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Sample records for brain endocannabinoid system

  1. The endocannabinoid system in brain reward processes.

    PubMed

    Solinas, M; Goldberg, S R; Piomelli, D

    2008-05-01

    Food, drugs and brain stimulation can serve as strong rewarding stimuli and are all believed to activate common brain circuits that evolved in mammals to favour fitness and survival. For decades, endogenous dopaminergic and opioid systems have been considered the most important systems in mediating brain reward processes. Recent evidence suggests that the endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system also has an important role in signalling of rewarding events. First, CB(1) receptors are found in brain areas involved in reward processes, such as the dopaminergic mesolimbic system. Second, activation of CB(1) receptors by plant-derived, synthetic or endogenous CB(1) receptor agonists stimulates dopaminergic neurotransmission, produces rewarding effects and increases rewarding effects of abused drugs and food. Third, pharmacological or genetic blockade of CB(1) receptors prevents activation of dopaminergic neurotransmission by several addictive drugs and reduces rewarding effects of food and these drugs. Fourth, brain levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are altered by activation of reward processes. However, the intrinsic activity of the endocannabinoid system does not appear to play a facilitatory role in brain stimulation reward and some evidence suggests it may even oppose it. The influence of the endocannabinoid system on brain reward processes may depend on the degree of activation of the different brain areas involved and might represent a mechanism for fine-tuning dopaminergic activity. Although involvement of the various components of the endocannabinoid system may differ depending on the type of rewarding event investigated, this system appears to play a major role in modulating reward processes.

  2. The endocannabinoid system and the brain.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. The brain endocannabinoid system in the regulation of energy balance.

    PubMed

    Richard, Denis; Guesdon, Benjamin; Timofeeva, Elena

    2009-02-01

    The role played by the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of energy balance is currently generating a great amount of interest among several groups of investigators. This interest in large part comes from the urgent need to develop anti-obesity and anti-cachexia drugs around target systems (such as the endocannabinoid system), which appears to be genuinely involved in energy balance regulation. When activated, the endocannabinoid system favors energy deposition through increasing energy intake and reducing energy expenditure. This system is activated in obesity and following food deprivation, which further supports its authentic function in energy balance regulation. The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), one of the two identified cannabinoid receptors, is expressed in energy-balance brain structures that are also able to readily produce or inactivate N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG), the most abundantly formed and released endocannabinoids. The brain action of endocannabinoid system on energy balance seems crucial and needs to be delineated in the context of the homeostatic and hedonic controls of food intake and energy expenditure. These controls require the coordinated interaction of the hypothalamus, brainstem and limbic system and it appears imperative to unravel those interplays. It is also critical to investigate the metabolic endocannabinoid system while considering the panoply of functions that the endocannabinoid system fulfills in the brain and other tissues. This article aims at reviewing the potential mechanisms whereby the brain endocannabinoid system influences the regulation energy balance.

  4. The endocannabinoid system in normal and pathological brain ageing.

    PubMed

    Bilkei-Gorzo, Andras

    2012-12-05

    The role of endocannabinoids as inhibitory retrograde transmitters is now widely known and intensively studied. However, endocannabinoids also influence neuronal activity by exerting neuroprotective effects and regulating glial responses. This review centres around this less-studied area, focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the protective effect of the cannabinoid system in brain ageing. The progression of ageing is largely determined by the balance between detrimental, pro-ageing, largely stochastic processes, and the activity of the homeostatic defence system. Experimental evidence suggests that the cannabinoid system is part of the latter system. Cannabinoids as regulators of mitochondrial activity, as anti-oxidants and as modulators of clearance processes protect neurons on the molecular level. On the cellular level, the cannabinoid system regulates the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurogenesis. Neuroinflammatory processes contributing to the progression of normal brain ageing and to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases are suppressed by cannabinoids, suggesting that they may also influence the ageing process on the system level. In good agreement with the hypothesized beneficial role of cannabinoid system activity against brain ageing, it was shown that animals lacking CB1 receptors show early onset of learning deficits associated with age-related histological and molecular changes. In preclinical models of neurodegenerative disorders, cannabinoids show beneficial effects, but the clinical evidence regarding their efficacy as therapeutic tools is either inconclusive or still missing.

  5. The endocannabinoid system in normal and pathological brain ageing

    PubMed Central

    Bilkei-Gorzo, Andras

    2012-01-01

    The role of endocannabinoids as inhibitory retrograde transmitters is now widely known and intensively studied. However, endocannabinoids also influence neuronal activity by exerting neuroprotective effects and regulating glial responses. This review centres around this less-studied area, focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the protective effect of the cannabinoid system in brain ageing. The progression of ageing is largely determined by the balance between detrimental, pro-ageing, largely stochastic processes, and the activity of the homeostatic defence system. Experimental evidence suggests that the cannabinoid system is part of the latter system. Cannabinoids as regulators of mitochondrial activity, as anti-oxidants and as modulators of clearance processes protect neurons on the molecular level. On the cellular level, the cannabinoid system regulates the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurogenesis. Neuroinflammatory processes contributing to the progression of normal brain ageing and to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases are suppressed by cannabinoids, suggesting that they may also influence the ageing process on the system level. In good agreement with the hypothesized beneficial role of cannabinoid system activity against brain ageing, it was shown that animals lacking CB1 receptors show early onset of learning deficits associated with age-related histological and molecular changes. In preclinical models of neurodegenerative disorders, cannabinoids show beneficial effects, but the clinical evidence regarding their efficacy as therapeutic tools is either inconclusive or still missing. PMID:23108550

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Alteration of the endocannabinoid system in mouse brain during prion disease.

    PubMed

    Petrosino, S; Ménard, B; Zsürger, N; Di Marzo, V; Chabry, J

    2011-03-17

    Prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by deposition of the pathological prion protein (PrPsc) within the brain of affected humans and animals. Microglial cell activation is a common feature of prion diseases; alterations of various neurotransmitter systems and neurotransmission have been also reported. Owing to its ability to modulate both neuroimmune responses and neurotransmission, it was of interest to study the brain endocannabinoid system in a prion-infected mouse model. The production of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoyglycerol (2-AG), was enhanced 10 weeks post-infection, without alteration of the other endocannabinoid, anandamide. The CB2 receptor expression was up-regulated in brains of prion-infected mice as early as 10 weeks and up to 32 weeks post-infection whereas the mRNAs of other cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) remain unchanged. The observed alterations of the endocannabinoid system were specific for prion infection since no significant changes were observed in the brain of prion-resistant mice, that is, mice devoid of the Prnp gene. Our study highlights important alterations of the endocannabinoid system during early stages of the disease long before the clinical signs of the disease. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. FABP-1 GENE ABLATION IMPACTS BRAIN ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM IN MALE MICE

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP1, L-FABP) has high affinity for and enhances uptake of arachidonic acid (ARA, C20:4, n-6) which, when esterified to phospholipids, is the requisite precursor for synthesis of endocannabinoids (EC) such as arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). The brain derives most of its ARA from plasma, taking up ARA and transporting it intracellularly via cytosolic fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs 3,5, and 7) localized within the brain. In contrast, the much more prevalent cytosolic FABP1 is not detectable in the brain but is instead highly expressed in the liver. Therefore, the possibility that FABP1 outside the central nervous system may regulate brain AEA and 2-AG was examined in wild-type (WT) and FABP1 null (LKO) male mice. LKO increased brain levels of AA-containing EC (AEA, 2-AG), correlating with increased free and total ARA in brain and serum. LKO also increased brain levels of non-ARA that contain potentiating endocannabinoids (EC*) such as OEA, PEA, 2-OG, and 2-PG. Concomitantly, LKO decreased serum total ARA-containing EC, but not non-ARA endocannabinoids. LKO did not elicit these changes in the brain EC and EC* due to compensatory upregulation of brain protein levels of enzymes in EC synthesis (NAPEPLD, DAGLα) or cytosolic EC chaperone proteins (FABPs 3, 5, 7, SCP-2, HSP70), or cannabinoid receptors (CB1, TRVP1). These data show for the first time that the non-CNS fatty acid binding protein FABP1 markedly affected brain levels of both ARA-containing endocannabinoids (AEA, 2-AG) as well as their non-ARA potentiating endocannabinoids. PMID:27167970

  10. Using the endocannabinoid system as a neuroprotective strategy in perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Lara-Celador, I.; Goñi-de-Cerio, F.; Alvarez, Antonia; Hilario, Enrique

    2013-01-01

    One of the most important causes of brain injury in the neonatal period is a perinatal hypoxic-ischemic event. This devastating condition can lead to long-term neurological deficits or even death. After hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, a variety of specific cellular mechanisms are set in motion, triggering cell damage and finally producing cell death. Effective therapeutic treatments against this phenomenon are still unavailable because of complex molecular mechanisms underlying hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. After a thorough understanding of the mechanism underlying neural plasticity following hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, various neuroprotective therapies have been developed for alleviating brain injury and improving long-term outcomes. Among them, the endocannabinoid system emerges as a natural system of neuroprotection. The endocannabinoid system modulates a wide range of physiological processes in mammals and has demonstrated neuroprotective effects in different paradigms of acute brain injury, acting as a natural neuroprotectant. The aim of this review is to study the use of different therapies to induce long-term therapeutic effects after hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, and analyze the important role of the endocannabinoid system as a new neuroprotective strategy against perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. PMID:25206720

  11. Regulation of brain reward by the endocannabinoid system: a critical review of behavioral studies in animals.

    PubMed

    Vlachou, S; Panagis, G

    2014-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the regulation of a variety of physiological processes, including a crucial involvement in brain reward systems and the regulation of motivational processes. Behavioral studies have shown that cannabinoid reward may involve the same brain circuits and similar brain mechanisms with other drugs of abuse, such as nicotine, cocaine, alcohol and heroin, as well as natural rewards, such as food, water and sucrose, although the conditions under which cannabinoids exert their rewarding effects may be more limited. The purpose of the present review is to briefly describe and evaluate the behavioral and pharmacological research concerning the major components of the endocannabinoid system and reward processes. Special emphasis is placed on data received from four procedures used to test the effects of the endocannabinoid system on brain reward in animals; namely, the intracranial self-stimulation paradigm, the self-administration procedure, the conditioned place preference procedure and the drug-discrimination procedure. The effects of cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor agonists, antagonists and endocannabinoid modulators in these procedures are examined. Further, the involvement of CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well the fatty acid amid hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme in reward processes is investigated through presentation of respective genetic ablation studies in mice. We suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in modulating motivation and reward processes. Further research will provide us with a better understanding of these processes and, thus, could lead to the development of potential therapeutic compounds for the treatment of reward-related disorders.

  12. Dietary docosahexaenoic acid supplementation alters select physiological endocannabinoid-system metabolites in brain and plasma.

    PubMed

    Wood, Jodianne T; Williams, John S; Pandarinathan, Lakshmipathi; Janero, David R; Lammi-Keefe, Carol J; Makriyannis, Alexandros

    2010-06-01

    The endocannabinoid metabolome consists of a growing, (patho)physiologically important family of fatty-acid derived signaling lipids. Diet is a major source of fatty acid substrate for mammalian endocannabinoid biosynthesis. The principal long-chain PUFA found in mammalian brain, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), supports neurological function, retinal development, and overall health. The extent to which dietary DHA supplementation influences endocannabinoid-related metabolites in brain, within the context of the circulating endocannabinoid profile, is currently unknown. We report the first lipidomic analysis of acute 2-week DHA dietary supplementation effects on the physiological state of 15 fatty-acid, N-acylethanolamine, and glycerol-ester endocannabinoid metabolome constituents in murine plasma and brain. The DHA-rich diet markedly elevated DHA, eicosapentaenoic acid, 2-eicosapentanoylglycerol (EPG), and docosahexanoylethanolamine in both compartments. Dietary DHA enhancement generally affected the synthesis of the N-acyl-ethanolamine and glycerol-ester metabolites to favor the docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic vs. arachidonoyl and oleoyl homologs in both brain and plasma. The greater overall responsiveness of the endocannabinoid metabolome in plasma versus brain may reflect a more circumscribed homeostatic response range of brain lipids to dietary DHA supplementation. The ability of short-term DHA enhancement to modulate select constituents of the physiological brain and plasma endocannabinoid metabolomes carries metabolic and therapeutic implications.

  13. Dietary docosahexaenoic acid supplementation alters select physiological endocannabinoid-system metabolites in brain and plasma

    PubMed Central

    Wood, JodiAnne T.; Williams, John S.; Pandarinathan, Lakshmipathi; Janero, David R.; Lammi-Keefe, Carol J.; Makriyannis, Alexandros

    2010-01-01

    The endocannabinoid metabolome consists of a growing, (patho)physiologically important family of fatty-acid derived signaling lipids. Diet is a major source of fatty acid substrate for mammalian endocannabinoid biosynthesis. The principal long-chain PUFA found in mammalian brain, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), supports neurological function, retinal development, and overall health. The extent to which dietary DHA supplementation influences endocannabinoid-related metabolites in brain, within the context of the circulating endocannabinoid profile, is currently unknown. We report the first lipidomic analysis of acute 2-week DHA dietary supplementation effects on the physiological state of 15 fatty-acid, N-acylethanolamine, and glycerol-ester endocannabinoid metabolome constituents in murine plasma and brain. The DHA-rich diet markedly elevated DHA, eicosapentaenoic acid, 2-eicosapentanoylglycerol (EPG), and docosahexanoylethanolamine in both compartments. Dietary DHA enhancement generally affected the synthesis of the N-acyl-ethanolamine and glycerol-ester metabolites to favor the docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic vs. arachidonoyl and oleoyl homologs in both brain and plasma. The greater overall responsiveness of the endocannabinoid metabolome in plasma versus brain may reflect a more circumscribed homeostatic response range of brain lipids to dietary DHA supplementation. The ability of short-term DHA enhancement to modulate select constituents of the physiological brain and plasma endocannabinoid metabolomes carries metabolic and therapeutic implications. PMID:20071693

  14. Driving the need to feed: Insight into the collaborative interaction between ghrelin and endocannabinoid systems in modulating brain reward systems.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Alexander; Abizaid, Alfonso

    2016-07-01

    Independent stimulation of either the ghrelin or endocannabinoid system promotes food intake and increases adiposity. Given the similar distribution of their receptors in feeding associated brain regions and organs involved in metabolism, it is not surprising that evidence of their interaction and its importance in modulating energy balance has emerged. This review documents the relationship between ghrelin and endocannabinoid systems within the periphery and hypothalamus (HYP) before presenting evidence suggesting that these two systems likewise work collaboratively within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to modulate non-homeostatic feeding. Mechanisms, consistent with current evidence and local infrastructure within the VTA, will be proposed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Endocannabinoid system in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Endocannabinoid System in Neurological Disorders.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. The role of the endocannabinoid system in the brain-gut axis

    PubMed Central

    Sharkey, Keith A.; Wiley, John W.

    2016-01-01

    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 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. PMID:27133395

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. Endocannabinoids and traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Shohami, Esther; Cohen-Yeshurun, Ayelet; Magid, Lital; Algali, Merav; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2011-08-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents the leading cause of death in young individuals. It triggers the accumulation of harmful mediators, leading to secondary damage, yet protective mechanisms are also set in motion. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system consists of ligands, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG), receptors (e.g. CB1, CB2), transporters and enzymes, which are responsible for the 'on-demand' synthesis and degradation of these lipid mediators. There is a large body of evidence showing that eCB are markedly increased in response to pathogenic events. This fact, as well as numerous studies on experimental models of brain toxicity, neuroinflammation and trauma supports the notion that the eCB are part of the brain's compensatory or repair mechanisms. These are mediated via CB receptors signalling pathways that are linked to neuronal survival and repair. The levels of 2-AG, the most highly abundant eCB, are significantly elevated after TBI and when administered to TBI mice, 2-AG decreases brain oedema, inflammation and infarct volume and improves clinical recovery. The role of CB1 in mediating these effects was demonstrated using selective antagonists or CB1 knockout mice. CB2 were shown in other models of brain insults to reduce white blood cell rolling and adhesion, to reduce infarct size and to improve motor function. This review is focused on the role the eCB system plays as a self-neuroprotective mechanism and its potential as a basis for the development of novel therapeutic modality for the treatment of CNS pathologies with special emphasis on TBI. © 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.

  2. Endocannabinoids and traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Shohami, Esther; Cohen-Yeshurun, Ayelet; Magid, Lital; Algali, Merav; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2011-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents the leading cause of death in young individuals. It triggers the accumulation of harmful mediators, leading to secondary damage, yet protective mechanisms are also set in motion. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system consists of ligands, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG), receptors (e.g. CB1, CB2), transporters and enzymes, which are responsible for the ‘on-demand’ synthesis and degradation of these lipid mediators. There is a large body of evidence showing that eCB are markedly increased in response to pathogenic events. This fact, as well as numerous studies on experimental models of brain toxicity, neuroinflammation and trauma supports the notion that the eCB are part of the brain's compensatory or repair mechanisms. These are mediated via CB receptors signalling pathways that are linked to neuronal survival and repair. The levels of 2-AG, the most highly abundant eCB, are significantly elevated after TBI and when administered to TBI mice, 2-AG decreases brain oedema, inflammation and infarct volume and improves clinical recovery. The role of CB1 in mediating these effects was demonstrated using selective antagonists or CB1 knockout mice. CB2 were shown in other models of brain insults to reduce white blood cell rolling and adhesion, to reduce infarct size and to improve motor function. This review is focused on the role the eCB system plays as a self-neuroprotective mechanism and its potential as a basis for the development of novel therapeutic modality for the treatment of CNS pathologies with special emphasis on TBI. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed issue on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.163.issue-7 PMID:21418185

  3. Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in reward processing in the human brain.

    PubMed

    van Hell, Hendrika H; Jager, Gerry; Bossong, Matthijs G; Brouwer, Annelies; Jansma, J Martijn; Zuurman, Lineke; van Gerven, Joop; Kahn, René S; Ramsey, Nick F

    2012-02-01

    Disturbed reward processing in humans has been associated with a number of disorders, such as depression, addiction, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has been implicated in reward processing in animals, but in humans, the relation between eCB functioning and reward is less clear. The current study uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the role of the eCB system in reward processing in humans by examining the effect of the eCB agonist Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on reward-related brain activity. Eleven healthy males participated in a randomized placebo-controlled pharmacological fMRI study with administration of THC to challenge the eCB system. We compared anticipatory and feedback-related brain activity after placebo and THC, using a monetary incentive delay task. In this task, subjects are notified before each trial whether a correct response is rewarded ("reward trial") or not ("neutral trial"). Subjects showed faster reaction times during reward trials compared to neutral trials, and this effect was not altered by THC. THC induced a widespread attenuation of the brain response to feedback in reward trials but not in neutral trials. Anticipatory brain activity was not affected. These results suggest a role for the eCB system in the appreciation of rewards. The involvement of the eCB system in feedback processing may be relevant for disorders in which appreciation of natural rewards may be affected such as addiction.

  4. Endocannabinoids as a Target for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-11-01

    DATES COVERED 4 October 2011- 3 October 2012 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Endocannabinoids as a Target for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury 5a...interventions aimed at modulation of the endocannabinoid (EC) system targeting degradation of 20arachidonoyl glycerlol (2- AG) and N-arachidonoyl...percussion, traumatic brain injury, blood brain barrier, neuroinflammination, neurological dysfunction, endocannabinoids . 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

  5. Expression and Function of the Endocannabinoid System in the Retina and the Visual Brain.

    PubMed

    Bouchard, Jean-François; Casanova, Christian; Cécyre, Bruno; Redmond, William John

    2016-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are important retrograde modulators of synaptic transmission throughout the nervous system. Cannabinoid receptors are seven transmembrane G-protein coupled receptors favoring Gi/o protein. They are known to play an important role in various processes, including metabolic regulation, craving, pain, anxiety, and immune function. In the last decade, there has been a growing interest for endocannabinoids in the retina and their role in visual processing. The purpose of this review is to characterize the expression and physiological functions of the endocannabinoid system in the visual system, from the retina to the primary visual cortex, with a main interest regarding the retina, which is the best-described area in this system so far. It will show that the endocannabinoid system is widely present in the retina, mostly in the through pathway where it can modulate neurotransmitter release and ion channel activity, although some evidence also indicates possible mechanisms via amacrine, horizontal, and Müller cells. The presence of multiple endocannabinoid ligands, synthesizing and catabolizing enzymes, and receptors highlights various pharmacological targets for novel therapeutic application to retinal diseases.

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

    PubMed

    Dyall, Simon C

    2017-11-01

    The brain is enriched in arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) of the n-6 and n-3 series, respectively. Both are essential for optimal brain development and function. Dietary enrichment with DHA and other long-chain n-3 PUFA, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), has shown beneficial effects on learning and memory, neuroinflammatory processes, and synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis. ARA, DHA and EPA are precursors to a diverse repertoire of bioactive lipid mediators, including endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system comprises cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids, and their biosynthetic and degradation enzymes. Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are the most widely studied endocannabinoids and are both derived from phospholipid-bound ARA. The endocannabinoid system also has well-established roles in neuroinflammation, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis, suggesting an overlap in the neuroprotective effects observed with these different classes of lipids. Indeed, growing evidence suggests a complex interplay between n-3 and n-6 LCPUFA and the endocannabinoid system. For example, long-term DHA and EPA supplementation reduces AEA and 2-AG levels, with reciprocal increases in levels of the analogous endocannabinoid-like DHA and EPA-derived molecules. This review summarises current evidence of this interplay and discusses the therapeutic potential for brain protection and repair.

  7. Endocannabinoids as a Target for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-11-01

    COVERED 4 October 201 - 3 October 201 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Endocannabinoids as a Target for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury 5a. CONTRACT...injury, blood brain barrier, neuroinflammation, neurological dysfunction, endocannabinoids Table of Contents Introduction...promote neuroinflammation and potentially lead to neurodegeneration. We have previously demonstrated that treatments to the endocannabinoid system 2

  8. Changes in the Brain Endocannabinoid System in Rat Models of Depression.

    PubMed

    Smaga, Irena; Jastrzębska, Joanna; Zaniewska, Magdalena; Bystrowska, Beata; Gawliński, Dawid; Faron-Górecka, Agata; Broniowska, Żaneta; Miszkiel, Joanna; Filip, Małgorzata

    2017-04-01

    A growing body of evidence implicates the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in the pathophysiology of depression. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of changes in the eCB system, such as levels of neuromodulators, eCB synthesizing and degrading enzymes, and cannabinoid (CB) receptors, in different brain structures in animal models of depression using behavioral and biochemical analyses. Both models used, i.e., bulbectomized (OBX) and Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats, were characterized at the behavioral level by increased immobility time. In the OBX rats, anandamide (AEA) levels were decreased in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum and increased in the nucleus accumbens, while 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) levels were increased in the prefrontal cortex and decreased in the nucleus accumbens with parallel changes in the expression of eCB metabolizing enzymes in several structures. It was also observed that CB 1 receptor expression decreased in the hippocampus, dorsal striatum, and nucleus accumbens, and CB 2 receptor expression decreased in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. In WKY rats, the levels of eCBs were reduced in the prefrontal cortex (2-AG) and dorsal striatum (AEA) and increased in the prefrontal cortex (AEA) with different changes in the expression of eCB metabolizing enzymes, while the CB 1 receptor density was increased in several brain regions. These findings suggest that dysregulation in the eCB system is implicated in the pathogenesis of depression, although neurochemical changes were linked to the particular brain structure and the factor inducing depression (surgical removal of the olfactory bulbs vs. genetic modulation).

  9. Troubleshooting in LC-MS/MS method for determining endocannabinoid and endocannabinoid-like molecules in rat brain structures applied to assessing the brain endocannabinoid/endovanilloid system significance.

    PubMed

    Bystrowska, Beata; Smaga, Irena; Tyszka-Czochara, Małgorzata; Filip, Małgorzata

    2014-05-01

    In recent years, a potential participation of endocannabinoids (eCBs) and related endocannabinoid-like molecules, including N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), in the physiological and pathophysiological processes has been highlighted, whereas measurement of their levels still remains difficult. The aim of this study was to develop a bioanalytical method that would enable researchers to simultaneously determine quantitatively eCBs (anandamide - AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol - 2-AG) and NAEs (oleoylethanolamide or oleoylethanolamine - OEA, palmitoylethanolamide or palmitoylethanolamine - PEA and linoleoylethanolamide or linoleoylethanolamine - LEA) in the rat brain. The analytical problems with analysis and possible solutions have been also shown. The methodology for quantifying eCBs/NAEs by means of a sensitive and selective liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) with electrospray positive ionization and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode was developed and validated. Analytical problems with analyzed compounds were estimated. Reasonably high precision and accuracy of the method were demonstrated in the validation process. The method is linear up to 200 ng/g for AEA, OEA, PEA and LEA and up to 100 μg/g for 2-AG, while the quantification limit reaches 0.2 ng/g and 0.8 μg/g, respectively. Simplicity and rapidity of the assay allows analyzing many samples on a routine basis. This article presents the new procedure applied to the analysis of brain tissues.

  10. The endocannabinoid system and nondrug rewarding behaviours.

    PubMed

    Fattore, Liana; Melis, Miriam; Fadda, Paola; Pistis, Marco; Fratta, Walter

    2010-07-01

    Rewarding behaviours such as sexual activity, eating, nursing, parenting, social interactions, and play activity are conserved strongly in evolution, and they are essential for development and survival. All of these behaviours are enjoyable and represent pleasant experiences with a high reward value. Remarkably, rewarding behaviours activate the same brain circuits that mediate the positive reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse and of other forms of addiction, such as gambling and food addiction. Given the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in a variety of physiological functions of the nervous system, it is not surprising that it takes part in the complex machinery that regulates gratification and perception of pleasure. In this review, we focus first on the role of the endocannabinoid system in the modulation of neural activity and synaptic functions in brain regions that are involved in natural and nonnatural rewards (namely, the ventral tegmental area, striatum, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex). Then, we examine the role of the endocannabinoid system in modulating behaviours that directly or indirectly activate these brain reward pathways. More specifically, current knowledge of the effects of the pharmacological manipulation of the endocannabinoid system on natural (eating, sexual behaviour, parenting, and social play) and pathological (gambling) rewarding behaviours is summarised and discussed. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. The Endocannabinoid System and Anxiety.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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 (p<0.001), AEA (p<0.0001), DHEA (p<0.0001), LEA (p<0.01) and PEA (p<0.05). In schizophrenic subjects, the three studied brain regions (cerebellum: 130±18%; p=0.16; hippocampus: 168±28%, p<0.01; prefrontal cortex: 237±45%, p<0.05) showed higher 2-AG levels when compared to matched controls. Conversely, AEA levels were lower in all brain regions of schizophrenic subjects (cerebellum: 66±7%, p<0.01; hippocampus: 66±7%, p<0.01; prefrontal cortex: 75±10%, p=0.07). Statistically significant lower levels of DHEA were also found in cerebellum (60±6%, p<0.001) and hippocampus (68±7%, p<0.05) of schizophrenic subjects. PEA (71±6%, p<0.05) and LEA (72±6%, p<0.05) levels were also found to be lower in cerebellum. No significant differences were found in OEA levels. Our results evidence specific alterations in the levels of some endocannabinoids in different brain regions of schizophrenic subjects. Furthermore, these data evidence the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia

  15. Effect of endocannabinoid signalling on cell fate: life, death, differentiation and proliferation of brain cells.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Arencibia, Moises; Molina-Holgado, Eduardo; Molina-Holgado, Francisco

    2018-05-24

    Cell fate events are regulated by different endogenous developmental factors such as the cell micro-environment, external or remote signals and epigenetic factors. Among the many regulatory factors, endocannabinoid-associated signalling pathways are known to conduct several of these events in the developing nervous system and in the adult brain. Interestingly, endocannabinoids exert modulatory actions in both physiological and pathological conditions. Endocannabinoid signalling can promote cell survival by acting on non-transformed brain cells (neurons, astrocytes or oligodendrocytes) and can have either a protumoural or antitumoural effect on transformed cells. Moreover, endocannabinoids are able to attenuate the detrimental effects on neurogenesis and neuroinflammation associated with ageing. Thus, the endocannabinoid system emerges as an important regulator of cell fate, controlling cell survival/cell death decisions depending on the cell type and its environment. © 2018 The British Pharmacological Society.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Prenatal Stress and Peripubertal Stimulation of the Endocannabinoid System Differentially Regulate Emotional Responses and Brain Metabolism in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Macrì, Simone; Ceci, Chiara; Canese, Rossella; Laviola, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    The central endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis mediate individual responses to emotionally salient stimuli. Their altered developmental adjustment may relate to the emergence of emotional disturbances. Although environmental influences regulate the individual phenotype throughout the entire lifespan, their effects may result particularly persistent during plastic developmental stages (e.g. prenatal life and adolescence). Here, we investigated whether prenatal stress – in the form of gestational exposure to corticosterone supplemented in the maternal drinking water (100 mg/l) during the last week of pregnancy – combined with a pharmacological stimulation of the ECS during adolescence (daily fatty acid amide hydrolase URB597 i.p. administration - 0.4 mg/kg - between postnatal days 29–38), influenced adult mouse emotional behaviour and brain metabolism measured through in vivo quantitative magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Compared to control mice, URB597-treated subjects showed, in the short-term, reduced locomotion and, in the long term, reduced motivation to execute operant responses to obtain palatable rewards paralleled by reduced levels of inositol and taurine in the prefrontal cortex. Adult mice exposed to prenatal corticosterone showed increased behavioural anxiety and reduced locomotion in the elevated zero maze, and altered brain metabolism (increased glutamate and reduced taurine in the hippocampus; reduced inositol and N-Acetyl-Aspartate in the hypothalamus). Present data further corroborate the view that prenatal stress and pharmacological ECS stimulation during adolescence persistently regulate emotional responses in adulthood. Yet, whilst we hypothesized these factors to be interactive in nature, we observed that the consequences of prenatal corticosterone administration were independent from those of ECS drug-induced stimulation during adolescence. PMID:22848620

  19. Role of the endocannabinoid system in brain functions relevant for schizophrenia: an overview of human challenge studies with cannabis or ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

    PubMed

    Bossong, Matthijs G; Jansma, J Martijn; Bhattacharyya, Sagnik; Ramsey, Nick F

    2014-07-03

    Accumulating evidence suggests involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, which signifies a potential application for this system in the treatment of this disorder. However, before new research can focus on potential treatments that work by manipulating the endocannabinoid system, it needs to be elucidated how this system is involved in symptoms of schizophrenia. Here we review human studies that investigated acute effects of cannabis or ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on brain functions that are implicated in schizophrenia. Results suggest that the impact of THC administration depends on the difficulty of the task performed. Impaired performance of cognitive paradigms is reported on more challenging tasks, which is associated with both activity deficits in temporal and prefrontal areas and a failure to deactivate regions of the default mode network. Comparable reductions in prefrontal activity and impairments in deactivation of the default mode network are seen in patients during performance of cognitive paradigms. Normal performance levels after THC administration demonstrated for less demanding tasks are shown to be related to either increased neural effort in task-specific regions ('neurophysiological inefficiency'), or recruitment of alternative brain areas, which suggests a change in strategy to meet cognitive demands. Particularly a pattern of performance and brain activity corresponding with an inefficient working memory system is consistently demonstrated in patients. These similarities in brain function between intoxicated healthy volunteers and schizophrenia patients provide an argument for a role of the endocannabinoid system in symptoms of schizophrenia, and further emphasize this system as a potential novel target for treatment of these symptoms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Methods of the pharmacological imaging of the cannabinoid system (PhICS) study: towards understanding the role of the brain endocannabinoid system in human cognition.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

    Various lines of (pre)clinical research indicate that cannabinoid agents carry the potential for therapeutic application to reduce symptoms in several psychiatric disorders. However, direct testing of the involvement of cannabinoid brain systems in psychiatric syndromes is essential for further development. In the Pharmacological Imaging of the Cannabinoid System (PhICS) study, the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in cognitive brain function is assessed by comparing acute effects of the cannabinoid agonist Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on brain function between healthy controls and groups of psychiatric patients showing cognitive dysfunction. This article describes the objectives and methods of the PhICS study and presents preliminary results of the administration procedure on subjective and neurophysiological parameters. Core elements in the methodology of PhICS are the administration method (THC is administered by inhalation using a vaporizing device) and a comprehensive use of pharmacological magnetic resonance imaging (phMRI) combining several types of MRI scans including functional MRI (fMRI), Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL) to measure brain perfusion, and resting-state fMRI. Additional methods like neuropsychological testing further specify the exact role of the endocannabinoid system in regulating cognition. Preliminary results presented in this paper indicate robust behavioral and subjective effects of THC. In addition, fMRI paradigms demonstrate activation of expected networks of brain regions in the cognitive domains of interest. The presented administration and assessment protocol provides a basis for further research on the involvement of the endocannabionoid systems in behavior and in psychopathology, which in turn may lead to development of therapeutic opportunities of cannabinoid ligands. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Review article: the endocannabinoid system in liver disease, a potential therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Evolutionary origins of the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    McPartland, John M; Matias, Isabel; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Glass, Michelle

    2006-03-29

    Endocannabinoid system evolution was estimated by searching for functional orthologs in the genomes of twelve phylogenetically diverse organisms: Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Takifugu rubripes, Ciona intestinalis, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Arabidopsis thaliana, Plasmodium falciparum, Tetrahymena thermophila, Archaeoglobus fulgidus, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Sequences similar to human endocannabinoid exon sequences were derived from filtered BLAST searches, and subjected to phylogenetic testing with ClustalX and tree building programs. Monophyletic clades that agreed with broader phylogenetic evidence (i.e., gene trees displaying topographical congruence with species trees) were considered orthologs. The capacity of orthologs to function as endocannabinoid proteins was predicted with pattern profilers (Pfam, Prosite, TMHMM, and pSORT), and by examining queried sequences for amino acid motifs known to serve critical roles in endocannabinoid protein function (obtained from a database of site-directed mutagenesis studies). This novel transfer of functional information onto gene trees enabled us to better predict the functional origins of the endocannabinoid system. Within this limited number of twelve organisms, the endocannabinoid genes exhibited heterogeneous evolutionary trajectories, with functional orthologs limited to mammals (TRPV1 and GPR55), or vertebrates (CB2 and DAGLbeta), or chordates (MAGL and COX2), or animals (DAGLalpha and CB1-like receptors), or opisthokonta (animals and fungi, NAPE-PLD), or eukaryotes (FAAH). Our methods identified fewer orthologs than did automated annotation systems, such as HomoloGene. Phylogenetic profiles, nonorthologous gene displacement, functional convergence, and coevolution are discussed.

  3. Techniques for the Cellular and Subcellular Localization of Endocannabinoid Receptors and Enzymes in the Mammalian Brain.

    PubMed

    Cristino, Luigia; Imperatore, Roberta; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2017-01-01

    This chapter attempts to piece together knowledge about new advanced microscopy techniques to study the neuroanatomical distribution of endocannabinoid receptors and enzymes at the level of cellular and subcellular structures and organelles in the brain. Techniques ranging from light to electron microscopy up to the new advanced LBM, PALM, and STORM super-resolution microscopy will be discussed in the context of their contribution to define the spatial distribution and organization of receptors and enzymes of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and to better understand ECS brain functions. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The Endocannabinoid System and Spermatogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Grimaldi, Paola; Di Giacomo, Daniele; Geremia, Raffaele

    2013-01-01

    Spermatogenesis 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. PMID:24379805

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. The endocannabinoid system and multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26123153

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Multiple Functions of Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Katona, István; Freund, Tamás F.

    2014-01-01

    Despite being regarded as a hippie science for decades, cannabinoid research has finally found its well-deserved position in mainstream neuroscience. A series of groundbreaking discoveries revealed that endocannabinoid molecules are as widespread and important as conventional neurotransmitters like glutamate or GABA, yet act in profoundly unconventional ways. We aim to illustrate how uncovering the molecular, anatomical and physiological characteristics of endocannabinoid signaling revealed new mechanistic insights into several fundamental phenomena in synaptic physiology. First, we summarize unexpected advances in the molecular complexity of biogenesis and inactivation of the two endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Then we show how these new metabolic routes are integrated into well-known intracellular signaling pathways. These endocannabinoid-producing signalosomes operate in phasic and tonic modes thereby differentially governing homeostatic, short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity throughout the brain. Finally, we discuss how cell type- and synapse-specific refinement of endocannabinoid signaling may explain the characteristic behavioral effects of cannabinoids. PMID:22524785

  10. Endocannabinoid signalling and the deteriorating brain

    PubMed Central

    Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Stella, Nephi; Zimmer, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Ageing is characterized by the progressive impairment of physiological functions and increased risk of developing debilitating disorders, including chronic inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases. These disorders have common molecular mechanisms that can be targeted therapeutically. In the wake of the approval of the first cannabinoid-based drug for the symptomatic treatment of multiple sclerosis, we examine how endocannabinoid (eCB) signalling controls — and is affected by — normal ageing and neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. We propose a conceptual framework linking eCB signalling to the control of the cellular and molecular hallmarks of these processes, and categorize the key components of endocannabinoid signalling that may serve as targets for novel therapeutics. PMID:25524120

  11. The emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in cardiovascular disease

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are endogenous bioactive lipid mediators present both in the brain and various peripheral tissues, which exert their biological effects via interaction with specific G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, the CB1 and CB2. Pathological overactivation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in various forms of shock and heart failure may contribute to the underlying pathology and cardiodepressive state by the activation of the cardiovascular CB1 receptors. Furthermore, tonic activation of CB1 receptors by endocannabinoids has also been implicated in the development of various cardiovascular risk factors in obesity/metabolic syndrome and diabetes, such as plasma lipid alterations, abdominal obesity, hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and insulin and leptin resistance. In contrast, activation of CB2 receptors in immune cells exerts various immunomodulatory effects, and the CB2 receptors in endothelial and inflammatory cells appear to limit the endothelial inflammatory response, chemotaxis, and inflammatory cell adhesion and activation in atherosclerosis and reperfusion injury. Here, we will overview the cardiovascular actions of endocannabinoids and the growing body of evidence implicating the dysregulation of the ECS in a variety of cardiovascular diseases. We will also discuss the therapeutic potential of the modulation of the ECS by selective agonists/antagonists in various cardiovascular disorders associated with inflammation and tissue injury, ranging from myocardial infarction and heart failure to atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic disorders. PMID:19357846

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Endocannabinoids as a Target for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-11-01

    Award Number: W81XWH-11-2-0011 TITLE: Endocannabinoids as a Target for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR...Oct 2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Endocannabinoids as a Target for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH...fluid percussion, traumatic brain injury, blood brain barrier, neuroinflammation, neurological dysfunction, endocannabinoids , microglia and 16

  14. Beyond Cannabis: Plants and the Endocannabinoid System.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Role of the endocannabinoid system in the neuroendocrine responses to inflammation.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    the therapeutic targets for both cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists. One challenge is to develop drugs that target only cannabinoid receptors in a particular tissue and another is to invent drugs that act selectively on cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood brain barrier. Besides this, development of the suitable dosage forms with maximum efficacy and minimum adverse effects is also warranted. Another angle to be introspected for therapeutic abilities of this group of drugs is non-CB1 and non-CB2 receptor targets for cannabinoids. In order to successfully exploit the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid system, it is imperative to further characterize the endocannabinoid system in terms of identification of the exact cellular location of cannabinoid receptors and their role as "protective" and "disease inducing substance", time-dependent changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Female Mice are Resistant to Fabp1 Gene Ablation-Induced Alterations in Brain Endocannabinoid Levels.

    PubMed

    Martin, Gregory G; Chung, Sarah; Landrock, Danilo; Landrock, Kerstin K; Dangott, Lawrence J; Peng, Xiaoxue; Kaczocha, Martin; Murphy, Eric J; Kier, Ann B; Schroeder, Friedhelm

    2016-09-01

    Although liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP1, L-FABP) is not detectable in the brain, Fabp1 gene ablation (LKO) markedly increases endocannabinoids (EC) in brains of male mice. Since the brain EC system of females differs significantly from that of males, it was important to determine if LKO differently impacted the brain EC system. LKO did not alter brain levels of arachidonic acid (ARA)-containing EC, i.e. arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), but decreased non-ARA-containing N-acylethanolamides (OEA, PEA) and 2-oleoylglycerol (2-OG) that potentiate the actions of AEA and 2-AG. These changes in brain potentiating EC levels were not associated with: (1) a net decrease in levels of brain membrane proteins associated with fatty acid uptake and EC synthesis; (2) a net increase in brain protein levels of cytosolic EC chaperones and enzymes in EC degradation; or (3) increased brain protein levels of EC receptors (CB1, TRVP1). Instead, the reduced or opposite responsiveness of female brain EC levels to loss of FABP1 (LKO) correlated with intrinsically lower FABP1 level in livers of WT females than males. These data show that female mouse brain endocannabinoid levels were unchanged (AEA, 2-AG) or decreased (OEA, PEA, 2-OG) by complete loss of FABP1 (LKO).

  20. FEMALE MICE ARE RESISTANT TO Fabp1 GENE ABLATION-INDUCED ALTERATIONS IN BRAIN ENDOCANNABINOID LEVELS

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Gregory G.; Chung, Sarah; Landrock, Danilo; Landrock, Kerstin K.; Dangott, Lawrence J.; Peng, Xiaoxue; Kaczocha, Martin; Murphy, Eric J.; Kier, Ann B.; Schroeder, Friedhelm

    2017-01-01

    Although liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP1, L-FABP) is not detectable in brain, Fabp1 gene ablation (LKO) markedly increases endocannabinoids (EC) in brains of male mice. Since the brain EC system of females differs significantly from that of males, it was important to determine if LKO differently impacted the brain EC system. LKO did not alter brain levels of arachidonic acid (ARA)-containing ECs, i.e arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), but decreased non-ARA-containing N-acylethanolamides (OEA, PEA) and 2-oleoylglycerol (2-OG) that potentiate the actions of AEA and 2-AG. These changes in brain potentiating EC levels were not associated with: i) a net decrease in levels of brain membrane proteins associated with fatty acid uptake and EC synthesis; ii) a net increase in brain protein levels of cytosolic EC chaperones and enzymes in EC degradation; or iii) increased brain protein levels of EC receptors (CB1, TRVP1). Instead, the reduced or opposite responsiveness of female brain EC levels to loss of FABP1 (LKO) correlated with intrinsically lower FABP1 level in livers of WT females than males. These data show that female mouse brain endocannabinoid levels were unchanged (AEA, 2-AG) or decreased (OEA, PEA, 2-OG) by complete loss of FABP1 (LKO). PMID:27450559

  1. Acute resistance exercise induces antinociception by activation of the endocannabinoid system in rats.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Acute Resistance Exercise Induces Antinociception by Activation of the Endocannabinoid System in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Galdino, Giovane; Romero, Thiago; da Silva, José Felippe Pinho; Aguiar, Daniele; de Paula, Ana Maria; Cruz, Jader; Parrella, Cosimo; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Duarte, Igor; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Perez, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Background 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. Methods 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. Results 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 of endocannabinoid plasma levels. Conclusion The present study suggests that a single session of RE activates the endocannabinoid system to induce antinociception. PMID:24977916

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Endocannabinoid signaling and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Western Blotting of the Endocannabinoid System.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Interactions between the endocannabinoid and nicotinic cholinergic systems: preclinical evidence and therapeutic perspectives.

    PubMed

    Scherma, Maria; Muntoni, Anna Lisa; Melis, Miriam; Fattore, Liana; Fadda, Paola; Fratta, Walter; Pistis, Marco

    2016-05-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that endocannabinoid and nicotinic cholinergic systems are implicated in the regulation of different physiological processes, including reward, and in the neuropathological mechanisms of psychiatric diseases, such as addiction. A crosstalk between these two systems is substantiated by the overlapping distribution of cannabinoid and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in many brain structures. We will review recent preclinical data showing how the endocannabinoid and nicotinic cholinergic systems interact bidirectionally at the level of the brain reward pathways, and how this interaction plays a key role in modulating nicotine and cannabinoid intake and dependence. Many behavioral and neurochemical effects of nicotine that are related to its addictive potential are reduced by pharmacological blockade or genetic deletion of type-1 cannabinoid receptors, inhibition of endocannabinoid uptake or metabolic degradation, and activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated-receptor-α. On the other hand, cholinergic antagonists at α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as well as endogenous negative allosteric modulators of these receptors are effective in blocking dependence-related effects of cannabinoids. Pharmacological manipulation of the endocannabinoid system and endocannabinoid-like neuromodulators shows promise in the treatment of nicotine dependence and in relapse prevention. Likewise, drugs acting at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors might prove useful in the therapy of cannabinoid dependence. Research by Steven R. Goldberg has significantly contributed to the progress in this research field.

  8. Endocannabinoids in brain plasticity: Cortical maturation, HPA axis function and behavior.

    PubMed

    Dow-Edwards, Diana; Silva, Lindsay

    2017-01-01

    Marijuana use during adolescence has reached virtually every strata of society. The general population has the perception that marijuana use is safe for mature people and therefore is also safe for developing adolescents. However, both clinical and preclinical research shows that marijuana use, particularly prior to age 16, could have long-term effects on cognition, anxiety and stress-related behaviors, mood disorders and substance abuse. These effects derive from the role of the endocannabinoid system, the endogenous cannabinoid system, in the development of cortex, amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus during adolescence. Endocannabinoids are necessary for normal neuronal excitation and inhibition through actions at glutamate and GABA terminals. Synaptic pruning at excitatory synapses and sparing of inhibitory synapses likely results in changes in the balance of excitation/inhibition in individual neurons and within networks; processes which are necessary for normal cortical development. The interaction between prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala and hippocampus is responsible for emotional memory, anxiety-related behaviors and drug abuse and all utilize the endogenous cannabinoid system to maintain homeostasis. Also, endocannabinoids are required for fast and slow feedback in the normal stress response, processes which mature during adolescence. Therefore, exogenous cannabinoids, such as marijuana, have the potential to alter the course of development of each of these major systems (limbic, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and neocortex) if used during the critical period of brain development, adolescence. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Adolescent plasticity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Stress Response Recruits the Hippocampal Endocannabinoid System for the Modulation of Fear Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alvares, Lucas de Oliveira; Engelke, Douglas Senna; Diehl, Felipe; Scheffer-Teixeira, Robson; Haubrich, Josue; Cassini, Lindsey de Freitas; Molina, Victor Alejandro; Quillfeldt, Jorge Alberto

    2010-01-01

    The modulation of memory processes is one of the several functions of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the brain, with CB1 receptors highly expressed in areas such as the dorsal hippocampus. Experimental evidence suggested an important role of the ECS in aversively motivated memories. Similarly, glucocorticoids released in response to stress…

  10. Supply and demand for endocannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Peripheral Endocannabinoid System Activity in Patients Treated With Sibutramine

    PubMed Central

    Engeli, Stefan; Heusser, Karsten; Janke, Jürgen; Gorzelniak, Kerstin; Bátkai, Sándor; Pacher, Pál; Harvey-White, Judith; Luft, Friedrich C.; Jordan, Jens

    2008-01-01

    Objective The endocannabinoid system (ECS) promotes weight gain and obesity-associated metabolic changes. Weight loss interventions may influence obesity-associated risk indirectly through modulation of the peripheral ECS. We investigated the effect of acute and chronic treatment with sibutramine on components of the peripheral ECS. Methods and Procedures Twenty obese otherwise healthy patients received randomized, double-blind, crossover treatment with placebo and 15 mg/day sibutramine for 5 days each, followed by 12 weeks open-label sibutramine treatment. We determined circulating anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol and expression levels of endocannabinoid genes in subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue biopsies. Results Body weight was stable during the acute treatment period and decreased by 6.0 ± 0.8 kg in those patients completing 3 months of sibutramine treatment (P < 0.05). Circulating endocannabinoids and the expression of ECS genes did not change with acute or chronic sibutramine treatment. Discussion The ECS is activated in obesity. We did not find any influence of 5% body weight loss induced by sibutramine on circulating levels of endocannabinoids and adipose-tissue expression of endocannabinoid genes in obese subjects. These data confirm our previous findings on dietary weight loss and suggest that the dysregulation of the ECS may be a cause rather than a consequence of obesity. PMID:18356837

  15. Hemopressin Peptides as Modulators of the Endocannabinoid System and their Potential Applications as Therapeutic Tools.

    PubMed

    Macedonio, Giorgia; Stefanucci, Azzurra; Maccallini, Cristina; Mirzaie, Sako; Novellino, Ettore; Mollica, Adriano

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is activated when natural arachidonic acid derivatives (endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids) bind as lipophilic messengers to cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. The ECS comprises many hydrolytic enzymes responsible for the endocannabinoids cleavage. These hydrolases, such as fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglyceride lipase (MAGL), are possible therapeutic targets for the development of new drugs as indirect cannabinoid agonists. Recently, a new family of endocannabinoid modulators was discovered; the lead structure of this family is the nonapeptide hemopressin produced from enzymatic cleavage of the α-chain of hemoglobin and acting as negative allosteric modulator of CB1. Hemopressin shows several physiological effects, e.g., antinociception, hypophagy, and hypotension. However, it is still a matter of debate whether this peptide, isolated from the brain of rats, is a real neuromodulator of the ECS. Recent evidence indicates that hemopressin could be a by-product formed by chemical degradation of a longer peptide RVD-hemopressin during the extraction from the brain homolysate. Indeed, RVD-hemopressin is more active than hemopressin in certain biological tests and may bind to the same subsite as Rimonabant, which is an inverse agonist of CB1 and a μ-opioid receptor antagonist. These findings have stimulated several studies to verify this hypothesis and to evaluate possible therapeutic applications of hemopressin, its peptidic derivatives, and synthetic analogues, opening new perspectives to the development of novel cannabinoid drugs.

  16. The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy

    PubMed Central

    PACHER, PÁL; BÁTKAI, SÁNDOR; KUNOS, GEORGE

    2008-01-01

    The recent identification of cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous lipid ligands has triggered an exponential growth of studies exploring the endocannabinoid system and its regulatory functions in health and disease. Such studies have been greatly facilitated by the introduction of selective cannabinoid receptor antagonists and inhibitors of endocannabinoid metabolism and transport, as well as mice deficient in cannabinoid receptors or the endocannabinoid-degrading enzyme fatty acid amidohydrolase. In the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs. More importantly, modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few. An impediment to the development of cannabinoid medications has been the socially unacceptable psychoactive properties of plant-derived or synthetic agonists, mediated by CB1 receptors. However, this problem does not arise when the therapeutic aim is achieved by treatment with a CB1 receptor antagonist, such as in obesity, and may also be absent when the action of endocannabinoids is enhanced indirectly through blocking their metabolism or transport. The use of selective CB2 receptor agonists, which lack psychoactive properties, could represent another promising avenue for certain conditions. The abuse potential of plant-derived cannabinoids may also be limited through the use of preparations with controlled composition and the careful selection of dose and route of administration. The

  17. The endocannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Scotter, Emma L; Abood, Mary E; Glass, Michelle

    2010-06-01

    The Cannabis sativa plant has been exploited for medicinal, agricultural and spiritual purposes in diverse cultures over thousands of years. Cannabis has been used recreationally for its psychotropic properties, while effects such as stimulation of appetite, analgesia and anti-emesis have lead to the medicinal application of cannabis. Indeed, reports of medicinal efficacy of cannabis can been traced back as far as 2700 BC, and even at that time reports also suggested a neuroprotective effect of the cultivar. The discovery of the psychoactive component of cannabis resin, Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) occurred long before the serendipitous identification of a G-protein coupled receptor at which Delta(9)-THC is active in the brain. The subsequent finding of endogenous cannabinoid compounds, the synthesis of which is directed by neuronal excitability and which in turn served to regulate that excitability, further widened the range of potential drug targets through which the endocannabinoid system can be manipulated. As a result of this, alterations in the endocannabinoid system have been extensively investigated in a range of neurodegenerative disorders. In this review we examine the evidence implicating the endocannabinoid system in the cause, symptomatology or treatment of neurodegenerative disease. We examine data from human patients and compare and contrast this with evidence from animal models of these diseases. On the basis of this evidence we discuss the likely efficacy of endocannabinoid-based therapies in each disease context.

  18. The endocannabinoid system mediates aerobic exercise-induced antinociception in rats.

    PubMed

    Galdino, Giovane; Romero, Thiago R L; Silva, José Felipe P; Aguiar, Daniele C; de Paula, Ana Maria; Cruz, Jader S; Parrella, Cosimo; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Duarte, Igor D; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Perez, Andrea C

    2014-02-01

    Exercise-induced antinociception is widely described in the literature, but the mechanisms involved in this phenomenon are poorly understood. Systemic (s.c.) and central (i.t., i.c.v.) pretreatment with CB₁ and CB₂ cannabinoid receptor antagonists (AM251 and AM630) blocked the antinociception induced by an aerobic exercise (AE) protocol in both mechanical and thermal nociceptive tests. Western blot analysis revealed an increase and activation of CB₁ receptors in the rat brain, and immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated an increase of activation and expression of CB₁ receptors in neurons of the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) after exercise. Additionally, pretreatment (s.c., i.t. and i.c.v.) with endocannabinoid metabolizing enzyme inhibitors (MAFP and JZL184) and an anandamide reuptake inhibitor (VDM11) prolonged and intensified this antinociceptive effect. These results indicate that exercise could activate the endocannabinoid system, producing antinociception. Supporting this hypothesis, liquid-chromatography/mass-spectrometry measurements demonstrated that plasma levels of endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) and of anandamide-related mediators (palmitoylethanolamide and oleoylethanolamide) were increased after AE. Therefore, these results suggest that the endocannabinoid system mediates aerobic exercise-induced antinociception at peripheral and central levels. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Metabolism of endocannabinoids.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Endocannabinoid system dysfunction in mood and related disorders.

    PubMed

    Ashton, C H; Moore, P B

    2011-10-01

    The endocannabinoid (EC) system is widely distributed throughout the brain and modulates many functions. It is involved in mood and related disorders, and its activity may be modified by exogenous cannabinoids. This article examines the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in psychiatric disorders. An overview is presented of the literature focussed on the functions of the EC system, its dysfunction in mood disorders and the therapeutic potential of exogenous cannabinoids. We propose (hypothesize) that the EC system, which is homoeostatic in cortical excitation and inhibition, is dysfunctional in mood and related disorders. Anandamide, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) variously combine antidepressant, antipsychotic, anxiolytic, analgesic, anticonvulsant actions, suggesting a therapeutic potential in mood and related disorders. Currently, cannabinoids find a role in pain control. Post mortem and other studies report EC system abnormalities in depression, schizophrenia and suicide. Abnormalities in the cannabinoid-1 receptor (CNR1) gene that codes for cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptors are reported in psychiatric disorders. However, efficacy trials of cannabinoids in psychiatric disorders are limited but offer some encouragement. Research is needed to elucidate the role of the EC system in psychiatric disorders and for clinical trials with THC, CBD and synthetic cannabinoids to assess their therapeutic potential. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Alterations in the endocannabinoid system in the rat valproic acid model of autism.

    PubMed

    Kerr, D M; Downey, L; Conboy, M; Finn, D P; Roche, M

    2013-07-15

    The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulating emotionality and social behaviour, however it is unknown whether this system plays a role in symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders. The current study evaluated if alterations in the endocannabinoid system accompany behavioural changes in the valproic acid (VPA) rat model of autism. Adolescent rats prenatally exposed to VPA exhibited impaired social investigatory behaviour, hypoalgesia and reduced lococmotor activity on exposure to a novel aversive arena. Levels of the endocananbinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) in the hippocampus, frontal cortex or cerebellum were not altered in VPA- versus saline-exposed animals. However, the expression of mRNA for diacylglycerol lipase α, the enzyme primarily responsible for the synthesis of 2-AG, was reduced in the cerebellum of VPA-exposed rats. Furthermore, while the expression of mRNA for the 2-AG-catabolising enzyme monoacylglycerol lipase was reduced, the activity of this enzyme was increased, in the hippocampus of VPA-exposed animals. CB1 or CB2 receptor expression was not altered in any of the regions examined, however VPA-exposed rats exhibited reduced PPARα and GPR55 expression in the frontal cortex and PPARγ and GPR55 expression in the hippocampus, additional receptor targets of the endocannabinoids. Furthermore, tissue levels of the fatty acid amide hydrolase substrates, AEA, oleoylethanolamide and palmitoylethanolamide, were higher in the hippocampus of VPA-exposed rats immediately following social exposure. These data indicate that prenatal VPA exposure is associated with alterations in the brain's endocannabinoid system and support the hypothesis that endocannabinoid dysfunction may underlie behavioural abnormalities observed in autism spectrum disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Endocannabinoid signaling and synaptic function.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-04

    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 nonretrograde 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. In this Review, we focus on new advances in synaptic endocannabinoid signaling in the mammalian brain. The emerging picture not only reinforces endocannabinoids as potent regulators of synaptic function but also reveals that endocannabinoid signaling is mechanistically more complex and diverse than originally thought. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Neurobiological Interactions Between Stress and the Endocannabinoid System

    PubMed Central

    Morena, Maria; Patel, Sachin; Bains, Jaideep S; Hill, Matthew N

    2016-01-01

    Stress affects a constellation of physiological systems in the body and evokes a rapid shift in many neurobehavioral processes. A growing body of work indicates that the endocannabinoid (eCB) system is an integral regulator of the stress response. In the current review, we discuss the evidence to date that demonstrates stress-induced regulation of eCB signaling and the consequential role changes in eCB signaling have with respect to many of the effects of stress. Across a wide array of stress paradigms, studies have generally shown that stress evokes bidirectional changes in the two eCB molecules, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), with stress exposure reducing AEA levels and increasing 2-AG levels. Additionally, in almost every brain region examined, exposure to chronic stress reliably causes a downregulation or loss of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors. With respect to the functional role of changes in eCB signaling during stress, studies have demonstrated that the decline in AEA appears to contribute to the manifestation of the stress response, including activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and increases in anxiety behavior, while the increased 2-AG signaling contributes to termination and adaptation of the HPA axis, as well as potentially contributing to changes in pain perception, memory and synaptic plasticity. More so, translational studies have shown that eCB signaling in humans regulates many of the same domains and appears to be a critical component of stress regulation, and impairments in this system may be involved in the vulnerability to stress-related psychiatric conditions, such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Collectively, these data create a compelling argument that eCB signaling is an important regulatory system in the brain that largely functions to buffer against many of the effects of stress and that dynamic changes in this system contribute to different aspects of the stress

  6. Neurobiological Interactions Between Stress and the Endocannabinoid System.

    PubMed

    Morena, Maria; Patel, Sachin; Bains, Jaideep S; Hill, Matthew N

    2016-01-01

    Stress affects a constellation of physiological systems in the body and evokes a rapid shift in many neurobehavioral processes. A growing body of work indicates that the endocannabinoid (eCB) system is an integral regulator of the stress response. In the current review, we discuss the evidence to date that demonstrates stress-induced regulation of eCB signaling and the consequential role changes in eCB signaling have with respect to many of the effects of stress. Across a wide array of stress paradigms, studies have generally shown that stress evokes bidirectional changes in the two eCB molecules, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), with stress exposure reducing AEA levels and increasing 2-AG levels. Additionally, in almost every brain region examined, exposure to chronic stress reliably causes a downregulation or loss of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors. With respect to the functional role of changes in eCB signaling during stress, studies have demonstrated that the decline in AEA appears to contribute to the manifestation of the stress response, including activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and increases in anxiety behavior, while the increased 2-AG signaling contributes to termination and adaptation of the HPA axis, as well as potentially contributing to changes in pain perception, memory and synaptic plasticity. More so, translational studies have shown that eCB signaling in humans regulates many of the same domains and appears to be a critical component of stress regulation, and impairments in this system may be involved in the vulnerability to stress-related psychiatric conditions, such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Collectively, these data create a compelling argument that eCB signaling is an important regulatory system in the brain that largely functions to buffer against many of the effects of stress and that dynamic changes in this system contribute to different aspects of the stress response.

  7. Updates in Reproduction Coming from the Endocannabinoid System

    PubMed Central

    Bradshaw, Heather B.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24550985

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. The endocannabinoid system and associative learning and memory in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in periodontal healing

    SciTech Connect

    Kozono, Sayaka; Matsuyama, Takashi, E-mail: takashi@dent.kagoshima-u.ac.jp; Biwasa, Kamal Krishna

    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 ofmore » 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.« less

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Brents, Lisa K.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27354844

  15. Restricted vs. unrestricted wheel running in mice: Effects on brain, behavior and endocannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Biedermann, Sarah V; Auer, Matthias K; Bindila, Laura; Ende, Gabriele; Lutz, Beat; Weber-Fahr, Wolfgang; Gass, Peter; Fuss, Johannes

    2016-11-01

    Beneficial effects of voluntary wheel running on hippocampal neurogenesis, morphology and hippocampal-dependent behavior have widely been studied in rodents, but also serious side effects and similarities to stereotypy have been reported. Some mouse strains run excessively when equipped with running wheels, complicating the comparability to human exercise regimes. Here, we investigated how exercise restriction to 6h/day affects hippocampal morphology and metabolism, stereotypic and basal behaviors, as well as the endocannabinoid system in wheel running C57BL/6 mice; the strain most commonly used for behavioral analyses and psychiatric disease models. Restricted and unrestricted wheel running had similar effects on immature hippocampal neuron numbers, thermoregulatory nest building and basal home-cage behaviors. Surprisingly, hippocampal gray matter volume, assessed with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging at 9.4 Tesla, was only increased in unrestricted but not in restricted runners. Moreover, unrestricted runners showed less stereotypic behavior than restricted runners did. However, after blockage of running wheels for 24h stereotypic behavior also increased in unrestricted runners, arguing against a long-term effect of wheel running on stereotypic behavior. Stereotypic behaviors correlated with frontal glutamate and glucose levels assessed by 1 H-MR spectroscopy. While acute running increased plasma levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide in former studies in mice and humans, we found an inverse correlation of anandamide with the daily running distance after long-term running. In conclusion, although there are some diverging effects of restricted and unrestricted running on brain and behavior, restricted running does not per se seem to be a better animal model for aerobic exercise in mice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Consequences of early life stress on the expression of endocannabinoid-related genes in the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Marco, Eva M; Echeverry-Alzate, Victor; López-Moreno, Jose Antonio; Giné, Elena; Peñasco, Sara; Viveros, Maria Paz

    2014-09-01

    The endocannabinoid system is involved in several physiological and pathological states including anxiety, depression, addiction and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Evidence from human and rodent studies suggests that exposure to early life stress may increase the risk of psychopathology later in life. Indeed, maternal deprivation (MD) (24 h at postnatal day 9) in rats induces behavioural alterations associated with depressive-like and psychotic-like symptoms, as well as important changes in the endocannabinoid system. As most neuropsychiatric disorders first appear at adolescence, and show remarkable sexual dimorphisms in their prevalence and severity, in the present study, we analysed the gene expression of the main components of the brain cannabinoid system in adolescent (postnatal day 46) Wistar male and female rats reared under standard conditions or exposed to MD. For this, we analysed, by real-time quantitative PCR, the expression of genes encoding for CB1 and CB2 receptors, TRPV1 and GPR55 (Cnr1, Cnr2a, Cnr2b, Trpv1, and Gpr55), for the major enzymes of synthesis, N-acyl phosphatidyl-ethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) and diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL) (Nape-pld, Dagla and Daglb), and degradation, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) (Faah, Magl and Cox-2), in specific brain regions, that is, the frontal cortex, ventral and dorsal striatum, dorsal hippocampus and amygdala. In males, MD increased the genetic expression of all the genes studied within the frontal cortex, whereas in females such an increase was observed only in the hippocampus. In conclusion, the endocannabinoid system is sensitive to early life stress at the gene expression level in a sex-dependent and region-dependent manner, and these changes are already evident in the adolescent brain.

  17. Drug-Induced Alterations of Endocannabinoid-Mediated Plasticity in Brain Reward Regions.

    PubMed

    Zlebnik, Natalie E; Cheer, Joseph F

    2016-10-05

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has emerged as one of the most important mediators of physiological and pathological reward-related synaptic plasticity. eCBs are retrograde messengers that provide feedback inhibition, resulting in the suppression of neurotransmitter release at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses, and they serve a critical role in the spatiotemporal regulation of both short- and long-term synaptic plasticity that supports adaptive learning of reward-motivated behaviors. However, mechanisms of eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity in reward areas of the brain are impaired following exposure to drugs of abuse. Because of this, it is theorized that maladaptive eCB signaling may contribute to the development and maintenance of addiction-related behavior. Here we review various forms of eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity present in regions of the brain involved in reward and reinforcement and explore the potential physiological relevance of maladaptive eCB signaling to addiction vulnerability. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/3610230-09$15.00/0.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  19. The Therapeutic Aspects of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) for Cancer and their Development: From Nature to Laboratory.

    PubMed

    Khan, Mohammed I; Sobocińska, Anna A; Czarnecka, Anna M; Król, Magdalena; Botta, Bruno; Szczylik, Cezary

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors, which are widely distributed in mammalian tissues. ECS regulates various cardiovascular, nervous, and immune system functions inside cells. In recent years, there has been a growing body of evidence for the use of synthetic and natural cannabinoids as potential anticancer agents. For instance, the CB1 and CB2 receptors are assumed to play an important role inside the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are abundantly expressed in the brain and fatty tissue of the human body. Despite recent developments in molecular biology, there is still a lack of knowledge about the distribution of CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human kidney and their role in kidney cancer. To address this gap, we explore and demonstrate the role of the endocannabinoid system in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In this brief overview, we elucidate the therapeutic aspects of the endocannabinoid system for various cancers and explain how this system can be used for treating kidney cancer. Overall, this review provides new insights into cannabinoids' mechanisms of action in both in vivo and in vitro models, and focuses on recent discoveries in the field.

  20. Prenatal cannabis exposure - The "first hit" to the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    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

  1. Immunomodulatory lipids in plants: plant fatty acid amides and the human endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Gertsch, Jürg

    2008-05-01

    Since the discovery that endogenous lipid mediators show similar cannabimimetic effects as phytocannabinoids from CANNABIS SATIVA, our knowledge about the endocannabinoid system has rapidly expanded. Today, endocannabinoid action is known to be involved in various diseases, including inflammation and pain. As a consequence, the G-protein coupled cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid transport, as well as endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes represent targets to block or enhance cannabinoid receptor-mediated signalling for therapeutic intervention. Based on the finding that certain endocannabinoid-like fatty acid N-alkylamides from purple coneflower ( ECHINACEA spp.) potently activate CB2 cannabinoid receptors we have focused our interest on plant fatty acid amides (FAAs) and their overall cannabinomodulatory effects. Certain FAAs are also able to partially inhibit the action of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which controls the breakdown of endocannabinoids. Intriguingly, plants lack CB receptors and do not synthesize endocannabinoids, but express FAAH homologues capable of metabolizing plant endogenous N-acylethanolamines (NAEs). While the site of action of these NAEs in plants is unknown, endogenous NAEs and arachidonic acid glycerols in animals interact with distinct physiological lipid receptors, including cannabinoid receptors. There is increasing evidence that also plant FAAs other than NAEs can pharmacologically modulate the action of these endogenous lipid signals. The interference of plant FAAs with the animal endocannabinoid system could thus be a fortunate evolutionary cross point with yet unexplored therapeutic potential.

  2. The endocannabinoid system: a new pharmacological target for obesity treatment?

    PubMed

    Hu, Jia; Zhu, Chao; Huang, Mao

    2009-06-01

    Being a great threaten for human health, obesity has become a pandemic chronic disease. There have been several therapeutic treatments for this social health issue, including diet and exercise therapy, medication and surgery, among which the diet is still the most common way. However, none of these therapeutic measures available is ideal, making it necessary to find an effective medical treatment. The endocannabinoid system, which is well known for its contributions in certain mental processes such as relaxation, amelioration of pain and anxiety, and sedation initiation, has been recently reported to play an essential role in regulating appetite and metabolism to maintain energy balance, leading to the belief that endocannabinoid system is closely related to obesity. This new discovery deepens our understanding of obesity, and provides us with a new direction for clinical obesity treatment. Rimonabant is an antagonist for CB1, and has entered the market in some countries. However, although effective as an anti-obesity drug, rimonabant also causes obviously adverse side-effects, thus is being doubted and denied for medical usage.

  3. Marijuana, phytocannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and male fertility.

    PubMed

    du Plessis, Stefan S; Agarwal, Ashok; Syriac, Arun

    2015-11-01

    Marijuana has the highest consumption rate among all of the illicit drugs used in the USA, and its popularity as both a recreational and medicinal drug is increasing especially among men of reproductive age. Male factor infertility is on the increase, and the exposure to the cannabinoid compounds released by marijuana could be a contributing cause. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is deeply involved in the complex regulation of male reproduction through the endogenous release of endocannabinoids and binding to cannabinoid receptors. Disturbing the delicate balance of the ECS due to marijuana use can negatively impact reproductive potential. Various in vivo and in vitro studies have reported on the empirical role that marijuana plays in disrupting the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis, spermatogenesis, and sperm function such as motility, capacitation, and the acrosome reaction. In this review, we highlight the latest evidence regarding the effect of marijuana use on male fertility and also provide a detailed insight into the ECS and its significance in the male reproductive system.

  4. The endocannabinoid system and appetite: relevance for food reward.

    PubMed

    Jager, Gerry; Witkamp, Renger F

    2014-06-01

    Mounting evidence substantiates the central role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the modulation of both homeostatic and hedonic elements of appetite and food intake. Conversely, feeding status and dietary patterns directly influence activity of the ECS. Following a general introduction on the functioning of the ECS, the present review specifically addresses its role in the modulation of hedonic eating. Humans possess strong motivational systems triggered by rewarding aspects of food. Food reward is comprised of two components: one appetitive (orienting towards food); the other consummatory (hedonic evaluation), also referred to as 'wanting' and 'liking', respectively. Endocannabinoid tone seems to influence both the motivation to feed and the hedonic value of foods, probably by modifying palatability. Human physiology underlying hedonic eating is still not fully understood. A better understanding of the role of the ECS in the rewarding value of specific foods or diets could offer new possibilities to optimise the balance between energy and nutrient intake for different target groups. These groups include the obese and overweight, and potentially individuals suffering from malnutrition. Examples for the latter group are patients with disease-related anorexia, as well as the growing population of frail elderly suffering from persistent loss of food enjoyment and appetite resulting in malnutrition and involuntary weight loss. It has become clear that the psychobiology of food hedonics is extremely complex and the clinical failure of CB1 inverse agonists including rimonabant (Accomplia®) has shown that 'quick wins' in this field are unlikely.

  5. N-arachidonoyl l-serine, an endocannabinoid-like brain constituent with vasodilatory properties

    PubMed Central

    Milman, Garry; Maor, Yehoshua; Abu-Lafi, Saleh; Horowitz, Michal; Gallily, Ruth; Batkai, Sandor; Mo, Fong-Ming; Offertaler, Laszlo; Pacher, Pal; Kunos, George; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2006-01-01

    The endocannabinoid N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (anandamide), found both in the CNS and in the periphery, plays a role in numerous physiological systems. One might expect that the chemically related N-arachidonoyl-l-serine (ARA-S) could also be formed alongside anandamide. We have now isolated ARA-S from bovine brain and elucidated its structure by comparison with synthetic ARA-S. Contrary to anandamide, ARA-S binds very weakly to cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 or vanilloid TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid 1) receptors. However, it produces endothelium-dependent vasodilation of rat isolated mesenteric arteries and abdominal aorta and stimulates phosphorylation of p44/42 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase and protein kinase B/Akt in cultured endothelial cells. ARA-S also suppresses LPS-induced formation of TNF-α in a murine macrophage cell line and in wild-type mice, as well as in mice deficient in CB1 or CB2 receptors. Many of these effects parallel those reported for abnormal cannabidiol (Abn-CBD), a synthetic agonist of a putative novel cannabinoid-type receptor. Hence, ARA-S may represent an endogenous agonist for this receptor. PMID:16467152

  6. N-arachidonoyl L-serine, an endocannabinoid-like brain constituent with vasodilatory properties.

    PubMed

    Milman, Garry; Maor, Yehoshua; Abu-Lafi, Saleh; Horowitz, Michal; Gallily, Ruth; Batkai, Sandor; Mo, Fong-Ming; Offertaler, Laszlo; Pacher, Pal; Kunos, George; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2006-02-14

    The endocannabinoid N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (anandamide), found both in the CNS and in the periphery, plays a role in numerous physiological systems. One might expect that the chemically related N-arachidonoyl-L-serine (ARA-S) could also be formed alongside anandamide. We have now isolated ARA-S from bovine brain and elucidated its structure by comparison with synthetic ARA-S. Contrary to anandamide, ARA-S binds very weakly to cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 or vanilloid TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid 1) receptors. However, it produces endothelium-dependent vasodilation of rat isolated mesenteric arteries and abdominal aorta and stimulates phosphorylation of p44/42 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase and protein kinase B/Akt in cultured endothelial cells. ARA-S also suppresses LPS-induced formation of TNF-alpha in a murine macrophage cell line and in wild-type mice, as well as in mice deficient in CB1 or CB2 receptors. Many of these effects parallel those reported for abnormal cannabidiol (Abn-CBD), a synthetic agonist of a putative novel cannabinoid-type receptor. Hence, ARA-S may represent an endogenous agonist for this receptor.

  7. Nicotine-induced neuroprotection against ischemic injury involves activation of endocannabinoid system in rats.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu; Nie, Huang; Tian, Li; Tong, Li; Yang, Lujia; Lao, Ning; Dong, Hailong; Sang, Hanfei; Xiong, Lize

    2013-02-01

    Nicotine has been reported to exert certain protective effect in the Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Whether it has a similar action in focal cerebral ischemia was unclear. In the present study, rats received either an injection of (-)-nicotine hydrogen tartrate salt (1.2 mg/kg, i.p.) or the vehicle 2 h before the 120 min middle cerebral artery occlusion. Neurological deficits and histological injury were assessed at 24 h after reperfusion. The content of endocannabinoids and the expression of cannabinoid receptor CB1 in brain tissues were determined at different time points after nicotine administration. Results showed that nicotine administration ameliorated neurological deficits and reduced infarct volume induced by cerebral ischemia in the rats. The neuroprotective effect was partially reversed by CB1 blockage. The content of the endocannabinoids N-arachidonylethanolamine and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, as well as the expression of cannabinoid receptor CB1 were up-regulated in brain tissues after nicotine delivery. These results suggest that endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in the nicotine-induced neuroprotection against transient focal cerebral ischemia.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Are the endocannabinoid-like compounds N-acyl aminoacids neuroprotective after traumatic brain injury?

    PubMed

    Mann, Aniv; Cohen-Yeshurun, Ayelet; Trembovler, Victoria; Mechoulam, Raphael; Shohami, Esther

    2016-05-01

    In recent years, a library of approx. 70 N-acyl aminoacids (NAAAs) was discovered in the rat brain. A particular member of this family of compounds is arachidonoyl serine (AraS), which has generated special interest as a potential therapy for traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is due to its structural similarity to the endocannabinoid (eCB) 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), which was previously shown to be beneficial in the recovery in a closed head injury model of TBI. Indeed, AraS exerted eCB-mediated neuroprotection, which was evident in numerous aspects related to the secondary damage characterizing TBI. These findings promoted broadening of the research to additional compounds of the NAAA family that share a structural similarity to AraS, namely, palmitoyl serine (PalmS) and oleoyl serine. The latter did not exhibit any improvement in recovery, whereas the former displayed some neuroprotection, albeit inferior to 2-AG and AraS, via unknown mechanisms. Interestingly, when a combined treatment of 2-AG, AraS and PalmS was tested, the overall effect on the severity score was inferior to their individual effects, suggesting not only a lack of direct or indirect synergism, but also possibly some spatial hindrance. Taken together, the complexity of the damage caused by TBI and the many open questions concerning the role of the eCB system in health and disease, the findings so far may serve as a small trace to the understanding of the eCB system, as well as of the mechanisms underlying TBI.

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. Modulation of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine effects by endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. Re-visiting the Endocannabinoid System and Its Therapeutic Potential in Obesity and Associated Diseases.

    PubMed

    Richey, Joyce M; Woolcott, Orison

    2017-09-14

    The purpose of the review was to revisit the possibility of the endocannabinoid system being a therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity by focusing on the peripheral roles in regulating appetite and energy metabolism. Previous studies with the global cannabinoid receptor blocker rimonabant, which has both central and peripheral properties, showed that this drug has beneficial effects on cardiometabolic function but severe adverse psychiatric side effects. Consequently, focus has shifted to peripherally restricted cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor blockers as possible therapeutic agents that mitigate or eliminate the untoward effects in the central nervous system. Targeting the endocannabinoid system using novel peripheral CB1 receptor blockers with negligible penetrance across the blood-brain barrier may prove to be effective therapy for obesity and its co-morbidities. Perhaps the future of blockers targeting CB1 receptors will be tissue-specific neutral antagonists (e.g., skeletal muscle specific to treat peripheral insulin resistance, adipocyte-specific to treat fat excess, liver-specific to treat fatty liver and hepatic insulin resistance).

  14. Obesity, the Endocannabinoid System, and Bias Arising from Pharmaceutical Sponsorship

    PubMed Central

    McPartland, John M.

    2009-01-01

    Background 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. Methods/Principal Findings 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:19333392

  15. Role of the endocannabinoid system in the emotional manifestations of osteoarthritis pain.

    PubMed

    La Porta, Carmen; Bura, S Andreea; Llorente-Onaindia, Jone; Pastor, Antoni; Navarrete, Francisco; García-Gutiérrez, María Salud; De la Torre, Rafael; Manzanares, Jorge; Monfort, Jordi; Maldonado, Rafael

    2015-10-01

    In this study, we investigated the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the emotional and cognitive alterations associated with osteoarthritis pain. The monosodium iodoacetate model was used to evaluate the affective and cognitive manifestations of osteoarthritis pain in type 1 (CB1R) and type 2 (CB2R) cannabinoid receptor knockout and wild-type mice and the ability of CB1R (ACEA) and CB2R (JWH133) selective agonists to improve these manifestations during a 3-week time period. The levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) were measured in plasma and brain areas involved in the control of these manifestations. Patients with knee osteoarthritis and healthy controls were recruited to evaluate pain, affective, and cognitive symptoms, as well as plasma endocannabinoid levels and cannabinoid receptor gene expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes. The affective manifestations of osteoarthritis were enhanced in CB1R knockout mice and absent in CB2R knockouts. Interestingly, both ACEA and JWH133 ameliorated the nociceptive and affective alterations, whereas ACEA also improved the associated memory impairment. An increase of 2-AG levels in prefrontal cortex and plasma was observed in this mouse model of osteoarthritis. In agreement, an increase of 2-AG plasmatic levels and an upregulation of CB1R and CB2R gene expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes were observed in patients with osteoarthritis compared with healthy subjects. Changes found in these biomarkers of the ECS correlated with pain, affective, and cognitive symptoms in these patients. The ECS plays a crucial role in osteoarthritis and represents an interesting pharmacological target and biomarker of this disease.

  16. Role of the endocannabinoid system in the emotional manifestations of osteoarthritis pain

    PubMed Central

    La Porta, Carmen; Bura, S. Andreea; Llorente-Onaindia, Jone; Pastor, Antoni; Navarrete, Francisco; García-Gutiérrez, María Salud; De la Torre, Rafael; Manzanares, Jorge; Monfort, Jordi; Maldonado, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In this study, we investigated the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the emotional and cognitive alterations associated with osteoarthritis pain. The monosodium iodoacetate model was used to evaluate the affective and cognitive manifestations of osteoarthritis pain in type 1 (CB1R) and type 2 (CB2R) cannabinoid receptor knockout and wild-type mice and the ability of CB1R (ACEA) and CB2R (JWH133) selective agonists to improve these manifestations during a 3-week time period. The levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) were measured in plasma and brain areas involved in the control of these manifestations. Patients with knee osteoarthritis and healthy controls were recruited to evaluate pain, affective, and cognitive symptoms, as well as plasma endocannabinoid levels and cannabinoid receptor gene expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes. The affective manifestations of osteoarthritis were enhanced in CB1R knockout mice and absent in CB2R knockouts. Interestingly, both ACEA and JWH133 ameliorated the nociceptive and affective alterations, whereas ACEA also improved the associated memory impairment. An increase of 2-AG levels in prefrontal cortex and plasma was observed in this mouse model of osteoarthritis. In agreement, an increase of 2-AG plasmatic levels and an upregulation of CB1R and CB2R gene expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes were observed in patients with osteoarthritis compared with healthy subjects. Changes found in these biomarkers of the ECS correlated with pain, affective, and cognitive symptoms in these patients. The ECS plays a crucial role in osteoarthritis and represents an interesting pharmacological target and biomarker of this disease. PMID:26067584

  17. Endocannabinoids in Liver Disease

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. Antidepressants and changes in concentration of endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines in rat brain structures.

    PubMed

    Smaga, Irena; Bystrowska, Beata; Gawliński, Dawid; Pomierny, Bartosz; Stankowicz, Piotr; Filip, Małgorzata

    2014-08-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has recently been implicated in both the pathogenesis of depression and the action of antidepressants. Here, we investigated the effect of acutely or chronically administering antidepressants [imipramine (IMI) (15 mg/kg), escitalopram (ESC) (10 mg/kg), and tianeptine (10 mg/kg)] on the levels of both eCBs [anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)] and N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) [palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA)] in various rat brain regions. We also examined the ability of the acute and chronic administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) (a mucolytic drug; 100 mg/kg) or URB597 (a fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor; 0.3 mg/kg), which have both elicited antidepressant activity in preclinical studies, to affect eCB and NAE levels. Next, we determined whether the observed effects are stable 10 days after the chronic administration of these drugs was halted. We report that the chronic administration of all investigated drugs increased AEA levels in the hippocampus and also increased both AEA and 2-AG levels in the dorsal striatum. NAE levels in limbic regions also increased after treatment with IMI (PEA/OEA), ESC (PEA), and NAC (PEA/OEA). Removing chronic ESC treatment for 10 days affected eCB and NAE levels in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, dorsal striatum, and cerebellum, while a similar tianeptine-free period enhanced accumbal NAE levels. All other drugs maintained their effects after the 10-day washout period. Therefore, the eCB system appears to play a significant role in the mechanism of action of clinically effective and potential antidepressants and may serve as a target for drug design and discovery.

  19. Palmitoyl Serine: An Endogenous Neuroprotective Endocannabinoid-Like Entity After Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Mann, Aniv; Smoum, Reem; Trembovler, Victoria; Alexandrovich, Alexander; Breuer, Aviva; Mechoulam, Raphael; Shohami, Esther

    2015-06-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system helps recovery following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Treatment with 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), a cerebral eCB ligand, was found to ameliorate the secondary damage. Interestingly, the fatty acid amino acid amide (FAAA) N-arachidonoyl-L-serine (AraS) exerts similar eCB dependent neuroprotective. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of the FAAA palmitoyl-serine (PalmS) following TBI. We utilized the TBI model in mice to examine the therapeutic potential of PalmS, injected 1 h following closed head injury (CHI). We followed the functional recovery of the injured mice for 28 days post-CHI, and evaluated cognitive and motor function, lesion volume, cytokines levels, molecular signaling, and infarct volume at different time points after CHI. PalmS treatment led to a significant improvement of the neurobehavioral outcome of the treated mice, compared with vehicle. This effect was attenuated in the presence of eCBR antagonists and in CB2-/- mice, compared to controls. Unexpectedly, treatment with PalmS did not affect edema and lesion volume, TNFα and IL1β levels, anti-apoptotic mechanisms, nor did it exert improvement in cognitive and motor function. Finally, co-administration of PalmS, AraS and 2-AG, did not enhance the effect of the individual drugs. We suggest that the neuroprotective action of PalmS is mediated by indirect activation of the eCB receptors following TBI. One such mechanism may involve receptor palmitoylation which has been reported to result in structural stabilization of the receptors and to an increase in their activity. Further research is required in order to establish this assumption.

  20. Rare genetic variants in the endocannabinoid system genes CNR1 and DAGLA are associated with neurological phenotypes in humans.

    PubMed

    Smith, Douglas R; Stanley, Christine M; Foss, Theodore; Boles, Richard G; McKernan, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    Rare genetic variants in the core endocannabinoid system genes CNR1, CNR2, DAGLA, MGLL and FAAH were identified in molecular testing data from 6,032 patients with a broad spectrum of neurological disorders. The variants were evaluated for association with phenotypes similar to those observed in the orthologous gene knockouts in mice. Heterozygous rare coding variants in CNR1, which encodes the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1), were found to be significantly associated with pain sensitivity (especially migraine), sleep and memory disorders-alone or in combination with anxiety-compared to a set of controls without such CNR1 variants. Similarly, heterozygous rare variants in DAGLA, which encodes diacylglycerol lipase alpha, were found to be significantly associated with seizures and neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and abnormalities of brain morphology, compared to controls. Rare variants in MGLL, FAAH and CNR2 were not associated with any neurological phenotypes in the patients tested. Diacylglycerol lipase alpha synthesizes the endocannabinoid 2-AG in the brain, which interacts with CB1 receptors. The phenotypes associated with rare CNR1 variants are reminiscent of those implicated in the theory of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome. The severe phenotypes associated with rare DAGLA variants underscore the critical role of rapid 2-AG synthesis and the endocannabinoid system in regulating neurological function and development. Mapping of the variants to the 3D structure of the type 1 cannabinoid receptor, or primary structure of diacylglycerol lipase alpha, reveals clustering of variants in certain structural regions and is consistent with impacts to function.

  1. Care and feeding of the endocannabinoid system: a systematic review of potential clinical interventions that upregulate the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    McPartland, John M; Guy, Geoffrey W; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    The "classic" endocannabinoid (eCB) system includes the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, the eCB ligands anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and their metabolic enzymes. An emerging literature documents the "eCB deficiency syndrome" as an etiology in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, psychological disorders, and other conditions. We performed a systematic review of clinical interventions that enhance the eCB system--ways to upregulate cannabinoid receptors, increase ligand synthesis, or inhibit ligand degradation. We searched PubMed for clinical trials, observational studies, and preclinical research. Data synthesis was qualitative. Exclusion criteria limited the results to 184 in vitro studies, 102 in vivo animal studies, and 36 human studies. Evidence indicates that several classes of pharmaceuticals upregulate the eCB system, including analgesics (acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, glucocorticoids), antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, and anticonvulsants. Clinical interventions characterized as "complementary and alternative medicine" also upregulate the eCB system: massage and manipulation, acupuncture, dietary supplements, and herbal medicines. Lifestyle modification (diet, weight control, exercise, and the use of psychoactive substances--alcohol, tobacco, coffee, cannabis) also modulate the eCB system. Few clinical trials have assessed interventions that upregulate the eCB system. Many preclinical studies point to other potential approaches; human trials are needed to explore these promising interventions.

  2. mGluR1/5 activation in the lateral hypothalamus increases food intake via the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Fuentes, Asai; Marichal-Cancino, Bruno A; Méndez-Díaz, Mónica; Becerril-Meléndez, Alline L; Ruiz-Contreras, Alejandra E; Prospéro-Garcia, Oscar

    2016-09-19

    Mounting evidence has shown that glutamatergic and endocannabinoid systems in the hypothalamus regulate mammalian food intake. Stimulation of hypothalamic mGluR1/5 and CB1 receptors induces hyperphagia suggesting a possible interaction between these systems to control food intake. In addition, synthesis of endocannabinoids has been reported after mGluR1/5 stimulation in the brain. The aim of this study was to examine the potential cannabinergic activity in the food intake induction by lateral hypothalamic stimulation of mGluR1/5. Wistar albino male rats received bilateral infusions in the lateral hypothalamus (LH) of: (i) vehicle; (ii) (RS)-2-Chloro-5-hidroxyphenylglycine (CHPG; mGluR1/5 agonist); (iii) 2-AG (CB1 endogenous agonist); (iv) AM251 (CB1 antagonist); (v) tetrahydrolipstatin (THL, 1.2μg; diacyl-glycerol lipase inhibitor); and (vi) combinations of CHPG + with the other aforementioned drugs. Food intake was evaluated the first two hours after drug administration. CHPG significantly increased food intake; whereas CHPG in combination with a dose of 2-AG (with no effects on food intake) greatly increased food ingestion compared to CHPG alone. The increase induced by CHPG in food intake was prevented with AM251 or THL. These results suggest that activation of mGluR1/5 in the lateral hypothalamus induces an orexigenic effect via activation of the endocannabinoid system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Care and Feeding of the Endocannabinoid System: A Systematic Review of Potential Clinical Interventions that Upregulate the Endocannabinoid System

    PubMed Central

    McPartland, John M.; Guy, Geoffrey W.; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    Background The “classic” endocannabinoid (eCB) system includes the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, the eCB ligands anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and their metabolic enzymes. An emerging literature documents the “eCB deficiency syndrome” as an etiology in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, psychological disorders, and other conditions. We performed a systematic review of clinical interventions that enhance the eCB system—ways to upregulate cannabinoid receptors, increase ligand synthesis, or inhibit ligand degradation. Methodology/Principal Findings We searched PubMed for clinical trials, observational studies, and preclinical research. Data synthesis was qualitative. Exclusion criteria limited the results to 184 in vitro studies, 102 in vivo animal studies, and 36 human studies. Evidence indicates that several classes of pharmaceuticals upregulate the eCB system, including analgesics (acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, glucocorticoids), antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, and anticonvulsants. Clinical interventions characterized as “complementary and alternative medicine” also upregulate the eCB system: massage and manipulation, acupuncture, dietary supplements, and herbal medicines. Lifestyle modification (diet, weight control, exercise, and the use of psychoactive substances—alcohol, tobacco, coffee, cannabis) also modulate the eCB system. Conclusions/Significance Few clinical trials have assessed interventions that upregulate the eCB system. Many preclinical studies point to other potential approaches; human trials are needed to explore these promising interventions. PMID:24622769

  4. [The role of endocannabinoid system in physiological and pathological processes in the eye].

    PubMed

    Nadolska, Krystyna; Goś, Roman

    2008-01-01

    Plant of Cannabis sativa/ marihuana except for its psychotropic effects possesses a range of pharmacological properties, that has been utilized for medical purposes over a period of millenia. Investigations concerning biochemical mechanism of action of the main and most active pharmacological compound of Cannabis sativa, cannabinoid 9-THC, contributed to the discovery of cannabinoid receptors both in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral tissues, that mediated actions of this substance. The discovery made possible identification of a new, endogenous signaling system reffered to as the endocannabinoid system. Besides cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, the system includes it's endogenic ligands (endocannabinoids) and compounds that participate in their biosynthesis and inactivation. Structure and functioning of the endocannabinoid system is conservative in all vertebrates. It's activation with plant, synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids has an influence on multiple physiological and pathological processes within the eye.

  5. ENDOCANNABINOID INFLUENCE IN DRUG REINFORCEMENT, DEPENDENCE AND ADDICTION-RELATED BEHAVIORS

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, Antonia; Parsons, Loren H.

    2011-01-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid system is an important regulatory system involved in physiological homeostasis. Endocannabinoid signaling is known to modulate neural development, immune function, metabolism, synaptic plasticity and emotional state. Accumulating evidence also implicates brain endocannabinoid signaling in the etiology of drug addiction which is characterized by compulsive drug seeking, loss of control in limiting drug intake, emergence of a negative emotional state in the absence of drug use and a persistent vulnerability toward relapse to drug use during protracted abstinence. In this review we discuss the effects of drug intake on brain endocannabinoid signaling, evidence implicating the endocannabinoid system in the motivation for drug consumption, and drug-induced alterations in endocannabinoid function that may contribute to various aspects of addiction including dysregulated synaptic plasticity, increased stress responsivity, negative affective states, drug craving and relapse to drug taking. Current knowledge of genetic variants in endocannabinoid signaling associated with addiction is also discussed. PMID:21798285

  6. Developmental regulation of fear learning and anxiety behavior by endocannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tiffany T.-Y.; Hill, Matthew N.; Lee, Francis S.

    2015-01-01

    The developing brain undergoes substantial maturation into adulthood and the development of specific neural structures occurs on differing timelines. Transient imbalances between developmental trajectories of corticolimbic structures, which are known to contribute to regulation over fear learning and anxiety, can leave an individual susceptible to mental illness, particularly anxiety disorders. There is a substantial body of literature indicating that the endocannabinoid system critically regulates stress responsivity and emotional behavior throughout the life span, making this system a novel therapeutic target for stress- and anxiety-related disorders. During early life and adolescence, corticolimbic endocannabinoid signaling changes dynamically and coincides with different sensitive periods of fear learning, suggesting that endocannabinoid signaling underlies age-specific fear learning responses. Moreover, perturbations to these normative fluctuations in corticolimbic endocannabinoid signaling, such as stress or cannabinoid exposure, could serve as a neural substrate contributing to alterations to the normative developmental trajectory of neural structures governing emotional behavior and fear learning. In this review, we first introduce the components of the endocannabinoid system and discuss clinical and rodent models demonstrating endocannabinoid regulation of fear learning and anxiety in adulthood. Next, we highlight distinct fear learning and regulation profiles throughout development and discuss the ontogeny of the endocannabinoid system in the central nervous system, and models of pharmacological augmentation of endocannabinoid signaling during development in the context of fear learning and anxiety. PMID:26419643

  7. Endocannabinoid system and drug addiction: new insights from mutant mice approaches.

    PubMed

    Maldonado, Rafael; Robledo, Patricia; Berrendero, Fernando

    2013-08-01

    The involvement of the endocannabinoid system in drug addiction was initially studied by the use of compounds with different affinities for each cannabinoid receptor or for the proteins involved in endocannabinoids inactivation. The generation of genetically modified mice with selective mutations in these endocannabinoid system components has now provided important advances in establishing their specific contribution to drug addiction. These genetic tools have identified the particular interest of CB1 cannabinoid receptor and endogenous anandamide as potential targets for drug addiction treatment. Novel genetic tools will allow determining if the modulation of CB2 cannabinoid receptor activity and 2-arachidonoylglycerol tone can also have an important therapeutic relevance for drug addiction. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Early phytocannabinoid chemistry to endocannabinoids and beyond.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol protects inflammatory insults from sulfur dioxide inhalation via cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

    PubMed

    Li, Ben; Chen, Minjun; Guo, Lin; Yun, Yang; Li, Guangke; Sang, Nan

    2017-01-01

    Sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) pollution in the atmospheric environment causes brain inflammatory insult and inflammatory-related microvasculature dysfunction. However, there are currently no effective medications targeting the harmful outcomes from chemical inhalation. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are involved in neuronal protection against inflammation-induced neuronal injury. The 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), the most abundant eCBs and a full agonist for cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), is also capable of suppressing proinflammatory stimuli and improving microvasculature dysfunction. Here, we indicated that endogenous 2-AG protected against neuroinflammation in response to SO 2 inhalation by inhibiting the activation of microglia and astrocytes and attenuating the overexpression of inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), interleukin (IL)-1β, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). In addition, endogenous 2-AG prevented cerebral vasculature dysfunction following SO 2 inhalation by inhibiting endothelin 1 (ET-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) expression, elevating endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) level, and restoring the imbalance between thromboxane A2 (TXA2) and prostaglandin I2 (PGI2). In addition, the action of endogenous 2-AG on the suppression of inflammatory insult and inflammatory-related microvasculature dysfunction appeared to be mainly mediated by CB1 and CB2 receptors. Our results provided a mechanistic basis for the development of new therapeutic approaches for protecting brain injuries from SO 2 inhalation. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. The Endocannabinoid System and Plant-Derived Cannabinoids in Diabetes and Diabetic Complications

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Oxidative stress and inflammation play critical roles in the development of diabetes and its complications. Recent studies provided compelling evidence that the newly discovered lipid signaling system (ie, the endocannabinoid system) may significantly influence reactive oxygen species production, inflammation, and subsequent tissue injury, in addition to its well-known metabolic effects and functions. The modulation of the activity of this system holds tremendous therapeutic potential in a wide range of diseases, ranging from cancer, pain, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases to obesity and metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and diabetic complications. This review focuses on the role of the endocannabinoid system in primary diabetes and its effects on various diabetic complications, such as diabetic cardiovascular dysfunction, nephropathy, retinopathy, and neuropathy, particularly highlighting the mechanisms beyond the metabolic consequences of the activation of the endocannabinoid system. The therapeutic potential of targeting the endocannabinoid system and certain plant-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin, which are devoid of psychotropic effects and possess potent anti-inflammatory and/or antioxidant properties, in diabetes and diabetic complications is also discussed. PMID:22155112

  11. 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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    Background: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusion: 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

  12. 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.

    PubMed

    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

  13. Modulation of the Endocannabinoid System: Vulnerability Factor and New Treatment Target for Stimulant Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Olière, Stéphanie; Jolette-Riopel, Antoine; Potvin, Stéphane; Jutras-Aswad, Didier

    2013-01-01

    Cannabis is one of the most widely used illicit substance among users of stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines. Interestingly, increasing recent evidence points toward the involvement of the endocannabinoid system (ECBS) in the neurobiological processes related to stimulant addiction. This article presents an up-to-date review with deep insights into the pivotal role of the ECBS in the neurobiology of stimulant addiction and the effects of its modulation on addictive behaviors. This article aims to: (1) review the role of cannabis use and ECBS modulation in the neurobiological substrates of psychostimulant addiction and (2) evaluate the potential of cannabinoid-based pharmacological strategies to treat stimulant addiction. A growing number of studies support a critical role of the ECBS and its modulation by synthetic or natural cannabinoids in various neurobiological and behavioral aspects of stimulants addiction. Thus, cannabinoids modulate brain reward systems closely involved in stimulants addiction, and provide further evidence that the cannabinoid system could be explored as a potential drug discovery target for treating addiction across different classes of stimulants. PMID:24069004

  14. Dose-Specific Effects of Di-Isononyl Phthalate on the Endocannabinoid System and on Liver of Female Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Forner-Piquer, Isabel; Maradonna, Francesca; Gioacchini, Giorgia; Santangeli, Stefania; Allarà, Marco; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Habibi, Hamid R; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Carnevali, Oliana

    2017-10-01

    Phthalates, used as plasticizers, have become a ubiquitous contaminant and have been reported for their potential to induce toxicity in living organisms. Among them, di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP) has been recently used to replace di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). Nowadays, there is evidence that DiNP is an endocrine-disrupting chemical; however, little is known about its effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and lipid metabolism. Hence, the aim of our study was to investigate the effects of DiNP on the ECS in zebrafish liver and brain and on hepatic lipid storage. To do so, adult female zebrafish were exposed to three concentrations (0.42 µg/L, 4.2 µg/L, and 42 µg/L) of DiNP via water for 3 weeks. Afterwards, we investigated transcript levels for genes involved in the ECS of the brain and liver as well as liver histology and image analysis, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy imaging, and measurement of endocannabinoid levels. Our results demonstrate that DiNP upregulates orexigenic signals and causes hepatosteatosis together with deregulation of the peripheral ECS and lipid metabolism. A decrease in the levels of ECS components at the central level was observed after exposure to the highest DiNP concentration tested. These findings suggest that replacement of DEHP with DiNP should be considered with caution because of observed adverse DiNP effects on aquatic organisms. Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society.

  15. Mustard vesicants alter expression of the endocannabinoid system in mouse skin

    SciTech Connect

    Wohlman, Irene M.; Composto, Gabriella M.

    Vesicants including sulfur mustard (SM) and nitrogen mustard (NM) are bifunctional alkylating agents that cause skin inflammation, edema and blistering. This is associated with alterations in keratinocyte growth and differentiation. Endogenous cannabinoids, including N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), are important in regulating inflammation, keratinocyte proliferation and wound healing. Their activity is mediated by binding to cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2), as well as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα). Levels of endocannabinoids are regulated by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). We found that CB1, CB2, PPARα and FAAH were all constitutively expressed in mouse epidermis andmore » dermal appendages. Topical administration of NM or SM, at concentrations that induce tissue injury, resulted in upregulation of FAAH, CB1, CB2 and PPARα, a response that persisted throughout the wound healing process. Inhibitors of FAAH including a novel class of vanillyl alcohol carbamates were found to be highly effective in suppressing vesicant-induced inflammation in mouse skin. Taken together, these data indicate that the endocannabinoid system is important in regulating skin homeostasis and that inhibitors of FAAH may be useful as medical countermeasures against vesicants. - Highlights: • Sulfur mustard and nitrogen mustard are potent skin vesicants. • The endocannabinoid system regulates keratinocyte growth and differentiation. • Vesicants are potent inducers of the endocannabinoid system in mouse skin. • Endocannabinoid proteins upregulated are FAAH, CB1, CB2 and PPARα. • FAAH inhibitors suppress vesicant-induced inflammation in mouse skin.« less

  16. Endocannabinoids and Mental Disorders.

    PubMed

    Rubino, Tiziana; Zamberletti, Erica; Parolaro, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Preclinical and clinical data fully support the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the etiopathogenesis of several mental diseases. In this review we will briefly summarize the most common alterations in the endocannabinoid system, in terms of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid levels, present in mood disorders (anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, and suicidality) as well as psychosis (schizophrenia) and autism. The arising picture for each pathology is not always straightforward; however, both animal and human studies seem to suggest that pharmacological modulation of this system might represent a novel approach for treatment.

  17. Novel natural and synthetic ligands of the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Hanus, Lumír O; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2010-01-01

    In this review we describe recent advances in the chemistry of novel CB(1)/CB(2) agonists, CB(1) antagonists, selective CB(2) agonists, fatty acid amide hydrolase inibitors, monoglyceride (MGL) and diglyceride (DAGL) inhibitors and cannabinoid-type agonists and antagonists of non CB(1)/CB(2) receptors. In view of recent interest in the activities of fatty acid amides of amino acids (N-acyl amino acids) a list of this type of compounds was compiled and is presented as a Table. We conclude that further synthetic work based on both the plant cannabinoids and on the endocannabinoids may lead to novel therapeutics and that the identification and the elucidation of the biological profile of the myriad of endogenous N-acyl amino acids and related compounds may enhance the already wide spectrum of lipidomics.

  18. Endocannabinoid-dependent protection against kainic acid-induced long-term alteration of brain oscillations in guinea pigs.

    PubMed

    Shubina, Liubov; Aliev, Rubin; Kitchigina, Valentina

    2017-04-15

    Changes in rhythmic activity can serve as early biomarkers of pathological alterations, but it remains unclear how different types of rhythmic activity are altered during neurodegenerative processes. Glutamatergic neurotoxicity, evoked by kainic acid (KA), causes hyperexcitation and acute seizures that result in delayed brain damage. We employed wide frequency range (0.1-300Hz) local field potential recordings in guinea pigs to study the oscillatory activity of the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, medial septum, and amygdala in healthy animals for three months after KA introduction. To clarify whether the activation of endocannabinoid (eCB) system can influence toxic KA action, AM404, an eCB reuptake inhibitor, and URB597, an inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase, were applied. The cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 was also tested. Coadministration of AM404 or URB597 with KA reduced acute behavioral seizures, but electrographic seizures were still registered. During the three months following KA injection, various trends in the oscillatory activities were observed, including an increase in activity power at all frequency bands in the hippocampus and a progressive long-term decrease in the medial septum. In the KA- and KA/AM251-treated animals, disturbances of the oscillatory activities were accompanied by cell loss in the dorsal hippocampus and mossy fiber sprouting in the dentate gyrus. Injections of AM404 or URB597 softened alterations in electrical activity of the brain and prevented hippocampal neuron loss and synaptic reorganization. Our results demonstrate the protective potential of the eCB system during excitotoxic influences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Endocannabinoid Signaling in Autism.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, Bhismadev; Persico, Antonio; Battista, Natalia; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2015-10-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex behavioral condition with onset during early childhood and a lifelong course in the vast majority of cases. To date, no behavioral, genetic, brain imaging, or electrophysiological test can specifically validate a clinical diagnosis of ASD. However, these medical procedures are often implemented in order to screen for syndromic forms of the disorder (i.e., autism comorbid with known medical conditions). In the last 25 years a good deal of information has been accumulated on the main components of the "endocannabinoid (eCB) system", a rather complex ensemble of lipid signals ("endocannabinoids"), their target receptors, purported transporters, and metabolic enzymes. It has been clearly documented that eCB signaling plays a key role in many human health and disease conditions of the central nervous system, thus opening the avenue to the therapeutic exploitation of eCB-oriented drugs for the treatment of psychiatric, neurodegenerative, and neuroinflammatory disorders. Here we present a modern view of the eCB system, and alterations of its main components in human patients and animal models relevant to ASD. This review will thus provide a critical perspective necessary to explore the potential exploitation of distinct elements of eCB system as targets of innovative therapeutics against ASD.

  20. High Times for Painful Blues: The Endocannabinoid System in Pain-Depression Comorbidity

    PubMed Central

    Fitzgibbon, Marie; Finn, David P.

    2016-01-01

    Depression and pain are two of the most debilitating disorders worldwide and have an estimated cooccurrence of up to 80%. Comorbidity of these disorders is more difficult to treat, associated with significant disability and impaired health-related quality of life than either condition alone, resulting in enormous social and economic cost. Several neural substrates have been identified as potential mediators in the association between depression and pain, including neuroanatomical reorganization, monoamine and neurotrophin depletion, dysregulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, and neuroinflammation. However, the past decade has seen mounting evidence supporting a role for the endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system in affective and nociceptive processing, and thus, alterations in this system may play a key role in reciprocal interactions between depression and pain. This review will provide an overview of the preclinical evidence supporting an interaction between depression and pain and the evidence supporting a role for the endocannabinoid system in this interaction. PMID:26342110

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26881099

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

    PubMed

    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. Fatty acid binding protein-1 (FABP1) and the human FABP1 T94A Variant: Roles in the Endocannabinoid System and Dyslipidemias

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Friedhelm; McIntosh, Avery L.; Martin, Gregory G.; Huang, Huan; Landrock, Danilo; Chung, Sarah; Landrock, Kerstin K.; Dangott, Lawrence J.; Li, Shengrong; Kaczocha, Martin; Murphy, Eric J.; Atshaves, Barbara P.; Kier, Ann B.

    2017-01-01

    The first discovered member of the mammalian FABP family, liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP1, L-FABP), occurs at high cytosolic concentration in liver, intestine and in the case of humans also in kidney. While the rat FABP1 is well studied, the extent these findings translate to human FABP1 is not clear—especially in view of recent studies showing that endocannabinoids and cannabinoids represent novel rat FABP1 ligands and FABP1 gene ablation impacts the hepatic endocannabinoid system, known to be involved in non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) development. Although not detectable in brain, FABP1 ablation nevertheless also impacts brain endocannabinoids. Despite overall tertiary structure similarity, human FABP1 differs significantly from rat FABP1 in secondary structure, much larger ligand binding cavity, and affinities/specificities for some ligands. Moreover, while both mouse and human FABP1 mediate ligand induction of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-α, (PPARα), they differ markedly in pattern of genes induced. This is critically important because a highly prevalent human SNP (26–38% minor allele frequency and 8.3±1.9% homozygous) results in a FABP1 T94A substitution that further accentuates these species differences. The human FABP1 T94A variant is associated with altered body mass index (BMI), clinical dyslipidemias (elevated plasma triglycerides and LDL cholesterol), atherothrombotic cerebral infarction, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Resolving human FABP1 and the T94A variant’s impact on the endocannabinoid and cannabinoid system is an exciting challenge due to the importance of this system on hepatic lipid accumulation as well as behavior, pain, inflammation, and satiety. PMID:27117865

  4. Fatty Acid Binding Protein-1 (FABP1) and the Human FABP1 T94A Variant: Roles in the Endocannabinoid System and Dyslipidemias.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Friedhelm; McIntosh, Avery L; Martin, Gregory G; Huang, Huan; Landrock, Danilo; Chung, Sarah; Landrock, Kerstin K; Dangott, Lawrence J; Li, Shengrong; Kaczocha, Martin; Murphy, Eric J; Atshaves, Barbara P; Kier, Ann B

    2016-06-01

    The first discovered member of the mammalian FABP family, liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP1, L-FABP), occurs at high cytosolic concentration in liver, intestine, and in the case of humans also in kidney. While the rat FABP1 is well studied, the extent these findings translate to human FABP1 is not clear-especially in view of recent studies showing that endocannabinoids and cannabinoids represent novel rat FABP1 ligands and FABP1 gene ablation impacts the hepatic endocannabinoid system, known to be involved in non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) development. Although not detectable in brain, FABP1 ablation nevertheless also impacts brain endocannabinoids. Despite overall tertiary structure similarity, human FABP1 differs significantly from rat FABP1 in secondary structure, much larger ligand binding cavity, and affinities/specificities for some ligands. Moreover, while both mouse and human FABP1 mediate ligand induction of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-α (PPARα), they differ markedly in pattern of genes induced. This is critically important because a highly prevalent human single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (26-38 % minor allele frequency and 8.3 ± 1.9 % homozygous) results in a FABP1 T94A substitution that further accentuates these species differences. The human FABP1 T94A variant is associated with altered body mass index (BMI), clinical dyslipidemias (elevated plasma triglycerides and LDL cholesterol), atherothrombotic cerebral infarction, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Resolving human FABP1 and the T94A variant's impact on the endocannabinoid and cannabinoid system is an exciting challenge due to the importance of this system in hepatic lipid accumulation as well as behavior, pain, inflammation, and satiety.

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

    PubMed

    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 Ca(2+) 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. Glucocorticoids interact with the hippocampal endocannabinoid system in impairing retrieval of contextual fear memory

    PubMed Central

    Atsak, Piray; Hauer, Daniela; Campolongo, Patrizia; Schelling, Gustav; McGaugh, James L.; Roozendaal, Benno

    2012-01-01

    There is extensive evidence that glucocorticoid hormones impair the retrieval of memory of emotionally arousing experiences. Although it is known that glucocorticoid effects on memory retrieval impairment depend on rapid interactions with arousal-induced noradrenergic activity, the exact mechanism underlying this presumably nongenomically mediated glucocorticoid action remains to be elucidated. Here, we show that the hippocampal endocannabinoid system, a rapidly activated retrograde messenger system, is involved in mediating glucocorticoid effects on retrieval of contextual fear memory. Systemic administration of corticosterone (0.3–3 mg/kg) to male Sprague–Dawley rats 1 h before retention testing impaired the retrieval of contextual fear memory without impairing the retrieval of auditory fear memory or directly affecting the expression of freezing behavior. Importantly, a blockade of hippocampal CB1 receptors with AM251 prevented the impairing effect of corticosterone on retrieval of contextual fear memory, whereas the same impairing dose of corticosterone increased hippocampal levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol. We also found that antagonism of hippocampal β-adrenoceptor activity with local infusions of propranolol blocked the memory retrieval impairment induced by the CB receptor agonist WIN55,212–2. Thus, these findings strongly suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays an intermediary role in regulating rapid glucocorticoid effects on noradrenergic activity in impairing memory retrieval of emotionally arousing experiences. PMID:22331883

  8. Changes in endocannabinoid and N-acylethanolamine levels in rat brain structures following cocaine self-administration and extinction training.

    PubMed

    Bystrowska, Beata; Smaga, Irena; Frankowska, Małgorzata; Filip, Małgorzata

    2014-04-03

    Preclinical investigations have demonstrated that drugs of abuse alter the levels of lipid-based signalling molecules, including endocannabinoids (eCBs) and N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), in the rodent brain. In addition, several drugs targeting eCBs and/or NAEs are implicated in reward and/or seeking behaviours related to the stimulation of dopamine systems in the brain. In our study, the brain levels of eCBs (anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)) and NAEs (oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)) were analyzed via an LC-MS/MS method in selected brain structures of rats during cocaine self-administration and after extinction training according to the "yoked" control procedure. Repeated (14days) cocaine (0.5mg/kg/infusion) self-administration and yoked drug delivery resulted in a significant decrease (ca. 52%) in AEA levels in the cerebellum, whereas levels of 2-AG increased in the frontal cortex, the hippocampus and the cerebellum and decreased in the hippocampus and the dorsal striatum. In addition, we detected increases (>150%) in the levels of OEA and PEA in the limbic areas in both cocaine treated groups, as well as an increase in the tissue levels of OEA in the dorsal striatum in only the yoked cocaine group and increases in the tissue levels of PEA in the dorsal striatum (both cocaine groups) and the nucleus accumbens (yoked cocaine group only). Compared to the yoked saline control group, extinction training (10days) resulted in a potent reduction in AEA levels in the frontal cortex, the hippocampus and the nucleus accumbens and in 2-AG levels in the hippocampus, the dorsal striatum and the cerebellum. The decreases in the limbic and subcortical areas were more apparent for rats that self-administered cocaine. Following extinction, there was a region-specific change in the levels of NAEs in rats previously injected with cocaine; a potent increase (ca. 100%) in the levels of OEA and PEA was detected in the prefrontal cortex and the

  9. Effect of blockage of the endocannabinoid system by CB(1) antagonism on cardiovascular risk.

    PubMed

    Mach, François; Montecucco, Fabrizio; Steffens, Sabine

    2009-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system is a crucial player in the inflammatory processes underlying atherosclerosis. Recently, basic research studies and animal models have strongly supported the role of the endocannabinoid system not only in the regulation of classical cardiovascular risk factors (including lipid profile and glucose homeostasis), but also in the activation of immune cells and inflammatory mediators. Clinical trials investigating treatment with rimonabant (a selective antagonist of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor) have suggested a beneficial effect of this drug in the management of obesity. Further studies are needed to explore a possible use for rimonabant in treating type 2 diabetes and acute and chronic cardiovascular disease. Despite the slight increase in adverse events (mainly psychiatric), which has led to the recent withdrawal of rimonabant from the market, CB(1) receptor antagonism might represent a very promising therapeutic strategy to reduce the cardiovascular risk. In the present review, we focused on the most important experimental investigations into the role of the endocannabinoid system in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ito, Yuki, E-mail: yukey@med.nagoya-cu.ac.jp; Tomizawa, Motohiro; Faculty of Applied Bioscience, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo 156-8502

    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 9more » 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.« less

  11. Cat odour-induced anxiety--a study of the involvement of the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Sütt, Silva; Raud, Sirli; Areda, Tarmo; Reimets, Ain; Kõks, Sulev; Vasar, Eero

    2008-07-01

    Recent evidence suggests the involvement of the endocannabinoid (EC) system in the regulation of anxiety. The aim of present work was to study the role of the EC system in cat odour-induced anxiety in rats. Materials and methods Male Wistar rats were exposed to cat odour in home and motility cages. Exposure of rats to elevated zero-maze was used to determine changes in anxiety. Effect of rimonabant (0.3-3 mg/kg), antagonist of CB1 receptors, was studied on cat odour-induced alterations in exploratory behaviour. Real-time PCR was used to determine gene expression levels of EC-related genes in the brain. Anxiogenic-like action of cat odour was evident in the elevated zero-maze. Cat odour increased the expression of FAAH, the enzyme responsible for the degradation of anandamide, in the mesolimbic area. By contrast, in the amygdala and periaqueductal grey (PAG) levels of NAPE-PLD, the enzyme related to the synthesis of anandamide, and FAAH were remarkably decreased. Cat odour also decreased the expression of enzymes related to metabolism of 2-archidonoyl-glycerol in the amygdala and PAG. Pre-treatment of rats with rimonabant (0.3-3 mg/kg) reduced the exploratory behaviour of rats, but did not affect cat odour-induced changes. Exposure to cat odour induces anxiogenic-like effect on the behaviour in rats. Cat odour also causes moderate increase in expression of EC-related genes in the mesolimbic area, whereas significant down-regulation is established in the amygdala and PAG. Relation of predator odour-induced anxiety to the inhibition of the EC system in the amygdala and PAG is supported by behavioural studies where blockade of CB1 receptors by rimonabant induces anxiogenic-like action.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Endocannabinoids in cerebrovascular regulation

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26825517

  14. Endocannabinoids in cerebrovascular regulation.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. Maternal separation and proclivity for ethanol intake: a potential role of the endocannabinoid system in rats.

    PubMed

    Romano-López, A; Méndez-Díaz, M; Ruiz-Contreras, A E; Carrisoza, R; Prospéro-García, O

    2012-10-25

    Maternal separation (MS) during the first postnatal weeks induces alcohol intake and a reduction in the expression of glucocorticoid receptors (GR). Adults' alcohol consumption may depend on changes in the endocannabinoid system (eCBs). Our goal was to evaluate the status of the eCBs before the exposition to alcohol to support the notion that eCBs' alterations prompt rats to drink alcohol. To reach this goal we subjected rats to MS for the first 2 postnatal weeks. Then, we allowed rats to grow with no further manipulation until they reached adulthood. Thereafter, rats were exposed to an alcohol solution (10% of alcohol in water) as the only source of drinking liquid (forced alcohol ingestion). At the end of this period, tap water was added as an option for drinking liquid (voluntary alcohol ingestion) for another 10 days. Different groups of rats (non-MS, and MS) were sacrificed when adult but with no exposition to alcohol whatsoever, to dissect frontal cortex (FCx), ventral striatum (VS) and hippocampus (HIP) to analyze the following: The expression of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R), CB2R, GR and methylated CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Levels of GABA and glutamate were quantified in the same brain structures. We found CB1 receptor expression increased in the VS while it was decreased in the FCx in MS subjects. No changes in the CB2R or in the MeCP2 were detected. We found GABA levels increased in FCx and HIP but decreased in VS in MS. Likewise, glutamate levels increased in the FCx but decreased in the HIP in MS subjects. These findings suggest that MS induces changes in the CB1R expression, which might contribute to induce a proclivity to ingest alcohol and, potentially, other drugs. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Endocannabinoid signaling in reward and addiction

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Loren H.; Hurd, Yasmin L.

    2015-01-01

    Brain endocannabinoid signaling influences the motivation for natural rewards (such as palatable food, sexual activity and social interaction) and modulates the rewarding effects of addictive drugs. Pathological forms of natural and drug-induced reward are associated with dysregulated endocannabinoid signaling that may derive from pre-existing genetic factors or from prolonged drug exposure. Impaired endocannabinoid signaling contributes to dysregulated synaptic plasticity, increased stress responsivity, negative emotional states, and craving that propel addiction. Understanding the contributions of endocannabinoid disruptions to behavioral and physiological traits provides insight into the endocannabinoid influence on addiction vulnerability. PMID:26373473

  17. Characterization of the effects of reuptake and hydrolysis inhibition on interstitial endocannabinoid levels in the brain: an in vivo microdialysis study.

    PubMed

    Wiskerke, Joost; Irimia, Cristina; Cravatt, Benjamin F; De Vries, Taco J; Schoffelmeer, Anton N M; Pattij, Tommy; Parsons, Loren H

    2012-05-16

    The present experiments employed in vivo microdialysis to characterize the effects of commonly used endocannabinoid clearance inhibitors on basal and depolarization-induced alterations in interstitial endocannabinoid levels in the nucleus accumbens of rat brain. Compounds targeting the putative endocannabinoid transporter and hydrolytic enzymes (FAAH and MAGL) were compared. The transporter inhibitor AM404 modestly enhanced depolarization-induced increases in 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) levels but did not alter levels of N-arachidonoyl-ethanolamide (anandamide, AEA). The transport inhibitor UCM707 did not alter dialysate levels of either endocannabinoid. The FAAH inhibitors URB597 and PF-3845 robustly increased AEA levels during depolarization without altering 2-AG levels. The MAGL inhibitor URB602 significantly enhanced depolarization-induced increases in 2-AG, but did not alter AEA levels. In contrast, the MAGL inhibitor JZL184 did not alter 2-AG or AEA levels under any condition tested. Finally, the dual FAAH/MAGL inhibitor JZL195 significantly enhanced depolarization-induced increases in both AEA and 2-AG levels. In contrast to the present observations in rats, prior work in mice has demonstrated a robust JZL184-induced enhancement of depolarization-induced increases in dialysate 2-AG. Thus, to further investigate species differences, additional tests with JZL184, PF-3845, and JZL195 were performed in mice. Consistent with prior reports, JZL184 significantly enhanced depolarization-induced increases in 2-AG without altering AEA levels. PF-3845 and JZL195 produced profiles in mouse dialysates comparable to those observed in rats. These findings confirm that interstitial endocannabinoid levels in the brain can be selectively manipulated by endocannabinoid clearance inhibitors. While PF-3845 and JZL195 produce similar effects in both rats and mice, substantial species differences in JZL184 efficacy are evident, which is consistent with previous studies.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Genetic variation in the endocannabinoid system and response to Cognitive Behavior Therapy for child anxiety disorders.

    PubMed

    Lester, Kathryn J; Coleman, Jonathan R I; Roberts, Susanna; Keers, Robert; Breen, Gerome; Bögels, Susan; Creswell, Cathy; Hudson, Jennifer L; McKinnon, Anna; Nauta, Maaike; Rapee, Ronald M; Schneider, Silvia; Silverman, Wendy K; Thastum, Mikael; Waite, Polly; Wergeland, Gro Janne H; Eley, Thalia C

    2017-03-01

    Extinction learning is an important mechanism in the successful psychological treatment of anxiety. Individual differences in response and relapse following Cognitive Behavior Therapy may in part be explained by variability in the ease with which fears are extinguished or the vulnerability of these fears to re-emerge. Given the role of the endocannabinoid system in fear extinction, this study investigates whether genetic variation in the endocannabinoid system explains individual differences in response to CBT. Children (N = 1,309) with a primary anxiety disorder diagnosis were recruited. We investigated the relationship between variation in the CNR1, CNR2, and FAAH genes and change in primary anxiety disorder severity between pre- and post-treatment and during the follow-up period in the full sample and a subset with fear-based anxiety disorder diagnoses. Change in symptom severity during active treatment was nominally associated (P < 0.05) with two SNPs. During the follow-up period, five SNPs were nominally associated with a poorer treatment response (rs806365 [CNR1]; rs2501431 [CNR2]; rs2070956 [CNR2]; rs7769940 [CNR1]; rs2209172 [FAAH]) and one with a more favorable response (rs6928813 [CNR1]). Within the fear-based subset, the effect of rs806365 survived multiple testing corrections (P < 0.0016). We found very limited evidence for an association between variants in endocannabinoid system genes and treatment response once multiple testing corrections were applied. Larger, more homogenous cohorts are needed to allow the identification of variants of small but statistically significant effect and to estimate effect sizes for these variants with greater precision in order to determine their potential clinical utility. © 2016 The Authors. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 The Authors. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics Published by

  20. Genetic variation in the endocannabinoid system and response to Cognitive Behavior Therapy for child anxiety disorders

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, Jonathan R. I.; Roberts, Susanna; Keers, Robert; Breen, Gerome; Bögels, Susan; Creswell, Cathy; Hudson, Jennifer L.; McKinnon, Anna; Nauta, Maaike; Rapee, Ronald M.; Schneider, Silvia; Silverman, Wendy K.; Thastum, Mikael; Waite, Polly; Wergeland, Gro Janne H.; Eley, Thalia C.

    2016-01-01

    Extinction learning is an important mechanism in the successful psychological treatment of anxiety. Individual differences in response and relapse following Cognitive Behavior Therapy may in part be explained by variability in the ease with which fears are extinguished or the vulnerability of these fears to re‐emerge. Given the role of the endocannabinoid system in fear extinction, this study investigates whether genetic variation in the endocannabinoid system explains individual differences in response to CBT. Children (N = 1,309) with a primary anxiety disorder diagnosis were recruited. We investigated the relationship between variation in the CNR1, CNR2, and FAAH genes and change in primary anxiety disorder severity between pre‐ and post‐treatment and during the follow‐up period in the full sample and a subset with fear‐based anxiety disorder diagnoses. Change in symptom severity during active treatment was nominally associated (P < 0.05) with two SNPs. During the follow‐up period, five SNPs were nominally associated with a poorer treatment response (rs806365 [CNR1]; rs2501431 [CNR2]; rs2070956 [CNR2]; rs7769940 [CNR1]; rs2209172 [FAAH]) and one with a more favorable response (rs6928813 [CNR1]). Within the fear‐based subset, the effect of rs806365 survived multiple testing corrections (P < 0.0016). We found very limited evidence for an association between variants in endocannabinoid system genes and treatment response once multiple testing corrections were applied. Larger, more homogenous cohorts are needed to allow the identification of variants of small but statistically significant effect and to estimate effect sizes for these variants with greater precision in order to determine their potential clinical utility. © 2016 The Authors. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27346075

  1. Endocannabinoid system acts as a regulator of immune homeostasis in the gut.

    PubMed

    Acharya, Nandini; Penukonda, Sasi; Shcheglova, Tatiana; Hagymasi, Adam T; Basu, Sreyashi; Srivastava, Pramod K

    2017-05-09

    Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) are small molecules biosynthesized from membrane glycerophospholipid. Anandamide (AEA) is an endogenous intestinal cannabinoid that controls appetite and energy balance by engagement of the enteric nervous system through cannabinoid receptors. Here, we uncover a role for AEA and its receptor, cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), in the regulation of immune tolerance in the gut and the pancreas. This work demonstrates a major immunological role for an endocannabinoid. The pungent molecule capsaicin (CP) has a similar effect as AEA; however, CP acts by engagement of the vanilloid receptor TRPV1, causing local production of AEA, which acts through CB2. We show that the engagement of the cannabinoid/vanilloid receptors augments the number and immune suppressive function of the regulatory CX3CR1 hi macrophages (Mϕ), which express the highest levels of such receptors among the gut immune cells. Additionally, TRPV1 -/- or CB2 -/- mice have fewer CX3CR1 hi Mϕ in the gut. Treatment of mice with CP also leads to differentiation of a regulatory subset of CD4 + cells, the Tr1 cells, in an IL-27-dependent manner in vitro and in vivo. In a functional demonstration, tolerance elicited by engagement of TRPV1 can be transferred to naïve nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice [model of type 1 diabetes (T1D)] by transfer of CD4 + T cells. Further, oral administration of AEA to NOD mice provides protection from T1D. Our study unveils a role for the endocannabinoid system in maintaining immune homeostasis in the gut/pancreas and reveals a conversation between the nervous and immune systems using distinct receptors.

  2. Bimodal control of stimulated food intake by the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Bellocchio, Luigi; Lafenêtre, Pauline; Cannich, Astrid; Cota, Daniela; Puente, Nagore; Grandes, Pedro; Chaouloff, Francis; Piazza, Pier Vincenzo; Marsicano, Giovanni

    2010-03-01

    Activation of cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB(1)) is universally recognized as a powerful endogenous orexigenic signal, but the detailed underlying neuronal mechanisms are not fully understood. Using combined genetic and pharmacological approaches in mice, we found that ventral striatal CB(1) receptors exerted a hypophagic action through inhibition of GABAergic transmission. Conversely, brain CB(1) receptors modulating excitatory transmission mediated the well-known orexigenic effects of cannabinoids.

  3. Phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Fisar, Zdenek

    2009-01-01

    Progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of cannabis action was made after discovery of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and the finding of endogenous metabolites with affinity to them. Activation of cannabinoid receptors on synaptic terminals results in regulation of ion channels, neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity. Neuromodulation of synapses by the cannabinoids is proving to have a wide range of functional effects, making them potential targets as medical preparations in a variety of illnesses, including some mental disorders and neurodegenerative illnesses. Cannabis contains a large amount of substances with affinity for the cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoids are a family of lipid neurotransmitters that engage the same membrane receptors targeted by tetrahydrocannabinol and that mediate retrograde signal from postsynaptic neurons to presynaptic ones. Discovery of endogenous cannabinoids and studies of the physiological functions of the cannabinoid system in the brain and body are producing a number of important findings about the role of membrane lipids and fatty acids in nerve signal transduction. Plant, endogenous and synthetic cannabinoids are using in these studies. The role of lipid membranes in the cannabinoid system follows from the fact that the source and supply of endogenous cannabinoids are derived from arachidonic acid, an important membrane constituent. The study of structure-activity relationships of molecules which influence the cannabinoid system in the brain and body is crucial in search of medical preparations with the therapeutic effects of the phytocannabinoids without the negative effects on cognitive function attributed to cannabis.

  4. Presence and regulation of the endocannabinoid system in human dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Matias, Isabel; Pochard, Pierre; Orlando, Pierangelo; Salzet, Michel; Pestel, Joel; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2002-08-01

    Cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids, have been detected in several blood immune cells, including monocytes/macrophages, basophils and lymphocytes. However, their presence in dendritic cells, which play a key role in the initiation and development of the immune response, has never been investigated. Here we have analyzed human dendritic cells for the presence of the endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, and one of the enzymes mostly responsible for endocannabinoid hydrolysis, the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). By using a very sensitive liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometric (LC-APCI-MS) method, lipids extracted from immature dendritic cells were shown to contain 2-AG, anandamide and the anti-inflammatory anandamide congener, N-palmitoylethanolamine (PalEtn) (2.1 +/- 1.0, 0.14 +/- 0.02 and 8.2 +/- 3.9 pmol x 10(-7) cells, respectively). The amounts of 2-AG, but not anandamide or PalEtn, were significantly increased following cell maturation induced by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or the allergen Der p 1 (2.8- and 1.9-fold, respectively). By using both RT-PCR and Western immunoblotting, dendritic cells were also found to express measurable amounts of CB1 and CB2 receptors and of FAAH. Cell maturation did not consistently modify the expression of these proteins, although in some cell preparations a decrease of the levels of both CB1 and CB2 mRNA transcripts was observed after LPS stimulation. These findings demonstrate for the first time that the endogenous cannabinoid system is present in human dendritic cells and can be regulated by cell activation.

  5. Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the physiological response to transient common carotid artery occlusion and reperfusion.

    PubMed

    Quartu, Marina; Poddighe, Laura; Melis, Tiziana; Serra, Maria Pina; Boi, Marianna; Lisai, Sara; Carta, Gianfranca; Murru, Elisabetta; Muredda, Laura; Collu, Maria; Banni, Sebastiano

    2017-01-19

    The transient global cerebral hypoperfusion/reperfusion achieved by induction of Bilateral Common Carotid Artery Occlusion followed by Reperfusion (BCCAO/R) may trigger a physiological response in an attempt to preserve tissue and function integrity. There are several candidate molecules among which the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and/or peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-alpha) may play a role in modulating oxidative stress and inflammation. The aims of the present study are to evaluate whether the ECS, the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and PPAR-alpha are involved during BCCAO/R in rat brain, and to identify possible markers of the ongoing BCCAO/R-induced challenge in plasma. Adult Wistar rats underwent BCCAO/R with 30 min hypoperfusion followed by 60 min reperfusion. The frontal and temporal-occipital cortices and plasma were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) to determine concentrations of endocannabinoids (eCBs) and related molecules behaving as ligands of PPAR-alpha, and of oxidative-stress markers such as lipoperoxides, while Western Blot and immunohistochemistry were used to study protein expression of cannabinoid receptors, COX-2 and PPAR-alpha. Unpaired Student's t-test was used to evaluate statistical differences between groups. The acute BCCAO/R procedure is followed by increased brain tissue levels of the eCBs 2-arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide, palmitoylethanolamide, an avid ligand of PPAR-alpha, lipoperoxides, type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) cannabinoid receptors, and COX-2, and decreased brain tissue concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), one of the major targets of lipid peroxidation. In plasma, increased levels of anandamide and lipoperoxides were observed. The BCCAO/R stimulated early molecular changes that can be easily traced in brain tissue and plasma, and that are indicative of the tissue physiological response to the reperfusion-induced oxidative stress and

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. The interplay between inflammatory cytokines and the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Silvia; Motta, Caterina; Musella, Alessandra; Centonze, Diego

    2015-09-01

    Excessive glutamate-mediated synaptic transmission and secondary excitotoxicity have been proposed as key determinants of neurodegeneration in many neurological diseases. Soluble mediators of inflammation have recently gained attention owing to their ability to enhance glutamate transmission and affect synaptic sensitivity to neurotransmitters. In the complex crosstalk between soluble immunoactive molecules and synapses, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a central role, exerting an indirect neuroprotective action by inhibiting cytokine-dependent synaptic alterations, and a direct neuroprotective effect by limiting glutamate transmission and excitotoxic damage. On the other hand, the endocannabinoid (eCB)-mediated control of synaptic transmission is altered by proinflammatory cytokines with consequent effects in central nervous system (CNS) disorders. In this review, we summarize the interactions, at the pre- and postsynaptic level, between major inflammatory cytokines and the ECS. In addition, the behavioral and clinical consequences of the modulation of synaptic transmission during neuroinflammation are discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. The therapeutic potential of targeting the peripheral endocannabinoid/CB1 receptor system.

    PubMed

    Tam, Joseph; Hinden, Liad; Drori, Adi; Udi, Shiran; Azar, Shahar; Baraghithy, Saja

    2018-03-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are internal lipid mediators recognized by the cannabinoid-1 and -2 receptors (CB 1 R and CB 2 R, respectively), which also mediate the different physiological effects of marijuana. The endocannabinoid system, consisting of eCBs, their receptors, and the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis and degradation, is present in a vast number of peripheral organs. In this review we describe the role of the eCB/CB 1 R system in modulating the metabolism in several peripheral organs. We assess how eCBs, via activating the CB 1 R, contribute to obesity and regulate food intake. In addition, we describe their roles in modulating liver and kidney functions, as well as bone remodeling and mass. Special importance is given to emphasizing the efficacy of the recently developed peripherally restricted CB 1 R antagonists, which were pre-clinically tested in the management of energy homeostasis, and in ameliorating both obesity- and diabetes-induced metabolic complications. Copyright © 2018 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Entopeduncular nucleus endocannabinoid system modulates sleep-waking cycle and mood in rats.

    PubMed

    Méndez-Díaz, Mónica; Caynas-Rojas, Seraid; Arteaga Santacruz, Vianney; Ruiz-Contreras, Alejandra E; Aguilar-Roblero, Raúl; Prospéro-García, Oscar

    2013-06-01

    Since the pioneering work of Gadea-Ciria (Gadea-Ciria M, Stadler H, Lloyd KG, Bartholini G. Acetylcholine release within the cat striatum during the sleep-wakefulness cycle. Nature 1973; 243:518-519) indicating pointing to the involvement of acetylcholine and basal ganglia in sleep regulation; extensive literature has suggested that this brain complex participates in the control of the sleep-waking cycle (SWC). On the other hand, it has been demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system (eCBS) is prominently involved in the regulation of the SWC, mood and its related disorders. Since cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) is highly expressed in basal ganglia, in particular in the entopeduncular nucleus (EP), we believe that it is important to know what the role of the EP CB1R is on SWC, depression, and anxiety. To provide insight into the role of the EP CB1R in the regulation of wakefulness (W), non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREMs) and rapid eye movement sleep (REMs), rats were recorded for 24h immediately after a single intra-EP administration of N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) or 1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-4-methyl-N-(1-piperidyl)pyrazole-3-carboxamide (AM251; CB1 inverse agonist). Likewise, the effect of these drugs on anxiety and depression was tested by means of the elevated plus maze (EPM) and forced swim test (FST), respectively. Results demonstrate that AEA increases NREMs expression, while AM251 increases W and decreases both NREMs and REMs. In addition, administration of AM251 decreases the time rats spent in the open arms and increases immobility time in the FST. It seems that activation of the CB1R in the EP is important to induce sleep, while its blockade promotes W, as well as anxiety and depression, somewhat resembling insomnia in humans. These results suggest that the EP CB1R is modulating sleep and mood. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Endocannabinoid receptor deficiency affects maternal care and alters the dam's hippocampal oxytocin receptor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression.

    PubMed

    Schechter, M; Weller, A; Pittel, Z; Gross, M; Zimmer, A; Pinhasov, A

    2013-10-01

    Maternal care is the newborn's first experience of social interaction, and this influences infant survival, development and social competences throughout life. We recently found that postpartum blocking of the endocannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1R) altered maternal behaviour. In the present study, maternal care was assessed by the time taken to retrieve pups, pups' ultrasonic vocalisations (USVs) and pup body weight, comparing CB1R deleted (CB1R KO) versus wild-type (WT) mice. After culling on postpartum day 8, hippocampal expression of oxytocin receptor (OXTR), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and stress-mediating factors were evaluated in CB1R KO and WT dams. Comparisons were also performed with nulliparous (NP) CB1R KO and WT mice. Compared to WT, CB1R KO dams were slower to retrieve their pups. Although the body weight of the KO pups did not differ from the weight of WT pups, they emitted fewer USVs. This impairment of the dam-pup relationship correlated with a significant reduction of OXTR mRNA and protein levels among CB1R KO dams compared to WT dams. Furthermore, WT dams exhibited elevated OXTR mRNA expression, as well as increased levels of mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors, compared to WT NP mice. By contrast, CB1R KO dams showed no such elevation of OXTR expression, alongside lower BDNF and mineralocorticoid receptors, as well as elevated corticotrophin-releasing hormone mRNA levels, when compared to CB1R KO NP. Thus, it appears that the disruption of endocannabinoid signalling by CB1R deletion alters expression of the OXTR, apparently leading to deleterious effects upon maternal behaviour. © 2013 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  11. The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic exploitation in multiple sclerosis: Clues for other neuroinflammatory diseases.

    PubMed

    Chiurchiù, Valerio; van der Stelt, Mario; Centonze, Diego; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2018-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis is the most common inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, caused by an autoimmune response against myelin that eventually leads to progressive neurodegeneration and disability. Although the knowledge on its underlying neurobiological mechanisms has considerably improved, there is a still unmet need for new treatment options, especially for the progressive forms of the disease. Both preclinical and clinical data suggest that cannabinoids, derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, may be used to control symptoms such as spasticity and chronic pain, whereas only preclinical data indicate that these compounds and their endogenous counterparts, i.e. the endocannabinoids, may also exert neuroprotective effects and slow down disease progression. Here, we review the preclinical and clinical studies that could explain the therapeutic action of cannabinoid-based medicines, as well as the medical potential of modulating endocannabinoid signaling in multiple sclerosis, with a link to other neuroinflammatory disorders that share common hallmarks and pathogenetic features. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Endocannabinoids and the Endocrine System in Health and Disease.

    PubMed

    Hillard, Cecilia J

    2015-01-01

    Some of the earliest reports of the effects of cannabis consumption on humans were related to endocrine system changes. In this review, the effects of cannabinoids and the role of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the regulation of the following endocrine systems are discussed: the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, prolactin and oxytocin, thyroid hormone and growth hormone, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Preclinical and human study results are presented.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  14. Revealing the role of the endocannabinoid system modulators, SR141716A, URB597 and VDM-11, in sleep homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Murillo-Rodríguez, Eric; Machado, Sergio; Rocha, Nuno Barbosa; Budde, Henning; Yuan, Ti-Fei; Arias-Carrión, Oscar

    2016-12-17

    The endocannabinoid system comprises receptors (CB 1 and CB 2 cannabinoid receptors), enzymes (Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase [FAAH], which synthesizes the endocannabinoid anandamide), as well as the anandamide membrane transporter (AMT). Importantly, previous experiments have demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system modulates multiple neurobiological functions, including sleep. For instance, SR141716A (the CB 1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist) as well as URB597 (the FAAH inhibitor) increase waking in rats whereas VDM-11 (the blocker of the AMT) enhances sleep in rodents. However, no further evidence is available regarding the neurobiological role of the endocannabinoid system in the homeostatic control of sleep. Therefore, the aim of the current experiment was to test if SR141716A, URB597 or VDM-11 would modulate the sleep rebound after sleep deprivation. Thus, these compounds were systemically injected (5, 10, 20mg/kg; ip; separately each one) into rats after prolonged waking. We found that SR141716A and URB597 blocked in dose-dependent fashion the sleep rebound whereas animals treated with VDM-11 displayed sleep rebound during the recovery period. Complementary, injection after sleep deprivation of either SR141716A or URB597 enhanced dose-dependently the extracellular levels of dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (EP), serotonin (5-HT), as well as adenosine (AD) while VDM-11 caused a decline in contents of these molecules. These findings suggest that SR141716A or URB597 behave as a potent stimulants since they suppressed the sleep recovery period after prolonged waking. It can be concluded that elements of the endocannabinoid system, such as the CB 1 cannabinoid receptor, FAAH and AMT, modulate the sleep homeostasis after prolonged waking. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Circulating Endocannabinoid Concentrations and Sexual Arousal in Women

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Carolin; Hill, Matthew N.; Chang, Sabrina C.H.; Hillard, Cecilia J.; Gorzalka, Boris B.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Several lines of evidence point to the potential role of the endocannabinoid system in female sexual functioning. These include results from studies describing the subjective effects of exogenous cannabinoids on sexual functioning in humans and the observable effects of exogenous cannabinoids on sexual functioning in other species, as well as results from studies investigating the location of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and periphery, and the effects of cannabinoid receptor activation on neurotransmitters implicated in sexual functioning. While these lines of research suggest a role for the endocannabinoid system in female sexual functioning, no studies investigating the relationship between concentrations of endogenous cannabinoids (i.e., arachidonoylethanolamide [AEA] and 2-arachidonoylglycerol [2-AG]) and sexual functioning have been conducted in any species. Aim To measure circulating endocannabinoid concentrations in relation to subjective and physiological indices of sexual arousal in women (n = 21). Methods Serum endocannabinoid (AEA and 2-AG) concentrations were measured immediately prior to, and immediately following, viewing of neutral (control) and erotic (experimental) film stimuli in a repeated measures design. Physiological sexual arousal was measured via vaginal photoplethysmography. Subjective sexual arousal was measured both continuously and non-continuously. Pearson’s correlations were used to investigate the relationships between endocannabinoid concentrations and sexual arousal. Main Outcome Measures Changes in AEA and 2-AG concentrations from pre- to post-film and in relation to physiological and subjective indices of sexual arousal. Results Results revealed a significant relationship between endocannabinoid concentrations and female sexual arousal, whereby increases in both physiological and subjective indices of sexual arousal were significantly associated with decreases in AEA, and increases in subjective indices of

  16. Adipose tissue endocannabinoid system gene expression: depot differences and effects of diet and exercise

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Alterations of endocannabinoid system in adipose tissue play an important role in lipid regulation and metabolic dysfunction associated with obesity. The purpose of this study was to determine whether gene expression levels of cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) are different in subcutaneous abdominal and gluteal adipose tissue, and whether hypocaloric diet and aerobic exercise influence subcutaneous adipose tissue CB1 and FAAH gene expression in obese women. Methods Thirty overweight or obese, middle-aged women (BMI = 34.3 ± 0.8 kg/m2, age = 59 ± 1 years) underwent one of three 20-week weight loss interventions: caloric restriction only (CR, N = 9), caloric restriction plus moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (CRM, 45-50% HRR, N = 13), or caloric restriction plus vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise (CRV, 70-75% HRR, N = 8). Subcutaneous abdominal and gluteal adipose tissue samples were collected before and after the interventions to measure CB1 and FAAH gene expression. Results At baseline, FAAH gene expression was higher in abdominal, compared to gluteal adipose tissue (2.08 ± 0.11 vs. 1.78 ± 0.10, expressed as target gene/β-actin mRNA ratio × 10-3, P < 0.05). Compared to pre-intervention, CR did not change abdominal, but decreased gluteal CB1 (Δ = -0.82 ± 0.25, P < 0.05) and FAAH (Δ = -0.49 ± 0.14, P < 0.05) gene expression. CRM or CRV alone did not change adipose tissue CB1 and FAAH gene expression. However, combined CRM and CRV (CRM+CRV) decreased abdominal adipose tissue FAAH gene expression (Δ = -0.37 ± 0.18, P < 0.05). The changes in gluteal CB1 and abdominal FAAH gene expression levels in the CR alone and the CRM+CRV group were different (P < 0.05) or tended to be different (P = 0.10). Conclusions There are depot differences in subcutaneous adipose tissue endocannabinoid system gene expression in obese individuals. Aerobic exercise training may preferentially modulate abdominal adipose tissue

  17. Neuromodulatory effects of the dorsal hippocampal endocannabinoid system in dextromethorphan/morphine-induced amnesia.

    PubMed

    Ghasemzadeh, Zahra; Rezayof, Ameneh

    2017-01-05

    Dextromethorphan which is an active ingredient in many cough medicines has been previously shown to potentiate amnesic effect of morphine in rats. However, the effect of dextromethorphan, that is also a noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, in combination with morphine on hippocampus-based long term memory has not been well characterized. The aim of the present study was to assess the possible role of endocannabinoid system of the dorsal hippocampus in dextromethorphan /morphine-induced amnesia. Our results showed that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of morphine (5mg/kg) or dextromethorphan (5-15mg/kg) before testing the passive avoidance learning induced amnesia. Combination of ineffective doses of dextromethorphan (7.5mg/kg, i.p.) and morphine (2mg/kg, i.p.) also produced amnesia, suggesting the enhancing effects of the drugs. To assess the effect of the activation or inhibition of the dorsal hippocampal cannabinoid CB 1 receptors on this amnesia, ACPA or AM251 as selective receptor agonists or antagonists were respectively injected into the CA1 regions before systemic injection of dextromethorphan and morphine. Interestingly, intra-CA1 microinjection of ACPA (0.5-1ng/rat) improved the amnesic effect of dextromethorphan /morphine combination. The microinjection of AM251 into the CA1 region enhanced the response of the combination of dextromethorphan /morphine in inducing amnesia. Moreover, Intra-CA1 microinjection of AM251 inhibited the improving effect of ACPA on dextromethorphan /morphine-induced amnesia. It is important to note that intra-CA1 microinjection of the same doses of the agonist or antagonist by itself had no effects on memory formation. Thus, it can be concluded that the dorsal hippocampal endocannabinoid system, via CB 1 receptor-dependent mechanism, may be involved in morphine/dextromethorphan -induced amnesia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Potential control of multiple sclerosis by cannabis and the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Endocannabinoids: Effectors of glucocorticoid signaling.

    PubMed

    Balsevich, Georgia; Petrie, Gavin N; Hill, Matthew N

    2017-10-01

    For decades, there has been speculation regarding the interaction of cannabinoids with glucocorticoid systems. Given the functional redundancy between many of the physiological effects of glucocorticoids and cannabinoids, it was originally speculated that the biological mechanisms of cannabinoids were mediated by direct interactions with glucocorticoid systems. With the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, additional research demonstrated that it was actually the opposite; glucocorticoids recruit endocannabinoid signaling, and that the engagement of endocannabinoid signaling mediated many of the neurobiological and physiological effects of glucocorticoids. With the development of advances in pharmacology and genetics, significant advances in this area have been made, and it is now clear that functional interactions between these systems are critical for a wide array of physiological processes. The current review acts a comprehensive summary of the contemporary state of knowledge regarding the biological interactions between glucocorticoids and endocannabinoids, and their potential role in health and disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The endocannabinoid system expression in the female reproductive tract is modulated by estrogen.

    PubMed

    Maia, J; Almada, M; Silva, A; Correia-da-Silva, G; Teixeira, N; Sá, S I; Fonseca, B M

    2017-11-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in several physiological events that resulted in a growing interest in its modulation. Moreover, the uterine levels of anandamide (AEA), the major endocannabinoid, must be tightly regulated to create proper embryo implantation conditions. However, there are no evidences about the regulation of AEA in uterus by estrogen. Thus, the aim of this study is to elucidate whether estradiol benzoate (EB) and tamoxifen (TAM) administration to ovariectomized (OVX) rats can induce changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors and AEA-metabolic enzymes in uterus by evaluating gene transcription and protein levels by qPCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Moreover, the plasmatic and uterine levels of AEA and of prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2 ) and prostaglandin F 2 α (PGF 2α ), the major cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) products, were determined by UPLC-MS/MS. The immunohistochemistry showed that cannabinoid receptors, as well as AEA-metabolic enzymes are mainly located in the epithelial cells of both lumen and glands and, to a lesser extent, in the muscle cells. Moreover, EB administration to OVX rats significantly increased CB1, CB2, NAPE-PLD, FAAH and COX-2 expression and transcription. These effects were absent in TAM and TAM+EB treatments showing that this response is estrogen receptor dependent. Additionally, although uterine levels of AEA remained unchanged in EB or TAM treated animals, they showed a rise with EB treatment in plasma. The latter also produced a decrease in uterine PGE 2 levels. In summary, these data collectively indicate that the expression of ECS components, as well as, the AEA and PGE 2 levels in rat uterus is modulated by EB. Thus, estradiol may have a direct regulatory role in the modulation of ECS in female reproductive tissues. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. A Review of the Interactions between Alcohol and the Endocannabinoid System: Implications for Alcohol Dependence and Future Directions for Research

    PubMed Central

    Pava, Matthew J.; Woodward, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past fifty years a significant body of evidence has been compiled suggesting an interaction between the endocannabinoid (EC) system and alcohol dependence. However, much of this work has been conducted only in the past two decades following the elucidation of the molecular constituents of the EC system that began with the serendipitous discovery of the cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1). Since then, novel pharmacological and genetic tools have enabled researchers to manipulate select components of the EC system, to determine their contribution to the motivation to consume ethanol. From these preclinical studies, it is evident that CB1 contributes the motivational and reinforcing properties of ethanol, and chronic consumption of ethanol alters EC transmitter levels and CB1 expression in brain nuclei associated with addiction pathways. These results are augmented by in vitro and ex vivo studies showing that acute and chronic treatment with ethanol produces physiologically relevant alterations in the function of the EC system. This report provides a current and comprehensive review of the literature regarding the interactions between ethanol and the EC system. We begin be reviewing the studies published prior to the discovery of the EC system that compared the behavioral and physiological effects of cannabinoids with ethanol in addition to cross-tolerance between these drugs. Next, a brief overview of the molecular constituents of the EC system is provided as context for the subsequent review of more recent studies examining the interaction of ethanol with the EC system. These results are compiled into a summary providing a scheme for the known changes to the components of the EC system in different stages of alcohol dependence. Finally, future directions for research are discussed. PMID:22459871

  2. Endocannabinoids and stress.

    PubMed

    Riebe, Caitlin J; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2011-07-01

    Endogenous cannabinoids play an important role in the physiology and behavioral expression of stress responses. Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, including the release of glucocorticoids, is the fundamental hormonal response to stress. Endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling serves to maintain HPA-axis homeostasis, by buffering basal activity as well as by mediating glucocorticoid fast feedback mechanisms. Following chronic stressor exposure, eCBs are also involved in physiological and behavioral habituation processes. Behavioral consequences of stress include fear and stress-induced anxiety as well as memory formation in the context of stress, involving contextual fear conditioning and inhibitory avoidance learning. Chronic stress can also lead to depression-like symptoms. Prominent in these behavioral stress responses is the interaction between eCBs and the HPA-axis. Future directions may differentiate among eCB signaling within various brain structures/neuronal subpopulations as well as between the distinct roles of the endogenous cannabinoid ligands. Investigation into the role of the eCB system in allostatic states and recovery processes may give insight into possible therapeutic manipulations of the system in treating chronic stress-related conditions in humans.

  3. Prior stimulation of the endocannabinoid system prevents methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity in the striatum through activation of CB2 receptors.

    PubMed

    Nader, Joëlle; Rapino, Cinzia; Gennequin, Benjamin; Chavant, Francois; Francheteau, Maureen; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Duranti, Andrea; Maccarrone, Mauro; Solinas, Marcello; Thiriet, Nathalie

    2014-12-01

    Methamphetamine toxicity is associated with cell death and loss of dopamine neuron terminals in the striatum similar to what is found in some neurodegenerative diseases. Conversely, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been suggested to be neuroprotective in the brain, and new pharmacological tools have been developed to increase their endogenous tone. In this study, we evaluated whether ECS stimulation could reduce the neurotoxicity of high doses of methamphetamine on the dopamine system. We found that methamphetamine alters the levels of the major endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) in the striatum, suggesting that the ECS participates in the brain responses to methamphetamine. Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabis-derived agonist of both CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, or inhibitors of the main enzymes responsible for the degradation of AEA and 2-AG (URB597 and JZL184, respectively), blunted the decrease in striatal protein levels of tyrosine hydroxylase induced by methamphetamine. In addition, antagonists of CB2, but not of CB1, blocked the preventive effects of URB597 and JZL184, suggesting that only the former receptor subtype is engaged in neuroprotection exerted by ECS stimulation. Finally, we found that methamphetamine increases striatal levels of the cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha, an effect that was blocked by ECS stimulation. Altogether, our results indicate that stimulation of ECS prior to the administration of an overdose of methamphetamine considerably reduces the neurotoxicity of the drug through CB2 receptor activation and highlight a protective function for the ECS against the toxicity induced by drugs and other external insults to the brain. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'CNS Stimulants'. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Prior stimulation of the endocannabinoid system prevents methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity in the striatum through activation of CB2 receptors

    PubMed Central

    Nader, Joëlle; Rapino, Cinzia; Gennequin, Benjamin; Chavant, Francois; Francheteau, Maureen; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Duranti, Andrea; Maccarrone, Mauro; Solinas, Marcello; Thiriet, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine toxicity is associated with cell death and loss of dopamine neuron terminals in the striatum similar to what is found in some neurodegenerative diseases. Conversely, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been suggested to be neuroprotective in the brain, and new pharmacological tools have been developed to increase their endogenous tone. In this study, we evaluated whether ECS stimulation could reduce the neurotoxicity of high doses of methamphetamine on the dopamine system. We found that methamphetamine alters the levels of the major endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) in the striatum, suggesting that the ECS participates in the brain responses to methamphetamine. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabis-derived agonist of both CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, or inhibitors of the main enzymes responsible for the degradation of AEA and 2-AG (URB597 and JZL184, respectively), blunted the decrease in striatal protein levels of tyrosine hydroxylase induced by methamphetamine. In addition, antagonists of CB2, but not of CB1, blocked the preventive effects of URB597 and JZL184, suggesting that only the former receptor subtype is engaged in neuroprotection exerted by ECS stimulation. Finally, we found that methamphetamine increases striatal levels of the cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha, an effect that was blocked by ECS stimulation. Altogether, our results indicate that stimulation of ECS prior to the administration of an overdose of meth-amphetamine considerably reduces the neurotoxicity of the drug through CB2 receptor activation and highlight a protective function for the ECS against the toxicity induced by drugs and other external insults to the brain. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled ‘CNS Stimulants’. PMID:24709540

  5. The emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in the pathogenesis and treatment of kidney diseases.

    PubMed

    Tam, Joseph

    2016-05-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are endogenous lipid ligands that bind to cannabinoid receptors that also mediate the effects of marijuana. The eCB system is comprised of eCBs, anandamide, and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, their cannabinoid-1 and cannabinoid-2 receptors (CB1 and CB2, respectively), and the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis and degradation. It is present in both the central nervous system and peripheral organs including the kidney. The current review focuses on the role of the eCB system in normal kidney function and various diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, that directly contributes to the development of renal pathologies. Normally, activation of the CB1 receptor regulates renal vascular hemodynamics and stimulates the transport of ions and proteins in different nephron compartments. In various mouse and rat models of obesity and type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus, eCBs generated in various renal cells activate CB1 receptors and contribute to the development of oxidative stress, inflammation, and renal fibrosis. These effects can be chronically ameliorated by CB1 receptor blockers. In contrast, activation of the renal CB2 receptors reduces the deleterious effects of these chronic diseases. Because the therapeutic potential of globally acting CB1 receptor antagonists in these conditions is limited due to their neuropsychiatric adverse effects, the recent development of peripherally restricted CB1 receptor antagonists may represent a novel pharmacological approach in treating renal diseases.

  6. The endocannabinoid system in the baboon (Papio spp.) as a complex framework for developmental pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Sanchez, Iram P; Guindon, Josee; Ruiz, Marco; Tejero, M Elizabeth; Hubbard, Gene; Martinez-de-Villarreal, Laura E; Barrera-Saldaña, Hugo A; Dick, Edward J; Comuzzie, Anthony G; Schlabritz-Loutsevitch, Natalia E

    The consumption of marijuana (exogenous cannabinoid) almost doubled in adults during last decade. Consumption of exogenous cannabinoids interferes with the endogenous cannabinoid (or "endocannabinoid" (eCB)) system (ECS), which comprises N-arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA), 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), endocannabinoid receptors (cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1R and CB2R), encoded by CNR1 and CNR2, respectively), and synthesizing/degrading enzymes (FAAH, fatty-acid amide hydrolase; MAGL, monoacylglycerol lipase; DAGL-α, diacylglycerol lipase-alpha). Reports regarding the toxic and therapeutic effects of pharmacological compounds targeting the ECS are sometimes contradictory. This may be caused by the fact that structure of the eCBs varies in the species studied. First: to clone and characterize the cDNAs of selected members of ECS in a non-human primate (baboon, Papio spp.), and second: to compare those cDNA sequences to known human structural variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms and haplotypes). Polymerase chain reaction-amplified gene products from baboon tissues were transformed into Escherichia coli. Amplicon-positive clones were sequenced, and the obtained sequences were conceptually translated into amino-acid sequences using the genetic code. Among the ECS members, CNR1 was the best conserved gene between humans and baboons. The phenotypes associated with mutations in the untranslated regions of this gene in humans have not been described in baboons. One difference in the structure of CNR2 between humans and baboons was detected in the region with the only known clinically relevant polymorphism in a human receptor. All of the differences in the amino-acid structure of DAGL-α between humans and baboons were located in the hydroxylase domain, close to phosphorylation sites. None of the differences in the amino-acid structure of MAGL observed between baboons and humans were located in the area critical for enzyme function. The evaluation of

  7. Crosstalk between liver antioxidant and the endocannabinoid systems after chronic administration of the FAAH inhibitor, URB597, to hypertensive rats

    SciTech Connect

    Biernacki, Michał; Łuczaj, Wojciech; Gęgotek, Agni

    Hypertension is accompanied by perturbations to the endocannabinoid and antioxidant systems. Thus, potential pharmacological treatments for hypertension should be examined as modulators of these two metabolic systems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of chronic administration of the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor [3-(3-carbamoylphenyl)phenyl]N-cyclohexylcarbamate (URB597) on the endocannabinoid system and on the redox balance in the livers of DOCA-salt hypertensive rats. Hypertension caused an increase in the levels of endocannabinoids [anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG) and N-arachidonoyl-dopamine (NADA)] and CB{sub 1} receptor and the activities of FAAH and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). These effects were accompanied bymore » an increase in the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a decrease in antioxidant activity/level, enhanced expression of transcription factor Nrf2 and changes to Nrf2 activators and inhibitors. Moreover, significant increases in lipid, DNA and protein oxidative modifications, which led to enhanced levels of proapoptotic caspases, were also observed. URB597 administration to the hypertensive rats resulted in additional increases in the levels of AEA, NADA and the CB{sub 1} receptor, as well as decreases in vitamin E and C levels, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase activities and Nrf2 expression. Thus, after URB597 administration, oxidative modifications of cellular components were increased, while the inflammatory response was reduced. This study revealed that chronic treatment of hypertensive rats with URB597 disrupts the endocannabinoid system, which causes an imbalance in redox status. This imbalance increases the levels of electrophilic lipid peroxidation products, which later participate in metabolic disturbances in liver homeostasis. - Highlights: • Chronic administration of URB597 to hypertensive rats reduces liver inflammation. • URB597 enhances the redox imbalance

  8. THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM MODULATES THE VALENCE OF THE EMOTION ASSOCIATED TO FOOD INGESTION

    PubMed Central

    Méndez-Díaz, Mónica; Rueda-Orozco, Pavel Ernesto; Ruiz-Contreras, Alejandra Evelyn; Prospéro-García, O.

    2010-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are mediators of the homeostatic and hedonic systems that modulate food ingestion. Hence, eCBs, by regulating the hedonic system, may be modulating the valence of the emotion associated to food ingestion (positive: pleasant, or negative: unpleasant). Our first goal was to demonstrate that palatable food induces conditioned place preference (CPP), hence a positive valence emotion. Additionally, we analyzed if this CPP is blocked by AM251, inducing a negative valence emotion, meaning avoiding the otherwise pursued compartment. The second goal was to demonstrate that CPP induced by regular food would be strengthened by the simultaneous administration of anandamide or oleamide and if such CPP is blocked by AM251. Finally, we tested the capacity of eCBs (without food) to induce CPP. Our results indicate that rats readily developed CPP to palatable food, which was blocked by AM251. The CPP induced by regular food was strengthened by eCBs and blocked by AM251. Finally, oleamide, unlike anandamide, induced CPP. These results showed that eCBs mediate the positive valence (CPP) of the emotion associated to food ingestion. It was also observed that the blockade of the CB1 receptor causes a loss of correlation between food and CPP (negative valence: avoidance). These data further support the role of eCBs as regulators of the hedonic value of food. PMID:21182571

  9. The endocannabinoid system modulates the valence of the emotion associated to food ingestion.

    PubMed

    Méndez-Díaz, Mónica; Rueda-Orozco, Pavel Ernesto; Ruiz-Contreras, Alejandra Evelyn; Prospéro-García, Oscar

    2012-07-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are mediators of the homeostatic and hedonic systems that modulate food ingestion. Hence, eCBs, by regulating the hedonic system, may be modulating the valence of the emotion associated to food ingestion (positive: pleasant or negative: unpleasant). Our first goal was to demonstrate that palatable food induces conditioned place preference (CPP), hence a positive-valence emotion. Additionally, we analyzed if this CPP is blocked by AM251, inducing a negative valence emotion, meaning avoiding the otherwise pursued compartment. The second goal was to demonstrate that CPP induced by regular food would be strengthened by the simultaneous administration of anandamide or oleamide, and if such, CPP is blocked by AM251. Finally, we tested the capacity of eCBs (without food) to induce CPP. Our results indicate that rats readily developed CPP to palatable food, which was blocked by AM251. The CPP induced by regular food was strengthened by eCBs and blocked by AM251. Finally, oleamide, unlike anandamide, induced CPP. These results showed that eCBs mediate the positive valence (CPP) of the emotion associated to food ingestion. It was also observed that the blockade of the CB1 receptor causes a loss of correlation between food and CPP (negative valence: avoidance). These data further support the role of eCBs as regulators of the hedonic value of food. © 2010 The Authors. Addiction Biology © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  10. Parameters of the Endocannabinoid System as Novel Biomarkers in Sepsis and Septic Shock.

    PubMed

    Lafreniere, J Daniel; Lehmann, Christian

    2017-11-01

    Sepsis represents a dysregulated immune response to infection, with a continuum of severity progressing to septic shock. This dysregulated response generally follows a pattern by which an initial hyperinflammatory phase is followed by a state of sepsis-associated immunosuppression. Major challenges in improving sepsis care include developing strategies to ensure early and accurate identification and diagnosis of the disease process, improving our ability to predict outcomes and stratify patients, and the need for novel sepsis-specific treatments such as immunomodulation. Biomarkers offer promise with all three of these challenges and are likely also to be the solution to determining a patient's immune status; something that is critical in guiding effective and safe immunomodulatory therapy. Currently available biomarkers used in sepsis lack sensitivity and specificity, among other significant shortcomings. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an emerging topic of research with evidence suggesting a ubiquitous presence on both central and peripheral tissues, including an intrinsic link with immune function. This review will first discuss the state of sepsis biomarkers and lack of available treatments, followed by an introduction to the ECS and a discussion of its potential to provide novel biomarkers and treatments.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Endocannabinoid system and psychiatry: in search of a neurobiological basis for detrimental and potential therapeutic effects.

    PubMed

    Marco, Eva M; García-Gutiérrez, María S; Bermúdez-Silva, Francisco-Javier; Moreira, Fabricio A; Guimarães, Francisco; Manzanares, Jorge; Viveros, María-Paz

    2011-01-01

    Public concern on mental health has noticeably increased given the high prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders. Cognition and emotionality are the most affected functions in neuropsychiatric disorders, i.e., anxiety disorders, depression, and schizophrenia. In this review, most relevant literature on the role of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in neuropsychiatric disorders will be presented. Evidence from clinical and animal studies is provided for the participation of CB1 and CB2 receptors (CB1R and CB2R) in the above mentioned neuropsychiatric disorders. CBRs are crucial in some of the emotional and cognitive impairments reported, although more research is required to understand the specific role of the eCB system in neuropsychiatric disorders. Cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychotropic component of the Cannabis sativa plant, has shown therapeutic potential in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Although further studies are needed, recent studies indicate that CBD therapeutic effects may partially depend on facilitation of eCB-mediated neurotransmission. Last but not least, this review includes recent findings on the role of the eCB system in eating disorders. A deregulation of the eCB system has been proposed to be in the bases of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including eating disorders. Cannabis consumption has been related to the appearance of psychotic symptoms and schizophrenia. In contrast, the pharmacological manipulation of this eCB system has been proposed as a potential strategy for the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, and anorexia nervosa. In conclusion, the eCB system plays a critical role in psychiatry; however, detrimental consequences of manipulating this endogenous system cannot be underestimated over the potential and promising perspectives of its therapeutic manipulation.

  13. Endocannabinoid System and Psychiatry: In Search of a Neurobiological Basis for Detrimental and Potential Therapeutic Effects

    PubMed Central

    Marco, Eva M.; García-Gutiérrez, María S.; Bermúdez-Silva, Francisco-Javier; Moreira, Fabricio A.; Guimarães, Francisco; Manzanares, Jorge; Viveros, María-Paz

    2011-01-01

    Public concern on mental health has noticeably increased given the high prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders. Cognition and emotionality are the most affected functions in neuropsychiatric disorders, i.e., anxiety disorders, depression, and schizophrenia. In this review, most relevant literature on the role of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in neuropsychiatric disorders will be presented. Evidence from clinical and animal studies is provided for the participation of CB1 and CB2 receptors (CB1R and CB2R) in the above mentioned neuropsychiatric disorders. CBRs are crucial in some of the emotional and cognitive impairments reported, although more research is required to understand the specific role of the eCB system in neuropsychiatric disorders. Cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychotropic component of the Cannabis sativa plant, has shown therapeutic potential in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Although further studies are needed, recent studies indicate that CBD therapeutic effects may partially depend on facilitation of eCB-mediated neurotransmission. Last but not least, this review includes recent findings on the role of the eCB system in eating disorders. A deregulation of the eCB system has been proposed to be in the bases of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including eating disorders. Cannabis consumption has been related to the appearance of psychotic symptoms and schizophrenia. In contrast, the pharmacological manipulation of this eCB system has been proposed as a potential strategy for the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, and anorexia nervosa. In conclusion, the eCB system plays a critical role in psychiatry; however, detrimental consequences of manipulating this endogenous system cannot be underestimated over the potential and promising perspectives of its therapeutic manipulation. PMID:22007164

  14. The in vitro GcMAF effects on endocannabinoid system transcriptionomics, receptor formation, and cell activity of autism-derived macrophages

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Immune system dysregulation is well-recognized in autism and thought to be part of the etiology of this disorder. The endocannabinoid system is a key regulator of the immune system via the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) which is highly expressed on macrophages and microglial cells. We have previously published significant differences in peripheral blood mononuclear cell CB2R gene expression in the autism population. The use of the Gc protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor (GcMAF), an endogenous glycosylated vitamin D binding protein responsible for macrophage cell activation has demonstrated positive effects in the treatment of autistic children. In this current study, we investigated the in vitro effects of GcMAF treatment on the endocannabinoid system gene expression, as well as cellular activation in blood monocyte-derived macrophages (BMDMs) from autistic patients compared to age-matched healthy developing controls. Methods To achieve these goals, we used biomolecular, biochemical and immunocytochemical methods. Results GcMAF treatment was able to normalize the observed differences in dysregulated gene expression of the endocannabinoid system of the autism group. GcMAF also down-regulated the over-activation of BMDMs from autistic children. Conclusions This study presents the first observations of GcMAF effects on the transcriptionomics of the endocannabinoid system and expression of CB2R protein. These data point to a potential nexus between endocannabinoids, vitamin D and its transporter proteins, and the immune dysregulations observed with autism. PMID:24739187

  15. The in vitro GcMAF effects on endocannabinoid system transcriptionomics, receptor formation, and cell activity of autism-derived macrophages.

    PubMed

    Siniscalco, Dario; Bradstreet, James Jeffrey; Cirillo, Alessandra; Antonucci, Nicola

    2014-04-17

    Immune system dysregulation is well-recognized in autism and thought to be part of the etiology of this disorder. The endocannabinoid system is a key regulator of the immune system via the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) which is highly expressed on macrophages and microglial cells. We have previously published significant differences in peripheral blood mononuclear cell CB2R gene expression in the autism population. The use of the Gc protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor (GcMAF), an endogenous glycosylated vitamin D binding protein responsible for macrophage cell activation has demonstrated positive effects in the treatment of autistic children. In this current study, we investigated the in vitro effects of GcMAF treatment on the endocannabinoid system gene expression, as well as cellular activation in blood monocyte-derived macrophages (BMDMs) from autistic patients compared to age-matched healthy developing controls. To achieve these goals, we used biomolecular, biochemical and immunocytochemical methods. GcMAF treatment was able to normalize the observed differences in dysregulated gene expression of the endocannabinoid system of the autism group. GcMAF also down-regulated the over-activation of BMDMs from autistic children. This study presents the first observations of GcMAF effects on the transcriptionomics of the endocannabinoid system and expression of CB2R protein. These data point to a potential nexus between endocannabinoids, vitamin D and its transporter proteins, and the immune dysregulations observed with autism.

  16. Enhanced endocannabinoid tone as a potential target of pharmacotherapy.

    PubMed

    Toczek, Marek; Malinowska, Barbara

    2018-07-01

    The endocannabinoid system is up-regulated in numerous pathophysiological states such as inflammatory, neurodegenerative, gastrointestinal, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, pain, and cancer. It has been suggested that this phenomenon primarily serves an autoprotective role in inhibiting disease progression and/or diminishing signs and symptoms. Accordingly, enhancement of endogenous endocannabinoid tone by inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation represents a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of many diseases. Importantly, this allows for the avoidance of unwanted psychotropic side effects that accompany exogenously administered cannabinoids. The effects of endocannabinoid metabolic pathway modulation are complex, as endocannabinoids can exert their actions directly or via numerous metabolites. The two main strategies for blocking endocannabinoid degradation are inhibition of endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes and inhibition of endocannabinoid cellular uptake. To date, the most investigated compounds are inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme that degrades the endocannabinoid anandamide. However, application of FAAH inhibitors (and consequently other endocannabinoid degradation inhibitors) in medicine became questionable due to a lack of therapeutic efficacy in clinical trials and serious adverse effects evoked by one specific compound. In this paper, we discuss multiple pathways of endocannabinoid metabolism, changes in endocannabinoid levels across numerous human diseases and corresponding experimental models, pharmacological strategies for enhancing endocannabinoid tone and potential therapeutic applications including multi-target drugs with additional targets outside of the endocannabinoid system (cyclooxygenase-2, cholinesterase, TRPV1, and PGF 2α -EA receptors), and currently used medicines or medicinal herbs that additionally enhance endocannabinoid levels. Ultimately, further clinical and preclinical studies are

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Glucose metabolism: focus on gut microbiota, the endocannabinoid system and beyond.

    PubMed

    Cani, P D; Geurts, L; Matamoros, S; Plovier, H; Duparc, T

    2014-09-01

    The gut microbiota is now considered as a key factor in the regulation of numerous metabolic pathways. Growing evidence suggests that cross-talk between gut bacteria and host is achieved through specific metabolites (such as short-chain fatty acids) and molecular patterns of microbial membranes (lipopolysaccharides) that activate host cell receptors (such as toll-like receptors and G-protein-coupled receptors). The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is an important target in the context of obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D) and inflammation. It has been demonstrated that eCB system activity is involved in the control of glucose and energy metabolism, and can be tuned up or down by specific gut microbes (for example, Akkermansia muciniphila). Numerous studies have also shown that the composition of the gut microbiota differs between obese and/or T2D individuals and those who are lean and non-diabetic. Although some shared taxa are often cited, there is still no clear consensus on the precise microbial composition that triggers metabolic disorders, and causality between specific microbes and the development of such diseases is yet to be proven in humans. Nevertheless, gastric bypass is most likely the most efficient procedure for reducing body weight and treating T2D. Interestingly, several reports have shown that the gut microbiota is profoundly affected by the procedure. It has been suggested that the consistent postoperative increase in certain bacterial groups such as Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobia (A. muciniphila) may explain its beneficial impact in gnotobiotic mice. Taken together, these data suggest that specific gut microbes modulate important host biological systems that contribute to the control of energy homoeostasis, glucose metabolism and inflammation in obesity and T2D. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  19. Non-psychotropic analgesic drugs from the endocannabinoid system: "magic bullet" or "multiple-target" strategies?

    PubMed

    Starowicz, Katarzyna; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2013-09-15

    The exploitation of preparations of Cannabis sativa to combat pain seems to date back to time immemorial, although their psychotropic effects, which are at the bases of their recreational use and limit their therapeutic use, are at least as ancient. Indeed, it has always been different to tease apart the unwanted central effects from the therapeutic benefits of Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychotropic component of cannabis. The discovery of the cannabinoid receptors and of their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids, which, unlike THC, play a pro-homeostatic function in a tissue- and time-selective manner, offered the opportunity to develop new analgesics from synthetic inhibitors of endocannabinoid inactivation. The advantages of this approach over direct activation of cannabinoid receptors as a therapeutic strategy against neuropathic and inflammatory pain are discussed here along with its potential complications. These latter have been such that clinical success has been achieved so far more rapidly with naturally occurring THC or endocannabinoid structural analogues acting at a plethora of cannabinoid-related and -unrelated molecular targets, than with selective inhibitors of endocannabinoid enzymatic hydrolysis, thus leading to revisit the potential usefulness of "multi-target" versus "magic bullet" compounds as new analgesics. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Targeting the endocannabinoid/CB1 receptor system for treating obesity in Prader-Willi syndrome.

    PubMed

    Knani, Ibrahim; Earley, Brian J; Udi, Shiran; Nemirovski, Alina; Hadar, Rivka; Gammal, Asaad; Cinar, Resat; Hirsch, Harry J; Pollak, Yehuda; Gross, Itai; Eldar-Geva, Talia; Reyes-Capo, Daniela P; Han, Joan C; Haqq, Andrea M; Gross-Tsur, Varda; Wevrick, Rachel; Tam, Joseph

    2016-12-01

    Extreme obesity is a core phenotypic feature of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Among numerous metabolic regulators, the endocannabinoid (eCB) system is critically involved in controlling feeding, body weight, and energy metabolism, and a globally acting cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB 1 R) blockade reverses obesity both in animals and humans. The first-in-class CB 1 R antagonist rimonabant proved effective in inducing weight loss in adults with PWS. However, it is no longer available for clinical use because of its centrally mediated, neuropsychiatric, adverse effects. We studied eCB 'tone' in individuals with PWS and in the Magel2 -null mouse model that recapitulates the major metabolic phenotypes of PWS and determined the efficacy of a peripherally restricted CB 1 R antagonist, JD5037 in treating obesity in these mice. Individuals with PWS had elevated circulating levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol and its endogenous precursor and breakdown ligand, arachidonic acid. Increased hypothalamic eCB 'tone', manifested by increased eCBs and upregulated CB 1 R, was associated with increased fat mass, reduced energy expenditure, and decreased voluntary activity in Magel2 -null mice. Daily chronic treatment of obese Magel2 -null mice and their littermate wild-type controls with JD5037 (3 mg/kg/d for 28 days) reduced body weight, reversed hyperphagia, and improved metabolic parameters related to their obese phenotype. Dysregulation of the eCB/CB 1 R system may contribute to hyperphagia and obesity in Magel2 -null mice and in individuals with PWS. Our results demonstrate that treatment with peripherally restricted CB 1 R antagonists may be an effective strategy for the management of severe obesity in PWS.

  1. Activation of endocannabinoid system in the rat basolateral amygdala improved scopolamine-induced memory consolidation impairment.

    PubMed

    Nedaei, Seyed Ershad; Rezayof, Ameneh; Pourmotabbed, Ali; Nasehi, Mohammad; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-09-15

    The current study was designed to examine the involvement of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in scopolamine-induced memory impairment in adult male Wistar rats. The animals were bilaterally implanted with the cannulas in the BLA and submitted to a step-through type passive avoidance task to measure the memory formation. The results showed that intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of different doses of scopolamine (0.5-1.5mg/kg) immediately after the training phase (post-training) impaired memory consolidation. Bilateral microinjection of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist, arachydonilcyclopropylamide (ACPA; 1-4ng/rat), into the BLA significantly improved scopolamine-induced memory consolidation impairment. On the other hand, co-administration of AM251, a cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist (0.25-1ng/rat, intra-BLA), with an ineffective dose of scopolamine (0.5mg/kg, i.p.), significantly impaired memory consolidation and mimicked the response of a higher dose of scopolamine. It is important to note that post-training intra-BLA microinjections of the same doses of ACPA or AM251 alone had no effect on memory consolidation. Moreover, the blockade of the BLA CB1 receptors by 0.3ng/rat of AM251 prevented ACPA-induced improvement of the scopolamine response. In view of the known actions of the drugs used, the present data pointed to the involvement of the BLA CB1 receptors in scopolamine-induced memory consolidation impairment. Furthermore, it seems that a functional interaction between the BLA endocannabinoid and cholinergic muscarinic systems may be critical for memory formation. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. The Endocannabinoid System Tonically Regulates Inhibitory Transmission and Depresses the Effect of Ethanol in Central Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Roberto, Marisa; Cruz, Maureen; Bajo, Michal; Siggins, George R; Parsons, Loren H; Schweitzer, Paul

    2010-01-01

    The central amygdala (CeA) has a major role in alcohol dependence and reinforcement, and behavioral and neurochemical evidence suggests a role for the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in ethanol binging and dependence. We used a slice preparation to investigate the physiological role of cannabinoids and their interaction with ethanol on inhibitory synaptic transmission in CeA. Superfusion of the cannabinoid receptor (CB1) agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN2) onto CeA neurons decreased evoked GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) in a concentration-dependent manner, an effect prevented by the CB1 antagonists Rimonabant (SR141716, SR1) and AM251. SR1 or AM251 applied alone augmented IPSPs, revealing a tonic eCB activity that decreased inhibitory transmission in CeA. Paired-pulse analysis suggested a presynaptic CB1 mechanism. Intracellular BAPTA abolished the ability of AM251 to augment IPSPs, demonstrating the eCB-driven nature and postsynaptic origin of the tonic CB1-dependent control of GABA release. Superfusion of ethanol increased IPSPs and addition of WIN2 reversed the ethanol effect. Similarly, previous superfusion of WIN2 prevented subsequent ethanol effects on GABAergic transmission. The ethanol-induced augmentation of IPSPs was additive to CB1 blockade, ruling out a participation of CB1 in the action of acute ethanol. Our study points to an important role of CB1 in CeA in which the eCBs tonically regulate neuronal activity, and suggests a potent mechanism for modulating CeA tone during challenge with ethanol. PMID:20463657

  3. The prefrontal cortical endocannabinoid system modulates fear-pain interactions in a subregion-specific manner.

    PubMed

    Rea, Kieran; McGowan, Fiona; Corcoran, Louise; Roche, Michelle; Finn, David P

    2018-05-30

    The emotional processing and coordination of top-down responses to noxious and conditioned aversive stimuli involves the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Evidence suggests that subregions of the mPFC, (infralimbic (IL), prelimbic (PrL), anterior cingulate (ACC) cortices), differentially alter the expression of contextually-induced fear and nociceptive behaviour. We investigated the role of the endocannabinoid system in the IL, PrL and ACC in formalin-evoked nociceptive behaviour, fear-conditioned analgesia (FCA) and conditioned fear in the presence of nociceptive tone. FCA was modelled in male Lister-hooded rats by assessing formalin-evoked nociceptive behaviour in an arena previously paired with footshock. The effects of intra-mPFC administration of AM251 (CB 1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist), URB597 (fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor) or URB597 + AM251 on FCA and freezing behaviour were assessed. AM251 attenuated FCA when injected into the IL or PrL and reduced contextually induced freezing behaviour when injected intra-IL, but not intra-PrL or intra-ACC. Intra-ACC administration of AM251 alone or in combination with URB597 had no effect on FCA or freezing. URB597 attenuated FCA and freezing behaviour when injected intra-IL, prolonged the expression of FCA when injected intra-PrL and had no effect on these behaviours when injected intra-ACC. These results suggest important and differential roles for FAAH substrates or CB 1 receptors in the PrL, IL and ACC in the expression of FCA and conditioned fear in the presence of nociceptive tone. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  4. DIFFERENTIAL EFFECTS OF SINGLE VERSUS REPEATED ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL ON THE EXPRESSION OF ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM-RELATED GENES IN THE RAT AMYGDALA

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, Antonia; Rivera, Patricia; Pavon, Francisco J.; Decara, Juan; Suárez, Juan; de Fonseca, Fernando Rodriguez; Parsons, Loren H.

    2011-01-01

    Background Endogenous cannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) exert important regulatory influences on neuronal signaling, participate in short- and long-term forms of neuroplasticity, and modulate stress responses and affective behavior in part through the modulation of neurotransmission in the amygdala. Alcohol consumption alters brain endocannabinoid levels, and alcohol dependence is associated with dysregulated amygdalar function, stress responsivity and affective control. Methods The consequence of long-term alcohol consumption on the expression of genes related to endocannabinoid signaling was investigated using quantitative RT-PCR analyses of amygdala tissue. Two groups of ethanol-exposed rats were generated by maintenance on an ethanol liquid diet (10%): one group received continuous access to ethanol for 15 days, while the second group was given intermittent access to the ethanol diet (5 days/week for 3 weeks). Control subjects were maintained on an isocaloric ethanol-free liquid diet. To provide an initial profile of acute withdrawal amygdala tissue was harvested following either 6 or 24 hours of ethanol withdrawal. Results Acute ethanol withdrawal was associated with significant changes in mRNA expression for various components of the endogenous cannabinoid system in the amygdala. Specifically, reductions in mRNA expression for the primary clearance routes for anandamide and 2-AG (FAAH and MAGL, respectively) were evident, as were reductions in mRNA expression for CB1, CB2 and GPR55 receptors. Although similar alterations in FAAH mRNA were evident following either continuous or intermittent ethanol exposure, alterations in MAGL and cannabinoid receptor-related mRNA (e.g. CB1, CB2, GPR55) were more pronounced following intermittent exposure. In general, greater withdrawal-associated deficits in mRNA expression were evident following 24 versus 6 hours of withdrawal. No significant changes in mRNA expression for enzymes involved in

  5. On-demand activation of the endocannabinoid system in the control of neuronal excitability and epileptiform seizures.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Beat

    2004-11-01

    Neurons intensively exchange information among each other using both inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters. However, if the balance of excitation and inhibition is perturbed, the intensity of excitatory transmission may exceed a certain threshold and epileptic seizures can occur. As the occurrence of epilepsy in the human population is about 1%, the search for therapeutic targets to alleviate seizures is warranted. Extracts of Cannabis sativa have a long history in the treatment of various neurological diseases, including epilepsy. However, cannabinoids have been reported to exert both pro- and anti-convulsive activities. The recent progress in understanding the endogenous cannabinoid system has allowed new insights into these opposing effects of cannabinoids. When excessive neuronal activity occurs, endocannabinoids are generated on demand and activate cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors. Using mice lacking CB1 receptors in principal forebrain neurons in a model of epileptiform seizures, it was shown that CB1 receptors expressed on excitatory glutamatergic neurons mediate the anti-convulsive activity of endocannabinoids. Systemic activation of CB1 receptors by exogenous cannabinoids, however, are anti- or pro-convulsive, depending on the seizure model used. The pro-convulsive activity of exogenous cannabinoids might be explained by the notion that CB1 receptors expressed on inhibitory GABAergic neurons are also activated, leading to a decreased release of GABA, and to a concomitant increase in seizure susceptibility. The concept that the endogenous cannabinoid system is activated on demand suggests that a promising strategy to alleviate seizure frequency is the enhancement of endocannabinoid levels by inhibiting the cellular uptake and the degradation of these endogenous compounds.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. The endocannabinoid system and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): From preclinical findings to innovative therapeutic approaches in clinical settings.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Brain and Nervous System

    MedlinePlus

    ... Staying Safe Videos for Educators Search English Español Brain and Nervous System KidsHealth / For Parents / Brain and ... healthy, and remove waste products. All About the Brain The brain is made up of three main ...

  9. The Endocannabinoid System in the Baboon (Papio SPP.) as a Complex Framework for Developmental Pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Sanchez, Iram P.; Guindon, Josee; Ruiz, Marco; Tejero, Maria E.; Hubbard, Gene; Martinez-De-Villarreal, Laura E.; Barrera-Saldaña, Hugo A.; Dick, Edward J.; Commuzzie, Anthony G; Schlabritz-Loutsevitch, Natalia E

    2017-01-01

    Introduction The consumption of marijuana (exogenous cannabinoid) almost doubled in adults during last decade. Consumption of exogenous cannabinoids interferes with the endogenous cannabinoid (or “endocannabinoid” (eCB)) system (ECS), which comprises N-arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA), 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), endocannabinoid receptors (cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1R and CB2R), encoded by CNR1 and CNR2, respectively), and synthesizing/degrading enzymes (FAAH, fatty-acid amide hydrolase; MAGL, monoacylglycerol lipase; DAGL-α, diacylglycerol lipase-alpha). Reports regarding the toxic and therapeutic effects of pharmacological compounds targeting the ECS are sometimes contradictory. This may be caused by the fact that structure of the eCBs varies in the species studied. Objectives First: to clone and characterize the cDNAs of selected members of ECS in a non-human primate (baboon, Papio spp.), and second: to compare those cDNA sequences to known human structural variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms and haplotypes). Materials and methods Polymerase chain reaction-amplified gene products from baboon tissues were transformed into Escherichia coli. Amplicon-positive clones were sequenced, and the obtained sequences were conceptually translated into amino-acid sequences using the genetic code. Results Among the ECS members, CNR1 was the best conserved gene between humans and baboons. The phenotypes associated with mutations in the untranslated regions of this gene in humans have not been described in baboons. One difference in the structure of CNR2 between humans and baboons was detected in the region with the only known clinically relevant polymorphism in a human receptor. All of the differences in the amino-acid structure of DAGL-α between humans and baboons were located in the hydroxylase domain, close to phosphorylation sites. None of the differences in the amino-acid structure of MAGL observed between baboons and humans were located in

  10. The endocannabinoid system and NGF are involved in the mechanism of action of resveratrol: a multi-target nutraceutical with therapeutic potential in neuropsychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Hassanzadeh, Parichehr; Arbabi, Elham; Atyabi, Fatemeh; Dinarvand, Rassoul

    2016-03-01

    Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. It has also shown antidepressant-like effects in the behavioral studies; however, its mechanism(s) of action merit further evaluation. The interaction between the nerve growth factor (NGF) and endocannabinoid system (eCBs) and their contribution to the antidepressant or emotional activity prompted us to evaluate their implications in the mechanism of action of resveratrol. After single and 4-week intraperitoneal (i.p.) once-daily injections of resveratrol (40, 80, and 100 mg/kg), amitriptyline (2.5, 5, and 10 mg/kg), or clonazepam (10, 20, and 40 mg/kg) into male Wistar rats, eCB and NGF contents were quantified in the brain regions implicated in the modulation of emotions by isotope-dilution liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and Bio-Rad protein assay, respectively. In the case of any significant alteration of brain eCB or NGF level, the effect of pre-treatment with cannabinoid CB1 or CB2 receptor antagonist (AM251 or SR144528) was investigated. Four-week treatment with resveratrol or amitriptyline resulted in a significant and sustained enhancement of NGF and eCB contents in dose-dependent and brain region-specific manner. Neither acute nor 4-week treatment with clonazepam affected brain eCB or NGF contents. Pre-treatment with AM251 (3 mg/kg), but not SR144528, prevented the enhancement of NGF protein levels. AM251 exhibited no effect by itself. Resveratrol like the classical antidepressant, amitriptyline, affects brain NGF and eCB signaling under the regulatory drive of CB1 receptors.

  11. Effects of the antipsychotic paliperidone on stress-induced changes in the endocannabinoid system in rat prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    MacDowell, Karina S; Sayd, Aline; García-Bueno, Borja; Caso, Javier R; Madrigal, José L M; Leza, Juan Carlos

    2017-09-01

    Objectives There is a need to explore novel mechanisms of action of existing/new antipsychotics. One potential candidate is the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The present study tried to elucidate the effects of the antipsychotic paliperidone on stress-induced ECS alterations. Methods Wister rats were submitted to acute/chronic restraint stress. Paliperidone (1 mg/kg) was given prior each stress session. Cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids (eCBs) synthesis and degradation enzymes were measured in prefrontal cortex (PFC) samples by RT-PCR and Western Blot. Results In the PFC of rats exposed to acute stress, paliperidone increased CB1 receptor (CB1R) expression. Furthermore, paliperidone increased the expression of the eCB synthesis enzymes N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine- hydrolysing phospholipase D and DAGLα, and blocked the stress-induced increased expression of the degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase. In chronic conditions, paliperidone prevented the chronic stress-induced down-regulation of CB1R, normalised DAGLα expression and reverted stress-induced down-regulation of the 2-AG degrading enzyme monoacylglycerol lipase. ECS was analysed also in periphery. Acute stress decreased DAGLα expression, an effect prevented by paliperidone. Contrarily, chronic stress increased DAGLα and this effect was potentiated by paliperidone. Conclusions The results obtained described a preventive effect of paliperidone on stress-induced alterations in ECS. Considering the diverse alterations on ECS described in psychotic disease, targeting ECS emerges as a new therapeutic possibility.

  12. ENDOCANNABINOID SIGNALING IN NEUROTOXICITY AND NEUROPROTECTION

    PubMed Central

    Pope, C.; Mechoulam, R.; Parsons, L.

    2010-01-01

    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 Δ9 -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. PMID:19969019

  13. Endocannabinoid signaling in neurotoxicity and neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Vilela, Luciano R.; Gobira, Pedro H.; Viana, Thercia G.

    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. Themore » 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

  15. Endocannabinoid regulation of β-cell functions: implications for glycaemic control and diabetes.

    PubMed

    Jourdan, T; Godlewski, G; Kunos, G

    2016-06-01

    Visceral obesity is a major risk factor for the development of insulin resistance which can progress to overt type 2 diabetes (T2D) with loss of β-cell function and, ultimately, loss of β-cells. Insulin secretion by β-cells of the pancreatic islets is tightly coupled to blood glucose concentration and modulated by a large number of blood-borne or locally released mediators, including endocannabinoids. Obesity and its complications, including T2D, are associated with increased activity of the endocannabinoid/CB1 receptor (CB1 R) system, as indicated by the therapeutic effects of CB1 R antagonists. Similar beneficial effects of CB1 R antagonists with limited brain penetrance indicate the important role of CB1 R in peripheral tissues, including the endocrine pancreas. Pancreatic β-cells express all of the components of the endocannabinoid system, and endocannabinoids modulate their function via both autocrine and paracrine mechanisms, which influence basal and glucose-induced insulin secretion and also affect β-cell proliferation and survival. The present brief review will survey available information on the modulation of these processes by endocannabinoids and their receptors, with an attempt to assess the contribution of such effects to glycaemic control in T2D and insulin resistance. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  16. Disruption of social cognition in the sub-chronic PCP rat model of schizophrenia: Possible involvement of the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Seillier, Alexandre; Giuffrida, Andrea

    2016-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that social withdrawal in the phencyclidine (PCP) rat model of schizophrenia results from deficient endocannabinoid-induced activation of CB1 receptors. To understand the underlying cognitive mechanisms of the social deficit in PCP-treated rats, we examined the impact of pharmacological manipulation of the endocannabinoid system on sociability (i.e. social approach) and social novelty preference (which relies on social recognition). Control rats showed a clear preference for a "social" cage (i.e. unfamiliar stimulus rat placed under a wire mesh cage) versus an "empty" cage, and spent more time exploring a "novel" cage (i.e. new stimulus rat) versus a "familiar" cage. In contrast, rats receiving PCP (5 mg/kg, b.i.d. for 7 days, followed by a 7 day-washout period) showed intact sociability, but lacked social novelty preference. This PCP-induced deficit was due to increased activity at CB1 receptors as it was reversed by systemic administration of the CB1 antagonist AM251 (1 mg/kg). In agreement with this hypothesis, the cannabinoid agonist CP55,940 (0.003-0.03 mg/kg) dose-dependently suppressed social novelty preference in control animals without affecting sociability. Taken together, these data suggest that PCP-treated rats have a deficit in social cognition, possibly induced by increased stimulation of CB1 receptors. This deficit, however, is distinct from the social withdrawal previously observed in these animals, as the latter is due to deficient, rather than increased, CB1 stimulation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Argueta, Donovan A.; DiPatrizio, Nicholas V.

    2017-01-01

    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 60 days on WD or a standard rodent chow (SD), and the role for peripheral endocannabinoid signaling at CB1Rs 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 60 days 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 CB1Rs with the peripherally-restricted neutral cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist, AM6545 (10mg/kg), significantly reduced intake of WD during a 6 h 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 CB1Rs 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

  19. 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

    PubMed Central

    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

    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

  20. 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.

    PubMed

    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

  1. Endocannabinoids in the Retina: From Marijuana to Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. Endocannabinoids in the retina: from marijuana to neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Yazulla, Stephen

    2008-09-01

    The active component of the marijuana plant Cannabis sativa, Delta9-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 works on cannabinoids have 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 adaptations, 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.

  3. A critical role for prefrontocortical endocannabinoid signaling in the regulation of stress and emotional behavior.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Ryan J; Hill, Matthew N; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2014-05-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) provides executive control of the brain in humans and rodents, coordinating cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to threatening stimuli and subsequent feedback inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The endocannabinoid system has emerged as a fundamental regulator of HPA axis feedback inhibition and an important modulator of emotional behavior. However, the precise role of endocannabinoid signaling within the PFC with respect to stress coping and emotionality has only recently been investigated. This review discusses the current state of knowledge regarding the localization and function of the endocannabinoid system in the PFC, its sensitivity to stress and its role in modulating the neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to aversive stimuli. We propose a model whereby steady-state endocannabinoid signaling in the medial PFC indirectly regulates the outflow of pyramidal neurons by fine-tuning GABAergic inhibition. Local activation of this population of CB1 receptors increases the downstream targets of medial PFC activation, which include inhibitory interneurons in the basolateral amygdala, inhibitory relay neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and monoamine cell bodies such as the dorsal raphe nucleus. This ultimately produces beneficial effects on emotionality (active coping responses to stress and reduced anxiety) and assists in constraining activation of the HPA axis. Under conditions of chronic stress, or in individuals suffering from mood disorders, this system may be uniquely recruited to help maintain appropriate function in the face of adversity, while breakdown of the endocannabinoid system in the medial PFC may be, in and of itself, sufficient to produce neuropsychiatric illness. Thus, we suggest that endocannabinoid signaling in the medial PFC may represent an attractive target for the treatment of stress-related disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Social defeat leads to changes in the endocannabinoid system: An overexpression of calreticulin and motor impairment in mice.

    PubMed

    Tomas-Roig, J; Piscitelli, F; Gil, V; Del Río, J A; Moore, T P; Agbemenyah, H; Salinas-Riester, G; Pommerenke, C; Lorenzen, S; Beißbarth, T; Hoyer-Fender, S; Di Marzo, V; Havemann-Reinecke, U

    2016-04-15

    Prolonged and sustained stimulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis have adverse effects on numerous brain regions, including the cerebellum. Motor coordination and motor learning are essential for animal and require the regulation of cerebellar neurons. The G-protein-coupled cannabinoid CB1 receptor coordinates synaptic transmission throughout the CNS and is of highest abundance in the cerebellum. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to investigate the long-lasting effects of chronic psychosocial stress on motor coordination and motor learning, CB1 receptor expression, endogenous cannabinoid ligands and gene expression in the cerebellum. After chronic psychosocial stress, motor coordination and motor learning were impaired as indicated the righting reflex and the rota-rod. The amount of the endocannabinoid 2-AG increased while CB1 mRNA and protein expression were downregulated after chronic stress. Transcriptome analysis revealed 319 genes differentially expressed by chronic psychosocial stress in the cerebellum; mainly involved in synaptic transmission, transmission of nerve impulse, and cell-cell signaling. Calreticulin was validated as a stress candidate gene. The present study provides evidence that chronic stress activates calreticulin and might be one of the pathological mechanisms underlying the motor coordination and motor learning dysfunctions seen in social defeat mice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Endocannabinoid signalling: has it got rhythm?

    PubMed Central

    Vaughn, Linda K; Denning, Gerene; Stuhr, Kara L; de Wit, Harriet; Hill, Matthew N; Hillard, Cecilia J

    2010-01-01

    Endogenous cannabinoid signalling is widespread throughout the body, and considerable evidence supports its modulatory role in many fundamental physiological processes. The daily and seasonal cycles of the relationship of the earth and sun profoundly affect the terrestrial environment. Terrestrial species have adapted to these cycles in many ways, most well studied are circadian rhythms and hibernation. The purpose of this review was to examine literature support for three hypotheses: (i) endocannabinoid signalling exhibits brain region-specific circadian rhythms; (ii) endocannabinoid signalling modulates the rhythm of circadian processes in mammals; and (iii) changes in endocannabinoid signalling contribute to the state of hibernation. The results of two novel studies are presented. First, we report the results of a study of healthy humans demonstrating that plasma concentrations of the endocannabinoid, N-arachidonylethanolamine (anandamide), exhibit a circadian rhythm. Concentrations of anandamide are threefold higher at wakening than immediately before sleep, a relationship that is dysregulated by sleep deprivation. Second, we investigated differences in endocannabinoids and congeners in plasma from Marmota monax obtained in the summer and during the torpor state of hibernation. We report that 2-arachidonoylglycerol is below detection in M. monax plasma and that concentrations of anandamide are not different. However, plasma concentrations of the anorexigenic lipid oleoylethanolamide were significantly lower in hibernation, while the concentrations of palmitoylethanolamide and 2-oleoylglycerol were significantly greater in hibernation. We conclude that available data support a bidirectional relationship between endocannabinoid signalling and circadian processes, and investigation of the contribution of endocannabinoid signalling to the dramatic physiological changes that occur during hibernation is warranted. This article is part of a themed issue on

  6. The putative endocannabinoid transport blocker LY2183240 is a potent inhibitor of FAAH and several other brain serine hydrolases.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Jessica P; Cravatt, Benjamin F

    2006-08-02

    How lipid transmitters move within and between cells to communicate signals remains an important and largely unanswered question. Integral membrane transporters, soluble lipid-binding proteins, and metabolic enzymes have all been proposed to collaboratively regulate lipid signaling dynamics in vivo. Assignment of the relative contributions made by each of these classes of proteins requires selective pharmacological agents to perturb their individual functions. Recently, LY2183240, a heterocyclic urea inhibitor of the putative endocannabinoid (EC) transporter, was shown to disrupt the cellular uptake of the lipid EC anandamide and promote analgesia in vivo. Here, we show that LY2183240 is a potent, covalent inhibitor of the EC-degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). LY2183240 inactivates FAAH by carbamylation of the enzyme's serine nucleophile. More global screens using activity-based proteomic probes identified several additional serine hydrolases that are also inhibited by LY2183240. These results indicate that the blockade of anandamide uptake observed with LY2183240 may be due primarily to the inactivation of FAAH, providing further evidence that this enzyme serves as a metabolic driving force that promotes the diffusion of anandamide into cells. More generally, the proteome-wide target promiscuity of LY2183240 designates the heterocyclic urea as a chemotype with potentially excessive protein reactivity for drug design.

  7. Chemical Probes of Endocannabinoid Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Identification of endocannabinoid system-modulating N-alkylamides from Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra and Lepidium meyenii.

    PubMed

    Hajdu, Zsanett; Nicolussi, Simon; Rau, Mark; Lorántfy, László; Forgo, Peter; Hohmann, Judit; Csupor, Dezső; Gertsch, Jürg

    2014-07-25

    The discovery of the interaction of plant-derived N-alkylamides (NAAs) and the mammalian endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the existence of a plant endogenous N-acylethanolamine signaling system have led to the re-evaluation of this group of compounds. Herein, the isolation of seven NAAs and the assessment of their effects on major protein targets in the ECS network are reported. Four NAAs, octadeca-2E,4E,8E,10Z,14Z-pentaene-12-ynoic acid isobutylamide (1), octadeca-2E,4E,8E,10Z,14Z-pentaene-12-ynoic acid 2'-methylbutylamide (2), hexadeca-2E,4E,9Z-triene-12,14-diynoic acid isobutylamide (3), and hexadeca-2E,4E,9,12-tetraenoic acid 2'-methylbutylamide (4), were identified from Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra. Compounds 2-4 are new natural products, while 1 was isolated for the first time from this species. The previously described macamides, N-(3-methoxybenzyl)-(9Z,12Z,15Z)-octadecatrienamide (5), N-benzyl-(9Z,12Z,15Z)-octadecatrienamide (6), and N-benzyl-(9Z,12Z)-octadecadienamide (7), were isolated from Lepidium meyenii (Maca). N-Methylbutylamide 4 and N-benzylamide 7 showed submicromolar and selective binding affinities for the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (Ki values of 0.31 and 0.48 μM, respectively). Notably, compound 7 also exhibited weak fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibition (IC50 = 4 μM) and a potent inhibition of anandamide cellular uptake (IC50 = 0.67 μM) that was stronger than the inhibition obtained with the controls OMDM-2 and UCM707. The pronounced ECS polypharmacology of compound 7 highlights the potential involvement of the arachidonoyl-mimicking 9Z,12Z double-bond system in the linoleoyl group for the overall cannabimimetic action of NAAs. This study provides additional strong evidence of the endocannabinoid substrate mimicking of plant-derived NAAs and uncovers a direct and indirect cannabimimetic action of the Peruvian Maca root.

  9. Epigenetic mechanisms associated with addiction-related behavioural effects of nicotine and/or cocaine: implication of the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Hayase, Tamaki

    2017-10-01

    The addictive use of nicotine (NC) and cocaine (COC) continues to be a major public health problem, and their combined use has been reported, particularly during adolescence. In neural plasticity, commonly induced by NC and COC, as well as behavioural plasticity related to the use of these two drugs, the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms, in which the reversible regulation of gene expression occurs independently of the DNA sequence, has recently been reported. Furthermore, on the basis of intense interactions with the target neurotransmitter systems, the endocannabinoid (ECB) system has been considered pivotal for eliciting the effects of NC or COC. The combined use of marijuana with NC and/or COC has also been reported. This article presents the addiction-related behavioural effects of NC and/or COC, based on the common behavioural/neural plasticity and combined use of NC/COC, and reviews the interacting role of the ECB system. The epigenetic processes inseparable from the effects of NC and/or COC (i.e. DNA methylation, histone modifications and alterations in microRNAs) and the putative therapeutic involvement of the ECB system at the epigenetic level are also discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2012-10-24

    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- to 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 signaling 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.

  12. Endocannabinoid Signaling Regulates Sleep Stability

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. Endocannabinoid Signaling Regulates Sleep Stability.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. The Endocannabinoid System, Aggression, and the Violence of Synthetic Cannabinoid Use, Borderline Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and Other Psychiatric Disorders.

    PubMed

    Kolla, Nathan J; Mishra, Achal

    2018-01-01

    Endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids bind to central cannabinoid receptors to control a multitude of behavioral functions, including aggression. The first main objective of this review is to dissect components of the endocannabinoid system, including cannabinoid 1 and cannabinoid 2 receptors; the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol; and the indirect cannabinoid modulators fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase; that have shown abnormalities in basic research studies investigating mechanisms of aggression. While most human research has concluded that the active ingredient of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, tends to dampen rather than provoke aggression in acute doses, recent evidence supports a relationship between the ingestion of synthetic cannabinoids and emergence of violent or aggressive behavior. Thus, another objective is to evaluate the emerging clinical data. This paper also discusses the relationship between prenatal and perinatal exposure to cannabis as well as use of cannabis in adolescence on aggressive outcomes. A final objective of the paper is to discuss endocannabinoid abnormalities in psychotic and affective disorders, as well as clinically aggressive populations, such as borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. With regard to the former condition, decreased anandamide metabolites have been reported in the cerebrospinal fluid, while some preliminary evidence suggests that fatty acid amide hydrolase genetic polymorphisms are linked to antisocial personality disorder and impulsive-antisocial psychopathic traits. To summarize, this paper will draw upon basic and clinical research to explain how the endocannabinoid system may contribute to the genesis of aggressive behavior.

  15. Interactions between ethanol and the endocannabinoid system at GABAergic synapses on basolateral amygdala principal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Talani, Giuseppe; Lovinger, David M.

    2015-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) plays crucial roles in stimulus value coding, as well as drug and alcohol dependence. Ethanol alters synaptic transmission in the BLA, while endocannabinoids (eCBs) produce presynaptic depression at BLA synapses. Recent studies suggest interactions between ethanol and eCBs that have important consequences for alcohol drinking behavior. To determine how ethanol and eCBs interact in the BLA, we examined the physiology and pharmacology of GABAergic synapses onto BLA pyramidal neurons in neurons from young rats. Application of ethanol at concentrations relevant to intoxication increased, in both young and adult animals, the frequency of spontaneous and miniature GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents, indicating a presynaptic site of ethanol action. The potentiation by ethanol was prevented by inhibition by adenylyl cyclase, and reduced by inhibition by protein kinase A. Activation of type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1) in the BLA inhibited GABAergic transmission via an apparent presynaptic mechanism, and prevented ethanol potentiation. Surprisingly, ethanol potentiation was also prevented by CB1 antagonists/inverse agonists. Brief depolarization of BLA pyramidal neurons suppressed GABAergic transmission (depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition [DSI]), an effect previously shown to be mediated by postsynaptic eCB release and presynaptic CB1 activation. A CB1-mediated suppression of GABAergic transmission was also produced by combined afferent stimulation at 0.1 Hz (LFS), and postsynaptic loading with the eCB arachidonoyl ethanolamide (AEA). Both DSI and LFS-induced synaptic depression were prevented by ethanol. Our findings indicate antagonistic interactions between ethanol and eCB/CB1 modulation at GABAergic BLA synapses that may contribute to eCB roles in ethanol seeking and drinking. PMID:26603632

  16. Alterations in endocannabinoid tone following chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: effects of endocannabinoid deactivation inhibitors targeting fatty-acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase in comparison to reference analgesics following cisplatin treatment.

    PubMed

    Guindon, Josée; Lai, Yvonne; Takacs, Sara M; Bradshaw, Heather B; Hohmann, Andrea G

    2013-01-01

    Cisplatin, a platinum-derived chemotherapeutic agent, produces mechanical and coldallodynia reminiscent of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy in humans. The endocannabinoid system represents a novel target for analgesic drug development. The endocannabinoid signaling system consists of endocannabinoids (e.g. anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)), cannabinoid receptors (e.g. CB(1) and CB(2)) and the enzymes controlling endocannabinoid synthesis and degradation. AEA is hydrolyzed by fatty-acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) whereas 2-AG is hydrolyzed primarily by monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL). We compared effects of brain permeant (URB597) and impermeant (URB937) inhibitors of FAAH with an irreversible inhibitor of MGL (JZL184) on cisplatin-evoked behavioral hypersensitivities. Endocannabinoid modulators were compared with agents used clinically to treat neuropathy (i.e. the opioid analgesic morphine, the anticonvulsant gabapentin and the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline). Cisplatin produced robust mechanical and cold allodynia but did not alter responsiveness to heat. After neuropathy was fully established, groups received acute intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of vehicle, amitriptyline (30 mg/kg), gabapentin (100 mg/kg), morphine (6 mg/kg), URB597 (0.1 or 1 mg/kg), URB937 (0.1 or 1 mg/kg) or JZL184 (1, 3 or 8 mg/kg). Pharmacological specificity was assessed by coadministering each endocannabinoid modulator with either a CB(1) (AM251 3 mg/kg), CB(2) (AM630 3 mg/kg), TRPV1 (AMG9810 3 mg/kg) or TRPA1 (HC030031 8 mg/kg) antagonist. Effects of cisplatin on endocannabinoid levels and transcription of receptors (CB(1), CB(2), TRPV1, TRPA1) and enzymes (FAAH, MGL) linked to the endocannabinoid system were also assessed. URB597, URB937, JZL184 and morphine reversed cisplatin-evoked mechanical and cold allodynia to pre-cisplatin levels. By contrast, gabapentin only partially reversed the observed allodynia while amitriptyline, administered acutely, was ineffective

  17. Cocaine-induced endocannabinoid release modulates behavioral and neurochemical sensitization in mice.

    PubMed

    Mereu, Maddalena; Tronci, Valeria; Chun, Lauren E; Thomas, Alexandra M; Green, Jennifer L; Katz, Jonathan L; Tanda, Gianluigi

    2015-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the development of synaptic plasticity induced by several drugs abused by humans, including cocaine. However, there remains some debate about the involvement of cannabinoid receptors/ligands in cocaine-induced plasticity and corresponding behavioral actions. Here, we show that a single cocaine injection in Swiss-Webster mice produces behavioral and neurochemical alterations that are under the control of the endocannabinoid system. This plasticity may be the initial basis for changes in brain processes leading from recreational use of cocaine to its abuse and ultimately to dependence. Locomotor activity was monitored with photobeam cell detectors, and accumbens shell/core microdialysate dopamine levels were monitored by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Development of single-trial cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization, measured as increased distance traveled in sensitized mice compared to control mice, was paralleled by a larger stimulation of extracellular dopamine levels in the core but not the shell of the nucleus accumbens. Both the behavioral and neurochemical effects were reversed by CB1 receptor blockade produced by rimonabant pre-treatments. Further, both behavioral and neurochemical cocaine sensitization were facilitated by pharmacological blockade of endocannabinoid metabolism, achieved by inhibiting the fatty acid amide hydrolase enzyme. In conclusion, our results suggest that a single unconditioned exposure to cocaine produces sensitization through neuronal alterations that require regionally specific release of endocannabinoids. Further, the present results suggest that endocannabinoids play a primary role from the earliest stage of cocaine use, mediating the inception of long-term brain-adaptive responses, shaping central pathways and likely increasing vulnerability to stimulant abuse disorders. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the

  18. Important role of endocannabinoid signaling in the development of functional vision and locomotion in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Martella, Andrea; Sepe, Rosa M; Silvestri, Cristoforo; Zang, Jingjing; Fasano, Giulia; Carnevali, Oliana; De Girolamo, Paolo; Neuhauss, Stephan C F; Sordino, Paolo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2016-12-01

    The developmental role of the endocannabinoid system still remains to be fully understood. Here, we report the presence of a complete endocannabinoid system during zebrafish development and show that the genes that code for enzymes that catalyze the anabolism and catabolism (mgll and dagla) of the endocannabinoid, 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol), as well as 2-AG main receptor in the brain, cannabinoid receptor type 1, are coexpressed in defined regions of axonal growth. By using morpholino-induced transient knockdown of the zebrafish Daglα homolog and its pharmacologic rescue, we suggest that synthesis of 2-AG is implicated in the control of axon formation in the midbrain-hindbrain region and that animals that lack Daglα display abnormal physiological behaviors in tests that measure stereotyped movement and motion perception. Our results suggest that the well-established role for 2-AG in axonal outgrowth has implications for the control of vision and movement in zebrafish and, thus, is likely common to all vertebrates.-Martella, A., Sepe, R. M., Silvestri, C., Zang, J., Fasano, G., Carnevali, O., De Girolamo, P., Neuhauss, S. C. F., Sordino, P., Di Marzo, V. Important role of endocannabinoid signaling in the development of functional vision and locomotion in zebrafish. © FASEB.

  19. Putative Epigenetic Involvement of the Endocannabinoid System in Anxiety- and Depression-Related Behaviors Caused by Nicotine as a Stressor.

    PubMed

    Hayase, Tamaki

    2016-01-01

    Like various stressors, the addictive use of nicotine (NC) is associated with emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression, although the underlying mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated due to the complicated involvement of target neurotransmitter systems. In the elicitation of these emotional symptoms, the fundamental involvement of epigenetic mechanisms such as histone acetylation has recently been suggested. Furthermore, among the interacting neurotransmitter systems implicated in the effects of NC and stressors, the endocannabinoid (ECB) system is considered to contribute indispensably to anxiety and depression. In the present study, the epigenetic involvement of histone acetylation induced by histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors was investigated in anxiety- and depression-related behavioral alterations caused by NC and/or immobilization stress (IM). Moreover, based on the contributing roles of the ECB system, the interacting influence of ECB ligands on the effects of HDAC inhibitors was evaluated in order to examine epigenetic therapeutic interventions. Anxiety-like (elevated plus-maze test) and depression-like (forced swimming test) behaviors, which were observed in mice treated with repeated (4 days) NC (subcutaneous 0.8 mg/kg) and/or IM (10 min), were blocked by the HDAC inhibitors sodium butyrate (SB) and valproic acid (VA). The cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) agonist ACPA (arachidonylcyclopropylamide; AC) also antagonized these behaviors. Conversely, the CB1 antagonist SR 141716A (SR), which counteracted the effects of AC, attenuated the anxiolytic-like effects of the HDAC inhibitors commonly in the NC and/or IM groups. SR also attenuated the antidepressant-like effects of the HDAC inhibitors, most notably in the IM group. From these results, the combined involvement of histone acetylation and ECB system was shown in anxiety- and depression-related behaviors. In the NC treatment groups, the limited influence of SR against the HDAC inhibitor

  20. The endocannabinoid system in the rat dorsolateral periaqueductal grey mediates fear-conditioned analgesia and controls fear expression in the presence of nociceptive tone

    PubMed Central

    Olango, WM; Roche, M; Ford, GK; Harhen, B; Finn, DP

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Endocannabinoids in the midbrain periaqueductal grey (PAG) modulate nociception and unconditioned stress-induced analgesia; however, their role in fear-conditioned analgesia (FCA) has not been examined. The present study examined the role of the endocannabinoid system in the dorsolateral (dl) PAG in formalin-evoked nociceptive behaviour, conditioned fear and FCA in rats. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Rats received intra-dlPAG administration of the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist rimonabant, or vehicle, before re-exposure to a context paired 24 h previously with foot shock. Formalin-evoked nociceptive behaviour and fear-related behaviours (freezing and 22 kHz ultrasonic vocalization) were assessed. In a separate cohort, levels of endocannabinoids [2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) and N-arachidonoyl ethanolamide (anandamide; AEA)] and the related N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) [N-palmitoyl ethanolamide (PEA) and N-oleoyl ethanolamide (OEA)] were measured in dlPAG tissue following re-exposure to conditioned context in the presence or absence of formalin-evoked nociceptive tone. KEY RESULTS Re-exposure of rats to the context previously associated with foot shock resulted in FCA. Intra-dlPAG administration of rimonabant significantly attenuated FCA and fear-related behaviours expressed in the presence of nociceptive tone. Conditioned fear without formalin-evoked nociceptive tone was associated with increased levels of 2-AG, AEA, PEA and OEA in the dlPAG. FCA was specifically associated with an increase in AEA levels in the dlPAG. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Conditioned fear to context mobilises endocannabinoids and NAEs in the dlPAG. These data support a role for endocannabinoids in the dlPAG in mediating the potent suppression of pain responding which occurs during exposure to conditioned aversive contexts. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this section visit

  1. Truffles contain endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes and anandamide.

    PubMed

    Pacioni, Giovanni; Rapino, Cinzia; Zarivi, Osvaldo; Falconi, Anastasia; Leonardi, Marco; Battista, Natalia; Colafarina, Sabrina; Sergi, Manuel; Bonfigli, Antonella; Miranda, Michele; Barsacchi, Daniela; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2015-02-01

    Truffles are the fruiting body of fungi, members of the Ascomycota phylum endowed with major gastronomic and commercial value. The development and maturation of their reproductive structure are dependent on melanin synthesis. Since anandamide, a prominent member of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), is responsible for melanin synthesis in normal human epidermal melanocytes, we thought that ECS might be present also in truffles. Here, we show the expression, at the transcriptional and translational levels, of most ECS components in the black truffle Tuber melanosporum Vittad. at maturation stage VI. Indeed, by means of molecular biology and immunochemical techniques, we found that truffles contain the major metabolic enzymes of the ECS, while they do not express the most relevant endocannabinoid-binding receptors. In addition, we measured anandamide content in truffles, at different maturation stages (from III to VI), through liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric analysis, whereas the other relevant endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol was below the detection limit. Overall, our unprecedented results suggest that anandamide and ECS metabolic enzymes have evolved earlier than endocannabinoid-binding receptors, and that anandamide might be an ancient attractant to truffle eaters, that are well-equipped with endocannabinoid-binding receptors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Chemical probes to potently and selectively inhibit endocannabinoid cellular reuptake.

    PubMed

    Chicca, Andrea; Nicolussi, Simon; Bartholomäus, Ruben; Blunder, Martina; Aparisi Rey, Alejandro; Petrucci, Vanessa; Reynoso-Moreno, Ines Del Carmen; Viveros-Paredes, Juan Manuel; Dalghi Gens, Marianela; Lutz, Beat; Schiöth, Helgi B; Soeberdt, Michael; Abels, Christoph; Charles, Roch-Philippe; Altmann, Karl-Heinz; Gertsch, Jürg

    2017-06-20

    The extracellular effects of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol are terminated by enzymatic hydrolysis after crossing cellular membranes by facilitated diffusion. The lack of potent and selective inhibitors for endocannabinoid transport has prevented the molecular characterization of this process, thus hindering its biochemical investigation and pharmacological exploitation. Here, we report the design, chemical synthesis, and biological profiling of natural product-derived N -substituted 2,4-dodecadienamides as a selective endocannabinoid uptake inhibitor. The highly potent (IC 50 = 10 nM) inhibitor N -(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)ethyl amide (WOBE437) exerted pronounced cannabinoid receptor-dependent anxiolytic, antiinflammatory, and analgesic effects in mice by increasing endocannabinoid levels. A tailored WOBE437-derived diazirine-containing photoaffinity probe (RX-055) irreversibly blocked membrane transport of both endocannabinoids, providing mechanistic insights into this complex process. Moreover, RX-055 exerted site-specific anxiolytic effects on in situ photoactivation in the brain. This study describes suitable inhibitors to target endocannabinoid membrane trafficking and uncovers an alternative endocannabinoid pharmacology.

  3. A diet containing a nonfat dry milk matrix significantly alters systemic endocannabinoids and oxylipins in diet-induced obese mice

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    BACKGROUND: Diets rich in dairy and/or calcium (Ca) have been associated with reductions in adiposity and inflammation, but the mechanisms underlying this remain to be fully elucidated. Oxylipins and endocannabinoids are bioactive lipids, which influence energy homeostasis, adipose function, insuli...

  4. Polypharmacological profile of 1,2-dihydro-2-oxo-pyridine-3-carboxamides in the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Chicca, Andrea; Arena, Chiara; Bertini, Simone; Gado, Francesca; Ciaglia, Elena; Abate, Mario; Digiacomo, Maria; Lapillo, Margherita; Poli, Giulio; Bifulco, Maurizio; Macchia, Marco; Tuccinardi, Tiziano; Gertsch, Jürg; Manera, Clementina

    2018-05-14

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) represents one of the major neuromodulatory systems involved in different physiological and pathological processes. Multi-target compounds exert their activities by acting via multiple mechanisms of action and represent a promising pharmacological modulation of the ECS. In this work we report 4-substituted and 4,5-disubstituted 1,2-dihydro-2-oxo-pyridine-3-carboxamide derivatives with a broad spectrum of affinity and functional activity towards both cannabinoid receptors and additional effects on the main components of the ECS. In particular compound B3 showed high affinity for CB1R (K i  = 23.1 nM, partial agonist) and CB2R (K i  = 6.9 nM, inverse agonist) and also significant inhibitory activity (IC 50  = 70 nM) on FAAH with moderate inhibition of ABHD12 (IC 50  = 2.5 μΜ). Compounds B4, B5 and B6 that act as full agonists at CB1R and as partial agonists (B5 and B6) or antagonist (B4) at CB2R, exhibited an additional multi-target property by inhibiting anandamide uptake with sub-micromolar IC 50 values (0.28-0.62 μΜ). The best derivatives showed cytotoxic activity on U937 lymphoblastoid cells. Finally, molecular docking analysis carried out on the three-dimensional structures of CB1R and CB2R and of FAAH allowed to rationalize the structure-activity relationships of this series of compounds. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  5. Docosahexaenoyl ethanolamide improves glucose uptake and alters endocannabinoid system gene expression in proliferating and differentiating C2C12 myoblasts

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jeffrey; Carlson, Morgan E.; Watkins, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Skeletal muscle is a major storage site for glycogen and a focus for understanding insulin resistance and type-2-diabetes. New evidence indicates that overactivation of the peripheral endocannabinoid system (ECS) in skeletal muscle diminishes insulin sensitivity. Specific n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are precursors for the biosynthesis of ligands that bind to and activate the cannabinoid receptors. The function of the ECS and action of PUFA in skeletal muscle glucose uptake was investigated in proliferating and differentiated C2C12 myoblasts treated with either 25 μM of arachidonate (AA) or docosahexaenoate (DHA), 25 μM of EC [anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), docosahexaenoylethanolamide (DHEA)], 1 μM of CB1 antagonist NESS0327, and CB2 inverse agonist AM630. Compared to the BSA vehicle control cell cultures in both proliferating and differentiated myoblasts those treated with DHEA, the EC derived from the n-3 PUFA DHA, had higher 24 h glucose uptake, while AEA and 2-AG, the EC derived from the n-6 PUFA AA, had lower basal glucose uptake. Adenylyl cyclase mRNA was higher in myoblasts treated with DHA in both proliferating and differentiated states while those treated with AEA or 2-AG were lower compared to the control cell cultures. Western blot and qPCR analysis showed higher expression of the cannabinoid receptors in differentiated myoblasts treated with DHA while the opposite was observed with AA. These findings indicate a compensatory effect of DHA and DHEA compared to AA-derived ligands on the ECS and associated ECS gene expression and higher glucose uptake in myoblasts. PMID:24711795

  6. Fluoxetine Facilitates Fear Extinction Through Amygdala Endocannabinoids

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26514583

  7. Fluoxetine Facilitates Fear Extinction Through Amygdala Endocannabinoids.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. Endocannabinoid modulation of homeostatic and non-homeostatic feeding circuits.

    PubMed

    Lau, Benjamin K; Cota, Daniela; Cristino, Luigia; Borgland, Stephanie L

    2017-09-15

    The endocannabinoid system has emerged as a key player in the control of eating. Endocannabinoids, including 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA), modulate neuronal activity via cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1Rs) in multiple nuclei of the hypothalamus to induce or inhibit food intake depending on nutritional and hormonal status, suggesting that endocannabinoids may act in the hypothalamus to integrate different types of signals informing about the animal's energy needs. In the mesocorticolimbic system, (endo)cannabinoids modulate synaptic transmission to promote dopamine release in response to palatable food. In addition, (endo)cannabinoids act within the nucleus accumbens to increase food's hedonic impact; although this effect depends on activation of CB1Rs at excitatory, but not inhibitory inputs in the nucleus accumbens. While hyperactivation of the endocannabinoid system is typically associated with overeating and obesity, much evidence has emerged in recent years suggesting a more complicated system than first thought - endocannabinoids promote or suppress feeding depending on cell and input type, or modulation by various neuronal or hormonal signals. This review presents our latest knowledge of the endocannabinoid system in non-homeostatic and homeostatic feeding circuits. In particular, we discuss the functional role and cellular mechanism of action by endocannabinoids within the hypothalamus and mesocorticolimbic system, and how these are modulated by neuropeptide signals related to feeding. In light of recent advances and complexity in the field, we review cannabinoid-based therapeutic strategies for the treatment of obesity and how peripheral restriction of CB1R antagonists may provide a different mechanism of weight loss without the central adverse effects. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled "A New Dawn in Cannabinoid Neurobiology". Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Regulation of fear extinction by long-term depression: The roles of endocannabinoids and brain derived neurotrophic factor.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Maxwell R; Arnold, Jonathon; Hatton, Sean N; Lagopoulos, Jim

    2017-02-15

    The extinction of a conditioned fear response is of great interest in the search for a means of ameliorating adverse neurobiological changes resulting from stress. The discovery that endocannibinoid (EC) levels are inversely related to the extent of such stress, and that the amygdala is a primary site mediating stress, suggests that ECs in this brain region might play a major role in extinction. Supporting this are the observations that the basolateral complex of the amygdala shows an increase in ECs only during extinction and that early clinical trials indicate that cannabinoid-like agents, when taken orally by patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reduce insomnia and nightmares. In order to optimize the potential of these agents to ameliorate symptoms of PTSD four important questions need to be answered: first, what is the identity of the cells that release ECs in the amygdala during extinction; second, what are their sites of action; third, what roles do the ECs play in the alleviation of long- depression (LTD), a process central to extinction; and finally, to what extent does brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) facilitate the release of ECs? A review of the relevant literature is presented in an attempt to answer these questions. It is suggested that the principal cell involved in EC synthesis and release during extinction is the so-called excitatory extinction neuron in the basal nucleus of the amygdala. Furthermore that the main site of action of the ECs is the adjacent calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitory interneurons, whose normal role of blocking the excitatory neurons is greatly diminished. The molecular pathways leading (during extinction trials) to the synthesis and release of ECs from synaptic spines of extinction neurons, that is potentiated by BDNF, are also delineated in this review. Finally, consideration is given to how the autocrine action of BDNF, linked to the release of ECs, can lead to the sustained release

  12. Antihyperalgesic Activities of Endocannabinoids in a Mouse Model of Antiretroviral-Induced Neuropathic Pain.

    PubMed

    Munawar, Neha; Oriowo, Mabayoje A; Masocha, Willias

    2017-01-01

    Background: Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are the cornerstone of the antiretroviral therapy for human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). However, their use is sometimes limited by the development of a painful sensory neuropathy, which does not respond well to drugs. Smoked cannabis has been reported in clinical trials to have efficacy in relieving painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the expression of endocannabinoid system molecules is altered during NRTI-induced painful neuropathy, and also whether endocannabinoids can attenuate NRTI-induced painful neuropathy. Methods: BALB/c mice were treated with 25 mg/kg of 2',3'-dideoxycytidine (ddC, zalcitabine), a NRTI, to induce thermal hyperalgesia. The expression of endocannabinoid system molecules was evaluated by real time polymerase chain reaction in the brain, spinal cord and paw skin at 6 days post ddC administration, a time point when mice had developed thermal hyperalgesia. The effects of the endocannabinoids, N -arachidonoyl ethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor antagonist AM 251, CB2 receptor antagonist AM 630, and G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) antagonists ML193 and CID 16020046 on ddC-induced thermal hyperalgesia were evaluated using the hot plate test. Results: ddC treatment resulted in thermal hyperalgesia and increased transcripts of the synthesizing enzyme Plcβ1 and decreased Daglβ in the paw skins, but not Napepld , and Daglα compared to vehicle treatment. Transcripts of the inactivating enzymes Faah and Mgll were downregulated in the brain and/or paw skin but not in the spinal cord of ddC-treated mice. Both AEA and 2-AG had antihyperalgesic effects in mice with ddC-induced thermal hyperalgesia, but had no effect in ddC-naïve mice. The antihyperalgesic activity of AEA was antagonized by AM251 and AM630, whereas the

  13. Antihyperalgesic Activities of Endocannabinoids in a Mouse Model of Antiretroviral-Induced Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Munawar, Neha; Oriowo, Mabayoje A.; Masocha, Willias

    2017-01-01

    Background: Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are the cornerstone of the antiretroviral therapy for human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). However, their use is sometimes limited by the development of a painful sensory neuropathy, which does not respond well to drugs. Smoked cannabis has been reported in clinical trials to have efficacy in relieving painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the expression of endocannabinoid system molecules is altered during NRTI-induced painful neuropathy, and also whether endocannabinoids can attenuate NRTI-induced painful neuropathy. Methods: BALB/c mice were treated with 25 mg/kg of 2′,3′-dideoxycytidine (ddC, zalcitabine), a NRTI, to induce thermal hyperalgesia. The expression of endocannabinoid system molecules was evaluated by real time polymerase chain reaction in the brain, spinal cord and paw skin at 6 days post ddC administration, a time point when mice had developed thermal hyperalgesia. The effects of the endocannabinoids, N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor antagonist AM 251, CB2 receptor antagonist AM 630, and G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) antagonists ML193 and CID 16020046 on ddC-induced thermal hyperalgesia were evaluated using the hot plate test. Results: ddC treatment resulted in thermal hyperalgesia and increased transcripts of the synthesizing enzyme Plcβ1 and decreased Daglβ in the paw skins, but not Napepld, and Daglα compared to vehicle treatment. Transcripts of the inactivating enzymes Faah and Mgll were downregulated in the brain and/or paw skin but not in the spinal cord of ddC-treated mice. Both AEA and 2-AG had antihyperalgesic effects in mice with ddC-induced thermal hyperalgesia, but had no effect in ddC-naïve mice. The antihyperalgesic activity of AEA was antagonized by AM251 and AM630, whereas the

  14. Endocannabinoid contribution to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol discrimination in rodents

    PubMed Central

    Wiley, Jenny L.; Walentiny, D. Matthew; Wright, M. Jerry; Beardsley, Patrick M.; Burston, James J.; Poklis, Justin L.; Lichtman, Aron H.; Vann, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    The mechanism through which marijuana produces its psychoactive effects is Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced activation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. These receptors are normally activated by endogenous lipids, including anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG). A logical “first step” in determination of the role of these endocannabinoids in THC’s psychoactive effects is to investigate the degree to which pharmacologically induced increases in anandamide and/or 2-AG concentrations through exogenous administration and/or systemic administration of inhibitors of their metabolism, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) or monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), respectively, share THC’s discriminative stimulus effects. To this end, adult male mice and rats were trained to discriminate THC (5.6 and 3 mg/kg, respectively). In Experiment 1, exogenous administration of anandamide or 2-AG did not substitute for THC in mice nor was substitution enhanced by co-administration of the FAAH or MAGL inhibitors, URB597 and N-arachidonyl maleimide (NAM), respectively. Significant decreases in responding may have prevented assessment of adequate endocannabinoid doses. In mice trained at higher baseline response rates (Experiment 2), the FAAH inhibitor PF3845 (10 mg/kg) enhanced anandamide substitution for THC without producing effects of its own. The MAGL inhibitor JZL184 increased brain levels of 2-AG in vitro and in vivo, increased THC-like responding without co-administration of 2-AG. In rats, neither URB597 nor JZL184 engendered significant THC-appropriate responding, but co-administration of these two enzyme inhibitors approached full substitution. The present results highlight the complex interplay between anandamide and 2-AG and suggest that endogenous increases of both endocannabinoids are most effective in elicitation of THC-like discriminative stimulus effects. PMID:24858366

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Anxiety, Stress, and Fear Response in Mice With Reduced Endocannabinoid Levels.

    PubMed

    Jenniches, Imke; Ternes, Svenja; Albayram, Onder; Otte, David M; Bach, Karsten; Bindila, Laura; Michel, Kerstin; Lutz, Beat; Bilkei-Gorzo, Andras; Zimmer, Andreas

    2016-05-15

    Disruption of the endocannabinoid system through pharmacological or genetic invalidation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors has been linked to depression in humans and depression-like behaviors in mice. The two main endogenous cannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), are produced on demand from phospholipids. The pathways and enzymes involved in endocannabinoid biosynthesis thus play a major role in regulating the activity of this system. This study investigates the role of the main 2-AG producing enzyme diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGL-α). We generated and used knockout mice lacking DAGL-α (Dagla(-/-)) to assess the behavioral consequences of reduced endocannabinoid levels in the brain. We performed different behavior tests to determine anxiety- and depression-related behavioral changes in Dagla(-/-) mice. We also analyzed expression of genes related to the endocannabinoid system via real-time polymerase chain reaction and used the mitotic marker 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine to analyze adult neurogenesis. Dagla(-/-) animals show an 80% reduction of brain 2-AG levels but also a reduction in cortical and amygdalar anandamide. The behavioral changes induced by Dagla deletion include a reduced exploration of the central area of the open field, a maternal neglect behavior, a fear extinction deficit, increased behavioral despair, increased anxiety-related behaviors in the light/dark box, and reduced hippocampal neurogenesis. Some of these behavioral changes resemble those observed in animals lacking the CB1 receptor. Our findings demonstrate that the deletion of Dagla adversely affects the emotional state of animals and results in enhanced anxiety, stress, and fear responses. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. A Role for 2-Arachidonoylglycerol and Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Locomotor Response to Novelty Induced by Olfactory Bulbectomy

    PubMed Central

    Eisenstein, Sarah A.; Clapper, Joson R.; Holmes, Philip V.; Piomelli, Daniele; Hohmann, Andrea G.

    2010-01-01

    Bilateral olfactory bulbectomy (OBX) in rodents produces behavioral and neurochemical changes associated clinically with depression and schizophrenia. Most notably, OBX induces hyperlocomotion in response to the stress of exposure to a novel environment. We examined the role of the endocannabinoid system in regulating this locomotor response in OBX and sham-operated rats. In our study, OBX-induced hyperactivity was restricted to the first 3 min of the open field test, demonstrating the presence of novelty (0–3 min) and habituation (3–30 min) phases of the open field locomotor response. Levels of the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide were decreased in the ventral striatum, a brain region deafferented by OBX, whereas cannabinoid receptor densities were unaltered. In sham-operated rats, 2-AG levels in the ventral striatum were negatively correlated with distance traveled during the novelty phase. Thus, low levels of 2-AG are reflected in a hyperactive open field response. This correlation was not observed in OBX rats. Conversely, 2-AG levels in endocannabinoid-compromised OBX rats correlated with distance traveled during the habituation phase. In OBX rats, pharmacological blockade of cannabinoid CB1 receptors with either AM251 (1 mg kg−1 i.p.) or rimonabant (1 mg kg−1 i.p.) increased distance traveled during the habituation phase. Thus, blockade of endocannabinoid signaling impairs habituation of the hyperlocomotor response in OBX, but not sham-operated, rats. By contrast, in sham-operated rats, effects of CB1 antagonism were restricted to the novelty phase. These findings suggest that dysregulation in the endocannabinoid system, and 2-AG in particular, is implicated in the hyperactive locomotor response induced by OBX. Our studies suggest that drugs that enhance 2-AG signaling, such as 2-AG degradation inhibitors, might be useful in human brain disorders modeled by OBX. PMID:20044005

  18. Endocannabinoid system modulator use in everyday clinical practice in the UK and Spain.

    PubMed

    García-Merino, Antonio

    2013-02-01

    Spasticity is a disabling complication of multiple sclerosis. Some commonly used oral medications include baclofen, tizanidine, anticonvulsants and benzodiazepines, but their benefits are modest. Sativex® (GW Pharmaceuticals PLC, Porton Down, UK; Laboratorios Almirall, SA, Barcelona, Spain) is a unique cannabinoid-based medicine with two main active ingredients; 9-δ-tetrahydrocannabinol, which acts mainly on cannabinoid 1 receptors in the CNS and plays a key role in the modulation of spasticity and spasms, and cannabidiol, which has different properties, including minimization of the psychoactivity associated with 9-δ-tetrahydrocannabinol. Sativex is indicated for symptomatic improvement in adult patients with moderate-to-severe multiple sclerosis-related spasticity who have not responded adequately to other first- or second-line antispasticity medications, and who demonstrate clinically significant improvement in spasticity-related symptoms during an initial trial of therapy. Over the past couple of years, Sativex has been approved for use in a number of European countries and ongoing postmarketing studies are evaluating the possible risks associated with Sativex treatment by systematically collecting all suspected adverse reactions that occur in patients from the start of treatment. Interim data from the UK as well as Spanish Sativex safety registries confirm that clinical benefit is maintained over the longer term despite the expected trend for deterioration owing to disease progression. Even after more than 2 years of use, no new safety/tolerability signals have emerged with Sativex, including no evidence of driving impairment and no relevant incidence of falls or other adverse events of concern, such as psychiatric or nervous system events. Sativex appears to be a well-tolerated and useful add-on therapy in patients who have not achieved an adequate response with traditional antispastic agents.

  19. Glucocorticoids shift arachidonic acid metabolism toward endocannabinoid synthesis: a non-genomic anti-inflammatory switch

    PubMed Central

    Malcher-Lopes, Renato; Franco, Alier; Tasker, Jeffrey G.

    2008-01-01

    Glucocorticoids are capable of exerting both genomic and non-genomic actions in target cells of multiple tissues, including the brain, which trigger an array of electrophysiological, metabolic, secretory and inflammatory regulatory responses. Here, we have attempted to show how glucocorticoids may generate a rapid anti-inflammatory response by promoting arachidonic acid-derived endocannabinoid biosynthesis. According to our hypothesized model, non-genomic action of glucocorticoids results in the global shift of membrane lipid metabolism, subverting metabolic pathways toward the synthesis of the anti-inflammatory endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG), and away from arachidonic acid production. Post-transcriptional inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) synthesis by glucocorticoids assists this mechanism by suppressing the synthesis of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins as well as endocannabinoid-derived prostanoids. In the central nervous system (CNS) this may represent a major neuroprotective system, which may cross-talk with leptin signaling in the hypothalamus allowing for the coordination between energy homeostasis and the inflammatory response. PMID:18295199

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. The evolution and comparative neurobiology of endocannabinoid signalling

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. Translational evidence for a role of endocannabinoids in the etiology and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. A role for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol for social and high-fat food reward in male mice.

    PubMed

    Wei, Don; Lee, DaYeon; Li, Dandan; Daglian, Jennifer; Jung, Kwang-Mook; Piomelli, Daniele

    2016-05-01

    The endocannabinoid system is an important modulator of brain reward signaling. Investigations have focused on cannabinoid (CB1) receptors, because dissection of specific contributions of individual endocannabinoids has been limited by the available toolset. While we recently described an important role for the endocannabinoid anandamide in the regulation of social reward, it remains to be determined whether the other major endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG), serves a similar or different function. To study the role of 2-AG in natural reward, we used a transgenic mouse model (MGL-Tg mice) in which forebrain 2-AG levels are selectively reduced. We complemented behavioral analysis with measurements of brain 2-AG levels. We tested male MGL-Tg mice in conditioned place preference (CPP) tasks for high-fat food, social contact, and cocaine. We measured 2-AG content in the brain regions of interest by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Male MGL-Tg mice are impaired in developing CPP for high-fat food and social interaction, but do develop CPP for cocaine. Furthermore, compared to isolated mice, levels of 2-AG in socially stimulated wild-type mice are higher in the nucleus accumbens and ventral hippocampus (183 and 140 % of controls, respectively), but unchanged in the medial prefrontal cortex. The results suggest that reducing 2-AG-mediated endocannabinoid signaling impairs social and high-fat food reward in male mice, and that social stimulation mobilizes 2-AG in key brain regions implicated in the control of motivated behavior. The time course of this response differentiates 2-AG from anandamide, whose role in mediating social reward was previously documented.

  5. Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in metabolic disorders with focus on diabetes.

    PubMed

    Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2011-01-01

    The cannabinoid receptors for Δ(9)-THC, and particularly, the CB(1) receptor, as well as its endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, are deeply involved in all aspects of the control of energy balance in mammals. While initially it was believed that this endocannabinoid signaling system would only facilitate energy intake, we now know that perhaps even more important functions of endocannabinoids and CB(1) receptors in this context are to enhance energy storage into the adipose tissue and reduce energy expenditure by influencing both lipid and glucose metabolism. Although normally well controlled by hormones and neuropeptides, both central and peripheral aspects of endocannabinoid regulation of energy balance can become dysregulated and contribute to obesity, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes, thus raising the possibility that CB(1) antagonists might be used for the treatment of these metabolic disorders. On the other hand, evidence is emerging that some nonpsychotropic plant cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, can be employed to retard β-cell damage in type 1 diabetes. These novel aspects of endocannabinoid research are reviewed in this chapter, with emphasis on the biological effects of plant cannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptor antagonists in diabetes.

  6. Role of PUFAs, the precursors of endocannabinoids, in human obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Dain, Alejandro; Repossi, Gaston; Das, Undurti N; Eynard, Aldo Renato

    2010-06-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) serve as precursors of the endocannabinoids (ECs) that are bioactive lipids molecules. Recent studies revealed that ECs participate in several physiological and pathological processes including obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Here we review the experimental and clinical aspects of the role of endocannabinoids in obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus and the modification of the endocannabinoids by exogenously administered PUFAs. Based on these evidences, we propose that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) can be modulated by exogenous manipulation of PUFAs that could help in the prevention and management of human diseases such as obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

  7. Perinatal maternal high-fat diet induces early obesity and sex-specific alterations of the endocannabinoid system in white and brown adipose tissue of weanling rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Mariana M; Dias-Rocha, Camilla P; Souza, André S; Muros, Mariana F; Mendonca, Leonardo S; Pazos-Moura, Carmen C; Trevenzoli, Isis H

    2017-11-01

    Perinatal maternal high-fat (HF) diet programmes offspring obesity. Obesity is associated with overactivation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in adult subjects, but the role of the ECS in the developmental origins of obesity is mostly unknown. The ECS consists of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors (cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1) and cannabinoid type-2 receptor (CB2)) and metabolising enzymes. We hypothesised that perinatal maternal HF diet would alter the ECS in a sex-dependent manner in white and brown adipose tissue of rat offspring at weaning in parallel to obesity development. Female rats received standard diet (9 % energy content from fat) or HF diet (29 % energy content from fat) before mating, during pregnancy and lactation. At weaning, male and female offspring were killed for tissue harvest. Maternal HF diet induced early obesity, white adipocyte hypertrophy and increased lipid accumulation in brown adipose tissue associated with sex-specific changes of the ECS's components in weanling rats. In male pups, maternal HF diet decreased CB1 and CB2 protein in subcutaneous adipose tissue. In female pups, maternal HF diet increased visceral and decreased subcutaneous CB1. In brown adipose tissue, maternal HF diet increased CB1 regardless of pup sex. In addition, maternal HF diet differentially changed oestrogen receptor across the adipose depots in male and female pups. The ECS and oestrogen signalling play an important role in lipogenesis, adipogenesis and thermogenesis, and we observed early changes in their targets in adipose depots of the offspring. The present findings provide insights into the involvement of the ECS in the developmental origins of metabolic disease induced by inadequate maternal nutrition in early life.

  8. Oleamide: a member of the endocannabinoid family?

    PubMed Central

    Fowler, Christopher J

    2003-01-01

    The fatty acid amide class of compounds, which include the endocannabinoid anandamide and the sleep-inducing compound oleamide, have been shown in vitro to have a multiplicity of actions upon different neurochemical systems. In the present issue of this journal, Leggett et al present data indicating that oleamide functionally activates CB1 cannabinoid receptors in vitro. The significance of their finding is discussed in this commentary. PMID:14691053

  9. Identification of an endocannabinoid system in the rat pars tuberalis-a possible interface in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system?

    PubMed

    Jafarpour, Arsalan; Dehghani, Faramarz; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2017-04-01

    Endocannabinoids (ECs) are ubiquitous endogenous lipid derivatives and play an important role in intercellular communication either in an autocrine/paracrine or in an endocrine fashion. Recently, an intrinsic EC system has been discovered in the hypophysial pars tuberalis (PT) of hamsters and humans. In hamsters, this EC system is under photoperiodic control and appears to influence the secretion of hormones such as prolactin from the adenohypophysis. We investigate the EC system in the PT of the rat, a frequently used species in endocrine research. By means of immunocytochemistry, enzymes involved in EC biosynthesis, e.g., N-arachidonoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) and diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGLα) and enzymes involved in EC degradation, e.g., fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), were demonstrated in PT cells of the rat. Immunoreactions (IR) for FAAH and for the cannabinoid receptor CB 1 were observed in corticotrope cells of the rat adenohypophysis; these cells were identified by antibodies against proopiomelanocortin (POMC) or adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). In the outer zone of the median eminence, numerous nerve fibers and terminals displayed CB 1 IR. The majority of these were also immunolabeled by an antibody against corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). These results suggest that the EC system at the hypothalamo-hypophysial interface affects both the CRF-containing nerve fibers and the corticotrope cells in the adenohypophysis. Our data give rise to the hypothesis that, in addition to its well-known role in the reproductive axis, the PT might influence adrenal functions and, thus, the stress response and immune system.

  10. Endocannabinoid mechanism in amphetamine-type stimulant use disorders: A short review.

    PubMed

    Su, Hang; Zhao, Min

    2017-12-01

    Recent evidence shows that the endocannabinoid system is involved in amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) use disorders. To elucidate the role of the endocannabinoid system in ATS addiction, we reviewed results of studies using cannabinoid receptor agonists, antagonists as well as knockout model. The endocannabinoid system seems to play a role in reinstatement and relapse of ATS addiction and ATS-induced psychiatric symptoms. The molecular mechanisms of this system remains unclear, the association with dopamine system in nucleus accumbens is most likely involved. However, the function of the endocannabinoid system in anxiety and anti-anxiety effects induced by ATS is more complicated. These findings suggest that the endocannabinoid system may play an important role in the mechanism of ATS addiction and provide new idea for treating ATS addiction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Endocannabinoids in Body Weight Control.

    PubMed

    Horn, Henrike; Böhme, Beatrice; Dietrich, Laura; Koch, Marco

    2018-05-30

    Maintenance of body weight is fundamental to maintain one's health and to promote longevity. Nevertheless, it appears that the global obesity epidemic is still constantly increasing. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are lipid messengers that are involved in overall body weight control by interfering with manifold central and peripheral regulatory circuits that orchestrate energy homeostasis. Initially, blocking of eCB signaling by first generation cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) inverse agonists such as rimonabant revealed body weight-reducing effects in laboratory animals and men. Unfortunately, rimonabant also induced severe psychiatric side effects. At this point, it became clear that future cannabinoid research has to decipher more precisely the underlying central and peripheral mechanisms behind eCB-driven control of feeding behavior and whole body energy metabolism. Here, we will summarize the most recent advances in understanding how central eCBs interfere with circuits in the brain that control food intake and energy expenditure. Next, we will focus on how peripheral eCBs affect food digestion, nutrient transformation and energy expenditure by interfering with signaling cascades in the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, fat depots and endocrine glands. To finally outline the safe future potential of cannabinoids as medicines, our overall goal is to address the molecular, cellular and pharmacological logic behind central and peripheral eCB-mediated body weight control, and to figure out how these precise mechanistic insights are currently transferred into the development of next generation cannabinoid medicines displaying clearly improved safety profiles, such as significantly reduced side effects.

  12. Potential of Endocannabinoids to Control Bladder Pain.

    PubMed

    Bjorling, Dale E; Wang, Zun-Yi

    2018-01-01

    Bladder-related pain is one of the most common forms of visceral pain, and visceral pain is among the most common complaints for which patients seek physician consultation. Despite extensive studies of visceral innervation and treatment of visceral pain, opioids remain a mainstay for management of bladder pain. Side effects associated with opioid therapy can profoundly diminish quality of life, and improved options for treatment of bladder pain remain a high priority. Endocannabinoids, primarily anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), are endogenously-produced fatty acid ethanolamides with that induce analgesia. Animal experiments have demonstrated that inhibition of enzymes that degrade AEA or 2-AG have the potential to prevent development of visceral and somatic pain. Although experimental results in animal models have been promising, clinical application of this approach has proven difficult. In addition to fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH; degrades AEA) and monacylglycerol lipase (MAGL; degrades 2-AG), cyclooxygenase (COX) acts to metabolize endocannabinoids. Another potential limitation of this strategy is that AEA activates pro-nociceptive transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels. Dual inhibitors of FAAH and TRPV1 or FAAH and COX have been synthesized and are currently undergoing preclinical testing for efficacy in providing analgesia. Local inhibition of FAAH or MAGL within the bladder may be viable options to reduce pain associated with cystitis with fewer systemic side effects, but this has not been explored. Further investigation is required before manipulation of the endocannabinoid system can be proven as an efficacious alternative for management of bladder pain.

  13. Social isolation and chronic handling alter endocannabinoid signaling and behavioral reactivity to context in adult rats

    PubMed Central

    Sciolino, Natale R.; Bortolato, Marco; Eisenstein, Sarah A.; Fu, Jin; Oveisi, Fariba; Hohmann, Andrea G.; Piomelli, Daniele

    2010-01-01

    Social deprivation in early life disrupts emotionality and attentional processes in humans. Rearing rats in isolation reproduces some of these abnormalities, which are attenuated by daily handling. However, the neurochemical mechanisms underlying these responses remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that post-weaning social isolation alters the endocannabinoid system, a neuromodulatory system that controls emotional responding. We characterized behavioral consequences of social isolation and evaluated whether handling would reverse social isolation-induced alterations in behavioral reactivity to context and the endocannabinoid system. At weaning, pups were single or group housed and concomitantly handled or not handled daily until adulthood. Rats were tested in emotionality- and attentional-sensitive behavioral assays (open field, elevated plus maze, startle and prepulse inhibition). Cannabinoid receptor densities and endocannabinoid levels were quantified in a separate group of rats. Social isolation negatively altered behavioral responding. Socially-isolated rats that were handled showed less deficits in the open field, elevated plus maze, and prepulse inhibition tests. Social isolation produced site-specific alterations (supraoptic nucleus, ventrolateral thalamus, rostral striatum) in cannabinoid receptor densities compared to group rearing. Handling altered the endocannabinoid system in neural circuitry controlling emotional expression. Handling altered endocannabinoid content (prefrontal and piriform cortices, nucleus accumbens) and cannabinoid receptor densities (lateral globus pallidus, cingulate and piriform cortices, hippocampus) in a region-specific manner. Some effects of social isolation on the endocannabinoid system were moderated by handling. Isolates were unresponsive to handling-induced increases in cannabinoid receptor densities (caudal striatum, anterior thalamus), but were sensitive to handling-induced increases in endocannabinoid content

  14. Emerging Role of (Endo)Cannabinoids in Migraine.

    PubMed

    Leimuranta, Pinja; Khiroug, Leonard; Giniatullin, Rashid

    2018-01-01

    In this mini-review, we summarize recent discoveries and present new hypotheses on the role of cannabinoids in controlling trigeminal nociceptive system underlying migraine pain. Individual sections of this review cover key aspects of this topic, such as: (i) the current knowledge on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) with emphasis on expression of its components in migraine related structures; (ii) distinguishing peripheral from central site of action of cannabinoids, (iii) proposed mechanisms of migraine pain and control of nociceptive traffic by cannabinoids at the level of meninges and in brainstem, (iv) therapeutic targeting in migraine of monoacylglycerol lipase and fatty acid amide hydrolase, enzymes which control the level of endocannabinoids; (v) dual (possibly opposing) actions of cannabinoids via anti-nociceptive CB1 and CB2 and pro-nociceptive TRPV1 receptors. We explore the cannabinoid-mediated mechanisms in the frame of the Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) hypothesis, which implies reduced tone of endocannabinoids in migraine patients. We further discuss the control of cortical excitability by cannabinoids via inhibition of cortical spreading depression (CSD) underlying the migraine aura. Finally, we present our view on perspectives of Cannabis-derived (extracted or synthetized marijuana components) or novel endocannabinoid therapeutics in migraine treatment.

  15. Endocannabinoids selectively enhance sweet taste.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Ryusuke; Ohkuri, Tadahiro; Jyotaki, Masafumi; Yasuo, Toshiaki; Horio, Nao; Yasumatsu, Keiko; Sanematsu, Keisuke; Shigemura, Noriatsu; Yamamoto, Tsuneyuki; Margolskee, Robert F; Ninomiya, Yuzo

    2010-01-12

    Endocannabinoids such as anandamide [N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA)] and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) are known orexigenic mediators that act via CB(1) receptors in hypothalamus and limbic forebrain to induce appetite and stimulate food intake. Circulating endocannabinoid levels inversely correlate with plasma levels of leptin, an anorexigenic mediator that reduces food intake by acting on hypothalamic receptors. Recently, taste has been found to be a peripheral target of leptin. Leptin selectively suppresses sweet taste responses in wild-type mice but not in leptin receptor-deficient db/db mice. Here, we show that endocannabinoids oppose the action of leptin to act as enhancers of sweet taste. We found that administration of AEA or 2-AG increases gustatory nerve responses to sweeteners in a concentration-dependent manner without affecting responses to salty, sour, bitter, and umami compounds. The cannabinoids increase behavioral responses to sweet-bitter mixtures and electrophysiological responses of taste receptor cells to sweet compounds. Mice genetically lacking CB(1) receptors show no enhancement by endocannnabinoids of sweet taste responses at cellular, nerve, or behavioral levels. In addition, the effects of endocannabinoids on sweet taste responses of taste cells are diminished by AM251, a CB(1) receptor antagonist, but not by AM630, a CB(2) receptor antagonist. Immunohistochemistry shows that CB(1) receptors are expressed in type II taste cells that also express the T1r3 sweet taste receptor component. Taken together, these observations suggest that the taste organ is a peripheral target of endocannabinoids. Reciprocal regulation of peripheral sweet taste reception by endocannabinoids and leptin may contribute to their opposing actions on food intake and play an important role in regulating energy homeostasis.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yanqing

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Endocannabinoids in liver disease and hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Magen, Iddo; Avraham, Yosefa; Berry, Elliot; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2008-01-01

    Chronic liver disease results from a variety of causes such as hepatitis virus infections, autoimmune processes and alcohol consumption. Its complications include fat deposition, hemodynamic changes and fibrosis. Clinically there may be progression to portal-hypertension and porto-systemic encephalopathy. Pioneering research from the laboratory of Kunos at NIH has stressed the importance of endocannabinoids (ECs) as mediators of some of the pathological processes in chronic liver disease. The present review summarizes the literature on the association between ECs and liver disease, as well as the therapeutic potential of ECs and exogenous cannabinoids in liver disease with emphasis on hepatic encephalopathy.

  19. A role for the endocannabinoid system in premature luteal regression and progesterone withdrawal in lipopolysaccharide-induced early pregnancy loss model.

    PubMed

    Schander, Julieta Aylen; Correa, Fernando; Bariani, María Victoria; Blanco, Julieta; Cymeryng, Cora; Jensen, Federico; Wolfson, Manuel Luis; Franchi, Ana María

    2016-11-01

    What is the role of the endocannabinoid system (eCS) in the alterations of the endocrine system in a murine model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced miscarriage? In 7-days pregnant wild type, but not cannabinoid receptor type 1 knockout (CB1-KO) mice, LPS increased COX-2 expression and prostaglandin F 2α (PGF 2α ) production in the uterus leading to lower expression of prolactin receptor in the ovary and a marked regression of corpora lutea (CL), suggesting that the eCS mediates the deleterious effects of LPS on reproductive events. Appropriate systemic progesterone levels are critical for a successful pregnancy outcome. Precocious loss of luteal progesterone (P4) secretion leads to miscarriage in rodents. We have previously shown that LPS administration to pregnant mice induces embryonic resorption accompanied by a dramatic decrease in systemic progesterone levels in a murine model of inflammatory miscarriage, with the eCS mediating these LPS-induced deleterious effects. CD1 wild-type (WT) and CB1-KO mice were randomly allocated to Vehicle (saline; i.p.) or LPS (0.5 μg/g body weight; i.p.) treated groups: (WT-Vehicle; WT-LPS; CB1-KO-Vehicle and CB1-KO-LPS). A single injection was given on day 7 of pregnancy and tissues (blood, ovary, uterus) were collected 6, 12, 24 and 48 h later. P4 and PGF2α plasma levels were determined by radioimmunoassay. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mRNA (RT-PCR) and protein (Western blot) content in uterus was assayed. COX-2 and prolactin receptor (PrlR) mRNA levels in the ovary were assayed by RT-PCR. Tissue morphology of the CL was assessed by haematoxylin-eosin staining. Treatment of 7-day pregnant WT mice with LPS induced a P4 withdrawal (p < 0.05), increased in uterine COX-2 mRNA and protein expression (p < 0.05) as well as an increase in uterine PGF 2α production (p < 0.05). These changes were absent in LPS-treated 7-day pregnant CB1-KO mice. In ovarian tissues, LPS treatment to 7-day pregnant WT mice induced a downregulation

  20. Monoacylglycerol lipase (MGLL) polymorphism rs604300 interacts with childhood adversity to predict cannabis dependence symptoms and amygdala habituation: Evidence from an endocannabinoid system-level analysis

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Caitlin E.; Agrawal, Arpana; Zhang, Bo; Conley, Emily D.; Degenhardt, Louisa; Heath, Andrew C.; Li, Daofeng; Lynskey, Michael T.; Martin, Nicholas G.; Montgomery, Grant W.; Wang, Ting; Bierut, Laura J.; Hariri, Ahmad R.; Nelson, Elliot C.; Bogdan, Ryan

    2015-01-01

    Despite evidence for heritable variation in cannabis involvement and the discovery of cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, no consistent patterns have emerged from candidate endocannabinoid (eCB) genetic association studies of cannabis involvement. Given interactions between eCB and stress systems and associations between childhood stress and cannabis involvement, it may be important to consider childhood adversity in the context of eCB-related genetic variation. We employed a system-level gene-based analysis of data from the Comorbidity and Trauma Study (N = 1,558) to examine whether genetic variation in 6 eCB genes (anabolism: DAGLA, DAGLB, NAPEPLD, catabolism: MGLL, FAAH, binding: CNR1; SNPs N = 65) and childhood sexual abuse (CSA) predicts cannabis dependence symptoms. Significant interactions with CSA emerged for MGLL at the gene-level (p = .009), and for rs604300 within MGLL (ΔR2 = .007, p < .001), the latter of which survived SNP-level Bonferroni correction and was significant in an additional sample with similar directional effects (N = 859; ΔR2 = .005, p = .026). Furthermore, in a third sample (N = 312), there was evidence that rs604300 genotype interacts with early life adversity to predict threat-related basolateral amygdala habituation, a neural phenotype linked to the eCB system and addiction (ΔR2 = .013, p = .047). Rs604300 may be related to epigenetic modulation of MGLL expression. These results are consistent with rodent models implicating 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), an endogenous cannabinoid metabolized by the enzyme encoded by MGLL, in the etiology of stress adaptation related to cannabis dependence, but require further replication. PMID:26595473

  1. Developmental regulation of fear learning and anxiety behavior by endocannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Lee, T T-Y; Hill, M N; Lee, F S

    2016-01-01

    The developing brain undergoes substantial maturation into adulthood and the development of specific neural structures occurs on differing timelines. Transient imbalances between developmental trajectories of corticolimbic structures, which are known to contribute to regulation over fear learning and anxiety, can leave an individual susceptible to mental illness, particularly anxiety disorders. There is a substantial body of literature indicating that the endocannabinoid (eCB) system critically regulates stress responsivity and emotional behavior throughout the life span, making this system a novel therapeutic target for stress- and anxiety-related disorders. During early life and adolescence, corticolimbic eCB signaling changes dynamically and coincides with different sensitive periods of fear learning, suggesting that eCB signaling underlies age-specific fear learning responses. Moreover, perturbations to these normative fluctuations in corticolimbic eCB signaling, such as stress or cannabinoid exposure, could serve as a neural substrate contributing to alterations to the normative developmental trajectory of neural structures governing emotional behavior and fear learning. In this review, we first introduce the components of the eCB system and discuss clinical and rodent models showing eCB regulation of fear learning and anxiety in adulthood. Next, we highlight distinct fear learning and regulation profiles throughout development and discuss the ontogeny of the eCB system in the central nervous system, and models of pharmacological augmentation of eCB signaling during development in the context of fear learning and anxiety. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

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

    PubMed Central

    Volk, David W.; Lewis, David A.

    2015-01-01

    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 (2-AG) is 1) synthesized by diacylglycerol lipase in pyramidal neurons; 2) travels retrogradely to nearby inhibitory axon terminals that express the primary cannabinoid receptor CB1R; 3) binds to CB1R which inhibits GABA 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-AG, as well as both greater CB1R receptor binding and lower levels of CB1R mRNA 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. PMID:26210060

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 administration, while they showed no significant changes in CT responses after AM251. In contrast, db/db mice showed clear suppression of CT responses to sweet compounds after AM251, increased endocannabinoid (2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG)) levels in the taste organ, and enhanced expression of a biosynthesizing enzyme (diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGLα)) of 2-AG in taste cells. In DIO mice, the LA effect was gradually decreased and the AM251 effect was increased during the course of obesity. Taken together, our results suggest that circulating leptin, but not local endocannabinoids, may be a dominant modulator for sweet taste in lean mice; however, endocannabinoids may become more effective modulators of sweet taste under conditions of deficient leptin signalling, possibly due to increased production of endocannabinoids in taste tissue. Key points Potential roles of endogenous leptin and endocannabinoids in sweet taste were examined by using pharmacological antagonists and mouse models including leptin receptor

  4. Cannabis and endocannabinoid modulators: Therapeutic promises and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Grant, Igor; Cahn, B. Rael

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18806886

  5. Brain and nervous system (image)

    MedlinePlus

    The nervous system controls the many complicated and interconnected functions of the body and mind. Motor, sensory cognitive and autonomic function are all coordinated and driven by the brain and nerves. As people age, ...

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26768656

  8. Endocannabinoids as endometrial inflammatory markers in lactating Holstein cows.

    PubMed

    Bonsale, R; Seyed Sharifi, R; Dirandeh, E; Hedayat, N; Mojtahedin, A; Ghorbanalinia, M; Abolghasemi, A

    2018-06-01

    The objective of this study was to consider endocannabinoid system as inflammatory markers in bovine endometrium to better understand the role of this system in regulating many of the functions that are related to inflammatory condition. At day 26 post-partum, fourteen cows were divided into two groups depending on the inflammatory condition: 1- subclinical endometritis (n = 7, with purulent or mucopurulent uterine discharge detectable in the vagina) and 2- healthy (n = 7, No (muco)) purulent discharge. Blood samples were collected at 26 and 30 days relative to calving to determine plasma tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) concentrations; moreover, uterine biopsy was carried out on day 26 post-partum to measure mRNA abundance of TNF, interleukin-1B (IL1B), interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 8 (CXCL8), endocannabinoid receptor (CNR2), N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPEPLD), fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), N-acylethanolamine acid amidase (NAAA) and monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) by real-time PCR. Results showed mean plasma concentrations of TNF and LBP were lower in healthy cows compared to subclinical endometritis cows (p < .05). Relative mRNA expression for NAAA and FAAH was decreased (p < .05), and relative mRNA expression for CNR2 and NAPEPLD increased in cows with subclinical endometritis compared to healthy cows. In conclusion, relative mRNA expression of TNF, IL1B and CXCL8 and plasma concentration of LBP increased during inflammatory condition along with decreased endocannabinoids hydrolyzing enzyme (NAAA and FAAH), increased enzymes that synthesize endocannabinoids (NAPEPLD) and relative gene expression of the endocannabinoid receptor; together, these contribute to increased endocannabinoids levels during inflammation. Overall, we provide evidence that endocannabinoid system is altered in endometrium tissue during inflammation through increased mRNA expression of CNR2 and

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

    SciTech Connect

    Keereetaweep, Jantana; Chapman, Kent D.

    The endocannabinoidsN-arachidonoylethanolamide (or anandamide, AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) belong to the larger groups ofN-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), andN-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,more » 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. Lastly, 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.« less

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. An endocannabinoid hypothesis of drug reward and drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Onaivi, Emmanuel S

    2008-10-01

    Pharmacologic treatment of drug and alcohol dependency has largely been disappointing, and new therapeutic targets and hypotheses are needed. There is accumulating evidence indicating a central role for the previously unknown but ubiquitous endocannabinoid physiological control system (EPCS) in the regulation of the rewarding effects of abused substances. Thus an endocannabinoid hypothesis of drug reward is postulated. Endocannabinoids mediate retrograde signaling in neuronal tissues and are involved in the regulation of synaptic transmission to suppress neurotransmitter release by the presynaptic cannabinoid receptors (CB-Rs). This powerful modulatory action on synaptic transmission has significant functional implications and interactions with the effects of abused substances. Our data, along with those from other investigators, provide strong new evidence for a role for EPCS modulation in the effects of drugs of abuse, and specifically for involvement of cannabinoid receptors in the neural basis of addiction. Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids appear to be involved in adding to the rewarding effects of addictive substances, including, nicotine, opiates, alcohol, cocaine, and BDZs. The results suggest that the EPCS may be an important natural regulatory mechanism for drug reward and a target for the treatment of addictive disorders.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Keereetaweep, Jantana; Chapman, Kent D.

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoidsN-arachidonoylethanolamide (or anandamide, AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) belong to the larger groups ofN-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), andN-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,more » 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. Lastly, 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.« less

  13. Training-Associated Emotional Arousal Shapes Endocannabinoid Modulation of Spatial Memory Retrieval in Rats.

    PubMed

    Morena, Maria; De Castro, Valentina; Gray, J Megan; Palmery, Maura; Trezza, Viviana; Roozendaal, Benno; Hill, Matthew N; Campolongo, Patrizia

    2015-10-14

    Variations in environmental aversiveness influence emotional memory processes in rats. We have previously shown that cannabinoid effects on memory are dependent on the stress level at the time of training as well as on the aversiveness of the environmental context. Here, we investigated whether the hippocampal endocannabinoid system modulates memory retrieval depending on the training-associated arousal level. Male adult Sprague Dawley rats were trained on a water maze spatial task at two different water temperatures (19°C and 25°C) to elicit either higher or lower stress levels, respectively. Rats trained under the higher stress condition had better memory and higher corticosterone concentrations than rats trained at the lower stress condition. The cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 (10-30 ng/side), the 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) hydrolysis inhibitor JZL184 (0.1-1 μg/side), and the anandamide (AEA) hydrolysis inhibitor URB597 (10-30 ng/side) were administered bilaterally into the hippocampus 60 min before probe-trial retention testing. WIN55212-2 or JZL184, but not URB597, impaired probe-trial performances only of rats trained at the higher stressful condition. Furthermore, rats trained under higher stress levels displayed an increase in hippocampal 2-AG, but not AEA, levels at the time of retention testing and a decreased affinity of the main 2-AG-degrading enzyme for its substrate. The present findings indicate that the endocannabinoid 2-AG in the hippocampus plays a key role in the selective regulation of spatial memory retrieval of stressful experience, shedding light on the neurobiological mechanisms involved in the impact of stress effects on memory processing. Endogenous cannabinoids play a central role in the modulation of memory for emotional events. Here we demonstrate that the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol in the hippocampus, a brain region crucially involved in the regulation of memory processes, selectively modulates spatial

  14. Pleasure systems in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Berridge, Kent C.; Kringelbach, Morten L.

    2015-01-01

    Pleasure is mediated by well-developed mesocorticolimbic circuitry, and serves adaptive functions. In affective disorders anhedonia (lack of pleasure) or dysphoria (negative affect) can result from breakdowns of that hedonic system. Human neuroimaging studies indicate that surprisingly similar circuitry is activated by quite diverse pleasures, suggesting a common neural currency shared by all. Wanting for rewards is generated by a large and distributed brain system. Liking, or pleasure itself, is generated by a smaller set of hedonic hotspots within limbic circuitry. Those hotspots also can be embedded in broader anatomical patterns of valence organization, such as in a keyboard pattern of nucleus accumbens generators for desire versus dread. In contrast, some of the best known textbook candidates for pleasure generators, including classic pleasure electrodes and the mesolimbic dopamine system, may not generate pleasure after all. These emerging insights into brain pleasure mechanisms may eventually facilitate better treatments for affective disorders. PMID:25950633

  15. Endocannabinoids as biomarkers of human reproduction.

    PubMed

    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. Possible inhibitory role of endogenous 2-arachidonoylglycerol as an endocannabinoid in (±)-epibatidine-induced activation of central adrenomedullary outflow in the rat.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Takahiro; Tanaka, Kenjiro; Shimizu, Shogo; Higashi, Youichirou; Yawata, Toshio; Nakamura, Kumiko; Taniuchi, Keisuke; Ueba, Tetsuya; Yuri, Kazunari; Saito, Motoaki

    2015-08-01

    We previously reported that intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) administered (±)-epibatidine (1, 5 or 10 nmol/animal), a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, dose-dependently induced secretion of noradrenaline and adrenaline (catecholamines) from the rat adrenal medulla by brain diacylglycerol lipase- (DGL), monoacylglycerol lipase- (MGL) and cyclooxygenase-mediated mechanisms. Diacylglycerol is hydrolyzed by DGL into 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), which is further hydrolyzed by MGL to arachidonic acid (AA), a cyclooxygenase substrate. These findings suggest that brain 2-AG-derived AA is involved in the (±)-epibatidine-induced response. This AA precursor 2-AG is also a major brain endocannabinoid, which inhibits synaptic transmission through presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Released 2-AG into the synaptic cleft is rapidly inactivated by cellular uptake. Here, we examined a role of brain 2-AG as an endocannabinoid in the (±)-epibatidine-induced activation of central adrenomedullary outflow using anesthetized male Wistar rats. In central presence of AM251 (CB1 antagonist) (90 and 180 nmol/animal, i.c.v.), (±)-epibatidine elevated plasma catecholamines even at an ineffective dose (1 nmol/animal, i.c.v.). Central pretreatment with ACEA (CB1 agonist) (0.7 and 1.4 μmol/animal, i.c.v.), 2-AG ether (stable 2-AG analog for MGL) (0.5 and 1.0 μmol/animal, i.c.v.) or AM404 (endocannabinoid uptake inhibitor) (80 and 250 nmol/animal, i.c.v.) significantly reduced an effective dose of (±)-epibatidine- (5 nmol/animal, i.c.v.) induced elevation of plasma catecholamines, and AM251 (90 and 180 nmol/animal, i.c.v.) centrally abolished the reduction induced by 2-AG ether (1.0 μmol/animal, i.c.v.) or AM404 (250 nmol/animal, i.c.v.). Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that (±)-epibatidine (10 nmol/animal, i.c.v.) activated DGLα-positive spinally projecting neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, a control center of central adrenomedullary system

  17. Endocannabinoid antagonism: blocking the excess in the treatment of high-risk abdominal obesity.

    PubMed

    Duffy, Danielle; Rader, Daniel

    2007-02-01

    Abdominal obesity is a prevalent, worldwide problem linked to cardiometabolic comorbidities and an increased risk of coronary heart disease. First-line therapy to reduce such risk revolves around diet and exercise; however, such changes are often difficult to implement and unsuccessful. Understanding the underlying pathophysiology of underlying metabolic derangements could provide new targets for pharmacologic therapy. One system that has gained recent attention is the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system has a significant role in central appetite control and peripheral lipogenesis and is up-regulated in diet-induced obesity. Rimonabant is a selective cannabinoid-1 receptor antagonist and is the first compound of its type to test the hypothesis that down-regulating an overactive endocannabinoid system could have therapeutic benefit not only for weight loss but also for the atherogenic dyslipidemia and insulin resistance that cluster with abdominal obesity in particular. Animal models have been critical for elucidating the role of the endocannabinoid system in obesity and in demonstrating that antagonism with rimonabant can induce loss of visceral fat and improve insulin sensitivity. Early human trials with rimonabant have confirmed significant reductions in weight, as well as favorable changes in atherogenic dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and markers of inflammation. Interestingly, some of these beneficial metabolic effects are partially weight-loss-independent, confirming the importance of peripheral endocannabinoid system effects in addition to central effects.

  18. Song-associated reward correlates with endocannabinoid-related gene expression in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Hahn, Allison H; Merullo, Devin P; Spool, Jeremy A; Angyal, Caroline S; Stevenson, Sharon A; Riters, Lauren V

    2017-03-27

    Vocal communication is required for successful social interactions in numerous species. During the breeding season, songbirds produce songs that are reinforced by behavioral consequences (e.g., copulation). However, some songbirds also produce songs not obviously directed at other individuals. The consequences maintaining or reinforcing these songs are less obvious and the neural mechanisms associated with undirected communication are not well-understood. Previous studies indicate that undirected singing is intrinsically rewarding and mediated by opioid or dopaminergic systems; however, endocannabinoids are also involved in regulating reward and singing behavior. We used a conditioned place preference paradigm to examine song-associated reward in European starlings and quantitative real-time PCR to measure expression of endocannabinoid-related neural markers (CB 1 , FABP7, FABP5, FAAH, DAGLα), in brain regions involved in social behavior, reward and motivation (ventral tegmental area [VTA], periaqueductal gray [PAG], and medial preoptic nucleus [POM]), and a song control region (Area X). Our results indicate that starlings producing high rates of song developed a conditioned place preference, suggesting that undirected song is associated with a positive affective state. We found a significant positive relationship between song-associated reward and CB 1 receptors in VTA and a significant negative relationship between song-associated reward and CB 1 in PAG. There was a significant positive relationship between reward and the cannabinoid transporter FABP7 in POM and a significant negative relationship between reward and FABP7 in PAG. In Area X, FABP5 and DAGLα correlated positively with singing. These results suggest a role for endocannabinoid signaling in vocal production and reward associated with undirected communication. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Song-associated reward correlates with endocannabinoid-related gene expression in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Allison H.; Merullo, Devin P.; Spool, Jeremy A.; Angyal, Caroline S.; Stevenson, Sharon A.; Riters, Lauren V.

    2017-01-01

    Vocal communication is required for successful social interactions in numerous species. During the breeding season, songbirds produce songs that are reinforced by behavioral consequences (e.g., copulation). However, some songbirds also produce songs not obviously directed at other individuals. The consequences maintaining or reinforcing these songs are less obvious and the neural mechanisms associated with undirected communication are not well-understood. Previous studies indicate that undirected singing is intrinsically rewarding and mediated by opioid or dopaminergic systems; however, endocannabinoids are also involved in regulating reward and singing behavior. We used a conditioned place preference paradigm to examine song-associated reward in European starlings and quantitative real-time PCR to measure expression of endocannabinoid-related neural markers (CB1, FABP7, FABP5, FAAH, DAGLα), in brain regions involved in social behavior, reward and motivation (ventral tegmental area [VTA], periaqueductal gray [PAG], and medial preoptic nucleus [POM]), and a song control region (Area X). Our results indicate that starlings producing high rates of song developed a conditioned place preference, suggesting that undirected song is associated with a positive affective state. We found a significant positive relationship between song-associated reward and CB1 receptors in VTA and a significant negative relationship between song-associated reward and CB1 in PAG. There was a significant positive relationship between reward and the cannabinoid transporter FABP7 in POM and a significant negative relationship between reward and FABP7 in PAG. In Area X, FABP5 and DAGLα correlated positively with singing. These results suggest a role for endocannabinoid signaling in vocal production and reward associated with undirected communication. PMID:28147243

  20. Abnormalities in neuroendocrine stress response in psychosis: the role of endocannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Appiah-Kusi, E; Leyden, E; Parmar, S; Mondelli, V; McGuire, P; Bhattacharyya, S

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this article is to summarize current evidence regarding alterations in the neuroendocrine stress response system and endocannabinoid system and their relationship in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Exposure to stress is linked to the development of a number of psychiatric disorders including psychosis. However, the precise role of stress in the development of psychosis and the possible mechanisms that might underlie this are not well understood. Recently the cannabinoid hypothesis of schizophrenia has emerged as a potential line of enquiry. Endocannabinoid levels are increased in patients with psychosis compared with healthy volunteers; furthermore, they increase in response to stress, which suggests another potential mechanism for how stress might be a causal factor in the development of psychosis. However, research regarding the links between stress and the endocannabinoid system is in its infancy. Evidence summarized here points to an alteration in the baseline tone and reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis as well as in various components of the endocannabinoid system in patients with psychosis. Moreover, the precise nature of the inter-relationship between these two systems is unclear in man, especially their biological relevance in the context of psychosis. Future studies need to simultaneously investigate HPA axis and endocannabinoid alterations both at baseline and following experimental perturbation in healthy individuals and those with psychosis to understand how they interact with each other in health and disease and obtain mechanistic insight as to their relevance to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

  1. Nongenomic Glucocorticoid Suppression of a Postsynaptic Potassium Current via Emergent Autocrine Endocannabinoid Signaling in Hypothalamic Neuroendocrine Cells following Chronic Dehydration

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Ning

    2017-01-01

    Glucocorticoids rapidly stimulate endocannabinoid synthesis and modulation of synaptic transmission in hypothalamic neuroendocrine cells via a nongenomic signaling mechanism. The endocannabinoid actions are synapse-constrained by astrocyte restriction of extracellular spatial domains. Exogenous cannabinoids have been shown to modulate postsynaptic potassium currents, including the A-type potassium current (IA), in different cell types. The activity of magnocellular neuroendocrine cells is shaped by a prominent IA. We tested for a rapid glucocorticoid modulation of the postsynaptic IK and IA in magnocellular neuroendocrine cells of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) using whole-cell recordings in rat brain slices. Application of the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (Dex) had no rapid effect on the IK or IA amplitude, voltage dependence, or kinetics in magnocellular neurons in slices from untreated rats. In magnocellular neurons from salt-loaded rats, however, Dex application caused a rapid suppression of the IA and a depolarizing shift in IA voltage dependence. Exogenously applied endocannabinoids mimicked the rapid Dex modulation of the IA, and CB1 receptor antagonists and agonists blocked and occluded the Dex-induced changes in the IA, respectively, suggesting an endocannabinoid dependence of the rapid glucocorticoid effect. Preincubation of control slices in a gliotoxin resulted in the partial recapitulation of the glucocorticoid-induced rapid suppression of the IA. These findings demonstrate a glucocorticoid suppression of the postsynaptic IA in PVN magnocellular neurons via an autocrine endocannabinoid-dependent mechanism following chronic dehydration, and suggest a possible role for astrocytes in the control of the autocrine endocannabinoid actions. PMID:28966975

  2. Endocannabinoid signaling and memory dynamics: A synaptic perspective.

    PubMed

    Drumond, Ana; Madeira, Natália; Fonseca, Rosalina

    2017-02-01

    Memory acquisition is a key brain feature in which our human nature relies on. Memories evolve over time. Initially after learning, memories are labile and sensitive to disruption by the interference of concurrent events. Later on, after consolidation, memories are resistant to disruption. However, reactivation of previously consolidated memories renders them again in an unstable state and therefore susceptible to perturbation. Additionally, and depending on the characteristics of the stimuli, a parallel process may be initiated which ultimately leads to the extinction of the previously acquired response. This dynamic aspect of memory maintenance opens the possibility for an updating of previously acquired memories but it also creates several conceptual challenges. What is the time window for memory updating? What determines whether reconsolidation or extinction is triggered? In this review, we tried to re-examine the relationship between consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction, aiming for a unifying view of memory dynamics. Since cellular models of memory share common principles, we present the evidence that similar rules apply to the maintenance of synaptic plasticity. Recently, a new function of the endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling system has been described for associative forms of synaptic plasticity in amygdala synapses. The eCB system has emerged as a key modulator of memory dynamics by adjusting the outcome to stimuli intensity. We propose a key function of eCB in discriminative forms of learning by restricting associative plasticity in amygdala synapses. Since many neuropsychiatric disorders are associated with a dysregulation in memory dynamics, understanding the rules underlying memory maintenance paves the path to better clinical interventions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol in chronically stressed mice are mediated by the endocannabinoid system: Role of neurogenesis and dendritic remodeling.

    PubMed

    Fogaça, Manoela V; Campos, Alline C; Coelho, Ludmila D; Duman, Ronald S; Guimarães, Francisco S

    2018-06-01

    Repeated injections of cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychotomimetic compound present in the Cannabis sativa plant, attenuate the anxiogenic effects induced by Chronic Unpredictable Stress (CUS). The specific mechanisms remain to be fully understood but seem to involve adult hippocampal neurogenesis and recruitment of endocannabinoids. Here we investigated for the first time if the behavioral and pro-neurogenic effects of CBD administered concomitant the CUS procedure (14 days) are mediated by CB 1 , CB 2 or 5HT 1A receptors, as well as CBD effects on dendritic remodeling and on intracellular/synaptic signaling (fatty acid amide hydrolase - FAAH, Akt, GSK3β and the synaptic proteins Synapsin Ia/b, mGluR1 and PSD95). After 14 days, CBD injections (30 mg/kg) induced anxiolytic responses in stressed animals in the elevated plus-maze and novelty suppressed feeding tests, that were blocked by pre-treatment with a CB 1 (AM251, 0.3 mg/kg) or CB 2 (AM630, 0.3 mg/kg), but not by a 5HT 1A (WAY100635, 0.05 mg/kg) receptor antagonist. Golgi staining and immunofluorescence revealed that these effects were associated with an increase in hippocampal neurogenesis and spine density in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. AM251 and AM630 abolished the effects of CBD on spines density. However, AM630 was more effective in attenuating the pro-neurogenic effects of CBD. CBD decreased FAAH and increased p-GSK3β expression in stressed animals, which was also attenuated by AM630. These results indicate that CBD prevents the behavioral effects caused by CUS probably due to a facilitation of endocannabinoid neurotransmission and consequent CB 1 /CB 2 receptors activation, which could recruit intracellular/synaptic proteins involved in neurogenesis and dendritic remodeling. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. Segregated Systems of Human Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Wig, Gagan S

    2017-12-01

    The organization of the brain network enables its function. Evaluation of this organization has revealed that large-scale brain networks consist of multiple segregated subnetworks of interacting brain areas. Descriptions of resting-state network architecture have provided clues for understanding the functional significance of these segregated subnetworks, many of which correspond to distinct brain systems. The present report synthesizes accumulating evidence to reveal how maintaining segregated brain systems renders the human brain network functionally specialized, adaptable to task demands, and largely resilient following focal brain damage. The organizational properties that support system segregation are harmonious with the properties that promote integration across the network, but confer unique and important features to the brain network that are central to its function and behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Sterol Carrier Protein-2: Binding Protein for Endocannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Liedhegner, Elizabeth Sabens; Vogt, Caleb D.; Sem, Daniel S.; Cunningham, Christopher W.

    2015-01-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system, consisting of eCB ligands and the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R), subserves retrograde, activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the brain. eCB signaling occurs “on-demand,” thus the processes regulating synthesis, mobilization and degradation of eCBs are also primary mechanisms for the regulation of CB1R activity. The eCBs, N-arachidonylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), are poorly soluble in water. We hypothesize that their aqueous solubility, and, therefore, their intracellular and transcellular distribution, are facilitated by protein binding. Using in silico docking studies, we have identified the nonspecific lipid binding protein, sterol carrier protein 2 (SCP-2), as a potential AEA binding protein. The docking studies predict that AEA and AM404 associate with SCP-2 at a putative cholesterol binding pocket with ΔG values of −3.6 and −4.6 kcal/mol, respectively. These values are considerably higher than cholesterol (−6.62 kcal/mol) but consistent with a favorable binding interaction. In support of the docking studies, SCP-2-mediated transfer of cholesterol in vitro is inhibited by micromolar concentrations of AEA; and heterologous expression of SCP-2 in HEK 293 cells increases time-related accumulation of AEA in a temperature-dependent fashion. These results suggest that SCP-2 facilitates cellular uptake of AEA. However, there is no effect of SCP-2 transfection on the cellular accumulation of AEA determined at equilibrium or the IC50 values for AEA, AM404 or 2-AG to inhibit steady state accumulation of radiolabelled AEA. We conclude that SCP-2 is a low affinity binding protein for AEA that can facilitate its cellular uptake but does not contribute significantly to intracellular sequestration of AEA. PMID:24510313

  7. Cannabinoids and brain injury: therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Mechoulam, Raphael; Panikashvili, David; Shohami, Esther

    2002-02-01

    Mounting in vitro and in vivo data suggest that the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, as well as some plant and synthetic cannabinoids, have neuroprotective effects following brain injury. Cannabinoid receptor agonists inhibit glutamatergic synaptic transmission and reduce the production of tumour necrosis factor-alpha and reactive oxygen intermediates, which are factors in causing neuronal damage. The formation of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol is strongly enhanced after brain injury, and there is evidence that these compounds reduce the secondary damage incurred. Some plant and synthetic cannabinoids, which do not bind to the cannabinoid receptors, have also been shown to be neuroprotective, possibly through their direct effect on the excitatory glutamate system and/or as antioxidants.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 CB1 receptors. We further describe evidence that signalling through prefrontal or ventral hippocampal CB1 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. PMID:27639448

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Endocannabinoids as mediators in the heart: a potential target for therapy of remodelling after myocardial infarction?

    PubMed Central

    Hiley, C Robin; Ford, William R

    2003-01-01

    Endocannabinoid production by platelets and macrophages is increased in circulatory shock. This may be protective of the cardiovascular system as blockade of CB1 cannabinoid receptors exacerbates endothelial dysfunction in haemorrhagic and endotoxin shock and reduces survival. Now evidence suggests that blockade of CB1 receptors starting 24 h after myocardial infarction in rats has a deleterious effect on cardiac performance, while use of a nonselective cannabinoid receptor agonist prevents hypotension and reduces endothelial dysfunction, although left ventricular end diastolic pressure is elevated. Cannabinoids and endocannabinoid systems may therefore present useful targets for therapy following myocardial infarction. PMID:12711614

  12. Reduced levels of the endocannabinoid arachidonylethanolamide (AEA) in hair in patients with borderline personality disorder - a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Wingenfeld, Katja; Dettenborn, Lucia; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Gao, Wei; Otte, Christian; Roepke, Stefan

    2018-03-16

    Endocannabinoids are involved in depressive and anxious symptoms and might play a role in stress-associated psychiatric disorders. While alterations in the endogenous cannabinoid system have been repeatedly found in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this system has been mostly neglected in borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, there is first evidence for elevated serum levels of the endocannabinoids arachidonylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG) in BPD patients compared to healthy controls and PTSD patients. In this study, hair endocannabinoids were analyzed, reflecting long-term endocannabinoid concentrations. We assessed AEA concentrations as well as 2-AG and the 2-AG main isomer 1-AG (1-AG/2-AG) in hair in women with BPD (n = 15) and age- and education-matched healthy women (n = 16). We found significantly reduced log AEA in BPD patients compared to healthy women (p = .03) but no differences in log 1-AG/2-AG concentrations. In addition, there was no association between 1-AG/2-AG and hair cortisol, but we found a non-significant correlation between hair concentrations of AEA and cortisol (p = .06). Our data indicate altered long-term release of endogenous cannabinoids in women with BPD depending on type of endocannabinoid. AEA has been suggested to modulate the basal activity of the endocannabinoid system and seems to attenuate depressive and anxious symptoms. Thus, chronically reduced AEA might contribute to psychiatric symptoms in BPD.

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

    PubMed

    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

  14. p21-activated kinase 1 restricts tonic endocannabinoid signaling in the hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Shuting; Zhou, Zikai; Leung, Celeste; Zhu, Yuehua; Pan, Xingxiu; Qi, Junxia; Morena, Maria; Hill, Matthew N; Xie, Wei; Jia, Zhengping

    2016-01-01

    PAK1 inhibitors are known to markedly improve social and cognitive function in several animal models of brain disorders, including autism, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. We show here that disruption of PAK1 in mice suppresses inhibitory neurotransmission through an increase in tonic, but not phasic, secretion of endocannabinoids (eCB). Consistently, we found elevated levels of anandamide (AEA), but not 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) following PAK1 disruption. This increased tonic AEA signaling is mediated by reduced cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and COX-2 inhibitors recapitulate the effect of PAK1 deletion on GABAergic transmission in a CB1 receptor-dependent manner. These results establish a novel signaling process whereby PAK1 upregulates COX-2, reduces AEA and restricts tonic eCB-mediated processes. Because PAK1 and eCB are both critically involved in many other organ systems in addition to the brain, our findings may provide a unified mechanism by which PAK1 regulates these systems and their dysfunctions including cancers, inflammations and allergies. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14653.001 PMID:27296803

  15. Teaching to the Brain's Natural Learning Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Given, Barbara K.

    This book investigates brain structures and functions of the brain's five major systems (emotional, social, cognitive, physical, and reflective), applying findings from neuro-biology to education. It translates neuroscience into an educational framework for lesson planning and teaching. This framework can serve as a mental model for an ongoing…

  16. Distinct roles of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol in social behavior and emotionality at different developmental ages in rats.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sagnella, Sharon M.; Conn, Charlotte E.; Krodkiewska, Irena

    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 preferencemore » 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

  18. Endocannabinoid Signaling in Motivation, Reward, and Addiction: Influences on Mesocorticolimbic Dopamine Function.

    PubMed

    Sagheddu, Claudia; Muntoni, Anna Lisa; Pistis, Marco; Melis, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    Evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system has been conserved in the animal kingdom for 500 million years, and this system influences many critical behavioral processes including associative learning, reward signaling, goal-directed behavior, motor skill learning, and action-habit transformation. Additionally, the neurotransmitter dopamine has long been recognized to play a critical role in the processing of natural rewards, as well as of motivation that regulates approach and avoidance behavior. This motivational role of dopamine neurons is also based upon the evidence provided by several studies investigating disorders of dopamine pathways such as drug addiction and Parkinson's disease. From an evolutionary point of view, individuals engage in behaviors aimed at maximizing and minimizing positive and aversive consequences, respectively. Accordingly, those with the greatest fitness have a better potential to survival. Hence, deviations from fitness can be viewed as a part of the evolutionary process by means of natural selection. Given the long evolutionary history of both the endocannabinoid and dopaminergic systems, it is plausible that they must serve as fundamental and basic modulators of physiological functions and needs. Notably, endocannabinoids regulate dopamine neuronal activity and its influence on behavioral output. The goal of this chapter is to examine the endocannabinoid influence on dopamine signaling specifically related to (i) those behavioral processes that allow us to successfully adapt to ever-changing environments (i.e., reward signaling and motivational processes) and (ii) derangements from behavioral flexibility that underpin drug addiction. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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. Endocannabinoids in Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Neuroprotective Properties of Endocannabinoids N-Arachidonoyl Dopamine and N-Docosahexaenoyl Dopamine Examined in Neuronal Precursors Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Novosadova, E V; Arsenyeva, E L; Manuilova, E S; Khaspekov, L G; Bobrov, M Yu; Bezuglov, V V; Illarioshkin, S N; Grivennikov, I A

    2017-11-01

    Neuroprotective properties of endocannabinoids N-arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA) and N-docosahexaenoyl dopamine (DHDA) were examined in neuronal precursor cells differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells and subjected to oxidative stress. Both compounds exerted neuroprotective activity, which was enhanced by elevating the concentration of the endocannabinoids within the 0.1-10 µM range. However, both agents at 10 µM concentration showed a marked toxic effect resulting in death of ~30% of the cells. Finally, antagonists of cannabinoid receptors as well as the receptor of the TRPV1 endovanilloid system did not hamper the neuroprotective effects of these endocannabinoids.

  2. Endocannabinoid levels in rat limbic forebrain and hypothalamus in relation to fasting, feeding and satiation: stimulation of eating by 2-arachidonoyl glycerol

    PubMed Central

    Kirkham, Tim C; Williams, Claire M; Fezza, Filomena; Marzo, Vincenzo Di

    2002-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are implicated in appetite and body weight regulation. In rodents, anandamide stimulates eating by actions at central CB1 receptors, and hypothalamic endocannabinoids may be under the negative control of leptin. However, changes to brain endocannabinoid levels in direct relation to feeding or changing nutritional status have not been investigated.We measured anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) levels in feeding-associated brain regions of rats, during fasting, feeding of a palatable food, or after satiation. Endocannabinoid levels were compared to those in rats fed ad libitum, at a point in their daily cycle when motivation to eat was absent. Fasting increased levels of anandamide and 2-AG in the limbic forebrain and, to a lesser extent, of 2-AG in the hypothalamus. By contrast, hypothalamic 2-AG declined as animals ate. No changes were detected in satiated rats. Endocannabinoid levels in the cerebellum, a control region not directly involved in the control of food intake, were unaffected by any manipulation.As 2-AG was most sensitive to variation during feeding, and to leptin regulation in a previous study, we examined the behavioural effects of 2-AG when injected into the nucleus accumbens shell, a limbic forebrain area strongly linked to eating motivation. 2-AG potently, and dose-dependently, stimulated feeding. This effect was attenuated by the CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716.These findings provide the first direct evidence of altered brain levels of endocannabinoids, and of 2-AG in particular, during fasting and feeding. The nature of these effects supports a role for endocannabinoids in the control of appetitive motivation. PMID:12055133

  3. Endocannabinoids Acting at Cannabinoid-1 Receptors Regulate Cardiovascular Function in Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Bátkai, Sándor; Pacher, Pál; Osei-Hyiaman, Douglas; Radaeva, Svetlana; Liu, Jie; Harvey-White, Judith; Offertáler, László; Mackie, Ken; Audrey Rudd, M.; Bukoski, Richard D.; Kunos, George

    2009-01-01

    Background Endocannabinoids are novel lipid mediators with hypotensive and cardiodepressor activity. Here, we examined the possible role of the endocannabinergic system in cardiovascular regulation in hypertension. Methods and Results In spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1) antagonists increase blood pressure and left ventricular contractile performance. Conversely, preventing the degradation of the endocannabinoid anandamide by an inhibitor of fatty acid amidohydrolase reduces blood pressure, cardiac contractility, and vascular resistance to levels in normotensive rats, and these effects are prevented by CB1 antagonists. Similar changes are observed in 2 additional models of hypertension, whereas in normotensive control rats, the same parameters remain unaffected by any of these treatments. CB1 agonists lower blood pressure much more in SHR than in normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats, and the expression of CB1 is increased in heart and aortic endothelium of SHR compared with Wistar-Kyoto rats. Conclusions We conclude that endocannabinoids tonically suppress cardiac contractility in hypertension and that enhancing the CB1-mediated cardiodepressor and vasodilator effects of endogenous anandamide by blocking its hydrolysis can normalize blood pressure. Targeting the endocannabinoid system offers novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of hypertension. PMID:15451779

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-04-19

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. Tetrahydrocannabinol and endocannabinoids in feeding and appetite.

    PubMed

    Berry, Elliot M; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2002-08-01

    The physiological control of appetite and satiety, in which numerous neurotransmitters and neuropeptides play a role, is extremely complex. Here we describe the involvement of endocannabinoids in these processes. These endogenous neuromodulators enhance appetite in animals. The same effect is observed in animals and in humans with the psychotropic plant cannabinoid Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is an approved appetite-enhancing drug. The CB(1) cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR141716A blocks the effects on feeding produced by the endocannabinoids. If administered to mice pups, this antagonist blocks suckling. In obese humans, it causes weight reduction. Very little is known about the physiological and biochemical mechanisms involved in the effects of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and the cannabinoids in feeding and appetite.

  7. Endocannabinoids modulate apoptosis in endometriosis and adenomyosis.

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. The Endocannabinoid Reuptake Inhibitor WOBE437 Is Orally Bioavailable and Exerts Indirect Polypharmacological Effects via Different Endocannabinoid Receptors.

    PubMed

    Reynoso-Moreno, Inés; Chicca, Andrea; Flores-Soto, Mario E; Viveros-Paredes, Juan M; Gertsch, Jürg

    2018-01-01

    Different anandamide (AEA) transport inhibitors show antinociceptive and antiinflammatory effects in vivo , but due to their concomitant inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and overall poor bioavailability, they cannot be used unequivocally to study the particular role of endocannabinoid (EC) transport in pathophysiological conditions in vivo . Here, the potent and selective endocannabinoid reuptake inhibitor WOBE437, which inhibits AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) transport, was tested for its oral bioavailability to the brain. WOBE437 is assumed to locally increase EC levels in tissues in which facilitated EC reuptake intermediates subsequent hydrolysis. Given the marked polypharmacology of ECs, we hypothesized to see differential effects on distinct EC receptors in animal models of acute and chronic pain/inflammation. In C57BL6/J male mice, WOBE437 was orally bioavailable with an estimated t max value of ≤20 min in plasma (C max ∼ 2000 pmol/mL after 50 mg/kg, p.o.) and brain (C max ∼ 500 pmol/g after 50 mg/kg, p.o.). WOBE437 was cleared from the brain after approximately 180 min. In addition, in BALB/c male mice, acute oral administration of WOBE437 (50 mg/kg) exhibited similar brain concentrations after 60 min and inhibited analgesia in the hot plate test in a cannabinoid CB1 receptor-dependent manner, without inducing catalepsy or affecting locomotion. WOBE437 significantly elevated AEA in the somatosensory cortex, while showing dose-dependent biphasic effects on 2-AG levels in plasma but no significant changes in N -acylethanolamines other than AEA in any of the tissues. In order to explore the presumed polypharmacology mediated via elevated EC levels, we tested this EC reuptake inhibitor in complete Freud's adjuvant induced monoarthritis in BALB/c mice as a model of chronic inflammation. Repetitive doses of WOBE437 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) attenuated allodynia and edema via cannabinoid CB2, CB1, and PPARγ receptors. The allodynia inhibition

  10. Endocannabinoid signaling in hypothalamic circuits regulates arousal from general anesthesia in mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Haixing; Tong, Li; Gu, Ning; Gao, Fang; Lu, Yacheng; Liu, Jingjing; Li, Xin; Bergeron, Richard; Pomeranz, Lisa E.; Wang, Feng; Luo, Chun-Xia; Ren, Yan; Wu, Sheng-Xi; Xie, Zhongcong; Xu, Lin; Li, Jinlian; Dong, Hailong; Xiong, Lize

    2017-01-01

    Consciousness can be defined by two major attributes: awareness of environment and self, and arousal, which reflects the level of awareness. The return of arousal after general anesthesia presents an experimental tool for probing the neural mechanisms that control consciousness. Here we have identified that systemic or intracerebral injection of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) antagonist AM281 into the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (DMH) — but not the adjacent perifornical area (Pef) or the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus (VLPO) — accelerates arousal in mice recovering from general anesthesia. Anesthetics selectively activated endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling at DMH glutamatergic but not GABAergic synapses, leading to suppression of both glutamatergic DMH-Pef and GABAergic DMH-VLPO projections. Deletion of CB1R from widespread cerebral cortical or prefrontal cortical (PFC) glutamatergic neurons, including those innervating the DMH, mimicked the arousal-accelerating effects of AM281. In contrast, CB1R deletion from brain GABAergic neurons or hypothalamic glutamatergic neurons did not affect recovery time from anesthesia. Inactivation of PFC-DMH, DMH-VLPO, or DMH-Pef projections blocked AM281-accelerated arousal, whereas activation of these projections mimicked the effects of AM281. We propose that decreased eCB signaling at glutamatergic terminals of the PFC-DMH projection accelerates arousal from general anesthesia through enhancement of the excitatory DMH-Pef projection, the inhibitory DMH-VLPO projection, or both. PMID:28463228

  11. State-dependent, bidirectional modulation of neural network activity by endocannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Piet, Richard; Garenne, André; Farrugia, Fanny; Le Masson, Gwendal; Marsicano, Giovanni; Chavis, Pascale; Manzoni, Olivier J

    2011-11-16

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system and the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) play key roles in the modulation of brain functions. Although actions of eCBs and CB1Rs are well described at the synaptic level, little is known of their modulation of neural activity at the network level. Using microelectrode arrays, we have examined the role of CB1R activation in the modulation of the electrical activity of rat and mice cortical neural networks in vitro. We find that exogenous activation of CB1Rs expressed on glutamatergic neurons decreases the spontaneous activity of cortical neural networks. Moreover, we observe that the net effect of the CB1R antagonist AM251 inversely correlates with the initial level of activity in the network: blocking CB1Rs increases network activity when basal network activity is low, whereas it depresses spontaneous activity when its initial level is high. Our results reveal a complex role of CB1Rs in shaping spontaneous network activity, and suggest that the outcome of endogenous neuromodulation on network function might be state dependent.

  12. Phyto and endocannabinoids exert complex actions on calcium and zinc signaling in mouse cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Bouron, Alexandre

    2018-06-01

    Live-cell imaging experiments were performed with the fluorescent Ca 2+ and Zn 2+ probes Fluo-4 and FluoZin-3 on cultured cortical neurons dissociated from embryonic mice to investigate the effects of the cannabinoids anandamide (AEA), cannabidiol (CBD), and N-arachidonoyl glycine (NAGly) on neuronal store-operated Ca 2+ entry (SOCE). When tested individually AEA, CBD or NAGly inhibited SOCE. CBD and NAGly also released Ca 2+ from the endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, NAGly mobilized Zn 2+ from a store distinct from the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, and up-regulated the thapsigargin-evoked Ca 2+ release. All these effects developed in a cannabinoid receptor CB1/2 independent manner via an intracellular pathway sensitive to the GPR55 antagonist ML193. Evidence is presented that cannabinoids influence Ca 2+ and Zn 2+ signaling in central nervous system neurons. The lipid sensing receptor GPR55 seems to be a central actor governing these responses. In addition, the alteration of the cytosolic Zn 2+ levels produced by NAGly provides support for the existence of a connection between endocannabinoids and Zn 2+ signaling in the brain. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Characterization of endocannabinoids and related acylethanolamides in the synovial fluid of dogs with osteoarthritis: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Valastro, Carmela; Campanile, Debora; Marinaro, Mariarosaria; Franchini, Delia; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Verde, Roberta; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Di Bello, Antonio

    2017-11-06

    Cannabis-based drugs have been shown to be effective in inflammatory diseases. A number of endocannabinoids including N- arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA) and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) with activity at the cannabinoid receptors (CBR) CBR1 and CBR2, have been identified. Other structurally related endogenous fatty acid compounds such as oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoyl ethanolamide (PEA) have been identified in biological tissues. These compounds do not bind to CBR but might be involved in facilitating the actions of directly acting endocannabinoids and thus are commonly termed "entourage" compounds due to their ability to modulate the endocannabinoid system. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of endocannabinoids and entourage compounds in the synovial fluid of dogs with osteoarthritis subjected to arthrotomy of the knee joint. Cytokines and cytology were studied as well. AEA, 2-AG, OEA and PEA were all present in the synovial fluid of arthritic knees and in the contralateral joints; in addition, a significant increase of OEA and 2AG levels were noted in SF from OA knees when compared to the contralateral joints. The identification and quantification of endocannabinoids and entourage compounds levels in synovial fluids from dogs with OA of the knee is reported for the first time. Our data are instrumental for future studies involving a greater number of dogs. Cannabinoids represent an emerging and innovative pharmacological tool for the treatment of OA and further studies are warranted to evaluate the effectiveness of cannabinoids in veterinary medicine.

  14. Traumatic Brain Injury: Effects on the Endocrine System

    MedlinePlus

    Fact Sheet BTrarainumInajutircy: Effects on the Endocrine System What is traumatic brain injury? Traumatic brain injury, also called TBI, is sudden damage to the brain. It happens when the head hits ...

  15. Inhibition of endocannabinoid metabolism by the metabolites of ibuprofen and flurbiprofen.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Jessica; Fowler, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    In addition to their effects upon prostaglandin synthesis, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and flurbiprofen inhibit the metabolism of the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA) by cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), respectively. Here, we investigated whether these effects upon endocannabinoid metabolism are shared by the main metabolites of ibuprofen and flurbiprofen. COX activities were measured via changes in oxygen consumption due to oxygenation of arachidonic acid (for COX-1) and arachidonic acid and 2-AG (for COX-2). FAAH activity was quantified by measuring hydrolysis of tritium labelled AEA in rat brain homogenates. The ability of ibuprofen and flurbiprofen to inhibit COX-2-catalysed oxygenation of 2-AG at lower concentrations than the oxygenation of arachidonic acid was seen with 4'-hydroxyflurbiprofen and possibly also 3'-hydroxyibuprofen, albeit at lower potencies than the parent compounds. All ibuprofen and flurbiprofen metabolites retained the ability to inhibit FAAH in a pH-dependent manner, although the potency was lower than seen with the parent compounds. It is concluded that the primary metabolites of ibuprofen and flurbiprofen retain some of the properties of the parent compound with respect to inhibition of endocannabinoid metabolism. However, these effects are unlikely to contribute to the actions of the parent compounds in vivo.

  16. Inhibition of Endocannabinoid Metabolism by the Metabolites of Ibuprofen and Flurbiprofen

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Jessica; Fowler, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Background In addition to their effects upon prostaglandin synthesis, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and flurbiprofen inhibit the metabolism of the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA) by cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), respectively. Here, we investigated whether these effects upon endocannabinoid metabolism are shared by the main metabolites of ibuprofen and flurbiprofen. Methodology/Principal Findings COX activities were measured via changes in oxygen consumption due to oxygenation of arachidonic acid (for COX-1) and arachidonic acid and 2-AG (for COX-2). FAAH activity was quantified by measuring hydrolysis of tritium labelled AEA in rat brain homogenates. The ability of ibuprofen and flurbiprofen to inhibit COX-2-catalysed oxygenation of 2-AG at lower concentrations than the oxygenation of arachidonic acid was seen with 4′-hydroxyflurbiprofen and possibly also 3′-hydroxyibuprofen, albeit at lower potencies than the parent compounds. All ibuprofen and flurbiprofen metabolites retained the ability to inhibit FAAH in a pH-dependent manner, although the potency was lower than seen with the parent compounds. Conclusions/Significance It is concluded that the primary metabolites of ibuprofen and flurbiprofen retain some of the properties of the parent compound with respect to inhibition of endocannabinoid metabolism. However, these effects are unlikely to contribute to the actions of the parent compounds in vivo. PMID:25061885

  17. Activity-Based Protein Profiling of Organophosphorus and Thiocarbamate Pesticides Reveals Multiple Serine Hydrolase Targets in Mouse Brain

    PubMed Central

    NOMURA, DANIEL K.; CASIDA, JOHN E.

    2010-01-01

    Organophosphorus (OP) and thiocarbamate (TC) agrochemicals are used worldwide as insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, but their safety assessment in terms of potential off-targets remains incomplete. In this study, we used a chemoproteomic platform, termed activity-based protein profiling, to broadly define serine hydrolase targets in mouse brain of a panel of 29 OP and TC pesticides. Among the secondary targets identified, enzymes involved in degradation of endocannabinoid signaling lipids, monoacylglycerol lipase and fatty acid amide hydrolase, were inhibited by several OP and TC pesticides. Blockade of these two enzymes led to elevations in brain endocannabinoid levels and dysregulated brain arachidonate metabolism. Other secondary targets include enzymes thought to also play important roles in the nervous system and unannotated proteins. This study reveals a multitude of secondary targets for OP and TC pesticides and underscores the utility of chemoproteomic platforms in gaining insights into biochemical pathways that are perturbed by these toxicants. PMID:21341672

  18. Addiction and the brain antireward system.

    PubMed

    Koob, George F; Le Moal, Michel

    2008-01-01

    A neurobiological model of the brain emotional systems has been proposed to explain the persistent changes in motivation that are associated with vulnerability to relapse in addiction, and this model may generalize to other psychopathology associated with dysregulated motivational systems. In this framework, addiction is conceptualized as a cycle of decreased function of brain reward systems and recruitment of antireward systems that progressively worsen, resulting in the compulsive use of drugs. Counteradaptive processes, such as opponent process, that are part of the normal homeostatic limitation of reward function fail to return within the normal homeostatic range and are hypothesized to repeatedly drive the allostatic state. Excessive drug taking thus results in not only the short-term amelioration of the reward deficit but also suppression of the antireward system. However, in the long term, there is worsening of the underlying neurochemical dysregulations that ultimately form an allostatic state (decreased dopamine and opioid peptide function, increased corticotropin-releasing factor activity). This allostatic state is hypothesized to be reflected in a chronic deviation of reward set point that is fueled not only by dysregulation of reward circuits per se but also by recruitment of brain and hormonal stress responses. Vulnerability to addiction may involve genetic comorbidity and developmental factors at the molecular, cellular, or neurocircuitry levels that sensitize the brain antireward systems.

  19. Cannabinoid Regulation of Brain Reward Processing with an Emphasis on the Role of CB1 Receptors: A Step Back into the Future.

    PubMed

    Panagis, George; Mackey, Brian; Vlachou, Styliani

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decades, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a large variety of functions, including a crucial modulation of brain-reward circuits and the regulation of motivational processes. Importantly, behavioral studies have shown that cannabinoid compounds activate brain reward mechanisms and circuits in a similar manner to other drugs of abuse, such as nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, although the conditions under which cannabinoids exert their rewarding effects may be more limited. Furthermore, there is evidence on the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of cue- and drug-induced relapsing phenomena in animal models. The aim of this review is to briefly present the available data obtained using diverse behavioral experimental approaches in experimental animals, namely, the intracranial self-stimulation paradigm, the self-administration procedure, the conditioned place preference procedure, and the reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior procedure, to provide a comprehensive picture of the current status of what is known about the endocannabinoid system mechanisms that underlie modification of brain-reward processes. Emphasis is placed on the effects of cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor agonists, antagonists, and endocannabinoid modulators. Further, the role of CB1 receptors in reward processes is investigated through presentation of respective genetic ablation studies in mice. The vast majority of studies in the existing literature suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in modulating motivation and reward processes. However, much remains to be done before we fully understand these interactions. Further research in the future will shed more light on these processes and, thus, could lead to the development of potential pharmacotherapies designed to treat reward-dysfunction-related disorders.

  20. The sleeping brain as a complex system.

    PubMed

    Olbrich, Eckehard; Achermann, Peter; Wennekers, Thomas

    2011-10-13

    'Complexity science' is a rapidly developing research direction with applications in a multitude of fields that study complex systems consisting of a number of nonlinear elements with interesting dynamics and mutual interactions. This Theme Issue 'The complexity of sleep' aims at fostering the application of complexity science to sleep research, because the brain in its different sleep stages adopts different global states that express distinct activity patterns in large and complex networks of neural circuits. This introduction discusses the contributions collected in the present Theme Issue. We highlight the potential and challenges of a complex systems approach to develop an understanding of the brain in general and the sleeping brain in particular. Basically, we focus on two topics: the complex networks approach to understand the changes in the functional connectivity of the brain during sleep, and the complex dynamics of sleep, including sleep regulation. We hope that this Theme Issue will stimulate and intensify the interdisciplinary communication to advance our understanding of the complex dynamics of the brain that underlies sleep and consciousness.

  1. Crystallographic study of FABP5 as an intracellular endocannabinoid transporter

    SciTech Connect

    Sanson, Benoît; Wang, Tao; Sun, Jing

    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 FABP5more » 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.« less

  2. Fetal endocannabinoids orchestrate the organization of pancreatic islet microarchitecture

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26494286

  3. Comparative Effects of Parathion and Chlorpyrifos on Endocannabinoid and Endocannabinoid-Like Lipid Metabolites in Rat Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jing; Parsons, Loren; Pope, Carey

    2015-01-01

    Parathion and chlorpyrifos are organophosphorus insecticides (OPs) that elicit acute toxicity by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The endocannabinoids (eCBs, N-arachidonoylethanolamine, AEA; 2-arachidonoylglycerol, 2AG) are endogenous neuromodulators that regulate presynaptic neurotransmitter release in neurons throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. While substantial information is known about the eCBs, less is known about a number of endocannabinoid-like metabolites (eCBLs, e.g., N-palmitoylethanolamine, PEA; N-oleoylethanolamine, OEA). We report the comparative effects of parathion and chlorpyrifos on AChE and enzymes responsible for inactivation of the eCBs, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), and changes in the eCBs AEA and 2AG and eCBLs PEA and OEA, in rat striatum. Adult, male rats were treated with vehicle (peanut oil, 2 ml/kg, sc), parathion (27 mg/kg) or chlorpyrifos (280 mg/kg) 6-7 days after surgical implantation of microdialysis cannulae into the right striatum, followed by microdialysis two or four days later. Additional rats were similarly treated and sacrificed for evaluation of tissue levels of eCBs and eCBLs. Dialysates and tissue extracts were analyzed by LC-MS/MS. AChE and FAAH were extensively inhibited at both time-points (85-96%), while MAGL activity was significantly but lesser affected (37-62% inhibition) by parathion and chlorpyrifos. Signs of toxicity were noted only in parathion-treated rats. In general, chlorpyrifos increased eCB levels while parathion had no or lesser effects. Early changes in extracellular AEA, 2AG and PEA levels were significantly different between parathion and chlorpyrifos exposures. Differential changes in extracellular and/or tissue levels of eCBs and eCBLs could potentially influence a number of signaling pathways and contribute to selective neurological changes following acute OP intoxications. PMID:26215119

  4. Comparative effects of parathion and chlorpyrifos on endocannabinoid and endocannabinoid-like lipid metabolites in rat striatum.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Parsons, Loren; Pope, Carey

    2015-09-01

    Parathion and chlorpyrifos are organophosphorus insecticides (OPs) that elicit acute toxicity by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The endocannabinoids (eCBs, N-arachidonoylethanolamine, AEA; 2-arachidonoylglycerol, 2AG) are endogenous neuromodulators that regulate presynaptic neurotransmitter release in neurons throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. While substantial information is known about the eCBs, less is known about a number of endocannabinoid-like metabolites (eCBLs, e.g., N-palmitoylethanolamine, PEA; N-oleoylethanolamine, OEA). We report the comparative effects of parathion and chlorpyrifos on AChE and enzymes responsible for inactivation of the eCBs, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), and changes in the eCBs AEA and 2AG and eCBLs PEA and OEA, in rat striatum. Adult, male rats were treated with vehicle (peanut oil, 2 ml/kg, sc), parathion (27 mg/kg) or chlorpyrifos (280 mg/kg) 6-7 days after surgical implantation of microdialysis cannulae into the right striatum, followed by microdialysis two or four days later. Additional rats were similarly treated and sacrificed for evaluation of tissue levels of eCBs and eCBLs. Dialysates and tissue extracts were analyzed by LC-MS/MS. AChE and FAAH were extensively inhibited at both time-points (85-96%), while MAGL activity was significantly but lesser affected (37-62% inhibition) by parathion and chlorpyrifos. Signs of toxicity were noted only in parathion-treated rats. In general, chlorpyrifos increased eCB levels while parathion had no or lesser effects. Early changes in extracellular AEA, 2AG and PEA levels were significantly different between parathion and chlorpyrifos exposures. Differential changes in extracellular and/or tissue levels of eCBs and eCBLs could potentially influence a number of signaling pathways and contribute to selective neurological changes following acute OP intoxications. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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, p<0.05) when participants were sleep-deprived. This coincided with increased hunger ratings (+25% vs. normal sleep, p<0.05). Moreover, plasma 2AG was elevated 15min post-exercise (+44%, p<0.05). Sleep 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 (p<0.05). Given that activation of the endocannabinoid system has been previously shown to acutely increase appetite and mood, our results could suggest that behavioral effects of acute sleep 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.

  6. The endocannabinoid hydrolysis inhibitor SA-57: Intrinsic antinociceptive effects, augmented morphine-induced antinociception, and attenuated heroin seeking behavior in mice.

    PubMed

    Wilkerson, Jenny L; Ghosh, Sudeshna; Mustafa, Mohammed; Abdullah, Rehab A; Niphakis, Micah J; Cabrera, Roberto; Maldonado, Rafael L; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Lichtman, Aron H

    2017-03-01

    Although opioids are highly efficacious analgesics, their abuse potential and other untoward side effects diminish their therapeutic utility. The addition of non-opioid analgesics offers a promising strategy to reduce required antinociceptive opioid doses that concomitantly reduce opioid-related side effects. Inhibitors of the primary endocannabinoid catabolic enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) show opioid-sparing effects in preclinical models of pain. As simultaneous inhibition of these enzymes elicits enhanced antinociceptive effects compared with single enzyme inhibition, the present study tested whether the dual FAAH-MAGL inhibitor SA-57 [4-[2-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 2-(methylamino)-2-oxoethyl ester] produces morphine-sparing antinociceptive effects, without major side effects associated with either drug class. SA-57 dose-dependently reversed mechanical allodynia in the constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve model of neuropathic pain and carrageenan inflammatory pain model. As previously reported, SA-57 was considerably more potent in elevating anandamide (AEA) than 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) in brain. Its anti-allodynic effects required cannabinoid (CB) 1 and CB 2 receptors; however, only CB 2 receptors were necessary for the anti-edematous effects in the carrageenan assay. Although high doses of SA-57 alone were required to produce antinociception, low doses of this compound, which elevated AEA and did not affect 2-AG brain levels, augmented the antinociceptive effects of morphine, but lacked cannabimimetic side effects. Because of the high abuse liability of opioids and implication of the endocannabinoid system in the reinforcing effects of opioids, the final experiment tested whether SA-57 would alter heroin seeking behavior. Strikingly, SA-57 reduced heroin-reinforced nose poke behavior and the progressive ratio break point for heroin. In conclusion, the results of the present

  7. The Endocannabinoid Hydrolysis Inhibitor SA-57: Intrinsic Antinociceptive Effects, Augmented Morphine-induced Antinociception, and Attenuated Heroin Seeking Behavior in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Wilkerson, Jenny L.; Ghosh, Sudeshna; Mustafa, Mohammed; Abdullah, Rehab A.; Niphakis, Micah J.; Cabrera, Roberto; Maldonado, Rafael L.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Lichtman, Aron H.

    2017-01-01

    Although opioids are highly efficacious analgesics, their abuse potential and other untoward side effects diminish their therapeutic utility. The addition of non-opioid analgesics offers a promising strategy to reduce required antinociceptive opioid doses that concomitantly reduce opioid-related side effects. Inhibitors of the primary endocannabinoid catabolic enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) show opioid-sparing effects in preclinical models of pain. As simultaneous inhibition of these enzymes elicits enhanced antinociceptive effects compared with single enzyme inhibition, the present study tested whether the dual FAAH-MAGL inhibitor SA-57 [4-[2-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 2-(methylamino)-2-oxoethyl ester] produces morphine-sparing antinociceptive effects, without major side effects associated with either drug class. SA-57 dose-dependently reversed mechanical allodynia in the constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve model of neuropathic pain and carrageenan inflammatory pain model. As previously reported, SA-57 was considerably more potent in elevating anandamide (AEA) than 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) in brain. Its anti-allodynic effects required cannabinoid (CB)1 and CB2 receptors; however, only CB2 receptors were necessary for the anti-edematous effects in the carrageenan assay. Although high doses of SA-57 alone were required to produce antinociception, low doses of this compound, which elevated AEA and did not affect 2-AG brain levels, augmented the antinociceptive effects of morphine, but lacked cannabimimetic side effects. Because of the high abuse liability of opioids and implication of the endocannabinoid system in the reinforcing effects of opioids, the final experiment tested whether SA-57 would alter heroin seeking behavior. Strikingly, SA-57 reduced heroin-reinforced nose poke behavior and the progressive ratio break point for heroin. In conclusion, the results of the present

  8. Crystallographic study of FABP5 as an intracellular endocannabinoid transporter

    PubMed Central

    Sanson, Benoît; Wang, Tao; Sun, Jing; Wang, Liqun; Kaczocha, Martin; Ojima, Iwao; Deutsch, Dale; Li, Huilin

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24531463

  9. Prevention of plasticity of endocannabinoid signaling inhibits persistent limbic hyperexcitability caused by developmental seizures.

    PubMed

    Chen, Kang; Neu, Axel; Howard, Allyson L; Földy, Csaba; Echegoyen, Julio; Hilgenberg, Lutz; Smith, Martin; Mackie, Ken; Soltesz, Ivan

    2007-01-03

    Depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI) is an endocannabinoid-mediated short-term plasticity mechanism that couples postsynaptic Ca2+ rises to decreased presynaptic GABA release. Whether the gain of this retrograde synaptic mechanism is subject to long-term modulation by glutamatergic excitatory inputs is not known. Here, we demonstrate that activity-dependent long-term DSI potentiation takes place in hippocampal slices after tetanic stimulation of Schaffer collateral synapses. This activity-dependent, long-term plasticity of endocannabinoid signaling was specific to GABAergic synapses, as it occurred without increases in the depolarization-induced suppression of excitation. Induction of tetanus-induced DSI potentiation in vitro required a complex pathway involving AMPA/kainate and metabotropic glutamate receptor as well as CB1 receptor activation. Because DSI potentiation has been suggested to play a role in persistent limbic hyperexcitability after prolonged seizures in the developing brain, we used these mechanistic insights into activity-dependent DSI potentiation to test whether interference with the induction of DSI potentiation prevents seizure-induced long-term hyperexcitability. The results showed that the in vitro, tetanus-induced DSI potentiation was occluded by previous in vivo fever-induced (febrile) seizures, indicating a common pathway. Accordingly, application of CB1 receptor antagonists during febrile seizures in vivo blocked the seizure-induced persistent DSI potentiation, abolished the seizure-induced upregulation of CB1 receptors, and prevented the emergence of long-term limbic hyperexcitability. These results reveal a new form of activity-dependent, long-term plasticity of endocannabinoid signaling at perisomatic GABAergic synapses, and demonstrate that blocking the induction of this plasticity abolishes the long-term effects of prolonged febrile seizures in the developing brain.

  10. The brain as a dynamic physical system.

    PubMed

    McKenna, T M; McMullen, T A; Shlesinger, M F

    1994-06-01

    The brain is a dynamic system that is non-linear at multiple levels of analysis. Characterization of its non-linear dynamics is fundamental to our understanding of brain function. Identifying families of attractors in phase space analysis, an approach which has proven valuable in describing non-linear mechanical and electrical systems, can prove valuable in describing a range of behaviors and associated neural activity including sensory and motor repertoires. Additionally, transitions between attractors may serve as useful descriptors for analysing state changes in neurons and neural ensembles. Recent observations of synchronous neural activity, and the emerging capability to record the spatiotemporal dynamics of neural activity by voltage-sensitive dyes and electrode arrays, provide opportunities for observing the population dynamics of neural ensembles within a dynamic systems context. New developments in the experimental physics of complex systems, such as the control of chaotic systems, selection of attractors, attractor switching and transient states, can be a source of powerful new analytical tools and insights into the dynamics of neural systems.

  11. Aging and brain rejuvenation as systemic events

    PubMed Central

    Bouchard, Jill; Villeda, Saul A

    2015-01-01

    The effects of aging were traditionally thought to be immutable, particularly evident in the loss of plasticity and cognitive abilities occurring in the aged central nervous system (CNS). However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that extrinsic systemic manipulations such as exercise, caloric restriction, and changing blood composition by heterochronic parabiosis or young plasma administration can partially counteract this age-related loss of plasticity in the aged brain. In this review, we discuss the process of aging and rejuvenation as systemic events. We summarize genetic studies that demonstrate a surprising level of malleability in organismal lifespan, and highlight the potential for systemic manipulations to functionally reverse the effects of aging in the CNS. Based on mounting evidence, we propose that rejuvenating effects of systemic manipulations are mediated, in part, by blood-borne ‘pro-youthful’ factors. Thus, systemic manipulations promoting a younger blood composition provide effective strategies to rejuvenate the aged brain. As a consequence, we can now consider reactivating latent plasticity dormant in the aged CNS as a means to rejuvenate regenerative, synaptic, and cognitive functions late in life, with potential implications even for extending lifespan. PMID:25327899

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Endocannabinoid Degradative Enzyme Inhibitors Attenuate Intracranial Self-Stimulation in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Grim, Travis W.; Owens, Robert A.; Lazenka, Matthew F.; Sim-Selley, Laura J.; Abdullah, Rehab A.; Niphakis, Micah J.; Vann, Robert E.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Wiley, Jenny L.; Negus, S. Stevens; Lichtman, Aron H.

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of evidence implicates endogenous cannabinoids as modulators of the mesolimbic dopamine system and motivated behavior. Paradoxically, the reinforcing effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis, have been difficult to detect in preclinical rodent models. In this study, we investigated the impact of THC and inhibitors of the endocannabinoid hydrolytic enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) on operant responding for electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle [intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS)], which is known to activate the mesolimbic dopamine system. These drugs were also tested in assays of operant responding for food reinforcement and spontaneous locomotor activity. THC and the MAGL inhibitor JZL184 (4-[bis(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)hydroxymethyl]-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 4-nitrophenyl ester) attenuated operant responding for ICSS and food, and also reduced spontaneous locomotor activity. In contrast, the FAAH inhibitor PF-3845 (N-3-pyridinyl-4-[[3-[[5-(trifluoromethyl)-2-pyridinyl]oxy]phenyl]methyl]-1-piperidinecarboxamide) was largely without effect in these assays. Consistent with previous studies showing that combined inhibition of FAAH and MAGL produces a substantially greater cannabimimetic profile than single enzyme inhibition, the dual FAAH-MAGL inhibitor SA-57 (4-[2-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 2-(methylamino)-2-oxoethyl ester) produced a similar magnitude of ICSS depression as that produced by THC. ICSS attenuation by JZL184 was associated with increased brain levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), whereas peak effects of SA-57 were associated with increased levels of both N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-AG. The cannabinoid receptor type 1 receptor antagonist rimonabant, but not the cannabinoid receptor type 2 receptor antagonist SR144528, blocked the attenuating effects of THC, JZL184, and SA-57 on ICSS

  14. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and endocannabinoid degradative enzyme inhibitors attenuate intracranial self-stimulation in mice.

    PubMed

    Wiebelhaus, Jason M; Grim, Travis W; Owens, Robert A; Lazenka, Matthew F; Sim-Selley, Laura J; Abdullah, Rehab A; Niphakis, Micah J; Vann, Robert E; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Wiley, Jenny L; Negus, S Stevens; Lichtman, Aron H

    2015-02-01

    A growing body of evidence implicates endogenous cannabinoids as modulators of the mesolimbic dopamine system and motivated behavior. Paradoxically, the reinforcing effects of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis, have been difficult to detect in preclinical rodent models. In this study, we investigated the impact of THC and inhibitors of the endocannabinoid hydrolytic enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) on operant responding for electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle [intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS)], which is known to activate the mesolimbic dopamine system. These drugs were also tested in assays of operant responding for food reinforcement and spontaneous locomotor activity. THC and the MAGL inhibitor JZL184 (4-[bis(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)hydroxymethyl]-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 4-nitrophenyl ester) attenuated operant responding for ICSS and food, and also reduced spontaneous locomotor activity. In contrast, the FAAH inhibitor PF-3845 (N-3-pyridinyl-4-[[3-[[5-(trifluoromethyl)-2-pyridinyl]oxy]phenyl]methyl]-1-piperidinecarboxamide) was largely without effect in these assays. Consistent with previous studies showing that combined inhibition of FAAH and MAGL produces a substantially greater cannabimimetic profile than single enzyme inhibition, the dual FAAH-MAGL inhibitor SA-57 (4-[2-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 2-(methylamino)-2-oxoethyl ester) produced a similar magnitude of ICSS depression as that produced by THC. ICSS attenuation by JZL184 was associated with increased brain levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), whereas peak effects of SA-57 were associated with increased levels of both N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-AG. The cannabinoid receptor type 1 receptor antagonist rimonabant, but not the cannabinoid receptor type 2 receptor antagonist SR144528, blocked the attenuating effects of THC, JZL184, and SA-57 on

  15. Endocannabinoids as positive or negative factors in hematopoietic cell migration and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Patinkin, Deborah; Milman, Garry; Breuer, Aviva; Fride, Ester; Mechoulam, Raphael

    2008-10-24

    The ethanolamides of arachidonic, myristic and linoleic acids reduce bone marrow cell migration, while the 2-glyceryl esters of these acids enhance migration. Thus the 2 major endocannabinoids, anandamide (arachidonoyl ethanolamide) and 2-AG (2-arachidonoyl glycerol), whose structural difference lies in the nature of the end-group alone, work in opposite directions. The endocannabinoid arachidonoyl serine, a vasodilator, also reduces migration. The effect of 2-AG is mediated, in part at least, through the cannabinoid receptors, while the effect of anandamide, as well as the rest of the compounds assayed, are not mediated through them. Almost all cannabinoids tested, including anandamide and 2-AG, lead to approximate doubling of CFU-GEMM (colony-forming unit: granulocyte, erythrocyte, macrophage, megakaryocyte) colonies. The effect of anandamide is considerably more potent than that of 2-AG. A surprising dose-response increase of erythroid cells is noted in cultures with the ester cannabinoids (in the absence of the cytokine erythropoietin), while a considerable dose-response augmentation of megakaryocytes is noted in cultures with the ethanolamide cannabinoids (in the presence of erythropoietin). This is suggestive of some cross-talk between two different regulatory systems, one governed by glycoprotein ligands and the other by endocannabinoids.

  16. Role of Endocannabinoids and Cannabinoid-1 Receptors in Cerebrocortical Blood Flow Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Horváth, Béla; Benkő, Rita; Lacza, Zsombor; Járai, Zoltán; Sándor, Péter; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Pacher, Pál; Benyó, Zoltán

    2013-01-01

    Background Endocannabinoids are among the most intensively studied lipid mediators of cardiovascular functions. In the present study the effects of decreased and increased activity of the endocannabinoid system (achieved by cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptor blockade and inhibition of cannabinoid reuptake, respectively) on the systemic and cerebral circulation were analyzed under steady-state physiological conditions and during hypoxia and hypercapnia (H/H). Methodology/Principal Findings In anesthetized spontaneously ventilating rats the CB1-receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM-251 (10 mg/kg, i.v.) failed to influence blood pressure (BP), cerebrocortical blood flow (CoBF, measured by laser-Doppler flowmetry) or arterial blood gas levels. In contrast, the putative cannabinoid reuptake inhibitor AM-404 (10 mg/kg, i.v.) induced triphasic responses, some of which could be blocked by AM-251. Hypertension during phase I was resistant to AM-251, whereas the concomitant CoBF-increase was attenuated. In contrast, hypotension during phase III was sensitive to AM-251, whereas the concomitant CoBF-decrease was not. Therefore, CoBF autoregulation appeared to shift towards higher BP levels after CB1-blockade. During phase II H/H developed due to respiratory depression, which could be inhibited by AM-251. Interestingly, however, the concomitant rise in CoBF remained unchanged after AM-251, indicating that CB1-blockade potentially enhanced the reactivity of the CoBF to H/H. In accordance with this hypothesis, AM-251 induced a significant enhancement of the CoBF responses during controlled stepwise H/H. Conclusion/Significance Under resting physiological conditions CB1-receptor mediated mechanisms appear to have limited influence on systemic or cerebral circulation. Enhancement of endocannabinoid levels, however, induces transient CB1-independent hypertension and sustained CB1-mediated hypotension. Furthermore, enhanced endocannabinoid activity results in respiratory depression in a

  17. A dedicated neonatal brain imaging system

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. A Role for Brain Stress Systems in Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Koob, George F.

    2009-01-01

    Drug addiction is a chronically relapsing disorder characterized by compulsion to seek and take drugs and has been linked to dysregulation of brain regions that mediate reward and stress. Activation of brain stress systems is hypothesized to be key to the negative emotional state produced by dependence that drives drug seeking through negative reinforcement mechanisms. This review explores the role of brain stress systems (corticotropin-releasing factor, norepinephrine, orexin [hypocretin], vasopressin, dynorphin) and brain antistress systems (neuropeptide Y, nociceptin [orphanin FQ]) in drug dependence, with emphasis on the neuropharmacological function of extrahypothalamic systems in the extended amygdala. The brain stress and antistress systems may play a key role in the transition to and maintenance of drug dependence once initiated. Understanding the role of brain stress and antistress systems in addiction provides novel targets for treatment and prevention of addiction and insights into the organization and function of basic brain emotional circuitry. PMID:18614026

  19. volBrain: An Online MRI Brain Volumetry System

    PubMed Central

    Manjón, José V.; Coupé, Pierrick

    2016-01-01

    The amount of medical image data produced in clinical and research settings is rapidly growing resulting in vast amount of data to analyze. Automatic and reliable quantitative analysis tools, including segmentation, allow to analyze brain development and to understand specific patterns of many neurological diseases. This field has recently experienced many advances with successful techniques based on non-linear warping and label fusion. In this work we present a novel and fully automatic pipeline for volumetric brain analysis based on multi-atlas label fusion technology that is able to provide accurate volumetric information at different levels of detail in a short time. This method is available through the volBrain online web interface (http://volbrain.upv.es), which is publically and freely accessible to the scientific community. Our new framework has been compared with current state-of-the-art methods showing very competitive results. PMID:27512372

  20. volBrain: An Online MRI Brain Volumetry System.

    PubMed

    Manjón, José V; Coupé, Pierrick

    2016-01-01

    The amount of medical image data produced in clinical and research settings is rapidly growing resulting in vast amount of data to analyze. Automatic and reliable quantitative analysis tools, including segmentation, allow to analyze brain development and to understand specific patterns of many neurological diseases. This field has recently experienced many advances with successful techniques based on non-linear warping and label fusion. In this work we present a novel and fully automatic pipeline for volumetric brain analysis based on multi-atlas label fusion technology that is able to provide accurate volumetric information at different levels of detail in a short time. This method is available through the volBrain online web interface (http://volbrain.upv.es), which is publically and freely accessible to the scientific community. Our new framework has been compared with current state-of-the-art methods showing very competitive results.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Cannabis Signaling in the Brain.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Nano to micro delivery systems: targeting angiogenesis in brain tumors.

    PubMed

    Gilert, Ariel; Machluf, Marcelle

    2010-10-08

    Treating brain tumors using inhibitors of angiogenesis is extensively researched and tested in clinical trials. Although anti-angiogenic treatment holds a great potential for treating primary and secondary brain tumors, no clinical treatment is currently approved for brain tumor patients. One of the main hurdles in treating brain tumors is the blood brain barrier - a protective barrier of the brain, which prevents drugs from entering the brain parenchyma. As most therapeutics are excluded from the brain there is an urgent need to develop delivery platforms which will bypass such hurdles and enable the delivery of anti-angiogenic drugs into the tumor bed. Such delivery systems should be able to control release the drug or a combination of drugs at a therapeutic level for the desired time. In this mini-review we will discuss the latest improvements in nano and micro drug delivery platforms that were designed to deliver inhibitors of angiogenesis to the brain.

  4. Nano to micro delivery systems: targeting angiogenesis in brain tumors

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Treating brain tumors using inhibitors of angiogenesis is extensively researched and tested in clinical trials. Although anti-angiogenic treatment holds a great potential for treating primary and secondary brain tumors, no clinical treatment is currently approved for brain tumor patients. One of the main hurdles in treating brain tumors is the blood brain barrier - a protective barrier of the brain, which prevents drugs from entering the brain parenchyma. As most therapeutics are excluded from the brain there is an urgent need to develop delivery platforms which will bypass such hurdles and enable the delivery of anti-angiogenic drugs into the tumor bed. Such delivery systems should be able to control release the drug or a combination of drugs at a therapeutic level for the desired time. In this mini-review we will discuss the latest improvements in nano and micro drug delivery platforms that were designed to deliver inhibitors of angiogenesis to the brain. PMID:20932320

  5. Pharmacology and toxicology of Cannabis derivatives and endocannabinoid agonists.

    PubMed

    Gerra, Gilberto; Zaimovic, Amir; Gerra, Maria L; Ciccocioppo, Roberto; Cippitelli, Andrea; Serpelloni, Giovanni; Somaini, Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

    For centuries Cannabis sativa and cannabis extracts have been used in natural medicine. Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active ingredient of Cannabis. THC seems to be responsible for most of the pharmacological and therapeutic actions of cannabis. In a few countries THC extracts (i.e. Sativex) or THC derivatives such as nabilone, and dronabinol are used in the clinic for the treatment of several pathological conditions like chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma. On the other hand the severe side effects and the high abuse liability of these agents represent a serious limitation in their medical use. In addition, diversion in the use of these active ingredients for recreational purpose is a concern. Over recent years, alternative approaches using synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists or agents acting as activators of the endocannabinoid systems are under scrutiny with the hope to develop more effective and safer clinical applications. Likely, in the near future few of these new molecules will be available for clinical use. The present article review recent study and patents with focus on the cannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of central nervous system disorders with emphasis on agonists.

  6. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes.

    PubMed

    Russo, Ethan B

    2016-01-01

    Medicine continues to struggle in its approaches to numerous common subjective pain syndromes that lack objective signs and remain treatment resistant. Foremost among these are migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome, disorders that may overlap in their affected populations and whose sufferers have all endured the stigma of a psychosomatic label, as well as the failure of endless pharmacotherapeutic interventions with substandard benefit. The commonality in symptomatology in these conditions displaying hyperalgesia and central sensitization with possible common underlying pathophysiology suggests that a clinical endocannabinoid deficiency might characterize their origin. Its base hypothesis is that all humans have an underlying endocannabinoid tone that is a reflection of levels of the endocannabinoids, anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide), and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, their production, metabolism, and the relative abundance and state of cannabinoid receptors. Its theory is that in certain conditions, whether congenital or acquired, endocannabinoid tone becomes deficient and productive of pathophysiological syndromes. When first proposed in 2001 and subsequently, this theory was based on genetic overlap and comorbidity, patterns of symptomatology that could be mediated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and the fact that exogenous cannabinoid treatment frequently provided symptomatic benefit. However, objective proof and formal clinical trial data were lacking. Currently, however, statistically significant differences in cerebrospinal fluid anandamide levels have been documented in migraineurs, and advanced imaging studies have demonstrated ECS hypofunction in post-traumatic stress disorder. Additional studies have provided a firmer foundation for the theory, while clinical data have also produced evidence for decreased pain, improved sleep, and other benefits to cannabinoid treatment and adjunctive lifestyle approaches affecting the ECS.

  7. The cannabinoid transporter inhibitor OMDM-2 reduces social interaction: Further evidence for transporter-mediated endocannabinoid release.

    PubMed

    Seillier, Alexandre; Giuffrida, Andrea

    2018-03-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that the transport of endocannabinoids might work bi-directionally. Accordingly, it is possible that pharmacological blockade of the latter affects not only the re-uptake, but also the release of endocannabinoids, thus preventing them from stimulating CB 1 receptors. We used biochemical, pharmacological, and behavioral approaches to investigate the effects of the transporter inhibitor OMDM-2 on social interaction, a behavioral assay that requires activation of CB 1 receptors. The underlying mechanisms of OMDM-2 were compared with those of the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597. Systemic administration of OMDM-2 reduced social interaction, but in contrast to URB597-induced social deficit, this effect was not reversed by the TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine. The CB 1 antagonist AM251, which did not affect URB597-induced social withdrawal, exacerbated OMDM-2 effect. In addition, the potent CB 1 agonist CP55,940 reversed OMDM-2-, but not URB597-, induced social withdrawal. Blockade of CB 1 receptor by AM251 reduced social interaction and the cholecystokinin CCK2 antagonist LY225910 reversed this effect. Similarly, OMDM-2-induced social withdrawal was reversed by LY225910, whereas URB597 effect was not. Elevation of endocannabinoid levels by URB597 or JZL184, an inhibitor of 2-AG degradation, failed to reverse OMDM-2-induced social withdrawal, and did not show additive effects on cannabinoid measurements when co-administered with OMDM-2. Taken together, these findings indicate that OMDM-2 impaired social interaction in a manner that is consistent with reduced activation of presynaptic CB 1 receptors. As cannabinoid reuptake inhibitors may impair endocannabinoid release, caution should be taken when using these drugs to enhance endocannabinoid tone in vivo. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. Systemic Analysis of Brain Mechanisms Underlying Learning Disabilities: An Introduction to the Brain Behavior Relationship.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scaramella-Nowinski, Valerie L.

    The paper presents a discussion of human mental processes as they relate to learning disabilities. Pathognomonic symptoms associated with disturbances to brain areas or functional systems are discussed, as well as treatment procedures. This brain behavior relationship is offered as a basis for a classification system that is seen to more clearly…

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Infrared Imaging System for Studying Brain Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mintz, Frederick; Mintz, Frederick; Gunapala, Sarath

    2007-01-01

    A proposed special-purpose infrared imaging system would be a compact, portable, less-expensive alternative to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) systems heretofore used to study brain function. Whereas a typical fMRI system fills a large room, and must be magnetically isolated, this system would fit into a bicycle helmet. The system would include an assembly that would be mounted inside the padding in a modified bicycle helmet or other suitable headgear. The assembly would include newly designed infrared photodetectors and data-acquisition circuits on integrated-circuit chips on low-thermal-conductivity supports in evacuated housings (see figure) arranged in multiple rows and columns that would define image coordinates. Each housing would be spring-loaded against the wearer s head. The chips would be cooled by a small Stirling Engine mounted contiguous to, but thermally isolated from, the portions of the assembly in thermal contact with the wearer s head. Flexible wires or cables for transmitting data from the aforementioned chips would be routed to an integrated, multichannel transmitter and thence through the top of the assembly to a patch antenna on the outside of the helmet. The multiple streams of data from the infrared-detector chips would be sent to a remote site, where they would be processed, by software, into a three-dimensional display of evoked potentials that would represent firing neuronal bundles and thereby indicate locations of neuronal activity associated with mental or physical activity. The 3D images will be analogous to current fMRI images. The data would also be made available, in real-time, for comparison with data in local or internationally accessible relational databases that already exist in universities and research centers. Hence, this system could be used in research on, and for the diagnosis of response from the wearer s brain to physiological, psychological, and environmental changes in real time. The images would also be

  12. Systems Neuroscience of Psychosis: Mapping Schizophrenia Symptoms onto Brain Systems.

    PubMed

    Strik, Werner; Stegmayer, Katharina; Walther, Sebastian; Dierks, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Schizophrenia research has been in a deadlock for many decades. Despite important advances in clinical treatment, there are still major concerns regarding long-term psychosocial reintegration and disease management, biological heterogeneity, unsatisfactory predictors of individual course and treatment strategies, and a confusing variety of controversial theories about its etiology and pathophysiological mechanisms. In the present perspective on schizophrenia research, we first discuss a methodological pitfall in contemporary schizophrenia research inherent in the attempt to link mental phenomena with the brain: we claim that the time-honored phenomenological method of defining mental symptoms should not be contaminated with the naturalistic approach of modern neuroscience. We then describe our Systems Neuroscience of Psychosis (SyNoPsis) project, which aims to overcome this intrinsic problem of psychiatric research. Considering schizophrenia primarily as a disorder of interindividual communication, we developed a neurobiologically informed semiotics of psychotic disorders, as well as an operational clinical rating scale. The novel psychopathology allows disentangling the clinical manifestations of schizophrenia into behavioral domains matching the functions of three well-described higher-order corticobasal brain systems involved in interindividual human communication, namely, the limbic, associative, and motor loops, including their corticocortical sensorimotor connections. The results of several empirical studies support the hypothesis that the proposed three-dimensional symptom structure, segregated into the affective, the language, and the motor domain, can be specifically mapped onto structural and functional abnormalities of the respective brain systems. New pathophysiological hypotheses derived from this brain system-oriented approach have helped to develop and improve novel treatment strategies with noninvasive brain stimulation and practicable clinical

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-05-01

    In 1964, the psychoactive ingredient of Cannabis sativa, Δ(9)-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 together form the eCB system (ECS). eCBs control basic biological processes including cell choice between survival and death and progenitor/stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Unsurprisingly, in the past two decades eCBs have been recognized as key mediators of several aspects of human pathophysiology and thus have emerged to be 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 ECS for human health and disease pathogenesis, as well as highlighting emerging challenges and therapeutic hopes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. Integrating Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Data into the Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research Informatics Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-10-01

    Traumatic Brain Injury Research Informatics Systems 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0564 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0564 TITLE: Integrating Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Data into the Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury...Research Informatics Systems PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Cynthia Harrison-Felix, PhD CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: Craig Hospital Englewood, CO 80113

  16. Association study between alcoholism and endocannabinoid metabolic enzyme genes encoding fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoglyceride lipase in a Japanese population.

    PubMed

    Iwasaki, Shinya; Ishiguro, Hiroki; Higuchi, Susumu; Onaivi, Emmanuel S; Arinami, Tadao

    2007-08-01

    Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) are the major endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes. Owing to the importance of endocannabinoid system in addiction, the Pro129Thr polymorphism in the FAAH gene has reportedly been associated with substance abuse and dependence in a Caucasian population. To determine whether the single nucleodtide polymorphisms of the FAAH and MGLL genes are associated with alcoholism in a Japanese population. We conducted case-control studies for total 14 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms in those two genes using Japanese 729 patients with alcoholism and 799 healthy controls. Genotype and allele frequencies were compared between these groups. None of these genetic markers, however, showed significant association with alcoholism in Japanese. Whereas we examined associations in a larger sample size between alcoholism and tag single nucleotide polymorphisms that covered most regions of these endocannabinoid metabolic enzyme genes, we found that these are not associated with susceptibility to alcoholism in a Japanese population.

  17. Control of excessive neural circuit excitability and prevention of epileptic seizures by endocannabinoid signaling.

    PubMed

    Sugaya, Yuki; Kano, Masanobu

    2018-05-08

    Progress in research on endocannabinoid signaling has greatly advanced our understanding of how it controls neural circuit excitability in health and disease. In general, endocannabinoid signaling at excitatory synapses suppresses seizures by inhibiting glutamate release. In contrast, endocannabinoid signaling promotes seizures by inhibiting GABA release at inhibitory synapses. The physiological distribution of endocannabinoid signaling molecules becomes disrupted with the development of epileptic focus in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy and in animal models of experimentally induced epilepsy. Augmentation of endocannabinoid signaling can promote the development of epileptic focus at initial stages. However, at later stages, increased endocannabinoid signaling delays it and suppresses spontaneous seizures. Thus, the regulation of endocannabinoid signaling at specific synapses that cause hyperexcitability during particular stages of disease development may be effective for treating epilepsy and epileptogenesis.

  18. An adaptive brain actuated system for augmenting rehabilitation

    PubMed Central

    Roset, Scott A.; Gant, Katie; Prasad, Abhishek; Sanchez, Justin C.

    2014-01-01

    For people living with paralysis, restoration of hand function remains the top priority because it leads to independence and improvement in quality of life. In approaches to restore hand and arm function, a goal is to better engage voluntary control and counteract maladaptive brain reorganization that results from non-use. Standard rehabilitation augmented with developments from the study of brain-computer interfaces could provide a combined therapy approach for motor cortex rehabilitation and to alleviate motor impairments. In this paper, an adaptive brain-computer interface system intended for application to control a functional electrical stimulation (FES) device is developed as an experimental test bed for augmenting rehabilitation with a brain-computer interface. The system's performance is improved throughout rehabilitation by passive user feedback and reinforcement learning. By continuously adapting to the user's brain activity, similar adaptive systems could be used to support clinical brain-computer interface neurorehabilitation over multiple days. PMID:25565945

  19. Opioid system of the brain and ethanol.

    PubMed

    Gogichadze, M; Mgaloblishvili-Nemsadze, M; Oniani, N; Emukhvary, N; Basishvili, T

    2009-04-01

    Influence of blocking of opioid receptors with concomitant intraperitoneal injections of Naloxone (20 mg/kg) (non-selective antagonist of opioid system) on the outcomes of anesthetic dose of ethanol (4,25 ml /kg 25% solution) was investigated in the rats. The sleep-wakefulness cycle (SWC) was used as a model for identification of the effects. Alterations of the SWC structure adequately reflect the neuro-chemical changes, which may develop during pharmacological and non-pharmacological impact. Administration of anesthetic dose of ethanol evoked considerable modification of spontaneous EEG activity of the neocortex. The EEG activity was depressed and full inhibition of spinal reflexes and somatic muscular relaxation did occur. During EEG depression regular SWC did not develop. All phases of SWC were reduced. The disturbances of SWC, such as decrease of slow wave sleep and paradoxical sleep duration and increase of wakefulness, remained for several days. At concomitant administration of Naloxone and ethanol, duration of EEG depression decreased significantly. Generation of normal SWC was observed on the same experimental day. However, it should be noted that complete abolishment of ethanol effects by Naloxone was not observed. The results obtained suggest that Naloxone partially blocks ethanol depressogenic effects and duration of this effect is mediated by GABA-ergic system of the brain.

  20. "Diff-ability" Not "Disability": Right-Brained Thinkers in a Left-Brained Education System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edmonds, Casey

    2012-01-01

    This article draws on critical disability studies, challenging the exclusion of right-brained thinkers from an education system designed to privilege left-brained thinkers. It focuses on individuals who are labelled dyspraxic, providing data from qualitative interviews with adults about childhood experiences in school and the impact on their…

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-08-08

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

  2. Sleep Restriction Enhances the Daily Rhythm of Circulating Levels of Endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol

    PubMed Central

    Hanlon, Erin C.; Tasali, Esra; Leproult, Rachel; Stuhr, Kara L.; Doncheck, Elizabeth; de Wit, Harriet; Hillard, Cecilia J.; Van Cauter, Eve

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: Increasing evidence from laboratory and epidemiologic studies indicates that insufficient sleep may be a risk factor for obesity. Sleep curtailment results in stimulation of hunger and food intake that exceeds the energy cost of extended wakefulness, suggesting the involvement of reward mechanisms. The current study tested the hypothesis that sleep restriction is associated with activation of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system, a key component of hedonic pathways involved in modulating appetite and food intake. Methods: In a randomized crossover study comparing 4 nights of normal (8.5 h) versus restricted sleep (4.5 h) in healthy young adults, we examined the 24-h profiles of circulating concentrations of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and its structural analog 2-oleoylglycerol (2-OG). We concomitantly assessed hunger, appetite, and food intake under controlled conditions. Results: A robust daily variation of 2-AG concentrations with a nadir around the middle of the sleep/overnight fast, followed by a continuous increase culminating in the early afternoon, was evident under both sleep conditions but sleep restriction resulted in an amplification of this rhythm with delayed and extended maximum values. Concentrations of 2-OG followed a similar pattern, but with a lesser amplitude. When sleep deprived, participants reported increases in hunger and appetite concomitant with the afternoon elevation of 2-AG concentrations, and were less able to inhibit intake of palatable snacks. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that activation of the eCB system may be involved in excessive food intake in a state of sleep debt and contribute to the increased risk of obesity associated with insufficient sleep. Commentary: A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 495. Citation: Hanlon EC, Tasali E, Leproult R, Stuhr KL, Doncheck E, de Wit H, Hillard CJ, Van Cauter E. Sleep restriction enhances the daily rhythm of circulating levels of

  3. Reward Systems in the Brain and Nutrition.

    PubMed

    Rolls, Edmund T

    2016-07-17

    The taste cortex in the anterior insula provides separate and combined representations of the taste, temperature, and texture of food in the mouth independently of hunger and thus of reward value and pleasantness. One synapse on, in the orbitofrontal cortex, these sensory inputs are combined by associative learning with olfactory and visual inputs for some neurons, and these neurons encode food reward value in that they respond to food only when hunger is present and in that activations correlate linearly with subjective pleasantness. Cognitive factors, including word-level descriptions and selective attention to affective value, modulate the representation of the reward value of taste, olfactory, and flavor stimuli in the orbitofrontal cortex and a region to which it projects, the anterior cingulate cortex. These food reward representations are important in the control of appetite and food intake. Individual differences in reward representations may contribute to obesity, and there are age-related differences in these reward representations. Implications of how reward systems in the brain operate for understanding, preventing, and treating obesity are described.

  4. A Brain System for Auditory Working Memory.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-20

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

  5. Cannabinoid CB1 Discrimination: Effects of Endocannabinoids and Catabolic Enzyme Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Michael Z; Alapafuja, Shakiru O; Ji, Lipin; Shukla, Vidyanand G; Liu, Yingpeng; Nikas, Spyros P; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Bergman, Jack; Kangas, Brian D

    2017-12-01

    An improved understanding of the endocannabinoid system has provided new avenues of drug discovery and development toward the management of pain and other behavioral maladies. Exogenous cannabinoid type 1 (CB 1 ) receptor agonists such as Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol are increasingly used for their medicinal actions; however, their utility is constrained by concern regarding abuse-related subjective effects. This has led to growing interest in the clinical benefit of indirectly enhancing the activity of the highly labile endocannabinoids N -arachidonoylethanolamine [AEA (or anandamide)] and/or 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) via catabolic enzyme inhibition. The present studies were conducted to determine whether such actions can lead to CB 1 agonist-like subjective effects, as reflected in CB 1 -related discriminative stimulus effects in laboratory subjects. Squirrel monkeys ( n = 8) that discriminated the CB 1 full agonist AM4054 (0.01 mg/kg) from vehicle were used to study, first, the inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) or monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) alone or in combination [FAAH (URB597, AM4303); MGL (AM4301); FAAH/MGL (JZL195, AM4302)] and, second, the ability of the endocannabinoids AEA and 2-AG to produce CB 1 agonist-like effects when administered alone or after enzyme inhibition. Results indicate that CB 1 -related discriminative stimulus effects were produced by combined, but not selective, inhibition of FAAH and MGL, and that these effects were nonsurmountably antagonized by low doses of rimonabant. Additionally, FAAH or MGL inhibition revealed CB 1 -like subjective effects produced by AEA but not by 2-AG. Taken together, the present data suggest that therapeutic effects of combined, but not selective, enhancement of AEA or 2-AG activity via enzyme inhibition may be accompanied by CB 1 receptor-mediated subjective effects. Copyright © 2017 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  6. Circulating levels of endocannabinoids and oxylipins altered by dietary lipids in older women are likely associated with previously identified gene targets

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Postmenopausal women (PMW) report marginal n-3 PUFA intakes and are at risk of chronic diseases associated with the skeletal, muscular, and cardiovascular systems. Our investigation characterized the endocannabinoids (EC), oxylipins (OL), and global metabolites (GM) in white PMW (75 ± 7 y), randomiz...

  7. Endocannabinoid hydrolases in avian HD11 macrophages identified by chemoproteomics: inactivation by small molecule inhibitors and pathogen-induced downregulation of their activity.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The endocannabinoids (eCBs) are endogenous arachidonoyl-containing lipid mediators with important roles in host defense. Macrophages are first-line defenders of the innate immune system and biosynthesize large amounts of eCBs when activated. The cellular levels of eCBs are controlled by the activiti...

  8. Control-related systems in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Power, Jonathan D; Petersen, Steven E

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental question in cognitive neuroscience is how the human brain self-organizes to perform tasks. Multiple accounts of this self-organization are currently influential and in this article we survey one of these accounts. We begin by introducing a psychological model of task control and several neuroimaging signals it predicts. We then discuss where such signals are found across tasks with emphasis on brain regions where multiple control signals are present. We then present results derived from spontaneous task-free functional connectivity between control-related regions that dovetail with distinctions made by control signals present in these regions, leading to a proposal that there are at least two task control systems in the brain. This prompts consideration of whether and how such control systems distinguish themselves from other brain regions in a whole-brain context. We present evidence from whole-brain networks that such distinctions do occur and that control systems comprise some of the basic system-level organizational elements of the human brain. We close with observations from the whole-brain networks that may suggest parsimony between multiple accounts of cognitive control. PMID:23347645

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. Increasing Endocannabinoid Levels in the Ventral Pallidum Restore Aberrant Dopamine Neuron Activity in the Subchronic PCP Rodent Model of Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Li; Lodge, Daniel J

    2015-01-01

    Background: Schizophrenia is a debilitating disorder that affects 1% of the US population. While the exogenous administration of cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol is reported to exacerbate psychosis in schizophrenia patients, augmenting the levels of endogenous cannabinoids has gained attention as a possible alternative therapy to schizophrenia due to clinical and preclinical observations. Thus, patients with schizophrenia demonstrate an inverse relationship between psychotic symptoms and levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide. In addition, increasing endocannabinoid levels (by blockade of enzymatic degradation) has been reported to attenuate social withdrawal in a preclinical model of schizophrenia. Here we examine the effects of increasing endogenous cannabinoids on dopamine neuron activity in the sub-chronic phencyclidine (PCP) model. Aberrant dopamine system function is thought to underlie the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. Methods: Using in vivo extracellular recordings in chloral hydrate–anesthetized rats, we now demonstrate an increase in dopamine neuron population activity in PCP-treated rats. Results: Interestingly, endocannabinoid upregulation, induced by URB-597, was able to normalize this aberrant dopamine neuron activity. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the ventral pallidum is the site where URB-597 acts to restore ventral tegmental area activity. Conclusions: Taken together, we provide preclinical evidence that augmenting endogenous cannabinoids may be an effective therapy for schizophrenia, acting in part to restore ventral pallidal activity. PMID:25539511

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Blood-brain barrier shuttle peptides enhance AAV transduction in the brain after systemic administration.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xintao; He, Ting; Chai, Zheng; Samulski, R Jude; Li, Chengwen

    2018-09-01

    The adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector has been used in preclinical and clinical trials of gene therapy for central nervous system (CNS) diseases. One of the biggest challenges of effectively delivering AAV to the brain is to surmount the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Herein, we identified several potential BBB shuttle peptides that significantly enhanced AAV8 transduction in the brain after a systemic administration, the best of which was the THR peptide. The enhancement of AAV8 brain transduction by THR is dose-dependent, and neurons are the primary THR targets. Mechanism studies revealed that THR directly bound to the AAV8 virion, increasing its ability to cross the endothelial cell barrier. Further experiments showed that binding of THR to the AAV virion did not interfere with AAV8 infection biology, and that THR competitively blocked transferrin from binding to AAV8. Taken together, our results demonstrate, for the first time, that BBB shuttle peptides are able to directly interact with AAV and increase the ability of the AAV vectors to cross the BBB for transduction enhancement in the brain. These results will shed important light on the potential applications of BBB shuttle peptides for enhancing brain transduction with systemic administration of AAV vectors. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Vassanelli, Stefano; Mahmud, Mufti

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Brain systems underlying susceptibility to helplessness and depression.

    PubMed

    Shumake, J; Gonzalez-Lima, F

    2003-09-01

    There has been a relative lack of research into the neurobiological predispositions that confer vulnerability to depression. This article reviews functional brain mappings from a genetic animal model, the congenitally helpless rat, which is predisposed to develop learned helplessness. Neurometabolic findings from this model are integrated with the neuroscientific literature from other animal models of depression as well as depressed humans. Changes in four major brain systems are suggested to underlie susceptibility to helplessness and possibly depression: (a) an unbalanced prefrontal-cingulate cortical system, (b) a dissociated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, (c) a dissociated septal-hippocampal system, and (d) a hypoactive brain reward system, as exemplified by a hypermetabolic habenula-interpeduncular nucleus pathway and a hypometabolic ventral tegmental area-striatum pathway. Functional interconnections and causal relationships among these systems are considered and further experiments are suggested, with theoretical attention to how an abnormality in any one system could affect the others.

  15. COX-2-derived endocannabinoid metabolites as novel inflammatory mediators.

    PubMed

    Alhouayek, Mireille; Muccioli, Giulio G

    2014-06-01

    Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is an enzyme that plays a key role in inflammatory processes. Classically, this enzyme is upregulated in inflammatory situations and is responsible for the generation of prostaglandins (PGs) from arachidonic acid (AA). One lesser-known property of COX-2 is its ability to metabolize the endocannabinoids, N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Endocannabinoid metabolism by COX-2 is not merely a means to terminate their actions. On the contrary, it generates PG analogs, namely PG-glycerol esters (PG-G) for 2-AG and PG-ethanolamides (PG-EA or prostamides) for AEA. Although the formation of these COX-2-derived metabolites of the endocannabinoids has been known for a while, their biological effects remain to be fully elucidated. Recently, several studies have focused on the role of these PG-G or PG-EA in vivo. In this review we take a closer look at the literature concerning these novel bioactive lipids and their role in inflammation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Endocannabinoids as physiological regulators of colonic propulsion in mice.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Luisa; Izzo, Angelo A; Cascio, Maria Grazia; Bisogno, Tiziana; Hospodar-Scott, Karen; Brown, David R; Mascolo, Nicola; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Capasso, Francesco

    2002-07-01

    Activation of enteric cannabinoid CB1 receptors inhibits motility in the small intestine; however, it is not known whether endogenous cannabinoids (anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol) play a physiologic role in regulating intestinal motility. In the present study, we investigated the possible involvement of endocannabinoids in regulating intestinal propulsion in the mouse colon in vivo. Intestinal motility was studied measuring the expulsion of a glass bead inserted into the distal colon; endocannabinoid levels were measured by isotope-dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; anandamide amidohydrolase activity was measured by specific enzyme assays. CB1 receptors were localized by immunohistochemistry. Anandamide, WIN 55,212-2, cannabinol (nonselective cannabinoid agonists), and ACEA (a selective CB1 agonist) inhibited colonic propulsion; this effect was counteracted by SR141716A, a CB1 receptor antagonist. Administered alone, SR141716A increased motility, whereas the inhibitor of anandamide cellular reuptake, VDM11, decreased motility. High amounts of 2-arachidonylglycerol and particularly anandamide were found in the colon, together with a high activity of anandamide amidohydrolase. CB1 receptor immunoreactivity was colocalized to a subpopulation of choline acetyltransferase-immunoreactive neurons and fiber bundles in the myenteric plexus. We conclude that endocannabinoids acting on myenteric CB1 receptors tonically inhibit colonic propulsion in mice.

  17. Neurotoxicology of the Brain Barrier System: New Implications

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Wei

    2014-01-01

    The concept of a barrier system in the brain has existed for nearly a century. The barrier that separates the blood from the cerebral interstitial fluid is defined as the blood-brain barrier, while the one that discontinues the circulation between the blood and cerebrospinal fluid is named the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier. Evidence in the past decades suggests that brain barriers are subject to toxic insults from neurotoxic chemicals circulating in blood. The aging process and some disease states render barriers more vulnerable to insults arising inside and outside the barriers. The implication of brain barriers in certain neurodegenerative diseases is compelling, although the contribution of chemical-induced barrier dysfunction in the etiology of any of these disorders remains poorly understood. This review examines what is currently understood about brain barrier systems in central nervous system disorders by focusing on chemical-induced neurotoxicities including those associated with nitrobenzenes, N-methyl-D-aspartate, cyclosporin A, pyridostigmine bromide, aluminum, lead, manganese, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, and 3-nitropropionic acid. Contemporary research questions arising from this growing understanding show enormous promises for brain researchers, toxicologists, and clinicians. PMID:11778669

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Hyperthermia is considered one of the new therapeutic modalities for cancer treatment and is based on the difference in thermal sensitivity between healthy tissues and tumors. During hyperthermia treatment, the temperature of the tumor is raised to 40–45°C for a definite period resulting in the destruction of cancer cells. This paper investigates design, modeling and simulation of a new non-invasive hyperthermia applicator system capable of effectively heating deep seated as well as superficial brain tumors using inexpensive, simple, and easy to fabricate components without harming surrounding healthy brain tissues. Methods The proposed hyperthermia applicator system is composed of an air filled partial half ellipsoidal chamber, a patch antenna, and a head model with an embedded tumor at an arbitrary location. The irradiating antenna is placed at one of the foci of the hyperthermia chamber while the center of the brain tumor is placed at the other focus. The finite difference time domain (FDTD) method is used to compute both the SAR patterns and the temperature distribution in three different head models due to two different patch antennas at a frequency of 915 MHz. Results The obtained results suggest that by using the proposed noninvasive hyperthermia system it is feasible to achieve sufficient and focused energy deposition and temperature rise to therapeutic values in deep seated as well as superficial brain tumors without harming surrounding healthy tissue. Conclusions The proposed noninvasive hyperthermia system proved suitable for raising the temperature in tumors embedded in the brain to therapeutic values by carefully selecting the systems components. The operator of the system only needs to place the center of the brain tumor at a pre-specified location and excite the antenna at a single frequency of 915 MHz. Our study may provide a basis for a clinical applicator prototype capable of heating brain tumors. PMID:22891953

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

    PubMed

    Yacoob, Sulafa M; Hassan, Noha S

    2012-08-14

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

  20. Interacting Brain Systems Modulate Memory Consolidation

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-01-01

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

  2. Biothermal Model of Patient and Automatic Control System of Brain Temperature for Brain Hypothermia Treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakamatsu, Hidetoshi; Gaohua, Lu

    Various surface-cooling apparatus such as the cooling cap, muffler and blankets have been commonly used for the cooling of the brain to provide hypothermic neuro-protection for patients of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. The present paper is aimed at the brain temperature regulation from the viewpoint of automatic system control, in order to help clinicians decide an optimal temperature of the cooling fluid provided for these three types of apparatus. At first, a biothermal model characterized by dynamic ambient temperatures is constructed for adult patient, especially on account of the clinical practice of hypothermia and anesthesia in the brain hypothermia treatment. Secondly, the model is represented by the state equation as a lumped parameter linear dynamic system. The biothermal model is justified from their various responses corresponding to clinical phenomena and treatment. Finally, the optimal regulator is tentatively designed to give clinicians some suggestions on the optimal temperature regulation of the patient’s brain. It suggests the patient’s brain temperature could be optimally controlled to follow-up the temperature process prescribed by the clinicians. This study benefits us a great clinical possibility for the automatic hypothermia treatment.

  3. Low Level Chlorpyrifos Exposure Increases Anandamide Accumulation in Juvenile Rat Brain in the Absence of Brain Cholinesterase Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Carr, Russell L.; Graves, Casey A.; Mangum, Lee C.; Nail, Carole A.; Ross, Matthew K.

    2014-01-01

    The prevailing dogma is that chlorpyrifos (CPF) mediates its toxicity through inhibition of cholinesterase (ChE). However, in recent years, the toxicological effects of developmental CPF exposure have been attributed to an unknown non-cholinergic mechanism of action. We hypothesize that the endocannabinoid system may be an important target because of its vital role in nervous system development. We have previously reported that repeated exposure to CPF results in greater inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme that metabolizes the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA), than inhibition of either forebrain ChE or monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the enzyme that metabolizes the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG). This exposure resulted in the accumulation of 2-AG and AEA in the forebrain of juvenile rats; however, even at the lowest dosage level used (1.0 mg/kg), forebrain ChE inhibition was still present. Thus, it is not clear if FAAH activity would be inhibited at dosage levels that do not inhibit ChE. To determine this, 10 day old rat pups were exposed daily for 7 days to either corn oil or 0.5 mg/kg CPF by oral gavage. At 4 and 12 h post-exposure on the last day of administration, the activities of serum ChE and carboxylesterase (CES) and forebrain ChE, MAGL, and FAAH were determined as well as the forebrain AEA and 2-AG levels. Significant inhibition of serum ChE and CES was present at both 4 and 12 h. There was no significant inhibition of the activities of forebrain ChE or MAGL and no significant change in the amount of 2-AG at either time point. On the other hand, while no statistically significant effects were observed at 4 h, FAAH activity was significantly inhibited at 12 h resulting in a significant accumulation of AEA. Although it is not clear if this level of accumulation impacts brain maturation, this study demonstrates that developmental CPF exposure at a level that does not inhibit brain ChE can alter components of

  4. Multiple Forms of Endocannabinoid and Endovanilloid Signaling Regulate the Tonic Control of GABA Release

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sang-Hun; Ledri, Marco; Tóth, Blanka; Marchionni, Ivan; Henstridge, Christopher M.; Dudok, Barna; Kenesei, Kata; Barna, László; Szabó, Szilárd I.; Renkecz, Tibor; Oberoi, Michelle; Watanabe, Masahiko; Limoli, Charles L.; Horvai, George; Soltesz, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Persistent CB1 cannabinoid receptor activity limits neurotransmitter release at various synapses throughout the brain. However, it is not fully understood how constitutively active CB1 receptors, tonic endocannabinoid signaling, and its regulation by multiple serine hydrolases contribute to the synapse-specific calibration of neurotransmitter release probability. To address this question at perisomatic and dendritic GABAergic synapses in the mouse hippocampus, we used a combination of paired whole-cell patch-clamp recording, liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry, stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy super-resolution imaging, and immunogold electron microscopy. Unexpectedly, application of the CB1 antagonist and inverse agonist AM251 [N-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-4-methyl-N-1-piperidinyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide], but not the neutral antagonist NESS0327 [8-chloro-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-N-piperidin-1-yl-5,6-dihydro-4H-benzo[2,3]cyclohepta[2,4-b]pyrazole-3-carboxamine], significantly increased synaptic transmission between CB1-positive perisomatic interneurons and CA1 pyramidal neurons. JZL184 (4-nitrophenyl 4-[bis(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)(hydroxy)methyl]piperidine-1-carboxylate), a selective inhibitor of monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL), the presynaptic degrading enzyme of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), elicited a robust increase in 2-AG levels and concomitantly decreased GABAergic transmission. In contrast, inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) by PF3845 (N-pyridin-3-yl-4-[[3-[5-(trifluoromethyl)pyridin-2-yl]oxyphenyl]methyl]piperidine-1-carboxamide) elevated endocannabinoid/endovanilloid anandamide levels but did not change GABAergic synaptic activity. However, FAAH inhibitors attenuated tonic 2-AG increase and also decreased its synaptic effects. This antagonistic interaction required the activation of the transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor TRPV1, which was concentrated on postsynaptic

  5. Anesthesia, brain changes, and behavior: Insights from neural systems biology.

    PubMed

    Colon, Elisabeth; Bittner, Edward A; Kussman, Barry; McCann, Mary Ellen; Soriano, Sulpicio; Borsook, David

    2017-06-01

    Long-term consequences of anesthetic exposure in humans are not well understood. It is possible that alterations in brain function occur beyond the initial anesthetic administration. Research in children and adults has reported cognitive and/or behavioral changes after surgery and general anesthesia that may be short lived in some patients, while in others, such changes may persist. The changes observed in humans are corroborated by a large body of evidence from animal studies that support a role for alterations in neuronal survival (neuroapoptosis) or structure (altered dendritic and glial morphology) and later behavioral deficits at older age after exposure to various anesthetic agents during fetal or early life. The potential of anesthetics to induce long-term alterations in brain function, particularly in vulnerable populations, warrants investigation. In this review, we critically evaluate the available preclinical and clinical data on the developing and aging brain, and in known vulnerable populations to provide insights into potential changes that may affect the general population of patients in a more, subtle manner. In addition this review summarizes underlying processes of how general anesthetics produce changes in the brain at the cellular and systems level and the current understanding underlying mechanisms of anesthetics agents on brain systems. Finally, we present how neuroimaging techniques currently emerge as promising approaches to evaluate and define changes in brain function resulting from anesthesia, both in the short and the long-term. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. A Wireless Intracranial Brain Deformation Sensing System for Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Song, S.; Race, N. S.; Kim, A.; Zhang, T.; Shi, R.; Ziaie, B.

    2015-01-01

    Blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) has been linked to a multitude of delayed-onset neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, but complete understanding of their pathogenesis remains elusive. To develop mechanistic relationships between bTBI and post-blast neurological sequelae, it is imperative to characterize the initiating traumatic mechanical events leading to eventual alterations of cell, tissue, and organ structure and function. This paper presents a wireless sensing system capable of monitoring the intracranial brain deformation in real-time during the event of a bTBI. The system consists of an implantable soft magnet and an external head-mounted magnetic sensor that is able to measure the field in three dimensions. The change in the relative position of the soft magnet WITH respect to the external sensor as the result of the blast wave induces changes in the magnetic field. The magnetic field data in turn is used to extract the temporal and spatial motion of the brain under the blast wave in real-time. The system has temporal and spatial resolutions of 5 μs and 10 μm. Following the characterization and validation of the sensor system, we measured brain deformations in a live rodent during a bTBI. PMID:26586273

  7. “Redundancy” of Endocannabinoid Inactivation: New Challenges and Opportunities for Pain Control

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Redundancy of metabolic pathways and molecular targets is a typical feature of all lipid mediators, and endocannabinoids, which were originally defined as endogenous agonists at cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, are no exception. In particular, the two most studied endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, are inactivated through alternative biochemical routes, including hydrolysis and oxidation, and more than one enzyme might be used even for the same type of inactivating reaction. These enzymes also recognize as substrates other concurrent lipid mediators, whereas, in turn, endocannabinoids might interact with noncannabinoid receptors with subcellular distribution and ultimate biological actions either similar to or completely different from those of cannabinoid receptors. Even splicing variants of endocannabinoid hydrolyzing enzymes, such as FAAH-1, might play distinct roles in endocannabinoid inactivation. Finally, the products of endocannabinoid catabolism may have their own targets, with biological roles different from those of cannabinoid receptors. These peculiarities of endocannabinoid signaling have complicated the use of inhibitors of its inactivation mechanisms as a safer and more efficacious alternative to the direct targeting of cannabinoid receptors for the treatment of several pathological conditions, including pain. However, new strategies, including the rediscovery of “dirty drugs”, and the use of certain natural products (including non-THC cannabis constituents), are emerging that might allow us to make a virtue of necessity and exploit endocannabinoid redundancy to develop new analgesics. PMID:22860203

  8. Clearance systems in the brain-implications for Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Tarasoff-Conway, Jenna M; Carare, Roxana O; Osorio, Ricardo S; Glodzik, Lidia; Butler, Tracy; Fieremans, Els; Axel, Leon; Rusinek, Henry; Nicholson, Charles; Zlokovic, Berislav V; Frangione, Blas; Blennow, Kaj; Ménard, Joël; Zetterberg, Henrik; Wisniewski, Thomas; de Leon, Mony J

    2015-08-01

    Accumulation of toxic protein aggregates-amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and hyperphosphorylated tau tangles-is the pathological hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD). Aβ accumulation has been hypothesized to result from an imbalance between Aβ production and clearance; indeed, Aβ clearance seems to be impaired in both early and late forms of AD. To develop efficient strategies to slow down or halt AD, it is critical to understand how Aβ is cleared from the brain. Extracellular Aβ deposits can be removed from the brain by various clearance systems, most importantly, transport across the blood-brain barrier. Findings from the past few years suggest that astroglial-mediated interstitial fluid (ISF) bulk flow, known as the glymphatic system, might contribute to a larger portion of extracellular Aβ (eAβ) clearance than previously thought. The meningeal lymphatic vessels, discovered in 2015, might provide another clearance route. Because these clearance systems act together to drive eAβ from the brain, any alteration to their function could contribute to AD. An understanding of Aβ clearance might provide strategies to reduce excess Aβ deposits and delay, or even prevent, disease onset. In this Review, we describe the clearance systems of the brain as they relate to proteins implicated in AD pathology, with the main focus on Aβ.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-07-01

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

  10. Tuning pathological brain oscillations with neurofeedback: a systems neuroscience framework

    PubMed Central

    Ros, Tomas; J. Baars, Bernard; Lanius, Ruth A.; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2014-01-01

    Neurofeedback (NFB) is emerging as a promising technique that enables self-regulation of ongoing brain oscillations. However, despite a rise in empirical evidence attesting to its clinical benefits, a solid theoretical basis is still lacking on the manner in which NFB is able to achieve these outcomes. The present work attempts to bring together various concepts from neurobiology, engineering, and dynamical systems so as to propose a contemporary theoretical framework for the mechanistic effects of NFB. The objective is to provide a firmly neurophysiological account of NFB, which goes beyond traditional behaviorist interpretations that attempt to explain psychological processes solely from a descriptive standpoint whilst treating the brain as a “black box”. To this end, we interlink evidence from experimental findings that encompass a broad range of intrinsic brain phenomena: starting from “bottom-up” mechanisms of neural synchronization, followed by “top-down” regulation of internal brain states, moving to dynamical systems plus control-theoretic principles, and concluding with activity-dependent as well as homeostatic forms of brain plasticity. In support of our framework, we examine the effects of NFB in several brain disorders, including attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In sum, it is argued that pathological oscillations emerge from an abnormal formation of brain-state attractor landscape(s). The central thesis put forward is that NFB tunes brain oscillations toward a homeostatic set-point which affords an optimal balance between network flexibility and stability (i.e., self-organised criticality (SOC)). PMID:25566028

  11. The Immune System and Developmental Programming of Brain and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Bilbo, Staci D.; Schwarz, Jaclyn M.

    2012-01-01

    The brain, endocrine, and immune systems are inextricably linked. Immune molecules have a powerful impact on neuroendocrine function, including hormone-behavior interactions, during health as well as sickness. Similarly, alterations in hormones, such as during stress, can powerfully impact immune function or reactivity. These functional shifts are evolved, adaptive responses that organize changes in behavior and mobilize immune resources, but can also lead to pathology or exacerbate disease if prolonged or exaggerated. The developing brain in particular is exquisitely sensitive to both endogenous and exogenous signals, and increasing evidence suggests the immune system has a critical role in brain development and associated behavioral outcomes for the life of the individual. Indeed, there are associations between many neuropsychiatric disorders and immune dysfunction, with a distinct etiology in neurodevelopment. The goal of this review is to describe the important role of the immune system during brain development, and to discuss some of the many ways in which immune activation during early brain development can affect the later-life outcomes of neural function, immune function, mood and cognition. PMID:22982535

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-05-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  14. Cannabis and adolescent brain development.

    PubMed

    Lubman, Dan I; Cheetham, Ali; Yücel, Murat

    2015-04-01

    Heavy cannabis use has been frequently associated with increased rates of mental illness and cognitive impairment, particularly amongst adolescent users. However, the neurobiological processes that underlie these associations are still not well understood. In this review, we discuss the findings of studies examining the acute and chronic effects of cannabis use on the brain, with a particular focus on the impact of commencing use during adolescence. Accumulating evidence from both animal and human studies suggests that regular heavy use during this period is associated with more severe and persistent negative outcomes than use during adulthood, suggesting that the adolescent brain may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of cannabis exposure. As the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in brain development, it is plausible that prolonged use during adolescence results in a disruption in the normative neuromaturational processes that occur during this period. We identify synaptic pruning and white matter development as two processes that may be adversely impacted by cannabis exposure during adolescence. Potentially, alterations in these processes may underlie the cognitive and emotional deficits that have been associated with regular use commencing during adolescence. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  16. Sleep Restriction Enhances the Daily Rhythm of Circulating Levels of Endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol.

    PubMed

    Hanlon, Erin C; Tasali, Esra; Leproult, Rachel; Stuhr, Kara L; Doncheck, Elizabeth; de Wit, Harriet; Hillard, Cecilia J; Van Cauter, Eve

    2016-03-01

    Increasing evidence from laboratory and epidemiologic studies indicates that insufficient sleep may be a risk factor for obesity. Sleep curtailment results in stimulation of hunger and food intake that exceeds the energy cost of extended wakefulness, suggesting the involvement of reward mechanisms. The current study tested the hypothesis that sleep restriction is associated with activation of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system, a key component of hedonic pathways involved in modulating appetite and food intake. In a randomized crossover study comparing 4 nights of normal (8.5 h) versus restricted sleep (4.5 h) in healthy young adults, we examined the 24-h profiles of circulating concentrations of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and its structural analog 2-oleoylglycerol (2-OG). We concomitantly assessed hunger, appetite, and food intake under controlled conditions. A robust daily variation of 2-AG concentrations with a nadir around the middle of the sleep/overnight fast, followed by a continuous increase culminating in the early afternoon, was evident under both sleep conditions but sleep restriction resulted in an amplification of this rhythm with delayed and extended maximum values. Concentrations of 2-OG followed a similar pattern, but with a lesser amplitude. When sleep deprived, participants reported increases in hunger and appetite concomitant with the afternoon elevation of 2-AG concentrations, and were less able to inhibit intake of palatable snacks. Our findings suggest that activation of the eCB system may be involved in excessive food intake in a state of sleep debt and contribute to the increased risk of obesity associated with insufficient sleep. A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 495. © 2016 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  17. The PennBMBI: Design of a General Purpose Wireless Brain-Machine-Brain Interface System.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xilin; Zhang, Milin; Subei, Basheer; Richardson, Andrew G; Lucas, Timothy H; Van der Spiegel, Jan

    2015-04-01

    In this paper, a general purpose wireless Brain-Machine-Brain Interface (BMBI) system is presented. The system integrates four battery-powered wireless devices for the implementation of a closed-loop sensorimotor neural interface, including a neural signal analyzer, a neural stimulator, a body-area sensor node and a graphic user interface implemented on the PC end. The neural signal analyzer features a four channel analog front-end with configurable bandpass filter, gain stage, digitization resolution, and sampling rate. The target frequency band is configurable from EEG to single unit activity. A noise floor of 4.69 μVrms is achieved over a bandwidth from 0.05 Hz to 6 kHz. Digital filtering, neural feature extraction, spike detection, sensing-stimulating modulation, and compress