like effects in rodents, which are not accompanied by overt signs of abuse liability. In this article, we review evidence suggesting that (i) cannabis influences brain

  9. Endocannabinoid transport revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolussi, Simon; Gertsch, Jürg

    2015-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are arachidonic acid-derived endogenous lipids that activate the endocannabinoid system which plays a major role in health and disease. The primary endocannabinoids are anandamide (AEA, N-arachidonoylethanolamine) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol. While their biosynthesis and metabolism have been studied in detail, it remains unclear how endocannabinoids are transported across the cell membrane. In this review, we critically discuss the different models of endocannabinoid trafficking, focusing on AEA cellular uptake which is best studied. The evolution of the current knowledge obtained with different AEA transport inhibitors is reviewed and the confusions caused by the lack of their specificity discussed. A comparative summary of the most important AEA uptake inhibitors and the studies involving their use is provided. Based on a comprehensive literature analysis, we propose a model of facilitated AEA membrane transport followed by intracellular shuttling and sequestration. We conclude that novel and more specific probes will be essential to identify the missing targets involved in endocannabinoid membrane transport. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Reducing CQI Signalling Overhead in HSPA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saied M. Abd El-atty

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The efficiency of adaptive modulation and coding (AMC procedure in high speed Downlink packet access (HSDPA depends on the frequency of the channel quality information (CQI reports transmitted by the UE to Node B. The more frequent the reports are the more accurate the link adaptation procedure is. On the other hand, the frequent CQI reports increase uplink interference, reducing thus the signal reception quality at the uplink. In this study, we propose an improved CQI reporting scheme which aims to reduce the required CQI signaling by exploiting a CQI prediction method based on a finite-state Markov chain (FSMC model of the wireless channel. The simulation results show that under a high downlink traffic load, the proposed scheme has a near-to-optimum performance while produces less interference compared to the respective periodic CQI scheme.

  11. Endocannabinoids and the Cardiovascular System in Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Sullivan, Saoirse Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the cardiovascular system. Endocannabinoids play a minimal role in the regulation of cardiovascular function in normal conditions, but are altered in most cardiovascular disorders. In shock, endocannabinoids released within blood mediate the associated hypotension through CB(1) activation. In hypertension, there is evidence for changes in the expression of CB(1), and CB(1) antagonism reduces blood pressure in obese hypertensive and diabetic patients. The endocannabinoid system is also upregulated in cardiac pathologies. This is likely to be cardioprotective, via CB(2) and CB(1) (lesser extent). In the vasculature, endocannabinoids cause vasorelaxation through activation of multiple target sites, inhibition of calcium channels, activation of potassium channels, NO production and the release of vasoactive substances. Changes in the expression or function of any of these pathways alter the vascular effect of endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids have positive (CB(2)) and negative effects (CB(1)) on the progression of atherosclerosis. However, any negative effects of CB(1) may not be consequential, as chronic CB(1) antagonism in large scale human trials was not associated with significant reductions in atheroma. In neurovascular disorders such as stroke, endocannabinoids are upregulated and protective, involving activation of CB(1), CB(2), TRPV1 and PPARα. Although most of this evidence is from preclinical studies, it seems likely that cannabinoid-based therapies could be beneficial in a range of cardiovascular disorders.

  12. Endocannabinoids and the haematological system

    OpenAIRE

    Randall, M D

    2007-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are blood borne and may also be secreted by the endothelium. Accordingly, there has been interest in the interactions between (endo)cannabinoids and blood cells. There is certainly evidence that (endo)cannabinoids may promote platelet activation, indicating that they may be thrombogenic. Platelets are involved both in the metabolism and release of endocannabinoids, and so it is possible that their circulating levels may be regulated by platelets. This process is altered in di...

  13. The role of endocannabinoids in pain modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zogopoulos, Panagiotis; Vasileiou, Ioanna; Patsouris, Efstratios; Theocharis, Stamatios E

    2013-02-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ES) is comprised of cannabinoid (CB) receptors, their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), and proteins responsible for their metabolism. Endocannabinoids serve as retrograde signaling messengers in GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses, as well as modulators of postsynaptic transmission, that interact with other neurotransmitters. Physiological stimuli and pathological conditions lead to differential increases in brain endocannabinoids that regulate distinct biological functions. Furthermore, endocannabinoids modulate neuronal, glial, and endothelial cell function and exert neuromodulatory, anti-excitotoxic, anti-inflammatory, and vasodilatory effects. Analgesia is one of the principal therapeutic targets of cannabinoids. Cannabinoid analgesia is based on the suppression of spinal and thalamic nociceptive neurons, but peripheral sites of action have also been identified. The chronic pain that occasionally follows peripheral nerve injury differs fundamentally from inflammatory pain and is an area of considerable unmet therapeutic need. Over the last years, considerable progress has been made in understanding the role of the ES in the modulation of pain. Endocannabinoids have been shown to behave as analgesics in models of both acute nociception and clinical pain such as inflammation and painful neuropathy. The framework for such analgesic effects exists in the CB receptors, which are found in areas of the nervous system important for pain processing and in immune cells that regulate the neuro-immune interactions that mediate the inflammatory hyperalgesia. The purpose of this review is to present the available research and clinical data, up to date, regarding the ES and its role in pain modulation, as well as its possible therapeutic perspectives. © 2012 The Authors Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology © 2012 Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique.

  14. Endocannabinoids and sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prospéro-García, Oscar; Amancio-Belmont, Octavio; Becerril Meléndez, Alline L; Ruiz-Contreras, Alejandra E; Méndez-Díaz, Mónica

    2016-12-01

    Sleep is regulated by several brain structures, neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are a group of lipids with modulatory activity in the brain and bind mainly to cannabinoid receptors CB1R and CB2R, thereby modulating several brain functions, (memory, mood, food intake, pain perception). Oleoylethanolamide and palmitoylethanolamide belong to the N-acylethanolamides (NAEs) family, another type of active endogenous lipids. They bind to the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α but not to CB1R, thereby modulating food satiety, inflammation and pain. Both eCBs and NAEs seem to be regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Our objective is to analyze the experimental evidence published in the literature and to discuss if eCBs and NAEs are actually sleep modulators. Studies suggested 1. eCBs and NAEs are under circadian control. 2. NAEs promote wake. 3. eCBs promote non-rapid-eye movement. 4. eCBs also promote rapid-eye-movement sleep by interacting with melanin-concentrating hormone neurons in the lateral hypothalamus. 5. The pharmacological blockade of the CB1R reduces sleep while increasing wake. 6. eCBs restore sleep in a model of insomnia in rats. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Crystallographic study of FABP5 as an intracellular endocannabinoid transporter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanson, Benoît; Wang, Tao [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973-5000 (United States); Sun, Jing; Wang, Liqun; Kaczocha, Martin [Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5213 (United States); Ojima, Iwao [Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 1794-3400 (United States); Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400 (United States); Deutsch, Dale, E-mail: dale.deutsch@stonybrook.edu [Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5213 (United States); Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400 (United States); Li, Huilin, E-mail: dale.deutsch@stonybrook.edu [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973-5000 (United States); Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5213 (United States); Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400 (United States)

    2014-02-01

    FABP5 was recently found to intracellularly transport endocannabinoid signaling lipids. The structures of FABP5 complexed with two endocannabinoids and an inhibitor were solved. Human FABP5 was found to dimerize via a domain-swapping mechanism. This work will help in the development of inhibitors to raise endocannabinoid levels. In addition to binding intracellular fatty acids, fatty-acid-binding proteins (FABPs) have recently been reported to also transport the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), arachidonic acid derivatives that function as neurotransmitters and mediate a diverse set of physiological and psychological processes. To understand how the endocannabinoids bind to FABPs, the crystal structures of FABP5 in complex with AEA, 2-AG and the inhibitor BMS-309403 were determined. These ligands are shown to interact primarily with the substrate-binding pocket via hydrophobic interactions as well as a common hydrogen bond to the Tyr131 residue. This work advances our understanding of FABP5–endocannabinoid interactions and may be useful for future efforts in the development of small-molecule inhibitors to raise endocannabinoid levels.

  16. Endocannabinoids and Schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphane Potvin

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachydonoylglycerol (2-AG are lipids naturally derived from membrane precursors which bind cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2. This endocannabinoid system is disturbed in schizophrenia. Indeed, there seems to be an association between schizophrenia and polymorphisms of the CB1 receptor gene. Moreover, CB1 receptors are found in higher density in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and basal ganglia of patients with schizophrenia. Similarly, anandamide levels are increased in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF and in the serum of schizophrenia patients, including during the prodromal state, suggesting that they may play a protective role in psychosis homeostasis. Future studies are needed to further explore the role of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

  17. Endocannabinoids and Human Sperm Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanna Zolese

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available N-acylethanolamides (NAEs are naturally occurring signaling lipids consisting of amides and esters of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Usually they are present in a very small amounts in many mammalian tissues and cells, including human reproductive tracts and fluids. Recently, the presence of N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA, the most characterised member of endocannabinoids, and its congeners palmitoylethanolamide (PEA and oleylethanolamide (OEA in seminal plasma, oviductal fluid, and follicular fluids was demonstrated. AEA has been shown to bind not only type-1 (CB1 and type-2 (CB2 cannabinoid receptors, but also type-1 vanilloid receptor (TRPV1, while PEA and OEA are inactive with respect to classical cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 but activate TRPV1 or peroxisome proliferator activate receptors (PPARs. This review concerns the most recent experimental data on PEA and OEA, endocannabinoid-like molecules which appear to exert their action exclusively on sperm cells with altered features, such as membrane characteristics and kinematic parameters. Their beneficial effects on these cells could suggest a possible pharmacological use of PEA and OEA on patients affected by some forms of idiopathic infertility.

  18. Blunted cardiac response to hemorrhage in cirrhotic rats is mediated by local macrophage-released endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskari, Seyed Ali; Liu, Hongqun; D'Mello, Charlotte; Kunos, George; Lee, Samuel S

    2015-06-01

    Cirrhosis is associated with blunted cardiovascular response to stimuli such as hemorrhage, but the mechanism remains unclear. We aimed to clarify the role of endocannabinoids in blunted hemorrhage response in cirrhotic rats. Cirrhosis was induced by bile duct ligation (BDL). Hemodynamics were measured. Cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1) antagonist, AM251, and macrophage inhibitor gadolinium chloride (GdCl3) were administered. Myocardial levels of anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) were measured and resident monocytes and macrophages quantified by immunohistochemistry. Isolated cardiomyocyte contractility was measured before and after incubation with monocytes from BDL and sham controls. Hemorrhage significantly decreased arterial pressure and left ventricular dP/dT. After hemorrhage, these changes quickly reversed in controls, but were severely prolonged in BDL rats. Chronic AM251 treatment restored this impaired response. AEA and 2-AG levels were increased in BDL hearts and further increased after hemorrhage. Sham hearts showed virtually no monocytes or macrophages before or after hemorrhage, whereas BDL hearts had significantly more white blood cells which further increased after hemorrhage. GdCl3 treatment significantly reduced cardiac endocannabinoid levels both at baseline and after hemorrhage. This treatment also restored cardiovascular response to hemorrhage in BDL rats but did not affect sham controls. Monocytes isolated from BDL rats more potently inhibited cardiomyocyte contractility than sham control monocytes. The cirrhotic heart showed increased monocyte recruitment and endocannabinoid levels. CB1 blockade or GdCl3 treatment restored blunted cardiovascular response to hemorrhage. Endocannabinoids released by monocytes blunt cardiac response to hemorrhage. Preventing monocyte recruitment or blocking endocannabinoid signaling may improve cardiovascular homeostasis in cirrhosis. Copyright © 2015 European Association for the Study of the Liver

  19. Endocannabinoids in amygdala and nucleus accumbens mediate social play reward in adolescent rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trezza, Viviana; Damsteegt, Ruth; Manduca, Antonia; Petrosino, Stefania; Van Kerkhof, Linda W.M.; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen; Zhou, Yeping; Campolongo, Patrizia; Cuomo, Vincenzo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Vanderschuren, Louk J.M.J.

    2012-01-01

    The brain endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in emotional processes. We have previously identified an important role for endocannabinoids in social play behavior, a highly rewarding form of social interaction in adolescent rats. Here, we tested the hypothesis that endocannabinoid modulation of social play behavior occurs in brain regions implicated in emotion and motivation. Social play increased levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide in the amygdala and nucleus accumbens (NAc), but not in prefrontal cortex or hippocampus of 4–5 week old male Wistar rats. Furthermore, social play increased phosphorylation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the amygdala. Systemic administration of the anandamide hydrolysis inhibitor URB597 increased social play behavior, and augmented the associated elevation in anandamide levels in the amygdala, but not the NAc. Infusion of URB597 into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) increased social play behavior, and blockade of BLA CB1 cannabinoid receptors with the antagonist/inverse agonist SR141716A prevented the play-enhancing effects of systemic administration of URB597. Infusion of URB597 into the NAc also increased social play, but blockade of NAc CB1 cannabinoid receptors did not antagonize the play-enhancing effects of systemic URB597 treatment. Last, SR141716A did not affect social play after infusion into the core and shell subregions of the NAc, while it reduced social play when infused into the BLA. These data show that increased anandamide signalling in the amygdala and NAc augments social play, and identify the BLA as a prominent site of action for endocannabinoids to modulate the rewarding properties of social interactions in adolescent rats. PMID:23100412

  20. Fetal endocannabinoids orchestrate the organization of pancreatic islet microarchitecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malenczyk, Katarzyna; Keimpema, Erik; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Calvigioni, Daniela; Björklund, Peyman; Mackie, Kenneth; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Hökfelt, Tomas G M; Dobrzyn, Agnieszka; Harkany, Tibor

    2015-11-10

    Endocannabinoids are implicated in the control of glucose utilization and energy homeostasis by orchestrating pancreatic hormone release. Moreover, in some cell niches, endocannabinoids regulate cell proliferation, fate determination, and migration. Nevertheless, endocannabinoid contributions to the development of the endocrine pancreas remain unknown. Here, we show that α cells produce the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in mouse fetuses and human pancreatic islets, which primes the recruitment of β cells by CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) engagement. Using subtractive pharmacology, we extend these findings to anandamide, a promiscuous endocannabinoid/endovanilloid ligand, which impacts both the determination of islet size by cell proliferation and α/β cell sorting by differential activation of transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) and CB1Rs. Accordingly, genetic disruption of TRPV1 channels increases islet size whereas CB1R knockout augments cellular heterogeneity and favors insulin over glucagon release. Dietary enrichment in ω-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation in mice, which permanently reduces endocannabinoid levels in the offspring, phenocopies CB1R(-/-) islet microstructure and improves coordinated hormone secretion. Overall, our data mechanistically link endocannabinoids to cell proliferation and sorting during pancreatic islet formation, as well as to life-long programming of hormonal determinants of glucose homeostasis.

  1. Endocannabinoids in Liver Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Joseph; Liu, Jie; Mukhopadhyay, Bani; Cinar, Resat; Godlewski, Grzegorz; Kunos, George

    2010-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are lipid mediators of the same cannabinoid (CB) receptors that mediate the effects of marijuana. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of CB receptors, endocannabinoids, and the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis and degradation, and is present both in brain and peripheral tissues, including the liver. The hepatic ECS is activated in various liver diseases, which contributes to the underlying pathologies. In cirrhosis of various etiologies, activation of vascular and cardiac CB1 receptors by macrophage- and platelet-derived endocannabinoids contribute to the vasodilated state and cardiomyopathy, which can be reversed by CB1 blockade. In mouse models of liver fibrosis, activation of CB1 receptors on hepatic stellate cells is fibrogenic, and CB1 blockade slows the progression of fibrosis. Fatty liver induced by high-fat diets or chronic alcohol feeding depend on activation of peripheral, including hepatic CB1 receptors, which also contribute to insulin resistance and dyslipidemias. Although the documented therapeutic potential of CB1 blockade is limited by neuropsychiatric side effects, these may be mitigated by using novel, peripherally restricted CB1 antagonists. PMID:21254182

  2. The endocannabinoid system: a general view and latest additions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrocellis, Luciano De; Cascio, Maria Grazia; Marzo, Vincenzo Di

    2004-01-01

    After the discovery, in the early 1990s, of specific G-protein-coupled receptors for marijuana's psychoactive principle Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the cannabinoid receptors, and of their endogenous agonists, the endocannabinoids, a decade of investigations has greatly enlarged our understanding of this altogether new signalling system. Yet, while the finding of the endocannabinoids resulted in a new effort to reveal the mechanisms regulating their levels in the brain and peripheral organs under physiological and pathological conditions, more endogenous substances with a similar action, and more molecular targets for the previously discovered endogenous ligands, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, or for some of their metabolites, were being proposed. As the scenario becomes subsequently more complicated, and the experimental tasks to be accomplished correspondingly more numerous, we briefly review in this article the latest ‘additions' to the endocannabinoid system together with earlier breakthroughs that have contributed to our present knowledge of the biochemistry and pharmacology of the endocannabinoids. PMID:14744801

  3. Endocannabinoids in the gastrointestinal tract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yunna; Jo, Jeongbin; Chung, Hae Young; Pothoulakis, Charalabos; Im, Eunok

    2016-10-01

    The endocannabinoid system mainly consists of endogenously produced cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) and two G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB 1 and CB 2 ). This system also includes enzymes responsible for the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids and molecules required for the uptake and transport of endocannabinoids. In addition, endocannabinoid-related lipid mediators and other putative endocannabinoid receptors, such as transient receptor potential channels and other GPCRs, have been identified. Accumulating evidence indicates that the endocannabinoid system is a key modulator of gastrointestinal physiology, influencing satiety, emesis, immune function, mucosal integrity, motility, secretion, and visceral sensation. In light of therapeutic benefits of herbal and synthetic cannabinoids, the vast potential of the endocannabinoid system for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases has been demonstrated. This review focuses on the role of the endocannabinoid system in gut homeostasis and in the pathogenesis of intestinal disorders associated with intestinal motility, inflammation, and cancer. Finally, links between gut microorganisms and the endocannabinoid system are briefly discussed. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  4. The activated endocannabinoid system in atherosclerosis: driving force or protective mechanism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffens, Sabine; Pacher, Pal

    2015-01-01

    Atherosclerosis and its major acute complications, myocardial infarction and stroke, are the leading causes of death and morbidity worldwide. Despite major advances in cardiovascular intervention and healthcare, improving preventive care and treatment remains a continuous mission for cardiovascular research. Within the last 10 to 15 years, the endocannabinoid system has emerged as an important lipid signaling system involved in many biological processes. Growing evidence suggests that an overactive endocannabinoid-CB1 receptor signaling promotes the development of cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. This prompted an increasing interest in studying the role of the endocannabinoid system in atherosclerosis. As opposed to the detrimental actions of CB1 signaling, the endocannabinoid-CB2 receptor axis exhibits an anti-inflammatory and atheroprotective role. We will review recent findings from experimental and clinical studies aimed at understanding the complex actions of endocannabinoid signaling in cardiovascular disease. This is followed by an outlook on emerging targets for possible therapeutic intervention.

  5. Elevating endocannabinoid levels: pharmacological strategies and potential therapeutic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pertwee, Roger G

    2014-02-01

    The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, of endogenous agonists for these receptors known as 'endocannabinoids', and of processes responsible for endocannabinoid biosynthesis, cellular uptake and metabolism. There is strong evidence first, that this system up-regulates in certain disorders as indicated by an increased release of endocannabinoids onto their receptors and/or by increases in the expression levels or coupling efficiency of these receptors, and second, that this up-regulation often appears to reduce or abolish unwanted effects of these disorders or to slow their progression. This discovery has raised the possibility of developing a medicine that enhances up-regulation of the endocannabinoid system associated with these disorders by inhibiting the cellular uptake or intracellular metabolism of an endocannabinoid following its 'autoprotective' endogenous release. For inhibition of endocannabinoid metabolism, research has focused particularly on two highly investigated endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, and hence on inhibitors of the main anandamide-metabolising enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and of the main 2-arachidonoyl glycerol-metabolising enzyme, monoacylglycerol (MAG) lipase. The resulting data have provided strong preclinical evidence that selective FAAH and MAG lipase inhibitors would ameliorate the unwanted effects of several disorders, when administered alone or with a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, and that the benefit-to-risk ratio of a FAAH inhibitor would exceed that of a MAG lipase inhibitor or dual inhibitor of FAAH and MAG lipase. Promising preclinical data have also been obtained with inhibitors of endocannabinoid cellular uptake. There is now an urgent need for clinical research with these enzyme and uptake inhibitors.

  6. Supply and demand for endocannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alger, Bradley E.; Kim, Jimok

    2011-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system consists of G-protein coupled cannabinoid receptors that can be activated by cannabis-derived drugs and small lipids called endocannabinoids, plus associated biochemical machinery (precursors, synthetic and degradative enzymes, transporters). The endocannabinoid system in the brain primarily influences neuronal synaptic communication, and affects biological – functions including eating, anxiety, learning and memory, growth and development – via an array of actions throughout the nervous system. While many aspects of synaptic regulation by endocannabinoids are becoming clear, details of the subcellular organization and regulation of the endocannabinoid system are less well understood. This review focuses on recent investigations that illuminate fundamental issues of endocannabinoid storage, release, and functional roles. PMID:21507493

  7. Biosynthesis and Fate of Endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cascio, Maria Grazia; Marini, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    Since the discovery of the two cannabinoid receptors, CB(1) and CB(2), several molecules, commonly defined as endocannabinoids, able to bind to and functionally activate these receptors, have been discovered and characterized. Although the general thought was that the endocannabinoids were mainly derivatives of the n-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid, recent data have shown that also derivatives (ethanolamides) of n-3 fatty acids may be classified as endocannabinoids. Whether the n-3 endocannabinoids follow the same biosynthetic and metabolic routes of the n-6 endocannabinoids is not yet clear and so warrants further investigation. In this review, we describe the primary biosynthetic and metabolic pathways for the two well-established endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.

  8. Endocannabinoids and the haematological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, M D

    2007-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are blood borne and may also be secreted by the endothelium. Accordingly, there has been interest in the interactions between (endo)cannabinoids and blood cells. There is certainly evidence that (endo)cannabinoids may promote platelet activation, indicating that they may be thrombogenic. Platelets are involved both in the metabolism and release of endocannabinoids, and so it is possible that their circulating levels may be regulated by platelets. This process is altered in disease states such that platelet-derived endocannabinoids contribute towards hypotension in cardiovascular shock. Not only may endocannabinoids regulate platelet function and possibly lead to thrombogenesis, but they may also influence haematopoiesis. Given these emerging roles, the aim of this review is to examine the interactions between cannabinoids and blood. PMID:17704826

  9. Fenitrothion action at the endocannabinoid system leading to spermatotoxicity in Wistar rats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ito, Yuki, E-mail: yukey@med.nagoya-cu.ac.jp [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya 467-8601 (Japan); Tomizawa, Motohiro [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya 467-8601 (Japan); Faculty of Applied Bioscience, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo 156-8502 (Japan); Suzuki, Himiko [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya 467-8601 (Japan); Okamura, Ai [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya 466-8550 (Japan); Ohtani, Katsumi [National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Kanagawa 214-8585 (Japan); Nunome, Mari; Noro, Yuki [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya 467-8601 (Japan); Wang, Dong; Nakajima, Tamie [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya 466-8550 (Japan); Kamijima, Michihiro, E-mail: kamijima@med.nagoya-cu.ac.jp [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya 467-8601 (Japan)

    2014-09-15

    Organophosphate (OP) compounds as anticholinesterase agents may secondarily act on diverse serine hydrolase targets, revealing unfavorable physiological effects including male reproductive toxicity. The present investigation proposes that fenitrothion (FNT, a major OP compound) acts on the endocannabinoid signaling system in male reproductive organs, thereby leading to spermatotoxicity (sperm deformity, underdevelopment, and reduced motility) in rats. FNT oxon (bioactive metabolite of FNT) preferentially inhibited the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) hydrolase, in the rat cellular membrane preparation from the testis in vitro. Subsequently, male Wistar rats were treated orally with 5 or 10 mg/kg FNT for 9 weeks and the subchronic exposure unambiguously deteriorated sperm motility and morphology. The activity-based protein profiling analysis with a phosphonofluoridate fluorescent probe revealed that FAAH was selectively inhibited among the FNT-treated cellular membrane proteome in testis. Intriguingly, testicular AEA (endogenous substrate of FAAH) levels were elevated along with the FAAH inhibition caused by the subchronic exposure. More importantly, linear regression analyses for the FNT-elicited spermatotoxicity reveal a good correlation between the testicular FAAH activity and morphological indices or sperm motility. Accordingly, the present study proposes that the FNT-elicited spermatotoxicity appears to be related to inhibition of FAAH leading to overstimulation of the endocannabinoid signaling system, which plays crucial roles in spermatogenesis and sperm motility acquirement. - Highlights: • Subchronic exposure to fenitrothion induces spermatotoxicity in rats. • The fatty acid amide hydrolase is a potential target for the spermatotoxicity. • Overstimulation of the endocannabinoid signal possibly leads to the spermatotoxicity.

  10. Perinatal asphyxia results in altered expression of the hippocampal acylethanolamide/endocannabinoid signaling system associated to memory impairments in postweaned rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Eduardo; Galeano, Pablo; Holubiec, Mariana I; Romero, Juan I; Logica, Tamara; Rivera, Patricia; Pavón, Francisco J; Suarez, Juan; Capani, Francisco; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Perinatal asphyxia (PA) is an obstetric complication that strongly affects the CNS. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a lipid transmitter system involved in several physiological processes including synaptic plasticity, neurogenesis, memory, and mood. Endocannabinoids, and other acylethanolamides (AEs) without endocannabinoid activity, have recently received growing attention due to their potential neuroprotective functions in neurological disorders, including cerebral ischemia. In the present study, we aimed to analyze the changes produced by PA in the major metabolic enzymes and receptors of the ECS/AEs in the hippocampus using a rodent model of PA. To induce PA, we removed uterine horns from ready-to-deliver rats and immersed them into a water bath during 19 min. Animals delivered spontaneously or by cesarean section were employed as controls. At 1 month of age, cognitive functions were assessed and immunohistochemical procedures were carried out to determine the expression of NeuN and glial fibrillary acidic protein, enzymes responsible for synthesis (DAGLα and NAPE-PLD) and degradation (FAAH) of ECS/AEs and their receptors (CB1 and PPARα) in the hippocampus. Postweaned asphyctic rats showed impaired recognition and spatial reference memory that were accompanied by hippocampal astrogliosis and changes in the expression of enzymes and receptors. The most remarkable findings in asphyctic rats were a decrease in the expression of NAPE-PLD and PPARα in both hippocampal areas CA1 and CA3. In addition, postweaned cesarean delivery rats showed an increase in the immunolabeling for FAAH in the hippocampal CA3 area. Since, NAPE-PLD and PPARα are proteins that participate in the biochemical process of AEs, specially the neuroprotective oleoylethanolamide, these results suggest that PA dysregulates this system. These data encourage conducting future studies using AEs as potential neuroprotective compounds in animal models of PA.

  11. Perinatal asphyxia results in altered expression of the hippocampal acylethanolamide/endocannabinoid signaling system associated to memory impairments in postweaned rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Eduardo; Galeano, Pablo; Holubiec, Mariana I.; Romero, Juan I.; Logica, Tamara; Rivera, Patricia; Pavón, Francisco J.; Suarez, Juan; Capani, Francisco; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Perinatal asphyxia (PA) is an obstetric complication that strongly affects the CNS. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a lipid transmitter system involved in several physiological processes including synaptic plasticity, neurogenesis, memory, and mood. Endocannabinoids, and other acylethanolamides (AEs) without endocannabinoid activity, have recently received growing attention due to their potential neuroprotective functions in neurological disorders, including cerebral ischemia. In the present study, we aimed to analyze the changes produced by PA in the major metabolic enzymes and receptors of the ECS/AEs in the hippocampus using a rodent model of PA. To induce PA, we removed uterine horns from ready-to-deliver rats and immersed them into a water bath during 19 min. Animals delivered spontaneously or by cesarean section were employed as controls. At 1 month of age, cognitive functions were assessed and immunohistochemical procedures were carried out to determine the expression of NeuN and glial fibrillary acidic protein, enzymes responsible for synthesis (DAGLα and NAPE-PLD) and degradation (FAAH) of ECS/AEs and their receptors (CB1 and PPARα) in the hippocampus. Postweaned asphyctic rats showed impaired recognition and spatial reference memory that were accompanied by hippocampal astrogliosis and changes in the expression of enzymes and receptors. The most remarkable findings in asphyctic rats were a decrease in the expression of NAPE-PLD and PPARα in both hippocampal areas CA1 and CA3. In addition, postweaned cesarean delivery rats showed an increase in the immunolabeling for FAAH in the hippocampal CA3 area. Since, NAPE-PLD and PPARα are proteins that participate in the biochemical process of AEs, specially the neuroprotective oleoylethanolamide, these results suggest that PA dysregulates this system. These data encourage conducting future studies using AEs as potential neuroprotective compounds in animal models of PA. PMID:26578900

  12. Endocannabinoids are conserved inhibitors of the Hedgehog pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaliullina, Helena; Bilgin, Mesut; Sampaio, Julio L; Shevchenko, Andrej; Eaton, Suzanne

    2015-03-17

    Hedgehog ligands control tissue development and homeostasis by alleviating repression of Smoothened, a seven-pass transmembrane protein. The Hedgehog receptor, Patched, is thought to regulate the availability of small lipophilic Smoothened repressors whose identity is unknown. Lipoproteins contain lipids required to repress Smoothened signaling in vivo. Here, using biochemical fractionation and lipid mass spectrometry, we identify these repressors as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids circulate in human and Drosophila lipoproteins and act directly on Smoothened at physiological concentrations to repress signaling in Drosophila and mammalian assays. Phytocannabinoids are also potent Smo inhibitors. These findings link organismal metabolism to local Hedgehog signaling and suggest previously unsuspected mechanisms for the physiological activities of cannabinoids.

  13. The Endocannabinoid System as a Target for Treatment of Breast Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-01

    code) Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 The Endocannabinoid System as a Target for Treatment of Breast Cancer Dr...REFERENCES: 1 Ahn, K., McKinney, M. K. & Cravatt, B. F. Enzymatic pathways that regulate endocannabinoid signaling in the nervous system. Chem Rev

  14. Expression and function of the endocannabinoid system in glial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massi, Paola; Valenti, Marta; Bolognini, Daniele; Parolaro, Daniela

    2008-01-01

    In the last few years the role and significance of the glia in CNS function and pathology have been drastically reassessed. Glial cells physiology appears very different in healthy versus pathological brain and the recent identification of cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands in glia has triggered a number of studies exploring the role of (endo)cannabinoid system in glia functionality and disease. (Endo)cannabinoids exert their effects in these cells directly affecting some important peculiar functions of the glia and actively promoting biochemical signals ending in a pro-survival fate for these cells. By contrast, (endo)cannabinoids induce a selective death in glia-derived tumor cells. Of special physiological and therapeutic relevance is the reported ability of glial cells during neuropathological conditions to release an increased amount of endocannabinoids and to overexpress cannabinoid receptors. This evidence has suggested that the endocannabinoids production by glial cells may constitute an endogenous defense mechanism preventing the propagation of neuroinflammation and cell damage. The present paper will review the evidence supporting the regulatory role of (endo)cannabinoids in glia function, holding in consideration their therapeutic potential as neuroprotective and/or anticancer agents.

  15. The endocannabinoid system and schizophrenia: integration of evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamberletti, Erica; Rubino, Tiziana; Parolaro, Daniela

    2012-01-01

    Cannabis derivatives produce their CNS effect through activation of the endocannabinoid system, a recently discovered signalling system comprising specific receptors, their intrinsic lipid ligands and the associated enzymatic machinery (transporters, biosynthetic and degradative enzymes). This review provides the latest preclinical and clinical breakthroughs on the endocannabinoid system's role in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Data reported so far clearly indicate the presence of a dysregulation in the endocannabinoid system (both in term of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid ligands) in animal models of psychosis as well as in schizophrenic patients. Based on these observations, the pharmacological modulation of the endocannabinoid system has been taken into account as a new therapeutic possibility for psychotic disorders. However, preclinical studies have not provided straightforward results, with both agonists and antagonists exhibiting positive, negative or even no effect. At human level, only cannabidiol, a non psychotropic phytocannabinoid, and the antagonist/inverse agonist rimonabant were tested, however additional controlled trials are required to confirm the therapeutic exploitation of these compounds. Another important aspect in studying the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and schizophrenia is the impact of Cannabis consumption on psychotic disorders, especially when this occurs at vulnerable ages such as adolescence. In fact literature from animal models support adolescence as a highly vulnerable age for the consequences of cannabis exposure on different domains (such as cognition and social behaviour) that are altered in psychotic disorders.

  16. The Endocannabinoid System and Its Role in Regulating the Intrinsic Neural Circuitry of the Gastrointestinal Tract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trautmann, Samantha M; Sharkey, Keith A

    2015-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are important neuromodulators in the central nervous system. They regulate central transmission through pre- and postsynaptic actions on neurons and indirectly through effects on glial cells. Cannabinoids (CBs) also regulate neurotransmission in the enteric nervous system (ENS) of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The ENS consists of intrinsic primary afferent neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons arranged in two ganglionated plexuses which control all the functions of the gut. Increasing evidence suggests that endocannabinoids are potent neuromodulators in the ENS. In this review, we will highlight key observations on the localization of CB receptors and molecules involved in the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids in the ENS. We will discuss endocannabinoid signaling mechanisms, endocannabinoid tone and concepts of CB receptor metaplasticity in the ENS. We will also touch on some examples of enteric neural signaling in relation neuromuscular, secretomotor, and enteroendocrine transmission in the ENS. Finally, we will briefly discuss some key future directions. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. [The endocannabinoid system and bone].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pura, Mikuláš; Vaňuga, Peter

    Recent studies suggest an important role for the skeletal endocannabinoid system in the regulation of bone mass in both physiological and pathological conditions. Both major endocannabinoids (anandamid and 2-arachidonoylglycerol), endocannabinoid receptors - CB1-receptor (CB1R) a CB2-receptor (CB2R) and the endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes are present or expressed in osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Previous studies identified multiple risk and protective variants of CNR2 gene dealing with the relationship to bone density and/or osteoporosis. Selective CB1R/ CB2R-inverse agonists/antagonists and CB2R-inverse agonists/antagonists are candidates for prevention of bone mass loss and combined antiresorptive and anabolic therapy for osteoporosis.Key words: cannabinoid receptors - endocannabinoids - marijuana - osteoporosis.

  18. Endocannabinoids mediate neuron-astrocyte communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Marta; Araque, Alfonso

    2008-03-27

    Cannabinoid receptors play key roles in brain function, and cannabinoid effects in brain physiology and drug-related behavior are thought to be mediated by receptors present in neurons. Neuron-astrocyte communication relies on the expression by astrocytes of neurotransmitter receptors. Yet, the expression of cannabinoid receptors by astrocytes in situ and their involvement in the neuron-astrocyte communication remain largely unknown. We show that hippocampal astrocytes express CB1 receptors that upon activation lead to phospholipase C-dependent Ca2+ mobilization from internal stores. These receptors are activated by endocannabinoids released by neurons, increasing astrocyte Ca2+ levels, which stimulate glutamate release that activates NMDA receptors in pyramidal neurons. These results demonstrate the existence of endocannabinoid-mediated neuron-astrocyte communication, revealing that astrocytes are targets of cannabinoids and might therefore participate in the physiology of cannabinoid-related addiction. They also reveal the existence of an endocannabinoid-glutamate signaling pathway where astrocytes serve as a bridge for nonsynaptic interneuronal communication.

  19. Oxyradical Stress, Endocannabinoids, and Atherosclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anberitha T. Matthews

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Atherosclerosis is responsible for most cardiovascular disease (CVD and is caused by several factors including hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and chronic inflammation. Oxidants and electrophiles have roles in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and the concentrations of these reactive molecules are an important factor in disease initiation and progression. Overactive NADPH oxidase (Nox produces excess superoxide resulting in oxidized macromolecules, which is an important factor in atherogenesis. Although superoxide and reactive oxygen species (ROS have obvious toxic properties, they also have fundamental roles in signaling pathways that enable cells to adapt to stress. In addition to inflammation and ROS, the endocannabinoid system (eCB is also important in atherogenesis. Linkages have been postulated between the eCB system, Nox, oxidative stress, and atherosclerosis. For instance, CB2 receptor-evoked signaling has been shown to upregulate anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative pathways, whereas CB1 signaling appears to induce opposite effects. The second messenger lipid molecule diacylglycerol is implicated in the regulation of Nox activity and diacylglycerol lipase β (DAGLβ is a key biosynthetic enzyme in the biosynthesis eCB ligand 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG. Furthermore, Nrf2 is a vital transcription factor that protects against the cytotoxic effects of both oxidant and electrophile stress. This review will highlight the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS in intracellular signaling and the impact of deregulated ROS-mediated signaling in atherogenesis. In addition, there is also emerging knowledge that the eCB system has an important role in atherogenesis. We will attempt to integrate oxidative stress and the eCB system into a conceptual framework that provides insights into this pathology.

  20. Reduced alcohol intake and reward associated with impaired endocannabinoid signaling in mice with a deletion of the glutamate transporter GLAST

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsson, Rose-Marie; Adermark, Louise; Molander, Anna

    2012-01-01

    A hyperglutamatergic state has been hypothesized to drive escalation of alcohol intake. This hypothesis predicts that an impairment of glutamate clearance through inactivation of the astrocytic glutamate transporter, GLAST (EAAT1), will result in escalation of alcohol consumption. Here, we used m...

  1. 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.

  2. Endocannabinoid concentrations in hair are associated with PTSD symptom severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilker, Sarah; Pfeiffer, Anett; Elbert, Thomas; Ovuga, Emilio; Karabatsiakis, Alexander; Krumbholz, Aniko; Thieme, Detlef; Schelling, Gustav; Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana

    2016-05-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the regulation of the stress response, fear memory formation, and inflammatory processes. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can result from exposure to extreme stress and is characterized by strong, associative memories for the traumatic events experienced. Furthermore, an elevated physical disease risk has been observed in PTSD, likely to be mediated by inflammatory processes. Therefore, altered endocannabinoid regulation can be expected in individuals with PTSD. However, attempts to assess PTSD-associated differences in the endocannabinoid system from human blood samples have provided inconsistent results, possibly due to fluctuating levels of endocannabinoids. In hair, these neuromodulators are accumulated over time and thus give access to a more stable and reliable assessment. We therefore investigated PTSD-associated differences in hair concentrations of endocannabinoids (N-acyl-ethanolamides palmitoylethanolamide [PEA], oleoylethanolamide [OEA] and stearoylethanolamide [SEA]) in 38 rebel war survivors from Northern Uganda suffering from PTSD and N=38 healthy rebel war survivors without current and lifetime PTSD. PTSD diagnosis and symptom severity were assessed in structured clinical interviews employing the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS). A significant group difference was observed for OEA, with PTSD patients showing reduced hair concentrations. Regression analyses further revealed strong negative relationships between all investigated N-acyl-ethanolamides and symptom severity of PTSD. The observed reductions in endocannabinoids might account for the increased inflammatory state as well as for the failure to extinguish fear memories observed in PTSD. Our findings add to the accumulating evidence suggesting the endocannabinoid system as a target for pharmacological enhancement of exposure-based psychotherapy for PTSD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Motion sickness, stress and the endocannabinoid system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Choukèr

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A substantial number of individuals are at risk for the development of motion sickness induced nausea and vomiting (N&V during road, air or sea travel. Motion sickness can be extremely stressful but the neurobiologic mechanisms leading to motion sickness are not clear. The endocannabinoid system (ECS represents an important neuromodulator of stress and N&V. Inhibitory effects of the ECS on N&V are mediated by endocannabinoid-receptor activation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied the activity of the ECS in human volunteers (n = 21 during parabolic flight maneuvers (PFs. During PFs, microgravity conditions (<10(-2 g are generated for approximately 22 s which results in a profound kinetic stimulus. Blood endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, 2-AG were measured from blood samples taken in-flight before start of the parabolic maneuvers, after 10, 20, and 30 parabolas, in-flight after termination of PFs and 24 h later. Volunteers who developed acute motion sickness (n = 7 showed significantly higher stress scores but lower endocannabinoid levels during PFs. After 20 parabolas, blood anandamide levels had dropped significantly in volunteers with motion sickness (from 0.39+/-0.40 to 0.22+/-0.25 ng/ml but increased in participants without the condition (from 0.43+/-0.23 to 0.60+/-0.38 ng/ml resulting in significantly higher anandamide levels in participants without motion sickness (p = 0.02. 2-AG levels in individuals with motion sickness were low and almost unchanged throughout the experiment but showed a robust increase in participants without motion sickness. Cannabinoid-receptor 1 (CB1 but not cannabinoid-receptor 2 (CB2 mRNA expression in leucocytes 4 h after the experiment was significantly lower in volunteers with motion sickness than in participants without N&V. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings demonstrate that stress and motion sickness in humans are associated with impaired endocannabinoid

  4. Endocannabinoids and striatal function: implications for addiction-related behaviours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Fabricio A.; Jupp, Bianca; Belin, David

    2015-01-01

    Since the identification and cloning of the major cannabinoid receptor expressed in the brain almost 25 years ago research has highlighted the potential of drugs that target the endocannabinoid system for treating addiction. The endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, are lipid-derived metabolites found in abundance in the basal ganglia and other brain areas innervated by the mesocorticolimbic dopamine systems. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists reduce reinstatement of responding for cocaine, alcohol and opiates in rodents. However, compounds acting on the endocannabinoid system may have broader application in treating drug addiction by ameliorating associated traits and symptoms such as impulsivity and anxiety that perpetuate drug use and interfere with rehabilitation. As a trait, impulsivity is known to predispose to addiction and facilitate the emergence of addiction to stimulant drugs. In contrast, anxiety and elevated stress responses accompany extended drug use and may underlie the persistence of drug intake in dependent individuals. In this article we integrate and discuss recent findings in rodents showing selective pharmacological modulation of impulsivity and anxiety by cannabinoid agents. We highlight the potential of selective inhibitors of endocannabinoid metabolism, directed at fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase, to reduce anxiety and stress responses, and discuss novel mechanisms underlying the modulation of the endocannabinoid system, including the attenuation of impulsivity, anxiety, and drug reward by selective CB2 receptor agonists. PMID:25369747

  5. Receptor-heteromer mediated regulation of endocannabinoid signaling in activated microglia. Role of CB1and CB2receptors and relevance for Alzheimer's disease and levodopa-induced dyskinesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Gemma; Borroto-Escuela, Dasiel; Angelats, Edgar; Etayo, Íñigo; Reyes-Resina, Irene; Pulido-Salgado, Marta; Rodríguez-Pérez, Ana I; Canela, Enric I; Saura, Josep; Lanciego, José Luis; Labandeira-García, José Luis; Saura, Carlos A; Fuxe, Kjell; Franco, Rafael

    2018-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are important regulators of neurotransmission and, acting on activated microglia, they are postulated as neuroprotective agents. Endocannabinoid action is mediated by CB 1 and CB 2 receptors, which may form heteromeric complexes (CB 1 -CB 2 Hets) with unknown function in microglia. We aimed at establishing the expression and signaling properties of cannabinoid receptors in resting and LPS/IFN-γ-activated microglia. In activated microglia mRNA transcripts increased (2 fold for CB 1 and circa 20 fold for CB 2 ), whereas receptor levels were similar for CB 1 and markedly upregulated for CB 2 ; CB 1 -CB 2 Hets were also upregulated. Unlike in resting cells, CB 2 receptors became robustly coupled to G i in activated cells, in which CB 1 -CB 2 Hets mediated a potentiation effect. Hence, resting cells were refractory while activated cells were highly responsive to cannabinoids. Interestingly, similar results were obtained in cultures treated with ß-amyloid (Aß 1-42 ). Microglial activation markers were detected in the striatum of a Parkinson's disease (PD) model and, remarkably, in primary microglia cultures from the hippocampus of mutant β-amyloid precursor protein (APP Sw,Ind ) mice, a transgenic Alzheimer's disease (AD) model. Also of note was the similar cannabinoid receptor signaling found in primary cultures of microglia from APP Sw,Ind and in cells from control animals activated using LPS plus IFN-γ. Expression of CB 1 -CB 2 Hets was increased in the striatum from rats rendered dyskinetic by chronic levodopa treatment. In summary, our results showed sensitivity of activated microglial cells to cannabinoids, increased CB 1 -CB 2 Het expression in activated microglia and in microglia from the hippocampus of an AD model, and a correlation between levodopa-induced dyskinesia and striatal microglial activation in a PD model. Cannabinoid receptors and the CB 1 -CB 2 heteroreceptor complex in activated microglia have potential as targets in the

  6. Endocannabinoid modulation of dopamine neurotransmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covey, Dan P; Mateo, Yolanda; Sulzer, David; Cheer, Joseph F; Lovinger, David M

    2017-09-15

    Dopamine (DA) is a major catecholamine neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain that controls neural circuits involved in the cognitive, emotional, and motor aspects of goal-directed behavior. Accordingly, perturbations in DA neurotransmission play a central role in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Somewhat surprisingly given its prominent role in numerous behaviors, DA is released by a relatively small number of densely packed neurons originating in the midbrain. The dopaminergic midbrain innervates numerous brain regions where extracellular DA release and receptor binding promote short- and long-term changes in postsynaptic neuron function. Striatal forebrain nuclei receive the greatest proportion of DA projections and are a predominant hub at which DA influences behavior. A number of excitatory, inhibitory, and modulatory inputs orchestrate DA neurotransmission by controlling DA cell body firing patterns, terminal release, and effects on postsynaptic sites in the striatum. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system serves as an important filter of afferent input that acts locally at midbrain and terminal regions to shape how incoming information is conveyed onto DA neurons and to output targets. In this review, we aim to highlight existing knowledge regarding how eCB signaling controls DA neuron function through modifications in synaptic strength at midbrain and striatal sites, and to raise outstanding questions on this topic. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled "A New Dawn in Cannabinoid Neurobiology". Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Endocannabinoids in cerebrovascular regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benyó, Zoltán; Ruisanchez, Éva; Leszl-Ishiguro, Miriam; Sándor, Péter; Pacher, Pál

    2016-04-01

    The cerebral blood flow is tightly regulated by myogenic, endothelial, metabolic, and neural mechanisms under physiological conditions, and a large body of recent evidence indicates that inflammatory pathways have a major influence on the cerebral blood perfusion in certain central nervous system disorders, like hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, traumatic brain injury, and vascular dementia. All major cell types involved in cerebrovascular control pathways (i.e., smooth muscle, endothelium, neurons, astrocytes, pericytes, microglia, and leukocytes) are capable of synthesizing endocannabinoids and/or express some or several of their target proteins [i.e., the cannabinoid 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) receptors and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 ion channel]. Therefore, the endocannabinoid system may importantly modulate the regulation of cerebral circulation under physiological and pathophysiological conditions in a very complex manner. Experimental data accumulated since the late 1990s indicate that the direct effect of cannabinoids on cerebral vessels is vasodilation mediated, at least in part, by CB1 receptors. Cannabinoid-induced cerebrovascular relaxation involves both a direct inhibition of smooth muscle contractility and a release of vasodilator mediator(s) from the endothelium. However, under stress conditions (e.g., in conscious restrained animals or during hypoxia and hypercapnia), cannabinoid receptor activation was shown to induce a reduction of the cerebral blood flow, probably via inhibition of the electrical and/or metabolic activity of neurons. Finally, in certain cerebrovascular pathologies (e.g., subarachnoid hemorrhage, as well as traumatic and ischemic brain injury), activation of CB2 (and probably yet unidentified non-CB1/non-CB2) receptors appear to improve the blood perfusion of the brain via attenuating vascular inflammation.

  8. Targeting the endocannabinoid system to treat anxiety-related disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korem, Nachshon; Zer-Aviv, Tomer Mizrachi; Ganon-Elazar, Eti; Abush, Hila; Akirav, Irit

    2016-05-01

    The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the control of emotions, and its dysregulation has been implicated in several psychiatric disorders. The most common self-reported reason for using cannabis is rooted in its ability to reduce feelings of stress, tension, and anxiety. Nevertheless, there are only few studies in controlled clinical settings that confirm that administration of cannabinoids can benefit patients with a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are considerable encouraging preclinical data to suggest that endocannabinoid-targeted therapeutics for anxiety disorders should continue. In this review, we will describe data supporting a role for the endocannabinoid system in preventing and treating anxiety-like behavior in animal models and PTSD patients. Cannabinoids have shown beneficial outcomes in rat and mouse models of anxiety and PTSD, but they also may have untoward effects that discourage their chronic usage, including anxiogenic effects. Hence, clinical and preclinical research on the endocannabinoid system should further study the effects of cannabinoids on anxiety and help determine whether the benefits of using exogenous cannabinoids outweigh the risks. In general, this review suggests that targeting the endocannabinoid system represents an attractive and novel approach to the treatment of anxiety-related disorders and, in particular, PTSD.

  9. An introduction to the endocannabinoid system: from the early to the latest concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Petrocellis, Luciano; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2009-02-01

    A rather complex and pleiotropic endogenous signalling system was discovered in the late 1990s, starting from studies on the mechanism of action of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive principle of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. This system includes: (1) at least two G-protein-coupled receptors, known as the cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors; (2) the endogenous agonists at these receptors, known as endocannabinoids, of which anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are the best known; and (3) proteins and enzymes for the regulation of endocannabinoid levels and action at receptors. The number of the members of this endocannabinoid signalling system seems to be ever increasing as new non-CB(1) non-CB(2) receptors for endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid-related molecules with little activity at CB(1) and CB(2) receptors, and new enzymes for endocannabinoid biosynthesis and degradation are being identified every year. The complexity of the endocannabinoid system and of its physiological and pathological function is outlined in this introductory chapter, for a better understanding of the subsequent chapters in this special issue.

  10. Endocannabinoids and Their Pharmacological Actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pertwee, Roger G

    2015-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system consists of G protein-coupled cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors, of endogenous compounds known as endocannabinoids that can target these receptors, of enzymes that catalyse endocannabinoid biosynthesis and metabolism, and of processes responsible for the cellular uptake of some endocannabinoids. This review presents in vitro evidence that most or all of the following 13 compounds are probably orthosteric endocannabinoids since they have all been detected in mammalian tissues in one or more investigation, and all been found to bind to cannabinoid receptors, probably to an orthosteric site: anandamide, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, noladin ether, dihomo-γ-linolenoylethanolamide, virodhamine, oleamide, docosahexaenoylethanolamide, eicosapentaenoylethanolamide, sphingosine, docosatetraenoylethanolamide, N-arachidonoyldopamine, N-oleoyldopamine and haemopressin. In addition, this review describes in vitro findings that suggest that the first eight of these compounds can activate CB(1) and sometimes also CB(2) receptors and that another two of these compounds are CB(1) receptor antagonists (sphingosine) or antagonists/inverse agonists (haemopressin). Evidence for the existence of at least three allosteric endocannabinoids is also presented. These endogenous compounds appear to target allosteric sites on cannabinoid receptors in vitro, either as negative allosteric modulators of the CB1 receptor (pepcan-12 and pregnenolone) or as positive allosteric modulators of this receptor (lipoxin A(4)) or of the CB(2) receptor (pepcan-12). Also discussed are current in vitro data that indicate the extent to which some established or putative orthosteric endocannabinoids seem to target non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels, particularly at concentrations at which they have been found to interact with CB(1) or CB(2) receptors.

  11. The endocannabinoid system as a novel approach for managing obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillo, Joseph L

    2007-04-01

    The recent discovery of the endocannabinoid system has led to the development of promising treatments for patients with obesity and associated cardiometabolic risk factors. Basic research has demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system plays an integral role in the regulation of food intake, metabolism, and storage. Research with the endocannabinoid receptor antagonist rimonabant has demonstrated statistically significant improvements in body weight, fasting insulin levels, glucose tolerance, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, serum triglyceride levels, and waist circumference, compared with placebo. Rimonabant has also produced statistically significant improvements in inflammatory markers. Research with rimonabant has demonstrated sustained efficacy for as long as 2 years when used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and moderate physical activity. Rimonabant is the first cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonist to be marketed in Europe and the first to file an New Drug Application in the United States. It may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of patients with obesity and associated cardiometabolic risk factors.

  12. Rhythmic control of endocannabinoids in the rat pineal gland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Marco; Ferreirós, Nerea; Geisslinger, Gerd; Dehghani, Faramarz; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2015-01-01

    Endocannabinoids modulate neuroendocrine networks by directly targeting cannabinoid receptors. The time-hormone melatonin synchronizes these networks with external light condition and guarantees time-sensitive and ecologically well-adapted behaviors. Here, the endocannabinoid arachidonoyl ethanolamide (AEA) showed rhythmic changes in rat pineal glands with higher levels during the light-period and reduced amounts at the onset of darkness. Norepinephrine, the essential stimulus for nocturnal melatonin biosynthesis, acutely down-regulated AEA and other endocannabinoids in cultured pineal glands. These temporal dynamics suggest that AEA exerts time-dependent autocrine and/or paracrine functions within the pineal. Moreover, endocananbinoids may be released from the pineal into the CSF or blood stream.

  13. Distribution of the Endocannabinoid System in the Central Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Sherry Shu-Jung; Mackie, Ken

    2015-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system consists of endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), the enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids, and the receptors that transduce the effects of endocannabinoids. Much of what we know about the function of endocannabinoids comes from studies that combine localization of endocannabinoid system components with physiological or behavioral approaches. This review will focus on the localization of the best-known components of the endocannabinoid system for which the strongest anatomical evidence exists.

  14. A comb filter based signal processing method to effectively reduce motion artifacts from photoplethysmographic signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Fulai; Liu, Hongyun; Wang, Weidong

    2015-10-01

    A photoplethysmographic (PPG) signal can provide very useful information about a subject's cardiovascular status. Motion artifacts (MAs), which usually deteriorate the waveform of a PPG signal, severely obstruct its applications in the clinical diagnosis and healthcare area. To reduce the MAs from a PPG signal, in the present study we present a comb filter based signal processing method. Firstly, wavelet de-noising was implemented to preliminarily suppress a part of the MAs. Then, the PPG signal in the time domain was transformed into the frequency domain by a fast Fourier transform (FFT). Thirdly, the PPG signal period was estimated from the frequency domain by tracking the fundamental frequency peak of the PPG signal. Lastly, the MAs were removed by the comb filter which was designed based on the obtained PPG signal period. Experiments with synthetic and real-world datasets were implemented to validate the performance of the method. Results show that the proposed method can effectively restore the PPG signals from the MA corrupted signals. Also, the accuracy of blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), calculated from red and infrared PPG signals, was significantly improved after the MA reduction by the proposed method. Our study demonstrates that the comb filter can effectively reduce the MAs from a PPG signal provided that the PPG signal period is obtained.

  15. Molecular components and functions of the endocannabinoid system in mouse prefrontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Lafourcade

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids have deleterious effects on prefrontal cortex (PFC-mediated functions and multiple evidences link the endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid system, cannabis use and schizophrenia, a disease in which PFC functions are altered. Nonetheless, the molecular composition and the physiological functions of the endocannabinoid system in the PFC are unknown.Here, using electron microscopy we found that key proteins involved in endocannabinoid signaling are expressed in layers v/vi of the mouse prelimbic area of the PFC: presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1R faced postsynaptic mGluR5 while diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DGL-alpha, the enzyme generating the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG was expressed in the same dendritic processes as mGluR5. Activation of presynaptic CB1R strongly inhibited evoked excitatory post-synaptic currents. Prolonged synaptic stimulation at 10Hz induced a profound long-term depression (LTD of layers V/VI excitatory inputs. The endocannabinoid -LTD was presynaptically expressed and depended on the activation of postsynaptic mGluR5, phospholipase C and a rise in postsynaptic Ca(2+ as predicted from the localization of the different components of the endocannabinoid system. Blocking the degradation of 2-AG (with URB 602 but not of anandamide (with URB 597 converted subthreshold tetanus to LTD-inducing ones. Moreover, inhibiting the synthesis of 2-AG with Tetrahydrolipstatin, blocked endocannabinoid-mediated LTD. All together, our data show that 2-AG mediates LTD at these synapses.Our data show that the endocannabinoid -retrograde signaling plays a prominent role in long-term synaptic plasticity at the excitatory synapses of the PFC. Alterations of endocannabinoid -mediated synaptic plasticity may participate to the etiology of PFC-related pathologies.

  16. Endocannabinoid system and pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa, Fernando; Wolfson, Manuel L; Valchi, Paula; Aisemberg, Julieta; Franchi, Ana María

    2016-12-01

    The endocannabinoid system (eCS), is a complex system, comprising the main endogenous ligands anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 and the biosynthetic and degrading enzymes. Cumulative evidence shows that the eCS plays an important role in reproduction, from egg fertilization to parturition. Therefore, alterations in this system, either by recreation/therapeutic use of cannabis or deregulation of the endogenous cannabinoids, might lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including retardation in embryo development, poor blastocyst implantation, inhibition of decidualization, miscarriage and compromised placentation. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanisms by which the eCS participates in different stages of pregnancy remain poorly understood. In this review, we will examine the evidence from animal and human studies to support the role of the eCS in implantation, early-to-late pregnancy and placentation as well as the difficulties of targeting this system for treatment of female infertility. © 2016 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  17. Antioxidant status and endocannabinoid concentration in postpartum depressive women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mina Ranjbaran

    2015-02-01

    Conclusion: Women’s Job, husband’s job, wanted or unwanted pregnancy from husbands and marital period are associated to postpartum depression. In postpartum depression, TAC, AEA and 2-AG are reduced. So it can be concluded that both antioxidant system and endocannabinoid concentration involved in the development of postpartum depression.

  18. Endocannabinoids regulate growth and survival of human eccrine sweat gland-derived epithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czifra, Gabriella; Szöllősi, Attila G; Tóth, Balázs I; Demaude, Julien; Bouez, Charbel; Breton, Lionel; Bíró, Tamás

    2012-08-01

    The functional existence of the emerging endocannabinoid system (ECS), one of the new neuroendocrine players in cutaneous biology, is recently described in the human skin. In this study, using human eccrine sweat gland-derived immortalized NCL-SG3 model cells and a wide array of cellular and molecular assays, we investigated the effects of prototypic endocannabinoids (anandamide, 2-arachidonoylglycerol) on cellular functions. We show here that both endocannabinoids dose-dependently suppressed proliferation, induced apoptosis, altered expressions of various cytoskeleton proteins (e.g., cytokeratins), and upregulated lipid synthesis. Interestingly, as revealed by specific agonists and antagonists as well as by RNA interference, neither the metabotropic cannabinoid receptors (CB) nor the "ionotropic" CB transient receptor potential ion channels, expressed by these cells, mediated the cellular actions of the endocannabinoids. However, the endocannabinoids selectively activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. Finally, other elements of the ECS (i.e., enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids) were also identified on NCL-SG3 cells. These results collectively suggest that cannabinoids exert a profound regulatory role in the biology of the appendage. Therefore, from a therapeutic point of view, upregulation of endocannabinoid levels might help to manage certain sweat gland-derived disorders (e.g., tumors) characterized by unwanted growth.

  19. Endocannabinoid regulation in white and brown adipose tissue following thermogenic activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krott, Lucia M; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Heine, Markus; Borrino, Simona; Scheja, Ludger; Silvestri, Cristoforo; Heeren, Joerg; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2016-03-01

    The endocannabinoids and their main receptor, cannabinoid type-1 (CB1), suppress intracellular cyclic AMP levels and have emerged as key players in the control of energy metabolism. CB1 agonists and blockers have been reported to influence the thermogenic function of white and brown adipose tissue (WAT and BAT), affecting body weight through the inhibition and stimulation of energy expenditure, respectively. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the regulation of the endocannabinoid system in WAT and BAT following exposure to either cold or specific agonism of β3-adrenoceptors using CL316,243 (CL), conditions known to cause BAT activation and WAT browning. To address this question, we performed quantitative PCR-based mRNA profiling of genes important for endocannabinoid synthesis, degradation, and signaling, and determined endocannabinoid levels by LC-MS in WAT and BAT of control, cold-exposed, and CL-treated wild-type mice as well as primary brown adipocytes. Treatment with CL and exposure to cold caused an upregulation of endocannabinoid levels and biosynthetic enzymes in WAT. Acute β3-adrenoceptor activation increased endocannabinoids and a subset of genes of biosynthesis in BAT and primary brown adipocytes. We suggest that the cold-mediated increase in endocannabinoid tone is part of autocrine negative feed-back mechanisms controlling β3-adrenoceptor-induced BAT activation and WAT browning. Copyright © 2016 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  20. [Pharmacological exploitation of the endocannabinoid system: new perspectives for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Viviane M; Wotjak, Carsten T; Moreira, Fabrício A

    2010-05-01

    The present review provides a brief introduction into the endocannabinoid system and discusses main strategies of pharmacological interventions. We have reviewed the literature relating to the endocannabinoid system and its pharmacology; both original and review articles written in English were considered. Cannabinoids are a group of compounds present in Cannabis Sativa (hemp), such as Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, and their synthetic analogues. Research on their pharmacological profile led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the mammalian brain. This system comprises at least two G-protein coupled receptors, CB(1) and CB(2), their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids; e.g. the fatty acid derivatives anandamide and 2-arachydonoyl glycerol), and the enzymes responsible for endocannabinoid synthesis and catabolism. Endocannabinoids represent a class of neuromessengers, which are synthesized on demand and released from post-synaptic neurons to restrain the release of classical neurotransmitters from pre-synaptic terminals. This retrograde signalling modulates a variety of brain functions, including anxiety, fear and mood, whereby activation of CB(1) receptors was shown to exert anxiolytic-and antidepressant-like effects in preclinical studies. Animal experiments suggest that drugs promoting endocannabinoid action may represent a novel strategy for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders.

  1. The neuroprotective role of endocannabinoids against chemical-induced injury and other adverse effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zogopoulos, Panagiotis; Vasileiou, Ioanna; Patsouris, Efstratios; Theocharis, Stamatios

    2013-04-01

    Considerable progress has been made, recently, in understanding the role of the endocannabinoid system in regard to neuroprotection. Endogenous cannabinoids have received increasing attention as potential protective agents in several cases of neuronal injury. The endocannabinoid system is comprised of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) and proteins responsible for their metabolism. Endocannabinoids serve as retrograde signalling messengers in GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses, as well as modulators of post-synaptic transmission, interacting with other neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine and dopamine. Furthermore, endocannabinoids modulate neuronal, glial and endothelial cell function and exert neuromodulatory, anti-excitotoxic, anti-inflammatory and vasodilatory effects. Physiological stimuli and pathological conditions lead to differential increases in brain endocannabinoids that regulate distinct biological functions. The purpose of this review is to present the available in vivo and in vitro experimental data, up to date, regarding the endocannabinoid system and its role in neuroprotection, as well as its possible therapeutic perspectives. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  2. 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.

  3. The Endocannabinoid System in the Retina: From Physiology to Practical and Therapeutic Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Schwitzer, Thomas; Schwan, Raymund; Angioi-Duprez, Karine; Giersch, Anne; Laprevote, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Cannabis is one of the most prevalent drugs used in industrialized countries. The main effects of Cannabis are mediated by two major exogenous cannabinoids: ?9-tetrahydroxycannabinol and cannabidiol. They act on specific endocannabinoid receptors, especially types 1 and 2. Mammals are endowed with a functional cannabinoid system including cannabinoid receptors, ligands, and enzymes. This endocannabinoid signaling pathway is involved in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions with...

  4. Psychopharmacology of the endocannabinoids: far beyond anandamide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamplona, F A; Takahashi, R N

    2012-01-01

    The study of endocannabinoid pharmacology has proceeded from the discovery of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive compound in Cannabis sativa, to the identification of an endogenous endocannabinoid system that is essential for physiological modulation of neuronal functions. We have not yet achieved a complete understanding of the various roles of the endocannabinoids, but this is one of the fastest-growing fields in psychopharmacology. This review starts with a brief historical description of the discovery of the endocannabinoids and then focuses on recent pharmacological advances and recently discovered endocannabinoid mechanisms of action (e.g. functional selectivity, allosterism, and receptor trafficking). Finally, we will discuss the contention that the existence of evidence-based therapeutic applications for cannabinoids and the wide range of physiological functions affected by endocannabinoids suggests that the careful study of the endocannabinoid system may lead to the development of novel therapeutic drugs with higher societal acceptability and lower side effects profiles.

  5. Roles for the endocannabinoid system in ethanol-motivated behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson-Redmond, Angela N; Guindon, Josée; Morgan, Daniel J

    2016-02-04

    Alcohol use disorder represents a significant human health problem that leads to substantial loss of human life and financial cost to society. Currently available treatment options do not adequately address this human health problem, and thus, additional therapies are desperately needed. The endocannabinoid system has been shown, using animal models, to modulate ethanol-motivated behavior, and it has also been demonstrated that chronic ethanol exposure can have potentially long-lasting effects on the endocannabinoid system. For example, chronic exposure to ethanol, in either cell culture or preclinical rodent models, causes an increase in endocannabinoid levels that results in down-regulation of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and uncoupling of this receptor from downstream G protein signaling pathways. Using positron emission tomography (PET), similar down-regulation of CB1 has been noted in multiple regions of the brain in human alcoholic patients. In rodents, treatment with the CB1 inverse agonist SR141716A (Rimonabant), or genetic deletion of CB1 leads to a reduction in voluntary ethanol drinking, ethanol-stimulated dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, operant self-administration of ethanol, sensitization to the locomotor effects of ethanol, and reinstatement/relapse of ethanol-motivated behavior. Although the clinical utility of Rimonabant or other antagonists/inverse agonists for CB1 is limited due to negative neuropsychiatric side effects, negative allosteric modulators of CB1 and inhibitors of endocannabinoid catabolism represent therapeutic targets worthy of additional examination. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Cannabis and endocannabinoid modulators: Therapeutic promises and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Igor; Cahn, B Rael

    2005-01-01

    The discovery that botanical cannabinoids such as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol exert some of their effect through binding specific cannabinoid receptor sites has led to the discovery of an endocannabinoid signaling system, which in turn has spurred research into the mechanisms of action and addiction potential of cannabis on the one hand, while opening the possibility of developing novel therapeutic agents on the other. This paper reviews current understanding of CB1, CB2, and other possible cannabinoid receptors, their arachidonic acid derived ligands (e.g. anandamide; 2 arachidonoyl glycerol), and their possible physiological roles. CB1 is heavily represented in the central nervous system, but is found in other tissues as well; CB2 tends to be localized to immune cells. Activation of the endocannabinoid system can result in enhanced or dampened activity in various neural circuits depending on their own state of activation. This suggests that one function of the endocannabinoid system may be to maintain steady state. The therapeutic action of botanical cannabis or of synthetic molecules that are agonists, antagonists, or which may otherwise modify endocannabinoid metabolism and activity indicates they may have promise as neuroprotectants, and may be of value in the treatment of certain types of pain, epilepsy, spasticity, eating disorders, inflammation, and possibly blood pressure control.

  7. At the heart of the matter: the endocannabinoid system in cardiovascular function and dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montecucco, Fabrizio; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2012-06-01

    Starting from the well-documented effects of marijuana smoking on heart rate and blood pressure, the cardiovascular effects of Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the main psychotropic ingredient of Cannabis) and endocannabinoids [THC endogenous counterparts that activate cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB₁) and 2 (CB₂)] have been thoroughly investigated. These studies were mostly aimed at establishing the molecular bases of the hypotensive actions of THC, endocannabinoids and related molecules, but also evaluated their therapeutic potential in cardiac injury protection, metabolic cardiovascular risk factors and atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. The results of these investigations, reviewed here, also served to highlight some of the most peculiar aspects of endocannabinoid signaling, such as redundancy in endocannabinoid targets and the often dualistic role of CB₁ and CB₂ receptors during pathological conditions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Endocannabinoid-dopamine interactions in striatal synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Neil Mathur

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The nigrostriatal dopaminergic system is implicated in action control and learning. A large body of work has focused on the contribution of this system to modulation of the corticostriatal synapse, the predominant synapse type in the striatum. Signaling through the D2 dopamine receptor is necessary for endocannabinoid-mediated depression of corticostriatal glutamate release. Here we review the known details of this mechanism and discuss newly discovered signaling pathways interacting with this system that ultimately exert dynamic control of cortical input to the striatum and striatal output. This topic is timely with respect to Parkinson’s disease given recent data indicating changes in the striatal endocannabinoid system in patients with this disorder.

  9. The evolving role of the endocannabinoid system in gynaecological cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayakannu, Thangesweran; Taylor, Anthony H; Willets, Jonathan M; Konje, Justin C

    2015-01-01

    The 'endocannabinoid system' (ECS), comprising endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) and their regulating enzymes, together with the cannabinoid receptors, has attracted a great deal of attention because it affects not only all facets of human reproduction, from gametogenesis through to parturition and beyond, but also targets key mechanisms affecting some hallmarks of cancer. Recent evidence showing that cannabinoid receptors play a very important role in the development of malignancies outside of the reproductive organs suggests a similar role for the ECS in the establishment or continued development of gynaecological malignancy. Primary papers and review articles, and primary sources within these papers, up to December 2014, on the evolving role of the ECS in cancer, with a special focus on gynaecological cancers, were obtained by Medline and PubMed searches using the search terms: 'cancer', 'cannabinoid', 'endocannabinoid', 'gynaecology' and 'malignancy'. Non-English manuscripts were excluded. More than 2100 sources were obtained from which only 112 were specifically important to the topic. Analysis of those articles supports a role of the ECS in gynaecological cancers but leaves many gaps in our knowledge that need to be filled. How some of the relevant receptors are activated and cause changes in cell phenotypes that progress to malignancy remains undiscovered and an area for future research. Increasing evidence suggests that malignant transformation within the female genital tract could be accompanied by deregulation of components of the ECS, acting through rather complex cannabinoid receptor-dependent and receptor-independent mechanisms. The paucity of studies in this area suggests that research using animal models is needed to evaluate endocannabinoid signalling in cancer networks. Future randomized clinical studies should reveal whether endocannabinoids or their derivatives prove to be useful therapeutic targets for gynaecological and other cancers.

  10. Endocannabinoid system: Role in depression, reward and pain control (Review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wen-Juan; Chen, Wei-Wei; Zhang, Xia

    2016-10-01

    Depression and pain co-exist in almost 80% of patients and are associated with impaired health-related quality of life, often contributing to high mortality. However, the majority of patients who suffer from the comorbid depression and pain are not responsive to pharmacological treatments that address either pain or depression, making this comorbidity disorder a heavy burden on patients and society. In ancient times, this depression-pain comorbidity was treated using extracts of the Cannabis sativa plant, known now as marijuana and the mode of action of Δ9‑tetrahydrocannabinol, the active cannabinoid ingredient of marijuana, has only recently become known, with the identification of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and CB2. Subsequent investigations led to the identification of endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which exert cannabinomimetic effects through the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are located on presynaptic membranes in the central nervous system and in peripheral tissues, respectively. These endocannabinoids are produced from membrane lipids and are lipohilic molecules that are synthesized on demand and are eliminated rapidly after their usage by hydrolyzing enzymes. Clinical studies revealed altered endocannabinoid signaling in patients with chronic pain. Considerable evidence suggested the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in eliciting potent effects on neurotransmission, neuroendocrine, and inflammatory processes, which are known to be deranged in depression and chronic pain. Several synthetic cannabinomimetic drugs are being developed to treat pain and depression. However, the precise mode of action of endocannabinoids on different targets in the body and whether their effects on pain and depression follow the same or different pathways, remains to be determined.

  11. Endocannabinoids Control Platelet Activation and Limit Aggregate Formation under Flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Angelis, Valentina; Koekman, Arnold C.; Weeterings, Cees; Roest, Mark; de Groot, Philip G.; Herczenik, Eszter; Maas, Coen

    2014-01-01

    Background The endocannabinoid system has previously been implicated in the regulation of neurons and inflammatory cells. Additionally, it has been reported that endocannabinoid receptors are present on circulating platelets, but there has been conflicting evidence on their contribution to platelet function. Objectives Our aim was to examine the role of endocannabinoids in platelet function in vitro and in vivo. Methods and Results We studied the effects of the well-characterized endogenous endocannabinoid anandamide on platelet aggregation in suspension, α-granule release, calcium mobilization, Syk phosphorylation, as well as platelet spreading and aggregate formation under flow. Anandamide inhibits platelet aggregation and α-granule release by collagen, collagen-derived peptide CRP-XL, ADP, arachidonic acid and thromboxane A2 analogue U46619. However, activation via thrombin receptor PAR-1 stays largely unaffected. Calcium mobilization is significantly impaired when platelets are stimulated with collagen or CRP-XL, but remains normal in the presence of the other agonists. In line with this finding, we found that anandamide prevents collagen-induced Syk phosphorylation. Furthermore, anandamide-treated platelets exhibit reduced spreading on immobilized fibrinogen, have a decreased capacity for binding fibrinogen in solution and show perturbed platelet aggregate formation under flow over collagen. Finally, we investigated the influence of Cannabis sativa consumption by human volunteers on platelet activation. Similar to our in vitro findings with anandamide, ex vivo collagen-induced platelet aggregation and aggregate formation on immobilized collagen under flow were impaired in whole blood of donors that had consumed Cannabis sativa. Conclusions Endocannabinoid receptor agonists reduce platelet activation and aggregate formation both in vitro and ex vivo after Cannabis sativa consumption. Further elucidation of this novel regulatory mechanism for platelet function

  12. Endocannabinoids control platelet activation and limit aggregate formation under flow.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina De Angelis

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system has previously been implicated in the regulation of neurons and inflammatory cells. Additionally, it has been reported that endocannabinoid receptors are present on circulating platelets, but there has been conflicting evidence on their contribution to platelet function.Our aim was to examine the role of endocannabinoids in platelet function in vitro and in vivo.We studied the effects of the well-characterized endogenous endocannabinoid anandamide on platelet aggregation in suspension, α-granule release, calcium mobilization, Syk phosphorylation, as well as platelet spreading and aggregate formation under flow. Anandamide inhibits platelet aggregation and α-granule release by collagen, collagen-derived peptide CRP-XL, ADP, arachidonic acid and thromboxane A2 analogue U46619. However, activation via thrombin receptor PAR-1 stays largely unaffected. Calcium mobilization is significantly impaired when platelets are stimulated with collagen or CRP-XL, but remains normal in the presence of the other agonists. In line with this finding, we found that anandamide prevents collagen-induced Syk phosphorylation. Furthermore, anandamide-treated platelets exhibit reduced spreading on immobilized fibrinogen, have a decreased capacity for binding fibrinogen in solution and show perturbed platelet aggregate formation under flow over collagen. Finally, we investigated the influence of Cannabis sativa consumption by human volunteers on platelet activation. Similar to our in vitro findings with anandamide, ex vivo collagen-induced platelet aggregation and aggregate formation on immobilized collagen under flow were impaired in whole blood of donors that had consumed Cannabis sativa.Endocannabinoid receptor agonists reduce platelet activation and aggregate formation both in vitro and ex vivo after Cannabis sativa consumption. Further elucidation of this novel regulatory mechanism for platelet function may prove beneficial in the search

  13. Endocannabinoids control platelet activation and limit aggregate formation under flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Angelis, Valentina; Koekman, Arnold C; Weeterings, Cees; Roest, Mark; de Groot, Philip G; Herczenik, Eszter; Maas, Coen

    2014-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has previously been implicated in the regulation of neurons and inflammatory cells. Additionally, it has been reported that endocannabinoid receptors are present on circulating platelets, but there has been conflicting evidence on their contribution to platelet function. Our aim was to examine the role of endocannabinoids in platelet function in vitro and in vivo. We studied the effects of the well-characterized endogenous endocannabinoid anandamide on platelet aggregation in suspension, α-granule release, calcium mobilization, Syk phosphorylation, as well as platelet spreading and aggregate formation under flow. Anandamide inhibits platelet aggregation and α-granule release by collagen, collagen-derived peptide CRP-XL, ADP, arachidonic acid and thromboxane A2 analogue U46619. However, activation via thrombin receptor PAR-1 stays largely unaffected. Calcium mobilization is significantly impaired when platelets are stimulated with collagen or CRP-XL, but remains normal in the presence of the other agonists. In line with this finding, we found that anandamide prevents collagen-induced Syk phosphorylation. Furthermore, anandamide-treated platelets exhibit reduced spreading on immobilized fibrinogen, have a decreased capacity for binding fibrinogen in solution and show perturbed platelet aggregate formation under flow over collagen. Finally, we investigated the influence of Cannabis sativa consumption by human volunteers on platelet activation. Similar to our in vitro findings with anandamide, ex vivo collagen-induced platelet aggregation and aggregate formation on immobilized collagen under flow were impaired in whole blood of donors that had consumed Cannabis sativa. Endocannabinoid receptor agonists reduce platelet activation and aggregate formation both in vitro and ex vivo after Cannabis sativa consumption. Further elucidation of this novel regulatory mechanism for platelet function may prove beneficial in the search for new

  14. Assay of Endocannabinoid Oxidation by Cyclooxygenase-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudalkar, Shalley N; Kingsley, Philip J; Marnett, Lawrence J

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and arachidonylethanolamide (AEA), are endogenous ligands for the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and are implicated in a wide array of physiological processes. These neutral arachidonic acid (AA) derivatives have been identified as efficient substrates for the second isoform of the cyclooxygenase enzyme (COX-2). A diverse family of prostaglandin glycerol esters (PG-Gs) and prostaglandin ethanolamides (PG-EAs) is generated by the action of COX-2 (and downstream prostaglandin synthases) on 2-AG and AEA. As the biological importance of the endocannabinoid system becomes more apparent, there is a tremendous need for robust, sensitive, and efficient analytical methodology for the endocannabinoids and their metabolites. In this chapter, we describe methodology suitable for carrying out oxygenation of endocannabinoids by COX-2, and analysis of products of endocannabinoid oxygenation by COX-2 and of endocannabinoids themselves from in vitro and cell assays.

  15. Parasitic brain infection, endocannabinoids, and schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melamede, Robert

    2009-02-01

    Cannabis use has often been associated with various forms of psychosis. Today it is well established that everyone produces marijuana-like compounds known as endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is a homeostatic regulator of all body systems including the nervous system. As a result, imbalances in the endocannabinoid system have been considered as possible causes of various forms of mental illness and abnormal behavior. In this paper, a novel hypothesis is presented that suggests that an as yet undefined subset of schizophrenia is caused by an excess of endocannabinoids that are produced to protect the brain in response to infections by agents such as Toxoplasma gondii.

  16. Endocannabinoids, Related Compounds and Their Metabolic Routes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filomena Fezza

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Endocannabinoids are lipid mediators able to bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors, the primary molecular targets responsible for the pharmacological effects of the Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. These bioactive lipids belong mainly to two classes of compounds: N-acylethanolamines and acylesters, being N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG, respectively, their main representatives. During the last twenty years, an ever growing number of fatty acid derivatives (endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-like compounds have been discovered and their activities biological is the subject of intense investigations. Here, the most recent advances, from a therapeutic point of view, on endocannabinoids, related compounds, and their metabolic routes will be reviewed.

  17. Endocannabinoids, related compounds and their metabolic routes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fezza, Filomena; Bari, Monica; Florio, Rita; Talamonti, Emanuela; Feole, Monica; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2014-10-24

    Endocannabinoids are lipid mediators able to bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors, the primary molecular targets responsible for the pharmacological effects of the Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. These bioactive lipids belong mainly to two classes of compounds: N-acylethanolamines and acylesters, being N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), respectively, their main representatives. During the last twenty years, an ever growing number of fatty acid derivatives (endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-like compounds) have been discovered and their activities biological is the subject of intense investigations. Here, the most recent advances, from a therapeutic point of view, on endocannabinoids, related compounds, and their metabolic routes will be reviewed.

  18. Endocannabinoids alleviate proinflammatory conditions by modulating innate immune response in muller glia during inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, Gopinath; Chatterjee, Nivedita

    2012-11-01

    Muller cells play a prominent role in inflammatory conditions of the retina. They are part of the retinal innate immune response. The endocannabinoid system functions as an immune modulator in both the peripheral immune system as well as the central nervous system. We hypothesized that the neuroprotective ability of exogenous endocannabinoids in the retina is partially mediated through Muller glia. This study reports that exposure to endocannabinoids in activated but not resting primary human Muller glia inhibit production of several proinflammatory cytokines, while elevating anti-inflammatory mediators. Cytokine generation in activated Muller glia is regulated by endocannabinoids through the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family at multiple signaling stages. Anandamide (AEA) acts to control MAPK phosphorylation through MKP-1. Both AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) inhibit the transcription factor NF-κB and increases the regulatory protein, IL1-R-associated kinase 1-binding protein 1. Endocannabinoids also increase expression of Tristetraprolin in activated Muller cells, which is implicated in affecting AU-rich proinflammatory cytokine mRNA. We demonstrate that exogenous application of AEA and 2-AG aid in retinal cell survival under inflammatory conditions by creating an anti-inflammatory milieu. Endocannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoid therapy may therefore orchestrate a molecular switch to bias the innate immune system suchthat the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine generation creates a prosurvival milieu. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Endocannabinoid system and mood disorders: priming a target for new therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micale, Vincenzo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Sulcova, Alexandra; Wotjak, Carsten T; Drago, Filippo

    2013-04-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS), comprising two G protein-coupled receptors (the cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 [CB1 and CB2] for marijuana's psychoactive principle ∆(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol [∆(9)-THC]), their endogenous small lipid ligands (namely anandamide [AEA] and 2-arachidonoylglycerol [2-AG], also known as endocannabinoids), and the proteins for endocannabinoid biosynthesis and degradation, has been suggested as a pro-homeostatic and pleiotropic signaling system activated in a time- and tissue-specific way during physiopathological conditions. In the brain activation of this system modulates the release of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters and of cytokines from glial cells. As such, the ECS is strongly involved in neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly in affective disturbances such as anxiety and depression. It has been proposed that synthetic molecules that inhibit endocannabinoid degradation can exploit the selectivity of endocannabinoid action, thus activating cannabinoid receptors only in those tissues where there is perturbed endocannabinoid turnover due to the disorder, and avoiding the potential side effects of direct CB1 and CB2 activation. However, the realization that endocannabinoids, and AEA in particular, also act at other molecular targets, and that these mediators can be deactivated by redundant pathways, has recently led to question the efficacy of such approach, thus opening the way to new multi-target therapeutic strategies, and to the use of non-psychotropic cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), which act via several parallel mechanisms, including indirect interactions with the ECS. The state of the art of the possible therapeutic use of endocannabinoid deactivation inhibitors and phytocannabinoids in mood disorders is discussed in this review article. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in the Brain-Gut Axis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharkey, Keith A; Wiley, John W

    2016-08-01

    The actions of cannabis are mediated by receptors that are part of an endogenous cannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of the naturally occurring ligands N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), their biosynthetic and degradative enzymes, and the cannabinoid (CB) receptors CB1 and CB2. The ECS is a widely distributed transmitter system that controls gut functions peripherally and centrally. It is an important physiologic regulator of gastrointestinal motility. Polymorphisms in the gene encoding CB1 (CNR1) have been associated with some forms of irritable bowel syndrome. The ECS is involved in the control of nausea and vomiting and visceral sensation. The homeostatic role of the ECS also extends to the control of intestinal inflammation. We review the mechanisms by which the ECS links stress and visceral pain. CB1 in sensory ganglia controls visceral sensation, and transcription of CNR1 is modified through epigenetic processes under conditions of chronic stress. These processes might link stress with abdominal pain. The ECS is also involved centrally in the manifestation of stress, and endocannabinoid signaling reduces the activity of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal pathways via actions in specific brain regions, notably the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus. Agents that modulate the ECS are in early stages of development for treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. Increasing our understanding of the ECS will greatly advance our knowledge of interactions between the brain and gut and could lead to new treatments for gastrointestinal disorders. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Insulin induces long-term depression of VTA dopamine neurons via an endocannabinoid-mediated mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labouèbe, Gwenaël; Liu, Shuai; Dias, Carine; Zou, Haiyan; Wong, Jovi C.Y.; Karunakaran, Subashini; Clee, Susanne M.; Phillips, Anthony; Boutrel, Benjamin; Borgland, Stephanie L.

    2014-01-01

    The prevalence of obesity has drastically increased over the last few decades. Exploration into how hunger and satiety signals influence the reward system can help us to understand non-homeostatic mechanisms of feeding. Evidence suggests that insulin may act in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a critical site for reward-seeking behavior, to suppress feeding. However, the neural mechanisms underlying insulin effects in the VTA remain unknown. We demonstrate that insulin, a circulating catabolic peptide that inhibits feeding, can induce a long-term depression (LTD) of excitatory synapses onto VTA dopamine neurons. This effect requires endocannabinoid-mediated presynaptic inhibition of glutamate release. Furthermore, after a sweetened high fat meal, which elevates endogenous insulin levels, insulin-induced LTD is occluded. Finally, insulin in the VTA reduces food anticipatory behavior and conditioned place preference for food. Taken together, these results suggest that insulin in the VTA suppresses excitatory synaptic transmission and reduces salience of food-related cues. PMID:23354329

  2. Endocannabinoid Regulation of Neuroendocrine Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasker, Jeffrey G; Chen, Chun; Fisher, Marc O; Fu, Xin; Rainville, Jennifer R; Weiss, Grant L

    2015-01-01

    The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that is critical for sustaining life through its homeostatic control and integrative regulation of the autonomic nervous system and neuroendocrine systems. Neuroendocrine function in mammals is mediated mainly through the control of pituitary hormone secretion by diverse neuroendocrine cell groups in the hypothalamus. Cannabinoid receptors are expressed throughout the hypothalamus, and endocannabinoids have been found to exert pronounced regulatory effects on neuroendocrine function via modulation of the outputs of several neuroendocrine systems. Here, we review the physiological regulation of neuroendocrine function by endocannabinoids, focusing on the role of endocannabinoids in the neuroendocrine regulation of the stress response, food intake, fluid homeostasis, and reproductive function. Cannabis sativa (marijuana) has a long history of recreational and/or medicinal use dating back to ancient times. It was used as an analgesic, anesthetic, and antianxiety herb as early as 2600 B.C. The hedonic, anxiolytic, and mood-elevating properties of cannabis have also been cited in ancient records from different cultures. However, it was not until 1964 that the psychoactive constituent of cannabis, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, was isolated and its chemical structure determined (Gaoni & Mechoulam, 1964). © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The endocannabinoid system and spermatogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola eGrimaldi

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available AbstractSpermatogenesis is a complex process in which male germ cells undergo a mitotic phase followed by meiosis and by a morphogenetic process to form mature spermatozoa. Spermatogenesis is under the control of gonadotropins, steroid hormones and it is modulated by a complex network of autocrine and paracrine factors. These modulators ensure the correct progression of germ cell differentiation to form mature spermatozoa. Recently, it has been pointed out the relevance of endocannabinoids as critical modulators of male reproduction. Endocannabinoids are natural lipids able to bind to cannabinoid receptors and whose levels are regulated by specific biosynthetic and degradative enzymes. Together with their receptors and metabolic enzymes, they form the endocannabinoid system (ECS. In male reproductive tracts, they affect Sertoli cell activities, Leydig cell proliferation, germ cell differentiation, sperm motility, capacitation and acrosome reaction. The ECS interferes with the pituitary-gonadal axis, and an intricate crosstalk between ECS and steroid hormones has been highlighted. This mini-review will focus on the involvement of the ECS in the control of spermatogenesis and on the interaction between ECS and steroid hormones.

  4. Endocannabinoids and the Immune System in Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabral, Guy A; Ferreira, Gabriela A; Jamerson, Melissa J

    2015-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are bioactive lipids that have the potential to signal through cannabinoid receptors to modulate the functional activities of a variety of immune cells. Their activation of these seven-transmembranal, G protein-coupled receptors sets in motion a series of signal transductional events that converge at the transcriptional level to regulate cell migration and the production of cytokines and chemokines. There is a large body of data that supports a functional relevance for 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) as acting through the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) to inhibit migratory activities for a diverse array of immune cell types. However, unequivocal data that supports a functional linkage of anandamide (AEA) to a cannabinoid receptor in immune modulation remains to be obtained. Endocannabinoids, as typical bioactive lipids, have a short half-life and appear to act in an autocrine and paracrine fashion. Their immediate effective action on immune function may be at localized sites in the periphery and within the central nervous system. It is speculated that endocannabinoids play an important role in maintaining the overall "fine-tuning" of the immune homeostatic balance within the host.

  5. The endocannabinoid system in anxiety, fear memory and habituation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruehle, S; Rey, A Aparisi; Remmers, F

    2012-01-01

    Evidence for the involvement of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in anxiety and fear has been accumulated, providing leads for novel therapeutic approaches. In anxiety, a bidirectional influence of the ECS has been reported, whereby anxiolytic and anxiogenic responses have been obtained after both increases and decreases of the endocannabinoid tone. The recently developed genetic tools have revealed different but complementary roles for the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor on GABAergic and glutamatergic neuronal populations. This dual functionality, together with the plasticity of CB1 receptor expression, particularly on GABAergic neurons, as induced by stressful and rewarding experiences, gives the ECS a unique regulatory capacity for maintaining emotional homeostasis. However, the promiscuity of the endogenous ligands of the CB1 receptor complicates the interpretation of experimental data concerning ECS and anxiety. In fear memory paradigms, the ECS is mostly involved in the two opposing processes of reconsolidation and extinction of the fear memory. Whereas ECS activation deteriorates reconsolidation, proper extinction depends on intact CB1 receptor signalling. Thus, both for anxiety and fear memory processing, endocannabinoid signalling may ensure an appropriate reaction to stressful events. Therefore, the ECS can be considered as a regulatory buffer system for emotional responses. PMID:21768162

  6. Online Traffic Signal Control for Reducing Vehicle Carbon Dioxide Emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oda, Toshihiko; Otokita, Tohru; Niikura, Satoshi

    In Japan, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions caused by vehicles have been increasing year by year and it is well known that CO2 causes a serious global warming problem. For urban traffic control systems, there is a great demand for realization of signal control measures as soon as possible due to the urgency of the recent environmental situation. This paper describes a new traffic signal control for reducing vehicle CO2 emissions on an arterial road. First, we develop a model for estimating the emissions using the traffic delay and the number of stops a driver makes. Second, to find the optimal control parameters, we introduce a random search method with rapid convergence suitable for an online traffic control. We conduct experiments in Kawasaki to verify the effectiveness of our method. The experiments show that our approach decreases not only the emissions but also congestion and travel time significantly, compared to the method implemented in the real system.

  7. The Endocannabinoid System in the Postimplantation Period: A Role during Decidualization and Placentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. M. Fonseca

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the detrimental effects of cannabis consumption during gestation are known for years, the vast majority of studies established a link between cannabis consumption and foetal development. The complex maternal-foetal interrelationships within the placental bed are essential for normal pregnancy, and decidua definitively contributes to the success of this process. Nevertheless, the molecular signalling network that coordinates strategies for successful decidualization and placentation are not well understood. The discovery of the endocannabinoid system highlighted new signalling mediators in various physiological processes, including reproduction. It is known that endocannabinoids present regulatory functions during blastocyst development, oviductal transport, and implantation. In addition, all the endocannabinoid machinery was found to be expressed in decidual and placental tissues. Additionally, endocannabinoid’s plasmatic levels were found to fluctuate during normal gestation and to induce decidual cell death and disturb normal placental development. Moreover, aberrant endocannabinoid signalling during the period of placental development has been associated with pregnancy disorders. It indicates the existence of a possible regulatory role for these molecules during decidualization and placentation processes, which are known to be particularly vulnerable. In this review, the influence of the endocannabinoid system in these critical processes is explored and discussed.

  8. Endocannabinoids: a unique opportunity to develop multitarget analgesics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maione, Sabatino; Costa, Barbara; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2013-12-01

    After 4 millennia of more or less documented history of cannabis use, the identification of cannabinoids, and of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol in particular, occurred only during the early 1960s, and the cloning of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as the discovery of endocannabinoids and their metabolic enzymes, in the 1990s. Despite this initial relatively slow progress of cannabinoid research, the turn of the century marked an incredible acceleration in discoveries on the "endocannabinoid signaling system," its role in physiological and pathological conditions, and pain in particular, its pharmacological targeting with selective agonists, antagonists, and inhibitors of metabolism, and its previously unsuspected complexity. The way researchers look at this system has thus rapidly evolved towards the idea of the "endocannabinoidome," that is, a complex system including also several endocannabinoid-like mediators and their often redundant metabolic enzymes and "promiscuous" molecular targets. These peculiar complications of endocannabinoid signaling have not discouraged efforts aiming at its pharmacological manipulation, which, nevertheless, now seems to require the development of multitarget drugs, or the re-visitation of naturally occurring compounds with more than one mechanism of action. In fact, these molecules, as compared to "magic bullets," seem to offer the advantage of modulating the "endocannabinoidome" in a safer and more therapeutically efficacious way. This approach has provided so far promising preclinical results potentially useful for the future efficacious and safe treatment of chronic pain and inflammation. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Role of the endocannabinoid system in food intake, energy homeostasis and regulation of the endocrine pancreas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chen; Jones, Peter M; Persaud, Shanta J

    2011-03-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a signalling cascade consisting of CB1 and CB2 receptors, and enzymes for the synthesis and degradation of endogenous ligands for these receptors. Central CB1 receptors have been most widely studied since they play key roles in energy homeostasis and rimonabant, a CB1 receptor antagonist, was used clinically to treat obesity. Less is known about CB2 receptors, but their abundant expression by lymphocytes and macrophages has led to suggestions of their importance in immune and inflammatory reactions. More recently, it has become apparent that both CB1 and CB2 receptors are more widely expressed than originally thought, and the capacity of endocannabinoids to regulate energy balance also occurs through their interactions with cannabinoid receptors on a variety of peripheral tissues. In general, pathological overactivation of the ECS contributes to weight gain, reduced sensitivity to insulin and glucose intolerance, and blockade of CB1 receptors reduces body weight through increased secretion of anorectic signals and improved insulin sensitivity. However, the notion that the ECS per se is detrimental to energy homeostasis is an oversimplification, since activation of cannabinoid receptors expressed by islet cells can stimulate insulin secretion, which is obviously beneficial under conditions of impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes. We propose that under normal physiological conditions cannabinoid signalling in the endocrine pancreas is a bona fide mechanism of regulating insulin secretion to maintain blood glucose levels, but that energy balance becomes dysregulated with excessive food intake, leading to adipogenesis and fat accumulation through enhanced cannabinoid synthesis. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. PUFA-derived endocannabinoids: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cascio, Maria Grazia

    2013-11-01

    Following on from the discovery of cannabinoid receptors, of their endogenous agonists (endocannabinoids) and of the biosynthetic and metabolic enzymes of the endocannabinoids, significant progress has been made towards the understanding of the role of the endocannabinoid system in both physiological and pathological conditions. Endocannabinoids are mainly n-6 long-chain PUFA (LCPUFA) derivatives that are synthesised by neuronal cells and inactivated via a two-step process that begins with their transport from the extracellular to the intracellular space and culminates in their intracellular degradation by hydrolysis or oxidation. Although the enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis and metabolism of endocannabinoids have been well characterised, the processes involved in their cellular uptake are still a subject of debate. Moreover, little is yet known about the roles of endocannabinoids derived from n-3 LCPUFA such as EPA and DHA. Here, I provide an overview of what is currently known about the mechanisms for the biosynthesis and inactivation of endocannabinoids, together with a brief analysis of the involvement of the endocannabinoids in both food intake and obesity. Owing to limited space, recent reviews will be often cited instead of original papers.

  11. The Role of the Brain's Endocannabinoid System in Pain and Its Modulation by Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcoran, Louise; Roche, Michelle; Finn, David P

    2015-01-01

    Stress has a complex, bidirectional modulatory influence on pain. Stress may either reduce (stress-induced analgesia) or exacerbate (stress-induced hyperalgesia) pain depending on the nature, duration, and intensity of the stressor. The endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system is present throughout the neuroanatomical pathways that mediate and modulate responses to painful stimuli. The specific role of the endocannabinoid system in the brain in pain and the modulation of pain by stress is reviewed herein. We first provide a brief overview of the endocannabinoid system, followed by a review of the evidence that the brain's endocannabinoid system modulates pain. We provide a comprehensive evaluation of the role of the endocannabinoid system supraspinally, and particularly in the rostral ventromedial medulla, periaqueductal gray, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex, in pain, stress-induced analgesia, and stress-induced hyperalgesia. Increased understanding of endocannabinoid-mediated regulation of pain and its modulation by stress will inform the development of novel therapeutic approaches for pain and its comorbidity with stress-related disorders. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Reduced perception of bodily signals in anorexia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollatos, Olga; Kurz, Anne-Lene; Albrecht, Jessica; Schreder, Tatjana; Kleemann, Anna Maria; Schöpf, Veronika; Kopietz, Rainer; Wiesmann, Martin; Schandry, Rainer

    2008-12-01

    Interoceptive awareness is known to be impaired in eating disorders. To date, it has remained unclear whether this variable is related to the construct of interoceptive sensitivity. Interoceptive sensitivity is considered to be an essential variable in emotional processes. The objective of the study was to elucidate this potential relationship and to clarify whether general interoceptive sensitivity is reduced in anorexia nervosa. Using a heartbeat perception task, interoceptive sensitivity was assessed in 28 female patients with anorexia nervosa and 28 matched healthy controls. Questionnaires assessing interoceptive awareness (EDI) and several other variables were also administered. Patients with anorexia nervosa displayed significantly decreased interoceptive sensitivity. They also had more difficulties in interoceptive awareness. In addition to a decreased ability to recognize certain visceral sensations related to hunger, there is a generally reduced capacity to accurately perceive bodily signals in anorexia nervosa. This highlights the potential importance of interoceptive sensitivity in the pathogenesis of eating disorders.

  13. Reduced Predictable Information in Brain Signals in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos eGomez

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a common developmental disorder characterized by communication difficulties and impaired social interaction. Recent results suggest altered brain dynamics as a potential cause of symptoms in ASD. Here, we aim to describe potential information-processing consequences of these alterations by measuring active information storage (AIS – a key quantity in the theory of distributed computation in biological networks. AIS is defined as the mutual information between the semi-infinite past of a process and its next state. It measures the amount of stored information that is used for computation of the next time step of a process. AIS is high for rich but predictable dynamics. We recorded magnetoencephalography (MEG signals in 13 ASD patients and 14 matched control subjects in a visual task. After a beamformer source analysis, twelve task-relevant sources were obtained. For these sources, stationary baseline activity was analyzed using AIS. Our results showed a decrease of AIS values in the hippocampus of ASD patients in comparison with controls, meaning that brain signals in ASD were either less predictable, reduced in their dynamic richness or both. Our study suggests the usefulness of AIS to detect an abnormal type of dynamics in ASD. The observed changes in AIS are compatible with Bayesian theories of reduced use or precision of priors in ASD.

  14. Metabolic Interplay between Astrocytes and Neurons Regulates Endocannabinoid Action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreu Viader

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG is a retrograde lipid messenger that modulates synaptic function, neurophysiology, and behavior. 2-AG signaling is terminated by enzymatic hydrolysis—a reaction that is principally performed by monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL. MAGL is broadly expressed throughout the nervous system, and the contributions of different brain cell types to the regulation of 2-AG activity in vivo remain poorly understood. Here, we genetically dissect the cellular anatomy of MAGL-mediated 2-AG metabolism in the brain and show that neurons and astrocytes coordinately regulate 2-AG content and endocannabinoid-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity and behavior. We also find that astrocytic MAGL is mainly responsible for converting 2-AG to neuroinflammatory prostaglandins via a mechanism that may involve transcellular shuttling of lipid substrates. Astrocytic-neuronal interplay thus provides distributed oversight of 2-AG metabolism and function and, through doing so, protects the nervous system from excessive CB1 receptor activation and promotes endocannabinoid crosstalk with other lipid transmitter systems.

  15. Endocannabinoids drive the acquisition of an alternative phenotype in microglia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mecha, M; Feliú, A; Carrillo-Salinas, F J; Rueda-Zubiaurre, A; Ortega-Gutiérrez, S; de Sola, R García; Guaza, C

    2015-10-01

    The ability of microglia to acquire diverse states of activation, or phenotypes, reflects different features that are determinant for their contribution to homeostasis in the adult CNS, and their activity in neuroinflammation, repair or immunomodulation. Despite the widely reported immunomodulatory effects of cannabinoids in both the peripheral immune system and the CNS, less is known about how the endocannabinoid signaling system (eCBSS) influence the microglial phenotype. The general aim of the present study was to investigate the role of endocannabinoids in microglia polarization by using microglia cell cultures. We show that alternative microglia (M2a) and acquired deactivated microglia (M2c) exhibit changes in the eCB machinery that favor the selective synthesis of 2-AG and AEA, respectively. Once released, these eCBs might be able to act through CB1 and/or CB2 receptors in order to influence the acquisition of an M2 phenotype. We present three lines of evidence that the eCBSS is critical for the acquisition of the M2 phenotype: (i) M2 polarization occurs on exposure to the two main endocannabinoids 2-AG and AEA in microglia cultures; (ii) cannabinoid receptor antagonists block M2 polarization; and (iii) M2 polarization is dampened in microglia from CB2 receptor knockout mice. Taken together, these results indicate the interest of eCBSS for the regulation of microglial activation in normal and pathological conditions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Peripheral endocannabinoid system dysregulation in first-episode psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bioque, Miquel; García-Bueno, Borja; Macdowell, Karina S; Meseguer, Ana; Saiz, Pilar A; Parellada, Mara; Gonzalez-Pinto, Ana; Rodriguez-Jimenez, Roberto; Lobo, Antonio; Leza, Juan C; Bernardo, Miguel

    2013-12-01

    Several hypotheses involving alterations of the immune system have been proposed among etiological explanations for psychotic disorders. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a homeostatic role as an endogenous neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory system. Alterations of this system have been associated with psychosis. Cannabis use is a robust risk factor for these disorders that could alter the ECS signalling. In this study, 95 patients with a first episode of psychosis (FEP) and 90 healthy controls were recruited. Protein expression of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), the protein levels of the main endocannabinoid synthesizing enzymes N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase (NAPE) and diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL), and of degradation enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) were determined by western blot analysis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Patients with a FEP showed a decreased expression of CB2 and of both endocannabinoids synthesizing enzymes (NAPE and DAGL) in comparison to healthy controls. After controlling for age, gender, body mass index, and cannabis use, NAPE and DAGL expression remained significantly decreased, whereas FAAH and MAGL expression were increased. On the other hand, FEP subjects with history of severe cannabis use showed a larger ECS dysregulation compared with healthy controls. These results indicate an ECS dysregulation in PBMC of FEP patients. The alteration of the ECS presented at the initial phases of psychosis could be contributing to the pathophysiology of the disease and constitutes a possible biomarker of psychotic disorders and an interesting pharmacological target to take into account for therapeutic purposes.

  17. Involvement of Endocannabinoids in Alcohol "Binge" Drinking: Studies of Mice with Human Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Genetic Variation and After CB1 Receptor Antagonists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yan; Huang, Ted; Lee, Francis; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2016-03-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been found to play an important role in modulating alcohol intake. Inhibition or genetic deletion of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH; a key catabolic enzyme for endocannabinoids) leads to increased alcohol consumption and preference in rodent models. A common human single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; C385A, rs324420) in the FAAH gene is associated with decreased enzymatic activity of FAAH, resulting in increased anandamide levels in both humans and FAAH C385A knock-in mice. As this FAAH SNP has been reported to be associated with altered alcohol abuse, the present study used these genetic knock-in mice containing the human SNP C385A to determine the impact of variant FAAH gene on alcohol "binge" drinking in the drinking-in-the-dark (DID) model. We found that the FAAH(A/A) mice had greater alcohol intake and preference than the wild-type FAAH(C/C) mice, suggesting that increased endocannabinoid signaling in FAAH(A/A) mice led to increased alcohol "binge" consumption. The specificity on alcohol vulnerability was suggested by the lack of any FAAH genotype difference on sucrose or saccharin intake. Using the "binge" DID model, we confirmed that selective CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 reduced alcohol intake in the wild-type mice. These data suggest that there is direct and selective involvement of the human FAAH C385A SNP and CB1 receptors in alcohol "binge" drinking. Copyright © 2016 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  18. Endocannabinoid System: A Multi-Facet Therapeutic Target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Rimplejeet; Ambwani, Sneha R; Singh, Surjit

    2016-01-01

    Cannabis sativa is also popularly known as marijuana. It has been cultivated and used by man for recreational and medicinal purposes since many centuries. Study of cannabinoids was at bay for very long time and its therapeutic value could not be adequately harnessed due to its legal status as proscribed drug in most of the countries. The research of drugs acting on endocannabinoid system has seen many ups and downs in the recent past. Presently, it is known that endocannabinoids has role in pathology of many disorders and they also serve "protective role" in many medical conditions. Several diseases like emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome related diseases, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease and Tourette's syndrome could possibly be treated by drugs modulating endocannabinoid system. Presently, cannabinoid receptor agonists like nabilone and dronabinol are used for reducing the chemotherapy induced vomiting. Sativex (cannabidiol and THC combination) is approved in the UK, Spain and New Zealand to treat spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. In US it is under investigation for cancer pain, another drug Epidiolex (cannabidiol) is also under investigation in US for childhood seizures. Rimonabant, CB1 receptor antagonist appeared as a promising anti-obesity drug during clinical trials but it also exhibited remarkable psychiatric side effect profile. Due to which the US Food and Drug Administration did not approve Rimonabant in US. It sale was also suspended across the EU in 2008. Recent discontinuation of clinical trial related to FAAH inhibitor due to occurrence of serious adverse events in the participating subjects could be discouraging for the research fraternity. Despite some mishaps in clinical trials related to drugs acting on endocannabinoid system, still lot of research is being carried out to explore and establish

  19. Peripheral modulation of the endocannabinoid system in metabolic disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, Nirajan; Cuffe, James S M; Hutchinson, Dana S; Headrick, John P; Perkins, Anthony V; McAinch, Andrew J; Hryciw, Deanne H

    2018-03-01

    Dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been identified in metabolic disease. Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB 1 ) is abundantly expressed in the brain but also expressed in the periphery. Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB 2 ) is more abundant in the periphery, including the immune cells. In obesity, global antagonism of overexpressed CB 1 reduces bodyweight but leads to centrally mediated adverse psychological outcomes. Emerging research in isolated cultured cells or tissues has demonstrated that targeting the endocannabinoid system in the periphery alleviates the pathologies associated with metabolic disease. Further, peripheral specific cannabinoid ligands can reverse aspects of the metabolic phenotype. This Keynote review will focus on current research on the functionality of peripheral modulation of the ECS for the treatment of obesity. Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Reduced Noradrenergic Signaling in the Spleen Capsule in the Absence of CB1and CB2Cannabinoid Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simkins, Tyrell J; Fried, David; Parikh, Kevin; Galligan, James J; Goudreau, John L; Lookingland, Keith J; Kaplan, Barbara L F

    2016-12-01

    The spleen is a visceral organ that contracts during hypoxia to expel erythrocytes and immune cells into the circulation. Spleen contraction is under the control of noradrenergic sympathetic innervation. The activity of noradrenergic neurons terminating in the spleen capsule is regulated by α2-adrenergic receptors (AR). Interactions between endogenous cannabinoid signaling and noradrenergic signaling in other organ systems suggest endocannabinoids might also regulate spleen contraction. Spleens from mice congenitally lacking both CB 1 and CB 2 cannabinoid receptors (Cnr1 -/- /Cnr2 -/- mice) were used to explore the role of endocannabinoids in spleen contraction. Spleen contraction in response to exogenous norepinephrine (NE) was found to be significantly lower in Cnr1 -/- /Cnr2 -/- mouse spleens, likely due to decreased expression of capsular α1AR. The majority of splenic Cnr1 mRNA expression is by cells of the spleen capsule, suggestive of post-synaptic CB 1 receptor signaling. Thus, these studies demonstrate a role for CB 1 and/or CB 2 in noradrenergic splenic contraction.

  1. Variance-reduced DSMC simulations of low-signal flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radtke, Gregg; Al-Mohssen, Husain; Gallis, Michael; Hadjiconstantinou, Nicolas

    2010-11-01

    We present a variance-reduced direct Monte Carlo method for efficient simulation of low-signal kinetic problems. In contrast to previous variance-reduction methods, the method presented here, referred to as VRDSMC, is able to substantially reduce variance with essentially no modification to the standard DSMC algorithm. This is achieved by introducing an auxiliary equilibrium simulation which, via an importance weight formulation, uses the same particle data as the non-equilibrium (DSMC) calculation. The desired hydrodynamic fields are expressed in terms of the difference between the equilibrium and the non-equilibrium results, which yields drastically reduced statistical uncertainty because it exploits the correlation between the two simulations. The resulting formulation is simple to code and provides considerable computational savings for a wide range of problems of practical interest. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  2. Endocannabinoid dysregulation in cognitive and stress-related brain regions in the Nrg1 mouse model of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, David J; Stuart, Jordyn; McGregor, Iain S; Arnold, Jonathon C

    2017-01-04

    The endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in schizophrenia. Mice with heterozygous deletion of neuregulin 1 (Nrg1 HET mice) provide a well-characterised animal model of schizophrenia, and display enhanced sensitivity to stress and cannabinoids during adolescence. However, no study has yet determined whether these mice have altered brain endocannabinoid concentrations. Nrg1 application to hippocampal slices decreased 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) signalling and disrupted long-term depression, a form of synaptic plasticity critical to spatial learning. Therefore we specifically aimed to examine whether Nrg1 HET mice exhibit increased 2-AG concentrations and disruption of spatial learning. As chronic stress influences brain endocannabinoids, we also sought to examine whether Nrg1 deficiency moderates adolescent stress-induced alterations in brain endocannabinoids. Adolescent Nrg1 HET and wild-type (WT) mice were submitted to chronic restraint stress and brain endocannabinoid concentrations were analysed. A separate cohort of WT and Nrg1 HET mice was also assessed for spatial learning performance in the Morris Water Maze. Partial genetic deletion of Nrg1 increased anandamide concentrations in the amygdala and decreased 2-AG concentrations in the hypothalamus. Further, Nrg1 HET mice exhibited increased 2-AG concentrations in the hippocampus and impaired spatial learning performance. Chronic adolescent stress increased anandamide concentrations in the amygdala, however, Nrg1 disruption did not influence this stress-induced change. These results demonstrate for the first time in vivo interplay between Nrg1 and endocannabinoids in the brain. Our results demonstrate that aberrant Nrg1 and endocannabinoid signalling may cooperate in the hippocampus to impair cognition, and that Nrg1 deficiency alters endocannabinoid signalling in brain stress circuitry. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The endocannabinoid system--back to the scene of cardiometabolic risk factors control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, C J M; Genelhu, V; Di Marzo, V; Francischetti, E A

    2014-07-01

    This review examines the impact of the endocannabinoid signaling system on metabolic and cardiovascular health and the new therapeutic strategies that selectively target dysfunctional endocannabinoid action in peripheral tissues, without causing the undesirable central nervous system effects that occurred with the first-generation of CB1 receptor blockers. We first review the components of the endocannabinoid system and the enzymes that synthesize and degrade the endocannabinoids, the critical role of the system in the homeostasis of energy balance, and its hedonic aspects related to the incentive and motivational value of food. Second, we describe the central and peripheral actions of the endocannabinoid system and its interactions with other biological modulators, such as ghrelin and leptin. Third, we summarize data from human clinical trials with the CB1 inverse agonist rimonabant, showing that the drug, although effective in increasing weight loss with accompanying improvements in the metabolic profile of the participants in the RIO (Rimonabant In Obesity) trials, was withdrawn from the market because of the risk of serious adverse events. Finally, we describe: 1) the development of new selective peripheral blockers that interrupt endocannabinoid action selectively in peripheral tissues and that have been suggested as an alternative approach to treat the metabolic consequences of obesity and related diseases, without undesirable central nervous system effects, and 2) the potential for inhibition of enzymes of synthesis, as well as the possible role of endocannabinoid congeners, with opposing effects as compared to CB1 receptor agonists, in the control of metabolic disorders. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  4. Reduced error signalling in medication-naive children with ADHD

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plessen, Kerstin J; Allen, Elena A; Eichele, Heike

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: We examined the blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activation in brain regions that signal errors and their association with intraindividual behavioural variability and adaptation to errors in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). METHODS: We acquired...... functional MRI data during a Flanker task in medication-naive children with ADHD and healthy controls aged 8-12 years and analyzed the data using independent component analysis. For components corresponding to performance monitoring networks, we compared activations across groups and conditions...... and correlated them with reaction times (RT). Additionally, we analyzed post-error adaptations in behaviour and motor component activations. RESULTS: We included 25 children with ADHD and 29 controls in our analysis. Children with ADHD displayed reduced activation to errors in cingulo-opercular regions...

  5. Extraction and Simultaneous Quantification of Endocannabinoids and Endocannabinoid-Like Lipids in Biological Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindila, Laura; Lutz, Beat

    2016-01-01

    Extraction and quantification of endocannabinoids (eCBs) from biological tissues are essential to unravel their changes in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. We describe here an analytical protocol for extraction of endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), endocannabinoid-like lipids such as palmitoyl ethanolamide (PEA) and oleoyl ethanolamide (OEA), as well as arachidonic acid (AA) from biological tissues using liquid-liquid extraction method and simultaneous quantification by liquid chromatography multiple reaction monitoring (LC/MRM).

  6. Membrane-mediated action of the endocannabinoid anandamide on membrane proteins: implications for understanding the receptor-independent mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, Djalma; Silva-Gonçalves, Laíz Da Costa; da Silva, Annielle Mendes Brito; Dos Santos Cabrera, Marcia Perez; Arcisio-Miranda, Manoel

    2017-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are amphiphilic molecules that play crucial neurophysiological functions acting as lipid messengers. Antagonists and knockdown of the classical CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors do not completely abolish many endocannabinoid activities, supporting the idea of a mechanism independent of receptors whose mode of action remains unclear. Here we combine gramicidin A (gA) single channel recordings and membrane capacitance measurements to investigate the lipid bilayer-modifying activity of endocannabinoids. Single channel recordings show that the incorporation of endocannabinoids into lipid bilayers reduces the free energy necessary for gramicidin channels to transit from the monomeric to the dimeric conformation. Membrane capacitance demonstrates that the endocannabinoid anandamide has limited effects on the overall structure of the lipid bilayers. Our results associated with the theory of membrane elastic deformation reveal that the action of endocannabinoids on membrane proteins can involve local adjustments of the lipid/protein hydrophobic interface. The current findings shed new light on the receptor-independent mode of action of endocannabinoids on membrane proteins, with important implications towards their neurobiological function.

  7. Glucagon-like peptide-1 excites firing and increases GABAergic miniature postsynaptic currents (mPSCs in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH neurons of the male mice via activation of nitric oxide (NO and suppression of endocannabinoid signaling pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imre Farkas

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1, a metabolic signal molecule, regulates reproduction, although, the involved molecular mechanisms have not been elucidated, yet. Therefore, responsiveness of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH neurons to the GLP-1 analog Exendin-4 and elucidation of molecular pathways acting downstream to the GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R have been challenged. Loose patch-clamp recordings revealed that Exendin-4 (100 nM–5 μM elevated firing rate in hypothalamic GnRH-GFP neurons of male mice via activation of GLP-1R. Whole-cell patch-clamp measurements demonstrated increased excitatory GABAergic miniature postsynaptic currents (mPSCs frequency after Exendin-4 administration, which was eliminated by the GLP-1R antagonist Exendin-3(9-39 (1 μM. Intracellular application of the G-protein inhibitor GDP-beta-S (2 mM impeded action of Exendin-4 on mPSCs, suggesting direct excitatory action of GLP-1 on GnRH neurons. Blockade of nitric-oxide (NO synthesis by L-NAME (100 μM or NPLA (1 μM or intracellular scavenging of NO by CPTIO (1 mM partially attenuated the excitatory effect of Exendin-4. Similar partial inhibition was achieved by hindering endocannabinoid pathway using CB1 inverse-agonist AM251 (1 μM. Simultaneous blockade of NO and endocannabinoid signaling mechanisms eliminated action of Exendin-4 suggesting involvement of both retrograde machineries. Intracellular application of the TRPV1-antagonist AMG9810 (10 μM or the FAAH-inhibitor PF3845 (5 μM impeded the GLP-1-triggered endocannabinoid pathway indicating an anandamide-TRPV1-sensitive control of 2-AG production. Furthermore, GLP-1 immunoreactive axons innervated GnRH neurons in the hypothalamus suggesting that GLP-1 of both peripheral and neuronal sources can modulate GnRH neurons. RT-qPCR study confirmed the expression of GLP-1R and nNOS mRNAs in GnRH-GFP neurons. Immuno-electron microscopic analysis revealed the presence of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS protein in Gn

  8. Endocannabinoids in the Retina: From Marijuana to Neuroprotection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yazulla, Stephen

    2008-01-01

    The active component of the marijuana plant Cannabis sativa, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), produces numerous beneficial effects, including analgesia, appetite stimulation and nausea reduction, in addition to its psychotropic effects. THC mimics the action of endogenous fatty acid derivatives, referred to as endocannabinoids. The effects of THC and the endocannabinoids are mediated largely by metabotropic receptors that are distributed throughout the nervous and peripheral organ systems. There is great interest in endocannabinoids for their role in neuroplasticity as well as for therapeutic use in numerous conditions, including pain, stroke, cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, fertility, neurodegenerative diseases, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and inflammatory diseases, among others. However, there has been relatively far less research on this topic in the eye and retina compared with the brain and other organ systems. The purpose of this review is to introduce the “cannabinergic” field to the retinal community. All of the fundamental work on cannabinoids has been performed in non-retinal preparations, necessitating extensive dependence on this literature for background. Happily, the retinal cannabinoid system has much in common with other regions of the central nervous system. For example, there is general agreement that cannabinoids suppress dopamine release and presynaptically reduce transmitter release from cones and bipolar cells. How these effects relate to light and dark adaptation, receptive field formation, temporal properties of ganglion cells or visual perception are unknown. The presence of multiple endocannabinoids, degradative enzymes with their bioactive metabolites, and receptors provides a broad spectrum of opportunities for basic research and to identify targets for therapeutic application to retinal diseases. PMID:18725316

  9. Gestation Related Gene Expression of the Endocannabinoid Pathway in Rat Placenta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanchan Vaswani

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian placentation is a vital facet of the development of a healthy and viable offspring. Throughout gestation the placenta changes to accommodate, provide for, and meet the demands of a growing fetus. Gestational gene expression is a crucial part of placenta development. The endocannabinoid pathway is activated in the placenta and decidual tissues throughout pregnancy and aberrant endocannabinoid signaling during the period of placental development has been associated with pregnancy disorders. In this study, the gene expression of eight endocannabinoid system enzymes was investigated throughout gestation. Rat placentae were obtained at E14.25, E15.25, E17.25, and E20, RNA was extracted, and microarray was performed. Gene expression of enzymes Faah, Mgll, Plcd4, Pld1, Nat1, Daglα, and Ptgs2 was studied (cohort 1, microarray. Biological replication of the results was performed by qPCR (cohort 2. Four genes showed differential expression (Mgll, Plcd4, Ptgs2, and Pld1, from mid to late gestation. Genes positively associated with gestational age were Ptgs2, Mgll, and Pld1, while Plcd4 was downregulated. This is the first comprehensive study that has investigated endocannabinoid pathway gene expression during rat pregnancy. This study provides the framework for future studies that investigate the role of endocannabinoid system during pregnancy.

  10. The role of the endocannabinoid system in pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodhams, Stephen G; Sagar, Devi Rani; Burston, James J; Chapman, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Preparations of the Cannabis sativa plant have been used to analgesic effect for millenia, but only in recent decades has the endogenous system responsible for these effects been described. The endocannabinoid (EC) system is now known to be one of the key endogenous systems regulating pain sensation, with modulatory actions at all stages of pain processing pathways. The EC system is composed of two main cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and two main classes of endogenous ligands or endocannabinoids (ECs). The receptors have distinct expression profiles, with CB1 receptors found at presynaptic sites throughout the peripheral and central nervous systems (PNS and CNS, respectively), whilst CB2 receptor is found principally (but not exclusively) on immune cells. The endocannabinoid ligands are lipid neurotransmitters belonging to either the N-acyl ethanolamine (NAEs) class, e.g. anandamide (AEA), or the monoacylglycerol class, e.g. 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG). Both classes are short-acting transmitter substances, being synthesised on demand and with signalling rapidly terminated by specific enzymes. ECs acting at CB1 negatively regulate neurotransmission throughout the nervous system, whilst those acting at CB2 regulate the activity of CNS immune cells. Signalling through both of these receptor subtypes has a role in normal nociceptive processing and also in the development resolution of acute pain states. In this chapter, we describe the general features of the EC system as related to pain and nociception and discuss the wealth of preclinical and clinical data involving targeting the EC system with focus on two areas of particular promise: modulation of 2-AG signalling via specific enzyme inhibitors and the role of spinal CB2 in chronic pain states.

  11. Type 2 diabetes associated changes in the plasma non-esterified fatty acids, oxylipins and endocannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has profound effects on metabolism that can be detected in plasma. While increases in circulating non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) are well described in T2D, effects on circulating signaling lipids have received little attention. Oxylipins and endocannabinoids are classes of ...

  12. [The endocannabinoid system role in the pathogenesis of obesity and depression].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zdanowicz, Anna; Kaźmierczak, Wieńczysław; Wierzbiński, Piotr

    2015-07-01

    Excessive consumption and obesity do not always have to be strictly pathological. The adjustment of food intake as well as the pleasure of eating are the results of the circulation of neurotransmitters, hormones and glucocorticoids which have an ability to regulate the activity of many receptors connected with G protein, including endocannabinoid receptors. The key role of endocannabinoids in pathogenesis of obesity is their overproduction by adipose cells. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) affect CB1 receptors and increase hunger, willingness to intake food, decrease peristalsis and delay stomach emptying. In obese people increased levels of both central and peripheral endocannabinoids are observed. It may be connected with higher availability of endocannabinoid precursors to synthesis from adipose tissue and lipids. Raised concentration of eCBs in the body may be the consequence of their catabolism dysfunction. There is a positive correlation between amount the number of receptors in the peripheral tissues and obesity increase. It is thought that expression of CB1 receptors in mesolimbic system is connected with motivation to consume food in response to rewarding factor. The appetite increase after cannabinoids use is probably caused by rewarding action of the consumed food and it results from excessive dopaminergic transmission in award system. The pharmacological inhibition of endocannabinoids activity leads to weight loss, but may also have negative consequences such as decreased mood, reduced tolerance of pain, intensified anxiety, anhedonia, depressive symptoms, even suicidal thoughts. In post mortem examinations a decrease in CB1 receptor density in grey matter of glial cells in patients with major depression was identified. The pleiotropic and extensive activity of endocannabinoid system can influence a range of neurotransmitters thereby modulating the psychiatric life phenomena, simultaneously being involved in metabolism control and energetic system of human body

  13. The endocannabinoid system and the neuroendocrine control of hydromineral balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruginsk, S G; Vechiato, F M V; Elias, L L K; Antunes-Rodrigues, J

    2014-06-01

    Endocannabinoids (ECBs) are ubiquitous lipophilic agents, and this characteristic is consistent with the wide range of homeostatic functions attributed to the ECB system. There is an increasing number of studies showing that the ECB system affects neurotransmission within the hypothalamic neurohypophyseal system. We provide an overview of the primary roles of ECBs in the modulation of neuroendocrine function and, specifically, in the control of hydromineral homeostasis. Accordingly, the general aspects of ECB-mediated signalling, as well as the specific contributions of the central component of the ECB system to the integration of behavioural and endocrine responses that control body fluid homeostasis, are discussed. © 2014 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  14. Electromagnetic Signals and Earthquakes 2.0: Increasing Signals and Reducing Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunson, J. C.; Bleier, T.; Heraud, J. A.; Muller, S.; Lindholm, C.; Christman, L.; King, R.; Lemon, J.

    2013-12-01

    QuakeFinder has an international network of 150+ Magnetometers and air conductivity instruments located in California, Peru, Chile, Taiwan, and Greece. Since 2000, QuakeFinder has been collecting electromagnetic data and applying simple algorithms to identify and characterize electromagnetic signals that occur in the few weeks prior to earthquakes greater than M4.5. In this presentation, we show refinements to several aspects of our signal identification techniques that enhance detection of pre-earthquake patterns. Our magnetometers have been improved to show longer pulses, and we are now using second generation algorithms that have been refined to detect the proper shape of the earthquake-generated pulses and to allow individual site adjustments. Independent lightning strike data has also now been included to mask out lightning based on amplitude and distance from a given instrument site. Direction of arrival (Azimuth) algorithms have been added to identify patterns of pulse clustering that occur prior to nearby earthquakes. Likewise, positive and negative air ion concentration detection has been improved by building better enclosures, using stainless screens to eliminate insects and some dirt sources, conformal coating PC boards to reduce moisture contamination, and filtering out contaminated data segments based on relative humidity measurements at each site. Infra Red data from the western GOES satellite has been time-filtered, cloud-filtered, and compared to 3 year averages of each pixel's output (by seasonal month) to arrive at a relevant comparison baseline for each night's temperature/cooling slope. All these efforts have helped improve the detection of multiple, nearly simultaneous, electromagnetic signals due to earthquake preparation processes, while reducing false positive indications due to environmental noise sources.

  15. Minocycline treatment inhibits microglial activation and alters spinal levels of endocannabinoids in a rat model of neuropathic pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guasti, Leonardo; Richardson, Denise; Jhaveri, Maulik; Eldeeb, Khalil; Barrett, David; Elphick, Maurice R; Alexander, Stephen PH; Kendall, David; Michael, Gregory J; Chapman, Victoria

    2009-01-01

    Activation of spinal microglia contributes to aberrant pain responses associated with neuropathic pain states. Endocannabinoids (ECs) are present in the spinal cord, and inhibit nociceptive processing; levels of ECs may be altered by microglia which modulate the turnover of endocannabinoids in vitro. Here, we investigate the effect of minocycline, an inhibitor of activated microglia, on levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and the related compound N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA), in neuropathic spinal cord. Selective spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats resulted in mechanical allodynia and the presence of activated microglia in the ipsilateral spinal cord. Chronic daily treatment with minocycline (30 mg/kg, ip for 14 days) significantly reduced the development of mechanical allodynia at days 5, 10 and 14 post-SNL surgery, compared to vehicle-treated SNL rats (P endocannabinoids and related compounds in neuropathic pain states. PMID:19570201

  16. Inhibition of endocannabinoid neuronal uptake and hydrolysis as strategies for developing anxiolytic drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batista, Luara A; Gobira, Pedro H; Viana, Thercia G; Aguiar, Daniele C; Moreira, Fabricio A

    2014-09-01

    The endocannabinoid system comprises the CB1 and CB2 receptors (the targets of the Cannabis sativa compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) arachidonoyl ethanolamide (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, their synthesizing machinery and membrane transport system, and the hydrolyzing enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), respectively. The endocannabinoids may act on demand to confer protection against aversive stimuli, which suggests that increasing their brain levels may represent an approach for treatment of anxiety-related disorders. Thus, this article reviews the profile of endocannabinoid reuptake and hydrolysis inhibitors in experimental tests predictive of anxiolytic activity. The FAAH inhibitors and the blockers of anandamide transport, in contrast to direct CB1 receptor agonists, induce anxiolytic effects at doses that do not interfere with motor activity. MAGL inhibitors also reduce anxiety-like behavior, although they are more likely to impair motor activity. Regarding their mechanisms, increasing anandamide levels induce responses mediated by the CB1 receptor and occluded by the transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 channels, whereas the effects of increasing 2-arachidonoyl glycerol depend on both CB1 and CB2 receptors. Their neuroanatomical targets include various structures related to anxiety and fear responses. Understanding the pharmacological properties of FAAH and MAGL inhibitors may contribute toward the development of new anxiolytic interventions based on the endocannabinoid system.

  17. The biochemical complexity of the endocannabinoid system with some remarks on stress and related disorders: a minireview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barna, I; Zelena, D

    2012-04-01

    Nowadays, the endocannabinoid-regulated processes are in the focus of interest, among others, for the treatment of stress-related disorders. In this minireview, we attempt to give some possible explanations for the conflicting results of the cannabinoidergic regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis and related disorders, drawing attention to the complexity of the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a part of an intricate network of lipid pathways and consists of the cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands, and the enzymes catalyzing their formation and degradation. The stress research is focused almost exclusively on the anandamide and 2-arachidonyl glycerol, and the cannabinoid 1 receptor. However, physiological, pathological, and pharmacological perturbations of the interconnected lipid pathways have a profound effect on the regulation of the endocannabinoid signaling system. For example, diet may substantially influence the lipid composition of the body. Recent studies have indicated that beside cannabinoid 1 receptor, the endocannabinoids may act on the cannabinoid 2, peroxisome proliferator-activated, and transient receptor potential of vanilloid type-1 receptors, too. All of these receptors are implicated in the development of stress-related disorders. However, it has to be mentioned that degradation of the endocannabinoids may result in the production of active compounds as well. Since endocannabinoids have a widespread distribution in the body, they may influence a phenomenon at several points. Different effects (stimulatory or inhibitory) at different levels of endocannabinoids (e.g. hypothalamus, hypophysis, adrenal gland in the case of HPA axis) may explain some of their unequivocal results.

  18. The Endocannabinoid System as Pharmacological Target Derived from Its CNS Role in Energy Homeostasis and Reward. Applications in Eating Disorders and Addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco-Javier Bermúdez-Silva

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system (ECS has been implicated in many physiological functions, including the regulation of appetite, food intake and energy balance, a crucial involvement in brain reward systems and a role in psychophysiological homeostasis (anxiety and stress responses. We first introduce this important regulatory system and chronicle what is known concerning the signal transduction pathways activated upon the binding of endogenous cannabinoid ligands to the Gi/0-coupled CB1 cannabinoid receptor, as well as its interactions with other hormones and neuromodulators which can modify endocannabinoid signaling in the brain. Anorexia nervosa (AN and bulimia nervosa (BN are severe and disabling psychiatric disorders, characterized by profound eating and weight alterations and body image disturbances. Since endocannabinoids modulate eating behavior, it is plausible that endocannabinoid genes may contribute to the biological vulnerability to these diseases. We present and discuss data suggesting an impaired endocannabinoid signaling in these eating disorders, including association of endocannabinoid components gene polymorphisms and altered CB1-receptor expression in AN and BN. Then we discuss recent findings that may provide new avenues for the identification of therapeutic strategies based on the endocannabinod system. In relation with its implications as a reward-related system, the endocannabinoid system is not only a target for cannabis but it also shows interactions with other drugs of abuse. On the other hand, there may be also a possibility to point to the ECS as a potential target for treatment of drug-abuse and addiction. Within this framework we will focus on enzymatic machinery involved in endocannabinoid inactivation (notably fatty acid amide hydrolase or FAAH as a particularly interesting potential target. Since a deregulated endocannabinoid system may be also related to depression, anxiety and pain symptomatology accompanying drug

  19. Plasma endocannabinoid levels in lean, overweight and obese humans: relationships with intestinal permeability markers, inflammation and incretin secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Tanya J; Cvijanovic, Nada; DiPatrizio, Nicholas V; Argueta, Donovan A; Rayner, Christopher K; Feinle-Bisset, Christine; Young, Richard L

    2018-02-13

    Intestinal production of endocannabinoid and oleoylethanolamide (OEA) is impaired in high-fat diet/obese rodents, leading to reduced satiety. Such diets also alter the intestinal microbiome in association with enhanced intestinal permeability and inflammation, however little is known of these effects in humans. This study aimed to: (i) evaluate effects of lipid on plasma anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG) and OEA in humans, and (ii) examine relationships with intestinal permeability, inflammation markers and incretin hormone secretion. 20 lean, 18 overweight and 19 obese participants underwent intraduodenal Intralipid® infusion (2 kcal/min) with collection of endoscopic duodenal biopsies and blood. Plasma AEA, 2-AG, and OEA (HPLC/tandem mass spectrometry), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) (multiplex), and duodenal expression of occludin, zona-occludin-1 (ZO-1), intestinal-alkaline-phosphatase (IAP), and toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) (RT-PCR), were assessed. Fasting plasma AEA was increased in obese, compared with lean and overweight (Plean (Plean and overweight. The relationships between plasma AEA with duodenal ZO-1 and IAP, and GIP, suggest that altered endocannabinoid signalling may contribute to changes in intestinal permeability, inflammation and incretin release in human obesity.

  20. Essential fatty acids and lipid mediators. Endocannabinoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Caramia

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In 1929 Burr and Burr discovered the essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3. Since then, researchers have shown a growing interest in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA as precursors of “lipid mediator” molecules, often with opposing effects, prostaglandins, prostacyclins, thromboxanes, leukotrienes, lipossines, resolvines, protectines, maresins that regulate immunity, platelet aggregation, inflammation, etc. They showed that the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 acids has a profound influence on all the body’s inflammatory responses and a raised level of PUFA omega-3 in tissue correlate with a reduced incidence of degenerative cardiovascular disease, some mental illnesses such as depression, and neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The CYP-catalyzed epoxidation and hydroxylation of arachidonic acid (AA were established recently as the so-called third branch of AGE cascade. Cytochrome P450 (CYP epoxygenases convert AA to four epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (EET regioisomers, that produce vascular relaxation anti-inflammatory effects on blood vessels and in the kidney, promote angiogenesis, and protect ischemic myocardium and brain. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA are accessible to CYP enzymes in the same way as AA. Metabolites derived from EPA include epoxyeicosatetraenoic acids (EETR and hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acids (19- and 20-HEPE, whereas DHA include epoxydocosapentaenoic acids (EDPs hydroxydocosahexaenoic acids (21- and 22-HDoHE. For many of the CYP isoforms, the n-3 PUFAs are the preferred substrates and the available data suggest that some of the vasculo- and cardioprotective effects attributed to dietary n-3 PUFAs may be mediated by CYP-dependent metabolites of EPA and DHA. From AA derives also endocannabinoids like anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, capable of mimicking the pharmacological actions of the active principle of Cannabis sativa preparations such as

  1. Maternal Caloric Restriction Implemented during the Preconceptional and Pregnancy Period Alters Hypothalamic and Hippocampal Endocannabinoid Levels at Birth and Induces Overweight and Increased Adiposity at Adulthood in Male Rat Offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-López, María Teresa; Vázquez, Mariam; Bindila, Laura; Lomazzo, Ermelinda; Hofmann, Clementine; Blanco, Rosarío Noemí; Alén, Francisco; Antón, María; Decara, Juan; Arco, Rocío; Ouro, Daniel; Orio, Laura; Suárez, Juan; Lutz, Beat; Gómez de Heras, Raquel; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to inadequate nutritional conditions in critical windows of development has been associated to disturbances on metabolism and behavior in the offspring later in life. The role of the endocannabinoid system, a known regulator of energy expenditure and adaptive behaviors, in the modulation of these processes is unknown. In the present study, we investigated the impact of exposing rat dams to diet restriction (20% less calories than standard diet) during pre-gestational and gestational periods on: (a) neonatal outcomes; (b) endocannabinoid content in hypothalamus, hippocampus and olfactory bulb at birth; (c) metabolism-related parameters; and (d) behavior in adult male offspring. We found that calorie-restricted dams tended to have a reduced litter size, although the offspring showed normal weight at birth. Pups from calorie-restricted dams also exhibited a strong decrease in the levels of anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), arachidonic acid (AA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) in the hypothalamus at birth. Additionally, pups from diet-restricted dams displayed reduced levels of AEA in the hippocampus without significant differences in the olfactory bulb. Moreover, offspring exhibited increased weight gain, body weight and adiposity in adulthood as well as increased anxiety-related responses. We propose that endocannabinoid signaling is altered by a maternal caloric restriction implemented during the preconceptional and pregnancy periods, which might lead to modifications of the hypothalamic and hippocampal circuits, potentially contributing to the long-term effects found in the adult offspring.

  2. Endocannabinoid involvement in reward and impulsivity in addiction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hell, H.H.

    2011-01-01

    Addiction is one of the most disabling diseases in the world. An important neurotransmitter system that has recently been implicated in addiction is the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid ligands that work on these receptors.

  3. Ghrelin and endocannabinoids participation in morphine-induced effects in the rat nucleus accumbens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sustkova-Fiserova, Magdalena; Jerabek, Pavel; Havlickova, Tereza; Syslova, Kamila; Kacer, Petr

    2016-02-01

    In addition to dopamine, endocannabinoids are thought to participate in neural reward mechanisms of opioids. Number of recent studies suggests crucial involvement of ghrelin in some addictive drugs effects. Our previous results showed that ghrelin participates in morphine-induced changes in the mesolimbic dopaminergic system associated with reward processing. The goal of the present study was to test whether the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R1A) antagonist JMV2959 was able to influence morphine-induced effects on anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine, AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the nucleus accumbens shell (NACSh). We used in vivo microdialysis to determine changes in levels of AEA and 2-AG in the NACSh in rats following (i) an acute morphine dose (5, 10 mg/kg s.c.) with and without JMV2959 pretreatment (3, 6 mg/kg i.p.) or (ii) a morphine challenge dose (5 mg/kg s.c.) with and without JMV2959 (3, 6 mg/kg i.p.) pretreatment, administered during abstinence following repeated doses of morphine (5 days, 10-40 mg/kg). Co-administration of ghrelin (40 ug/kg i.p.) was used to verify the ghrelin mechanisms involvement. Pretreatment with JMV2959 significantly and dose-dependently reversed morphine-induced anandamide increases in the NACSh in both the acute and longer-term models, resulting in a significant AEA decrease. JMV2959 significantly intensified acute morphine-induced decreases in accumbens 2-AG levels and attenuated morphine challenge-induced 2-AG decreases. JMV2959 pretreatment significantly reduced concurrent morphine challenge-induced behavioral sensitization. JMV2959 pretreatment effects were abolished by co-administration of ghrelin. Our results indicate significant involvement of ghrelin signaling in morphine-induced endocannabinoid changes in the NACSh.

  4. Endocannabinoids control vesicle release mode at midbrain periaqueductal grey inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubrey, Karin R; Drew, Geoffrey M; Jeong, Hyo-Jin; Lau, Benjamin K; Vaughan, Christopher W

    2017-01-01

    The midbrain periaqueductal grey (PAG) forms part of an endogenous analgesic system which is tightly regulated by the neurotransmitter GABA. The role of endocannabinoids in regulating GABAergic control of this system was examined in rat PAG slices. Under basal conditions GABAergic neurotransmission onto PAG output neurons was multivesicular. Activation of the endocannabinoid system reduced GABAergic inhibition by reducing the probability of release and by shifting release to a univesicular mode. Blockade of endocannabinoid system unmasked a tonic control over the probability and mode of GABA release. These findings provides a mechanistic foundation for the control of the PAG analgesic system by disinhibition. The midbrain periaqueductal grey (PAG) has a crucial role in coordinating endogenous analgesic responses to physiological and psychological stressors. Endocannabinoids are thought to mediate a form of stress-induced analgesia within the PAG by relieving GABAergic inhibition of output neurons, a process known as disinhibition. This disinhibition is thought to be achieved by a presynaptic reduction in GABA release probability. We examined whether other mechanisms have a role in endocannabinoid modulation of GABAergic synaptic transmission within the rat PAG. The group I mGluR agonist DHPG ((R,S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine) inhibited evoked IPSCs and increased their paired pulse ratio in normal external Ca 2+ , and when release probability was reduced by lowering Ca 2+ . However, the effect of DHPG on the coefficient of variation and kinetics of evoked IPSCs differed between normal and low Ca 2+ . Lowering external Ca 2+ had a similar effect on evoked IPSCs to that observed for DHPG in normal external Ca 2+ . The low affinity GABA A receptor antagonist TPMPA ((1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl)methylphosphinic acid) inhibited evoked IPSCs to a greater extent in low than in normal Ca 2+ . Together these findings indicate that the normal mode of GABA release is

  5. Endocannabinoids blunt the augmentation of synaptic transmission by serotonin 2A receptors in the nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austgen, James R.; Kline, David D.

    2013-01-01

    Serotonin (5-Hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and the 5-HT2 receptor modulate cardiovascular and autonomic function in part through actions in the nTS, the primary termination and integration point for cardiorespiratory afferents in the brainstem. In other brain regions, 5-HT2 receptors (5-HT2R) modify synaptic transmission directly, as well as through 5-HT2AR-induced endocannabinoid release. This study examined the role of 5-HT2AR as well as their interaction with endocannabinoids on neurotransmission in the nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS). Excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in monosynaptic nTS neurons were recorded in the horizontal brainstem slice during activation and blockade of 5-HT2ARs. 5-HT2AR activation augmented solitary tract (TS) evoked EPSC amplitude whereas 5-HT2AR blockade depressed TS-EPSC amplitude at low and high TS stimulation rates. The 5-HT2AR-induced increase in neurotransmission was reduced by endocannabinoid receptor block and increased endogenous endocannabinoids in the synaptic cleft during high frequency, but not low, TS stimulation. Endocannabinoids did not tonically modify EPSCs. These data suggest 5-HT acting through the 5-HT2AR is an excitatory neuromodulator in the nTS and its effects are modulated by the endocannabinoid system. PMID:24041777

  6. The Endocannabinoid System across Postnatal Development in Transmembrane Domain Neuregulin 1 Mutant Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rose Chesworth

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The use of cannabis is a well-established component risk factor for schizophrenia, particularly in adolescent individuals with genetic predisposition for the disorder. Alterations to the endocannabinoid system have been found in the prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia. Thus, we assessed whether molecular alterations exist in the endocannabinoid signalling pathway during brain development in a mouse model for the schizophrenia risk gene neuregulin 1 (Nrg1. We analysed transcripts encoding key molecules of the endocannabinoid system in heterozygous transmembrane domain Nrg1 mutant mice (Nrg1 TM HET, which is known to have increased sensitivity to cannabis exposure. Tissue from the prelimbic cortex and hippocampus of male and female Nrg1 TM HET mice and wild type-like littermates was collected at postnatal days (PNDs 7, 10, 14, 21, 28, 35, 49, and 161. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was conducted to assess mRNA levels of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R and enzymes for the synthesis and breakdown of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol [i.e., diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DAGLα, monoglyceride lipase (MGLL, and α/β-hydrolase domain-containing 6 (ABHD6]. No sex differences were found for any transcripts in either brain region; thus, male and female data were pooled. Hippocampal and cortical mRNA expression of DAGLα, MGLL, and ABHD6 increased until PND 21–35 and then decreased and stabilised for the rest of postnatal development. Hippocampal CB1R mRNA expression increased until PND 21 and decreased after this age. Expression levels of these endocannabinoid markers did not differ in Nrg1 TM HET compared to control mice at any time point. Here, we demonstrate dynamic changes in the developmental trajectory of several key endocannabinoid system transcripts in the mouse brain, which may correspond with periods of endocannabinoid system maturation. Nrg1 TM HET mutation did not alter the developmental trajectory of the

  7. The Endocannabinoid System across Postnatal Development in Transmembrane DomainNeuregulin 1Mutant Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesworth, Rose; Long, Leonora E; Weickert, Cynthia Shannon; Karl, Tim

    2018-01-01

    The use of cannabis is a well-established component risk factor for schizophrenia, particularly in adolescent individuals with genetic predisposition for the disorder. Alterations to the endocannabinoid system have been found in the prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia. Thus, we assessed whether molecular alterations exist in the endocannabinoid signalling pathway during brain development in a mouse model for the schizophrenia risk gene neuregulin 1 ( Nrg1 ). We analysed transcripts encoding key molecules of the endocannabinoid system in heterozygous transmembrane domain Nrg1 mutant mice ( Nrg1 TM HET), which is known to have increased sensitivity to cannabis exposure. Tissue from the prelimbic cortex and hippocampus of male and female Nrg1 TM HET mice and wild type-like littermates was collected at postnatal days (PNDs) 7, 10, 14, 21, 28, 35, 49, and 161. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was conducted to assess mRNA levels of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB 1 R) and enzymes for the synthesis and breakdown of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol [i.e., diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DAGLα), monoglyceride lipase (MGLL), and α/β-hydrolase domain-containing 6 (ABHD6)]. No sex differences were found for any transcripts in either brain region; thus, male and female data were pooled. Hippocampal and cortical mRNA expression of DAGLα, MGLL, and ABHD6 increased until PND 21-35 and then decreased and stabilised for the rest of postnatal development. Hippocampal CB 1 R mRNA expression increased until PND 21 and decreased after this age. Expression levels of these endocannabinoid markers did not differ in Nrg1 TM HET compared to control mice at any time point. Here, we demonstrate dynamic changes in the developmental trajectory of several key endocannabinoid system transcripts in the mouse brain, which may correspond with periods of endocannabinoid system maturation. Nrg1 TM HET mutation did not alter the developmental trajectory of the endocannabinoid

  8. Acute Stress Suppresses Synaptic Inhibition and Increases Anxiety via Endocannabinoid Release in the Basolateral Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Shi; Itoga, Christy A; Fisher, Marc O; Solomonow, Jonathan; Roltsch, Emily A; Gilpin, Nicholas W; Tasker, Jeffrey G

    2016-08-10

    Stress and glucocorticoids stimulate the rapid mobilization of endocannabinoids in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Cannabinoid receptors in the BLA contribute to anxiogenesis and fear-memory formation. We tested for rapid glucocorticoid-induced endocannabinoid regulation of synaptic inhibition in the rat BLA. Glucocorticoid application to amygdala slices elicited a rapid, nonreversible suppression of spontaneous, but not evoked, GABAergic synaptic currents in BLA principal neurons; the effect was also seen with a membrane-impermeant glucocorticoid, but not with intracellular glucocorticoid application, implicating a membrane-associated glucocorticoid receptor. The glucocorticoid suppression of GABA currents was not blocked by antagonists of nuclear corticosteroid receptors, or by inhibitors of gene transcription or protein synthesis, but was blocked by inhibiting postsynaptic G-protein activity, suggesting a postsynaptic nongenomic steroid signaling mechanism that stimulates the release of a retrograde messenger. The rapid glucocorticoid-induced suppression of inhibition was prevented by blocking CB1 receptors and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) synthesis, and it was mimicked and occluded by CB1 receptor agonists, indicating it was mediated by the retrograde release of the endocannabinoid 2-AG. The rapid glucocorticoid effect in BLA neurons in vitro was occluded by prior in vivo acute stress-induced, or prior in vitro glucocorticoid-induced, release of endocannabinoid. Acute stress also caused an increase in anxiety-like behavior that was attenuated by blocking CB1 receptor activation and inhibiting 2-AG synthesis in the BLA. Together, these findings suggest that acute stress causes a long-lasting suppression of synaptic inhibition in BLA neurons via a membrane glucocorticoid receptor-induced release of 2-AG at GABA synapses, which contributes to stress-induced anxiogenesis. We provide a cellular mechanism in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) for the rapid stress

  9. The Endocannabinoid System and Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisboa, S F; Gomes, F V; Terzian, A L B; Aguiar, D C; Moreira, F A; Resstel, L B M; Guimarães, F S

    2017-01-01

    The medical properties of Cannabis sativa is known for centuries. Since the discovery and characterization of the endogenous cannabinoid system, several studies have evaluated how cannabinoid compounds and, particularly, how the modulation of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system influences a wide range of functions, from metabolic to mental disorders. Cannabinoids and eCB system often exert opposite effects on several functions, such as anxiety. Although the mechanisms are not completely understood, evidence points to different factors influencing those effects. In this chapter, the recent advances in research about the relationship between eCB system and anxiety disorders in humans, as well as in animal models, will be discussed. The recent data addressing modulation of the eCBs in specific brain areas, such as the medial prefrontal cortex, amygdaloid complex, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, hippocampus, and dorsal periaqueductal gray, will be summarized. Finally, data from animal models addressing the mechanisms through which the eCB system modulates anxiety-related behavior dependent on stressful situations, such as the involvement of different receptors, distinct eCBs, modulation of neurotransmitters release, HPA axis and immune system activation, and plastic mechanisms, will also be discussed. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Active endocannabinoids are secreted on extracellular membrane vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielli, Martina; Battista, Natalia; Riganti, Loredana; Prada, Ilaria; Antonucci, Flavia; Cantone, Laura; Matteoli, Michela; Maccarrone, Mauro; Verderio, Claudia

    2015-02-01

    Endocannabinoids primarily influence neuronal synaptic communication within the nervous system. To exert their function, endocannabinoids need to travel across the intercellular space. However, how hydrophobic endocannabinoids cross cell membranes and move extracellularly remains an unresolved problem. Here, we show that endocannabinoids are secreted through extracellular membrane vesicles produced by microglial cells. We demonstrate that microglial extracellular vesicles carry on their surface N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA), which is able to stimulate type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1), and inhibit presynaptic transmission, in target GABAergic neurons. This is the first demonstration of a functional role of extracellular vesicular transport of endocannabinoids. © 2015 The Authors.

  11. Anandamide and analogous endocannabinoids: a lipid self-assembly study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sagnella, Sharon M.; Conn, Charlotte E.; Krodkiewska, Irena; Mulet, Xavier; Drummond, Calum J.

    2014-09-24

    Anandamide, the endogenous agonist of the cannabinoid receptors, has been widely studied for its interesting biological and medicinal properties and is recognized as a highly significant lipid signaling molecule within the nervous system. Few studies have, however, examined the effect of the physical conformation of anandamide on its function. The study presented herein has focused on characterizing the self-assembly behaviour of anandamide and four other endocannabinoid analogues of anandamide, viz., 2-arachidonyl glycerol, arachidonyl dopamine, 2-arachidonyl glycerol ether (noladin ether), and o-arachidonyl ethanolamide (virodhamine). Molecular modeling of the five endocannabinoid lipids indicates that the highly unsaturated arachidonyl chain has a preference for a U or J shaped conformation. Thermal phase studies of the neat amphiphiles showed that a glass transition was observed for all of the endocannabinoids at {approx} -110 C with the exception of anandamide, with a second glass transition occurring for 2-arachidonyl glycerol, 2-arachidonyl glycerol ether, and virodhamine (-86 C, -95 C, -46 C respectively). Both anandamide and arachidonyl dopamine displayed a crystal-isotropic melting point (-4.8 and -20.4 C respectively), while a liquid crystal-isotropic melting transition was seen for 2-arachidonyl glycerol (-40.7 C) and 2-arachidonyl glycerol ether (-71.2 C). No additional transitions were observed for virodhamine. Small angle X-ray scattering and cross polarized optical microscopy studies as a function of temperature indicated that in the presence of excess water, both 2-arachidonyl glycerol and anandamide form co-existing Q{sub II}{sup G} (gyroid) and Q{sub II}{sup D} (diamond) bicontinuous cubic phases from 0 C to 20 C, which are kinetically stable over a period of weeks but may not represent true thermodynamic equilibrium. Similarly, 2-arachidonyl glycerol ether acquired an inverse hexagonal (HII) phase in excess water from 0 C to 40 C, while

  12. Characterisation of the endocannabinoid system in rat haemochorial placenta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Bruno M; Correia-da-Silva, Georgina; Taylor, Anthony H; Lam, Patricia M W; Marczylo, Timothy H; Konje, Justin C; Teixeira, Natércia A

    2012-11-01

    Trophoblast cells that comprise the placenta play a crucial role in the complex cross-talk between fetus and maternal tissues. Although anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, the best studied endocannabinoids, affect trophoblast attachment and outgrowth, the functional significance of the endocannabinoid system in the development of placenta has not been established. We investigated the correlation between endocannabinoid levels and the pattern of expression of the receptors and metabolic enzymes of the endocannabinoid system during rat placental development. Here, we showed that all the endocannabinoid machinery is dynamically expressed in the functionally distinct basal and labyrinth zones of the rat placenta. Indeed, endocannabinoid levels are shown to increase with the progression of pregnancy. Together, these data support a role for the endocannabinoid system in normal placental function and evidence for a potential novel cellular target for the deleterious action of cannabis-derived compounds during the second half of pregnancy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Early phytocannabinoid chemistry to endocannabinoids and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mechoulam, Raphael; Hanuš, Lumír O; Pertwee, Roger; Howlett, Allyn C

    2014-11-01

    Isolation and structure elucidation of most of the major cannabinoid constituents--including Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC), which is the principal psychoactive molecule in Cannabis sativa--was achieved in the 1960s and 1970s. It was followed by the identification of two cannabinoid receptors in the 1980s and the early 1990s and by the identification of the endocannabinoids shortly thereafter. There have since been considerable advances in our understanding of the endocannabinoid system and its function in the brain, which reveal potential therapeutic targets for a wide range of brain disorders.

  14. A moderate diet restriction during pregnancy alters the levels of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-related lipids in the hypothalamus, hippocampus and olfactory bulb of rat offspring in a sex-specific manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-López, María Teresa; Vázquez, Mariam; Lomazzo, Ermelinda; Hofmann, Clementine; Blanco, Rosario Noemi; Alén, Francisco; Antón, María; Decara, Juan; Arco, Rocío; Orio, Laura; Suárez, Juan; Lutz, Beat; Gómez de Heras, Raquel; Bindila, Laura; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2017-01-01

    Undernutrition during pregnancy has been associated to increased vulnerability to develop metabolic and behavior alterations later in life. The endocannabinoid system might play an important role in these processes. Therefore, we investigated the effects of a moderate maternal calorie-restricted diet on the levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), arachidonic acid (AA) and the N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) anandamide (AEA), oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) in the brain of newborn rat offspring. We focused on brain structures involved in metabolism, feeding behavior, as well as emotional and cognitive responses. Female Wistar rats were assigned during the entire pregnancy to either control diet (C) or restriction diet (R), consisting of a 20% calorie-restricted diet. Weight gain and caloric intake of rat dams were monitored and birth outcomes were assessed. 2-AG, AA and NAE levels were measured in hypothalamus, hippocampus and olfactory bulb of the offspring. R dams displayed lower gain weight from the middle pregnancy and consumed less calories during the entire pregnancy. Offspring from R dams were underweight at birth, but litter size was unaffected. In hypothalamus, R male offspring displayed decreased levels of AA and OEA, with no change in the levels of the endocannabinoids 2-AG and AEA. R female exhibited decreased 2-AG and PEA levels. The opposite was found in the hippocampus, where R male displayed increased 2-AG and AA levels, and R female exhibited elevated levels of AEA, AA and PEA. In the olfactory bulb, only R female presented decreased levels of AEA, AA and PEA. Therefore, a moderate diet restriction during the entire pregnancy alters differentially the endocannabinoids and/or endocannabinoid-related lipids in hypothalamus and hippocampus of the underweight offspring, similarly in both sexes, whereas sex-specific alterations occur in the olfactory bulb. Consequently, endocannabinoid and endocannabinoid

  15. The endocannabinoid system in guarding against fear, anxiety and stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Beat; Marsicano, Giovanni; Maldonado, Rafael; Hillard, Cecilia J.

    2018-01-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has emerged as a central integrator linking the perception of external and internal stimuli to distinct neurophysiological and behavioural outcomes (such as fear reaction, anxiety and stress-coping), thus allowing an organism to adapt to its changing environment. eCB signalling seems to determine the value of fear-evoking stimuli and to tune appropriate behavioural responses, which are essential for the organism’s long-term viability, homeostasis and stress resilience; and dysregulation of eCB signalling can lead to psychiatric disorders. An understanding of the underlying neural cell populations and cellular processes enables the development of therapeutic strategies to mitigate behavioural maladaptation. PMID:26585799

  16. Endocannabinoids Stimulate Human Melanogenesis via Type-1 Cannabinoid Receptor*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pucci, Mariangela; Pasquariello, Nicoletta; Battista, Natalia; Di Tommaso, Monia; Rapino, Cinzia; Fezza, Filomena; Zuccolo, Michela; Jourdain, Roland; Finazzi Agrò, Alessandro; Breton, Lionel; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2012-01-01

    We show that a fully functional endocannabinoid system is present in primary human melanocytes (normal human epidermal melanocyte cells), including anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonoylglycerol, the respective target receptors (CB1, CB2, and TRPV1), and their metabolic enzymes. We also show that at higher concentrations AEA induces normal human epidermal melanocyte apoptosis (∼3-fold over controls at 5 μm) through a TRPV1-mediated pathway that increases DNA fragmentation and p53 expression. However, at lower concentrations, AEA and other CB1-binding endocannabinoids dose-dependently stimulate melanin synthesis and enhance tyrosinase gene expression and activity (∼3- and ∼2-fold over controls at 1 μm). This CB1-dependent activity was fully abolished by the selective CB1 antagonist SR141716 or by RNA interference of the receptor. CB1 signaling engaged p38 and p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinases, which in turn activated the cyclic AMP response element-binding protein and the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor. Silencing of tyrosinase or microphthalmia-associated transcription factor further demonstrated the involvement of these proteins in AEA-induced melanogenesis. In addition, CB1 activation did not engage the key regulator of skin pigmentation, cyclic AMP, showing a major difference compared with the regulation of melanogenesis by α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone through melanocortin 1 receptor. PMID:22431736

  17. Repeated forced swim stress differentially affects formalin-evoked nociceptive behaviour and the endocannabinoid system in stress normo-responsive and stress hyper-responsive rat strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Elaine M; Okine, Bright N; Olango, Weredeselam M; Roche, Michelle; Finn, David P

    2016-01-04

    Repeated exposure to a homotypic stressor such as forced swimming enhances nociceptive responding in rats. However, the influence of genetic background on this stress-induced hyperalgesia is poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of repeated forced swim stress on nociceptive responding in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats versus the Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat strain, a genetic background that is susceptible to stress, negative affect and hyperalgesia. Given the well-documented role of the endocannabinoid system in stress and pain, we investigated associated alterations in endocannabinoid signalling in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and amygdala. In SD rats, repeated forced swim stress for 10 days was associated with enhanced late phase formalin-evoked nociceptive behaviour, compared with naive, non-stressed SD controls. In contrast, WKY rats exposed to 10 days of swim stress displayed reduced late phase formalin-evoked nociceptive behaviour. Swim stress increased levels of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) mRNA in the ipsilateral side of the dorsal spinal cord of SD rats, an effect not observed in WKY rats. In the amygdala, swim stress reduced anandamide (AEA) levels in the contralateral amygdala of SD rats, but not WKY rats. Additional within-strain differences in levels of CB1 receptor and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) mRNA and levels of 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) were observed between the ipsilateral and contralateral sides of the dorsal horn and/or amygdala. These data indicate that the effects of repeated stress on inflammatory pain-related behaviour are different in two rat strains that differ with respect to stress responsivity and affective state and implicate the endocannabinoid system in the spinal cord and amygdala in these differences. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Reduced error signalling in medication-naive children with ADHD

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plessen, Kerstin J; Allen, Elena A; Eichele, Heike

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: We examined the blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activation in brain regions that signal errors and their association with intraindividual behavioural variability and adaptation to errors in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). METHODS: We acquired...... functional MRI data during a Flanker task in medication-naive children with ADHD and healthy controls aged 8-12 years and analyzed the data using independent component analysis. For components corresponding to performance monitoring networks, we compared activations across groups and conditions...... performance monitoring problems to specific brain regions and operations in error processing may help to guide the targets of future treatments for ADHD....

  19. Circulating and hepatic endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-related molecules in patients with cirrhosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraceni, Paolo; Viola, Antonella; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Giannone, Ferdinando; Berzigotti, Annalisa; Cescon, Matteo; Domenicali, Marco; Petrosino, Stefania; Giampalma, Emanuela; Riili, Anna; Grazi, Gianluca; Golfieri, Rita; Zoli, Marco; Bernardi, Mauro; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2010-07-01

    Endocannabinoids include anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Endocannabinoid-related molecules like oleoyl-ethanolamine (OEA) and palmitoyl-ethanolamine (PEA) have also been identified. AEA contributes to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular alterations in experimental cirrhosis, but data on the endocannabinoid system in human cirrhosis are lacking. Thus, we aimed to assess whether circulating and hepatic endocannabinoids are upregulated in cirrhotic patients and whether their levels correlate with systemic haemodynamics and liver function. The endocannabinoid levels were measured in peripheral and hepatic veins and liver tissue by isotope-dilution liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry. Systemic haemodynamics were assessed by the transthoracic electrical bioimpedance technique. Portal pressure was evaluated by hepatic venous pressure gradient. Circulating AEA and, to a greater extent, PEA and OEA were significantly higher in cirrhotic patients than in controls. PEA and OEA were also increased in the cirrhotic liver tissue. AEA, OEA and PEA levels were significantly higher in peripheral than in the hepatic veins of cirrhotic patients, while the opposite occurred for 2-AG. Finally, circulating AEA, OEA and PEA correlated with parameters of liver function, such as serum bilirubin and international normalized ratio. No correlations were found with systemic haemodynamics. The endocannabinoid system is upregulated in human cirrhosis. Peripheral AEA is increased in patients with a high model of end-stage liver disease score and may reflect the extent of liver dysfunction. In contrast, the 2-AG levels, the other major endocannabinoid, are not affected by cirrhosis. The upregulation of the endocannabinoid-related molecules, OEA and PEA, is even greater than that of AEA, prompting pharmacological studies on these compounds.

  20. Rapid Elevations in Limbic Endocannabinoid Content by Glucocorticoid Hormones In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Matthew N.; Karatsoreos, Ilia N.; Hillard, Cecilia J.; McEwen, Bruce S.

    2010-01-01

    Functional interactions between glucocorticoids and the endocannabinoid system have been repeatedly documented; yet, to date, no studies have demonstrated in vivo that glucocorticoid hormones regulate endocannabinoid signaling. We demonstrate that systemic administration of the glucocorticoid corticosterone (3 and 10 mg/kg) resulted in an increase in the tissue content of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonylethanolamine (AEA) within several limbic structures (amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus), but not the prefrontal cortex, of male rats. Tissue AEA content was increased at 10 min and returned to control 1 h post corticosterone administration. The other primary endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, was found to be elevated by corticosterone exclusively within the hypothalamus. The rapidity of the change suggests that glucocorticoids act through a non-genomic pathway. Tissue contents of two other N-acylethanolamines, palmitoylethanolamide and oleolyethanolamide, were not affected by corticosterone treatment, suggesting that the mechanism of regulation is neither fatty acid amide nor N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D. These data provide in vivo support for non-genomic steroid effects in mammals and suggest that AEA is a mediator of these effects. PMID:20399021

  1. Genetic Manipulation of the Endocannabinoid System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmer, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The physiological and pathophysiological functions of the endocannabinoid system have been studied extensively using transgenic and targeted knockout mouse models. The first gene deletions of the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor were described in the late 1990s, soon followed by CB(2) and FAAH mutations in early 2000. These mouse models helped to elucidate the fundamental role of endocannabinoids as retrograde transmitters in the CNS and in the discovery of many unexpected endocannabinoid functions, for example, in the skin, bone and liver. We now have knockout mouse models for almost every receptor and enzyme of the endocannabinoid system. Conditional mutant mice were mostly developed for the CB(1) receptor, which is widely expressed on many different neurons, astrocytes and microglia, as well as on many cells outside the CNS. These mouse strains include "floxed" CB(1) alleles and mice with a conditional re-expression of CB(1). The availability of these mice made it possible to decipher the function of CB(1) in specific neuronal circuits and cell populations or to discriminate between central and peripheral effects. Many of the genetic mouse models were also used in combination with viral expression systems. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the existing genetic models and to summarize some of the most important discoveries that were made with these animals.

  2. Targeting the endocannabinoid system : future therapeutic strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier; Elezgarai, Izaskun; Rico-Barrio, Irantzu; Zarandona, Iratxe; Etxebarria, Nestor; Usobiaga, Aresatz

    2017-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in many physiological regulation pathways in the human body, which makes this system the target of many drugs and therapies. In this review, we highlight the latest studies regarding the role of the ECS and the drugs that target it, with a particular

  3. The endocannabinoid system and multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, David; Pryce, Gareth

    2008-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease that is characterised by repeated inflammatory/demyelinating events within the central nervous system (CNS). In addition to relapsing-remitting neurological insults, leading to loss of function, patients are often left with residual, troublesome symptoms such as spasticity and pain. These greatly diminish "quality of life" and have prompted some patients to self-medicate with and perceive benefit from cannabis. Recent advances in cannabinoid biology are beginning to support these anecdotal observations, notably the demonstration that spasticity is tonically regulated by the endogenous cannabinoid system. Recent clinical trials may indeed suggest that cannabis has some potential to relieve, pain, spasms and spasticity in MS. However, because the CB(1) cannabinoid receptor mediates both the positive and adverse effects of cannabis, therapy will invariably be associated with some unwanted, psychoactive effects. In an experimental model of MS, and in MS tissue, there are local perturbations of the endocannabinoid system in lesional areas. Stimulation of endocannabinoid activity in these areas either through increase of synthesis or inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation offers the positive therapeutic potential of the cannabinoid system whilst limiting adverse events by locally targeting the lesion. In addition, CB(1) and CB(2) cannabinoid receptor stimulation may also have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective potential as the endocannabinoid system controls the level of neurodegeneration that occurs as a result of the inflammatory insults. Therefore cannabinoids may not only offer symptom control but may also slow the neurodegenerative disease progression that ultimately leads to the accumulation of disability.

  4. The endocannabinoid system: emotion, learning and addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Fabrício A; Lutz, Beat

    2008-06-01

    The identification of the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 receptor) was the milestone discovery in the elucidation of the behavioural and emotional responses induced by the Cannabis sativa constituent Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. The subsequent years have established the existence of the endocannabinoid system. The early view relating this system to emotional responses is reflected by the fact that N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine, the pioneer endocannabinoid, was named anandamide after the Sanskrit word 'ananda', meaning 'bliss'. However, the emotional responses to cannabinoids are not always pleasant and delightful. Rather, anxiety and panic may also occur after activation of CB1 receptors. The present review discusses three properties of the endocannabinoid system as an attempt to understand these diverse effects. First, this system typically functions 'on-demand', depending on environmental stimuli and on the emotional state of the organism. Second, it has a wide neuro-anatomical distribution, modulating brain regions with different functions in responses to aversive stimuli. Third, endocannabinoids regulate the release of other neurotransmitters that may have even opposing functions, such as GABA and glutamate. Further understanding of the temporal, spatial and functional characteristics of this system is necessary to clarify its role in emotional responses and will promote advances in its therapeutic exploitation.

  5. Endocannabinoids and cardiovascular prevention: real progress?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Livio Dei Cas

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The prevalence of obesity continues to increase and represents one of the principal causes of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. After the discovery of a specific receptor of the psychoactive principle of marijuana, the cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, several studies have demonstrated the role of this system in the control of food intake and energy balance and its overactivity in obesity. Recent studies with the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant have demonstrated favorable effects such as a reduction in body weight and waist circumference and an improvement in metabolic factors (cholesterol, triglycerides, glycemia etc. Therefore, the antagonism of the endocannabinoid (EC system, if recent data can be confirmed, could be a new treatment target for high risk overweight or obese patients. Obesity is a growing problem that has epidemic proportions worldwide and is associated with an increased risk of premature death (1-3. Individuals with a central deposition of fats have elevated cardiovascular morbidity and mortality (including stroke, heart failure and myocardial infarction and, because of a growing prevalence not only in adults but also in adolescents, it was reclassified in AHA guidelines as a “major modifiable risk factor” for coronary heart disease (4, 5. Although first choice therapy in obesity is based on correcting lifestyle (diet and physical activity in patients with abdominal obesity and high cardiovascular risk and diabetes, often it is necessary to use drugs which reduce the risks. The EC system represents a new target for weight control and the improvement of lipid and glycemic metabolism (6, 7. (Heart International 2007; 3: 27-34

  6. Life-span Extension With Reduced Somatotrophic Signaling: Moderation of Aging Effect by Signal Type, Sex, and Experimental Cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garratt, Michael; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Simons, Mirre J P

    2017-11-09

    Reduced somatotrophic signaling through the growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor pathways (IGF1) can delay aging, although the degree of life-extension varies markedly across studies. By collating data from previous studies and using meta-analysis, we tested whether factors including sex, hormonal manipulation, body weight change and control baseline mortality quantitatively predict relative life-extension. Manipulations of GH signaling (including pituitary and direct GH deficiencies) generate significantly greater extension in median life span than IGF1 manipulations (including IGF1 production, reception, and bioactivity), producing a consistent shift in mortality risk of mutant mice. Reduced Insulin receptor substrate (IRS) expression produces more similar life-extension to reduced GH, although effects are more heterogeneous and appear to influence the demography of mortality differently. Life-extension with reduced IGF1 signaling, but neither GH nor IRS signaling, increases life span significantly more in females than males, and in cohorts where control survival is short. Our results thus suggest that reduced GH signaling has physiological benefits to survival outside of its actions on circulating IGF1. In addition to these biological moderators, we found an overrepresentation of small sample sized studies that report large improvements in survival, indicating potential publication bias. We discuss how this could potentially confound current conclusions from published work, and how this warrants further study replication. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.

  7. MECHANISMS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY: Endocannabinoids and metabolism: past, present and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Vincent; Cota, Daniela

    2017-06-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS), including cannabinoid type 1 and type 2 receptors (CB 1 R and CB 2 R), endogenous ligands called endocannabinoids and their related enzymatic machinery, is known to have a role in the regulation of energy balance. Past information generated on the ECS, mainly focused on the involvement of this system in the central nervous system regulation of food intake, while at the same time clinical studies pointed out the therapeutic efficacy of brain penetrant CB 1 R antagonists like rimonabant for obesity and metabolic disorders. Rimonabant was removed from the market in 2009 and its obituary written due to its psychiatric side effects. However, in the meanwhile a number of investigations had started to highlight the roles of the peripheral ECS in the regulation of metabolism, bringing up new hope that the ECS might still represent target for treatment. Accordingly, peripherally restricted CB 1 R antagonists or inverse agonists have shown to effectively reduce body weight, adiposity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in obese animal models. Very recent investigations have further expanded the possible toolbox for the modulation of the ECS, by demonstrating the existence of endogenous allosteric inhibitors of CB 1 R, the characterization of the structure of the human CB 1 R, and the likely involvement of CB 2 R in metabolic disorders. Here we give an overview of these findings, discussing what the future may hold in the context of strategies targeting the ECS in metabolic disease. © 2017 European Society of Endocrinology.

  8. Endocannabinoids in neuroendopsychology: multiphasic control of mitochondrial function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunn, Alistair; Guy, Geoffrey; Bell, Jimmy D.

    2012-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a construct based on the discovery of receptors that are modulated by the plant compound tetrahydrocannabinol and the subsequent identification of a family of nascent ligands, the ‘endocannabinoids’. The function of the ECS is thus defined by modulation of these receptors—in particular, by two of the best-described ligands (2-arachidonyl glycerol and anandamide), and by their metabolic pathways. Endocannabinoids are released by cell stress, and promote both cell survival and death according to concentration. The ECS appears to shift the immune system towards a type 2 response, while maintaining a positive energy balance and reducing anxiety. It may therefore be important in resolution of injury and inflammation. Data suggest that the ECS could potentially modulate mitochondrial function by several different pathways; this may help explain its actions in the central nervous system. Dose-related control of mitochondrial function could therefore provide an insight into its role in health and disease, and why it might have its own pathology, and possibly, new therapeutic directions. PMID:23108551

  9. The endocannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of cannabis dependence

    OpenAIRE

    Clapper, Jason R.; Mangieri, Regina A.; Piomelli, Daniele

    2008-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system modulates neurotransmission at inhibitory and excitatory synapses in brain regions relevant to the regulation of pain, emotion, motivation, and cognition. This signaling system is engaged by the active component of cannabis, Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ 9 -THC), which exerts its pharmacological effects by activation of G protein-coupled type-1 (CB 1 ) and type-2 (CB 2 ) cannabinoid receptors. During frequent cannabis use a series of poorly understood neuroplastic ch...

  10. The endocannabinoid system and emotional processing: a pharmacological fMRI study with ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossong, Matthijs G; van Hell, Hendrika H; Jager, Gerry; Kahn, René S; Ramsey, Nick F; Jansma, J Martijn

    2013-12-01

    Various psychiatric disorders such as major depression are associated with abnormalities in emotional processing. Evidence indicating involvement of the endocannabinoid system in emotional processing, and thus potentially in related abnormalities, is increasing. In the present study, we examined the role of the endocannabinoid system in processing of stimuli with a positive and negative emotional content in healthy volunteers. A pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was conducted with a placebo-controlled, cross-over design, investigating effects of the endocannabinoid agonist ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on brain function related to emotional processing in 11 healthy subjects. Performance and brain activity during matching of stimuli with a negative ('fearful faces') or a positive content ('happy faces') were assessed after placebo and THC administration. After THC administration, performance accuracy was decreased for stimuli with a negative but not for stimuli with a positive emotional content. Our task activated a network of brain regions including amygdala, orbital frontal gyrus, hippocampus, parietal gyrus, prefrontal cortex, and regions in the occipital cortex. THC interacted with emotional content, as activity in this network was reduced for negative content, while activity for positive content was increased. These results indicate that THC administration reduces the negative bias in emotional processing. This adds human evidence to support the hypothesis that the endocannabinoid system is involved in modulation of emotional processing. Our findings also suggest a possible role for the endocannabinoid system in abnormal emotional processing, and may thus be relevant for psychiatric disorders such as major depression. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  11. Endocannabinoid system: An overview of its potential in current medical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouslech, Zadalla; Valla, Vasiliki

    2009-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a lipid signalling system, comprising of the endogenous cannabis-like ligands (endocannabinoids) anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), which derive from arachidonic acid. These bind to a family of G-protein-coupled receptors, called CB1 and CB2. The cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) is distributed in brain areas associated with motor control, emotional responses, motivated behaviour and energy homeostasis. In the periphery, the same receptor is expressed in the adipose tissue, pancreas, liver, GI tract, skeletal muscles, heart and the reproduction system. The CB2R is mainly expressed in the immune system regulating its functions. Endocannabinoids are synthesized and released upon demand in a receptor-dependent way. They act as retrograde signalling messengers in GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses and as modulators of postsynaptic transmission, interacting with other neurotransmitters. Endocannabinoids are transported into cells by a specific uptake system and degraded by the enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). The ECS is involved in various pathophysiological conditions in central and peripheral tissues. It is implicated in the hormonal regulation of food intake, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, immune, behavioral, antiproliferative and mammalian reproduction functions. Recent advances have correlated the ECS with drug addiction and alcoholism. The growing number of preclinical and clinical data on ECS modulators is bound to result in novel therapeutic approaches for a number of diseases currently treated inadequately. The ECS dysregulation has been correlated to obesity and metabolic syndrome pathogenesis. Rimonabant is the first CB1 blocker launched to treat cardiometabolic risk factors in obese and overweight patients. Phase III clinical trials showed the drug's ability to regulate intra-abdominal fat tissue levels, lipidemic, glycemic and inflammatory parameters. However

  12. Endocannabinoids and Neurodegenerative Disorders: Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Chorea, Alzheimer's Disease, and Others.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Ruiz, Javier; Romero, Julián; Ramos, José A

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on the role of the endocannabinoid signaling system in controlling neuronal survival, an extremely important issue to be considered when developing new therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. First, we will describe the cellular and molecular mechanisms, and the signaling pathways, underlying these neuroprotective properties, including the control of glutamate homeostasis, calcium influx, the toxicity of reactive oxygen species, glial activation and other inflammatory events; and the induction of autophagy. We will then concentrate on the preclinical studies and the few clinical trials that have been carried out targeting endocannabinoid signaling in three important chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's chorea, and Alzheimer's disease), as well as in other less well-studied disorders. We will end by offering some ideas and proposals for future research that should be carried out to optimize endocannabinoid-based treatments for these disorders. Such studies will strengthen the possibility that these therapies will be investigated in the clinical scenario and licensed for their use in specific disorders.

  13. Endocannabinoid involvement in reward and impulsivity in addiction

    OpenAIRE

    van Hell, H.H.

    2011-01-01

    Addiction is one of the most disabling diseases in the world. An important neurotransmitter system that has recently been implicated in addiction is the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid ligands that work on these receptors. Animal studies have shown that blocking the cannabinoid system prevents relapse to addiction, while activating the cannabinoid system with an agonist evokes relapse. Still, the involvement of the endoc...

  14. The skeletal endocannabinoid system: clinical and experimental insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raphael, Bitya; Gabet, Yankel

    2016-05-01

    Recently, there has been a rapidly growing interest in the role of cannabinoids in the regulation of skeletal remodeling and bone mass, addressed in basic, translational and clinical research. Since the first publications in 2005, there are more than 1000 publications addressing the skeletal endocannabinoid system. This review focuses on the roles of the endocannabinoid system in skeletal biology via the cannabinoid receptors CB1, CB2 and others. Endocannabinoids play important roles in bone formation, bone resorption and skeletal growth, and are sometimes age, gender, species and strain dependent. Controversies in the literature and potential therapeutic approaches targeting the endocannabinoid system in skeletal disorders are also discussed.

  15. The endocannabinoid-CB receptor system: Importance for development and in pediatric disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fride, Ester

    2004-01-01

    Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) and their cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, are present from the early stages of gestation and play a number of vital roles for the developing organism. Although most of these data are collected from animal studies, a role for cannabinoid receptors in the developing human brain has been suggested, based on the detection of "atypically" distributed CB1 receptors in several neural pathways of the fetal brain. In addition, a role for the endocannabinoid system for the human infant is likely, since the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol has been detected in human milk. Animal research indicates that the Endocannabinoid-CB1 Receptor ('ECBR') system fulfills a number of roles in the developing organism: 1. embryonal implantation (requires a temporary and localized reduction in anandamide); 2. in neural development (by the transient presence of CB1 receptors in white matter areas of the nervous system); 3. as a neuroprotectant (anandamide protects the developing brain from trauma-induced neuronal loss); 4. in the initiation of suckling in the newborn (where activation of the CB1 receptors in the neonatal brain is critical for survival). 5. In addition, subtle but definite deficiencies have been described in memory, motor and addictive behaviors and in higher cognitive ('executive') function in the human offspring as result of prenatal exposure to marihuana. Therefore, the endocanabinoid-CB1 receptor system may play a role in the development of structures which control these functions, including the nigrostriatal pathway and the prefrontal cortex. From the multitude of roles of the endocannabinoids and their receptors in the developing organism, there are two distinct stages of development, during which proper functioning of the endocannabinoid system seems to be critical for survival: embryonal implantation and neonatal milk sucking. We propose that a dysfunctional Endocannabinoid-CB1 Receptor system in infants with growth

  16. Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brents, Lisa K

    2016-06-01

    Marijuana use among women is highly prevalent, but the societal conversation on marijuana rarely focuses on how marijuana affects female reproduction and endocrinology. This article reviews the current scientific literature regarding marijuana use and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis regulation, ovarian hormone production, the menstrual cycle, and fertility. Evidence suggests that marijuana can reduce female fertility by disrupting hypothalamic release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), leading to reduced estrogen and progesterone production and anovulatory menstrual cycles. Tolerance to these effects has been shown in rhesus monkeys, but the effects of chronic marijuana use on human female reproduction are largely unknown. Marijuana-induced analgesia, drug reinforcement properties, tolerance, and dependence are influenced by ovarian hormones, with estrogen generally increasing and progesterone decreasing sensitivity to marijuana. Carefully controlled regulation of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is required for successful reproduction, and the exogenous cannabinoids in marijuana may disrupt the delicate balance of the ECS in the female reproductive system.

  17. Target-dependent control of synaptic inhibition by endocannabinoids in the thalamus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yan-Gang; Wu, Chia-Shan; Lu, Hui-Chen; Beierlein, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Inhibitory neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) play a critical role in controlling information transfer between thalamus and neocortex. GABAergic synapses formed by TRN neurons contact both thalamic relay cells as well as neurons within TRN. These two types of synapses are thought to have distinct roles for the generation of thalamic network activity but their selective regulation is poorly understood. In many areas throughout the brain, retrograde signaling mediated by endocannabinoids acts to dynamically regulate synaptic strength over both short and long time scales. However, retrograde signaling has never been demonstrated in the thalamus. Here, we show that depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI) is prominent at inhibitory synapses interconnecting TRN neurons. DSI is completely abolished in the presence of a cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) antagonist and in mice lacking CB1Rs. DSI is prevented by DAG lipase inhibitors and prolonged by blocking the 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) degradation enzyme monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL), indicating that it is mediated by the release of 2-AG from TRN neurons. By contrast, DSI is not observed at TRN synapses targeting thalamic relay neurons. A combination of pharmacological and immunohistochemical data indicate that the differences in endocannabinoid signaling at the two synapses are mediated by a synapse-specific targeting of CB1Rs, as well as differences in endocannabinoid release between the two target neurons. Taken together, our results show that endocannabinoids control transmitter release at specific thalamic synapses, and could dynamically regulate sensory information processing and thalamus-mediated synchronous oscillations. PMID:21697372

  18. The endocannabinoid system as a possible target to treat both the cognitive and emotional features of post-traumatic stress disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviana eTrezza

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD is a psychiatric disorder of significant prevalence and morbidity, whose pathogenesis relies on paradoxical changes of emotional memory processing. An ideal treatment would be a drug able to block the pathological over-consolidation and continuous retrieval of the traumatic event, while enhancing its extinction and reducing the anxiety symptoms. While the latter benefit from antidepressant medications, no drug is available to control the cognitive symptomatology. Endocannabinoids regulate affective states and participate in memory consolidation, retrieval and extinction. Clinical findings showing a relationship between Cannabis use and PTSD, as well as changes in endocannabinoid activity in PTSD patients, further suggest the existence of a link between endocannabinoids and maladaptive brain changes after trauma exposure. Along these lines, we suggest that endocannabinoid degradation inhibitors may be an ideal therapeutic approach to simultaneously treat the emotional and cognitive features of PTSD, avoiding the unwanted psychotropic effects of compounds directly binding cannabinoid receptors.

  19. Endocannabinoid 1 and 2 (CB(1); CB(2)) receptor agonists affect negatively cow luteal function in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weems, Y S; Lewis, A W; Neuendorff, D A; Randel, R D; Weems, C W

    2009-12-01

    Thirty to 40% of pregnancies are lost during the first third of pregnancy, which has been hypothesized to be due to inadequate progesterone secretion by the corpus luteum. Loss of luteal progesterone secretion during the estrous cycle is via uterine secretion of prostaglandin F(2)alpha (PGF(2)alpha). Cow luteal tissue secretion of prostaglandins (PG) E (PGE(1)+PGE(2)) and PGF(2)alpha are derived from precursors in membrane phospholipids. Cow luteal tissue secretion of PGE and PGF(2)alpha increased linearly with time in culture with the PGE: ratio being 1:1. PGE(1) or PGE(2) are luteotropic in cows and ewes and antiluteolytic in vitro and in vivo in ewes. Endocannabinoids are also derived from phospholipids and are associated with infertility, presumably by reducing implantation; however, effects of endocannabinoids on luteal function have not been addressed. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of endocannabinoid type 1 and 2 receptor agonists and receptor antagonists or a fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH; catabolizes endocannabinoids) inhibitor, PGE(1), or PGF(2)alpha on bovine luteal secretion of progesterone, PGE, and PGF(2)alphain vitro. PGE and PGF(2)alpha was increased (P or =0.05) with time in vehicle-treated luteal slices in vitro. Progesterone was increased (Pcow luteal function in vitro and that the corpus luteum may also be a site for endocannabinoid decreased fertility as well as a reduction in implantation.

  20. Endocannabinoids and related lipids in blood plasma following touch massage: a randomised, crossover study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindgren, Lenita; Gouveia-Figueira, Sandra; Nording, Malin L; Fowler, Christopher J

    2015-09-29

    The endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of stress and anxiety. In a recent study, it was reported that short-term changes in mood produced by a pleasant ambience were correlated with changes in the levels of plasma endocannabinoids and related N-acylethanolamines (Schrieks et al. PLoS One 10: e0126421, 2015). In the present study, we investigated whether stress reduction by touch massage (TM) affects blood plasma levels of endocannabinoids and related N-acylethanolamines. A randomized two-session crossover design for 20 healthy participants was utilised, with one condition that consisted of TM and a rest condition as control. TM increased the perceived pleasantness rating of the participants, and both TM and rest reduced the basal anxiety level as assessed by the State scale of the STAI-Y inventory. However, there were no significant effects of either time (pre- vs. post-treatment measures) as main effect or the interaction time x treatment for the plasma levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol or for eight other related lipids. Four lipids showed acceptable relative reliabilities, and for two of these (linoleoyl ethanolamide and palmitoleoyl ethanolamide) a significant correlation was seen between the TM-related change in levels, calculated as (post-TM value minus pre-TM value) - (post-rest value minus pre-rest value), and the corresponding TM-related change in perceived pleasantness. It is concluded that in the participants studied here, there are no overt effects of TM upon plasma endocannabinoid levels. Possible associations of related N-acylethanolamines with the perceived pleasantness should be investigated further.

  1. Hypothalamus-pituitary axis: an obligatory target for endocannabinoids to inhibit steroidogenesis in frog testis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chianese, Rosanna; Ciaramella, Vincenza; Fasano, Silvia; Pierantoni, Riccardo; Meccariello, Rosaria

    2014-09-01

    Endocannabinoids - primarily anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) - are lipophilic molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). They affect neuroendocrine activity inhibiting gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion and testosterone production in rodents, through a molecular mechanism supposed to be hypothalamus dependent. In order to investigate such a role, we choose the seasonal breeder, the anuran amphibian Rana esculenta, an experimental model in which components of the endocannabinoid system have been characterized. In February, at the onset of a new spermatogenetic wave, we carried out in vitro incubations of frog testis with AEA, at 10(-9)M dose. Such a treatment had no effect on the expression of cytochrome P450 17alpha hydroxylase/17,20 lyase (cyp17) nor 3-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Δ-5-4 isomerase (3β-HSD), key enzymes of steroidogenesis. To understand whether or not the functionality of the hypothalamus-pituitary axis could be essential to support the role of endocannabinoids in steroidogenesis, frogs were injected with AEA, at 10(-8)M dose. Differently from in vitro experiment, the in vivo administration of AEA reduced the expression of cyp17 and 3β-HSD. Whereas the effect on 3β-HSD was counteracted by SR141716A (Rimonabant) - a selective antagonist of CB1, thus indicating a CB1 dependent modulation - the effect on cyp17 was not, suggesting a possible involvement of receptors other than CB1, probably the type-1 vanilloid receptor (TRPV1), since AEA works as an endocannabinoid and an endovanilloid as well. In conclusion our results indicate that endocannabinoids, via CB1, inhibit the expression of 3β-HSD in frog testis travelling along the hypothalamus-pituitary axis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Fabp1 gene ablation inhibits high-fat diet-induced increase in brain endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Gregory G; Landrock, Danilo; Chung, Sarah; Dangott, Lawrence J; Seeger, Drew R; Murphy, Eric J; Golovko, Mikhail Y; Kier, Ann B; Schroeder, Friedhelm

    2017-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system shifts energy balance toward storage and fat accumulation, especially in the context of diet-induced obesity. Relatively little is known about factors outside the central nervous system that may mediate the effect of high-fat diet (HFD) on brain endocannabinoid levels. One candidate is the liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP1), a cytosolic protein highly prevalent in liver, but not detected in brain, which facilitates hepatic clearance of fatty acids. The impact of Fabp1 gene ablation (LKO) on the effect of high-fat diet (HFD) on brain and plasma endocannabinoid levels was examined and data expressed for each parameter as the ratio of high-fat diet/control diet. In male wild-type mice, HFD markedly increased brain N-acylethanolamides, but not 2-monoacylglycerols. LKO blocked these effects of HFD in male mice. In female wild-type mice, HFD slightly decreased or did not alter these endocannabinoids as compared with male wild type. LKO did not block the HFD effects in female mice. The HFD-induced increase in brain arachidonic acid-derived arachidonoylethanolamide in males correlated with increased brain-free and total arachidonic acid. The ability of LKO to block the HFD-induced increase in brain arachidonoylethanolamide correlated with reduced ability of HFD to increase brain-free and total arachidonic acid in males. In females, brain-free and total arachidonic acid levels were much less affected by either HFD or LKO in the context of HFD. These data showed that LKO markedly diminished the impact of HFD on brain endocannabinoid levels, especially in male mice. © 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  3. Beyond Cannabis: Plants and the Endocannabinoid System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Ethan B

    2016-07-01

    Plants have been the predominant source of medicines throughout the vast majority of human history, and remain so today outside of industrialized societies. One of the most versatile in terms of its phytochemistry is cannabis, whose investigation has led directly to the discovery of a unique and widespread homeostatic physiological regulator, the endocannabinoid system. While it had been the conventional wisdom until recently that only cannabis harbored active agents affecting the endocannabinoid system, in recent decades the search has widened and identified numerous additional plants whose components stimulate, antagonize, or modulate different aspects of this system. These include common foodstuffs, herbs, spices, and more exotic ingredients: kava, chocolate, black pepper, and many others that are examined in this review. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The endocannabinoid system and the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mechoulam, Raphael; Parker, Linda A

    2013-01-01

    The psychoactive constituent in cannabis, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was isolated in the mid-1960s, but the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, and the major endogenous cannabinoids (anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol) were identified only 20 to 25 years later. The cannabinoid system affects both central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral processes. In this review, we have tried to summarize research--with an emphasis on recent publications--on the actions of the endocannabinoid system on anxiety, depression, neurogenesis, reward, cognition, learning, and memory. The effects are at times biphasic--lower doses causing effects opposite to those seen at high doses. Recently, numerous endocannabinoid-like compounds have been identified in the brain. Only a few have been investigated for their CNS activity, and future investigations on their action may throw light on a wide spectrum of brain functions.

  5. A new face of endocannabinoids in pharmacotherapy. Part II: role of endocannabinoids in inflammation-derived cardiovaascular diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrzycki, M; Liebold, A; Janecka, A; Zubrzycka, M

    2014-04-01

    Endocannabinoids play an important role in cardiovascular diseases caused by inflammatory disorders. Endocannabinoids are endogenous bioactive lipids that activate cannabinoid receptors and together with enzymes responsible for their synthesis and degradation constitute endocannabinoid system. The results obtained to date suggest the involvement of endocannabinoids in the pathology of many cardiovascular diseases associated with inflammation, such as atherosclerosis, restenosis, chemotherapy-induced myocardial injury, diabetic and hepatic cirrhosis cardiomyopathy. Our better understanding of cannabinoid system may result in the development of new strategies for the treatment of such disorders.

  6. Endocannabinoids modulate apoptosis in endometriosis and adenomyosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilgic, Elif; Guzel, Elif; Kose, Sevil; Aydin, Makbule Cisel; Karaismailoglu, Eda; Akar, Irem; Usubutun, Alp; Korkusuz, Petek

    2017-06-01

    Adenomyosis that is a form of endometriosis is the growth of ectopic endometrial tissue within the muscular wall of the uterus (myometrium), which may cause dysmenorrhea and infertility. Endocannabinoid mediated apoptotic mechanisms of endometriosis and adenomyosis are not known. We hypothesized that the down regulation of endocannabinoid receptors and/or alteration in their regulatory enzymes may have a direct role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis and adenomyosis through apoptosis. Endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, their synthesizing and catabolizing enzymes (FAAH, NAPE-PLD, DAGL, MAGL) and the apoptotic indexes were immunohistochemically assessed in endometriotic and adenomyotic tissues. Findings were compared to normal endometrium and myometrium. Endometrial adenocarcinoma (Ishikawa) and ovarian endometriosis cyst wall stromal (CRL-7566) cell lines were furthermore cultured with or without cannabinoid receptor agonists. The IC50 value for CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists was quantified. Cannabinoid agonists on cell death were investigated by Annexin-V/Propidium iodide labeling with flow cytometry. CB1 and CB2 receptor levels decreased in endometriotic and adenomyotic tissues compared to the control group (p=0,001 and p=0,001). FAAH, NAPE-PLD, MAGL and DAGL enzyme levels decreased in endometriotic and adenomyotic tissues compared to control (p=0,001, p=0,001, p=0,001 and p=0,002 respectively). Apoptotic cell indexes both in endometriotic and adenomyotic tissues also decreased significantly, compared to the control group (p=0,001 and p=0,001). CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist mediated dose dependent fast anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects were detected in Ishikawa and ovarian endometriosis cyst wall stromal cell lines (CRL-7566). Endocannabinoids are suggested to increase apoptosis mechanisms in endometriosis and adenomyosis. CB1 and CB2 antagonists can be considered as potential medical therapeutic agents for endometriosis and adenomyosis. Copyright

  7. Fatty acids, endocannabinoids and inflammation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witkamp, Renger

    2016-01-01

    From their phylogenetic and pharmacological classification it might be inferred that cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands constitute a rather specialised and biologically distinct signalling system. However, the opposite is true and accumulating data underline how much the

  8. The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Endocannabinoids measurement in human saliva as potential biomarker of obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, Isabelle; Gatta-Cherifi, Blandine; Tabarin, Antoine; Clark, Samantha; Leste-Lasserre, Thierry; Marsicano, Giovanni; Piazza, Pier Vincenzo; Cota, Daniela

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of the endocannabinoid system and of its role in the regulation of energy balance has significantly advanced our understanding of the physiopathological mechanisms leading to obesity and type 2 diabetes. New knowledge on the role of this system in humans has been acquired by measuring blood endocannabinoids. Here we explored endocannabinoids and related N-acylethanolamines in saliva and verified their changes in relation to body weight status and in response to a meal or to body weight loss. Fasting plasma and salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines were measured through liquid mass spectrometry in 12 normal weight and 12 obese, insulin-resistant subjects. Salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines were evaluated in the same cohort before and after the consumption of a meal. Changes in salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines after body weight loss were investigated in a second group of 12 obese subjects following a 12-weeks lifestyle intervention program. The levels of mRNAs coding for enzymes regulating the metabolism of endocannabinoids, N-acylethanolamines and of cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptor, alongside endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines content, were assessed in human salivary glands. The endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA), and the N-acylethanolamines (oleoylethanolamide, OEA and palmitoylethanolamide, PEA) were quantifiable in saliva and their levels were significantly higher in obese than in normal weight subjects. Fasting salivary AEA and OEA directly correlated with BMI, waist circumference and fasting insulin. Salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines did not change in response to a meal. CB(1) receptors, ligands and enzymes were expressed in the salivary glands. Finally, a body weight loss of 5.3% obtained after a 12-weeks lifestyle program significantly decreased salivary AEA levels. Endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines are

  10. Endocannabinoids and Liver Disease. III. Endocannabinoid effects on immune cells: implications for inflammatory liver diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacher, Pál; Gao, Bin

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies have implicated dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system in various liver diseases and their complications (e.g., hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, cirrhotic cardiomyopathy, and ischemia-reper-fusion), and demonstrated that its modulation by either cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor agonists or CB1 antagonists may be of significant therapeutic benefits. This review is aimed to focus on the triggers and sources of endocannabinoids during liver inflammation and on the novel role of CB2 receptors in the interplay between the activated endothelium and various inflammatory cells (leukocytes, lymphocytes, etc.), which play pivotal role in the early development and progression of inflammatory and other liver diseases. PMID:18239059

  11. Endocannabinoid-Mediated Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Controls Vulnerability to Anxiety after Social Defeat Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clémentine Bosch-Bouju

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Chronic social defeat stress (CSDS is a clinically relevant model of mood disorders. The relationship between the CSDS model and a physiologically pertinent paradigm of synaptic plasticity is not known. Here, we found that cluster analysis of the emotional behavior states of mice exposed to CSDS allowed their segregation into anxious and non-anxious groups. Endocannabinoid-mediated spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP in the nucleus accumbens was attenuated in non-anxious mice and abolished in anxious mice. Anxiety-like behavior in stressed animals was specifically correlated with their ability to produce STDP. Pharmacological enhancement of 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG signaling in the nucleus accumbens normalized the anxious phenotype and STDP in anxious mice. These data reveal that endocannabinoid modulation of synaptic efficacy in response to a naturalistic activity pattern is both a molecular correlate of behavioral adaptability and a crucial factor in the adaptive response to chronic stress.

  12. Minocycline treatment inhibits microglial activation and alters spinal levels of endocannabinoids in a rat model of neuropathic pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elphick Maurice R

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Activation of spinal microglia contributes to aberrant pain responses associated with neuropathic pain states. Endocannabinoids (ECs are present in the spinal cord, and inhibit nociceptive processing; levels of ECs may be altered by microglia which modulate the turnover of endocannabinoids in vitro. Here, we investigate the effect of minocycline, an inhibitor of activated microglia, on levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG, and the related compound N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA, in neuropathic spinal cord. Selective spinal nerve ligation (SNL in rats resulted in mechanical allodynia and the presence of activated microglia in the ipsilateral spinal cord. Chronic daily treatment with minocycline (30 mg/kg, ip for 14 days significantly reduced the development of mechanical allodynia at days 5, 10 and 14 post-SNL surgery, compared to vehicle-treated SNL rats (P P P P P

  13. Diet-induced changes in n-3- and n-6-derived endocannabinoids and reductions in headache pain and psychological distress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsden, Christopher E; Zamora, Daisy; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Wood, JodiAnne T; Mann, J Douglas; Faurot, Keturah R; MacIntosh, Beth A; Majchrzak-Hong, Sharon F; Gross, Jacklyn R; Courville, Amber B; Davis, John M; Hibbeln, Joseph R

    2015-08-01

    Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are biosynthetic precursors of endocannabinoids with antinociceptive, anxiolytic, and neurogenic properties. We recently reported that targeted dietary manipulation-increasing omega-3 fatty acids while reducing omega-6 linoleic acid (the H3-L6 intervention)-reduced headache pain and psychological distress among chronic headache patients. It is not yet known whether these clinical improvements were due to changes in endocannabinoids and related mediators derived from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. We therefore used data from this trial (N = 55) to investigate 1) whether the H3-L6 intervention altered omega-3- and omega-6-derived endocannabinoids in plasma and 2) whether diet-induced changes in these bioactive lipids were associated with clinical improvements. The H3-L6 intervention significantly increased the omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid derivatives 2-docosahexaenoylglycerol (+65%, P changes in these endocannabinoid derivatives of omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid, but not omega-6 arachidonic acid, correlated with reductions in physical pain and psychological distress. These findings demonstrate that targeted dietary manipulation can alter endocannabinoids derived from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in humans and suggest that 2-docosahexaenoylglycerol and docosahexaenoylethanolamine could have physical and/or psychological pain modulating properties. ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01157208) PERSPECTIVE: This article demonstrates that targeted dietary manipulation can alter endocannabinoids derived from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and that these changes are related to reductions in headache pain and psychological distress. These findings suggest that dietary interventions could provide an effective, complementary approach for managing chronic pain and related conditions. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Quantification of endocannabinoids in postmortem brain of schizophrenic subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muguruza, Carolina; Lehtonen, Marko; Aaltonen, Niina; Morentin, Benito; Meana, J Javier; Callado, Luis F

    2013-08-01

    Numerous studies have implicated the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Endocannabinoids have been measured in blood and cerebrospinal fluid in schizophrenic patients but, to the date, there are no published reports dealing with measurements of endocannabinoid levels in schizophrenics' brain tissue. In the present study, postmortem brain samples from 19 subjects diagnosed with schizophrenia (DSM-IV) and 19 matched controls were studied. In specific brain regions, levels of four endocannabinoids (2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA), dihomo-γ-linolenoylethanolamine (LEA), and docosahexaenoylethanolamine (DHEA)) and two cannabimimetic compounds (palmitoyl-ethanolamine (PEA) and oleoyl-ethanolamine (OEA)) were measured using quantitative liquid chromatography with triple quadrupole mass spectrometric detection. Suffering from schizophrenia significantly affects the brain levels of 2-AG (pendocannabinoids in different brain regions of schizophrenic subjects. Furthermore, these data evidence the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Plasma endocannabinoid behaviour in total knee and hip arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottria, R; Cappelletti, L; Ravelli, A; Mariotti, M; Gigli, F; Romagnoli, S; Ciuffreda, P; Banfi, G; Drago, L

    2016-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are a class of lipid mediators involved in a wide range of physiological pathways including pain perception, and immunological defences. In particular, the involvement of endocannabinoids in bone metabolism and bone resorption has recently been studied. Moreover, one study on total knee arthroplasty describes the probable role of endocannabinoids in pain perception after surgery. The aim of the present study was to evaluate variations of endocannabinoid concentrations in patients undergoing total hip or total knee arthroplasty before and after surgery. Sera from 23 patients were collected at three different times: before surgery and at two different times during rehabilitation, and endocannabinoids were quantified by HPLC-MS/MS analysis. Mean values of endocannabinoids in presurgical serum samples were: 6.11±0.5 ng/ml for N-palmitoylethanolamide, 1.39±0.08ng/ml for N-stearoylethanolamide, 4.84±0.04 ng/ml for N-oleoylethanolamide, 0.44±0.03ng/ml for N-arachidonoylethanolamide, 0.84±0.05ng/ml for N-linoleoylethanolamide, 0.17±0.01ng/ml for N-α-linolenoylethanolamide. Statistical analysis showed a significant decrease of all the endocannabinoids after surgery, while there were no remarkable differences between total hip and total knee arthroplasties or between genders. Moreover, the results show no significant correlation between endocannabinoid concentrations and C-reactive protein and Erythrocyte sedimentation rate. The present study shows for the first time a specific and univocal behaviour of six endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamides in orthopaedic surgery, suggesting the endocannabinoid system as a possible pharmacological target for presurgical therapeutics.

  16. Signalling changes to individuals who show resistance to change can reduce challenging behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, Leah E; Oliver, Chris; Woodcock, Kate A

    2017-03-01

    Several neurodevelopmental disorders are associated with resistance to change and challenging behaviours - including temper outbursts - that ensue following changes to routines, plans or expectations (here, collectively: expectations). Here, a change signalling intervention was tested for proof of concept and potential practical effectiveness. Twelve individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome participated in researcher- and caregiver-led pairing of a distinctive visual-verbal signal with subsequent changes to expectations. Specific expectations for a planned subset of five participants were systematically observed in minimally manipulated natural environments. Nine caregivers completed a temper outburst diary during a four week baseline period and a two week signalling evaluation period. Participants demonstrated consistently less temper outburst behaviour in the systematic observations when changes imposed to expectations were signalled, compared to when changes were not signalled. Four of the nine participants whose caregivers completed the behaviour diary demonstrated reliable reductions in temper outbursts between baseline and signalling evaluation. An active control group for the present initial evaluation of the signalling strategy using evidence from caregiver behaviour diaries was outside the scope of the present pilot study. Thus, findings cannot support the clinical efficacy of the present signalling approach. Proof of concept evidence that reliable pairing of a distinctive cue with a subsequent change to expectation can reduce associated challenging behaviour is provided. Data provide additional support for the importance of specific practical steps in further evaluations of the change signalling approach. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. A new face of endocannabinoids in pharmacotherapy. Part I: protective role of endocannabinoids in hypertension and myocardial infarction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrzycki, M; Liebold, A; Janecka, A; Zubrzycka, M

    2014-04-01

    Cannabinoids are compounds which were first isolated from the Cannabis sativa plant. For thousands of years they have been used for treatment of numerous diseases. Currently, synthetic cannabinoids and endocannabinoids are also known. Cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids and the enzymes that catalyze their synthesis and degradation constitute the endocannabinoid system which plays an important role in functioning of the cardiovascular system. The results obtained to date suggest the involvement of endocannabinoids in the pathology of many cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial infarction, hypertension and hypotension associated with hemorrhagic, endotoxic, and cardiogenic shock. Cardioprotective effect and dilation of coronary vessels induced by endocannabinoids deserve special attention. It cannot be excluded now that in the future our better understanding of cannabinoid system will allow to develop new strategies for treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

  18. The Effects of the Endocannabinoids Anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol on Human Osteoblast Proliferation and Differentiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Smith

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system is expressed in bone, although its role in the regulation of bone growth is controversial. Many studies have examined the effect of endocannabinoids directly on osteoclast function, but few have examined their role in human osteoblast function, which was the aim of the present study. Human osteoblasts were treated from seeding with increasing concentrations of anandamide or 2-arachidonoylglycerol for between 1 and 21 days. Cell proliferation (DNA content and differentiation (alkaline phosphatase (ALP, collagen and osteocalcin secretion and calcium deposition were measured. Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol significantly decreased osteoblast proliferation after 4 days, associated with a concentration-dependent increase in ALP. Inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation enzymes to increase endocannabinoid tone resulted in similar increases in ALP production. 2-arachidonoylglycerol also decreased osteocalcin secretion. After prolonged (21 day treatment with 2-arachidonoylglycerol, there was a decrease in collagen content, but no change in calcium deposition. Anandamide did not affect collagen or osteocalcin, but reduced calcium deposition. Anandamide increased levels of phosphorylated CREB, ERK 1/2 and JNK, while 2-arachidonoylglycerol increased phosphorylated CREB and Akt. RT-PCR demonstrated the expression of CB2 and TRPV1, but not CB1 in HOBs. Anandamide-induced changes in HOB differentiation were CB1 and CB2-independent and partially reduced by TRPV1 antagonism, and reduced by inhibition of ERK 1/2 and JNK. Our results have demonstrated a clear involvement of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol in modulating the activity of human osteoblasts, with anandamide increasing early cell differentiation and 2-AG increasing early, but decreasing late osteoblast-specific markers of differentiation.

  19. Role of the endocannabinoid system in the control of mouse myometrium contractility during the menstrual cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagano, Ester; Orlando, Pierangelo; Finizio, Stefania; Rossi, Antonietta; Buono, Lorena; Iannotti, Fabio Arturo; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Izzo, Angelo A; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Borrelli, Francesca

    2017-01-15

    Cannabis and cannabinoids are known to affect female reproduction. However, the role of the endocannabinoid system in mouse uterine contractility in the dioestrus and oestrus phases has not been previously investigated. The present study aimed at filling this gap. Endocannabinoid (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) levels were measured in mouse uterus at dioestrus and oestrus phases by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and western blot were used to measured the expression of cannabinoid receptors and enzymes involved in the metabolism of endocannabinoids. Contractility was evaluated in vitro either on the spontaneous contractions or by stimulating the isolated uterus with exogenous spasmogens. The tissue concentrations of anandamide and 2-AG were reduced in the oestrus phase, compared to dioestrus. Uteri obtained in the dioestrus, but not oestrus, phase showed spontaneous phasic prostaglandin-mediated contractions that were reduced by ACEA (CB 1 receptor agonist) and to a lower extent by JWH133 (CB 2 receptor agonist). These inhibitory effects were counteracted by the corresponding selective antagonists. Neither ACEA nor JWH133 did affect the contractions induced by exogenous PGE 2 in the uterus from the oestrus phase. The FAAH inhibitor JNJ1661010 and, to a lower extent, the MAGL inhibitor JZL184 also reduced spontaneous contractions. It is concluded that the endocannabinoid system undergoes to adaptive changes between the oestrus and dioestrus phases. CB 1 and, to a lower extent, CB 2 receptor activation results in selective inhibition of myometrial contractility, without un-specific relaxing effects on the smooth muscle. These results might be of interest for female marijuana smokers as well as for the design of novel tocolytic agents. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Activation of Endocannabinoid Receptor 2 as a Mechanism of Propofol Pretreatment-Induced Cardioprotection against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai-Jing Sun

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Propofol pretreatment before reperfusion, or propofol conditioning, has been shown to be cardioprotective, while its mechanism is unclear. The current study investigated the roles of endocannabinoid signaling in propofol cardioprotection in an in vivo model of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R injury and in in vitro primary cardiomyocyte hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R injury. The results showed that propofol conditioning increased both serum and cell culture media concentrations of endocannabinoids including anandamide (AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG detected by LC-MS/MS. The reductions of myocardial infarct size in vivo and cardiomyocyte apoptosis and death in vitro were accompanied with attenuations of oxidative injuries manifested as decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS, malonaldehyde (MDA, and MPO (myeloperoxidase and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD production. These effects were mimicked by either URB597, a selective endocannabinoids degradation inhibitor, or VDM11, a selective endocannabinoids reuptake inhibitor. In vivo study further validated that the cardioprotective and antioxidative effects of propofol were reversed by selective CB2 receptor antagonist AM630 but not CB1 receptor antagonist AM251. We concluded that enhancing endogenous endocannabinoid release and subsequent activation of CB2 receptor signaling represent a major mechanism whereby propofol conditioning confers antioxidative and cardioprotective effects against myocardial I/R injury.

  1. The Endocannabinoid System in the Retina: From Physiology to Practical and Therapeutic Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Schwitzer

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Cannabis is one of the most prevalent drugs used in industrialized countries. The main effects of Cannabis are mediated by two major exogenous cannabinoids: ∆9-tetrahydroxycannabinol and cannabidiol. They act on specific endocannabinoid receptors, especially types 1 and 2. Mammals are endowed with a functional cannabinoid system including cannabinoid receptors, ligands, and enzymes. This endocannabinoid signaling pathway is involved in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions with a main role in the biology of the central nervous system. As the retina is a part of the central nervous system due to its embryonic origin, we aim at providing the relevance of studying the endocannabinoid system in the retina. Here, we review the distribution of the cannabinoid receptors, ligands, and enzymes in the retina and focus on the role of the cannabinoid system in retinal neurobiology. This review describes the presence of the cannabinoid system in critical stages of retinal processing and its broad involvement in retinal neurotransmission, neuroplasticity, and neuroprotection. Accordingly, we support the use of synthetic cannabinoids as new neuroprotective drugs to prevent and treat retinal diseases. Finally, we argue for the relevance of functional retinal measures in cannabis users to evaluate the impact of cannabis use on human retinal processing.

  2. The Endocannabinoid System in the Retina: From Physiology to Practical and Therapeutic Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwitzer, Thomas; Schwan, Raymund; Angioi-Duprez, Karine; Giersch, Anne; Laprevote, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Cannabis is one of the most prevalent drugs used in industrialized countries. The main effects of Cannabis are mediated by two major exogenous cannabinoids: ∆9-tetrahydroxycannabinol and cannabidiol. They act on specific endocannabinoid receptors, especially types 1 and 2. Mammals are endowed with a functional cannabinoid system including cannabinoid receptors, ligands, and enzymes. This endocannabinoid signaling pathway is involved in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions with a main role in the biology of the central nervous system. As the retina is a part of the central nervous system due to its embryonic origin, we aim at providing the relevance of studying the endocannabinoid system in the retina. Here, we review the distribution of the cannabinoid receptors, ligands, and enzymes in the retina and focus on the role of the cannabinoid system in retinal neurobiology. This review describes the presence of the cannabinoid system in critical stages of retinal processing and its broad involvement in retinal neurotransmission, neuroplasticity, and neuroprotection. Accordingly, we support the use of synthetic cannabinoids as new neuroprotective drugs to prevent and treat retinal diseases. Finally, we argue for the relevance of functional retinal measures in cannabis users to evaluate the impact of cannabis use on human retinal processing.

  3. From cannabis to the endocannabinoid system: refocussing attention on potential clinical benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youssef, F F; Irving, A J

    2012-06-01

    Cannabis sativa is one of the oldest herbal remedies known to man. Over the past four thousand years, it has been used for the treatment of numerous diseases but due to its psychoactive properties, its current medicinal usage is highly restricted. In this review, we seek to highlight advances made over the last forty years in the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the effects of cannabis on the human body and how these can potentially be utilized in clinical practice. During this time, the primary active ingredients in cannabis have been isolated, specific cannabinoid receptors have been discovered and at least five endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids) have been identified. Together, these form the framework of a complex endocannabinoid signalling system that has widespread distribution in the body and plays a role in regulating numerous physiological processes within the body. Cannabinoid ligands are therefore thought to display considerable therapeutic potential and the drive to develop compounds that can be targeted to specific neuronal systems at low enough doses so as to eliminate cognitive side effects remains the 'holy grail' of endocannabinoid research.

  4. Dynamic changes to the endocannabinoid system in models of chronic pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rani Sagar, Devi; Burston, James J.; Woodhams, Stephen G.; Chapman, Victoria

    2012-01-01

    The analgesic effects of cannabinoid ligands, mediated by CB1 receptors are well established. However, the side-effect profile of CB1 receptor ligands has necessitated the search for alternative cannabinoid-based approaches to analgesia. Herein, we review the current literature describing the impact of chronic pain states on the key components of the endocannabinoid receptor system, in terms of regionally restricted changes in receptor expression and levels of key metabolic enzymes that influence the local levels of the endocannabinoids. The evidence that spinal CB2 receptors have a novel role in the modulation of nociceptive processing in models of neuropathic pain, as well as in models of cancer pain and arthritis is discussed. Recent advances in our understanding of the spinal location of the key enzymes that regulate the levels of the endocannabinoid 2-AG are discussed alongside the outcomes of recent studies of the effects of inhibiting the catabolism of 2-AG in models of pain. The complexities of the enzymes capable of metabolizing both anandamide (AEA) and 2-AG have become increasingly apparent. More recently, it has come to light that some of the metabolites of AEA and 2-AG generated by cyclooxygenase-2, lipoxygenases and cytochrome P450 are biologically active and can either exacerbate or inhibit nociceptive signalling. PMID:23108548

  5. Endocannabinoid system in cardiovascular disorders - new pharmacotherapeutic opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Cunha

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The long history of Cannabis sativa had its development stimulated and oriented for medicine after the discovery and chemical characterization of its main active ingredient, the 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (9-THC. Consequently, a binding site for 9-THC was identified in rat brains and the first cannabinoid receptor (CB1 was cloned, followed by the CB2 and by the discover of two endogenous agonists: anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol. Cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids and the enzymes that catalyze its synthesis and degradation constitute the endocannabinoid system (ECS, which plays an important role in the cardiovascular system. In vivo experiments with rats have demonstrated the action of anandamide and 2-AG on the development of atherosclerotic plaque, as well as an effect on heart rate, blood pressure, vasoactivity and energy metabolism (action in dyslipidemia and obesity. Recent studies with an antagonist of CB1 receptors showed that the modulation of ECS can play an important role in reducing cardiovascular risk in obese and dyslipidemic patients. Similarly, studies in rats have demonstrated the action of CB2 receptors in adhesion, migration, proliferation and function of immune cells involved in the atherosclerotic plaque formation process. The evidence so far gathered shows that the modulation of ECS (as agonism or antagonism of its receptors is an enormous potential field for research and intervention in multiple areas of human pathophysiology. The development of selective drugs for the CB1 and CB2 receptors may open a door to new therapeutic regimens.This review article aims to address the key findings and evidences on the modulation of ECS, in order to prospect future forms of therapeutic intervention at the cardiovascular level. A recent, emerging, controversial and of undoubted scientific interest subject, which states as a potential therapeutic target to reach in the 21 st century.

  6. Consciousness can reduce the voltage of the output signal of solar cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Dayong

    2010-10-01

    When the sun's light radiate on the solar cell, the solar cell can produce the output signal as the photocurrent. We use the Data Acquisition Modules to record the voltage of the output signals. The v1 is voltage of the output signal of solar cell1; The v2 is the one of solar cell2. And these two solar cells stay side by side. When we record the voltage of the output signal from the morning to the noon, the voltage of the output signals will go up, and the v1 is bigger than the v2 during this time. But when the experimenter use consciousness to reduce the voltage of the output signals. That is to say: not only natural light ratiade on two solar cells, but also consciousness act on two solar cells. Not only I can use consciousness to reduce the growth voltage of the output signals, but also can change the v1 to be littler than the v2. The experiment was conducted on Sep. 2010. There is the physical system of the mass, energy, space and time-MEST; There is the spirited system of the mind, consciousness, emotion and desire-MECD; the information system is the code system. We can use them to develop photoelectric principle, life technology and Nanotech of semiconductor for consciousness effect.

  7. Lifelong imbalanced LA/ALA intake impairs emotional and cognitive behavior via changes in brain endocannabinoid system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamberletti, Erica; Piscitelli, Fabiana; De Castro, Valentina; Murru, Elisabetta; Gabaglio, Marina; Colucci, Paola; Fanali, Chiara; Prini, Pamela; Bisogno, Tiziana; Maccarrone, Mauro; Campolongo, Patrizia; Banni, Sebastiano; Rubino, Tiziana; Parolaro, Daniela

    2017-02-01

    Imbalanced dietary n-3 and n-6 PUFA content has been associated with a number of neurological conditions. Endocannabinoids are n-6 PUFA derivatives, whose brain concentrations are sensitive to modifications of fatty acid composition of the diet and play a central role in the regulation of mood and cognition. As such, the endocannabinoid system appears to be an ideal candidate for mediating the effects of dietary fatty acids on mood and cognition. Lifelong administration of isocaloric α-linolenic acid (ALA)-deficient and -enriched diets induced short-term memory deficits, whereas only dietary ALA enrichment altered emotional reactivity in adult male rats compared with animals fed a standard diet that was balanced in ALA/linoleic acid (LA) ratio. In the prefrontal cortex, both diets reduced 2-AG levels and increased MAG lipase expression, whereas only the enriched diet reduced AEA levels, simultaneously increasing FAAH expression. In the hippocampus, an ALA-enriched diet decreased AEA content and NAPE-PLD expression, and reduced 2-AG content while increasing MAG lipase expression. These findings highlight the importance of a diet balanced in fatty acid content for normal brain functions and to support a link between dietary ALA, the brain endocannabinoid system, and behavior, which indicates that dietary ALA intake is a sufficient condition for altering the endocannabinoid system in brain regions modulating mood and cognition. Copyright © 2017 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  8. Lifelong imbalanced LA/ALA intake impairs emotional and cognitive behavior via changes in brain endocannabinoid system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamberletti, Erica; Piscitelli, Fabiana; De Castro, Valentina; Murru, Elisabetta; Gabaglio, Marina; Colucci, Paola; Fanali, Chiara; Prini, Pamela; Bisogno, Tiziana; Maccarrone, Mauro; Campolongo, Patrizia; Banni, Sebastiano; Rubino, Tiziana; Parolaro, Daniela

    2017-01-01

    Imbalanced dietary n-3 and n-6 PUFA content has been associated with a number of neurological conditions. Endocannabinoids are n-6 PUFA derivatives, whose brain concentrations are sensitive to modifications of fatty acid composition of the diet and play a central role in the regulation of mood and cognition. As such, the endocannabinoid system appears to be an ideal candidate for mediating the effects of dietary fatty acids on mood and cognition. Lifelong administration of isocaloric α-linolenic acid (ALA)-deficient and -enriched diets induced short-term memory deficits, whereas only dietary ALA enrichment altered emotional reactivity in adult male rats compared with animals fed a standard diet that was balanced in ALA/linoleic acid (LA) ratio. In the prefrontal cortex, both diets reduced 2-AG levels and increased MAG lipase expression, whereas only the enriched diet reduced AEA levels, simultaneously increasing FAAH expression. In the hippocampus, an ALA-enriched diet decreased AEA content and NAPE-PLD expression, and reduced 2-AG content while increasing MAG lipase expression. These findings highlight the importance of a diet balanced in fatty acid content for normal brain functions and to support a link between dietary ALA, the brain endocannabinoid system, and behavior, which indicates that dietary ALA intake is a sufficient condition for altering the endocannabinoid system in brain regions modulating mood and cognition. PMID:27903595

  9. Translational Evidence for a Role of Endocannabinoids in the Etiology and Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumeister, Alexander; Seidel, Jordan; Ragen, Benjamin J.; Pietrzak, Robert H.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a prevalent, chronic, and disabling anxiety disorder that may develop following exposure to a traumatic event. Despite the public health significance of PTSD, relatively little is known about the etiology or pathophysiology of this disorder, and pharmacotherapy development to date has been largely opportunistic instead of mechanism-based. Recently, an accumulating body of evidence has implicated the endocannabinoid system in the etiology of PTSD, and targets within this system are believed to be suitable for treatment development. Methods Herein, we describe evidence from translational studies arguing for the relevance of the endocannabinoid system in the etiology of PTSD. We also show mechanisms relevant for treatment development. Results There is convincing evidence from multiple studies for reduced endocannabinoid availability in PTSD. Brain imaging studies show molecular adaptations with elevated cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor availability in PTSD which is linked to abnormal threat processing and anxious arousal symptoms. Conclusion Of particular relevance is evidence showing reduced levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide and compensatory increase of CB1 receptor availability in PTSD, and an association between increased CB1 receptor availability in the amygdala and abnormal threat processing, as well as increased severity of hyperarousal, but not dysphoric symptomatology, in trauma survivors. Given that hyperarousal symptoms are the key drivers of more disabling aspects of PTSD such as emotional numbing or suicidality, novel, mechanism-based pharmacotherapies that target this particular symptom cluster in patients with PTSD may have utility in mitigating the chronicity and morbidity of the disorder. PMID:25456347

  10. High-Performance Signal Detection for Adverse Drug Events using MapReduce Paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Kai; Sun, Xingzhi; Tao, Ying; Xu, Linhao; Wang, Chen; Mao, Xianling; Peng, Bo; Pan, Yue

    2010-11-13

    Post-marketing pharmacovigilance is important for public health, as many Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) are unknown when those drugs were approved for marketing. However, due to the large number of reported drugs and drug combinations, detecting ADE signals by mining these reports is becoming a challenging task in terms of computational complexity. Recently, a parallel programming model, MapReduce has been introduced by Google to support large-scale data intensive applications. In this study, we proposed a MapReduce-based algorithm, for common ADE detection approach, Proportional Reporting Ratio (PRR), and tested it in mining spontaneous ADE reports from FDA. The purpose is to investigate the possibility of using MapReduce principle to speed up biomedical data mining tasks using this pharmacovigilance case as one specific example. The results demonstrated that MapReduce programming model could improve the performance of common signal detection algorithm for pharmacovigilance in a distributed computation environment at approximately liner speedup rates.

  11. Nandrolone reduces activation of Notch signaling in denervated muscle associated with increased Numb expression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Xin-Hua [Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury, James J. Peter VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10468 (United States); Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029 (United States); Yao, Shen; Qiao, Rui-Fang; Levine, Alice C. [Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029 (United States); Kirschenbaum, Alexander [Department of Urology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029 (United States); Pan, Jiangping; Wu, Yong [Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury, James J. Peter VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10468 (United States); Qin, Weiping [Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury, James J. Peter VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10468 (United States); Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029 (United States); Bauman, William A. [Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury, James J. Peter VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10468 (United States); Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029 (United States); Rehabilitation Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029 (United States); Cardozo, Christopher P., E-mail: chris.cardozo@mssm.edu [Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury, James J. Peter VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10468 (United States); Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029 (United States); Rehabilitation Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029 (United States)

    2011-10-14

    Highlights: {yields} Nerve transection increased Notch signaling in paralyzed muscle. {yields} Nandrolone prevented denervation-induced Notch signaling. {yields} Nandrolone induced the expression of an inhibitor of the Notch signaling, Numb. {yields} Reduction of denervation-induced Notch signaling by nandrolone is likely through upregulation of Numb. -- Abstract: Nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, slows denervation-atrophy in rat muscle. The molecular mechanisms responsible for this effect are not well understood. Androgens and anabolic steroids activate Notch signaling in animal models of aging and thereby mitigate sarcopenia. To explore the molecular mechanisms by which nandrolone prevents denervation-atrophy, we investigated the effects of nandrolone on Notch signaling in denervated rat gastrocnemius muscle. Denervation significantly increased Notch activity reflected by elevated levels of nuclear Notch intracellular domain (NICD) and expression of Hey1 (a Notch target gene). Activation was greatest at 7 and 35 days after denervation but remained present at 56 days after denervation. Activation of Notch in denervated muscle was prevented by nandrolone associated with upregulated expression of Numb mRNA and protein. These data demonstrate that denervation activates Notch signaling, and that nandrolone abrogates this response associated with increased expression of Numb, suggesting a potential mechanism by which nandrolone reduces denervation-atrophy.

  12. Nandrolone reduces activation of Notch signaling in denervated muscle associated with increased Numb expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Xin-Hua; Yao, Shen; Qiao, Rui-Fang; Levine, Alice C.; Kirschenbaum, Alexander; Pan, Jiangping; Wu, Yong; Qin, Weiping; Bauman, William A.; Cardozo, Christopher P.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Nerve transection increased Notch signaling in paralyzed muscle. → Nandrolone prevented denervation-induced Notch signaling. → Nandrolone induced the expression of an inhibitor of the Notch signaling, Numb. → Reduction of denervation-induced Notch signaling by nandrolone is likely through upregulation of Numb. -- Abstract: Nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, slows denervation-atrophy in rat muscle. The molecular mechanisms responsible for this effect are not well understood. Androgens and anabolic steroids activate Notch signaling in animal models of aging and thereby mitigate sarcopenia. To explore the molecular mechanisms by which nandrolone prevents denervation-atrophy, we investigated the effects of nandrolone on Notch signaling in denervated rat gastrocnemius muscle. Denervation significantly increased Notch activity reflected by elevated levels of nuclear Notch intracellular domain (NICD) and expression of Hey1 (a Notch target gene). Activation was greatest at 7 and 35 days after denervation but remained present at 56 days after denervation. Activation of Notch in denervated muscle was prevented by nandrolone associated with upregulated expression of Numb mRNA and protein. These data demonstrate that denervation activates Notch signaling, and that nandrolone abrogates this response associated with increased expression of Numb, suggesting a potential mechanism by which nandrolone reduces denervation-atrophy.

  13. Reduced frequency of embolic signals in severe carotid stenosis with poststenotic flow velocity reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goertler, Michael; Blaser, Till; Guhr, Susanne; Lotze, Heike; Heisinger, Jane; Kropf, Siegfried; Wallesch, Claus-Werner

    2005-01-01

    We aimed to investigate the effect of poststenotic low blood flow in patients with recently symptomatic severe carotid stenosis on arterio-arterial embolism. Analyses based on a series of 206 consecutive patients (155 men and 51 women, mean age 65.3 years) with a nondisabling ischemic event in the anterior circulation or =30% local diameter reduction). All patients underwent Doppler/duplex sonography, which included measurement of poststenotic flow velocity as an indicator for poststenotic blood flow as well as a 1-hour transcranial Doppler monitoring for the detection of embolic signals. Thirty-seven of two hundred and six patients had very severe stenosis which was associated with reduced poststenotic flow velocity ( or =90% local diameter reduction if poststenotic flow velocity was not reduced. Reduced poststenotic flow velocity in patients with very severe stenosis was associated with a significantly lower frequency of embolic signals compared to patients with the same degree of stenosis but no velocity reduction (adjusted odds ratio 0.15, 95% confidence interval 0.025-0.897, p = 0.038, adjustment for antiplatelet medication and time since ischemia). Low poststenotic flow velocity behind very severe internal carotid stenosis reduces the otherwise high frequency of embolic signals in recently symptomatic patients corroborating the hypothesis that reduced blood flow across carotid stenosis causes reduced embolism. Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Spreading techniques to reduce FM/TV interference into SCPC signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutronc, J.; Pham, Huu N.; Colcy, J. N.

    This paper presents a short survey on some of the techniques which may be used in order to reduce the interference caused by FM television signals to encoded SCPC carriers. Individual merits are discussed on the basis of laboratory measurements or analysis, and some conclusions are drawn from the comparison between the various techniques.

  15. Tart cherry extracts reduce inflammatory and oxidative stress signaling in microglial cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tart cherries contain an array of polyphenols that can decrease inflammation and oxidative stress (OS), which contribute to cognitive declines seen in aging populations. Previous studies have shown that polyphenols from dark-colored fruits can reduce stress-mediated signaling in BV-2 mouse microglia...

  16. A Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Protects against Glutamate-Induced Excitotoxicity by Modulating the Endocannabinoid System in HT22 Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin; Xu, Haoxiang; Lei, Tao; Yang, Yuefan; Jing, Da; Dai, Shuhui; Luo, Peng; Xu, Qiaoling

    2017-01-01

    Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity is common in the pathogenesis of many neurological diseases. A pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) exerts therapeutic effects on the nervous system, but its specific mechanism associated with excitotoxicity is still unknown. We investigated the role of PEMF exposure in regulating glutamate-induced excitotoxicity through the endocannabinoid (eCB) system. PEMF exposure improved viability of HT22 cells after excitotoxicity and reduced lactate dehydrogenase release and cell death. An eCB receptor 1 (CB1R) specific inhibitor suppressed the protective effects of PEMF exposure, even though changes in CB1R expression were not observed. Elevation of N-arachidonylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) following PEMF exposure indicated that the neuroprotective effects of PEMF were related to modulation of the eCB metabolic system. Furthermore, CB1R/ERK signaling was shown to be an important downstream pathway of PEMF in regulating excitotoxicity. These results suggest that PEMF exposure leads to neuroprotective effects against excitotoxicity by facilitating the eCB/CB1R/ERK signaling pathway. Therefore, PEMF may be a potential physical therapeutic technique for preventing and treating neurological diseases.

  17. O-hydroxyacetamide carbamates as a highly potent and selective class of endocannabinoid hydrolase inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niphakis, Micah J; Johnson, Douglas S; Ballard, T Eric; Stiff, Cory; Cravatt, Benjamin F

    2012-05-16

    The two major endocannabinoid transmitters, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), are degraded by distinct enzymes in the nervous system, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), respectively. FAAH and MAGL inhibitors cause elevations in brain AEA and 2-AG levels, respectively, and reduce pain, anxiety, and depression in rodents without causing the full spectrum of psychotropic behavioral effects observed with direct cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1) agonists. These findings have inspired the development of several classes of endocannabinoid hydrolase inhibitors, most of which have been optimized to show specificity for either FAAH or MAGL or, in certain cases, equipotent activity for both enzymes. Here, we investigate an unusual class of O-hydroxyacetamide carbamate inhibitors and find that individual compounds from this class can serve as selective FAAH or dual FAAH/MAGL inhibitors in vivo across a dose range (0.125-12.5 mg kg(-1)) suitable for behavioral studies. Competitive and click chemistry activity-based protein profiling confirmed that the O-hydroxyacetamide carbamate SA-57 is remarkably selective for FAAH and MAGL in vivo, targeting only one other enzyme in brain, the additional 2-AG hydrolase ABHD6. These data designate O-hydroxyacetamide carbamates as a versatile chemotype for creating endocannabinoid hydrolase inhibitors that display excellent in vivo activity and tunable selectivity for FAAH-anandamide versus MAGL (and ABHD6)-2-AG pathways.

  18. Controlled inspiration depth reduces variance in breath-holding induced BOLD signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomason, Moriah E.; Glover, Gary H.

    2007-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) response amplitude during short periods of breath holding (BH) measured by functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) can be an effective metric for intersubject calibration procedures. However, inconsistency in the depth of inspiration during the BH scan may account for a portion of BOLD variation observed in such scans, and it is likely to reduce the effectiveness of the calibration measurement. While modulation of BOLD signal has been correlated with end-tidal CO2 and other measures of breathing, fluctuations in performance of BH have not been studied in the context of their impact on BOLD signal. Here, we studied the degree to which inspiration depth corresponds to BOLD signal change, and tested the effectiveness of a method designed to control inspiration level through visual cues during the BH task paradigm. We observed reliable differences in BOLD signal amplitude corresponding to the depth of inspiration. It was determined that variance in BOLD signal response to BH could be significantly reduced when subjects were given visual feedback during task inspiration periods. The implications of these findings for routine BH studies of BOLD-derived neurovascular response are discussed. PMID:17905599

  19. Controlled inspiration depth reduces variance in breath-holding-induced BOLD signal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomason, Moriah E; Glover, Gary H

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response amplitude during short periods of breath holding (BH) measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be an effective metric for intersubject calibration procedures. However, inconsistency in the depth of inspiration during the BH scan may account for a portion of BOLD variation observed in such scans, and it is likely to reduce the effectiveness of the calibration measurement. While modulation of BOLD signal has been correlated with end-tidal CO2 and other measures of breathing, fluctuations in performance of BH have not been studied in the context of their impact on BOLD signal. Here, we studied the degree to which inspiration depth corresponds to BOLD signal change and tested the effectiveness of a method designed to control inspiration level through visual cues during the BH task paradigm. We observed reliable differences in BOLD signal amplitude corresponding to the depth of inspiration. It was determined that variance in BOLD signal response to BH could be significantly reduced when subjects were given visual feedback during task inspiration periods. The implications of these findings for routine BH studies of BOLD-derived neurovascular response are discussed.

  20. The reduced kinome of Ostreococcus tauri: core eukaryotic signalling components in a tractable model species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindle, Matthew M; Martin, Sarah F; Noordally, Zeenat B; van Ooijen, Gerben; Barrios-Llerena, Martin E; Simpson, T Ian; Le Bihan, Thierry; Millar, Andrew J

    2014-08-02

    The current knowledge of eukaryote signalling originates from phenotypically diverse organisms. There is a pressing need to identify conserved signalling components among eukaryotes, which will lead to the transfer of knowledge across kingdoms. Two useful properties of a eukaryote model for signalling are (1) reduced signalling complexity, and (2) conservation of signalling components. The alga Ostreococcus tauri is described as the smallest free-living eukaryote. With less than 8,000 genes, it represents a highly constrained genomic palette. Our survey revealed 133 protein kinases and 34 protein phosphatases (1.7% and 0.4% of the proteome). We conducted phosphoproteomic experiments and constructed domain structures and phylogenies for the catalytic protein-kinases. For each of the major kinases families we review the completeness and divergence of O. tauri representatives in comparison to the well-studied kinomes of the laboratory models Arabidopsis thaliana and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and of Homo sapiens. Many kinase clades in O. tauri were reduced to a single member, in preference to the loss of family diversity, whereas TKL and ABC1 clades were expanded. We also identified kinases that have been lost in A. thaliana but retained in O. tauri. For three, contrasting eukaryotic pathways - TOR, MAPK, and the circadian clock - we established the subset of conserved components and demonstrate conserved sites of substrate phosphorylation and kinase motifs. We conclude that O. tauri satisfies our two central requirements. Several of its kinases are more closely related to H. sapiens orthologs than S. cerevisiae is to H. sapiens. The greatly reduced kinome of O. tauri is therefore a suitable model for signalling in free-living eukaryotes.

  1. A scalable neuroinformatics data flow for electrophysiological signals using MapReduce

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayapandian, Catherine; Wei, Annan; Ramesh, Priya; Zonjy, Bilal; Lhatoo, Samden D.; Loparo, Kenneth; Zhang, Guo-Qiang; Sahoo, Satya S.

    2015-01-01

    Data-driven neuroscience research is providing new insights in progression of neurological disorders and supporting the development of improved treatment approaches. However, the volume, velocity, and variety of neuroscience data generated from sophisticated recording instruments and acquisition methods have exacerbated the limited scalability of existing neuroinformatics tools. This makes it difficult for neuroscience researchers to effectively leverage the growing multi-modal neuroscience data to advance research in serious neurological disorders, such as epilepsy. We describe the development of the Cloudwave data flow that uses new data partitioning techniques to store and analyze electrophysiological signal in distributed computing infrastructure. The Cloudwave data flow uses MapReduce parallel programming algorithm to implement an integrated signal data processing pipeline that scales with large volume of data generated at high velocity. Using an epilepsy domain ontology together with an epilepsy focused extensible data representation format called Cloudwave Signal Format (CSF), the data flow addresses the challenge of data heterogeneity and is interoperable with existing neuroinformatics data representation formats, such as HDF5. The scalability of the Cloudwave data flow is evaluated using a 30-node cluster installed with the open source Hadoop software stack. The results demonstrate that the Cloudwave data flow can process increasing volume of signal data by leveraging Hadoop Data Nodes to reduce the total data processing time. The Cloudwave data flow is a template for developing highly scalable neuroscience data processing pipelines using MapReduce algorithms to support a variety of user applications. PMID:25852536

  2. A biophysical model of endocannabinoid-mediated short term depression in hippocampal inhibition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margarita Zachariou

    Full Text Available Memories are believed to be represented in the synaptic pathways of vastly interconnected networks of neurons. The plasticity of synapses, that is, their strengthening and weakening depending on neuronal activity, is believed to be the basis of learning and establishing memories. An increasing number of studies indicate that endocannabinoids have a widespread action on brain function through modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity. Recent experimental studies have characterised the role of endocannabinoids in mediating both short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in various brain regions including the hippocampus, a brain region strongly associated with cognitive functions, such as learning and memory. Here, we present a biophysically plausible model of cannabinoid retrograde signalling at the synaptic level and investigate how this signalling mediates depolarisation induced suppression of inhibition (DSI, a prominent form of short-term synaptic depression in inhibitory transmission in hippocampus. The model successfully captures many of the key characteristics of DSI in the hippocampus, as observed experimentally, with a minimal yet sufficient mathematical description of the major signalling molecules and cascades involved. More specifically, this model serves as a framework to test hypotheses on the factors determining the variability of DSI and investigate under which conditions it can be evoked. The model reveals the frequency and duration bands in which the post-synaptic cell can be sufficiently stimulated to elicit DSI. Moreover, the model provides key insights on how the state of the inhibitory cell modulates DSI according to its firing rate and relative timing to the post-synaptic activation. Thus, it provides concrete suggestions to further investigate experimentally how DSI modulates and is modulated by neuronal activity in the brain. Importantly, this model serves as a stepping stone for future deciphering of the role of

  3. Potentiation of electrical and chemical synaptic transmission mediated by endocannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cachope, Roger; Mackie, Ken; Triller, Antoine; O’Brien, John; Pereda, Alberto E.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Endocannabinoids are well established as inhibitors of chemical synaptic transmission via presynaptic activation of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R). Contrasting this notion, we show that dendritic release of endocannabinoids mediates potentiation of synaptic transmission at mixed (electrical and chemical) synaptic contacts on the goldfish Mauthner cell. Remarkably, the observed enhancement was not restricted to the glutamatergic component of the synaptic response but also included a parallel increase in electrical transmission. This novel effect involved the activation of CB1 receptors and was indirectly mediated via the release of dopamine from nearby varicosities, which in turn led to potentiation of the synaptic response via a cAMP-dependent protein kinase-mediated postsynaptic mechanism. Thus, endocannabinoid release can potentiate synaptic transmission and its functional roles include the regulation of gap junction-mediated electrical synapses. Similar interactions between endocannabinoid and dopaminergic systems may be widespread and potentially relevant for the motor and rewarding effects of cannabis derivatives. PMID:18093525

  4. Binge Alcohol Exposure Transiently Changes the Endocannabinoid System: A Potential Target to Prevent Alcohol-Induced Neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liput, Daniel J; Pauly, James R; Stinchcomb, Audra L; Nixon, Kimberly

    2017-11-29

    Excessive alcohol consumption leads to neurodegeneration, which contributes to cognitive decline that is associated with alcohol use disorders (AUDs). The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the development of AUDs, but little is known about how the neurotoxic effects of alcohol impact the endocannabinoid system. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of neurotoxic, binge-like alcohol exposure on components of the endocannabinoid system and related N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), and then evaluated the efficacy of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibition on attenuating alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. Male rats were administered alcohol according to a binge model, which resulted in a transient decrease in [³H]-CP-55,940 binding in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus following two days, but not four days, of treatment. Furthermore, binge alcohol treatment did not change the tissue content of the three NAEs quantified, including the endocannabinoid and anandamide. In a separate study, the FAAH inhibitor, URB597 was administered to rats during alcohol treatment and neuroprotection was assessed by FluoroJade B (FJB) staining. The administration of URB597 during binge treatment did not significantly reduce FJB+ cells in the entorhinal cortex or hippocampus, however, a follow up "target engagement" study found that NAE augmentation by URB597 was impaired in alcohol intoxicated rats. Thus, potential alcohol induced alterations in URB597 pharmacodynamics may have contributed to the lack of neuroprotection by FAAH inhibition.

  5. Binge Alcohol Exposure Transiently Changes the Endocannabinoid System: A Potential Target to Prevent Alcohol-Induced Neurodegeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J. Liput

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Excessive alcohol consumption leads to neurodegeneration, which contributes to cognitive decline that is associated with alcohol use disorders (AUDs. The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the development of AUDs, but little is known about how the neurotoxic effects of alcohol impact the endocannabinoid system. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of neurotoxic, binge-like alcohol exposure on components of the endocannabinoid system and related N-acylethanolamines (NAEs, and then evaluated the efficacy of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH inhibition on attenuating alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. Male rats were administered alcohol according to a binge model, which resulted in a transient decrease in [3H]-CP-55,940 binding in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus following two days, but not four days, of treatment. Furthermore, binge alcohol treatment did not change the tissue content of the three NAEs quantified, including the endocannabinoid and anandamide. In a separate study, the FAAH inhibitor, URB597 was administered to rats during alcohol treatment and neuroprotection was assessed by FluoroJade B (FJB staining. The administration of URB597 during binge treatment did not significantly reduce FJB+ cells in the entorhinal cortex or hippocampus, however, a follow up “target engagement” study found that NAE augmentation by URB597 was impaired in alcohol intoxicated rats. Thus, potential alcohol induced alterations in URB597 pharmacodynamics may have contributed to the lack of neuroprotection by FAAH inhibition.

  6. Endocannabinoids Measurement in Human Saliva as Potential Biomarker of Obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabarin, Antoine; Clark, Samantha; Leste-Lasserre, Thierry; Marsicano, Giovanni; Piazza, Pier Vincenzo; Cota, Daniela

    2012-01-01

    Background The discovery of the endocannabinoid system and of its role in the regulation of energy balance has significantly advanced our understanding of the physiopathological mechanisms leading to obesity and type 2 diabetes. New knowledge on the role of this system in humans has been acquired by measuring blood endocannabinoids. Here we explored endocannabinoids and related N-acylethanolamines in saliva and verified their changes in relation to body weight status and in response to a meal or to body weight loss. Methodology/Principal Findings Fasting plasma and salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines were measured through liquid mass spectrometry in 12 normal weight and 12 obese, insulin-resistant subjects. Salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines were evaluated in the same cohort before and after the consumption of a meal. Changes in salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines after body weight loss were investigated in a second group of 12 obese subjects following a 12-weeks lifestyle intervention program. The levels of mRNAs coding for enzymes regulating the metabolism of endocannabinoids, N-acylethanolamines and of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor, alongside endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines content, were assessed in human salivary glands. The endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA), and the N-acylethanolamines (oleoylethanolamide, OEA and palmitoylethanolamide, PEA) were quantifiable in saliva and their levels were significantly higher in obese than in normal weight subjects. Fasting salivary AEA and OEA directly correlated with BMI, waist circumference and fasting insulin. Salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines did not change in response to a meal. CB1 receptors, ligands and enzymes were expressed in the salivary glands. Finally, a body weight loss of 5.3% obtained after a 12-weeks lifestyle program significantly decreased salivary AEA levels. Conclusions

  7. ENDOCANNABINOIDS AND EICOSAMOIDS: BIOSYNTHESIS AND INTERACTIONS WITH IMMUNE RESPONSE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu. K. Karaman

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The review is dedicated to modern concepts of arachidonic acid metabolites, i.e., endocannabinoids and eicosanoids, their biosynthetic pathways, cross-talk mechanisms and participation in immune response. New information from literature and own results include data concerning overlapping enzymatic pathways controlling biosynthesis of endocannabinoids and eicosanoids. Impact of synthetic cannabinoid receptor ligands upon production rates of proinflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids is discussed, as like as relationships among immune system reactivity and expression levels of cannabinoid receptors.

  8. Undercover Power of Endocannabinoids: Postsynaptic Ion-Channel Modulator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Aya; Alvarez, Veronica A

    2017-03-22

    In this issue of Neuron, Gantz and Bean (2017) show that the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) can directly alter the properties of native ion-channel Kv 4.3 and accelerate the pacemaker activity of rodent dopamine neurons. These findings are one of the first demonstrations of postsynaptic, cell-autonomous actions of endocannabinoids in the mammalian brain. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Diet-induced changes in n-3 and n-6 derived endocannabinoids and reductions in headache pain and psychological distress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsden, Christopher E.; Zamora, Daisy; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Wood, JodiAnne T.; Mann, J. Douglas; Faurot, Keturah R.; MacIntosh, Beth A.; Majchrzak-Hong, Sharon F.; Gross, Jacklyn R.; Courville, Amber B.; Davis, John M.; Hibbeln, Joseph R.

    2015-01-01

    Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are biosynthetic precursors to endocannabinoids with antinociceptive, anxiolytic, and neurogenic properties. We recently reported that targeted dietary manipulation—increasing omega-3 fatty acids while reducing omega-6 linoleic acid (the H3-L6 intervention)—reduced headache pain and psychological distress among chronic headache patients. It is not yet known whether these clinical improvements were due to changes in endocannabinoids and related mediators derived from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. We therefore used data from this trial (n=55) to investigate (1) whether the H3-L6 intervention altered omega-3 and omega-6 derived endocannabinoids in plasma, and (2) whether diet-induced changes in these bioactive lipids were associated with clinical improvements. The H3-L6 intervention significantly increased the omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid derivatives 2-docosahexaenoylglycerol (+65%, pendocannabinoid derivatives of omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid, but not omega-6 arachidonic acid, correlated with reductions in physical pain and psychological distress. These findings demonstrate that targeted dietary manipulation can alter endocannabinoids derived from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in humans, and suggest that 2-docosahexaenoylglycerol and docosahexaenoylethanolamine could have physical and/or psychological pain modulating properties. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01157208) Perspective This article demonstrates that targeted dietary manipulation can alter endocannabinoids derived from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and that these changes are related to reductions in headache pain and psychological distress. These findings suggest that dietary interventions could provide an effective, complementary approach for managing chronic pain and related conditions. PMID:25958314

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. The Endocannabinoid System and its Modulation by Phytocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Piscitelli, Fabiana

    2015-10-01

    The endocannabinoid system is currently defined as the ensemble of the two 7-transmembrane-domain and G protein-coupled receptors for Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (but not for most other plant cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids)-cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2R); their two most studied endogenous ligands, the "endocannabinoids" N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG); and the enzymes responsible for endocannabinoid metabolism. However, anandamide and 2-AG, and also the phytocannabinoids, have more molecular targets than just CB1R and CB2R. Furthermore, the endocannabinoids, like most other lipid mediators, have more than just one set of biosynthetic and degrading pathways and enzymes, which they often share with "endocannabinoid-like" mediators that may or may not interact with the same proteins as Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and other phytocannabinoids. In some cases, these degrading pathways and enzymes lead to molecules that are not inactive and instead interact with other receptors. Finally, some of the metabolic enzymes may also participate in the chemical modification of molecules that have very little to do with endocannabinoid and cannabinoid targets. Here, we review the whole world of ligands, receptors, and enzymes, a true "endocannabinoidome", discovered after the cloning of CB1R and CB2R and the identification of anandamide and 2-AG, and its interactions with phytocannabinoids.

  12. Peripheral endocannabinoids regulate skeletal muscle development and maintenance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongjiao Zhao

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available As a principal tissue responsible for insulin-mediated glucose uptake, skeletal muscle is important for whole-body health. The role of peripheral endocannabinoids as regulators of skeletal muscle metabolism has recently gained a lot of interest, as endocannabinoid system disorders could cause peripheral insulin resistance. We investigated the role of the peripheral endocannabinoid system in skeletal muscle development and maintenance. Cultures of C2C12 cells, primary satellite cells and mouse skeletal muscle single fibers were used as model systems for our studies. We found an increase in cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 mRNA and endocannabinoid synthetic enzyme mRNA skeletal muscle cells during differentiation. We also found that activation of CB1 inhibited myoblast differentiation, expanded the number of satellite cells, and stimulated the fast-muscle oxidative phenotype. Our findings contribute to understanding of the role of the endocannabinoid system in skeletal muscle metabolism and muscle oxygen consumption, and also help to explain the effects of the peripheral endocannabinoid system on whole-body energy balance.

  13. The endocannabinoid system as a target for novel anxiolytic drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Sachin; Hill, Mathew N; Cheer, Joseph F; Wotjak, Carsten T; Holmes, Andrew

    2017-05-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has attracted attention for its role in various behavioral and brain functions, and as a therapeutic target in neuropsychiatric disease states, including anxiety disorders and other conditions resulting from dysfunctional responses to stress. In this mini-review, we highlight components of the eCB system that offer potential 'druggable' targets for new anxiolytic medications, emphasizing some of the less well-discussed options. We discuss how selectively amplifying eCBs recruitment by interfering with eCB-degradation, via fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), has been linked to reductions in anxiety-like behaviors in rodents and variation in human anxiety symptoms. We also discuss a non-canonical route to regulate eCB degradation that involves interfering with cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Next, we discuss approaches to targeting eCB receptor-signaling in ways that do not involve the cannabinoid receptor subtype 1 (CB1R); by targeting the CB2R subtype and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1). Finally, we review evidence that cannabidiol (CBD), while representing a less specific pharmacological approach, may be another way to modulate eCBs and interacting neurotransmitter systems to alleviate anxiety. Taken together, these various approaches provide a range of plausible paths to developing novel compounds that could prove useful for treating trauma-related and anxiety disorders. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Western Blotting of the Endocannabinoid System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wager-Miller, Jim; Mackie, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Measuring expression levels of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is an important step for understanding the distribution, function, and regulation of these receptors. A common approach for detecting proteins from complex biological systems is Western blotting. In this chapter, we describe a general approach to Western blotting protein components of the endocannabinoid system using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and nitrocellulose membranes, with a focus on detecting type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors. When this technique is carefully used, specifically with validation of the primary antibodies, it can provide quantitative information on protein expression levels. Additional information can also be inferred from Western blotting such as potential posttranslational modifications that can be further evaluated by specific analytical techniques.

  15. Endocannabinoids as biomarkers of human reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapino, Cinzia; Battista, Natalia; Bari, Monica; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2014-01-01

    Infertility is a condition of the reproductive system that affects ∼10-15% of couples attempting to conceive a baby. More than half of all cases of infertility are a result of female conditions, while the remaining cases can be attributed to male factors, or to a combination of both. The search for suitable biomarkers of pregnancy outcome is a challenging issue in human reproduction, aimed at identifying molecules with predictive significance of the reproductive potential of male and female gametes. Among the various candidates, endocannabinoids (eCBs), and in particular anandamide (AEA), represent potential biomarkers of human fertility disturbances. Any perturbation of the balance between synthesis and degradation of eCBs will result in local changes of their tone in human female and male reproductive tracts, which in turn regulates various pathophysiological processes, oocyte and sperm maturation included. PubMed and Web of Science databases were searched for papers using relevant keywords like 'biomarker', 'endocannabinoid', 'infertility', 'pregnancy' and 'reproduction'. In this review, we discuss different studies on the measurements of AEA and related eCBs in human reproductive cells, tissues and fluids, where the local contribution of these bioactive lipids could be critical in ensuring normal sperm fertilizing ability and pregnancy. Based on the available data, we suggest that the AEA tone has the potential to be exploited as a novel diagnostic biomarker of infertility, to be used in association with assays of conventional hormones (e.g. progesterone, β-chorionic gonadotrophin) and semen analysis. However further quantitative research of its predictive capacity is required. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Constitutive activation of BMP signalling abrogates experimental metastasis of OVCA429 cells via reduced cell adhesion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shepherd Trevor G

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Activation of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP4 signalling in human ovarian cancer cells induces a number of phenotypic changes in vitro, including altered cell morphology, adhesion, motility and invasion, relative to normal human ovarian surface epithelial cells. From these in vitro analyses, we had hypothesized that active BMP signalling promotes the metastatic potential of ovarian cancer. Methods To test this directly, we engineered OVCA429 human ovarian cancer cells possessing doxycycline-inducible expression of a constitutively-active mutant BMP receptor, ALK3QD, and administered these cells to immunocompromised mice. Further characterization was performed in vitro to address the role of activated BMP signalling on the EOC phenotype, with particular emphasis on epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT and cell adhesion. Results Unexpectedly, doxycycline-induced ALK3QD expression in OVCA429 cells reduced tumour implantation on peritoneal surfaces and ascites formation when xenografted into immunocompromised mice by intraperitoneal injection. To determine the potential mechanisms controlling this in vivo observation, we followed with several cell culture experiments. Doxycycline-induced ALK3QD expression enhanced the refractile, spindle-shaped morphology of cultured OVCA429 cells eliciting an EMT-like response. Using in vitro wound healing assays, we observed that ALK3QD-expressing cells migrated with long, cytoplasmic projections extending into the wound space. The phenotypic alterations of ALK3QD-expressing cells correlated with changes in specific gene expression patterns of EMT, including increased Snail and Slug and reduced E-cadherin mRNA expression. In addition, ALK3QD signalling reduced β1- and β3-integrin expression, critical molecules involved in ovarian cancer cell adhesion. The combination of reduced E-cadherin and β-integrin expression correlates directly with the reduced EOC cell cohesion in spheroids and

  17. Endocannabinoids as regulators of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels: A further opportunity to develop new endocannabinoid-based therapeutic drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Marzo, V; De Petrocellis, L

    2010-01-01

    In the late 1990's, a series of experiments carried out independently in two laboratories led to establish an important connection between the function of the endocannabinoids, which, as exemplified in this special issue, is per se very complex and ubiquitous in animals, and that of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, a large family of plasma membrane cation channels involved in several mammalian and non-mammalian physiological and pathological conditions, overlapping only in part with those in which the cannabinoid receptors participate. These experiments were initially based on the observation that the endocannabinoid anandamide and the xenobiotic ligand of TRP channels of V1 type (TRPV1), capsaicin, are somehow chemically similar, both compounds being fatty acid amides, as are also synthetic activators of these channels and inhibitors of anandamide cellular re-uptake. As discussed in this article, the same type of "chemical thoughts" led to the discovery of N-arachidonoyl-dopamine, an endogenous ligand of TRPV1 channels that behaves also an endocannabinoid. The overlap between the ligand recognition properties of some TRP channels and proteins of the endocannabinoid system, namely the cannabinoid receptors and the proteins and enzymes catalyzing anandamide cellular re-uptake and hydrolysis, is being actively explored through the rational design and synthesis of new endocannabinoid-based drugs with multiple mechanisms of action. These aspects are discussed in this review article, together with the possible functional and pharmacological consequences of endocannabinoid-TRP channel interactions.

  18. Obesity-driven synaptic remodeling affects endocannabinoid control of orexinergic neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristino, Luigia; Busetto, Giuseppe; Imperatore, Roberta; Ferrandino, Ida; Palomba, Letizia; Silvestri, Cristoforo; Petrosino, Stefania; Orlando, Pierangelo; Bentivoglio, Marina; Mackie, Kenneth; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2013-01-01

    Acute or chronic alterations in energy status alter the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and associated synaptic plasticity to allow for the adaptation of energy metabolism to new homeostatic requirements. The impact of such changes on endocannabinoid and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)-mediated modulation of synaptic transmission and strength is not known, despite the fact that this signaling system is an important target for the development of new drugs against obesity. We investigated whether CB1-expressing excitatory vs. inhibitory inputs to orexin-A–containing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus are altered in obesity and how this modifies endocannabinoid control of these neurons. In lean mice, these inputs are mostly excitatory. By confocal and ultrastructural microscopic analyses, we observed that in leptin-knockout (ob/ob) obese mice, and in mice with diet-induced obesity, orexinergic neurons receive predominantly inhibitory CB1-expressing inputs and overexpress the biosynthetic enzyme for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which retrogradely inhibits synaptic transmission at CB1-expressing axon terminals. Patch-clamp recordings also showed increased CB1-sensitive inhibitory innervation of orexinergic neurons in ob/ob mice. These alterations are reversed by leptin administration, partly through activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway in neuropeptide-Y-ergic neurons of the arcuate nucleus, and are accompanied by CB1-mediated enhancement of orexinergic innervation of target brain areas. We propose that enhanced inhibitory control of orexin-A neurons, and their CB1-mediated disinhibition, are a consequence of leptin signaling impairment in the arcuate nucleus. We also provide initial evidence of the participation of this phenomenon in hyperphagia and hormonal dysregulation in obesity. PMID:23630288

  19. Increased Contextual Fear Conditioning in iNOS Knockout Mice: Additional Evidence for the Involvement of Nitric Oxide in Stress-Related Disorders and Contribution of the Endocannabinoid System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisboa, Sabrina F; Gomes, Felipe V; Silva, Andréia L; Uliana, Daniela L; Camargo, Laura H A; Guimarães, Francisco S; Cunha, Fernando Q; Joca, Sâmia R L; Resstel, Leonardo B M

    2015-01-24

    Inducible or neuronal nitric oxide synthase gene deletion increases or decreases anxiety-like behavior in mice, respectively. Since nitric oxide and endocannabinoids interact to modulate defensive behavior, the former effect could involve a compensatory increase in basal brain nitric oxide synthase activity and/or changes in the endocannabinoid system. Thus, we investigated the expression and extinction of contextual fear conditioning of inducible nitric oxide knockout mice and possible involvement of endocannabinoids in these responses. We evaluated the effects of a preferential neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, 7-nitroindazol, nitric oxide synthase activity, and mRNA changes of nitrergic and endocannabinoid systems components in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of wild-type and knockout mice. The effects of URB597, an inhibitor of the fatty acid amide hydrolase enzyme, which metabolizes the endocannabinoid anandamide, WIN55,212-2, a nonselective cannabinoid agonist, and AM281, a selective CB1 antagonist, on contextual fear conditioning were also evaluated. Contextual fear conditioning expression was similar in wild-type and knockout mice, but the latter presented extinction deficits and increased basal nitric oxide synthase activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. 7-Nitroindazol decreased fear expression and facilitated extinction in wild-type and knockout mice. URB597 decreased fear expression in wild-type and facilitated extinction in knockout mice, whereas WIN55,212-2 and AM281 increased it in wild-type mice. Nonconditioned knockout mice showed changes in the mRNA expression of nitrergic and endocannabinoid system components in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus that were modified by fear conditioning. These data reinforce the involvement of the nitric oxide and endocannabinoids (anandamide) in stress-related disorders and point to a deregulation of the endocannabinoid system in situations where nitric oxide signaling is

  20. Endocannabinoids and the Digestive Tract and Bladder in Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izzo, Angelo A; Muccioli, Giulio G; Ruggieri, Michael R; Schicho, Rudolf

    2015-01-01

    Components of the so-called endocannabinoid system, i.e., cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, as well as enzymes involved in endocannabinoid synthesis and degradation, have been identified both in the gastrointestinal and in the urinary tract. Evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system is implicated in many gastrointestinal and urinary physiological and pathophysiological processes, including epithelial cell growth, inflammation, analgesia, and motor function. A pharmacological modulation of the endocannabinoid system might be beneficial for widespread diseases such as gastrointestinal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, cystitis, and hyperactive bladder. Drugs that inhibit endocannabinoid degradation and raise the level of endocannabinoids, non-psychotropic cannabinoids (notably cannabidiol), and palmitoylethanolamide, an acylethanolamide co-released with the endocannabinoid anandamide, are promising candidates for gastrointestinal and urinary diseases.

  1. [Progress in study on endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors in the treatment for neuropathic pain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Peng; Zhang, Wei; Zhang, Shaobo; Zhang, Yibao; Wang, Jing

    2016-08-01

    Endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are expressed in various central pain modulation regions. They maintain in dynamic changes in the expression level and distribution under different pathological and physiological conditions. These changes possess advantage as well as disadvantage. Exogenous administration of endocannabinoids exerts analgesic effect in different pain models, which is mainly mediated by the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors. Inhibition of enzymes for degrading endocannabinoids in different pain models also shows analgesic effect due to the increased local levels of endocannabinoids.

  2. RMP: Reduced-set matching pursuit approach for efficient compressed sensing signal reconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael M. Abdel-Sayed

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Compressed sensing enables the acquisition of sparse signals at a rate that is much lower than the Nyquist rate. Compressed sensing initially adopted ℓ1 minimization for signal reconstruction which is computationally expensive. Several greedy recovery algorithms have been recently proposed for signal reconstruction at a lower computational complexity compared to the optimal ℓ1 minimization, while maintaining a good reconstruction accuracy. In this paper, the Reduced-set Matching Pursuit (RMP greedy recovery algorithm is proposed for compressed sensing. Unlike existing approaches which either select too many or too few values per iteration, RMP aims at selecting the most sufficient number of correlation values per iteration, which improves both the reconstruction time and error. Furthermore, RMP prunes the estimated signal, and hence, excludes the incorrectly selected values. The RMP algorithm achieves a higher reconstruction accuracy at a significantly low computational complexity compared to existing greedy recovery algorithms. It is even superior to ℓ1 minimization in terms of the normalized time-error product, a new metric introduced to measure the trade-off between the reconstruction time and error. RMP superior performance is illustrated with both noiseless and noisy samples.

  3. Reduced endogenous Ca2+ buffering speeds active zone Ca2+ signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delvendahl, Igor; Jablonski, Lukasz; Baade, Carolin; Matveev, Victor; Neher, Erwin; Hallermann, Stefan

    2015-06-09

    Fast synchronous neurotransmitter release at the presynaptic active zone is triggered by local Ca(2+) signals, which are confined in their spatiotemporal extent by endogenous Ca(2+) buffers. However, it remains elusive how rapid and reliable Ca(2+) signaling can be sustained during repetitive release. Here, we established quantitative two-photon Ca(2+) imaging in cerebellar mossy fiber boutons, which fire at exceptionally high rates. We show that endogenous fixed buffers have a surprisingly low Ca(2+)-binding ratio (∼ 15) and low affinity, whereas mobile buffers have high affinity. Experimentally constrained modeling revealed that the low endogenous buffering promotes fast clearance of Ca(2+) from the active zone during repetitive firing. Measuring Ca(2+) signals at different distances from active zones with ultra-high-resolution confirmed our model predictions. Our results lead to the concept that reduced Ca(2+) buffering enables fast active zone Ca(2+) signaling, suggesting that the strength of endogenous Ca(2+) buffering limits the rate of synchronous synaptic transmission.

  4. Reduced Notch signalling leads to postnatal skeletal muscle hypertrophy in Pofut1cax/cax mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Jaam, Bilal; Heu, Katy; Pennarubia, Florian; Segelle, Alexandre; Magnol, Laetitia; Germot, Agnès; Legardinier, Sébastien; Blanquet, Véronique; Maftah, Abderrahman

    2016-09-01

    Postnatal skeletal muscle growth results from the activation of satellite cells and/or an increase in protein synthesis. The Notch signalling pathway maintains satellite cells in a quiescent state, and once activated, sustains their proliferation and commitment towards differentiation. In mammals, POFUT1-mediated O-fucosylation regulates the interactions between NOTCH receptors and ligands of the DELTA/JAGGED family, thus initiating the activation of canonical Notch signalling. Here, we analysed the consequences of downregulated expression of the Pofut1 gene on postnatal muscle growth in mutant Pofut1(cax/cax) (cax, compact axial skeleton) mice and differentiation of their satellite cell-derived myoblasts (SCDMs). Pofut1(cax/cax) mice exhibited muscle hypertrophy, no hyperplasia and a decrease in satellite cell numbers compared with wild-type C3H mice. In agreement with these observations, Pofut1(cax/cax) SCDMs differentiated earlier concomitant with reduced Pax7 expression and decrease in PAX7(+)/MYOD(-) progenitor cells. In vitro binding assays showed a reduced interaction of DELTA-LIKE 1 ligand (DLL1) with NOTCH receptors expressed at the cell surface of SCDMs, leading to a decreased Notch signalling as seen by the quantification of cleaved NICD and Notch target genes. These results demonstrated that POFUT1-mediated O-fucosylation of NOTCH receptors regulates myogenic cell differentiation and affects postnatal muscle growth in mice. © 2016 The Authors.

  5. Mutations in LRP5 cause primary osteoporosis without features of OI by reducing Wnt signaling activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korvala Johanna

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Primary osteoporosis is a rare childhood-onset skeletal condition whose pathogenesis has been largely unknown. We have previously shown that primary osteoporosis can be caused by heterozygous missense mutations in the Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5 gene, and the role of LRP5 is further investigated here. Methods LRP5 was analyzed in 18 otherwise healthy children and adolescents who had evidence of osteoporosis (manifested as reduced bone mineral density i.e. BMD, recurrent peripheral fractures and/or vertebral compression fractures but who lacked the clinical features of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI or other known syndromes linked to low BMD. Also 51 controls were analyzed. Methods used in the genetic analyses included direct sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA. In vitro studies were performed using luciferase assay and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR to examine the effect of two novel and three previously identified mutations on the activity of canonical Wnt signaling and on expression of tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (Tph1 and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-Htr1b. Results Two novel LRP5 mutations (c.3446 T > A; p.L1149Q and c.3553 G > A; p.G1185R were identified in two patients and their affected family members. In vitro analyses showed that one of these novel mutations together with two previously reported mutations (p.C913fs, p.R1036Q significantly reduced the activity of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Such reductions may lead to decreased bone formation, and could explain the bone phenotype. Gut-derived Lrp5 has been shown to regulate serotonin synthesis by controlling the production of serotonin rate-limiting enzyme, Tph1. LRP5 mutations did not affect Tph1 expression, and only one mutant (p.L1149Q reduced expression of serotonin receptor 5-Htr1b (p Conclusions Our results provide additional information on the role of LRP5 mutations and their

  6. Mutations in LRP5 cause primary osteoporosis without features of OI by reducing Wnt signaling activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korvala, Johanna; Jüppner, Harald; Mäkitie, Outi; Sochett, Etienne; Schnabel, Dirk; Mora, Stefano; Bartels, Cynthia F; Warman, Matthew L; Deraska, Donald; Cole, William G; Hartikka, Heini; Ala-Kokko, Leena; Männikkö, Minna

    2012-04-10

    Primary osteoporosis is a rare childhood-onset skeletal condition whose pathogenesis has been largely unknown. We have previously shown that primary osteoporosis can be caused by heterozygous missense mutations in the Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5) gene, and the role of LRP5 is further investigated here. LRP5 was analyzed in 18 otherwise healthy children and adolescents who had evidence of osteoporosis (manifested as reduced bone mineral density i.e. BMD, recurrent peripheral fractures and/or vertebral compression fractures) but who lacked the clinical features of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) or other known syndromes linked to low BMD. Also 51 controls were analyzed. Methods used in the genetic analyses included direct sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). In vitro studies were performed using luciferase assay and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to examine the effect of two novel and three previously identified mutations on the activity of canonical Wnt signaling and on expression of tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (Tph1) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-Htr1b). Two novel LRP5 mutations (c.3446 T > A; p.L1149Q and c.3553 G > A; p.G1185R) were identified in two patients and their affected family members. In vitro analyses showed that one of these novel mutations together with two previously reported mutations (p.C913fs, p.R1036Q) significantly reduced the activity of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Such reductions may lead to decreased bone formation, and could explain the bone phenotype. Gut-derived Lrp5 has been shown to regulate serotonin synthesis by controlling the production of serotonin rate-limiting enzyme, Tph1. LRP5 mutations did not affect Tph1 expression, and only one mutant (p.L1149Q) reduced expression of serotonin receptor 5-Htr1b (p LRP5 mutations and their effects on the development of juvenile-onset primary osteoporosis, and hence the pathogenesis of the disorder. The

  7. FHL2 silencing reduces Wnt signaling and osteosarcoma tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Brun

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The molecular mechanisms that are involved in the growth and invasiveness of osteosarcoma, an aggressive and invasive primary bone tumor, are not fully understood. The transcriptional co-factor FHL2 (four and a half LIM domains protein 2 acts as an oncoprotein or as a tumor suppressor depending on the tissue context. In this study, we investigated the role of FHL2 in tumorigenesis in osteosarcoma model. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Western blot analyses showed that FHL2 is expressed above normal in most human and murine osteosarcoma cells. Tissue microarray analysis revealed that FHL2 protein expression is high in human osteosarcoma and correlates with osteosarcoma aggressiveness. In murine osteosarcoma cells, FHL2 silencing using shRNA decreased canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling and reduced the expression of Wnt responsive genes as well as of the key Wnt molecules Wnt5a and Wnt10b. This effect resulted in inhibition of osteosarcoma cell proliferation, invasion and migration in vitro. Using xenograft experiments, we showed that FHL2 silencing markedly reduced tumor growth and lung metastasis occurence in mice. The anti-oncogenic effect of FHL2 silencing in vivo was associated with reduced cell proliferation and decreased Wnt signaling in the tumors. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings demonstrate that FHL2 acts as an oncogene in osteosarcoma cells and contributes to tumorigenesis through Wnt signaling. More importantly, FHL2 depletion greatly reduces tumor cell growth and metastasis, which raises the potential therapeutic interest of targeting FHL2 to efficiently impact primary bone tumors.

  8. High efficiency processing for reduced amplitude zones detection in the HRECG signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugarte, N.; Álvarez, A.; Balacco, J.; Mercado, G.; Gonzalez, A.; Dugarte, E.; Olivares, A.

    2016-04-01

    Summary - This article presents part of a more detailed research proposed in the medium to long term, with the intention of establishing a new philosophy of electrocardiogram surface analysis. This research aims to find indicators of cardiovascular disease in its early stage that may go unnoticed with conventional electrocardiography. This paper reports the development of a software processing which collect some existing techniques and incorporates novel methods for detection of reduced amplitude zones (RAZ) in high resolution electrocardiographic signal (HRECG).The algorithm consists of three stages, an efficient processing for QRS detection, averaging filter using correlation techniques and a step for RAZ detecting. Preliminary results show the efficiency of system and point to incorporation of techniques new using signal analysis with involving 12 leads.

  9. Impact of Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Endocannabinoids in the Lungs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turcotte, Caroline; Blanchet, Marie-Renée; Laviolette, Michel; Flamand, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    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 in 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Changes in the Peripheral Endocannabinoid System as a Risk Factor for the Development of Eating Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capasso, Anna; Milano, Walter; Cauli, Omar

    2018-02-12

    Eating Disorder (ED) is characterized by persistently and severely disturbed eating behaviours. They arise from a combination of long-standing behavioural, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors and result in insufficient nutrient ingestion and/or adsorption. The three main EDs are: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. We review the role of peripheral endocannabinoids in eating behaviour. The neuronal pathways involved in feeding behaviours are closely related to catecholaminergic, serotoninergic and peptidergic systems. Accordingly, feeding is promoted by serotonin, dopamine, and prostaglandin and inhibited by neuropeptide Y, norepinephrine, GABA, and opioid peptides. The endocannabinoid system plays a role in EDs, and multiple lines of evidence indicate that the cannabinoid signalling system is a key modulatory factor of the activity in the brain areas involved in EDs as well as in reward processes. Besides their central role in controlling food behaviours, peripheral cannabinoids are also involved in regulating adipose tissue and insulin signalling as well as cell metabolism in peripheral tissues such as liver, pancreas, fatty tissue, and skeletal muscle. Altogether, these data indicate that peripheral cannabinoids can provide new therapeutic targets not only for EDs but also for metabolic disease. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  12. The endocannabinoid system, a novel and key participant in acupuncture's multiple beneficial effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bo; Bai, Fuhai; Xiong, Lize; Wang, Qiang

    2017-06-01

    Acupuncture and its modified forms have been used to treat multiple medical conditions, but whether the diverse effects of acupuncture are intrinsically linked at the cellular and molecular level and how they might be connected have yet to be determined. Recently, an emerging role for the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the regulation of a variety of physiological/pathological conditions has been identified. Overlap between the biological and therapeutic effects induced by ECS activation and acupuncture has facilitated investigations into the participation of ECS in the acupuncture-induced beneficial effects, which have shed light on the idea that the ECS may be a primary mediator and regulatory factor of acupuncture's beneficial effects. This review seeks to provide a comprehensive summary of the existing literature concerning the role of endocannabinoid signaling in the various effects of acupuncture, and suggests a novel notion that acupuncture may restore homeostasis under different pathological conditions by regulating similar networks of signaling pathways, resulting in the activation of different reaction cascades in specific tissues in response to pathological insults. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Effects of activation of endocannabinoid system on myocardial metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Polak

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Endocannabinoids exert their effect on the regulation of energy homeostasis via activation of specific receptors. They control food intake, secretion of insulin, lipids and glucose metabolism, lipid storage. Long chain fatty acids are the main myocardial energy substrate. However, the heart exerts enormous metabolic flexibility emphasized by its ability to utilzation not only fatty acids, but also glucose, lactate and ketone bodies. Endocannabinoids can directly act on the cardiomyocytes through the CB1 and CB2 receptors present in cardiomyocytes. It appears that direct activation of CB1 receptors promotes increased lipogenesis, pericardial steatosis and bioelectrical dysfunction of the heart. In contrast, stimulation of CB2 receptors exhibits cardioprotective properties, helping to maintain appropriate amount of ATP in cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, the effects of endocannabinoids at both the central nervous system and peripheral tissues, such as liver, pancreas, or adipose tissue, resulting indirectly in plasma availability of energy substrates and affects myocardial metabolism. To date, there is little evidence that describes effects of activation of the endocannabinoid system in the cardiovascular system under physiological conditions. In the present paper the impact of metabolic diseases, i. e. obesity and diabetes, as well as the cardiovascular diseases - hypertension, myocardial ischemia and myocardial infarction on the deregulation of the endocannabinoid system and its effect on the metabolism are described.

  14. Effects of activation of endocannabinoid system on myocardial metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polak, Agnieszka; Harasim, Ewa; Chabowski, Adrian

    2016-05-21

    Endocannabinoids exert their effect on the regulation of energy homeostasis via activation of specific receptors. They control food intake, secretion of insulin, lipids and glucose metabolism, lipid storage. Long chain fatty acids are the main myocardial energy substrate. However, the heart exerts enormous metabolic flexibility emphasized by its ability to utilzation not only fatty acids, but also glucose, lactate and ketone bodies. Endocannabinoids can directly act on the cardiomyocytes through the CB1 and CB2 receptors present in cardiomyocytes. It appears that direct activation of CB1 receptors promotes increased lipogenesis, pericardial steatosis and bioelectrical dysfunction of the heart. In contrast, stimulation of CB2 receptors exhibits cardioprotective properties, helping to maintain appropriate amount of ATP in cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, the effects of endocannabinoids at both the central nervous system and peripheral tissues, such as liver, pancreas, or adipose tissue, resulting indirectly in plasma availability of energy substrates and affects myocardial metabolism. To date, there is little evidence that describes effects of activation of the endocannabinoid system in the cardiovascular system under physiological conditions. In the present paper the impact of metabolic diseases, i. e. obesity and diabetes, as well as the cardiovascular diseases - hypertension, myocardial ischemia and myocardial infarction on the deregulation of the endocannabinoid system and its effect on the metabolism are described.

  15. Sleep restriction alters plasma endocannabinoids concentrations before but not after exercise in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedernaes, Jonathan; Fanelli, Flaminia; Fazzini, Alessia; Pagotto, Uberto; Broman, Jan-Erik; Vogel, Heike; Dickson, Suzanne L; Schiöth, Helgi B; Benedict, Christian

    2016-12-01

    Following binding to cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids regulate a variety of central nervous system processes including appetite and mood. Recent evidence suggests that the systemic release of these lipid metabolites can be altered by acute exercise and that their levels also vary across the 24-h sleep-wake cycle. The present study utilized a within-subject design (involving 16 normal-weight men) to determine whether daytime circulating endocannabinoid concentrations differ following three nights of partial sleep deprivation (4.25-h sleep opportunity, 2:45-7a.m. each night) vs. normal sleep (8.5-h sleep opportunity, 10:30p.m.-7a.m. each night), before and after an acute bout of ergometer cycling in the morning. In addition, subjective hunger and stress were measured. Pre-exercise plasma concentrations of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) were 80% higher 1.5h after awakening (vs. normal sleep, psleep-deprived. This coincided with increased hunger ratings (+25% vs. normal sleep, pexercise (+44%, pSleep duration did not however modulate this exercise-induced rise. Finally, subjective stress was generally lower on the day after three nights of short sleep vs. normal sleep, especially after exercise (psleep loss, such as increased hunger and transiently improved psychological state, may partially result from activation of this signaling pathway. In contrast, more pronounced exercise-induced elevations of endocannabinoids appear to be less affected by short sleep duration. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Adaptive synchronization of fractional Lorenz systems using a reduced number of control signals and parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aguila-Camacho, Norelys; Duarte-Mermoud, Manuel A.; Delgado-Aguilera, Efredy

    2016-01-01

    This paper analyzes the synchronization of two fractional Lorenz systems in two cases: the first one considering fractional Lorenz systems with unknown parameters, and the second one considering known upper bounds on some of the fractional Lorenz systems parameters. The proposed control strategies use a reduced number of control signals and control parameters, employing mild assumptions. The stability of the synchronization errors is analytically demonstrated in all cases, and the convergence to zero of the synchronization errors is analytically proved in the case when the upper bounds on some system parameters are assumed to be known. Simulation studies are presented, which allows verifying the effectiveness of the proposed control strategies.

  17. Tempol reduces podocyte apoptosis via PARP signaling pathway in experimental diabetes mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peixoto, Elisa B M I; Papadimitriou, Alexandros; Lopes de Faria, Jacqueline M; Lopes de Faria, Jose B

    2012-01-01

    In diabetic hypertensive rats, tempol reduces albuminuria by restoring the redox imbalance. Increased formation of reactive oxygen species leading to activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1 and podocyte loss by apoptosis contribute to albuminuria in diabetes mellitus (DM). In the present study, we investigated the hypothesis that in DM tempol reduces albuminuria by inhibition of PARP-induced podocyte apoptosis. DM was induced in 4-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rats by streptozotocin. Mouse and human podocyte cell lines were cultured in normal or high-glucose conditions, with or without tempol and/or a PARP-1 inhibitor, PJ34. In diabetic rats, tempol treatment did not affect plasma glucose levels or systolic blood pressure. Albuminuria was higher in diabetic rats, and it was reduced by tempol. DM leads to an elevation of glomerular apoptotic cells and to podocyte loss; both were prevented by tempol treatment. DM increases the expression of poly(ADP-ribose)-modified proteins in isolated glomeruli, and it was reduced by tempol. In vitro, high glucose increased caspase-3 activity and led to a higher number of apoptotic cells that were prevented by tempol and the PARP-1 inhibitor. In DM, tempol reduces albuminuria associated with reduction of podocyte apoptosis and decreasing oxidative stress via PARP signaling. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Responses of peripheral endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-related compounds to hedonic eating in obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteleone, A M; Di Marzo, V; Monteleone, P; Dalle Grave, R; Aveta, T; Ghoch, M El; Piscitelli, F; Volpe, U; Calugi, S; Maj, M

    2016-06-01

    Hedonic eating occurs independently from homeostatic needs prompting the ingestion of pleasurable foods that are typically rich in fat, sugar and/or salt content. In normal weight healthy subjects, we found that before hedonic eating, plasma levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) were higher than before nonhedonic eating, and although they progressively decreased after food ingestion in both eating conditions, they were significantly higher in hedonic eating. Plasma levels of anandamide (AEA), oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), instead, progressively decreased in both eating conditions without significant differences. In this study, we investigated the responses of AEA, 2-AG, OEA and PEA to hedonic eating in obese individuals. Peripheral levels of AEA, 2-AG, OEA and PEA were measured in 14 obese patients after eating favourite (hedonic eating) and non-favourite (nonhedonic eating) foods in conditions of no homeostatic needs. Plasma levels of 2-AG increased after eating the favourite food, whereas they decreased after eating the non-favourite food, with the production of the endocannabinoid being significantly enhanced in hedonic eating. Plasma levels of AEA decreased progressively in nonhedonic eating, whereas they showed a decrease after the exposure to the favourite food followed by a return to baseline values after eating it. No significant differences emerged in plasma OEA and PEA responses to favourite and non-favourite food. Present findings compared with those obtained in our previously studied normal weight healthy subjects suggest deranged responses of endocannabinoids to food-related reward in obesity.

  19. Icaritin Reduces Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Progression via the Inhibition of STAT3 Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-Guang Yang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Icaritin, a traditional Chinese medicine, possesses antitumor activity. The current study aimed to investigate icaritin effect and potential mechanism on oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC development. OSCC cells proliferation, apoptosis, and autophagy were analyzed after incubation with icaritin at different concentrations and incubation times. The expressions of proteins related to proliferation, apoptosis, and autophagy, as well as signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3 signal network, were also evaluated by western blot. Furthermore, STAT3 was knocked down by siRNA transfection to determine STAT3 role in OSCC cell proliferation and apoptosis. An oral specific carcinogenesis mouse model was used to explore icaritin effect on OSCC in vivo. Icaritin significantly inhibited OSCC proliferation in vitro and reduced the expression of both the cell-cycle progression proteins cyclin A2 and cyclin D1. Besides, icaritin increased cleaved caspase 3 and cleaved poly-(ADP-ribose polymerase expression leading to apoptosis, and it activated autophagy. Icaritin significantly inhibited the expression of phospho-STAT3 (p-STAT3 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In the in vivo experiment, the number of malignant tumors in the icaritin-treated group was significantly lower than the control. Overall, icaritin suppressed proliferation, promoted apoptosis and autophagy, and inhibited STAT3 signaling in OSCC in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, icaritin might be a potential therapeutic agent against OSCC development.

  20. An Integrated Signaling-Encryption Mechanism to Reduce Error Propagation in Wireless Communications: Performance Analyses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olama, Mohammed M [ORNL; Matalgah, Mustafa M [ORNL; Bobrek, Miljko [ORNL

    2015-01-01

    Traditional encryption techniques require packet overhead, produce processing time delay, and suffer from severe quality of service deterioration due to fades and interference in wireless channels. These issues reduce the effective transmission data rate (throughput) considerably in wireless communications, where data rate with limited bandwidth is the main constraint. In this paper, performance evaluation analyses are conducted for an integrated signaling-encryption mechanism that is secure and enables improved throughput and probability of bit-error in wireless channels. This mechanism eliminates the drawbacks stated herein by encrypting only a small portion of an entire transmitted frame, while the rest is not subject to traditional encryption but goes through a signaling process (designed transformation) with the plaintext of the portion selected for encryption. We also propose to incorporate error correction coding solely on the small encrypted portion of the data to drastically improve the overall bit-error rate performance while not noticeably increasing the required bit-rate. We focus on validating the signaling-encryption mechanism utilizing Hamming and convolutional error correction coding by conducting an end-to-end system-level simulation-based study. The average probability of bit-error and throughput of the encryption mechanism are evaluated over standard Gaussian and Rayleigh fading-type channels and compared to the ones of the conventional advanced encryption standard (AES).

  1. Anabolic steroids activate calcineurin-NFAT signaling and thereby increase myotube size and reduce denervation atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Weiping; Pan, Jiangping; Wu, Yong; Bauman, William A; Cardozo, Christopher

    2015-01-05

    Anabolic androgens have been shown to reduce muscle loss due to immobilization, paralysis and many other medical conditions, but the molecular basis for these actions is poorly understood. We have recently demonstrated that nandrolone, a synthetic androgen, slows muscle atrophy after nerve transection associated with down-regulation of regulator of calcineurin 2 (RCAN2), a calcineurin inhibitor, suggesting a possible role of calcineurin-NFAT signaling. To test this possibility, rat gastrocnemius muscle was analyzed at 56 days after denervation. In denervated muscle, calcineurin activity declined and NFATc4 was excluded from the nucleus and these effects were reversed by nandrolone. Similarly, nandrolone increased calcineurin activity and nuclear NFATc4 levels in cultured L6 myotubes. Nandrolone also induced cell hypertrophy that was blocked by cyclosporin A or overexpression of RCAN2. Finally protection against denervation atrophy by nandrolone in rats was blocked by cyclosporin A. These results demonstrate for the first time that nandrolone activates calcineurin-NFAT signaling, and that such signaling is important in nandrolone-induced cell hypertrophy and protection against paralysis-induced muscle atrophy. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  2. Abdominal obesity, cardiometabolic risk and endocannabinoid system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Bittolo Bon

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Abdominal obesity is the most prevalent manifestation of metabolic syndrome and is of central importance in the definition of global cardiometabolic risk. Visceral adipose tissue releases a large number of bioactive mediators, which influence body weight homeostasis, insulin resistance, alterations in lipids, blood pressure, coagulation, fibrinolysis and inflammation, leading to increased risk of cardiovascular events and of type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle modification is the first-line approach to the management of abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome. However for patients at higher risk, who cannot achieve an appreciable reduction in weight and in global cardiometabolic risk with lifestyle modification alone, an adjunctive long term pharmacotherapy should be considered. The endocannabinoid system activity regulates food intake and metabolic factors through cannabinoid-1 (CB1 receptor located in multiple sites, including hypothalamus and limbic forebrain, adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, liver and the gastrointestinal tract. Evidence suggests that CB1 receptor blockade offers a novel therapeutic strategy. Data from four phase III trials suggest that rimonabant, the first cannabinoid receptor inhibitor, modulates cardiometabolic risk factors, both through its impact on body weight and metabolic parameters such as HDL-cholesterol, tryglicerides, Hb1Ac, through direct pathways that are not related to weight loss.

  3. Fluoxetine Facilitates Fear Extinction Through Amygdala Endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunduz-Cinar, Ozge; Flynn, Shaun; Brockway, Emma; Kaugars, Katherine; Baldi, Rita; Ramikie, Teniel S; Cinar, Resat; Kunos, George; Patel, Sachin; Holmes, Andrew

    2016-05-01

    Pharmacologically elevating brain endocannabinoids (eCBs) share anxiolytic and fear extinction-facilitating properties with classical therapeutics, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine. There are also known functional interactions between the eCB and serotonin systems and preliminary evidence that antidepressants cause alterations in brain eCBs. However, the potential role of eCBs in mediating the facilitatory effects of fluoxetine on fear extinction has not been established. Here, to test for a possible mechanistic contribution of eCBs to fluoxetine's proextinction effects, we integrated biochemical, electrophysiological, pharmacological, and behavioral techniques, using the extinction-impaired 129S1/Sv1mJ mouse strain. Chronic fluoxetine treatment produced a significant and selective increase in levels of anandamide in the BLA, and an associated decrease in activity of the anandamide-catabolizing enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase. Slice electrophysiological recordings showed that fluoxetine-induced increases in anandamide were associated with the amplification of eCB-mediated tonic constraint of inhibitory, but not excitatory, transmission in the BLA. Behaviorally, chronic fluoxetine facilitated extinction retrieval in a manner that was prevented by systemic or BLA-specific blockade of CB1 receptors. In contrast to fluoxetine, citalopram treatment did not increase BLA eCBs or facilitate extinction. Taken together, these findings reveal a novel, obligatory role for amygdala eCBs in the proextinction effects of a major pharmacotherapy for trauma- and stressor-related disorders and anxiety disorders.

  4. Predictable information in neural signals during resting state is reduced in autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodski-Guerniero, Alla; Naumer, Marcus J; Moliadze, Vera; Chan, Jason; Althen, Heike; Ferreira-Santos, Fernando; Lizier, Joseph T; Schlitt, Sabine; Kitzerow, Janina; Schütz, Magdalena; Langer, Anne; Kaiser, Jochen; Freitag, Christine M; Wibral, Michael

    2018-04-04

    The neurophysiological underpinnings of the nonsocial symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which include sensory and perceptual atypicalities remain poorly understood. Well-known accounts of less dominant top-down influences and more dominant bottom-up processes compete to explain these characteristics. These accounts have been recently embedded in the popular framework of predictive coding theory. To differentiate between competing accounts, we studied altered information dynamics in ASD by quantifying predictable information in neural signals. Predictable information in neural signals measures the amount of stored information that is used for the next time step of a neural process. Thus, predictable information limits the (prior) information which might be available for other brain areas, for example, to build predictions for upcoming sensory information. We studied predictable information in neural signals based on resting-state magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings of 19 ASD patients and 19 neurotypical controls aged between 14 and 27 years. Using whole-brain beamformer source analysis, we found reduced predictable information in ASD patients across the whole brain, but in particular in posterior regions of the default mode network. In these regions, epoch-by-epoch predictable information was positively correlated with source power in the alpha and beta frequency range as well as autocorrelation decay time. Predictable information in precuneus and cerebellum was negatively associated with nonsocial symptom severity, indicating a relevance of the analysis of predictable information for clinical research in ASD. Our findings are compatible with the assumption that use or precision of prior knowledge is reduced in ASD patients. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Dietary conjugated linoleic acid supplementation alters the expression of genes involved in the endocannabinoid system in the bovine endometrium and increases plasma progesterone concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abolghasemi, A; Dirandeh, E; Ansari Pirsaraei, Z; Shohreh, B

    2016-10-01

    Endocannabinoids are derived from phospholipids and reduce fertility by interfering with implantation. Identification of changes in the expression of genes of the endocannabinoid system as a result of dietary inclusion of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is critical to the advancement of our understanding of the nutritional regulation of uterine function. An experiment was conducted on transition cows to evaluate the expression of key endocannabinoid genes in bovine endometrium in response to dietary supplementation with CLA. A total of 16 cows were randomly assigned to two treatments: (1) control (75 g/day palm oil) and (2) CLA (75 g/day CLA) from 21 days prepartum to Day 42 postpartum. Cows underwent uterine biopsy on days 21 and 42 postpartum. The abundance of mRNA encoding endocannabinoid receptor (CNR2), N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPEPLD), fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), N-acylethanolamine acid amidase (NAAA), and monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) was measured by real-time PCR. Results reported that relative levels of mRNA encoding CNR2 and NAPEPLD were decreased (P  0.05) in the same situation. Mean plasma progesterone concentrations were higher in CLA-fed cows compared with control cows at Day 42 postpartum (3.51 and 1.42 ng/mL, respectively, P endocannabinoid receptor (CNR2) and enzymes that synthesize fatty acid amides (NAPEPLD) and of an increase in the expression of PTGS2 that in turn can oxidate endocannabinoids and consequently resulted in increased plasma progesterone concentrations during early lactation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Endocannabinoids modulate human blood-brain barrier permeability in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hind, William H; Tufarelli, Cristina; Neophytou, Maria; Anderson, Susan I; England, Timothy J; O'Sullivan, Saoirse E

    2015-06-01

    Endocannabinoids alter permeability at various epithelial barriers, and cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid levels are elevated by stroke, with potential neuroprotective effects. We therefore explored the role of endocannabinoids in modulating blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability in normal conditions and in an ischaemia/reperfusion model. Human brain microvascular endothelial cell and astrocyte co-cultures modelled the BBB. Ischaemia was modelled by oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) and permeability was measured by transepithelial electrical resistance. Endocannabinoids or endocannabinoid-like compounds were assessed for their ability to modulate baseline permeability or OGD-induced hyperpermeability. Target sites of action were investigated using receptor antagonists and subsequently identified with real-time PCR. Anandamide (10 μM) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA, 10 μM) decreased BBB permeability (i.e. increased resistance). This was mediated by cannabinoid CB2 receptors, transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels, calcitonin gene-regulated peptide (CGRP) receptor (anandamide only) and PPARα (OEA only). Application of OEA, palmitoylethanolamide (both PPARα mediated) or virodhamine (all 10 μM) decreased the OGD-induced increase in permeability during reperfusion. 2-Arachidonoyl glycerol, noladin ether and oleamide did not affect BBB permeability in normal or OGD conditions. N-arachidonoyl-dopamine increased permeability through a cytotoxic mechanism. PPARα and γ, CB1 receptors, TRPV1 channels and CGRP receptors were expressed in both cell types, but mRNA for CB2 receptors was only present in astrocytes. The endocannabinoids may play an important modulatory role in normal BBB physiology, and also afford protection to the BBB during ischaemic stroke, through a number of target sites. © 2015 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The British Pharmacological Society.

  7. Dissociating the role of endocannabinoids in the pleasurable and motivational properties of social play behaviour in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achterberg, E J Marijke; van Swieten, Maaike M H; Driel, Nina V; Trezza, Viviana; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J

    2016-08-01

    Social play behaviour is a vigorous form of social interaction, abundant during the juvenile and adolescent phases of life in many mammalian species, including humans. Social play is highly rewarding and it is important for social and cognitive development. Being a rewarding activity, social play can be dissociated in its pleasurable and motivational components. We have previously shown that endocannabinoids modulate the expression of social play behaviour in rats. In the present study, we investigated whether endocannabinoids modulate the motivational and pleasurable properties of social play behaviour, using operant and place conditioning paradigms, respectively. Treatment with the anandamide hydrolysis inhibitor URB597 did not affect operant responding or social play-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) when administered at a dose (0.1mg/kg) known to increase the expression of social play behaviour, while it modestly reduced operant responding at a higher dose (0.2mg/kg). The cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptor antagonist rimonabant reduced operant responding when administered at a dose (1mg/kg) known to decrease the expression of social play behaviour, although this effect may be secondary to concurrent drug-induced stereotypic behaviours (i.e., grooming and scratching). These data demonstrate that enhancing endocannabinoid levels does not differentially affect the motivational and pleasurable aspects of social play behaviour, whereas CB1 receptor blockade reduces the motivational aspects of social play behaviour, possibly due to response competition. Thus, endocannabinoids likely drive the expression of social play behaviour as a whole, without differentially affecting its motivational or pleasurable properties. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. An endocannabinoid system is localized to the hypophysial pars tuberalis of Syrian hamsters and responds to photoperiodic changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuo, Shinobu; Koch, Marco; Schmidt, Helmut; Ziebell, Simone; Bojunga, Joerg; Geisslinger, Gerd; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2010-04-01

    The hypophysial pars tuberalis (PT), an important interface between neuroendocrine brain centers (hypothalamus, pineal organ) and the pars distalis (PD) of the hypophysis, plays a central role in regulating seasonal reproduction and prolactin release. However, the signaling molecules that transmit photoperiodic information from the PT to the PD and control prolactin release (the so-called "tuberalins") have not yet been identified, despite an intense search for more than three decades. Here, we demonstrate an endocannabinoid system in the PT of the Syrian hamster, a photoperiodic species. By means of in situ hybrization, the PT was found to express N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), sn-1-selective diacylglycerol lipases (DAGLalpha and DAGLbeta), and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), enzymes involved in endocannabinoid synthesis and degradation. The expression of NAPE-PLD, FAAH, and DAGLalpha was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Expression and protein levels of DAGLs controlling the synthesis of 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), a major endocannabinoid, were upregulated in the PT of Syrian hamsters kept under long-day conditions. Consequently, 2-AG levels were increased in the PT of these hamsters. A primary target of 2-AG, the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), was expressed in the PD. Double-immunolabeling revealed that most of the CB1-immunoreactive cells in the PD were folliculostellate cells that were also immunoreactive for S-100 protein. Thus, the PT comprises an endocannabinoid system, and 2-AG may act as a photoperiodic messenger from the PT to the PD for the regulation of hypophysial hormonal secretion.

  9. Endocannabinoids and prostaglandins both contribute to GnRH neuron-GABAergic afferent local feedback circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glanowska, Katarzyna M.

    2011-01-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons form the final common pathway for central control of fertility. Regulation of GnRH neurons by long-loop gonadal steroid feedback through steroid receptor-expressing afferents such as GABAergic neurons is well studied. Recently, local central feedback circuits regulating GnRH neurons were identified. GnRH neuronal depolarization induces short-term inhibition of their GABAergic afferents via a mechanism dependent on metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) activation. GnRH neurons are enveloped in astrocytes, which express mGluRs. GnRH neurons also produce endocannabinoids, which can be induced by mGluR activation. We hypothesized the local GnRH-GABA circuit utilizes glia-derived and/or cannabinoid mechanisms and is altered by steroid milieu. Whole cell voltage-clamp was used to record GABAergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs) from GnRH neurons before and after action potential-like depolarizations were mimicked. In GnRH neurons from ovariectomized (OVX) mice, this depolarization reduced PSC frequency. This suppression was blocked by inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis with indomethacin, by a prostaglandin receptor antagonist, or by a specific glial metabolic poison, together suggesting the postulate that prostaglandins, potentially glia-derived, play a role in this circuit. This circuit was also inhibited by a CB1 receptor antagonist or by blockade of endocannabinoid synthesis in GnRH neurons, suggesting an endocannabinoid element, as well. In females, local circuit inhibition persisted in androgen-treated mice but not in estradiol-treated mice or young ovary-intact mice. In contrast, local circuit inhibition was present in gonad-intact males. These data suggest GnRH neurons interact with their afferent neurons using multiple mechanisms and that these local circuits can be modified by both sex and steroid feedback. PMID:21917995

  10. Feasibility of targeting ischaemia-related ventricular arrhythmias by mimicry of endogenous protection by endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrag, Ellen; Curtis, Michael J

    2013-08-01

    The hypothesis that endocannabinoids protect hearts against ventricular fibrillation (VF) induced by myocardial ischaemia and reperfusion was examined, and the concept that cannabinoids may represent a new class of anti-VF drug was tested. In rat isolated hearts (Langendorff perfusion), VF evoked by reperfusion after 60 min regional ischaemia is known to be exacerbated by inhibitors of endogenous protectants such as nitric oxide. This preparation was used to assay the effects of cannabinoid agonists and antagonists, and the protocols were varied to examine mechanisms. Reperfusion-induced VF was not facilitated by relatively selective CB1 (1 μM AM251) or CB2 (1 μM AM630) antagonists. VF evoked during early (30 min) acute ischaemia was also unaffected. However, AM251 significantly increased the incidence of VF and the duration of VF episodes occurring during the later stage of acute ischaemia (30-60 min). AM630 had no such effects. In a separate study, cannabinoid perfusion (anandamide or 2-arachidonoylglycerol, both 0.01-1 μM) failed to reduce VF incidence concentration-dependently during 30 min ischaemia. In all these studies, changes in ancillary variables (QT, PR, heart rate) were unrelated to changes in VF. Endocannabinoids are not endogenous anti-VF mediators during reperfusion, but may have a weak protective effect during the late stages of ischaemia, mediated via CB1 agonism. This does not suggest endocannabinoids are important endogenous protectants in these settings, or that CB1 (or CB2) receptors are useful novel targets for developing drugs for VF. © 2013 The British Pharmacological Society.

  11. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Differentially Modulate Cell Proliferation and Endocannabinoid System in Two Human Cancer Lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gastón, Repossi; María Eugenia, Pasqualini; Das, Undurti N; Eynard, Aldo R

    2017-01-01

    Evidence suggests that quantity and quality of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) play a role in the development of cancer. However, the mechanisms involved in this interaction(s) are not clear. Endocannabinoids are lipid metabolites known to have growth modulatory actions. We studied the effect of supplementation with PUFAs ω-6 and ω-3 (essential fatty acids, EFAs), saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (non-EFAs) on the growth of tumor cells and modifications in their endocannabinoid content. Cell cultures of human glioblastoma (T98G) and breast cancer (MCF7) were supplemented with 50 or 100 mmol EFAs and non-EFAs for 72 h. Cell proliferation was then determined by MTT, anandamide (AEA) levels by HPLC, total fatty acids profiles by GLC, CB1 receptor expression by WB and FAAH activity by spectrophotometric method. Fatty acids profile reflected the incorporation of the lipids supplemented in each assay. Arachidonic acid (EFA ω-6) supplementation increased AEA levels and inhibited the growth of T98G, whereas palmitic acid (non-EFA) enhanced their proliferation. In breast cancer (MCF7) cells, eicosapentaenoic acid (EFA ω-3) reduced and oleic acid (non-EFA) enhanced their proliferation. CB1 expression was higher in T98G and no differences were observed in FAAH activity. The growth of tumor cells can be differentially modulated by fatty acids and, at least in part, can be attributed to their ability to act on the components of the endocannabinoid system. Copyright © 2017 IMSS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The potential of inhibitors of endocannabinoid metabolism as anxiolytic and antidepressive drugs--A practical view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, Christopher J

    2015-06-01

    The endocannabinoid system, comprising cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, their endogenous ligands anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglyerol, and their synthetic and metabolic enzymes, are involved in many biological processes in the body, ranging from appetite to bone turnover. Compounds inhibiting the breakdown of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol increase brain levels of these lipids and thus modulate endocannabinoid signalling. In the present review, the preclinical evidence that these enzymes are good targets for development of novel therapies for anxiety and depression are discussed from a practical, rather than mechanistic, point of view. It is concluded that the preclinical data are promising, albeit tempered by problems of tolerance as well as effects upon learning and memory for irreversible monoacylglycerol lipase inhibitors, and limited by a focus upon male rodents alone. Clinical data so far has been restricted to safety studies with inhibitors of anandamide hydrolysis and a hitherto unpublished study on such a compound in elderly patients with major depressive disorders, but under the dose regimes used, they are well tolerated and show no signs of "cannabis-like" behaviours. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  13. The endocannabinoid transport inhibitor AM404 differentially modulates recognition memory in rats depending on environmental aversiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campolongo, Patrizia; Ratano, Patrizia; Manduca, Antonia; Scattoni, Maria L.; Palmery, Maura; Trezza, Viviana; Cuomo, Vincenzo

    2012-01-01

    Cannabinoid compounds may influence both emotional and cognitive processes depending on the level of environmental aversiveness at the time of drug administration. However, the mechanisms responsible for these responses remain to be elucidated. The present experiments investigated the effects induced by the endocannabinoid transport inhibitor AM404 (0.5–5 mg/kg, i.p.) on both emotional and cognitive performances of rats tested in a Spatial Open Field task and subjected to different experimental settings, named High Arousal (HA) and Low Arousal (LA) conditions. The two different experimental conditions influenced emotional reactivity independently of drug administration. Indeed, vehicle-treated rats exposed to the LA condition spent more time in the center of the arena than vehicle-treated rats exposed to the HA context. Conversely, the different arousal conditions did not affect the cognitive performances of vehicle-treated animals such as the capability to discriminate a spatial displacement of the objects or an object substitution. AM404 administration did not alter locomotor activity or emotional behavior of animals exposed to both environmental conditions. Interestingly, AM404 administration influenced the cognitive parameters depending on the level of emotional arousal: it impaired the capability of rats exposed to the HA condition to recognize a novel object while it did not induce any impairing effect in rats exposed to the LA condition. These findings suggest that drugs enhancing endocannabinoid signaling induce different effects on recognition memory performance depending on the level of emotional arousal induced by the environmental conditions. PMID:22454620

  14. Increasing Antiproliferative Properties of Endocannabinoids in N1E-115 Neuroblastoma Cells through Inhibition of Their Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamtiaux, Laurie; Hansoulle, Laurie; Dauguet, Nicolas; Muccioli, Giulio G.; Gallez, Bernard; Lambert, Didier M.

    2011-01-01

    The antitumoral properties of endocannabinoids received a particular attention these last few years. Indeed, these endogenous molecules have been reported to exert cytostatic, apoptotic and antiangiogenic effects in different tumor cell lines and tumor xenografts. Therefore, we investigated the cytotoxicity of three N-acylethanolamines – N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA), N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA) and N-oleoylethanolamine (OEA) - which were all able to time- and dose-dependently reduce the viability of murine N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells. Moreover, several inhibitors of FAAH and NAAA, whose presence was confirmed by RT-PCR in the cell line, induced cell cytotoxicity and favored the decrease in cell viability caused by N-acylethanolamines. The most cytotoxic treatment was achieved by the co-incubation of AEA with the selective FAAH inhibitor URB597, which drastically reduced cell viability partly by inhibiting AEA hydrolysis and consequently increasing AEA levels. This combination of molecules synergistically decreased cell proliferation without inducing cell apoptosis or necrosis. We found that these effects are independent of cannabinoid, TRPV1, PPARα, PPARγ or GPR55 receptors activation but seem to occur through a lipid raft-dependent mechanism. These findings further highlight the interest of targeting the endocannabinoid system to treat cancer. More particularly, this emphasizes the great potential benefit of designing novel anti-cancerous therapies based on the association of endocannabinoids and inhibitors of their hydrolysis. PMID:22046372

  15. Task-specific enhancement of hippocampus-dependent learning in mice deficient in monoacylglycerol lipase, the major hydrolyzing enzyme of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasushi eKishimoto

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Growing evidence indicates that the endocannabinoid system is important for the acquisition and/or extinction of learning and memory. However, it is unclear which endocannabinoid(s play(s a crucial role in these cognitive functions, especially memory extinction. To elucidate the physiological role of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG, a major endocannabinoid, in behavioral and cognitive functions, we conducted a comprehensive behavioral test battery in knockout (KO mice deficient in monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL, the major hydrolyzing enzyme of 2-AG. We found age-dependent increases in spontaneous physical activity in MGL KO mice. Next, we tested the MGL KO mice using 5 hippocampus-dependent learning paradigms (i.e., Morris water maze [MWM], contextual fear conditioning, novel object recognition test, trace eyeblink conditioning, and water-finding test. In the MWM, MGL KO mice showed normal acquisition of reference memory, but exhibited significantly faster extinction of the learned behavior. Moreover, they showed faster memory acquisition on the reversal-learning task of the MWM. In contrast, in the contextual fear conditioning, MGL KO mice tended to show slower memory extinction. In the novel object recognition and water-finding tests, MGL KO mice exhibited enhanced memory acquisition. Trace eyeblink conditioning was not altered in MGL KO mice throughout the acquisition and extinction phases. These results indicate that 2-AG signaling is important for hippocampus-dependent learning and memory, but its contribution is highly task-dependent.

  16. Sphingolipid signaling reduces basal P-glycoprotein activity in renal proximal tubule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David S

    2014-03-01

    P-glycoprotein is an ATP-driven xenobiotic export pump that is highly expressed in barrier and excretory tissues, where it greatly influences drug pharmacokinetics. Recent studies in the blood-brain and spinal cord barriers identified a sphingolipid-based signaling pathway that regulates basal activity of P-glycoprotein. Here we use an established comparative renal model that permits direct measurement of P-glycoprotein activity to determine whether such signaling occurs in another tissue, killifish renal proximal tubule. Isolated killifish tubules exposed to 0.01-1.0 μM sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) exhibited a profound decrease in P-glycoprotein transport activity, measured as specific accumulation of a fluorescent cyclosporine A derivative in the tubule lumen. Loss of activity had a rapid onset and was fully reversible when the S1P was removed. Transport mediated by multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (Mrp2) or a teleost fish organic anion transporter (Oat) was not affected. S1P effects were blocked by a specific S1P receptor 1 (S1PR1) antagonist and mimicked by a S1PR agonist. Sphingosine also reduced P-glycoprotein transport activity and those effects were blocked by an inhibitor of sphingosine kinase and by the S1PR1 antagonist. These results for a comparative renal model suggest that sphingolipid signaling to P-glycoprotein is not just restricted to the blood-brain and blood-spinal cord barriers, but occurs in other excretory and barrier tissues.

  17. Inhibition of IL-12/IL-23 signaling reduces Alzheimer's disease-like pathology and cognitive decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vom Berg, Johannes; Prokop, Stefan; Miller, Kelly R; Obst, Juliane; Kälin, Roland E; Lopategui-Cabezas, Ileana; Wegner, Anja; Mair, Florian; Schipke, Carola G; Peters, Oliver; Winter, York; Becher, Burkhard; Heppner, Frank L

    2012-12-01

    The pathology of Alzheimer's disease has an inflammatory component that is characterized by upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines, particularly in response to amyloid-β (Aβ). Using the APPPS1 Alzheimer's disease mouse model, we found increased production of the common interleukin-12 (IL-12) and IL-23 subunit p40 by microglia. Genetic ablation of the IL-12/IL-23 signaling molecules p40, p35 or p19, in which deficiency of p40 or its receptor complex had the strongest effect, resulted in decreased cerebral amyloid load. Although deletion of IL-12/IL-23 signaling from the radiation-resistant glial compartment of the brain was most efficient in mitigating cerebral amyloidosis, peripheral administration of a neutralizing p40-specific antibody likewise resulted in a reduction of cerebral amyloid load in APPPS1 mice. Furthermore, intracerebroventricular delivery of antibodies to p40 significantly reduced the concentration of soluble Aβ species and reversed cognitive deficits in aged APPPS1 mice. The concentration of p40 was also increased in the cerebrospinal fluid of subjects with Alzheimer's disease, which suggests that inhibition of the IL-12/IL-23 pathway may attenuate Alzheimer's disease pathology and cognitive deficits.

  18. Reduced expression of the epidermal growth factor signaling system in preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armant, D R; Fritz, R; Kilburn, B A; Kim, Y M; Nien, J K; Maihle, N J; Romero, R; Leach, R E

    2015-03-01

    The epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling system regulates trophoblast differentiation, and its disruption could contribute to perinatal disease. We hypothesized that this pathway is altered in preeclampsia, a disorder associated with trophoblast apoptosis and failure to invade and remodel the uterine spiral arteries. Six EGF family peptides and a truncated EGF receptor splice variant (p110/EGFR) were examined using immunohistochemistry in the trophoblast of placentas (N = 76) from women with preeclampsia, and compared to placentas from women of similar gestational age (GA) with preterm labor (PTL) or small for gestational age (SGA) fetuses, as well as normal term placentas. EGF, transforming growth factor-α (TGFA), and heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HBEGF) were evaluated using ELISA in maternal plasma from another 20 pregnancies with or without preeclampsia. Cell death was evaluated in the HTR-8/SVneo human cytotrophoblast cell line using TUNEL to evaluate the protective effects of EGF peptides. Trophoblast HBEGF, TGFA, and EGF were significantly reduced in preeclampsia compared to PTL and SGA, while p110/EGFR accumulated significantly on the surface of the chorionic villi (p preeclampsia, whereas p110/EGFR, a potential EGF receptor antagonist, is overexpressed. These findings are consistent with the concept that disruption of the EGF signaling system contributes to aberrant trophoblast development associated with preeclampsia. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Reducing VEGF-B Signaling Ameliorates Renal Lipotoxicity and Protects against Diabetic Kidney Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkevall, Annelie; Mehlem, Annika; Palombo, Isolde; Heller Sahlgren, Benjamin; Ebarasi, Lwaki; He, Liqun; Ytterberg, A Jimmy; Olauson, Hannes; Axelsson, Jonas; Sundelin, Birgitta; Patrakka, Jaakko; Scotney, Pierre; Nash, Andrew; Eriksson, Ulf

    2017-03-07

    Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the most common cause of severe renal disease, and few treatment options are available today that prevent the progressive loss of renal function. DKD is characterized by altered glomerular filtration and proteinuria. A common observation in DKD is the presence of renal steatosis, but the mechanism(s) underlying this observation and to what extent they contribute to disease progression are unknown. Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) controls muscle lipid accumulation through regulation of endothelial fatty acid transport. Here, we demonstrate in experimental mouse models of DKD that renal VEGF-B expression correlates with the severity of disease. Inhibiting VEGF-B signaling in DKD mouse models reduces renal lipotoxicity, re-sensitizes podocytes to insulin signaling, inhibits the development of DKD-associated pathologies, and prevents renal dysfunction. Further, we show that elevated VEGF-B levels are found in patients with DKD, suggesting that VEGF-B antagonism represents a novel approach to treat DKD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Reduced mycorrhizal colonization (rmc) tomato mutant lacks expression of SymRK signaling pathway genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Aswathy; Bhargava, Sujata

    2012-12-01

    Comparison of the expression of 13 genes involved in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis was performed in a wild type tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv 76R) and its reduced mycorrhizal colonization mutant rmc in response to colonization with Glomus fasiculatum. Four defense-related genes were induced to a similar extent in the mutant and wild type AM colonized plants, indicating a systemic response to AM colonization. Genes related to nutrient exchange between the symbiont partners showed higher expression in the AM roots of wild type plants than the mutant plants, which correlated with their arbuscular frequency. A symbiosis receptor kinase that is involved in both nodulation and AM symbiosis was not expressed in the rmc mutant. The fact that some colonization was observed in rmc was suggestive of the existence of an alternate colonization signaling pathway for AM symbiosis in this mutant.

  1. Evidence for a role of endocannabinoids, astrocytes and p38 phosphorylation in the resolution of postoperative pain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew S Alkaitis

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available An alarming portion of patients develop persistent or chronic pain following surgical procedures, but the mechanisms underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain states are not fully understood. In general, endocannabinoids (ECBs inhibit nociceptive processing by stimulating cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB(1 and type 2 (CB(2. We have previously shown that intrathecal administration of a CB(2 receptor agonist reverses both surgical incision-induced behavioral hypersensitivity and associated over-expression of spinal glial markers. We therefore hypothesized that endocannabinoid signaling promotes the resolution of acute postoperative pain by modulating pro-inflammatory signaling in spinal cord glial cells.To test this hypothesis, rats receiving paw incision surgery were used as a model of acute postoperative pain that spontaneously resolves. We first characterized the concentration of ECBs and localization of CB(1 and CB(2 receptors in the spinal cord following paw incision. We then administered concomitant CB(1 and CB(2 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists (AM281 and AM630, 1 mg x kg(-1 each, i.p. during the acute phase of paw incision-induced mechanical allodynia and evaluated the expression of glial cell markers and phosphorylated p38 (a MAPK associated with inflammation in the lumbar dorsal horn. Dual blockade of CB(1 and CB(2 receptor signaling prevented the resolution of postoperative allodynia and resulted in persistent over-expression of spinal Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP, an astrocytic marker and phospho-p38 in astrocytes. We provide evidence for the functional significance of these astrocytic changes by demonstrating that intrathecal administration of propentofylline (50 microg, i.t. attenuated both persistent behavioral hypersensitivity and over-expression of GFAP and phospho-p38 in antagonist-treated animals.Our results demonstrate that endocannabinoid signaling via CB(1 and CB(2 receptors is necessary for the

  2. Inhibition of nuclear factor kappa-B signaling reduces growth in medulloblastoma in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deckard Lindsey A

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant pediatric brain tumor that requires surgery, whole brain and spine irradiation, and intense chemotherapy for treatment. A more sophisticated understanding of the pathophysiology of medulloblastoma is needed to successfully reduce the intensity of treatment and improve outcomes. Nuclear factor kappa-B (NFκB is a signaling pathway that controls transcriptional activation of genes important for tight regulation of many cellular processes and is aberrantly expressed in many types of cancer. Methods To test the importance of NFκB to medulloblastoma cell growth, the effects of multiple drugs that inhibit NFκB, pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate, diethyldithiocarbamate, sulfasalazine, curcumin and bortezomib, were studied in medulloblastoma cell lines compared to a malignant glioma cell line and normal neurons. Expression of endogenous NFκB was investigated in cultured cells, xenograft flank tumors, and primary human tumor samples. A dominant negative construct for the endogenous inhibitor of NFκB, IκB, was prepared from medulloblastoma cell lines and flank tumors were established to allow specific pathway inhibition. Results We report high constitutive activity of the canonical NFκB pathway, as seen by Western analysis of the NFκB subunit p65, in medulloblastoma tumors compared to normal brain. The p65 subunit of NFκB is extremely highly expressed in xenograft tumors from human medulloblastoma cell lines; though, conversely, the same cells in culture have minimal expression without specific stimulation. We demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of NFκB in cell lines halts proliferation and leads to apoptosis. We show by immunohistochemical stain that phosphorylated p65 is found in the majority of primary tumor cells examined. Finally, expression of a dominant negative form of the endogenous inhibitor of NFκB, dnIκB, resulted in poor xenograft tumor growth, with average tumor volumes

  3. Endocannabinoids block status epilepticus in cultured hippocampal neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deshpande, Laxmikant S.; Blair, Robert E.; Ziobro, Julie M.; Sombati, Sompong; Martin, Billy R.; DeLorenzo, Robert J.

    2008-01-01

    Status epilepticus is a serious neurological disorder associated with a significant morbidity and mortality. Antiepileptic drugs such as diazepam, phenobarbital and phenytoin are the mainstay of status epilepticus treatment. However, over 20% of status epilepticus cases are refractory to the initial treatment with two or more antiepileptic drugs. Endocannabinoids have been implicated as playing an important role in regulating seizure activity and seizure termination. This study evaluated the effects of the major endocannabinoids methanandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) on status epilepticus in the low-Mg2+ hippocampal neuronal culture model. Status epilepticus in this model was resistant to treatment with phenobarbital and phenytoin. Methanandamide and 2-AG inhibited status epilepticus in a dose-dependent manner with an EC50 of 145±4.15 nM and 1.68±0.19 µM, respectively. In addition, the anti-status epilepticus effects of methanandamide and 2-AG were mediated by activation of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor since they were blocked by the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist AM251. These results provide the first evidence that the endocannabinoids, methanandamide and 2-AG, are effective inhibitors of refractory status epilepticus in the hippocampal neuronal culture model and indicate that regulating the endocannabinoid system may provide a novel therapeutic approach for treating refractory status epilepticus. PMID:17174949

  4. Effect of endocannabinoids on soybean lipoxygenase-1 activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Minh Duc; Nguyen, Dang Hung; Yoo, Jae-Myung; Myung, Pyung-Keun; Kim, Mee Ree; Sok, Dai-Eun

    2013-08-01

    Endocannabinoids appear to be involved in a variety of physiological processes. Lipoxygenase activity has been known to be affected by unsaturated fatty acids or phenolic compounds. In this study, we examined whether endocannabinoids containing both N-acyl group and phenolic group can affect the activity of soybean lipoxygenase (LOX)-1, similar to mammalian 15-lipoxygenase in physicochemical properties. First, N-arachidonoyl dopamine and N-oleoyl dopamine were found to inhibit soybean LOX-1-catalyzed oxygenation of linoleic acid in a non-competitive manner with a Ki value of 3.7 μM and 6.2 μM, respectively. Meanwhile, other endocannabinoids failed to show a remarkable inhibition of soybean LOX-1. Separately, N-arachidonoyl dopamine and N-arachidonoyl serotonin were observed to inactivate soybean LOX-1 with Kin value of 27 μM and 24 μM, respectively, and k3 value of 0.12 min(-1) and 0.35 min(-1), respectively. Furthermore, such an inactivation was enhanced by ascorbic acid, but suppressed by 13(S)-hydroperoxy-9,11-octadecadienoic acid. Taken together, it is proposed that endocannabinoids containing polyunsaturated acyl moiety and phenolic group may be efficient for the inhibition as well as inactivation of 15-lipoxygenase. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The endocannabinoid system: an emerging key player in inflammation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witkamp, R.F.; Meijerink, J.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to illustrate the expanding view of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in relation to its roles in inflammation. Recent findings: According to the formal classification, the ECS consists of two cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous fatty acid-derived

  6. The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic implications in rheumatoid arthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gui, Huan; Tong, Qiang; Qu, Wenchun; Mao, Chen-Mei; Dai, Sheng-Ming

    2015-05-01

    Since the discovery of the endogenous receptor for Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, a main constituent of marijuana, the endocannabinoid system (comprising cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, as well as the enzymes involved in their metabolic processes) has been implicated as having multiple regulatory functions in many central and peripheral conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease that is associated with the involvement of many kinds of cells (such as fibroblastlike synoviocytes [FLSs], osteoclasts, T cells, B cells, and macrophages) and molecules (such as interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, matrix metalloproteinases [MMPs], and chemokines). Increasing evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system, especially cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), has an important role in the pathophysiology of RA. Many members of the endocannabinoid system are reported to inhibit synovial inflammation, hyperplasia, and cartilage destruction in RA. In particular, specific activation of CB2 may relieve RA by inhibiting not only the production of autoantibodies, proinflammatory cytokines, and MMPs, but also bone erosion, immune response mediated by T cells, and the proliferation of FLSs. In this review, we will discuss the possible functions of the endocannabinoid system in the modulation of RA, which may be a potential target for treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. GLP-1 receptor signaling is not required for reduced body weight after RYGB in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Jianping; Hao, Zheng; Mumphrey, Michael B; Townsend, R Leigh; Patterson, Laurel M; Stylopoulos, Nicholas; Münzberg, Heike; Morrison, Christopher D; Drucker, Daniel J; Berthoud, Hans-Rudolf

    2014-03-01

    Exaggerated GLP-1 and PYY secretion is thought to be a major mechanism in the reduced food intake and body weight after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Here, we use complementary pharmacological and genetic loss-of-function approaches to test the role of increased signaling by these gut hormones in high-fat diet-induced obese rodents. Chronic brain infusion of a supramaximal dose of the selective GLP-1 receptor antagonist exendin-9-39 into the lateral cerebral ventricle significantly increased food intake and body weight in both RYGB and sham-operated rats, suggesting that, while contributing to the physiological control of food intake and body weight, central GLP-1 receptor signaling tone is not the critical mechanism uniquely responsible for the body weight-lowering effects of RYGB. Central infusion of the selective Y2R-antagonist BIIE0246 had no effect in either group, suggesting that it is not critical for the effects of RYGB on body weight under the conditions tested. In a recently established mouse model of RYGB that closely mimics surgery and weight loss dynamics in humans, obese GLP-1R-deficient mice lost the same amount of body weight and fat mass and maintained similarly lower body weight compared with wild-type mice. Together, the results surprisingly provide no support for important individual roles of either gut hormone in the specific mechanisms by which RYGB rats settle at a lower body weight. It is likely that the beneficial effects of bariatric surgeries are expressed through complex mechanisms that require combination approaches for their identification.

  8. [Neurobiology of endocannabinoids and central effects of tetrahydrocannabinol contained in indian hemp].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costentin, Jean

    2014-03-01

    Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychotropic component of Cannabis indica, is an addictive drug with multiple effects including both peripheral and central damages. All these effects are due to interference with endocannabinoidergic transmission. This endocannabinoid system subtly regulates many physiologicalfunctions. This regulation involves various ligands derived from arachidonic acid (anandamide, di-arachidonoylglycerol, virodhamin, noladin ether, N arachidonoyl dopamine, etc.) which stimulate two main types of receptor CB1 in the central nervous system and CB2 in the periphery. CB1 receptors are very numerous and ubiquitous in the brain. They influence various important functions (awakening, attention, delirium, hallucinations, memory, cognition, anxiety, humor stability, motor coordination, brain maturation, etc.). Far from mimicking endocannabinoids, THC caricatures their effects. It affects all brain structures, simultaneously, intensely and durably, inducing down-regulation of CB1 receptors and thereby reducing the effects of their physiological ligands. On account of its exceptional lipophilia, THC accumulates for days and even weeks in the brain. It is not a soft drug but rather a slow drug: its abuse induces long-lasting modifications and deterioration of brain function, potentially leading to various mental and psychiatric disorders.

  9. The Endocannabinoid System as a Potential Therapeutic Target for Pain Modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmet Ulugöl

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Although cannabis has been used for pain management for millennia, very few approved cannabinoids are indicated for the treatment of pain and other medical symptoms. Cannabinoid therapy re-gained attention only after the discovery of endocannabinoids and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL, the enzymes playing a role in endocannabinoid metabolism. Nowadays, research has focused on the inhibition of these degradative enzymes and the elevation of endocannabinoid tonus locally; special emphasis is given on multi-target analgesia compounds, where one of the targets is the endocannabinoid degrading enzyme. In this review, I provide an overview of the current understanding about the processes accounting for the biosynthesis, transport and metabolism of endocannabinoids, and pharmacological approaches and potential therapeutic applications in this area, regarding the use of drugs elevating endocannabinoid levels in pain conditions.

  10. Phosphorylation of the transcription factor Sp4 is reduced by NMDA receptor signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saia, Gregory; Lalonde, Jasmin; Sun, Xinxin; Ramos, Belén; Gill, Grace

    2014-05-01

    The regulation of transcription factor function in response to neuronal activity is important for development and function of the nervous system. The transcription factor Sp4 regulates the developmental patterning of dendrites, contributes to complex processes including learning and memory, and has been linked to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Despite its many roles in the nervous system, the molecular mechanisms regulating Sp4 activity are poorly understood. Here, we report a site of phosphorylation on Sp4 at serine 770 that is decreased in response to membrane depolarization. Inhibition of the voltage-dependent NMDA receptor increased Sp4 phosphorylation. Conversely, stimulation with NMDA reduced the levels of Sp4 phosphorylation, and this was dependent on the protein phosphatase 1/2A. A phosphomimetic substitution at S770 impaired the Sp4-dependent maturation of cerebellar granule neuron primary dendrites, whereas a non-phosphorylatable Sp4 mutant behaved like wild type. These data reveal that transcription factor Sp4 is regulated by NMDA receptor-dependent activation of a protein phosphatase 1/2A signaling pathway. Our findings also suggest that the regulated control of Sp4 activity is an important mechanism governing the developmental patterning of dendrites. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  11. Role of endocannabinoids and their analogues in obesity and eating disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaetani, S; Kaye, W H; Cuomo, V; Piomelli, D

    2008-09-01

    Fatty acids ethanolamides (FAEs) are a family of lipid mediators. A member of this family, anandamide, is an endogenous ligand for cannabinoid receptors targeted by the marijuana constituent Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Anandamide is now established as a brain endocannabinoid messenger and multiple roles for other FAEs have also been proposed. One emerging function of these lipid mediators is the regulation of feeding behavior and body weight. Anandamide causes overeating in rats because of its ability to activate cannabinoid receptors. This action is of therapeutic relevance: cannabinoid agonists are currently used to alleviate anorexia and nausea in AIDS patients, whereas the cannabinoid receptor CB1 antagonist rimonabant was recently found to be effective in the treatment of obesity. In contrast to anandamide, its monounsatured analogue, oleoylethanolamide (OEA), decreases food intake and body weight gain through a cannabinoid receptor-independent mechanism. In the rat proximal small intestine, endogenous OEA levels decrease during fasting and increase upon refeeding. These periprandial fluctuations may represent a previously undescribed signal that modulates between-meal satiety. Pharmacological studies have shown, indeed, that, as a drug, OEA produces profound anorexiant effects in rats and mice, due to selective prolongation of feeding latency and post-meal interval. The effects observed after chronic administration of OEA to different animal models of obesity, clearly indicate that inhibition of eating is not the only mechanism by which OEA can control energy metabolism. In fact, stimulation of lipolysis is responsible for the reduced fat mass and decrease of body weight gain observed in these models. Although OEA may bind to multiple receptors, several lines of evidence indicate that peripheral PPAR-alpha mediates the effects of this compound. The pathophysiological significance of OEA in the regulation of eating and body weight is further evidenced by

  12. Potential control of multiple sclerosis by cannabis and the endocannabinoid system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pryce, Gareth; Baker, David

    2012-08-01

    For many years, multiple sclerosis (MS) patients have been self-medicating with illegal street cannabis to alleviate symptoms associated with MS. Data from animal models of MS and clinical studies have supported the anecdotal data that cannabis can improve symptoms such as limb spasticity, which are commonly associated with progressive MS, by the modulation of excessive neuronal signalling. This has lead to cannabis-based medicines being approved for the treatment of pain and spasticity in MS for the first time. Experimental studies into the biology of the endocannabinoid system have revealed that cannabinoids have activity, not only in symptom relief but also potentially in neuroprotective strategies which may slow disease progression and thus delay the onset of symptoms such as spasticity. This review appraises the current knowledge of cannabinoid biology particularly as it pertains to MS and outlines potential future therapeutic strategies for the treatment of disease progression in MS.

  13. Signal processing methods for reducing artifacts in microelectrode brain recordings caused by functional electrical stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, D; Willett, F; Memberg, W D; Murphy, B; Walter, B; Sweet, J; Miller, J; Hochberg, L R; Kirsch, R F; Ajiboye, A B

    2018-04-01

    Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a promising technology for restoring movement to paralyzed limbs. Intracortical brain-computer interfaces (iBCIs) have enabled intuitive control over virtual and robotic movements, and more recently over upper extremity FES neuroprostheses. However, electrical stimulation of muscles creates artifacts in intracortical microelectrode recordings that could degrade iBCI performance. Here, we investigate methods for reducing the cortically recorded artifacts that result from peripheral electrical stimulation. One participant in the BrainGate2 pilot clinical trial had two intracortical microelectrode arrays placed in the motor cortex, and thirty-six stimulating intramuscular electrodes placed in the muscles of the contralateral limb. We characterized intracortically recorded electrical artifacts during both intramuscular and surface stimulation. We compared the performance of three artifact reduction methods: blanking, common average reference (CAR) and linear regression reference (LRR), which creates channel-specific reference signals, composed of weighted sums of other channels. Electrical artifacts resulting from surface stimulation were 175  ×  larger than baseline neural recordings (which were 110 µV peak-to-peak), while intramuscular stimulation artifacts were only 4  ×  larger. The artifact waveforms were highly consistent across electrodes within each array. Application of LRR reduced artifact magnitudes to less than 10 µV and largely preserved the original neural feature values used for decoding. Unmitigated stimulation artifacts decreased iBCI decoding performance, but performance was almost completely recovered using LRR, which outperformed CAR and blanking and extracted useful neural information during stimulation artifact periods. The LRR method was effective at reducing electrical artifacts resulting from both intramuscular and surface FES, and almost completely restored iBCI decoding

  14. Signal processing methods for reducing artifacts in microelectrode brain recordings caused by functional electrical stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, D.; Willett, F.; Memberg, W. D.; Murphy, B.; Walter, B.; Sweet, J.; Miller, J.; Hochberg, L. R.; Kirsch, R. F.; Ajiboye, A. B.

    2018-04-01

    Objective. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a promising technology for restoring movement to paralyzed limbs. Intracortical brain-computer interfaces (iBCIs) have enabled intuitive control over virtual and robotic movements, and more recently over upper extremity FES neuroprostheses. However, electrical stimulation of muscles creates artifacts in intracortical microelectrode recordings that could degrade iBCI performance. Here, we investigate methods for reducing the cortically recorded artifacts that result from peripheral electrical stimulation. Approach. One participant in the BrainGate2 pilot clinical trial had two intracortical microelectrode arrays placed in the motor cortex, and thirty-six stimulating intramuscular electrodes placed in the muscles of the contralateral limb. We characterized intracortically recorded electrical artifacts during both intramuscular and surface stimulation. We compared the performance of three artifact reduction methods: blanking, common average reference (CAR) and linear regression reference (LRR), which creates channel-specific reference signals, composed of weighted sums of other channels. Main results. Electrical artifacts resulting from surface stimulation were 175  ×  larger than baseline neural recordings (which were 110 µV peak-to-peak), while intramuscular stimulation artifacts were only 4  ×  larger. The artifact waveforms were highly consistent across electrodes within each array. Application of LRR reduced artifact magnitudes to less than 10 µV and largely preserved the original neural feature values used for decoding. Unmitigated stimulation artifacts decreased iBCI decoding performance, but performance was almost completely recovered using LRR, which outperformed CAR and blanking and extracted useful neural information during stimulation artifact periods. Significance. The LRR method was effective at reducing electrical artifacts resulting from both intramuscular and surface FES, and

  15. Prenatal cannabis exposure - The "first hit" to the endocannabinoid system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Kimberlei A; Hester, Allison K; McLemore, Gabrielle L

    As more states and countries legalize medical and/or adult recreational marijuana use, the incidences of prenatal cannabis exposure (PCE) will likely increase. While young people increasingly view marijuana as innocuous, marijuana preparations have been growing in potency in recent years, potentially creating global clinical, public health, and workforce concerns. Unlike fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, there is no phenotypic syndrome associated with PCE. There is also no preponderance of evidence that PCE causes lifelong cognitive, behavioral, or functional abnormalities, and/or susceptibility to subsequent addiction. However, there is compelling circumstantial evidence, based on the principles of teratology and fetal malprogramming, suggesting that pregnant women should refrain from smoking marijuana. The usage of marijuana during pregnancy perturbs the fetal endogenous cannabinoid signaling system (ECSS), which is present and active from the early embryonic stage, modulating neurodevelopment and continuing this role into adulthood. The ECSS is present in virtually every brain structure and organ system, and there is also evidence that this system is important in the regulation of cardiovascular processes. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) undergird a broad spectrum of processes, including the early stages of fetal neurodevelopment and uterine implantation. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, enters maternal circulation, and readily crosses the placental membrane. THC binds to CB receptors of the fetal ECSS, altering neurodevelopment and possibly rewiring ECSS circuitry. In this review, we discuss the Double-Hit Hypothesis as it relates to PCE. We contend that PCE, similar to a neurodevelopmental teratogen, delivers the first hit to the ECSS, which is compromised in such a way that a second hit (i.e., postnatal stressors) will precipitate the emergence of a specific phenotype. In summary, we conclude that perturbations of the

  16. Biosynthesis of endocannabinoids and their modes of action in neurodegenerative diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Stelt, M.; Veldink, G.A.; Vliegenthart, J.F.G.

    2003-01-01

    with the proteins responsible for their biosynthesis, inactivation and the cannabinoid receptors, these lipids constitute the endocannabinoid system. This system is proposed to be involved in various neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases as well as Multiple Sclerosis. It has been...... demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system can protect neurons against glutamate excitotoxicity and acute neuronal damage in both in vitro and in vivo models. In this paper we review the data concerning the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases in which neuronal cell death...... may be elicited by excitotoxicity. We focus on the biosynthesis of endocannabinoids and on their modes of action in animal models of these neurodegenerative diseases....

  17. Review article: the endocannabinoid system in liver disease, a potential therapeutic target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, P P; Aloysius, M M; Shah, N J; Brown, R S

    2014-04-01

    Endocannabinoids are a family of potent lipid-soluble molecules, acting on the cannabinoid (CB) receptors that mediate the effects of marijuana. The CB receptors, endocannabinoids and the enzymes involved in their synthesis and degradation are located in the brain and peripheral tissues, including the liver. To review the current understanding of the role of the endocannabinoid system in liver disease-associated pathophysiological conditions, and drugs targeting the endocannabinoid system as therapy for liver disease. Original articles and reviews were used to summarise the relevant pre-clinical and clinical research findings relating to this topic. The endocannabinoid system as a whole plays an important role in liver diseases (i.e. non-alcoholic liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, hepatic encephalopathy and autoimmune hepatitis) and related pathophysiological conditions (i.e. altered hepatic haemodynamics, cirrhotic cardiomyopathy, metabolic syndrome and ischaemia/reperfusion disease). Pharmacological targeting of the endocannabinoid system has had success as treatment for patients with liver disease, but adverse events led to withdrawal of marketing approval. However, there is optimism over novel therapeutics targeting the endocannabinoid system currently in the pre-clinical stage of development. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the pathophysiology of liver disease and its associated conditions. While some drugs targeting the endocannabinoid system have deleterious neurological adverse events, there is promise for a newer generation of therapies that do not cross the blood-brain barrier. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Amphetamine elevates nucleus accumbens dopamine via an action potential-dependent mechanism that is modulated by endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covey, Dan P; Bunner, Kendra D; Schuweiler, Douglas R; Cheer, Joseph F; Garris, Paul A

    2016-06-01

    The reinforcing effects of abused drugs are mediated by their ability to elevate nucleus accumbens dopamine. Amphetamine (AMPH) was historically thought to increase dopamine by an action potential-independent, non-exocytotic type of release called efflux, involving reversal of dopamine transporter function and driven by vesicular dopamine depletion. Growing evidence suggests that AMPH also acts by an action potential-dependent mechanism. Indeed, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry demonstrates that AMPH activates dopamine transients, reward-related phasic signals generated by burst firing of dopamine neurons and dependent on intact vesicular dopamine. Not established for AMPH but indicating a shared mechanism, endocannabinoids facilitate this activation of dopamine transients by broad classes of abused drugs. Here, using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry coupled to pharmacological manipulations in awake rats, we investigated the action potential and endocannabinoid dependence of AMPH-induced elevations in nucleus accumbens dopamine. AMPH increased the frequency, amplitude and duration of transients, which were observed riding on top of slower dopamine increases. Surprisingly, silencing dopamine neuron firing abolished all AMPH-induced dopamine elevations, identifying an action potential-dependent origin. Blocking cannabinoid type 1 receptors prevented AMPH from increasing transient frequency, similar to reported effects on other abused drugs, but not from increasing transient duration and inhibiting dopamine uptake. Thus, AMPH elevates nucleus accumbens dopamine by eliciting transients via cannabinoid type 1 receptors and promoting the summation of temporally coincident transients, made more numerous, larger and wider by AMPH. Collectively, these findings are inconsistent with AMPH eliciting action potential-independent dopamine efflux and vesicular dopamine depletion, and support endocannabinoids facilitating phasic dopamine signalling as a common action in drug reinforcement

  19. Amphetamine elevates nucleus accumbens dopamine via an action potential-dependent mechanism that is modulated by endocannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covey, Dan P.; Bunner, Kendra D.; Schuweiler, Douglas R.; Cheer, Joseph F.; Garris, Paul A.

    2018-01-01

    The reinforcing effects of abused drugs are mediated by their ability to elevate nucleus accumbens dopamine. Amphetamine (AMPH) was historically thought to increase dopamine by an action potential-independent, non-exocytotic type of release called efflux, involving reversal of dopamine transporter function and driven by vesicular dopamine depletion. Growing evidence suggests that AMPH also acts by an action potential-dependent mechanism. Indeed, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry demonstrates that AMPH activates dopamine transients, reward-related phasic signals generated by burst firing of dopamine neurons and dependent on intact vesicular dopamine. Not established for AMPH but indicating a shared mechanism, endocannabinoids facilitate this activation of dopamine transients by broad classes of abused drugs. Here, using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry coupled to pharmacological manipulations in awake rats, we investigated the action potential and endocannabinoid dependence of AMPH-induced elevations in nucleus accumbens dopamine. AMPH increased the frequency, amplitude and duration of transients, which were observed riding on top of slower dopamine increases. Surprisingly, silencing dopamine neuron firing abolished all AMPH-induced dopamine elevations, identifying an action potential-dependent origin. Blocking cannabinoid type 1 receptors prevented AMPH from increasing transient frequency, similar to reported effects on other abused drugs, but not from increasing transient duration and inhibiting dopamine uptake. Thus, AMPH elevates nucleus accumbens dopamine by eliciting transients via cannabinoid type 1 receptors and promoting the summation of temporally coincident transients, made more numerous, larger and wider by AMPH. Collectively, these findings are inconsistent with AMPH eliciting action potential-independent dopamine efflux and vesicular dopamine depletion, and support endocannabinoids facilitating phasic dopamine signalling as a common action in drug reinforcement

  20. Updates in Reproduction Coming from the Endocannabinoid System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosaria Meccariello

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system (ECS is an evolutionarily conserved master system deeply involved in the central and local control of reproductive functions in both sexes. The tone of these lipid mediators—deeply modulated by the activity of biosynthetic and hydrolyzing machineries—regulates reproductive functions from gonadotropin discharge and steroid biosynthesis to the formation of high quality gametes and successful pregnancy. This review provides an overview on ECS and reproduction and focuses on the insights in the regulation of endocannabinoid production by steroids, in the regulation of male reproductive activity, and in placentation and parturition. Taken all together, evidences emerge that the activity of the ECS is crucial for procreation and may represent a target for the therapeutic exploitation of infertility.

  1. Allodynia Lowering Induced by Cannabinoids and Endocannabinoids (ALICE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luongo, Livio; Starowicz, Katarzyna; Maione, Sabatino; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2017-05-01

    Neuropathic pain is a neurological disorder that strongly affects the quality of life of patients. The molecular and cellular mechanisms at the basis of the neuropathic pain establishment still need to be clarified. Among the neuromodulators that play a role in the pathological pain pathways, endocannabinoids could be deeply involved in both neuronal and non-neuronal mechanisms responsible for the appearance of tactile allodynia. Indeed, the function and dysfunction of this complex system in the molecular and cellular mechanisms of chronic pain induction and maintenance have been widely studied over the last two decades. In this review article, we highlighted the possible modulation of the endocannabinoid system in the neuronal, glial and microglial modulation in neuropathic pain treatment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. [News about therapeutic use of Cannabis and endocannabinoid system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duran, Marta; Laporte, Joan-Ramon; Capellà, Dolors

    2004-03-20

    Growing basic research in recent years led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system with a central role in neurobiology. New evidence suggests a therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting as well as in pain, spasticity and other symptoms in multiple sclerosis and movement disorders. Results of large randomized clinical trials of oral and sublingual Cannabis extracts will be known soon and there will be definitive answers to whether Cannabis has any therapeutic potential. Although the immediate future may lie in plant-based medicines, new targets for cannabinoid therapy focuses on the development of endocannabinoid degradation inhibitors which may offer site selectivity not afforded by cannabinoid receptor agonists.

  3. Cucurbitacin E reduces obesity and related metabolic dysfunction in mice by targeting JAK-STAT5 signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murtaza, Munazza; Khan, Gulnaz; Aftab, Meha Fatima; Afridi, Shabbir Khan; Ghaffar, Safina; Ahmed, Ayaz; Hafizur, Rahman M; Waraich, Rizwana Sanaullah

    2017-01-01

    Several members of cucurbitaceae family have been reported to regulate growth of cancer by interfering with STAT3 signaling. In the present study, we investigated the unique role and molecular mechanism of cucurbitacins (Cucs) in reducing symptoms of metabolic syndrome in mice. Cucurbitacin E (CuE) was found to reduce adipogenesis in murine adipocytes. CuE treatment diminished hypertrophy of adipocytes, visceral obesity and lipogenesis gene expression in diet induced mice model of metabolic syndrome (MetS). CuE also ameliorated adipose tissue dysfunction by reducing hyperleptinemia and TNF-alpha levels and enhancing hypoadiponectinemia. Results show that CuE mediated these effects by attenuating Jenus kinase- Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (JAK- STAT5) signaling in visceral fat tissue. As a result, CuE treatment also reduced PPAR gamma expression. Glucose uptake enhanced in adipocytes after stimulation with CuE and insulin resistance diminished in mice treated with CuE, as reflected by reduced glucose intolerance and glucose stimulated insulin secretion. CuE restored insulin sensitivity indirectly by inhibiting JAK phosphorylation and improving AMPK activity. Consequently, insulin signaling was up-regulated in mice muscle. As CuE positively regulated adipose tissue function and suppressed visceral obesity, dyslipedemia, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance in mice model of MetS, we suggest that CuE can be used as novel approach to treat metabolic diseases.

  4. The endocannabinoid anandamide inhibits potassium conductance in rat cortical astrocytes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vignali, M.; Benfenati, V.; Caprini, M.; Anděrová, Miroslava; Nobile, M.; Ferroni, S.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 57, č. 7 (2009), s. 791-806 ISSN 0894-1491 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA305/06/1316; GA ČR GA305/06/1464; GA MŠk(CZ) LC554 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390512 Keywords : cortical astroglia * potassium conductance * endocannabinoids Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 4.932, year: 2009

  5. The endocannabinoid system and associative learning and memory in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhl, Tim; Moesbauer, Kirstin; Oellers, Nadine; von der Emde, Gerhard

    2015-09-01

    In zebrafish the medial pallium of the dorsal telencephalon represents an amygdala homolog structure, which is crucially involved in emotional associative learning and memory. Similar to the mammalian amygdala, the medial pallium contains a high density of endocannabinoid receptor CB1. To elucidate the role of the zebrafish endocannabinoid system in associative learning, we tested the influence of acute and chronic administration of receptor agonists (THC, WIN55,212-2) and antagonists (Rimonabant, AM-281) on two different learning paradigms. In an appetitively motivated two-alternative choice paradigm, animals learned to associate a certain color with a food reward. In a second set-up, a fish shuttle-box, animals associated the onset of a light stimulus with the occurrence of a subsequent electric shock (avoidance conditioning). Once fish successfully had learned to solve these behavioral tasks, acute receptor activation or inactivation had no effect on memory retrieval, suggesting that established associative memories were stable and not alterable by the endocannabinoid system. In both learning tasks, chronic treatment with receptor antagonists improved acquisition learning, and additionally facilitated reversal learning during color discrimination. In contrast, chronic CB1 activation prevented aversively motivated acquisition learning, while different effects were found on appetitively motivated acquisition learning. While THC significantly improved behavioral performance, WIN55,212-2 significantly impaired color association. Our findings suggest that the zebrafish endocannabinoid system can modulate associative learning and memory. Stimulation of the CB1 receptor might play a more specific role in acquisition and storage of aversive learning and memory, while CB1 blocking induces general enhancement of cognitive functions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in periodontal healing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kozono, Sayaka; Matsuyama, Takashi; Biwasa, Kamal Krishna; Kawahara, Ko-ichi; Nakajima, Yumiko; Yoshimoto, Takehiko; Yonamine, Yutaka; Kadomatsu, Hideshi; Tancharoen, Salunya; Hashiguchi, Teruto; Noguchi, Kazuyuki; Maruyama, Ikuro

    2010-01-01

    Endocannabinoids including anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are important lipid mediators for immunosuppressive effects and for appropriate homeostasis via their G-protein-coupled cannabinoid (CB) receptors in mammalian organs and tissues, and may be involved in wound healing in some organs. The physiological roles of endocannabinoids in periodontal healing remain unknown. We observed upregulation of the expression of CB1/CB2 receptors localized on fibroblasts and macrophage-like cells in granulation tissue during wound healing in a wound-healing model in rats, as well as an increase in AEA levels in gingival crevicular fluid after periodontal surgery in human patients with periodontitis. In-vitro, the proliferation of human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) by AEA was significantly attenuated by AM251 and AM630, which are selective antagonists of CB1 and CB2, respectively. CP55940 (CB1/CB2 agonist) induced phosphorylation of the extracellular-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), and Akt in HGFs. Wound closure by CP55940 in an in-vitro scratch assay was significantly suppressed by inhibitors of MAP kinase kinase (MEK), p38MAPK, and phosphoinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K). These findings suggest that endocannabinoid system may have an important role in periodontal healing.

  7. [Functional role of the endocannabinoid system in emotional homeostasis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marco, E M; Viveros, M P

    Cannabis and derivatives induce complex effects on anxiety in humans and experimental animals. At low doses, cannabinoid agonists seem to exert anxiolytic actions, while at high doses anxiety and panic estates are often reported. Diverse animal models confirm this particular biphasic profile; however, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms have not been completely elucidated. The anxiogenic-like behavioral phenotype observed following both pharmacological and genetic blockade of cannabinoid CB1 receptors, together with the abundant expression of cannabinoid receptors within brain areas particularly involved in emotional control, such as amygdala, hippocampus and cortex, are among the numerous evidences that account for the participation of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of anxiety states. Moreover, blockade of endogenous cannabinoid ligands deactivation has been reported to induce anxiolytic-like responses. Taken together, present data reinforce the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the control of emotional homeostasis and further suggest the pharmacological manipulation of the endocannabinoid system as a potential therapeutic tool in the management of anxiety-related disorders.

  8. Manipulation of the Endocannabinoid System in Colitis: A Comprehensive Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leinwand, Kristina L; Gerich, Mark E; Hoffenberg, Edward J; Collins, Colm B

    2017-02-01

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a lifelong disease of the gastrointestinal tract whose annual incidence and prevalence is on the rise. Current immunosuppressive therapies available for treatment of IBD offer limited benefits and lose effectiveness, exposing a significant need for the development of novel therapies. In the clinical setting, cannabis has been shown to provide patients with IBD symptomatic relief, although the underlying mechanisms of their anti-inflammatory effects remain unclear. This review reflects our current understanding of how targeting the endocannabinoid system, including cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2, endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, atypical cannabinoids, and degrading enzymes including fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase, impacts murine colitis. In addition, the impact of cannabinoids on the human immune system is summarized. Cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2, endogenous cannabinoids, and atypical cannabinoids are upregulated in inflammation, and their presence and stimulation attenuate murine colitis, whereas cannabinoid receptor antagonism and cannabinoid receptor deficient models reverse these anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation through monoacylglycerol lipase and fatty acid amide hydrolase blockade can also attenuate colitis development, and is closely linked to cannabinoid receptor expression. Although manipulation of the endocannabinoid system in murine colitis has proven to be largely beneficial in attenuating inflammation, there is a paucity of human study data. Further research is essential to clearly elucidate the specific mechanisms driving this anti-inflammatory effect for the development of therapeutics to target inflammatory disease such as IBD.

  9. Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in periodontal healing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kozono, Sayaka [Department of Periodontology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520 (Japan); Matsuyama, Takashi, E-mail: takashi@dent.kagoshima-u.ac.jp [Department of Periodontology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520 (Japan); Biwasa, Kamal Krishna [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi 6205 (Bangladesh); Kawahara, Ko-ichi [Department of Laboratory and Vascular Medicine, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520 (Japan); Nakajima, Yumiko; Yoshimoto, Takehiko; Yonamine, Yutaka; Kadomatsu, Hideshi [Department of Periodontology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520 (Japan); Tancharoen, Salunya [Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Dentistry, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400 (Thailand); Hashiguchi, Teruto [Department of Laboratory and Vascular Medicine, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520 (Japan); Noguchi, Kazuyuki [Department of Periodontology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520 (Japan); Maruyama, Ikuro [Department of Laboratory and Vascular Medicine, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520 (Japan)

    2010-04-16

    Endocannabinoids including anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are important lipid mediators for immunosuppressive effects and for appropriate homeostasis via their G-protein-coupled cannabinoid (CB) receptors in mammalian organs and tissues, and may be involved in wound healing in some organs. The physiological roles of endocannabinoids in periodontal healing remain unknown. We observed upregulation of the expression of CB1/CB2 receptors localized on fibroblasts and macrophage-like cells in granulation tissue during wound healing in a wound-healing model in rats, as well as an increase in AEA levels in gingival crevicular fluid after periodontal surgery in human patients with periodontitis. In-vitro, the proliferation of human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) by AEA was significantly attenuated by AM251 and AM630, which are selective antagonists of CB1 and CB2, respectively. CP55940 (CB1/CB2 agonist) induced phosphorylation of the extracellular-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), and Akt in HGFs. Wound closure by CP55940 in an in-vitro scratch assay was significantly suppressed by inhibitors of MAP kinase kinase (MEK), p38MAPK, and phosphoinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K). These findings suggest that endocannabinoid system may have an important role in periodontal healing.

  10. Development of interleukin-17-producing Vγ2+ γδ T cells is reduced by ICOS signaling in the thymus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buus, Terkild Brink; Schmidt, Jonas Damgård; Bonefeld, Charlotte Menné

    2016-01-01

    drastically reduces fetal development of IL-17-producing γδ T cells by agonistic actions, and that ICOS deficient mice have a significant increase in the population of IL-17-producing Vγ2+ γδ T cells in the thymus, spleen, lymph nodes and skin and exhibit exacerbated sensitization responses to 2......,4-dinitrofluorobenzene. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that development of IL-17-producing Vγ2+ γδ T cells is reduced by ICOS signaling in the thymus....

  11. Testosterone reduces conscious detection of signals serving social correction - Implications for antisocial behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Honk, E.J. van; Schutter, D.J.L.G.

    2007-01-01

    Elevated levels of testosterone have repeatedly been associated with antisocial behavior, but the psychobiological mechanisms underlying this effect are unknown. However, testosterone is evidently capable of altering the processing of facial threat, and facial signals of fear and anger serve

  12. Blunted hypothalamic ghrelin signaling reduces diet intake in rats fed a low-protein diet in late pregnancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diet intake in pregnant rats fed a low-protein (LP) diet was significantly reduced during late pregnancy despite elevated plasma levels of ghrelin. In this study, we hypothesized that ghrelin signaling in the hypothalamus is blunted under a low-protein diet condition and therefore, it does not stimu...

  13. Contribution of Endocannabinoid Gene Expression and Genotype on Low Back Pain Susceptibility and Chronicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesh, Divya; D'Agata, Amy; Starkweather, Angela R; Young, Erin E

    2018-01-01

    A major research emphasis has been focused on defining the molecular changes that occur from acute to chronic pain to identify potential therapeutic targets for chronic pain. As the endocannabinoid system is dynamically involved in pain signaling, a plausible mechanism that may contribute to chronic pain vulnerability involves alterations in the amount of circulating endocannabinoids. Therefore, this study sought to examine cannabinoid type 1 (CNR1), type 2 (CNR2) receptors, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and the vanilloid receptor (transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 [TRPV1]) gene expression profiles among individuals with acute and chronic low back pain (cLBP) at their baseline visit. We also assessed associations among selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of FAAH and CNR2 and measures of somatosensory function and self-report pain measures.Using a previously established quantitative sensory testing protocol, we comprehensively assessed somatosensory parameters among 42 acute LBP, 42 cLBP, and 20 pain-free participants. Samples of whole blood were drawn to examine mRNA expression and isolate genomic DNA for genotyping.CNR2 mRNA was significantly upregulated in all LBP patients compared with controls. However, FAAH mRNA and TRPV1 mRNA were significantly upregulated in cLBP compared with controls. A significant association was observed between FAAH SNP genotype and self-report pain measures, mechanical and cold pain sensitivity among LBP participants. cLBP participants showed increased FAAH and TRPV1 mRNA expression compared with acute LBP patients and controls.Further research to characterize pain-associated somatosensory changes in the context of altered mRNA expression levels and SNP associations may provide insight on the molecular underpinnings of maladaptive chronic pain.

  14. Overactivation of the endocannabinoid system alters the antilipolytic action of insulin in mouse adipose tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Tania; Demizieux, Laurent; Troy-Fioramonti, Stéphanie; Gresti, Joseph; Pais de Barros, Jean-Paul; Berger, Hélène; Vergès, Bruno; Degrace, Pascal

    2017-07-01

    Evidence has accumulated that obesity-related metabolic dysregulation is associated with overactivation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which involves cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R), in peripheral tissues, including adipose tissue (AT). The functional consequences of CB1R activation on AT metabolism remain unclear. Since excess fat mobilization is considered an important primary event contributing to the onset of insulin resistance, we combined in vivo and in vitro experiments to investigate whether activation of ECS could alter the lipolytic rate. For this purpose, the appearance of plasma glycerol was measured in wild-type and CB1R -/- mice after acute anandamide administration or inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation by JZL195. Additional experiments were conducted on rat AT explants to evaluate the direct consequences of ECS activation on glycerol release and signaling pathways. Treatments stimulated glycerol release in mice fasted for 6 h and injected with glucose but not in 24-h fasted mice or in CB1R -/- , suggesting that the effect was dependent on plasma insulin levels and mediated by CB1R. We concomitantly observed that Akt cascade activity was decreased, indicating an alteration of the antilipolytic action of insulin. Similar results were obtained with tissue explants exposed to anandamide, thus identifying CB1R of AT as a major target. This study indicates the existence of a functional interaction between CB1R and lipolysis regulation in AT. Further investigation is needed to test if the elevation of ECS tone encountered in obesity is associated with excess fat mobilization contributing to ectopic fat deposition and related metabolic disorders. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  15. Activation of Both CB1 and CB2 Endocannabinoid Receptors Is Critical for Masculinization of the Developing Medial Amygdala and Juvenile Social Play Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argue, Kathryn J; VanRyzin, Jonathan W; Falvo, David J; Whitaker, Allison R; Yu, Stacey J; McCarthy, Margaret M

    2017-01-01

    Juvenile social play behavior is a shared trait across a wide variety of mammalian species. When play is characterized by the frequency or duration of physical contact, males usually display more play relative to females. The endocannabinoid system contributes to the development of the sex difference in social play behavior in rats. Treating newborn pups with a nonspecific endocannabinoid agonist, WIN55,212-2, masculinizes subsequent juvenile rough-and-tumble play behavior by females. Here we use specific drugs to target signaling through either the CB1 or CB2 endocannabinoid receptor (CB1R or CB2R) to determine which modulates the development of sex differences in play. Our data reveal that signaling through both CB1R and CB2R must be altered neonatally to modify development of neural circuitry regulating sex differences in play. Neonatal co-agonism of CB1R and CB2R masculinized play by females, whereas co-antagonism of these receptors feminized rates of male play. Because of a known role for the medial amygdala in the sexual differentiation of play, we reconstructed Golgi-impregnated neurons in the juvenile medial amygdala and used factor analysis to identify morphological parameters that were sexually differentiated and responsive to dual agonism of CB1R and CB2R during the early postnatal period. Our results suggest that sex differences in the medial amygdala are modulated by the endocannabinoid system during early development. Sex differences in play behavior are loosely correlated with differences in neuronal morphology.

  16. Endocannabinoid release modulates electrical coupling between CCK cells connected via chemical and electrical synapses in CA1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan eIball

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Electrical coupling between some subclasses of interneurons is thought to promote coordinated firing that generates rhythmic synchronous activity in cortical regions. Synaptic activity of cholesystokinin (CCK interneurons which co-express cannbinoid type-1 (CB1 receptors are powerful modulators of network activity via the actions of endocannabinoids. We investigated the modulatory actions of endocannabinoids between chemically and electrically connected synapses of CCK cells using paired whole-cell recordings combined with biocytin and double immunofluorescence labelling in acute slices of rat hippocampus at P18-20 days. CA1 stratum radiatum CCK Schaffer collateral associated (SCA cells were coupled electrically with each other as well as CCK basket cells and CCK cells with axonal projections expanding to dentate gyrus. Approximately 50% of electrically coupled cells received facilitating, asynchronously released IPSPs that curtailed the steady-state coupling coefficient by 57%. Tonic CB1 receptor activity which reduces inhibition enhanced electrical coupling between cells that were connected via chemical and electrical synapses. Blocking CB1 receptors with antagonist, AM-251 (5M resulted in the synchronized release of larger IPSPs and this enhanced inhibition further reduced the steady-state coupling coefficient by 85%. Depolarization induced suppression of inhibition (DSI, maintained the asynchronicity of IPSP latency, but reduced IPSP amplitudes by 95% and enhanced the steady-state coupling coefficient by 104% and IPSP duration by 200%. However, DSI did not did not enhance electrical coupling at purely electrical synapses. These data suggest that different morphological subclasses of CCK interneurons are interconnected via gap junctions. The synergy between the chemical and electrical coupling between CCK cells probably plays a role in activity-dependent endocannabinoid modulation of rhythmic synchronization.

  17. Differential Regulation of Eicosanoid and Endocannabinoid Production by Inflammatory Mediators in Human Choriodecidua.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M D Mitchell

    Full Text Available An increase in intrauterine prostaglandin production is critical for the onset and progression of labor in women and indeed all mammalian species studied. Endocannabinoids can act as substrates for enzymes of the prostaglandin biosynthetic pathways and can be utilized to generate other related compounds such as prostamides. The end products are indistinguishable by radioimmunoassay. We have separated such compounds by mass spectrometry. We now show that inflammatory stimuli such as LPS and proinflammatory cytokines act differentially on these pathways in human choriodecidua and preferentially create drive through to prostaglandin end products. These findings create doubt about the interpretation of data on prostaglandin biosynthesis in intrauterine tissues from pregnant women especially in the presence of an infection. The possibility is raised that separation of these products might reduce variability in results and lead to potential uses for their measurement in the diagnosis of preterm labor.

  18. Serum contents of endocannabinoids are correlated with blood pressure in depressed women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, W S Vanessa; Hill, Matthew N; Miller, Gregory E; Gorzalka, Boris B; Hillard, Cecilia J

    2012-02-28

    Depression is known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Since recent preclinical evidence suggests that endogenous agonists of cannabinoid receptors (endocannabinoids) are involved in both cardiovascular function and depression, we asked whether endocannabinoids correlated with either in humans. Resting blood pressure and serum content of endocannabinoids in ambulatory, medication-free, female volunteers with depression (n = 28) and their age- and ethnicity-matched controls (n = 27) were measured. In females with depression, both diastolic and mean arterial blood pressures were positively correlated with serum contents of the endocannabinoids, N-arachidonylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. There was no correlation between blood pressure and endocannabinoids in control subjects. Furthermore, depressed women had significantly higher systolic blood pressure than control subjects. A larger body mass index was also found in depressed women, however, it was not significantly correlated with serum endocannabinoid contents. This preliminary study raises the possibility that endocannabinoids play a role in blood pressure regulation in depressives with higher blood pressure, and suggests an interrelationship among endocannabinoids, depression and cardiovascular risk factors in women.

  19. Serum contents of endocannabinoids are correlated with blood pressure in depressed women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho WS Vanessa

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Depression is known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Since recent preclinical evidence suggests that endogenous agonists of cannabinoid receptors (endocannabinoids are involved in both cardiovascular function and depression, we asked whether endocannabinoids correlated with either in humans. Results Resting blood pressure and serum content of endocannabinoids in ambulatory, medication-free, female volunteers with depression (n = 28 and their age- and ethnicity-matched controls (n = 27 were measured. In females with depression, both diastolic and mean arterial blood pressures were positively correlated with serum contents of the endocannabinoids, N-arachidonylethanolamine (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. There was no correlation between blood pressure and endocannabinoids in control subjects. Furthermore, depressed women had significantly higher systolic blood pressure than control subjects. A larger body mass index was also found in depressed women, however, it was not significantly correlated with serum endocannabinoid contents. Conclusions This preliminary study raises the possibility that endocannabinoids play a role in blood pressure regulation in depressives with higher blood pressure, and suggests an interrelationship among endocannabinoids, depression and cardiovascular risk factors in women.

  20. Endocannabinoids, through opioids and prostaglandins, contribute to fever induced by key pyrogenic mediators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraga, Daniel; Zanoni, Cristiane I S; Zampronio, Aleksander R; Parada, Carlos A; Rae, Giles A; Souza, Glória E P

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to explore the contribution of endocannabinoids on the cascade of mediators involved in LPS-induced fever and to verify the participation of prostaglandins and endogenous opioids in fever induced by anandamide (AEA). Body temperature (Tc) of male Wistar rats was recorded over 6h, using a thermistor probe. Cerebrospinal fluid concentration of PGE2 and β-endorphin were measured by ELISA after the administration of AEA. Intracerebroventricular administration of the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 (5μg, i.c.v.), reduced the fever induced by IL-1β (3ng, i.c.v.), TNF-α (250ng, i.c.v.), IL-6 (300ng, i.c.v.), corticotrophin release factor (CRH; 2.5μg, i.c.v.) and endothelin (ET)-1 (1pmol, i.c.v.), but not the fever induced by PGE2 (250ng, i.c.v.) or PGF2α (250ng, i.c.v.). Systemic administration of indomethacin (2mgkg(-1), i.p.) or celecoxib (5mgkg(-1), p.o.) reduced the fever induced by AEA (1μg, i.c.v.), while naloxone (1mgkg(-1), s.c.) abolished it. The increases of PGE2 and β-endorphin concentration in the CSF induced by AEA were abolished by the pretreatment of rats with AM251. These results suggest that endocannabinoids are intrinsically involved in the pyretic activity of cytokines (IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6), CRH and ET-1 but not the PGE2 or PGF2α induced fevers. However, anandamide via CB1 receptor activation induces fever that is dependent on the synthesis of prostaglandin and opioids. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Investigations of the human endocannabinoid system in two subcutaneous adipose tissue depots in lean subjects and in obese subjects before and after weight loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bennetzen, Marianne Faurholt; Wellner, Niels; Ahmed, Syed Sayeem Uddin

    2011-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (ECs) have a role in obesity by affecting appetite and through peripheral effects. Obesity is associated with a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).......Endocannabinoids (ECs) have a role in obesity by affecting appetite and through peripheral effects. Obesity is associated with a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS)....

  2. Exogenous S1P Exposure Potentiates Ischemic Stroke Damage That Is Reduced Possibly by Inhibiting S1P Receptor Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunjung Moon

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Initial and recurrent stroke produces central nervous system (CNS damage, involving neuroinflammation. Receptor-mediated S1P signaling can influence neuroinflammation and has been implicated in cerebral ischemia through effects on the immune system. However, S1P-mediated events also occur within the brain itself where its roles during stroke have been less well studied. Here we investigated the involvement of S1P signaling in initial and recurrent stroke by using a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion/reperfusion (M/R model combined with analyses of S1P signaling. Gene expression for S1P receptors and involved enzymes was altered during M/R, supporting changes in S1P signaling. Direct S1P microinjection into the normal CNS induced neuroglial activation, implicating S1P-initiated neuroinflammatory responses that resembled CNS changes seen during initial M/R challenge. Moreover, S1P microinjection combined with M/R potentiated brain damage, approximating a model for recurrent stroke dependent on S1P and suggesting that reduction in S1P signaling could ameliorate stroke damage. Delivery of FTY720 that removes S1P signaling with chronic exposure reduced damage in both initial and S1P-potentiated M/R-challenged brain, while reducing stroke markers like TNF-α. These results implicate direct S1P CNS signaling in the etiology of initial and recurrent stroke that can be therapeutically accessed by S1P modulators acting within the brain.

  3. Quantitative profiling of endocannabinoids in lipoproteins by LC-MS/MS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilgin, Mesut; Bindila, Laura; Graessler, Juergen; Shevchenko, Andrej

    2015-07-01

    Endocannabinoids belong to a diverse family of endogenous lipid bioregulators acting as physiological ligands of cannabinoid receptor type 1 and cannabinoid receptor type 2 in the central and peripheral nervous system. They are also present in nmol L(-1) concentrations in human blood plasma; however, their association with possible molecular carriers remains poorly characterized. Here we report on the quantification of 46 endogenous molecular species from five major classes of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-related compounds in three lipoprotein fractions of human blood plasma: VLDL, LDL, HDL, and in the plasma lipoprotein-free fraction. Although sizable quantities of endocannabinoid-related molecules are associated with lipoproteins, we identified the lipoprotein-free fraction as a major carrier of endocannabinoids in blood circulation with the exception of 2-acylglycerols, which are markedly abundant in VLDL.

  4. Potential role of the endocannabinoid receptor antagonist rimonabant in the management of cardiometabolic risk: a narrative review of available data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirk A Bronander

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Kirk A Bronander1, Michael J Bloch21Division of General Internal Medicine, 2Divisions of Cardiology and General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV, USAAbstract: The endocannabinoid system (ECS is an endogenous physiological system composed of two cannabinoid receptors and several endogenous ligands. The ECS is intimately involved in appetite regulation and energy homeostasis, which makes it an intriguing target for pharmacological treatment of obesity, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. Rimonabant is the first cannabinoid receptor (CB-1 antagonist being studied and utilized to treat obesity (it is approved in Europe but is currently under review in the United States. Large randomized trials with rimonabant have demonstrated efficacy in treatment of overweight and obese individuals with weight loss significantly greater than a reduced calorie diet alone. In addition, multiple other cardiometabolic parameters were improved in the treatment groups including increased levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol, reduced triglycerides, reduced waist circumference, improved insulin sensitivity, decreased insulin levels, and in diabetic patients improvement in glycosylated hemoglobin percentage. There was an increase in the adverse effects of depression, anxiety, irritability, and nausea in rimonabant-treated groups. This novel medication may become an important therapeutic option in the fight to reduce cardiovascular disease worldwide through its unique action on cardiometabolic risk.Keywords: rimonabant, endocannabinoid, metabolic syndrome, obesity

  5. Therapeutic potential of inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation for the treatment of stress-related hyperalgesia in an animal model of chronic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomazzo, Ermelinda; Bindila, Laura; Remmers, Floor; Lerner, Raissa; Schwitter, Claudia; Hoheisel, Ulrich; Lutz, Beat

    2015-01-01

    The occurrence of chronic stress, depression, and anxiety can increase nociception in humans and may facilitate the transition from localized to chronic widespread pain. The mechanisms underlying chronic widespread pain are still unknown, hindering the development of effective pharmacological therapies. Here, we exposed C57BL/6J mice to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) to investigate how persistent stress affects nociception. Next, mice were treated with multiple intramuscular nerve growth factor (NGF) injections, which induced chronic widespread nociception. Thus, combination of CUS and NGF served as a model where psychophysiological impairment coexists with long-lasting hyperalgesia. We found that CUS increased anxiety- and depression-like behavior and enhanced basal nociception in mice. When co-applied with repeated NGF injections, CUS elicited a sustained long-lasting widespread hyperalgesia. In order to evaluate a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of chronic pain associated with stress, we hypothesized that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may represent a target signaling system. We found that URB597, an inhibitor of the anandamide-degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and JZL184, an inhibitor of the 2-arachidonoyl glycerol-degrading enzyme monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), increased eCB levels in the brain and periphery and were both effective in reducing CUS-induced anxiety measured by the light-dark test and CUS-induced thermal hyperalgesia. Remarkably, the long-lasting widespread hyperalgesia induced by combining CUS and NGF was effectively reduced by URB597, but not by JZL184. Simultaneous inhibition of FAAH and MAGL did not improve the overall therapeutic response. Therefore, our findings indicate that enhancement of anandamide signaling with URB597 is a promising pharmacological approach for the alleviation of chronic widespread nociception in stress-exposed mice, and thus, it could represent a potential treatment strategy

  6. Does enoxaparin interfere with HMGB1 signaling after TBI? A potential mechanism for reduced cerebral edema and neurologic recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shengjie; Eisenstadt, Rachel; Kumasaka, Kenichiro; Johnson, Victoria E; Marks, Joshua; Nagata, Katsuhiro; Browne, Kevin D; Smith, Douglas H; Pascual, Jose L

    2016-03-01

    Enoxaparin (ENX) has been shown to reduce cerebral edema and improve neurologic recovery after traumatic brain injury (TBI), through blunting of cerebral leukocyte (LEU) recruitment. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein may induce inflammation through LEU activation. We hypothesized that ENX after TBI reduces LEU-mediated edema through blockade of HMGB1 signaling. Twenty-three CD1 mice underwent severe TBI by controlled cortical impact and were randomized to one of four groups receiving either monoclonal antibody against HMGB1 (MAb) or isotype (Iso) and either ENX (1 mg/kg) or normal saline (NS): NS + Iso (n = 5), NS + MAb (n = 6), ENX + Iso (n = 6), ENX + MAb (n = 6). ENX or NS was administered 2, 8, 14, 23 and 32 hours after TBI. MAb or Iso (25 μg) was administered 2 hours after TBI. At 48 hours, cerebral intravital microscopy served to visualize live LEU interacting with endothelium and microvascular fluorescein isothiocyanate-albumin leakage. The Neurological Severity Score (NSS) graded neurologic recovery; wet-to-dry ratios determined cerebral/lung edema. Analysis of variance with Bonferroni correction was used for statistical analyses. ENX and MAb similarly reduced in vivo pial LEU rolling without demonstrating additive effect. In vivo albumin leakage was greatest in vehicle-treated animals but decreased by 25% with either MAb or ENX but by 50% when both were combined. Controlled cortical impact-induced cerebral wet-to-dry ratios were reduced by MAb or ENX without additive effect. Postinjury lung water was reduced by ENX but not by MAb. Neurologic recovery at 24 hours and 48 hours was similarly improved with ENX, MAb, or both treatments combined. Mirroring ENX, HMGB1 signaling blockade reduces LEU recruitment, cerebrovascular permeability, and cerebral edema following TBI. ENX further reduced lung edema indicating a multifaceted effect beyond HMGB1 blockade. Further study is needed to determine how ENX may play a role in blunting HMGB1 signaling in

  7. Signals from beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in response to precipitation extremes - flowering induction and reduced foliation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Callesen, Ingeborg

    Reduced foliation in older (but also young) beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) stands was observed in Denmark in the mid 1990ies and culminated with the 1996 summer drought and heat wave. Large differences in the degree of reduced foliation between regions and within stands were observed e.g. reflecting...

  8. Curcumin reduces lung inflammation via Wnt/β-catenin signaling in mouse model of asthma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xia; Lv, Jian-Ning; Li, Hui; Jiao, Bo; Zhang, Qiu-Hong; Zhang, Yong; Zhang, Jie; Liu, Yan-Qin; Zhang, Ming; Shan, Hu; Zhang, Jin-Zhao; Wu, Run-Miao; Li, Ya-Li

    2017-05-01

    Asthma is a chronic inflammatory, heterogeneous airway disease affecting millions of people around the world. Curcumin has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antifibrosis effects. Researchers reported that curcumin regulated Wnt/β-catenin signaling in lots of cells. However, whether curcumin regulates the levels of Wnt/β-Catenin signaling in lung tissues and DCs (dendritic cells) remains unclear. In this study, we assessed the effects of curcumin on DCs and asthma. C57BL/6 mice immunized with OVA (ovalbumin) were challenged thrice with an aerosol of OVA every second day for 8 days. Dexamethasone or curcumin was administered intraperitoneally to OVA-immunized C57BL/6 mice on day 24 once a day for 9 days. Mice were analyzed for effects of curcumin on asthma, inflammatory cell infiltration and cytokine levels in lung tissue. DCs were isolated from mouse bone morrow. The surface markers CD40, CD86 and CD11c of DCs was detected by FACS (fluorescence activated cell sorting) and the function of DCs was detected by mixed lymphocyte reaction. The expression of GSK-3β and β-catenin was detected by Western Blot. Results showed that OVA increased the number of inflammatory factors in BALF (bronchoalveolar lavage fluid), elevated lung inflammation scores in mice. Curcumin dose-dependently reversed the alterations induced by OVA in the asthmatic mice. Curcumin activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in DCs and asthmatic mouse lungs. Curcumin could influence the morphology and function of DCs, ease asthma symptom and inflammatory reaction through the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. These results provide new evidence new evidence for application of curcumin on asthma.

  9. Blood levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide are increased in anorexia nervosa and in binge-eating disorder, but not in bulimia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteleone, Palmiero; Matias, Isabelle; Martiadis, Vassilis; De Petrocellis, Luciano; Maj, Mario; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2005-06-01

    The endocannabinoid system, consisting of two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and the endogenous ligands anandamide (arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA)) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), has been shown to control food intake in both animals and humans, modulating either rewarding or quantitative aspects of the eating behavior. Moreover, hypothalamic endocannabinoids seem to be part of neural circuitry involved in the modulating effects of leptin on energy homeostasis. Therefore, alterations of the endocannabinoid system could be involved in the pathophysiology of eating disorders, where a deranged leptin signalling has been also reported. In order to verify this hypothesis, we measured plasma levels of AEA, 2-AG, and leptin in 15 women with anorexia nervosa (AN), 12 women with bulimia nervosa (BN), 11 women with binge-eating disorder (BED), and 15 healthy women. Plasma levels of AEA resulted significantly enhanced in both anorexic and BED women, but not in bulimic patients. No significant change occurred in the plasma levels of 2-AG in all the patients' groups. Moreover, circulating AEA levels were significantly and inversely correlated with plasma leptin concentrations in both healthy controls and anorexic women. These findings show for the first time a derangement in the production of the endogenous cannabinoid AEA in drug-free symptomatic women with AN or with BED. Although the pathophysiological significance of this alteration awaits further studies to be clarified, it suggests a possible involvement of AEA in the mediation of the rewarding aspects of the aberrant eating behaviors occurring in AN and BED.

  10. Anesthetic propofol reduces endotoxic inflammation by inhibiting reactive oxygen species-regulated Akt/IKKβ/NF-κB signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chung-Hsi Hsing

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Anesthetic propofol has immunomodulatory effects, particularly in the area of anti-inflammation. Bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS induces inflammation through toll-like receptor (TLR 4 signaling. We investigated the molecular actions of propofol against LPS/TLR4-induced inflammatory activation in murine RAW264.7 macrophages. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Non-cytotoxic levels of propofol reduced LPS-induced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS and NO as determined by western blotting and the Griess reaction, respectively. Propofol also reduced the production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α, interleukin (IL-6, and IL-10 as detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Western blot analysis showed propofol inhibited LPS-induced activation and phosphorylation of IKKβ (Ser180 and nuclear factor (NF-κB (Ser536; the subsequent nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 was also reduced. Additionally, propofol inhibited LPS-induced Akt activation and phosphorylation (Ser473 partly by reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS generation; inter-regulation that ROS regulated Akt followed by NF-κB activation was found to be crucial for LPS-induced inflammatory responses in macrophages. An in vivo study using C57BL/6 mice also demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties against LPS in peritoneal macrophages. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that propofol reduces LPS-induced inflammatory responses in macrophages by inhibiting the interconnected ROS/Akt/IKKβ/NF-κB signaling pathways.

  11. Loss of Acetylcholine Signaling Reduces Cell Clearance Deficiencies in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sérgio M Pinto

    Full Text Available The ability to eliminate undesired cells by apoptosis is a key mechanism to maintain organismal health and homeostasis. Failure to clear apoptotic cells efficiently can cause autoimmune diseases in mammals. Genetic studies in Caenorhabditis elegans have greatly helped to decipher the regulation of apoptotic cell clearance. In this study, we show that the loss of levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptor, but not of a typical neuronal acetylcholine receptor causes a reduction in the number of persistent cell corpses in worms suffering from an engulfment deficiency. This reduction is not caused by impaired or delayed cell death but rather by a partial restoration of the cell clearance capacity. Mutants in acetylcholine turn-over elicit a similar phenotype, implying that acetylcholine signaling is the process responsible for these observations. Surprisingly, tissue specific RNAi suggests that UNC-38, a major component of the levamisole-sensitive receptor, functions in the dying germ cell to influence engulfment efficiency. Animals with loss of acetylcholine receptor exhibit a higher fraction of cell corpses positive for the "eat-me" signal phosphatidylserine. Our results suggest that modulation by ion channels of ion flow across plasma membrane in dying cells can influence the dynamics of phosphatidylserine exposure and thus clearance efficiency.

  12. Hippocampal leptin signaling reduces food intake and modulates food-related memory processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanoski, Scott E; Hayes, Matthew R; Greenwald, Holly S; Fortin, Samantha M; Gianessi, Carol A; Gilbert, Jennifer R; Grill, Harvey J

    2011-08-01

    The increase in obesity prevalence highlights the need for a more comprehensive understanding of the neural systems controlling food intake; one that extends beyond food intake driven by metabolic need and considers that driven by higher-order cognitive factors. The hippocampus, a brain structure involved in learning and memory function, has recently been linked with food intake control. Here we examine whether administration of the adiposity hormone leptin to the dorsal and ventral sub-regions of the hippocampus influences food intake and memory for food. Leptin (0.1 μg) delivered bilaterally to the ventral hippocampus suppressed food intake and body weight measured 24 h after administration; a higher dose (0.4 μg) was needed to suppress intake following dorsal hippocampal delivery. Leptin administration to the ventral but not dorsal hippocampus blocked the expression of a conditioned place preference for food and increased the latency to run for food in an operant runway paradigm. Additionally, ventral but not dorsal hippocampal leptin delivery suppressed memory consolidation for the spatial location of food, whereas hippocampal leptin delivery had no effect on memory consolidation in a non-spatial appetitive response paradigm. Collectively these findings indicate that ventral hippocampal leptin signaling contributes to the inhibition of food-related memories elicited by contextual stimuli. To conclude, the results support a role for hippocampal leptin signaling in the control of food intake and food-related memory processing.

  13. Role of the endocannabinoid system in the neuroendocrine responses to inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Laurentiis, Andrea; Araujo, Hugo A; Rettori, Valeria

    2014-01-01

    A few years ago the endocannabinoid system has been recognized as a major neuromodulatory system whose main functions are to exert and maintain the body homeostasis. Several different endocannabinoids are synthesized in a broad class of cell types, including those in the brain and the immune system; they bind to cannabinoid G-protein-coupled receptors, having profound effects on a variety of behavioral, neuroendocrine and autonomic functions. The coordinated neural, immune, behavioral and endocrine responses to inflammation are orchestrated to provide an important defense against infections and help homeostasis restoration in the body. These responses are executed and controlled mainly by the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis. Also, the hypothalamic-neurohypophyseal system is essential for survival and plays a role recovering the homeostasis under a variety of stress conditions, including inflammation and infection. Since the endocannabinoid system components are present at sites involved in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis regulation, several studies were performed in order to investigate the endocannabinoid-mediated neurotransmitters and hormones secretion under physiological and pathological conditions. In the present review we focused on the endocannabinoids actions on the neuroendocrine response to inflammation and infection. We provide a detailed overview of the current understanding of the role of the endocannabinoid system in the recovering of homeostasis as well as potential pharmacological therapies based on the manipulation of endocannabinoid system components that could provide novel treatments for a wide range of disorders.

  14. Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in phencyclidine-induced cognitive deficits modelling schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigano, Daniela; Guidali, Cinzia; Petrosino, Stefania; Realini, Natalia; Rubino, Tiziana; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Parolaro, Daniela

    2009-06-01

    Recent advances in the neurobiology of cannabinoids have renewed interest in the association between cannabis and schizophrenia. Our studies showed that chronic-intermittent phencyclidine (PCP) treatment of rats, an animal model of schizophrenia-like cognitive deficit, impaired recognition memory in the novel object recognition (NOR) test and induced alterations in CB1 receptor functionality and in endocannabinoid levels mainly in the prefrontal cortex. In this region, we observed a significant reduction in GTPgammaS binding (-41%) accompanied by an increase in the levels of the endocannabinoid 2-AG (+38%) in PCP-treated rats, suggesting that a maladaptation of the endocannabinoid system might contribute to the glutamatergic-related cognitive symptoms encountered in schizophrenia disorders. Moreover, we evaluated the ability of the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), to modulate the cognitive dysfunctions and neuroadaptations in the endocannabinoid system induced by PCP. Chronic THC co-treatment worsened PCP-induced cognitive impairment, without inducing any effect per se, and in parallel, it provoked a severe reduction in the levels of the other endocannabinoid, AEA, vs. either vehicle (-73%) or PCP (-64%), whereas it reversed the PCP-induced increase in 2-AG levels. These results point to the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in this pharmacological model of cognitive dysfunction, with a potentially different role of AEA and 2-AG in schizophrenia-like behaviours and suggest that prolonged cannabis use might aggravate cognitive performances induced by chronic PCP by throwing off-balance the endocannabinoid system.

  15. Perfluorocarbon reduces cell damage from blast injury by inhibiting signal paths of NF-κB, MAPK and Bcl-2/Bax signaling pathway in A549 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhaorui; Liang, Zhixin; Li, Huaidong; Li, Chunsun; Yang, Zhen; Li, Yanqin; She, Danyang; Cao, Lu; Wang, Wenjie; Liu, Changlin; Chen, Liangan

    2017-01-01

    Blast lung injury is a common type of blast injury and has very high mortality. Therefore, research to identify medical therapies for blast injury is important. Perfluorocarbon (PFC) is used to improve gas exchange in diseased lungs and has anti-inflammatory functions in vitro and in vivo. The aim of this study was to determine whether PFC reduces damage to A549 cells caused by blast injury and to elucidate its possible mechanisms of action. A549 alveolar epithelial cells exposed to blast waves were treated with and without PFC. Morphological changes and apoptosis of A549 cells were recorded. PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used to measure the mRNA or protein levels of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α. Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity levels were detected. Western blot was used to quantify the expression of NF-κB, Bax, Bcl-2, cleaved caspase-3 and MAPK cell signaling proteins. A549 cells exposed to blast wave shrank, with less cell-cell contact. The morphological change of A549 cells exposed to blast waves were alleviated by PFC. PFC significantly inhibited the apoptosis of A549 cells exposed to blast waves. IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α cytokine and mRNA expression levels were significantly inhibited by PFC. PFC significantly increased MDA levels and decreased SOD activity levels. Further studies indicated that NF-κB, Bax, caspase-3, phospho-p38, phosphor-ERK and phosphor-JNK proteins were also suppressed by PFC. The quantity of Bcl-2 protein was increased by PFC. Our research showed that PFC reduced A549 cell damage caused by blast injury. The potential mechanism may be associated with the following signaling pathways: 1) the signaling pathways of NF-κB and MAPK, which inhibit inflammation and reactive oxygen species (ROS); and 2) the signaling pathways of Bcl-2/Bax and caspase-3, which inhibit apoptosis.

  16. Loss of dorsomedial hypothalamic GLP-1 signaling reduces BAT thermogenesis and increases adiposity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Shin J; Sanchez-Watts, Graciela; Krieger, Jean-Philippe; Pignalosa, Angelica; Norell, Puck N; Cortella, Alyssa; Pettersen, Klaus G; Vrdoljak, Dubravka; Hayes, Matthew R; Kanoski, Scott; Langhans, Wolfgang; Watts, Alan G

    2018-03-21

    Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) neurons in the hindbrain densely innervate the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), a nucleus strongly implicated in body weight regulation and the sympathetic control of brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. Therefore, DMH GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1R) are well placed to regulate energy balance by controlling sympathetic outflow and BAT function. We investigate this possibility in adult male rats by using direct administration of GLP-1 (0.5 ug) into the DMH, knocking down DMH GLP-1R mRNA with viral-mediated RNA interference, and by examining the neurochemical phenotype of GLP-1R expressing cells in the DMH using in situ hybridization. GLP-1 administered into the DMH increased BAT thermogenesis and hepatic triglyceride (TG) mobilization. On the other hand, Glp1r knockdown (KD) in the DMH increased body weight gain and adiposity, with a concomitant reduction in energy expenditure (EE), BAT temperature, and uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression. Moreover, DMH Glp1r KD induced hepatic steatosis, increased plasma TG, and elevated liver specific de-novo lipogenesis, effects that collectively contributed to insulin resistance. Interestingly, DMH Glp1r KD increased neuropeptide Y (NPY) mRNA expression in the DMH. GLP-1R mRNA in the DMH, however, was found in GABAergic not NPY neurons, consistent with a GLP-1R-dependent inhibition of NPY neurons that is mediated by local GABAergic neurons. Finally, DMH Glp1r KD attenuated the anorexigenic effects of the GLP-1R agonist exendin-4, highlighting an important role of DMH GLP-1R signaling in GLP-1-based therapies. Collectively, our data show that DMH GLP-1R signaling plays a key role for BAT thermogenesis and adiposity. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  17. Light finger contact concurrently reduces postural sway and enhances signal detection performance in children with developmental coordination disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fu-Chen; Tsai, Chia-Liang

    2016-03-01

    The current study examined the effects of light finger touch on postural sway and signal detection performance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Children with DCD (n=30; 18 boys, 12 girls; age=11.87 ± 0.48 years) and typically developing children (n=30; 14 boys, 16 girls; age=11.73 ± 0.52 years) were recruited from schools in Pintung County, Taiwan. Participants completed a signal detection task under no finger touch (NT) and light finger touch (LT) conditions, while postural sway in both anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) axes was recorded. In both conditions, children with DCD exhibited significantly higher levels of postural sway (pTDC. Additionally, both groups significantly reduced postural sway (pTDC relative to children with DCD (pTDC (p<0.05). These results suggest that light finger touch is effective in concurrently reducing postural sway and enhancing signal detection in both groups. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Signal Control for Reducing Vehicle NOx and CO2 Emissions Based on Prediction of Arrival Traffic Flows at Intersections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oda, Toshihiko

    Nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from vehicles have been increasing every year because of the growing number of vehicles, and they cause serious environmental problems such as air pollution and global warming. To alleviate these problems, this paper proposes a new traffic signal control method for reducing vehicle NOx and CO2 emissions on arterial roads. To this end, we first model the amount of vehicle emissions as a function of the traffic delay and the number of stops at intersections. This step is necessary because it is difficult to obtain the amount of emissions directly using traffic control systems. Second, we introduce a signal control model in which the control parameters are continuously updated on the basis of predictions of arrival traffic flows at intersections. The signal timings are calculated in such a manner so as to minimize the weighted sum of the two emissions, which depend on the traffic flow. To evaluate the validity of this method, simulation experiments are carried out on an arterial road. The experiments show that the proposed method significantly outperforms existing methods in reducing both the emissions and travel time.

  19. The endocannabinoid system: A novel player in human placentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, M A

    2016-06-01

    Cannabis sativa is the most consumed illegal drug around the world. Its consumption during pregnancy is associated with gestational complications, particularly with fetal growth restriction. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are lipid molecules that act by activating the G-protein coupled cannabinoid receptors, which are also target of the phytocannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The endocannabinoid system (ECS) participates in distinct biological processes, including pain, inflammation, neuroprotection, and several reproductive events. In addition, an abnormal expression of ECS is associated with infertility and miscarriages. This manuscript will review and discuss the expression of ECS in normal and pathological human placentas, and the role of eCBs and THC in trophoblast proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, and function. The current evidence points towards a role of ECS in human placentation, shedding light on the contribution of the eCBs in the coordination of human placentation, and in the cellular mechanisms underlying the deleterious effects of cannabis consumption during pregnancy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Role of cannabis and endocannabinoids in the genesis of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Espejo, Emilio; Viveros, Maria-Paz; Núñez, Luis; Ellenbroek, Bart A; Rodriguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2009-11-01

    Cannabis abuse and endocannabinoids are associated to schizophrenia. It is important to discern the association between schizophrenia and exogenous Cannabis sativa, on one hand, and the endogenous cannabinoid system, on the other hand. On one hand, there is substantial evidence that cannabis abuse is a risk factor for psychosis in genetically predisposed people, may lead to a worse outcome of the disease, or it can affect normal brain development during adolescence, increasing the risk for schizophrenia in adulthood. Regarding genetic predisposition, alterations affecting the cannabinoid CNR1 gene could be related to schizophrenia. On the other hand, the endogenous cannabinoid system is altered in schizophrenia (i.e., increased density of cannabinoid CB1 receptor binding in corticolimbic regions, enhanced cerebrospinal fluid anandamide levels), and dysregulation of this system can interact with neurotransmitter systems in such a way that a "cannabinoid hypothesis" can be integrated in the neurobiological hypotheses of schizophrenia. Finally, there is also evidence that some genetic alterations of the CNR1 gene can act as a protectant factor against schizophrenia or can induce a better pharmacological response to atypical antipsychotics. Cannabis abuse is a risk factor for psychosis in predisposed people, it can affect neurodevelopment during adolescence leading to schizophrenia, and a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system can participate in schizophrenia. It is also worth noting that some specific cannabinoid alterations can act as neuroprotectant for schizophrenia or can be a psychopharmacogenetic rather than a vulnerability factor.

  1. Endocannabinoids in Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pryce, Gareth; Baker, David

    2015-01-01

    There are numerous reports that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have for many years been self-medicating with illegal street cannabis or more recently medicinal cannabis to alleviate the symptoms associated with MS and also amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These anecdotal reports have been confirmed by data from animal models and more recently clinical trials on the ability of cannabinoids to alleviate limb spasticity, a common feature of progressive MS (and also ALS) and neurodegeneration. Experimental studies into the biology of the endocannabinoid system have revealed that cannabinoids have efficacy, not only in symptom relief but also as neuroprotective agents which may slow disease progression and thus delay the onset of symptoms. This review discusses what we now know about the endocannabinoid system as it relates to MS and ALS and also the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid therapeutics as disease-modifying or symptom control agents, as well as future therapeutic strategies including the potential for slowing disease progression in MS and ALS.

  2. Obesity, the endocannabinoid system, and bias arising from pharmaceutical sponsorship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPartland, John M

    2009-01-01

    Previous research has shown that academic physicians conflicted by funding from the pharmaceutical industry have corrupted evidence based medicine and helped enlarge the market for drugs. Physicians made pharmaceutical-friendly statements, engaged in disease mongering, and signed biased review articles ghost-authored by corporate employees. This paper tested the hypothesis that bias affects review articles regarding rimonabant, an anti-obesity drug that blocks the central cannabinoid receptor. A MEDLINE search was performed for rimonabant review articles, limited to articles authored by USA physicians who served as consultants for the company that manufactures rimonabant. Extracted articles were examined for industry-friendly bias, identified by three methods: analysis with a validated instrument for monitoring bias in continuing medical education (CME); analysis for bias defined as statements that ran contrary to external evidence; and a tally of misrepresentations about the endocannabinoid system. Eight review articles were identified, but only three disclosed authors' financial conflicts of interest, despite easily accessible information to the contrary. The Takhar CME bias instrument demonstrated statistically significant bias in all the review articles. Biased statements that were nearly identical reappeared in the articles, including disease mongering, exaggerating rimonabant's efficacy and safety, lack of criticisms regarding rimonabant clinical trials, and speculations about surrogate markers stated as facts. Distinctive and identical misrepresentations regarding the endocannabinoid system also reappeared in articles by different authors. The findings are characteristic of bias that arises from financial conflicts of interest, and suggestive of ghostwriting by a common author. Resolutions for this scenario are proposed.

  3. Masturbation to Orgasm Stimulates the Release of the Endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuss, Johannes; Bindila, Laura; Wiedemann, Klaus; Auer, Matthias K; Briken, Peer; Biedermann, Sarah V

    2017-11-01

    Endocannabinoids are critical for rewarding behaviors such as eating, physical exercise, and social interaction. The role of endocannabinoids in mammalian sexual behavior has been suggested because of the influence of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists on rodent sexual activity. However, the involvement of endocannabinoids in human sexual behavior has not been studied. To investigate plasma endocannabinoid levels before and after masturbation in healthy male and female volunteers. Plasma levels of the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), anandamide, the endocannabinoid-like lipids oleoyl ethanolamide and palmitoyl ethanolamide, arachidonic acid, and cortisol before and after masturbation to orgasm. In study 1, endocannabinoid and cortisol levels were measured before and after masturbation to orgasm. In study 2, masturbation to orgasm was compared with a control condition using a single-blinded, randomized, 2-session crossover design. In study 1, masturbation to orgasm significantly increased plasma levels of the endocannabinoid 2-AG, whereas anandamide, oleoyl ethanolamide, palmitoyl ethanolamide, arachidonic acid, and cortisol levels were not altered. In study 2, only masturbation to orgasm, not the control condition, led to a significant increase in 2-AG levels. Interestingly, we also found a significant increase of oleoyl ethanolamide after masturbation to orgasm in study 2. Endocannabinoids might play an important role in the sexual response cycle, leading to possible implications for the understanding and treatment of sexual dysfunctions. We found an increase of 2-AG through masturbation to orgasm in 2 studies including a single-blinded randomized design. The exact role of endocannabinoid release as part of the sexual response cycle and the biological significance of the finding should be studied further. Cannabis and other drug use and the attainment of orgasm were self-reported in the present study. Our data indicate that the

  4. Comparative effects of parathion and chlorpyrifos on extracellular endocannabinoid levels in rat hippocampus: Influence on cholinergic toxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Jing [Department of Physiological Sciences, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK (United States); Parsons, Loren [Committee on Neurobiology of Affective Disorders, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA (United States); Pope, Carey, E-mail: carey.pope@okstate.edu [Department of Physiological Sciences, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK (United States)

    2013-11-01

    Parathion (PS) and chlorpyrifos (CPF) are organophosphorus insecticides (OPs) that elicit acute toxicity by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Endocannabinoids (eCBs, N-arachidonoylethanolamine, AEA; 2-arachidonoylglycerol, 2AG) can modulate neurotransmission by inhibiting neurotransmitter release. We proposed that differential inhibition of eCB-degrading enzymes (fatty acid amide hydrolase, FAAH, and monoacylglycerol lipase, MAGL) by PS and CPF leads to differences in extracellular eCB levels and toxicity. Microdialysis cannulae were implanted into hippocampus of adult male rats followed by treatment with vehicle (peanut oil, 2 ml/kg, sc), PS (27 mg/kg) or CPF (280 mg/kg) 6–7 days later. Signs of toxicity, AChE, FAAH and MAGL inhibition, and extracellular levels of AEA and 2AG were measured 2 and 4 days later. Signs were noted in PS-treated rats but not in controls or CPF-treated rats. Cholinesterase inhibition was extensive in hippocampus with PS (89–90%) and CPF (78–83%) exposure. FAAH activity was also markedly reduced (88–91%) by both OPs at both time-points. MAGL was inhibited by both OPs but to a lesser degree (35–50%). Increases in extracellular AEA levels were noted after either PS (about 2-fold) or CPF (about 3-fold) while lesser treatment-related 2-AG changes were noted. The cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 (3 mg/kg, ip) had no influence on functional signs after CPF but markedly decreased toxicity in PS-treated rats. The results suggest that extracellular eCBs levels can be markedly elevated by both PS and CPF. CB1-mediated signaling appears to play a role in the acute toxicity of PS but the role of eCBs in CPF toxicity remains unclear. - Highlights: • Chlorpyrifos and parathion both extensively inhibited hippocampal cholinesterase. • Functional signs were only noted with parathion. • Chlorpyrifos and parathion increased hippocampal extracellular anandamide levels. • 2-Arachidonoylglycerol levels were

  5. Denervation and high-fat diet reduce insulin signaling in T-tubules in skeletal muscle of living mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritzen, Hans P M; Ploug, Thorkil; Ai, Hua

    2008-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Insulin stimulates muscle glucose transport by translocation of GLUT4 to sarcolemma and T-tubules. Despite muscle glucose uptake playing a major role in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, the temporal and spatial changes in insulin signaling and GLUT4 translocation during these co......OBJECTIVE: Insulin stimulates muscle glucose transport by translocation of GLUT4 to sarcolemma and T-tubules. Despite muscle glucose uptake playing a major role in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, the temporal and spatial changes in insulin signaling and GLUT4 translocation during...... receptors. RESULTS: Denervation and high-fat diet reduced insulin-mediated glucose transport. In denervated muscle, insulin-stimulated phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5 P(3) (PIP3) production was abolished in T-tubules, while PIP3 production at sarcolemma was increased 2.6-fold. Correspondingly, GLUT4-GFP...

  6. Quorum sensing signals are produced by Aeromonas salmonicida and quorum sensing inhibitors can reduce production of a potential virulence factor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasch, Maria; Kastbjerg, Vicky Gaedt; Bruhn, Jesper Bartholin

    2007-01-01

    of Aeromonas salmonicida strains. All 31 typical strains were AHL producers as were 21 of 26 atypical strains, but on a strain population basis, production of virulence factors such as protease, lipase, A-layer or pigment did not correlate with the production and accumulation of AHLs in the growth medium....... Pigment production was only observed in broth under highly aerated conditions. Quorum sensing inhibitors (QSIs) are compounds that specifically block QS systems without affecting bacterial growth and 2 such compounds, sulphur-containing AHL-analogues, reduced production of protease in a typical strain......Many pathogens control production of virulence factors by self-produced signals in a process called quorum sensing (QS). We demonstrate that acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) signals, which enable bacteria to express certain phenotypes in relation to cell density, are produced by a wide spectrum...

  7. Reduced fractal model for quantitative analysis of averaged micromotions in mesoscale: Characterization of blow-like signals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nigmatullin, Raoul R.; Toboev, Vyacheslav A.; Lino, Paolo; Maione, Guido

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: •A new approach describes fractal-branched systems with long-range fluctuations. •A reduced fractal model is proposed. •The approach is used to characterize blow-like signals. •The approach is tested on data from different fields. -- Abstract: It has been shown that many micromotions in the mesoscale region are averaged in accordance with their self-similar (geometrical/dynamical) structure. This distinctive feature helps to reduce a wide set of different micromotions describing relaxation/exchange processes to an averaged collective motion, expressed mathematically in a rather general form. This reduction opens new perspectives in description of different blow-like signals (BLS) in many complex systems. The main characteristic of these signals is a finite duration also when the generalized reduced function is used for their quantitative fitting. As an example, we describe quantitatively available signals that are generated by bronchial asthmatic people, songs by queen bees, and car engine valves operating in the idling regime. We develop a special treatment procedure based on the eigen-coordinates (ECs) method that allows to justify the generalized reduced fractal model (RFM) for description of BLS that can propagate in different complex systems. The obtained describing function is based on the self-similar properties of the different considered micromotions. This kind of cooperative model is proposed here for the first time. In spite of the fact that the nature of the dynamic processes that take place in fractal structure on a mesoscale level is not well understood, the parameters of the RFM fitting function can be used for construction of calibration curves, affected by various external/random factors. Then, the calculated set of the fitting parameters of these calibration curves can characterize BLS of different complex systems affected by those factors. Though the method to construct and analyze the calibration curves goes beyond the scope

  8. Gabapentin reduces CX3CL1 signaling and blocks spinal microglial activation in monoarthritic rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Jia-Le

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spinal glia, particularly microglia and astrocytes, are of the utmost importance in the development and maintenance of chronic pain. A recent study from our laboratory revealed that gabapentin, a recommended first-line treatment for multiple neuropathic conditions, could also efficiently antagonize thermal hyperalgesia evoked by complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA-induced monoarthritis (MA. In the present study, we investigated whether the spinal glia are involved in the anti-hyperalgesic effect of gabapentin and how this event occurs. Results Unilateral intra-articular injection of CFA produced a robust activation of microglia and astrocytes. These cells exhibited large cell bodies, thick processes and increases in the ionized calcium binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba-1, a microglial marker or the glia fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, an astrocytic marker. These cells also displayed immunoreactive signals, and an upregulation of the voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs α2/δ-1 subunit, CX3CL1 and CX3CR1 expression levels in the spinal cord. These changes were associated with the development of thermal hyperalgesia. Immunofluorescence staining showed that VGCC α2/δ-1 subunit, a proposed gabapentin target of action, was widely distributed in primary afferent fibers terminals and dorsal horn neurons. CX3CL1, a potential trigger to activate microglia, colocalized with VGCC α2/δ-1 subunits in the spinal dorsal horn. However, its receptor CX3CR1 was mainly expressed in the spinal microglia. Multiple intraperitoneal (i.p. gabapentin injections (100 mg/kg, once daily for 4 days with the first injection 60 min before intra-articular CFA suppressed the activation of spinal microglia, downregulated spinal VGCC α2/δ-1 subunits decreased CX3CL1 levels and blocked the development of thermal hyperalgesia in MA rats. Conclusions Here we provide the first evidence that gabapentin diminishes CX3CL1 signaling and spinal microglia

  9. Endocannabinoid and cannabinoid-like fatty acid amide levels correlate with pain-related symptoms in patients with IBS-D and IBS-C: a pilot study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakub Fichna

    Full Text Available AIMS: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS is a functional gastrointestinal (GI disorder, associated with alterations of bowel function, abdominal pain and other symptoms related to the GI tract. Recently the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS was shown to be involved in the physiological and pathophysiological control of the GI function. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether IBS defining symptoms correlate with changes in endocannabinoids or cannabinoid like fatty acid levels in IBS patients. METHODS: AEA, 2-AG, OEA and PEA plasma levels were determined in diarrhoea-predominant (IBS-D and constipation-predominant (IBS-C patients and were compared to healthy subjects, following the establishment of correlations between biolipid contents and disease symptoms. FAAH mRNA levels were evaluated in colonic biopsies from IBS-D and IBS-C patients and matched controls. RESULTS: Patients with IBS-D had higher levels of 2AG and lower levels of OEA and PEA. In contrast, patients with IBS-C had higher levels of OEA. Multivariate analysis found that lower PEA levels are associated with cramping abdominal pain. FAAH mRNA levels were lower in patients with IBS-C. CONCLUSION: IBS subtypes and their symptoms show distinct alterations of endocannabinoid and endocannabinoid-like fatty acid levels. These changes may partially result from reduced FAAH expression. The here reported changes support the notion that the ECS is involved in the pathophysiology of IBS and the development of IBS symptoms.

  10. Extracellular gentamicin reduces the activity of connexin hemichannels and interferes with purinergic Ca2+ signaling in HeLa cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa, Vania A.; Retamal, Mauricio A.; Cea, Luis A.; Salas, José D.; Vargas, Aníbal A.; Verdugo, Christian A.; Jara, Oscar; Martínez, Agustín D.; Sáez, Juan C.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction channels (GJCs) and hemichannels (HCs) are composed of protein subunits termed connexins (Cxs) and are permeable to ions and small molecules. In most organs, GJCs communicate the cytoplasm of adjacent cells, while HCs communicate the intra and extracellular compartments. In this way, both channel types coordinate physiological responses of cell communities. Cx mutations explain several genetic diseases, including about 50% of autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss. However, the possible involvement of Cxs in the etiology of acquired hearing loss remains virtually unknown. Factors that induce post-lingual hearing loss are diverse, exposure to gentamicin an aminoglycoside antibiotic, being the most common. Gentamicin has been proposed to block GJCs, but its effect on HCs remains unknown. In this work, the effect of gentamicin on the functional state of HCs was studied and its effect on GJCs was reevaluated in HeLa cells stably transfected with Cxs. We focused on Cx26 because it is the main Cx expressed in the cochlea of mammals where it participates in purinergic signaling pathways. We found that gentamicin applied extracellularly reduces the activity of HCs, while dye transfer across GJCs was not affected. HCs were also blocked by streptomycin, another aminoglycoside antibiotic. Gentamicin also reduced the adenosine triphosphate release and the HC-dependent oscillations of cytosolic free-Ca2+ signal. Moreover, gentamicin drastically reduced the Cx26 HC-mediated membrane currents in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Therefore, the extracellular gentamicin-induced inhibition of Cx HCs may adversely affect autocrine and paracrine signaling, including the purinergic one, which might partially explain its ototoxic effects. PMID:25237294

  11. Elevated CO2 reduces the resistance and tolerance of tomato plants to Helicoverpa armigera by suppressing the JA signaling pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huijuan Guo

    Full Text Available Both resistance and tolerance, which are two strategies that plants use to limit biotic stress, are affected by the abiotic environment including atmospheric CO(2 levels. We tested the hypothesis that elevated CO(2 would reduce resistance (i.e., the ability to prevent damage but enhance tolerance (i.e., the ability to regrow and compensate for damage after the damage has occurred of tomato plants to the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera. The results showed that elevated CO(2 reduced resistance by decreasing the jasmonic acid (JA level and activities of lipoxygenase, proteinase inhibitors, and polyphenol oxidase in wild-type (WT plants infested with H. armigera. Consequently, the activities of total protease, trypsin-like enzymes, and weak and active alkaline trypsin-like enzymes increased in the midgut of H. armigera when fed on WT plants grown under elevated CO(2. Unexpectedly, the tolerance of the WT to H. armigera (in terms of photosynthetic rate, activity of sucrose phosphate synthases, flower number, and plant biomass and height was also reduced by elevated CO(2. Under ambient CO(2, the expression of resistance and tolerance to H. armigera was much greater in wild type than in spr2 (a JA-deficient genotype plants, but elevated CO(2 reduced these differences of the resistance and tolerance between WT and spr2 plants. The results suggest that the JA signaling pathway contributes to both plant resistance and tolerance to herbivorous insects and that by suppressing the JA signaling pathway, elevated CO(2 will simultaneously reduce the resistance and tolerance of tomato plants.

  12. The endocannabinoid system and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): From preclinical findings to innovative therapeutic approaches in clinical settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berardi, Andrea; Schelling, Gustav; Campolongo, Patrizia

    2016-09-01

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric chronic disease developing in individuals after the experience of an intense and life-threatening traumatic event. The post-traumatic symptomatology encompasses alterations in memory processes, mood, anxiety and arousal. There is now consensus in considering the disease as an aberrant adaptation to traumatic stress. Pharmacological research, aimed at the discovery of new potential effective treatments, has lately directed its attention towards the "so-called" cognitive enhancers. This class of substances, by modulating cognitive processes involved in the development and/or persistence of the post-traumatic symptomatology, could be of great help in improving the outcome of psychotherapies and patients' prognosis. In this perspective, drugs acting on the endocannabinoid system are receiving great attention due to their dual ability to modulate memory processes on one hand, and to reduce anxiety and depression on the other. The purpose of the present review is to offer a thorough overview of both animal and human studies investigating the effects of cannabinoids on memory processes. First, we will briefly describe the characteristics of the endocannabinoid system and the most commonly used animal models of learning and memory. Then, studies investigating cannabinoid modulatory influences on memory consolidation, retrieval and extinction will be separately presented, and the potential benefits associated with each approach will be discussed. In the final section, we will review literature data reporting beneficial effects of cannabinoid drugs in PTSD patients. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The endocannabinoid system and emotional processing: A pharmacological fMRI study with Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bossong, M.G.; Hell, van H.H.; Jager, G.; Kahn, R.S.; Ramsey, N.F.; Jansma, J.M.

    2013-01-01

    Various psychiatric disorders such as major depression are associated with abnormalities in emotional processing. Evidence indicating involvement of the endocannabinoid system in emotional processing, and thus potentially in related abnormalities, is increasing. In the present study, we examined the

  14. Interactions between the Kynurenine and the Endocannabinoid System with Special Emphasis on Migraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gábor Nagy-Grócz

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Both the kynurenine and the endocannabinoid systems are involved in several neurological disorders, such as migraine and there are increasing number of reports demonstrating that there are interactions of two systems. Although their cooperation has not yet been implicated in migraine, there are reports suggesting this possibility. Additionally, the individual role of the endocannabinoid and kynurenine system in migraine is reviewed here first, focusing on endocannabinoids, kynurenine metabolites, in particular kynurenic acid. Finally, the function of NMDA and cannabinoid receptors in the trigeminal system—which has a crucial role in the pathomechanisms of migraine—will also be discussed. The interaction of the endocannabinoid and kynurenine system has been demonstrated to be therapeutically relevant in a number of pathological conditions, such as cannabis addiction, psychosis, schizophrenia and epilepsy. Accordingly, the cross-talk of these two systems may imply potential mechanisms related to migraine, and may offer new approaches to manage the treatment of this neurological disorder.

  15. VDR Activation Reduces Proteinuria and High-Glucose-Induced Injury of Kidneys and Podocytes by Regulating Wnt Signaling Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia Guo

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Diabetic nephropathy (DN is a major cause of end-stage renal disease and proteinuria is one of the most prominent clinical manifestations. The expression of Vitamin D receptor (VDR in patients with chronic kidney diseases was decreased, while VDR agonists could partially alleviate the proteinuria of DN in animal models. The present study was designed to determine the expression of VDR in renal tissues and its relationship with proteinuria the diabetic model db/db mice. Methods: The regulation effects of VDR on the Wnt signaling pathway were analyzed using RNA interference and VDR agonist paricalcitol. Results: With the increase in age of the db/db mice, the VDR protein and mRNA levels in renal tissues were decreased, proteinuria increased, and the protein and mRNA levels of GSK-3β of and β-catenin increased. Paricalcitol treatment resulted in the up-regulation of VDR and down-regulation of GSK-3β and β-catenin, indicating that VDR had a regulatory effect on the Wnt signaling pathway. Conclusion: VDR activation could reduce proteinuria of DN mice and alleviate high-glucose-induced injury of kidneys and podocytes by regulating the key molecules of Wnt signaling pathway.

  16. Decreased SAP expression in T cells from patients with SLE contributes to early signaling abnormalities and reduced IL-2 production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karampetsou, Maria P.; Comte, Denis; Kis-Toth, Katalin; Terhorst, Cox; Kyttaris, Vasileios C.; Tsokos, George C.

    2016-01-01

    T cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) display a number of functions including increased early signaling events following engagement of the T cell receptor (TCR). Signaling lymphocytic activation molecule family (SLAMF) cell surface receptors and the X-chromosome-defined signaling lymphocytic activation molecule-associated protein (SAP) adaptor are important in the development of several immunocyte lineages and modulating immune response. Here we present evidence that SAP protein levels are decreased in T cells and in their main subsets isolated from 32 women and 3 men with SLE independently of disease activity. In SLE T cells the SAP protein is also subject to increased degradation by a caspase-3. Forced expression of SAP in SLE T cells simultaneously heightened IL-2 production, calcium (Ca2+) responses and tyrosine phosphorylation of a number of proteins. Exposure of normal T cells to SLE serum IgG, known to contain anti-CD3/TCR antibodies, resulted in SAP downregulation. We conclude that SLE T cells display reduced levels of the adaptor protein SAP probably as a result of continuous T cell activation and degradation by caspase-3. Restoration of SAP levels in SLE T cells corrects the overexcitable lupus T cell phenotype. PMID:27183584

  17. Endocannabinoids and inflammatory response in periodontal ligament cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özdemir, Burcu; Shi, Bin; Bantleon, Hans Peter; Moritz, Andreas; Rausch-Fan, Xiaohui; Andrukhov, Oleh

    2014-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are associated with multiple regulatory functions in several tissues. The main endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), have been detected in the gingival crevicular fluid of periodontitis patients, but the association between periodontal disease or human periodontal ligament cells (hPdLCs) and endocannabinoids still remain unclear. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of AEA and 2-AG on the proliferation/viability and cytokine/chemokine production of hPdLCs in the presence/absence of Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (P. gingivalis LPS). The proliferation/viability of hPdLCs was measured using 3,4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT)-assay. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) levels were examined at gene expression and protein level by real-time PCR and ELISA, respectively. AEA and 2-AG did not reveal any significant effects on proliferation/viability of hPdLCs in the absence of P. gingivalis LPS. However, hPdLCs viability was significantly increased by 10-20 µM AEA in the presence of P. gingivalis LPS (1 µg/ml). In the absence of P. gingivalis LPS, AEA and 2-AG did not exhibit any significant effect on the expression of IL-8 and MCP-1 expression in hPdLCs, whereas IL-6 expression was slightly enhanced by 10 µM 2-AG and not affected by AEA. In P.gingivalis LPS stimulated hPdLCs, 10 µM AEA down-regulated gene-expression and protein production of IL-6, IL-8, and MCP-1. In contrast, 10 µM 2-AG had an opposite effect and induced a significant up-regulation of gene and protein expression of IL-6 and IL-8 (P<0.05) as well as gene-expression of MCP-1 in P. gingivalis LPS stimulated hPdLCs. Our data suggest that AEA appears to have an anti-inflammatory and immune suppressive effect on hPdLCs' host response to P.gingivalis LPS, whereas 2-AG appears to promote detrimental inflammatory processes. In conclusion, AEA and 2

  18. Proapoptotic effect of endocannabinoids in prostate cancer cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    ORELLANA-SERRADELL, O.; POBLETE, C.E.; SANCHEZ, C.; CASTELLÓN, E.A.; GALLEGOS, I.; HUIDOBRO, C.; LLANOS, M.N.; CONTRERAS, H.R.

    2015-01-01

    In the early stages, prostate cancer is androgen- dependent; therefore, medical castration has shown significant results during the initial stages of this pathology. Despite this early effect, advanced prostate cancer is resilient to such treatment. Recent evidence shows that derivatives of Cannabis sativa and its analogs may exert a protective effect against different types of oncologic pathologies. The purpose of the present study was to detect the presence of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) on cancer cells with a prostatic origin and to evaluate the effect of the in vitro use of synthetic analogs. In order to do this, we used a commercial cell line and primary cultures derived from prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia. The presence of the CB1 and CB2 receptors was determined by immunohistochemistry where we showed a higher expression of these receptors in later stages of the disease (samples with a high Gleason score). Later, treatments were conducted using anandamide, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol and a synthetic analog of anandamide, methanandamide. Using the MTT assay, we proved that the treatments produced a cell growth inhibitory effect on all the different prostate cancer cultures. This effect was demonstrated to be dose-dependent. The use of a specific CB1 receptor blocker (SR141716) confirmed that this effect was produced primarily from the activation of the CB1 receptor. In order to understand the MTT assay results, we determined cell cycle distribution by flow cytometry, which showed no variation at the different cell cycle stages in all the cultures after treatment. Treatment with endocannabinoids resulted in an increase in the percentage of apoptotic cells as determined by Annexin V assays and caused an increase in the levels of activated caspase-3 and a reduction in the levels of Bcl-2 confirming that the reduction in cell viability noted in the MTT assay was caused by the activation of the apoptotic pathway. Finally, we observed that

  19. Endocannabinoids and inflammatory response in periodontal ligament cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burcu Özdemir

    Full Text Available Endocannabinoids are associated with multiple regulatory functions in several tissues. The main endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG, have been detected in the gingival crevicular fluid of periodontitis patients, but the association between periodontal disease or human periodontal ligament cells (hPdLCs and endocannabinoids still remain unclear. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of AEA and 2-AG on the proliferation/viability and cytokine/chemokine production of hPdLCs in the presence/absence of Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (P. gingivalis LPS. The proliferation/viability of hPdLCs was measured using 3,4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT-assay. Interleukin-6 (IL-6, interleukin-8 (IL-8, and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1 levels were examined at gene expression and protein level by real-time PCR and ELISA, respectively. AEA and 2-AG did not reveal any significant effects on proliferation/viability of hPdLCs in the absence of P. gingivalis LPS. However, hPdLCs viability was significantly increased by 10-20 µM AEA in the presence of P. gingivalis LPS (1 µg/ml. In the absence of P. gingivalis LPS, AEA and 2-AG did not exhibit any significant effect on the expression of IL-8 and MCP-1 expression in hPdLCs, whereas IL-6 expression was slightly enhanced by 10 µM 2-AG and not affected by AEA. In P.gingivalis LPS stimulated hPdLCs, 10 µM AEA down-regulated gene-expression and protein production of IL-6, IL-8, and MCP-1. In contrast, 10 µM 2-AG had an opposite effect and induced a significant up-regulation of gene and protein expression of IL-6 and IL-8 (P<0.05 as well as gene-expression of MCP-1 in P. gingivalis LPS stimulated hPdLCs. Our data suggest that AEA appears to have an anti-inflammatory and immune suppressive effect on hPdLCs' host response to P.gingivalis LPS, whereas 2-AG appears to promote detrimental inflammatory processes. In conclusion

  20. Calculating the reduced scattering coefficient of turbid media from a single optical reflectance signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johns, Maureen; Liu, Hanli

    2003-07-01

    When light interacts with tissue, it can be absorbed, scattered or reflected. Such quantitative information can be used to characterize the optical properties of tissue, differentiate tissue types in vivo, and identify normal versus diseased tissue. The purpose of this research is to develop an algorithm that determines the reduced scattering coefficient (μs") of tissues from a single optical reflectance spectrum with a small source-detector separation. The basic relationship between μs" and optical reflectance was developed using Monte Carlo simulations. This produced an analytical equation containing μs" as a function of reflectance. To experimentally validate this relationship, a 1.3-mm diameter fiber optic probe containing two 400-micron diameter fibers was used to deliver light to and collect light from Intralipid solutions of various concentrations. Simultaneous measurements from optical reflectance and an ISS oximeter were performed to validate the calculated μs" values determined by the reflectance measurement against the 'gold standard" ISS readings. The calculated μs" values deviate from the expected values by approximately -/+ 5% with Intralipid concentrations between 0.5 - 2.5%. The scattering properties within this concentration range are similar to those of in vivo tissues. Additional calculations are performed to determine the scattering properties of rat brain tissues and to discuss accuracy of the algorithm for measured samples with a broad range of the absorption coefficient (μa).

  1. Endocannabinoids and their oxygenation by cyclo-oxygenases, lipoxygenases and other oxygenases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urquhart, P; Nicolaou, A; Woodward, D F

    2015-04-01

    The naturally occurring mammalian endocannabinoids possess biological attributes that extend beyond interaction with cannabinoid receptors. These extended biological properties are the result of oxidative metabolism of the principal mammalian endocannabinoids arachidonoyl ethanolamide (anandamide; A-EA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Both endocannabinoids are oxidized by cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2), but not by COX-1, to a series of prostaglandin derivatives (PGs) with quite different biological properties from those of the parent substrates. PG ethanolamides (prostamides, PG-EAs) and PG glyceryl esters (PG-Gs) are not only pharmacologically distinct from their parent endocannabinoids, they are distinct from the corresponding acidic PGs, and are differentiated from each other. Ethanolamides and glyceryl esters of the major prostanoids PGD2, PGE2, PGF2α, and PGI2 are formed by the various PG synthases, and thromboxane ethanolamides and glyceryl esters are not similarly produced. COX-2 is also of interest by virtue of its corollary central role in modulating endocannabinoid tone, providing a new therapeutic approach for treating pain and anxiety. Other major oxidative conversion pathways are provided for both A-EA and 2-AG by several lipoxygenases (LOXs), resulting in the formation of numerous hydroxyl metabolites. These do not necessarily represent inactivation pathways for endocannabinoids but may mimic or modulate the endocannabinoids or even display alternative pharmacology. Similarly, A-EA and 2-AG may be oxidized by P450 enzymes. Again a very diverse number of metabolites are formed, with either cannabinoid-like biological properties or an introduction of disparate pharmacology. The biological activity of epoxy and hydroxyl derivatives of the endocannabinoids remains to be fully elucidated. This review attempts to consolidate and compare the findings obtained to date in an increasingly important research area. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled

  2. The role of sex steroid hormones, cytokines and the endocannabinoid system in female fertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karasu, T; Marczylo, T H; Maccarrone, M; Konje, J C

    2011-01-01

    Marijuana, the most used recreational drug, has been shown to have adverse effects on human reproduction. Endogenous cannabinoids (also called endocannabinoids) bind to the same receptors as those of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa. The most extensively studied endocannabinoids are anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine, AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. The endocannabinoids, their congeners and the cannabinoid receptors, together with the metabolic enzymes and putative transporters form the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In this review, we summarize current knowledge about the relationships of ECS, sex steroid hormones and cytokines in female fertility, and underline the importance of this endocannabinoid-hormone-cytokine network. Pubmed and the Web of Science databases were searched for studies published since 1985, looking into the ECS, sex hormones, type-1/2 T-helper (Th1/Th2) cytokines, leukaemia inhibitory factor, leptin and reproduction. The ECS plays a pivotal role in human reproduction. The enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids normalize levels of AEA for successful implantation. The AEA degrading enzyme (fatty acid amide hydrolase) activity as well as AEA content in blood may potentially be used for the monitoring of early pregnancies. Progesterone and oestrogen are involved in the maintenance of endocannabinoid levels. The ECS plays an important role in the immune regulation of human fertility. The available studies suggest that tight control of the endocannabinoid-hormone-cytokine network is required for successful implantation and early pregnancy maintenance. This hormone-cytokine network is a key element at the maternal-foetal interface, and any defect in such a network may result in foetal loss.

  3. Modulation Of The Endo-Cannabinoid System: Therapeutic Potential Against Cocaine Dependence

    OpenAIRE

    Tanda, Gianluigi

    2007-01-01

    Dependence on cocaine is still a main unresolved medical and social concern, and in spite of research efforts, no pharmacological therapy against cocaine dependence is yet available. Recent studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system participates in specific stages and aspects of drug dependence in general, and some of this evidence suggests an involvement of the cannabinoid system in cocaine effects. For example, cocaine administration has been shown to alter brain endocannabinoid lev...

  4. Thyroid hormone improves insulin signaling and reduces the activation of neurodegenerative pathway in the hippocampus of diabetic adult male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto-Almeida, Fernanda; Panveloski-Costa, Ana Carolina; Crunfli, Fernanda; da Silva Teixeira, Silvania; Nunes, Maria Tereza; Torrão, Andréada Silva

    2018-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) and impairments of glucose metabolism and insulin resistance in the brain have been suggested as a likely etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Studies have shown that thyroid hormones (THs) improve insulin sensitivity in DM rats and act as mediators of the plasticity of the nervous system altering behavior and cognitive function. Based on these findings, this study aimed to evaluate the effects of diabetes and triiodothyronine (T3) treatment upon proteins associated with DM and AD in the central nervous system. Euglycemic and Diabetic (alloxan-induced) male Wistar rats were daily treated with T3 (1.5μg/100g body weight) or vehicle (saline) for a 4-week period and subdivided into the following groups: euglycemic treated with saline (Control=C); diabetic treated with saline (Diabetic=D); euglycemic treated with T3 (T3); diabetic treated with T3 (DT3). The expression of insulin signaling, neurodegenerative and neuron survival markers was evaluated in the hippocampus by immunoblotting, ELISA, and RT-PCR. T3 treatment decreased glycemia, restored the insulin signaling and reduced the activation of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) and tau proteins content in the hippocampus of diabetic rats. The present data provide evidence that T3 treatment of diabetic rats is able to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the activation of the neurodegenerative pathway in the brain, which might provide neuroprotection in this experimental model. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Endocannabinoids--at the crossroads between the gut microbiota and host metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cani, Patrice D; Plovier, Hubert; Van Hul, Matthias; Geurts, Lucie; Delzenne, Nathalie M; Druart, Céline; Everard, Amandine

    2016-03-01

    Various metabolic disorders are associated with changes in inflammatory tone. Among the latest advances in the metabolism field, the discovery that gut microorganisms have a major role in host metabolism has revealed the possibility of a plethora of associations between gut bacteria and numerous diseases. However, to date, few mechanisms have been clearly established. Accumulating evidence indicates that the endocannabinoid system and related bioactive lipids strongly contribute to several physiological processes and are a characteristic of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and inflammation. In this Review, we briefly define the gut microbiota as well as the endocannabinoid system and associated bioactive lipids. We discuss existing literature regarding interactions between gut microorganisms and the endocannabinoid system, focusing specifically on the triad of adipose tissue, gut bacteria and the endocannabinoid system in the context of obesity and the development of fat mass. We highlight gut-barrier function by discussing the role of specific factors considered to be putative 'gate keepers' or 'gate openers', and their role in the gut microbiota-endocannabinoid system axis. Finally, we briefly discuss data related to the different pharmacological strategies currently used to target the endocannabinoid system, in the context of cardiometabolic disorders and intestinal inflammation.

  6. Acute resistance exercise induces antinociception by activation of the endocannabinoid system in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galdino, Giovane; Romero, Thiago; Silva, José Felippe Pinho da; Aguiar, Daniele; Paula, Ana Maria de; Cruz, Jader; Parrella, Cosimo; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Duarte, Igor; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Perez, Andrea

    2014-09-01

    Resistance exercise (RE) is also known as strength training, and it is performed to increase the strength and mass of muscles, bone strength, and metabolism. RE has been increasingly prescribed for pain relief. However, the endogenous mechanisms underlying this antinociceptive effect are still largely unexplored. Thus, we investigated the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in RE-induced antinociception. Male Wistar rats were submitted to acute RE in a weight-lifting model. The nociceptive threshold was measured by a mechanical nociceptive test (paw pressure) before and after exercise. To investigate the involvement of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids in RE-induced antinociception, cannabinoid receptor inverse agonists, endocannabinoid metabolizing enzyme inhibitors, and an anandamide reuptake inhibitor were injected before RE. After RE, CB1 cannabinoid receptors were quantified in rat brain tissue by Western blot and immunofluorescence. In addition, endocannabinoid plasma levels were measured by isotope dilution-liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. RE-induced antinociception was prevented by preinjection with CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor inverse agonists. By contrast, preadministration of metabolizing enzyme inhibitors and the anandamide reuptake inhibitor prolonged and enhanced this effect. RE also produced an increase in the expression and activation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in rat brain tissue and in the dorsolateral and ventrolateral periaqueductal regions and an increase in endocannabinoid plasma levels. The present study suggests that a single session of RE activates the endocannabinoid system to induce antinociception.

  7. From Phytocannabinoids to Cannabinoid Receptors and Endocannabinoids: Pleiotropic Physiological and Pathological Roles Through Complex Pharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligresti, Alessia; De Petrocellis, Luciano; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2016-10-01

    Apart from having been used and misused for at least four millennia for, among others, recreational and medicinal purposes, the cannabis plant and its most peculiar chemical components, the plant cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids), have the merit to have led humanity to discover one of the most intriguing and pleiotropic endogenous signaling systems, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This review article aims to describe and critically discuss, in the most comprehensive possible manner, the multifaceted aspects of 1) the pharmacology and potential impact on mammalian physiology of all major phytocannabinoids, and not only of the most famous one Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, and 2) the adaptive pro-homeostatic physiological, or maladaptive pathological, roles of the ECS in mammalian cells, tissues, and organs. In doing so, we have respected the chronological order of the milestones of the millennial route from medicinal/recreational cannabis to the ECS and beyond, as it is now clear that some of the early steps in this long path, which were originally neglected, are becoming important again. The emerging picture is rather complex, but still supports the belief that more important discoveries on human physiology, and new therapies, might come in the future from new knowledge in this field. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  8. Role of the Endocannabinoid System in the Pathophysiology of Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakhoury, Marc

    2017-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of neuromodulatory lipids, enzymes, and receptors involved in numerous behavioral and physiological processes such as mood, memory, and appetite. Recently, longitudinal and postmortem studies have shown that the ECS might be involved in neuropsychiatric disorders like schizophrenia. However, despite the large amount of research, our knowledge of the ECS and its implication in this debilitating disorder is still largely limited. This review aims at providing a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge of the ECS in schizophrenia and presenting some potential antipsychotic compounds that modulate this system. Findings from animal and human studies, and their implications for pharmacotherapy, will be integrated and discussed in this paper. A closer look will be given at the roles of the cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB 1 ) and type 2 (CB 2 ), as well as the endogenous ligand N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), in the development of psychotic and schizophrenia-like symptoms.

  9. Metabolism of the Endocannabinoid Anandamide: Open Questions after 25 Years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Maccarrone

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Cannabis extracts have been used for centuries, but its main active principle ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC was identified about 50 years ago. Yet, it is only 25 years ago that the first endogenous ligand of the same receptors engaged by the cannabis agents was discovered. This “endocannabinoid (eCB” was identified as N-arachidonoylethanolamine (or anandamide (AEA, and was shown to have several receptors, metabolic enzymes and transporters that altogether drive its biological activity. Here I report on the latest advances about AEA metabolism, with the aim of focusing open questions still awaiting an answer for a deeper understanding of AEA activity, and for translating AEA-based drugs into novel therapeutics for human diseases.

  10. The endocannabinoid system: directing eating behavior and macronutrient metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce Alan Watkins

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available For many years, the brain has been the primary focus for research on eating behavior. More recently, the discovery of the endogenous endocannabinoids (EC and the endocannabinoid system (ECS, as well as the characterization of its actions on appetite and metabolism, has provided greater insight on the brain and food intake. The purpose of this review is to explain the actions of EC in the brain and other organs as well as their precursor polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA that are converted to these endogenous ligands. The binding of the EC to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain stimulates food intake, and the ECS participates in systemic macronutrient metabolism where the gastrointestinal system, liver, muscle, and adipose are involved. The EC are biosynthesized from two distinct families of dietary PUFA, namely the n-6 and n-3. Based on their biochemistry, these PUFA are well known to exert considerable physiological and health-promoting actions. However, little is known about how these different families of PUFA compete as precursor ligands of cannabinoid receptors to stimulate appetite or perhaps down-regulate the ECS to amend food intake and prevent or control obesity. The goal of this review is to assess the current available research on ECS and food intake, suggest research that may improve the complications associated with obesity and diabetes by dietary PUFA intervention, and further reveal mechanisms to elucidate the relationships between substrate for EC synthesis, ligand actions on receptors, and the physiological consequences of the ECS. Dietary PUFA are lifestyle factors that could potentially curb eating behavior, which may translate to changes in macronutrient metabolism, systemically and in muscle, benefiting health overall.

  11. The endocannabinoid anandamide impairs in vitro decidualization of human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almada, M; Amaral, C; Diniz-da-Costa, M; Correia-da-Silva, G; Teixeira, N A; Fonseca, B M

    2016-10-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are endogenous mediators that along with the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), a membrane transporter and metabolic enzymes form the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Several eCBs have been discovered with emphasis on anandamide (AEA). They are involved in several biological processes such as energy balance, immune response and reproduction. Decidualization occurs during the secretory phase of human menstrual cycle, which involves proliferation and differentiation of endometrial stromal cells into decidual cells and is crucial for the establishment and progression of pregnancy. In this study, a telomerase-immortalized human endometrial stromal cell line (St-T1b) and non-differentiated primary cultures of human decidual fibroblasts from term placenta were used to characterize the ECS using immunoblotting and qRT-PCR techniques. It was shown that St-T1b cells express CB1, but not CB2, and that both receptors are expressed in HdF cells. Furthermore, the expression of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the main degrading enzyme of AEA, increased during stromal cell differentiation. AEA inhibited cell proliferation, through deregulation of cell cycle progression and induced polyploidy. Moreover, through CB1 binding receptor, AEA also impaired cell differentiation. Therefore, AEA is proposed as a modulator of human decidualization. Our findings may provide wider implications, as deregulated levels of AEA, due to Cannabis sativa consumption or altered expression of the metabolic enzymes, may negatively regulate human endometrial stromal cell decidualization with an impact on human (in)fertility.Free Portuguese abstract: A Portuguese translation of this abstract is freely available at http://www.reproduction-online.org/content/152/4/351/suppl/DC1. © 2016 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  12. Modulation of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine effects by endocannabinoid system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valverde, Olga; Rodríguez-Árias, Marta

    2013-01-01

    The amphetamine derivative 3, 4 Methylenedioxymethanphetamine (MDMA) is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that displays numerous pharmacological effects, including neurotoxicity. MDMA, or ecstasy, acts by inducing the release of different neurotransmitters depending on the animal species and, in particular, it produces the release of serotonin and dopamine. MDMA induces rewarding and reinforcing effects in rodents, primates and humans, and is currently consumed as an illicit psychostimulant among young people. One of the most reported side effects is the hyperthermic effect and the neurotoxicity on central serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons, depending on the species of animal. It seems that MDMA may also produce neurotoxic effects in humans. To date, the most consistent findings associated to MDMA consumption in humans relate to cognitive deficits in heavy users. MDMA when consumed as an illicit psychostimulant is commonly co-used with other abusers, being frequently associated with cannabinoids. The interaction between MDMA and cannabis effects is complex. Cannabis derivatives act on endocannabinoid system. Thus, at cellular levels, cannabinoids acting through CB1 cannabinoid receptors display opposite effects to those induced by MDMA, and they have been reported to develop neuroprotective actions, including the blockage of MDMA induced neurotoxicity, in laboratory animals. However, cannabis use is a recognized risk factor in the presentation and development of neuropsychiatric disorders, and also contributes to the development of psychological problems and cognitive failures observed in MDMA users. This paper represents a brief overview of the pharmacological interaction between MDMA and cannabis derivatives acting in the endocannabinoid system. We have evaluated recent findings in the literature of the most representative pharmacological effects displayed by both types of drugs. We analyze both, the synergic and opposite effects produced by these

  13. Obesity, the endocannabinoid system, and bias arising from pharmaceutical sponsorship.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M McPartland

    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that academic physicians conflicted by funding from the pharmaceutical industry have corrupted evidence based medicine and helped enlarge the market for drugs. Physicians made pharmaceutical-friendly statements, engaged in disease mongering, and signed biased review articles ghost-authored by corporate employees. This paper tested the hypothesis that bias affects review articles regarding rimonabant, an anti-obesity drug that blocks the central cannabinoid receptor.A MEDLINE search was performed for rimonabant review articles, limited to articles authored by USA physicians who served as consultants for the company that manufactures rimonabant. Extracted articles were examined for industry-friendly bias, identified by three methods: analysis with a validated instrument for monitoring bias in continuing medical education (CME; analysis for bias defined as statements that ran contrary to external evidence; and a tally of misrepresentations about the endocannabinoid system. Eight review articles were identified, but only three disclosed authors' financial conflicts of interest, despite easily accessible information to the contrary. The Takhar CME bias instrument demonstrated statistically significant bias in all the review articles. Biased statements that were nearly identical reappeared in the articles, including disease mongering, exaggerating rimonabant's efficacy and safety, lack of criticisms regarding rimonabant clinical trials, and speculations about surrogate markers stated as facts. Distinctive and identical misrepresentations regarding the endocannabinoid system also reappeared in articles by different authors.The findings are characteristic of bias that arises from financial conflicts of interest, and suggestive of ghostwriting by a common author. Resolutions for this scenario are proposed.

  14. GABA and Endocannabinoids Mediate Depotentiation of Schaffer Collateral Synapses Induced by Stimulation of Temperoammonic Inputs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izumi, Yukitoshi; Zorumski, Charles F

    2016-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of Schaffer collateral (SC) synapses in the hippocampus is thought to play a key role in episodic memory formation. Because the hippocampus is a shorter-term, limited capacity storage system, repeated bouts of learning and synaptic plasticity require that SC synapses reset to baseline at some point following LTP. We previously showed that repeated low frequency activation of temperoammonic (TA) inputs to the CA1 region depotentiates SC LTP without persistently altering basal transmission. This heterosynaptic depotentiation involves adenosine A1 receptors but not N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, metabotropic glutamate receptors or L-type calcium channels. In the present study, we used rat hippocampal slices to explore other messengers contributing to TA-induced SC depotentiation, and provide evidence for the involvement of cannabinoid-1 and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type-A receptors as more proximal signaling events leading to synaptic resetting, with A1 receptor activation serving as a downstream event. Surprisingly, we found that TA-induced SC depotentiation is independent of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)/kainate glutamate receptors. We also examined the involvement of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and found a role for extracellular-signal related kinase 1/2 and p38 MAPK, but not c-Jun-N-terminal kinase. These results indicate that low frequency stimulation of TA inputs to CA1 activates a complex signaling network that instructs SC synaptic resetting. The involvement of GABA and endocannabinoids suggest mechanisms that could contribute to cognitive dysfunction associated with substance abuse and neuropsychiatric disorders.

  15. Reduced BMP signaling results in hindlimb fusion with lethal pelvic/urogenital organ aplasia: a new mouse model of sirenomelia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kentaro Suzuki

    Full Text Available Sirenomelia, also known as mermaid syndrome, is a developmental malformation of the caudal body characterized by leg fusion and associated anomalies of pelvic/urogenital organs including bladder, kidney, rectum and external genitalia. Most affected infants are stillborn, and the few born alive rarely survive beyond the neonatal period. Despite the many clinical studies of sirenomelia in humans, little is known about the pathogenic developmental mechanisms that cause the complex array of phenotypes observed. Here, we provide new evidences that reduced BMP (Bone Morphogenetic Protein signaling disrupts caudal body formation in mice and phenocopies sirenomelia. Bmp4 is strongly expressed in the developing caudal body structures including the peri-cloacal region and hindlimb field. In order to address the function of Bmp4 in caudal body formation, we utilized a conditional Bmp4 mouse allele (Bmp4(flox/flox and the Isl1 (Islet1-Cre mouse line. Isl1-Cre is expressed in the peri-cloacal region and the developing hindimb field. Isl1Cre;Bmp4(flox/flox conditional mutant mice displayed sirenomelia phenotypes including hindlimb fusion and pelvic/urogenital organ dysgenesis. Genetic lineage analyses indicate that Isl1-expressing cells contribute to both the aPCM (anterior Peri-Cloacal Mesenchyme and the hindlimb bud. We show Bmp4 is essential for the aPCM formation independently with Shh signaling. Furthermore, we show Bmp4 is a major BMP ligand for caudal body formation as shown by compound genetic analyses of Bmp4 and Bmp7. Taken together, this study reveals coordinated development of caudal body structures including pelvic/urogenital organs and hindlimb orchestrated by BMP signaling in Isl1-expressing cells. Our study offers new insights into the pathogenesis of sirenomelia.

  16. Reduced BMP Signaling Results in Hindlimb Fusion with Lethal Pelvic/Urogenital Organ Aplasia: A New Mouse Model of Sirenomelia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Kentaro; Adachi, Yasuha; Numata, Tomokazu; Nakada, Shoko; Yanagita, Motoko; Nakagata, Naomi; Evans, Sylvia M.; Graf, Daniel; Economides, Aris; Haraguchi, Ryuma; Moon, Anne M.; Yamada, Gen

    2012-01-01

    Sirenomelia, also known as mermaid syndrome, is a developmental malformation of the caudal body characterized by leg fusion and associated anomalies of pelvic/urogenital organs including bladder, kidney, rectum and external genitalia. Most affected infants are stillborn, and the few born alive rarely survive beyond the neonatal period. Despite the many clinical studies of sirenomelia in humans, little is known about the pathogenic developmental mechanisms that cause the complex array of phenotypes observed. Here, we provide new evidences that reduced BMP (Bone Morphogenetic Protein) signaling disrupts caudal body formation in mice and phenocopies sirenomelia. Bmp4 is strongly expressed in the developing caudal body structures including the peri-cloacal region and hindlimb field. In order to address the function of Bmp4 in caudal body formation, we utilized a conditional Bmp4 mouse allele (Bmp4flox/flox) and the Isl1 (Islet1)-Cre mouse line. Isl1-Cre is expressed in the peri-cloacal region and the developing hindimb field. Isl1Cre;Bmp4flox/flox conditional mutant mice displayed sirenomelia phenotypes including hindlimb fusion and pelvic/urogenital organ dysgenesis. Genetic lineage analyses indicate that Isl1-expressing cells contribute to both the aPCM (anterior Peri-Cloacal Mesenchyme) and the hindlimb bud. We show Bmp4 is essential for the aPCM formation independently with Shh signaling. Furthermore, we show Bmp4 is a major BMP ligand for caudal body formation as shown by compound genetic analyses of Bmp4 and Bmp7. Taken together, this study reveals coordinated development of caudal body structures including pelvic/urogenital organs and hindlimb orchestrated by BMP signaling in Isl1-expressing cells. Our study offers new insights into the pathogenesis of sirenomelia. PMID:23028455

  17. Reduced BMP signaling results in hindlimb fusion with lethal pelvic/urogenital organ aplasia: a new mouse model of sirenomelia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Kentaro; Adachi, Yasuha; Numata, Tomokazu; Nakada, Shoko; Yanagita, Motoko; Nakagata, Naomi; Evans, Sylvia M; Graf, Daniel; Economides, Aris; Haraguchi, Ryuma; Moon, Anne M; Yamada, Gen

    2012-01-01

    Sirenomelia, also known as mermaid syndrome, is a developmental malformation of the caudal body characterized by leg fusion and associated anomalies of pelvic/urogenital organs including bladder, kidney, rectum and external genitalia. Most affected infants are stillborn, and the few born alive rarely survive beyond the neonatal period. Despite the many clinical studies of sirenomelia in humans, little is known about the pathogenic developmental mechanisms that cause the complex array of phenotypes observed. Here, we provide new evidences that reduced BMP (Bone Morphogenetic Protein) signaling disrupts caudal body formation in mice and phenocopies sirenomelia. Bmp4 is strongly expressed in the developing caudal body structures including the peri-cloacal region and hindlimb field. In order to address the function of Bmp4 in caudal body formation, we utilized a conditional Bmp4 mouse allele (Bmp4(flox/flox)) and the Isl1 (Islet1)-Cre mouse line. Isl1-Cre is expressed in the peri-cloacal region and the developing hindimb field. Isl1Cre;Bmp4(flox/flox) conditional mutant mice displayed sirenomelia phenotypes including hindlimb fusion and pelvic/urogenital organ dysgenesis. Genetic lineage analyses indicate that Isl1-expressing cells contribute to both the aPCM (anterior Peri-Cloacal Mesenchyme) and the hindlimb bud. We show Bmp4 is essential for the aPCM formation independently with Shh signaling. Furthermore, we show Bmp4 is a major BMP ligand for caudal body formation as shown by compound genetic analyses of Bmp4 and Bmp7. Taken together, this study reveals coordinated development of caudal body structures including pelvic/urogenital organs and hindlimb orchestrated by BMP signaling in Isl1-expressing cells. Our study offers new insights into the pathogenesis of sirenomelia.

  18. Short-term exercise training in humans reduces AMPK signalling during prolonged exercise independent of muscle glycogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConell, Glenn K; Lee-Young, Robert S; Chen, Zhi-Ping; Stepto, Nigel K; Huynh, Ngan N; Stephens, Terry J; Canny, Benedict J; Kemp, Bruce E

    2005-10-15

    We examined the effect of short-term exercise training on skeletal muscle AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signalling and muscle metabolism during prolonged exercise in humans. Eight sedentary males completed 120 min of cycling at 66 +/- 1% , then exercise trained for 10 days, before repeating the exercise bout at the same absolute workload. Participants rested for 72 h before each trial while ingesting a high carbohydrate diet (HCHO). Exercise training significantly (P free AMP: ATP ratio and glucose disposal and increased fat oxidation. Exercise training abolished the 9-fold increase in AMPK alpha2 activity observed during pretraining exercise. Since training increased muscle glycogen content by 93 +/- 12% (P glycogen content was essentially matched pre- and post-training by exercise and a low CHO diet (LCHO; post-training muscle glycogen 52 +/- 7% less than in HCHO, P glycogen levels in the two studies we obtained very similar results. In both studies the increase in ACCbeta Ser(221) phosphorylation was reduced during exercise after training. In conclusion, there is little activation of AMPK signalling during prolonged exercise following short-term exercise training suggesting that other factors are important in the regulation of glucose disposal and fat oxidation under these circumstances. It appears that muscle glycogen is not an important regulator of AMPK activation during exercise in humans when exercise is begun with normal or high muscle glycogen levels.

  19. Leptin-mediated increases in catecholamine signaling reduce adipose tissue inflammation via activation of macrophage HDAC4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luan, Bing; Goodarzi, Mark O; Phillips, Naomi G; Guo, Xiuqing; Chen, Yii-Der I; Yao, Jie; Allison, Matthew; Rotter, Jerome I; Shaw, Reuben; Montminy, Marc

    2014-06-03

    Obesity promotes systemic insulin resistance through inflammatory changes that lead to the release of cytokines from activated macrophages. Although the mechanism is unclear, the second messenger cAMP has been found to attenuate macrophage activity in response to a variety of hormonal signals. We show that, in the setting of acute overnutrition, leptin triggers catecholamine-dependent increases in cAMP signaling that reduce inflammatory gene expression via the activation of the histone deacetylase HDAC4. cAMP stimulates HDAC4 activity through the PKA-dependent inhibition of the salt-inducible kinases (SIKs), which otherwise phosphorylate and sequester HDAC4 in the cytoplasm. Following its dephosphorylation, HDAC4 shuttles to the nucleus where it inhibits NF-κB activity over proinflammatory genes. As variants in the Hdac4 gene are associated with obesity in humans, our results indicate that the cAMP-HDAC4 pathway functions importantly in maintaining insulin sensitivity and energy balance via its effects on the innate immune system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. An endocannabinoid system is present in the mouse olfactory epithelium but does not modulate olfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutch, C R; Hillard, C J; Jia, C; Hegg, C C

    2015-08-06

    Endocannabinoids modulate a diverse array of functions including progenitor cell proliferation in the central nervous system, and odorant detection and food intake in the mammalian central olfactory system and larval Xenopus laevis peripheral olfactory system. However, the presence and role of endocannabinoids in the peripheral olfactory epithelium have not been examined in mammals. We found the presence of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor protein and mRNA in the olfactory epithelium. Using either immunohistochemistry or calcium imaging we localized CB1 receptors on neurons, glia-like sustentacular cells, microvillous cells and progenitor-like basal cells. To examine the role of endocannabinoids, CB1- and CB2- receptor-deficient (CB1(-/-)/CB2(-/-)) mice were used. The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) was present at high levels in both C57BL/6 wildtype and CB1(-/-)/CB2(-/-) mice. 2-AG synthetic and degradative enzymes are expressed in wildtype mice. A small but significant decrease in basal cell and olfactory sensory neuron numbers was observed in CB1(-/-)/CB2(-/-) mice compared to wildtype mice. The decrease in olfactory sensory neurons did not translate to impairment in olfactory-mediated behaviors assessed by the buried food test and habituation/dishabituation test. Collectively, these data indicate the presence of an endocannabinoid system in the mouse olfactory epithelium. However, unlike in tadpoles, endocannabinoids do not modulate olfaction. Further investigation on the role of endocannabinoids in progenitor cell function in the olfactory epithelium is warranted. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Endocannabinoids participate in placental apoptosis induced by hypoxia inducible factor-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abán, C; Martinez, N; Carou, C; Albamonte, I; Toro, A; Seyahian, A; Franchi, A; Leguizamón, G; Trigubo, D; Damiano, A; Farina, M

    2016-10-01

    During pregnancy, apoptosis is a physiological event critical in the remodeling and aging of the placenta. Increasing evidence has pointed towards the relevance of endocannabinoids (ECs) and hypoxia as modulators of trophoblast cell death. However, the relation between these factors is still unknown. In this report, we evaluated the participation of ECs in placental apoptosis induced by cobalt chloride (CoCl2), a hypoxia mimicking agent that stabilizes the expression of hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α). We found that HIF-1α stabilization decreased FAAH mRNA and protein levels, suggesting an increase in ECs tone. Additionally, CoCl2 incubation and Met-AEA treatment reduced cell viability and increased TUNEL-positive staining in syncytiotrophoblast layer. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated Bax and Bcl-2 protein expression in the cytoplasm of syncytiotrophoblast. Finally, HIF-1α stabilization produced an increase in Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, activation of caspase 3 and PARP cleavage. All these changes in apoptotic parameters were reversed with AM251, a CB1 antagonist. These results demonstrate that HIF-1α may induce apoptosis in human placenta via intrinsic pathway by a mechanism that involves activation of CB1 receptor suggesting a role of the ECs in this process.

  2. Distinct roles of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol in social behavior and emotionality at different developmental ages in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manduca, Antonia; Morena, Maria; Campolongo, Patrizia; Servadio, Michela; Palmery, Maura; Trabace, Luigia; Hill, Matthew N; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Cuomo, Vincenzo; Trezza, Viviana

    2015-08-01

    To date, our understanding of the relative contribution and potential overlapping roles of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the regulation of brain function and behavior is still limited. To address this issue, we investigated the effects of systemic administration of JZL195, that simultaneously increases AEA and 2-AG signaling by inhibiting their hydrolysis, in the regulation of socio-emotional behavior in adolescent and adult rats. JZL195, administered at the dose of 0.01mg/kg, increased social play behavior, that is the most characteristic social activity displayed by adolescent rats, and increased social interaction in adult animals. At both ages, these behavioral effects were antagonized by the CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR141716A and were associated with increased brain levels of 2-AG, but not AEA. Conversely, at the dose of 1mg/kg, JZL195 decreased general social exploration in adolescent rats without affecting social play behavior, and induced anxiogenic-like effects in the elevated plus-maze test both in adolescent and adult animals. These effects, mediated by activation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors, were paralleled by simultaneous increase in AEA and 2-AG levels in adolescent rats, and by an increase of only 2-AG levels in adult animals. These findings provide the first evidence for a role of 2-AG in social behavior, highlight the different contributions of AEA and 2-AG in the modulation of emotionality at different developmental ages and suggest that pharmacological inhibition of AEA and 2-AG hydrolysis is a useful approach to investigate the role of these endocannabinoids in neurobehavioral processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  3. Safflor yellow B reduces hypoxia-mediated vasoconstriction by regulating endothelial micro ribonucleic acid/nitric oxide synthase signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chaoyun; Yang, Ying; Li, Miao; Liu, Xin; Wang, Qiaoyun; Xin, Wenyu; Sun, Hongliu; Zheng, Qingyin

    2017-11-07

    Hypoxia-induced generation of vasoconstrictors reduces cerebral blood flow (CBF) while nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) and microRNAs (miRNA) in endothelial cells (ECs) suppress vasoconstriction. Safflor yellow B (SYB), a natural plant compound, previously attenuated angiotensin II-mediated injury of ECs and maintained endothelial function. This study investigated the putative involvement of NOS and miRNAs in SYB-mediated resistance to hypoxia-induced vasoconstriction. In vivo , chronic hypoxia was induced in rats, and SYB was administered intravenously. In vitro , rat primary aortic ECs were cultured under oxygen and glucose deprivation. After treatment with anti-microR-199a, as well as the NOS inhibitor, N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, SYB, or both, cell viability, NO and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) levels, NOS expression, and miRNA levels were evaluated. SYB significantly alleviated hypoxia-mediated vasoconstriction and increased CBF endothelium-dependently. SYB upregulated miR-199a, increased EC viability, decreased endothelin-1 (ET-1) levels, inhibited protein kinase C (PKC) activity, and suppressed hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) expression. Furthermore, the SYB-mediated reduction of inducible NOS reduced ONOO- levels. In addition, SYB downregulated miR-138 and, thereby, enhanced S100A1 and endothelial NOS activity. Hypoxia-mediated regulation of miR-138 and miR-199a inhibited endothelial NOS expression and activation, which triggered ET-1 release and vasoconstriction. Therefore, SYB treatment reduced hypoxia-induced vasoconstriction through miR-199a/endothelial NOS signaling.

  4. Abarema cochliacarpos reduces LPS-induced inflammatory response in murine peritoneal macrophages regulating ROS-MAPK signal pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Fidalgo, S; da Silva, M S; Cárdeno, A; Aparicio-Soto, M; Salvador, M J; Frankland Sawaya, A C H; Souza-Brito, A R M; de la Lastra, C Alarcón

    2013-08-26

    Abarema cochliacarpos (Gomes) Barneby and Grimes (Fabaceae), known by the vulgar name of Babatenã, has been traditionally used in Northeast Brazil, as an anti-inflammatory remedy. Previous studies have demonstrated its anti-inflammatory and antiulcer effects in skin lesion, alcohol gastric ulcer and acute and chronic colitis. The present study was designed to evaluate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the butanolic fraction from A. cochliacarpos (BFAC) and its major flavonoid, (+)-catechin, in LPS-stimulated murine peritoneal macrophages. Moreover, we studied the role of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)s and NF-kB signaling pathways possibly involved in the beneficial effects. The quantification of the extract was carried out by ultra-performance liquid chromatography analysis. Cell viability was determined using SRB assay. Nitric oxide (NO) production was analyzed by Griess method and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) by fluorescence analysis. In addition, cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, MAPK activation and IkappaBalpha (IKBα) degradation, were determined by Western blot. After BFAC characterization, (+)-catechin was revealed as its major constituent. Both BFAC and (+)-catechin, exerted significant anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects inhibiting LPS-induced intracellular ROS and NO production in peritoneal macrophages. Additionally, the extract but also its major component reduced pro-inflammatory proteins expression probably through c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 MAPK signaling pathways. These data suggest that the beneficial effects of BFAC might be mediated, at least in part, by the presence of (+)-catechin. Conclusively our findings confirm the potential of A. cochliacarpos as a new therapeutic strategy for the management of inflammatory and oxidative stress-rel