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Sample records for endocannabinoid system activation

  1. Activation of the peripheral endocannabinoid system in human obesity.

    PubMed

    Engeli, Stefan; Böhnke, Jana; Feldpausch, Mareike; Gorzelniak, Kerstin; Janke, Jürgen; Bátkai, Sándor; Pacher, Pál; Harvey-White, Judy; Luft, Friedrich C; Sharma, Arya M; Jordan, Jens

    2005-10-01

    Obesity is the main risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Activation of the central endocannabinoid system increases food intake and promotes weight gain. Blockade of the cannabinoid type 1 (CB-1) receptor reduces body weight in animals by central and peripheral actions; the role of the peripheral endocannabinoid system in human obesity is now being extensively investigated. We measured circulating endocannabinoid concentrations and studied the expression of CB-1 and the main degrading enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), in adipose tissue of lean (n = 20) and obese (n = 20) women and after a 5% weight loss in a second group of women (n = 17). Circulating levels of anandamide and 1/2-arachidonoylglycerol were increased by 35 and 52% in obese compared with lean women (P < 0.05). Adipose tissue mRNA levels were reduced by -34% for CB-1 and -59% for FAAH in obese subjects (P < 0.05). A strong negative correlation was found between FAAH expression in adipose tissue and circulating endocannabinoids. Circulating endocannabinoids and CB-1 or FAAH expression were not affected by 5% weight loss. The expression of CB-1 and FAAH was increased in mature human adipocytes compared with in preadipocytes and was found in several human tissues. Our findings support the presence of a peripheral endocannabinoid system that is upregulated in human obesity.

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

    PubMed

    Polak, Agnieszka; Harasim, Ewa; Chabowski, Adrian

    2016-05-21

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

  3. 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

  4. Polymodal activation of the endocannabinoid system in the extended amygdala.

    PubMed

    Puente, Nagore; Cui, Yihui; Lassalle, Olivier; Lafourcade, Mathieu; Georges, François; Venance, Laurent; Grandes, Pedro; Manzoni, Olivier J

    2011-11-06

    The reason why neurons synthesize more than one endocannabinoid (eCB) and how this is involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity in a single neuron is not known. We found that 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide mediate different forms of plasticity in the extended amygdala of rats. Dendritic L-type Ca(2+) channels and the subsequent release of 2-AG acting on presynaptic CB1 receptors triggered retrograde short-term depression. Long-term depression was mediated by postsynaptic mGluR5-dependent release of anandamide acting on postsynaptic TRPV1 receptors. In contrast, 2-AG/CB1R-mediated retrograde signaling mediated both forms of plasticity in the striatum. These data illustrate how the eCB system can function as a polymodal signal integrator to allow the diversification of synaptic plasticity in a single neuron.

  5. [The endocannabinoid system in obesity].

    PubMed

    Pataky, Zoltan; Bobbioni-Harsch, Elisabetta; Carpentier, Anne; Golay, Alain

    2013-03-27

    The endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of energy balance and metabolism. Endocannabinoids have central effects with raising appetite and hunger. On the other hand, different components of the endocannabinoid system are also found in peripheral organs and tissues and they could impact the lipid and glucose metabolism. Obesity is associated with an overactivity of the endocannabinoid system with increased both plasmatic and visceral adipose tissue levels. The amount of the intra-abdominal fat mass is an indicator of the peripheral endocannabinoid system dysregulation. Endocannabinoids-like molecules with more pronounced peripheral effects on lipids and glucose metabolism could be a new target of obesity treatment.

  6. Activation of Endocannabinoid System Is Associated with Persistent Inflammation in Human Aortic Aneurysm

    PubMed Central

    Gestrich, Christopher; Duerr, Georg D.; Heinemann, Jan C.; Meertz, Anne; Probst, Chris; Roell, Wilhelm; Schiller, Wolfgang; Zimmer, Andreas; Bindila, Laura; Lutz, Beat; Welz, Armin; Dewald, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    Human aortic aneurysms have been associated with inflammation and vascular remodeling. Since the endocannabinoid system modulates inflammation and tissue remodeling, we investigated its components in human aortic aneurysms. We obtained anterior aortic wall samples from patients undergoing elective surgery for aortic aneurysm or coronary artery disease as controls. Histological and molecular analysis (RT-qPCR) was performed, and endocannabinoid concentration was determined using LC-MRM. Patient characteristics were comparable between the groups except for a higher incidence of arterial hypertension and diabetes in the control group. mRNA level of cannabinoid receptors was significantly higher in aneurysms than in controls. Concentration of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol was significantly higher, while the second endocannabinoid anandamide and its metabolite arachidonic acid and palmitoylethanolamide were significantly lower in aneurysms. Histology revealed persistent infiltration of newly recruited leukocytes and significantly higher mononuclear cell density in adventitia of the aneurysms. Proinflammatory environment in aneurysms was shown by significant upregulation of M-CSF and PPARγ but associated with downregulation of chemokines. We found comparable collagen-stained area between the groups, significantly decreased mRNA level of CTGF, osteopontin-1, and MMP-2, and increased TIMP-4 expression in aneurysms. Our data provides evidence for endocannabinoid system activation in human aortic aneurysms, associated with persistent low-level inflammation and vascular remodeling. PMID:26539497

  7. The endocannabinoid system and extinction learning.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Beat

    2007-08-01

    The endocannabinoid system has emerged as a versatile neuromodulatory system, implicated in a plethora of physiological and pathophysiological processes. Cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 receptor) and endocannabinoids are widely distributed in the brain. Their roles in learning and memory have been well documented, using rodents in various memory tests. Depending on the test, the endocannabinoid system is required in the acquisition and/or extinction of memory. In particular, the activation of CB1 receptor-mediated signaling is centrally involved in the facilitation of behavioral adaptation after the acquisition of aversive memories. As several human psychiatric disorders, such as phobia, generalized anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appear to involve aberrant memory processing and impaired adaptation to changed environmental conditions, the hope has been fuelled that the endocannabinoid system might be a valuable therapeutic target for the treatment of these disorders. This review summarizes the current data on the role of the endocannabinoid system in the modulation of extinction learning.

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

    PubMed

    Steffens, Sabine; Pacher, Pal

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system in obesity.

    PubMed

    Engeli, S

    2008-05-01

    An activation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in obesity with increased concentrations of endocannabinoids in several tissues and in the circulation is described in this review. This increased availability of endocannabinoids might stimulate cannabinoid receptors in a pathophysiological manner. The successful use of the cannabinoid receptor CB(1) inverse agonists rimonabant and taranabant for weight loss and the treatment of obesity-associated metabolic disorders might well be through blocking this overstimulation of cannabinoid receptors. At present, no single mechanism has been identified that explains the increased bioavailability of endocannabinoids in obesity. Both increased synthesis and decreased degradation appear to operate in a species- and tissue-dependent manner, but many pieces of the puzzle still need to be collected. For example, most data show decreased fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) expression and/or activity as a result of obesity or high-fat intake, but the endocannabinoid predominantly increased in tissues is 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), which is not degraded by FAAH in vivo. Furthermore, the influence of dietary fatty acids on the synthesis of endocannabinoids needs to be studied in much more detail. Although weight loss does not seem to influence activation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in human obesity, suggesting an underlying mechanisms independent of body weight, no such mechanism at the genetic level has yet been identified either. Thus, activation of the ECS is a hallmark of abdominal obesity, and explains the success of pharmacological CB(1) blockade, but serious attempts have to be made to clarify the underlying mechanisms of this activation.

  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.

  11. Immune-mediated activation of the endocannabinoid system in visceral adipose tissue in obesity.

    PubMed

    Kempf, K; Hector, J; Strate, T; Schwarzloh, B; Rose, B; Herder, C; Martin, S; Algenstaedt, P

    2007-08-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate if the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is activated in visceral adipose tissue and if adipose tissue inflammation affects the ECS activation state. Therefore, expression of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), cannabinoid receptor 1 (Cb1), adiponectin, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha was compared in visceral adipose tissue from 10 normal-weight (BMI 24.4+/-1.1 kg/m2) and 11 obese subjects (BMI 37.6+/-13.6 kg/m2) using quantitative RT-PCR, and gene expression changes were analyzed after in vitro stimulation of visceral adipose tissue with TNF-alpha. The data demonstrate that the ECS is activated in obese visceral adipose tissue as shown by decreased FAAH, Cb1, and adiponectin expression. Obesity-related ECS activation is accompanied by elevated expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha, which in turn stimulates ECS activation in vitro. Our data show a strong association between adipose tissue inflammation and ECS activation in obesity, and indicate that a pro-inflammatory state may directly activate the ECS.

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

    PubMed Central

    Viveros, María-Paz; Marco, Eva-María; Llorente, Ricardo; López-Gallardo, Meritxell

    2007-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been involved in the regulation of anxiety, and proposed as an inhibitory modulator of neuronal, behavioral and adrenocortical responses to stressful stimuli. Brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus and cortex, which are directly involved in the regulation of emotional behavior, contain high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors show anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors as well as an altered hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis activity, whereas enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling produces anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Genetic and pharmacological approaches also support an involvement of endocannabinoids in extinction of aversive memories. Thus, the endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states. Endocannabinoids have emerged as mediators of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in diverse brain structures. Despite the fact that most of the studies on this field have been performed using in vitro models, endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity might be considered as a plausible candidate underlying some of the diverse physiological functions of the endogenous cannabinoid system, including developmental, affective and cognitive processes. In this paper, we will focus on the functional relevance of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity within the framework of emotional responses. Alterations of the endocannabinoid system may constitute an important factor in the aetiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders, and, in turn, enhancers of endocannabinoid signaling could represent a potential therapeutical tool in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive symptoms. PMID:17641734

  13. 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.

  14. The endocannabinoid system and cancer: therapeutic implication

    PubMed Central

    Guindon, Josée; Hohmann, Andrea G

    2011-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system is implicated in a variety of physiological and pathological conditions (inflammation, immunomodulation, analgesia, cancer and others). The main active ingredient of cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), produces its effects through activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are expressed at high levels in the central nervous system (CNS), whereas CB2 receptors are concentrated predominantly, although not exclusively, in cells of the immune system. Endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid-signalling molecules that are generated in the cell membrane from phospholipid precursors. The two best characterized endocannabinoids identified to date are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Here we review the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and anti-tumour actions (inhibition of cell proliferation and migration, induction of apoptosis, reduction of tumour growth) of the cannabinoids in different types of cancer. This review will focus on examining how activation of the endocannabinoid system impacts breast, prostate and bone cancers in both in vitro and in vivo systems. The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for cancer, as identified in clinical trials, is also discussed. Identification of safe and effective treatments to manage and improve cancer therapy is critical to improve quality of life and reduce unnecessary suffering in cancer patients. In this regard, cannabis-like compounds offer therapeutic potential for the treatment of breast, prostate and bone cancer in patients. Further basic research on anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids as well as clinical trials of cannabinoid therapeutic efficacy in breast, prostate and bone cancer is therefore warranted. 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:21410463

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Targeting the Endocannabinoid System in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Koppel, Jeremy; Davies, Peter

    2010-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system is rapidly emerging as a potential drug target for a variety of immune-mediated central nervous system diseases. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that endocannabinoid interventions may have particular relevance to Alzheimer's disease. Here we present a review of endocannabinoid physiology, the evidence that underscores its utility as a potential target for intervention in Alzheimer's disease, and suggest future pathways of research. PMID:18997302

  18. 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

  19. The endocannabinoid system and energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    Bellocchio, L; Cervino, C; Pasquali, R; Pagotto, U

    2008-06-01

    Many different regulatory actions have been attributed to endocannabinoids, and their involvement in several pathophysiological conditions is under intense scrutiny. Cannabinoid receptors [cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and CB2] participate in the physiological modulation of many central and peripheral functions. The ability of the endocannabinoid system to control appetite, food intake and energy balance has recently received considerable attention, particularly in the light of the different modes of action underlying these functions. The endocannabinoid system modulates rewarding properties of food by acting at specific mesolimbic areas in the brain. In the hypothalamus, CB1 receptors and endocannabinoids are integrated components of the networks controlling appetite and food intake. Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system was recently shown to control several metabolic functions by acting on peripheral tissues such as adipocytes, hepatocytes, the gastrointestinal tract, the skeletal muscles and the endocrine pancreas. The relevance of the system is further strengthened by the notion that visceral obesity seems to be a condition in which an overactivation of the endocannabinoid system occurs, and therefore drugs interfering with this overactivation by blocking CB1 receptors are considered as potentially valuable candidates for the treatment of obesity and related cardiometabolic risk factors.

  20. The endocannabinoid system and neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Maldonado, Rafael; Baños, Josep Eladi; Cabañero, David

    2016-02-01

    The research of new therapeutic strategies for neuropathic pain represents a major current priority. Important drawbacks to advance in the development of these therapies are the limited translational value of the animal models now available and the elucidation of the complex neuronal and immune pathophysiological mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain. One of the neurotransmitter systems participating in neuropathic pain control that has recently raised a particular interest is the endocannabinoid system. This system is highly expressed in neurons and immune cells, and it plays a crucial role in the development of neuropathic pain. Preclinical studies have provided important findings, revealing the potential interest of the endocannabinoid system for the treatment of neuropathic pain. These studies have reported the analgesic effects of cannabinoid agonists in multiple neuropathic pain models, and they have identified specific targets within this system to develop more effective and safe analgesic compounds. However, further studies using more relevant neuropathic pain animal models are required to confirm these interesting results. Several clinical studies suggest that cannabinoids significantly reduced neuropathic pain, although most of these trials fail the required standards of quality. The different pain patient populations included in the systematic reviews also make it difficult to get adequate conclusions. Therefore, additional clinical trials that consider an adequate number of patients, the use active treatments as controls, and longer duration of administration are required to have an adequate profile of the effectiveness and safety of cannabinoids in neuropathic pain.

  1. Effects of Endocannabinoid System Modulation on Cognitive and Emotional Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Zanettini, Claudio; Panlilio, Leigh V.; Aliczki, Mano; Goldberg, Steven R.; Haller, József; Yasar, Sevil

    2011-01-01

    Cannabis has long been known to produce cognitive and emotional effects. Research has shown that cannabinoid drugs produce these effects by driving the brain’s endogenous cannabinoid system and that this system plays a modulatory role in many cognitive and emotional processes. This review focuses on the effects of endocannabinoid system modulation in animal models of cognition (learning and memory) and emotion (anxiety and depression). We review studies in which natural or synthetic cannabinoid agonists were administered to directly stimulate cannabinoid receptors or, conversely, where cannabinoid antagonists were administered to inhibit the activity of cannabinoid receptors. In addition, studies are reviewed that involved genetic disruption of cannabinoid receptors or genetic or pharmacological manipulation of the endocannabinoid-degrading enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Endocannabinoids affect the function of many neurotransmitter systems, some of which play opposing roles. The diversity of cannabinoid roles and the complexity of task-dependent activation of neuronal circuits may lead to the effects of endocannabinoid system modulation being strongly dependent on environmental conditions. Recent findings are reviewed that raise the possibility that endocannabinoid signaling may change the impact of environmental influences on emotional and cognitive behavior rather than selectively affecting any specific behavior. PMID:21949506

  2. Endocannabinoid system and cardio-metabolic risk.

    PubMed

    Loh, K Y; Kew, S T

    2008-10-01

    Recent research in bio-medical science has shown an integral role of endocannabinoid system (ECS) in determining cardio-metabolic risk of human body. The mechanism is mediated through binding of endocannabinoids at the CB1 receptors. The stimulation of CB1 receptor in the brain is believed to control and mediate the effects on appetite. In normal physiology, CB1 receptors activation is responsible for energy homeostasis, govern emotions and behaviors such as anxiety, fear, appetite, food and water intake. CB1 receptors also found in peripheral tissues like liver, pancreas, skeletal muscles and adipose tissues, which play an important role in lipid and glucose metabolism. Over-activation of ECS is associated with various metabolic diseases such as dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, lipogenesis, excessive weight gain and increasing intra-abdominal obesity. All these events lead to increased cardiovascular risk. Use of selective CB1 receptor blocker such as rimonabant has shown to reduced waist circumference, better glycemic control, lower triglyceride levels, raise HDL cholesterol and over all reduction in total body fat. This drug has been recommended for patients with metabolic syndrome.

  3. The Endocannabinoid System: A Putative Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Di Iorio, Giuseppe; Lupi, Matteo; Sarchione, Fabiola; Matarazzo, Ilaria; Santacroce, Rita; Petruccelli, Filippo; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo

    2013-01-01

    Background: Following the characterization of the chemical structure of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana, researchers have moved on with scientific valuable explorations. Objectives: The aim of this review is to highlight the role of endocannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases. Materials and Methods: The article is a critical analysis of the most recent data currently present in scientific literature on the subject; a qualitative synthesis of only the most significant articles has been performed. Results: In central nervous system, endocannabinoids show a neuromodulatory function, often of retrograde type. This way, they play an important role in synaptic plasticity and in cognitive, motor, sensory and affective processes. In addition, in some acute or chronic pathologies of central nervous system, such as neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases, endocannabinoids can perform a pro-homeostatic and neuroprotective function, through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Scientific evidence shows that an hypofunction or a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for some of the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Conclusions: The important role played by endocannabinoid system promises interesting developments, in particular to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs in both psychiatry and neurology. PMID:24971285

  4. Modulating the endocannabinoid system in human health and disease--successes and failures.

    PubMed

    Pacher, Pál; Kunos, George

    2013-05-01

    The discovery of the endocannabinoid system, comprising the G-protein coupled cannabinoid 1 and 2 receptors (CB1/2), their endogenous lipid ligands or endocannabinoids, and synthetic and metabolizing enzymes, has triggered an avalanche of experimental studies implicating the endocannabinoid system in a growing number of physiological/pathological functions. These studies have also suggested that modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system holds therapeutic promise for a broad range of diseases, including neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and inflammatory disorders; obesity/metabolic syndrome; cachexia; chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; and tissue injury and pain, amongst others. However, clinical trials with globally acting CB1 antagonists in obesity/metabolic syndrome, and other studies with peripherally-restricted CB1/2 agonists and inhibitors of the endocannabinoid metabolizing enzyme in pain, have introduced unexpected complexities, suggesting that a better understanding of the pathophysiological role of the endocannabinoid system is required to devise clinically successful treatment strategies.

  5. The role of the endocannabinoid system in atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Mach, F; Steffens, S

    2008-05-01

    Our current understanding of the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis suggests a prominent role for immune responses from its initiation through its complications. Given the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors worldwide, there is an urgent need to better understand the underlying mechanisms to improve current treatment protocols. A growing body of evidence suggests that endocannabinoid signalling plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of atherogenesis and its clinical manifestations. Blocking CB(1) receptors has been shown to mediate not only weight reduction, but also several cardiometabolic effects in rodents and humans, indicating a potential relevance for the process of atherosclerosis. Activation of CB(2) receptors with Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been shown to inhibit atherosclerotic plaque progression in mice, mainly by inhibiting macrophage recruitment. Endocannabinoids released from endothelial cells, macrophages or platelets, reduce hypertension in rodents, a major risk factor for atherosclerosis. In addition, anandamide inhibits inflammatory gene expression in endothelial cells, and consequently monocyte adhesion. Conversely, endocannabinoids might also mediate pro-atherosclerotic effects by inducing platelet activation. In conclusion, the precise role of the endocannabinoid system during atherosclerosis is not yet understood. Whether increased endocannabinoid signalling is associated with disease progression and increased risk of acute thrombotic events remains to be determined.

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

    PubMed

    Lillo, Joseph L

    2007-04-01

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

  7. The endocannabinoid system and its relevance for nutrition.

    PubMed

    Maccarrone, Mauro; Gasperi, Valeria; Catani, Maria Valeria; Diep, Thi Ai; Dainese, Enrico; Hansen, Harald S; Avigliano, Luciana

    2010-08-21

    Endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid, vanilloid, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. The biological actions of these polyunsaturated lipids are controlled by key agents responsible for their synthesis, transport and degradation, which together form an endocannabinoid system (ECS). In the past few years, evidence has been accumulated for a role of the ECS in regulating food intake and energy balance, both centrally and peripherally. In addition, up-regulation of the ECS in the gastrointestinal tract has a potential impact on inflammatory bowel diseases. In this review, the main features of the ECS are summarized in order to put in better focus our current knowledge of the nutritional relevance of endocannabinoid signaling and of its role in obesity, cardiovascular pathologies, and gastrointestinal diseases. The central and peripheral pathways that underlie these effects are discussed, as well as the possible exploitation of ECS components as novel drug targets for therapeutic intervention in eating disorders.

  8. The endocannabinoid signaling system: a potential target for next-generation therapeutics for alcoholism

    PubMed Central

    Basavarajappa, Balapal S.

    2007-01-01

    Research into the endocannabinoid signaling system has grown exponentially in recent years following the discovery of cannabinoid receptors (CB) and their endogenous ligands, such as anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Important advances have been made in our understanding of the endocannabinoid signaling system in various aspects of alcoholism, including alcohol-seeking behavior. Alcohol increases the synthesis or impairs the degradation of endocannabinoids, leading to a locally elevated endocannabinoid tone within the brain. Elevated endocannabinoid tone might be expected to result in compensatory down-regulation of CB1 receptors or dampened signal transduction. Following release, endocannabinoids diffuse back to the presynaptic neuron where they act as short-range modulators of synaptic activity by altering neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity. Mice treated with the CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A (rimonabant) or homozygous for a deletion of the CB1 receptor gene exhibit reduced voluntary alcohol intake. CB1 knockout mice also show increased alcohol sensitivity, withdrawal, and reduced conditioned place preference. Conversely, activation of CB1 receptor promotes alcohol intake. Recent studies also suggest that elevated endocannabinoid tone due to impaired degradation contributes to high alcohol preference and self-administration. These effects are reversed by local administration of rimonabant, suggesting the participation of the endocannabinoid signaling system in high alcohol preference and self-administration. These recent advances will be reviewed with an emphasis on the endocannabinoid signaling system for possible therapeutic interventions of alcoholism. PMID:17692039

  9. 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

  10. The endocannabinoid system as an emerging target of pharmacotherapy.

    PubMed

    Pacher, Pál; Bátkai, Sándor; Kunos, George

    2006-09-01

    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 CB(1) receptors. However, this problem does not arise when the therapeutic aim is achieved by treatment with a CB(1) 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 CB(2) 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. The rat pineal gland comprises an endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Koch, Marco; Habazettl, Iris; Dehghani, Faramarz; Korf, Horst-Werner

    2008-11-01

    In the mammalian pineal gland, the rhythm in melatonin biosynthesis depends on the norepinephrine (NE)-driven regulation of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), the penultimate enzyme of melatonin biosynthesis. A recent study showed that phytocannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol reduce AANAT activity and attenuate NE-induced melatonin biosynthesis in rat pineal glands, raising the possibility that an endocannabinoid system is present in the pineal gland. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed cannabinoid (CB) receptors and specific enzymes for endocannabinoid biosynthesis or catabolism in rat pineal glands and cultured pinealocytes. Immunohistochemical and immunoblot analyses revealed the presence of CB1 and CB2 receptor proteins, of N-acyl phosphatidyl ethanolamine hydrolyzing phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), an enzyme catalyzing endocannabinoid biosynthesis and of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an endocannabinoid catabolizing enzyme, in pinealocytes, and in pineal sympathetic nerve fibers identified by double immunofluorescence with an antibody against tyrosine hydroxylase. The immunosignals for the CB2 receptor, NAPE-PLD, and FAAH found in pinealocytes did not vary under a 12 hr light:12 hr dark cycle. The CB1 receptor immunoreaction in pinealocytes was significantly reduced at the end of the light phase [zeitgeber time (ZT) 12]. The immunosignal for NAPE-PLD found in pineal sympathetic nerve fibers was reduced in the middle of the dark phase (ZT 18). Stimulation of cultured pinealocytes with NE affected neither the subcellular distribution nor the intensity of the immunosignals for the investigated CB receptors and enzymes. In summary, the pineal gland comprises indispensable compounds of the endocannabinoid system indicating that endocannabinoids may be involved in the control of pineal physiology.

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

    PubMed

    Pacher, Pál; Steffens, Sabine

    2009-06-01

    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 CB(1) and CB(2). 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 CB(1) receptors. Furthermore, tonic activation of CB(1) 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 CB(2) receptors in immune cells exerts various immunomodulatory effects, and the CB(2) 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.

  14. [A role for the endocannabinoid system in obesity].

    PubMed

    Valenzuela, Carina; Aguirre, Carolina; Castillo, Valeska; Ronco, Ana María; Llanos, Miguel

    2010-05-01

    Endocannabinoids are the endogenous ligands for the cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2. These membrane receptors are responsible for the psychotropic effects of Cannabis Sativa, when bound to its active component known as (-)-Delta(9)-tetrahydro-cannabinol. Cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids and the enzymes catalyzing their biosynthesis and degradation, constitute the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has a remarkable role controlling energy balance, both at central nervous system and peripheral tissues. The ECS regulates food ingestion by stimulating a network of orexigenic neurons present in the hypothalamus and reinforcing motivation and reward to food consumption in the nucleus accumbens. Regarding peripheral tissues, this system controls lipid and glucose metabolism at different levels, reduces energy expenditure and leads energy balance to fat storage. Metabolic alterations, including excessive accumulation of abdominal fat, dyslipidaemia and hyperglicaemia, are suggested to be associated to a hyperactivated ECS. Since obesity is one of the major health problems in modern societies, in this review we discuss the role of the endocannabinoid system in metabolic pathways associated to control mechanisms of energy balance and its involvement in overweight and obesity. In addition, we also discuss therapeutic possibilities and emergent problems due to cannabinoid receptor type 1 antagonism utilized as treatment for such alterations.

  15. [Impact of endocannabinoid system in modulation of cardiometabolic risk factors].

    PubMed

    Sulcová, A

    2006-06-01

    Endocannabinoid system, the complex of specific cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 subtypes) and their endogenous agonistic ligands (endocannabinoids) plays, besides others, an important role in the central and peripheral regulation of food intake, fat accumulation, and lipid and glucose metabolism. Alterations of these functions are associated with endocannabinoid system hyperactivity. The cannabinoid receptor CB1 antagonist rimonabant normalizes the over activated endocannabinoid system which contributes to the regulation of energy homeostasis, and improves lipid and glucose metabolism--decreases body weight, waist circumference, intra-abdominal obesity and triglycerides, increases HDL-C, improves insulin sensitivity according to HOMA index. Results of the international multicentric clinical trials confirm that rimonabant is well tolerated and show antiatherogenic effects (increased adiponectin, decreased marker of inflammation CRP and improvement of LDL profile) as well as decreased percentage of subjects with NCEP/ATPIII (National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III) defined metabolic syndrome. Thus, the CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist rimonabant is suggested to be a prospective drug decreasing cardiometabolic risk factors.

  16. The endocannabinoid system and cardiometabolic risk.

    PubMed

    Szmitko, Paul E; Verma, Subodh

    2008-08-01

    Worldwide, the rates of obesity are rapidly rising. Abdominal obesity in particular is associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors, namely increased triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and increased plasma glucose. The cluster of these obesity-related metabolic disorders identifies individuals with the cardiometabolic syndrome, who are at particular risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The accumulation of intra-abdominal fat and the subsequent development of visceral obesity rely on the body's mechanisms to store energy and to stimulate appetite. The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the regulation of energy balance and has emerged as a critical target for the modulation of visceral obesity and insulin resistance. Its overactivity appears to be associated with the development of obesity. The current review examines the role of the endocannabinoid system in cardiometabolic disease and its basis as a target for modulating cardiovascular risk.

  17. The Endocannabinoid System and Sex Steroid Hormone-Dependent Cancers

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Anthony H.; Marczylo, Timothy H.; Willets, Jonathon M.; Konje, Justin C.

    2013-01-01

    The “endocannabinoid system (ECS)” comprises the endocannabinoids, the enzymes that regulate their synthesis and degradation, the prototypical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), some noncannabinoid receptors, and an, as yet, uncharacterised transport system. Recent evidence suggests that both cannabinoid receptors are present in sex steroid hormone-dependent cancer tissues and potentially play an important role in those malignancies. Sex steroid hormones regulate the endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoids prevent tumour development through putative protective mechanisms that prevent cell growth and migration, suggesting an important role for endocannabinoids in the regulation of sex hormone-dependent tumours and metastasis. Here, the role of the endocannabinoid system in sex steroid hormone-dependent cancers is described and the potential for novel therapies assessed. PMID:24369462

  18. The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain

    PubMed Central

    Fine, Perry G.; Rosenfeld, Mark J.

    2013-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system is involved in a host of homeostatic and physiologic functions, including modulation of pain and inflammation. The specific roles of currently identified endocannabinoids that act as ligands at endogenous cannabinoid receptors within the central nervous system (primarily but not exclusively CB1 receptors) and in the periphery (primarily but not exclusively CB2 receptors) are only partially elucidated, but they do exert an influence on nociception. Exogenous plant-based cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) and chemically related compounds, like the terpenes, commonly found in many foods, have been found to exert significant analgesic effects in various chronic pain conditions. Currently, the use of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol is limited by its psychoactive effects and predominant delivery route (smoking), as well as regulatory or legal constraints. However, other phytocannabinoids in combination, especially cannabidiol and β-caryophyllene, delivered by the oral route appear to be promising candidates for the treatment of chronic pain due to their high safety and low adverse effects profiles. This review will provide the reader with the foundational basic and clinical science linking the endocannabinoid system and the phytocannabinoids with their potentially therapeutic role in the management of chronic pain. PMID:24228165

  19. The endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids, and pain.

    PubMed

    Fine, Perry G; Rosenfeld, Mark J

    2013-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system is involved in a host of homeostatic and physiologic functions, including modulation of pain and inflammation. The specific roles of currently identified endocannabinoids that act as ligands at endogenous cannabinoid receptors within the central nervous system (primarily but not exclusively CB 1 receptors) and in the periphery (primarily but not exclusively CB 2 receptors) are only partially elucidated, but they do exert an influence on nociception. Exogenous plant-based cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) and chemically related compounds, like the terpenes, commonly found in many foods, have been found to exert significant analgesic effects in various chronic pain conditions. Currently, the use of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol is limited by its psychoactive effects and predominant delivery route (smoking), as well as regulatory or legal constraints. However, other phytocannabinoids in combination, especially cannabidiol and β-caryophyllene, delivered by the oral route appear to be promising candidates for the treatment of chronic pain due to their high safety and low adverse effects profiles. This review will provide the reader with the foundational basic and clinical science linking the endocannabinoid system and the phytocannabinoids with their potentially therapeutic role in the management of chronic pain.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27484193

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  5. The endocannabinoid system: its roles in energy balance and potential as a target for obesity treatment.

    PubMed

    André, Aurore; Gonthier, Marie-Paule

    2010-11-01

    Obesity and cardiometabolic risk continue to be major public health concerns. A better understanding of the physiopathological mechanisms leading to obesity may help to identify novel therapeutic targets. The endocannabinoid system discovered in the early 1990s is believed to influence body weight regulation and cardiometabolic risk factors. This article aims to review the literature on the endocannabinoid system including the biological roles of its major components, namely, the cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands the endocannabinoids and the ligand-metabolising enzymes. The review also discusses evidence that the endocannabinoid system constitutes a new physiological pathway occurring in the central nervous system and peripheral tissues that has a key role in the control of food intake and energy expenditure, insulin sensitivity, as well as glucose and lipid metabolism. Based on the important finding that there is a close association between obesity and the hyperactivity of the endocannabinoid system, interest in blocking stimulation of this pathway to aid weight loss and reduce cardiometabolic risk factor development has become an important area of research. Among the pharmacological strategies proposed, the antagonism of the cannabinoid receptors has been particularly investigated and several clinical trials have been conducted. One challenging pharmacological task will be to target the endocannabinoid system in a more selective, and hence, safe way. As the management of obesity also requires lifestyle modifications in terms of healthy eating and physical activity, the targeting of the endocannabinoid system may represent a novel approach for a multifactorial therapeutic strategy.

  6. The endocannabinoid system and the treatment of obesity.

    PubMed

    Pagotto, Uberto; Vicennati, Valentina; Pasquali, Renato

    2005-01-01

    The endocannabinoids are endogenous lipids capable of binding to both cannabinoid receptors (CB) CB1 and CB2. These receptors belong to the G protein-coupled family receptors and they were discovered while investigating the mode of action of ?(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, a component of Cannabis sativa, to which they bind with high affinity. Among many other brain sites, CB1 is present in the hypothalamic nuclei involved in the control of energy balance and body weight, as well as in neurons of the mesolimbic system which is believed to mediate the incentive value of food. At central nervous system level, CB1 activation is necessary to induce food intake after a short period of food deprivation, and when CB1 is activated by endocannabinoids produced in situ, a stimulation of the ingestion of palatable food has been described. CB1 stimulation leads to modulation of the release of some hypothalamic anorexigenic and orexigenic mediators, as well as of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens shell. Recent evidence has proved that CB1 is also present in the peripheral organs, such as the adipose tissue and gastrointestinal system, key organs in the regulation of energy metabolism. Animal models have provided solid evidence that genetically induced obesity leads to long-lasting overstimulation of endocannabinoid system synthesis resulting in permanent overactivation of CB1, which may then contribute to the maintenance of this disease. Importantly, at peripheral level, CB1 activation has been shown to stimulate lipogenesis in adipocytes. CB1 blockers increase adiponectin production in adipocytes, which leads to increased fatty acid oxidation and free fatty acid clearance. Moreover, CB1 has been shown to be up-regulated in adipocytes derived from obese rodents. These results support the role of endocannabinoids in the development and maintenance of obesity, paving the way for the development of a new class of drugs such as the CB1 blockers as a therapy for tackling obesity and the

  7. [Endocannabinoid system and energy metabolism: physiology and pathophysiology].

    PubMed

    Pagotto, Uberto; Vicennati, Valentina; Pasquali, Renato

    2008-04-01

    The ability of the endocannabinoid system to control appetite, food intake and energy balance has recently received great attention, particularly in the light of the different modes of action underlying these functions. The endocannabinoid system modulates rewarding properties of food by acting at specific mesolimbic areas in the brain. In the hypothalamus, CB1 receptor and endocannabinoids are integrated components of the networks controlling appetite and food intake. Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system has recently been shown to control several metabolic functions by acting on peripheral tissues, such as adipocytes, hepatocytes, the skeletal muscles and the endocrine pancreas. The relevance of the system is further strengthened by the notion that visceral obesity seems to be a condition in which an overactivation of the endocannabinoid system occurs, therefore drugs interfering with this overactivation by blocking CB1 receptor are considered as valuable candidates for the treatment of obesity and related cardiometabolic risk factors.

  8. 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.

  9. [A role for the endocannabinoid system in hepatic steatosis].

    PubMed

    Valenzuela, Carina; Castillo, Valeska; Ronco, Ana María; Aguirre, Carolina; Hirsch, Sandra; Llanos, Miguel

    2014-03-01

    The endocannabinoid system (SEC) is an important modulator of several metabolic functions. This system is composed by cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (RCB1 and RCB2), their endogenous ligands, known as endocannabinoids, and the enzymes involved in their synthesis and degradation. A deregulated SEC originates metabolic alterations in several tissues, resulting in the typical manifestations of the metabolic syndrome. Liver steatosis of different origins constitutes a physiopathological condition where an altered hepatic SEC is observed. In this condition, there is an increased expression of RCB1 and/or higher endocannabinoid levels in different hepatic cells, which may exert an autocrine/paracrine hyperstimulation of RCB1/RCB2. Activation of RCB1 stimulate the expression of several hepatocyte lipogenic factors, thus leading to increased de novo fatty acids synthesis and consequently to an abnormal accumulation of triglycerides. The effect of RCB2 activity on hepatic function is still controversial because, on one side its stimulation has an interesting protective effect on alcoholic liver disease while, on the other, it may enhance the development of hepatic steatosis in experimental models of diet-induced obesity. In this review we discuss the proposed mechanisms by which SEC is involved in the etiology of hepatic steatosis, as well as the therapeutic possibilities involving peripheral RCB1/RCB2 antagonism/agonism, for the treatment of this condition.

  10. [Importance of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of energy homeostasis].

    PubMed

    Kvasnicka, T

    2008-02-01

    The endocannabinoid system is an endogenous signaling system that plays a role in the regulation of energy homeostasis and lipid and glucose metabolism-all of which can influence cardiometabolic risk. The endocannabinoid system appears to be a promising novel mechanistic pathway that modulates important aspects afcardiovascular and metabolic function. The endocannabinoid system is normally a silent physiologic system that becomes transiently activated, that is, only when needed. Evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system is tonically overactive in human obesity and in animal models of genetic and diet-induced obesity. However, there is evidence in studies that the ECS is tonically overactivated in obesity, although it remains unclear whether overactivation of the ECS precedes or is consequent to expression of the obese phenotype. Rimonabant, a selective cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1) blocker, has been shown to reduce smoking, body weight and improve and improves the profile of several metabolic risk factors in high-risk patients.

  11. Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in periodontal healing

    SciTech Connect

    Kozono, Sayaka; Matsuyama, Takashi; Biwasa, Kamal Krishna; Kawahara, Ko-ichi; Nakajima, Yumiko; Yoshimoto, Takehiko; Yonamine, Yutaka; Kadomatsu, Hideshi; Tancharoen, Salunya; Hashiguchi, Teruto; Noguchi, Kazuyuki; Maruyama, Ikuro

    2010-04-16

    Endocannabinoids including anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are important lipid mediators for immunosuppressive effects and for appropriate homeostasis via their G-protein-coupled cannabinoid (CB) receptors in mammalian organs and tissues, and may be involved in wound healing in some organs. The physiological roles of endocannabinoids in periodontal healing remain unknown. We observed upregulation of the expression of CB1/CB2 receptors localized on fibroblasts and macrophage-like cells in granulation tissue during wound healing in a wound-healing model in rats, as well as an increase in AEA levels in gingival crevicular fluid after periodontal surgery in human patients with periodontitis. In-vitro, the proliferation of human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) by AEA was significantly attenuated by AM251 and AM630, which are selective antagonists of CB1 and CB2, respectively. CP55940 (CB1/CB2 agonist) induced phosphorylation of the extracellular-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), and Akt in HGFs. Wound closure by CP55940 in an in-vitro scratch assay was significantly suppressed by inhibitors of MAP kinase kinase (MEK), p38MAPK, and phosphoinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K). These findings suggest that endocannabinoid system may have an important role in periodontal healing.

  12. Chronic monoacylglycerol lipase blockade causes functional antagonism of the endocannabinoid system

    PubMed Central

    Schlosburg, Joel E.; Blankman, Jacqueline L.; Long, Jonathan Z.; Nomura, Daniel K.; Pan, Bin; Kinsey, Steven G.; Nguyen, Peter T.; Ramesh, Divya; Booker, Lamont; Burston, James J.; Thomas, Elizabeth A.; Selley, Dana E.; Sim-Selley, Laura J.; Liu, Qingsong; Lichtman, Aron H.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.

    2010-01-01

    Prolonged exposure to drugs of abuse, such as cannabinoids and opioids, leads to pharmacological tolerance and receptor desensitization in the nervous system. Here we show that a similar form of functional antagonism is produced by sustained inactivation of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the principal degradative enzyme for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). After repeated administration, the MAGL inhibitor JZL184 lost its analgesic activity and produced cross-tolerance to cannabinoid receptor (CB1) agonists in mice, effects that were phenocopied by genetic disruption of MAGL. Chronic MAGL blockade also caused physical dependence, impaired endocannabinoid-dependent synaptic plasticity, and desensitization of brain CB1 receptors. These data contrasted with blockade of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme that degrades the other major endocannabinoid anandamide, which produced sustained analgesia without impairing CB1 receptors. Thus, individual endocannabinoids generate distinct analgesic profiles that are either sustained or transitory and associated with agonism and functional antagonism of the brain cannabinoid system, respectively. PMID:20729846

  13. 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.

  14. The role of the endocannabinoid system in pain.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-18

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

  16. 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

  17. 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'.

  18. The emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in endocrine regulation and energy balance.

    PubMed

    Pagotto, Uberto; Marsicano, Giovanni; Cota, Daniela; Lutz, Beat; Pasquali, Renato

    2006-02-01

    During the last few years, the endocannabinoid system has emerged as a highly relevant topic in the scientific community. Many different regulatory actions have been attributed to endocannabinoids, and their involvement in several pathophysiological conditions is under intense scrutiny. Cannabinoid receptors, named CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor, first discovered as the molecular targets of the psychotropic component of the plant Cannabis sativa, participate in the physiological modulation of many central and peripheral functions. CB2 receptor is mainly expressed in immune cells, whereas CB1 receptor is the most abundant G protein-coupled receptor expressed in the brain. CB1 receptor is expressed in the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, and its activation is known to modulate all the endocrine hypothalamic-peripheral endocrine axes. An increasing amount of data highlights the role of the system in the stress response by influencing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and in the control of reproduction by modifying gonadotropin release, fertility, and sexual behavior. The ability of the endocannabinoid system to control appetite, food intake, and energy balance has recently received great attention, particularly in the light of the different modes of action underlying these functions. The endocannabinoid system modulates rewarding properties of food by acting at specific mesolimbic areas in the brain. In the hypothalamus, CB1 receptor and endocannabinoids are integrated components of the networks controlling appetite and food intake. Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system was recently shown to control metabolic functions by acting on peripheral tissues, such as adipocytes, hepatocytes, the gastrointestinal tract, and, possibly, skeletal muscle. The relevance of the system is further strenghtened by the notion that drugs interfering with the activity of the endocannabinoid system are considered as promising candidates for the treatment of various diseases

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

    PubMed

    Zdanowicz, Anna; Kaźmierczak, Wieńczysław; Wierzbiński, Piotr

    2015-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Casanova, Christian

    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. PMID:26839718

  3. 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.

  4. Effects of endocannabinoid and endovanilloid systems on aversive memory extinction.

    PubMed

    Laricchiuta, Daniela; Centonze, Diego; Petrosini, Laura

    2013-11-01

    In contextual fear conditioning animals have to integrate various elemental stimuli into a coherent representation of the condition and then associate context representation with punishment. Although several studies indicated the modulating role of endocannabinoid system (ECS) on the associative learning, ECS effect on contextual fear conditioning requires further investigations. The present study assessed the effects of the increased endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) tone on acquisition, retrieval and extinction of the contextual fear conditioning. Given that AEA may bind to cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors as well as to postsynaptic ionotropic Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) channels, particular attention was paid in determining how the increased AEA tone influenced fear responses. Furthermore, it was investigated how the ECS modulated the effects of stress-sensitization on fear response. Thus, mice submitted or not to a social defeat stress protocol were treated with drugs acting on ECS, CB1 receptors or TRPV1 channels and tested in a contextual fear conditioning whose conditioning, retrieval and extinction phases were analyzed. ECS activation influenced the extinction process and contrasted the stress effects on fear memory. Furthermore, CB1 receptor antagonist blocked and TRPV1 channel antagonist promoted short- and long-term extinction. The present study indicates that ECS controls the extinction of aversive memories in the contextual fear conditioning.

  5. The endocannabinoid system during development: emphasis on perinatal events and delayed effects.

    PubMed

    Fride, Ester; Gobshtis, Nikolai; Dahan, Hodaya; Weller, Aron; Giuffrida, Andrea; Ben-Shabat, Shimon

    2009-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) including its receptors, endogenous ligands ("endocannabinoids"), synthesizing and degradating enzymes, and transporter molecules has been detected from the earliest embryonal stages and throughout pre- and postnatal development; endocannabinoids, notably 2-arachidonoylglycerol, are also present in maternal milk. During three developmental stages, (1) early embryonal, (2) prenatal brain development, and (3) postnatal suckling, the ECS plays an essential role for development and survival. During early gestation, successful embryonal passage through the oviduct and implantation into the uterus require critical enzymatic control of the endocannabinoids. During fetal life, endocannabinoids and the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor are important for brain development, regulating neural progenitor differentiation and guiding axonal migration and synaptogenesis. Postnatally, CB(1) receptor activation by 2-arachidonoylglycerol appears to play a critical role in the initiation of milk suckling in mouse pups, possibly by enabling innervation and/or activation of the tongue muscles. Perinatal manipulation of the ECS, by administering cannabinoids or by maternal marijuana consumption, alters neurotransmitter and behavioral functions in the offspring. Interestingly, the sequelae of prenatal cannabinoids are similar to many effects of prenatal stress, which may suggest that prenatal stress impacts on the ECS and that vice versa prenatal cannabinoid exposure may interfere with the ability of the fetus to cope with the stress. Future studies should further clarify the mechanisms involved in the developmental roles of the ECS and understand better the adverse effects of prenatal exposure, to design strategies for the treatment of conditions including infertility, addiction, and failure-to-thrive.

  6. The endocannabinoid network: insight into the regulation of the neuroendocrine and metabolic systems.

    PubMed

    Lastra-Lastra, Guido; Lastra-Gonzalez, Guido; Manrique, Camila

    2007-01-01

    The dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity worldwide represents one of the most important challenges of modern medicine, owing to its myriad related complications-in particular cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. Originating from early studies with Cannabis sativa, the active compound of marijuana, there has been an impressive progress in the knowledge about the endocannabinoid network, leading to the identification of specific pathways that modulate feeding behavior. The effects of endocannabinoids are not limited to the central nervous system, but also include peripheral tissues. Experimental and clinic trials have demonstrated the efficacy of endocannabinoid antagonists in the management of obesity and the cardiometabolic syndrome. Better understanding of the mechanisms underlying obesity will lead to development of more active and specific agents, which surely will enlarge the role of this efficacious alternative for management of obesity.

  7. The Endocannabinoid System: Pivotal Orchestrator of Obesity and Metabolic Disease.

    PubMed

    Mazier, Wilfrid; Saucisse, Nicolas; Gatta-Cherifi, Blandine; Cota, Daniela

    2015-10-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) functions to adjust behavior and metabolism according to environmental changes in food availability. Its actions range from the regulation of sensory responses to the development of preference for the consumption of calorically-rich food and control of its metabolic handling. ECS activity is beneficial when access to food is scarce or unpredictable. However, when food is plentiful, the ECS favors obesity and metabolic disease. We review recent advances in understanding the roles of the ECS in energy balance, and discuss newly identified mechanisms of action that, after the withdrawal of first generation cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor antagonists for the treatment of obesity, have made the ECS once again an attractive target for therapy.

  8. The endocannabinoid system and the control of glucose homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Nogueiras, R; Rohner-Jeanrenaud, F; Woods, S C; Tschöp, M H

    2008-05-01

    Blockade of the CB(1) receptor is one of the promising strategies for the treatment of obesity. The first selective CB(1) receptor antagonist, rimonabant, which has already successfully completed phase III clinical trials, led to sustained weight loss and a reduction in waist circumference. Patients treated with rimonabant also demonstrated statistically significant improvement in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and insulin resistance, as well as a reduced overall prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Currently, one of the most discussed aspects of endocannabinoid system function is to what extent the endocannabinoid system might affect metabolism independently of its control over body weight and food intake. Specifically, a food-intake- and body-weight-independent role in the regulation of glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity could have major impact on the potential of drug candidates targeting the endocannabinoid system for the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. This review summarises the effects of the endocannabinoid system on glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity.

  9. Ulcerative Colitis Induces Changes on the Expression of the Endocannabinoid System in the Human Colonic Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Iglesias, Mar; Bermudez-Silva, Francisco Javier; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Andreu, Montserrat

    2009-01-01

    Background Recent studies suggest potential roles of the endocannabinoid system in gastrointestinal inflammation. Although cannabinoid CB2 receptor expression is increased in inflammatory disorders, the presence and function of the remaining proteins of the endocannabinoid system in the colonic tissue is not well characterized. Methodology Cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, the enzymes for endocannabinoid biosynthesis DAGLα, DAGLβ and NAPE-PLD, and the endocannabinoid-degradating enzymes FAAH and MAGL were analysed in both acute untreated active ulcerative pancolitis and treated quiescent patients in comparison with healthy human colonic tissue by immunocytochemistry. Analyses were carried out according to clinical criteria, taking into account the severity at onset and treatment received. Principal Findings Western blot and immunocytochemistry indicated that the endocannabinoid system is present in the colonic tissue, but it shows a differential distribution in epithelium, lamina propria, smooth muscle and enteric plexi. Quantification of epithelial immunoreactivity showed an increase of CB2 receptor, DAGLα and MAGL expression, mainly in mild and moderate pancolitis patients. In contrast, NAPE-PLD expression decreased in moderate and severe pancolitis patients. During quiescent pancolitis, CB1, CB2 and DAGLα expression dropped, while NAPE-PLD expression rose, mainly in patients treated with 5-ASA or 5-ASA+corticosteroids. The number of immune cells containing MAGL and FAAH in the lamina propria increased in acute pancolitis patients, but dropped after treatment. Conclusions Endocannabinoids signaling pathway, through CB2 receptor, may reduce colitis-associated inflammation suggesting a potential drugable target for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. PMID:19730730

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. The endocannabinoid-CB(1) receptor system in pre- and postnatal life.

    PubMed

    Fride, Ester

    2004-10-01

    Recent research suggests that the endogenous cannabinoids ("endocannabinoids") and their cannabinoid receptors have a major influence during pre- and postnatal development. First, high levels of the endocannaboid anandamide and cannabinoid receptors are present in the preimplantation embryo and in the uterus, while a temporary reduction of anandamide levels is essential for embryonal implantation. In women accordingly, an inverse association has been reported between fatty acid amide hydrolase (the anandamide degrading enzyme) in human lymphocytes and miscarriage. Second, CB(1) receptors display a transient presence in white matter areas of the pre- and postnatal nervous system, suggesting a role for CB(1) receptors in brain development. Third, endocannabinoids have been detected in maternal milk and activation of CB(1) receptors appears to be critical for milk sucking by newborn mice, apparently activating oral-motor musculature. Fourth, anandamide has neuroprotectant properties in the developing postnatal brain. Finally, prenatal exposure to the active constituent of marihuana (Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol) or to anandamide affects prefrontal cortical functions, memory and motor and addictive behaviors, suggesting a role for the endocannabinoid CB(1) receptor system in the brain structures which control these functions. Further observations suggest that children may be less prone to psychoactive side effects of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol or endocannabinoids than adults. The medical implications of these novel developments are far reaching and suggest a promising future for cannabinoids in pediatric medicine for conditions including "non-organic failure-to-thrive" and cystic fibrosis.

  15. Role of endocannabinoid and glutamatergic systems in DOI-induced head-twitch response in mice.

    PubMed

    Egashira, Nobuaki; Shirakawa, Atsunori; Okuno, Ryoko; Mishima, Kenichi; Iwasaki, Katsunori; Oishi, Ryozo; Fujiwara, Michihiro

    2011-07-01

    We previously reported that systemic administration of the endocannabinoid anandamide inhibited the head-twitches induced by the hallucinogenic drug 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI) in mice, which is mediated via the activation of 5-HT(2A) receptors. Endocannabinoid and glutamatergic systems have been suggested to modulate the function of 5-HT(2A) receptors. In the present study, we further investigated the role of endocannabinoid and glutamatergic systems in DOI-induced head-twitch response in mice. An anandamide transport inhibitor AM404 (0.3-3mg/kg, i.p.), a fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor URB597 (0.1-10mg/kg, i.p.), a glutamate release inhibitor riluzole (0.3 and 1mg/kg, i.p.), a natural glutamate analog l-glutamylethylamide (theanine, 1 and 3mg/kg, p.o.) and an α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) receptor antagonist NBQX (0.01-0.3mg/kg, i.p.) significantly inhibited DOI-induced head-twitch response. The AMPA receptor positive modulator aniracetam (30 or 100mg/kg, p.o.) reversed inhibition of head-twitch response by NBQX and URB597. These findings indicated that endocannabinoid and glutamatergic systems participate in the mechanism of action of DOI to induce head-twitch response.

  16. Endocannabinoid system as a regulator of tumor cell malignancy – biological pathways and clinical significance

    PubMed Central

    Pyszniak, Maria; Tabarkiewicz, Jacek; Łuszczki, Jarogniew J

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprises cannabinoid receptors (CBs), endogenous cannabinoids, and enzymes responsible for their synthesis, transport, and degradation of (endo)cannabinoids. To date, two CBs, CB1 and CB2, have been characterized; however, orphan G-protein-coupled receptor GPR55 has been suggested to be the third putative CB. Several different types of cancer present abnormal expression of CBs, as well as other components of ECS, and this has been shown to correlate with the clinical outcome. Although most effects of (endo)cannabinoids are mediated through stimulation of classical CBs, they also interact with several molecules, either prosurvival or proapoptotic molecules. It should be noted that the mode of action of exogenous cannabinoids differs significantly from that of endocannabinoid and results from the studies on their activity both in vivo and in vitro could not be easily compared. This review highlights the main signaling pathways involved in the antitumor activity of cannabinoids and the influence of their activation on cancer cell biology. We also discuss changes in the expression pattern of the ECS in various cancer types that have an impact on disease progression and patient survival. A growing amount of experimental data imply possible exploitation of cannabinoids in cancer therapy. PMID:27486335

  17. The endocannabinoid system modulating levels of consciousness, emotions and likely dream contents.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-23

    indicate that the sleep-wake cycle is under the influence of endocannabinoids since the blocking of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor or the pharmacological inhibition of FAAH activity promotes wakefulness whereas the obstruction of AMT function enhances sleep. However, no solid evidence is available regarding the role of the endocannabinoid system in an unquestionable emotional component of the sleep: Dream activity. Since dreaming is a mental activity that occurs during sleep (characterized by emotions, sensory perceptions, and bizarre components) and the endocannabinoid system modulates neurobiological processes involving consciousness, such as learning and memory, attention, pain perception, emotions and sleep, it is acceptable to hypothesize that the endocannabinoid system might be modulating dream activity. In this regard, an accumulative body of evidence in human and animal models has been reported regarding the role of the endocannabinoid system in the control of emotional states and dreams. Moreover, preliminary studies in humans have indicated that treatment with cannabinoids may decrease post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, including nightmares. Thus, based on a review of the literature available in PubMed, this article hypothesizes a conceptual framework within which the endocannabinoid system might influence the generation of dream experiences.

  18. Rimonabant: an antagonist drug of the endocannabinoid system for the treatment of obesity.

    PubMed

    Leite, Carlos E; Mocelin, Clei A; Petersen, Guilherme O; Leal, Mirna B; Thiesen, Flavia V

    2009-01-01

    Obesity, an ever-increasing problem in the industrialized world, has long been a target of research for a cure or, at least, control of its expansion. In the search for treatment, the recently discovered endocannabinoid system has emerged as a new target for controlling obesity and its associated conditions. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in controlling weight and energy balance in humans. This system is activated to a greater extent in obese patients, and the specific blockage of its receptors is the aim of rimonabant, one of the most recent drugs created for the treatment of obesity. This drug acts as a blockade for endocannabinoid receptors found in the brain and peripheral organs that play an important role on carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Clinical studies have confirmed that, when used in combination with a low calorie diet, rimonabant promotes loss in body weight, loss in abdominal circumference, and improvements in dyslipidemia. Rimonabant is also being tested as a potential anti-smoking treatment since endocannabinoids are related to the pleasurable effect of nicotine. Thus, rimonabant constitutes a new therapeutic approach to obesity and cardiovascular risk factors. Studies show effectiveness in weight loss; however, side effects such as psychiatric alterations have been reported, including depression and anxiety. These side effects have led the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to not approve this drug in the United States. For a more complete evaluation on the safety of this drug, additional studies are in progress.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. The Endocannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in Glaucoma

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Brain endocannabinoid system is involved in fluoxetine-induced anorexia.

    PubMed

    Zarate, Jon; Churruca, Itziar; Pascual, Jesús; Casis, Luis; Sallés, Joan; Echevarría, Enrique

    2008-06-01

    In order to describe the effects of chronic fluoxetine administration on the brain endocannabinoid system in lean and obese Zucker rats, brain immunostaining for the CB1 and CB1-phosphorylated cannabinoid receptors was carried out. Obese Zucker rats showed significantly increased the numbers of neural cells positively immunostained for the CB1-phosphorylated receptor in the striatum, compared to their lean litter-mates. Chronic fluoxetine administration decreased the number of neural cells immunostained for CB1-phosphorylated receptor in several striatal and hippocampal regions of obese Zucker rats, compared to controls treated with saline. In contrast, no change in CB1-phosphorylated receptor immunostaining was observed in fluoxetine-treated lean rats, with respect to controls. Taken together, these results suggest the involvement of the hippocampal and striatal endocannabinoid receptor system in fluoxetine-induced anorexia in lean and obese Zucker rats.

  4. The role of the pancreatic endocannabinoid system in glucose metabolism.

    PubMed

    Bermúdez-Silva, Francisco J; Suárez Pérez, Juan; Nadal, Angel; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2009-02-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid system participates in the regulation of energy homeostasis, and this fact led to the identification of a new group of therapeutic agents for complicated obesity and diabetes. Cannabinoid receptor antagonists are now realities in clinical practice. The use of such antagonists for reducing body weight gain, lowering cholesterol and improving glucose homeostasis is based on the ability of the endocannabinoids to coordinately regulate energy homeostasis by interacting with central and peripheral targets, including adipose tissue, muscle, liver and endocrine pancreas. In this review we will analyse the presence of this system in the main cell types of the islets of Langerhans, as well as the physiological relevance of the endocannabinoids and parent acylethanolamides in hormone secretion and glucose homeostasis. We will also analyse the impact that these findings may have in clinical practice and the potential outcome of new therapeutic strategies for modulating glucose homeostasis and insulin/glucagon secretion.

  5. The role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of energy expenditure.

    PubMed

    Cavuoto, Paul; Wittert, Gary A

    2009-02-01

    Endocannabinoids, a lipid-derived signaling system, regulate appetite and motivation to eat via effects in the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens. Not all the effects of endocannabinoids on fat mass can be explained by the regulation of food intake alone. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are located in areas of the central nervous system and multiple peripheral tissues involved in the regulation of intermediary metabolism and energy expenditure. In addition to regulating food intake by both central and peripherally mediated effects, endocannabinoids modify glucose and lipid metabolism so as to promote energy storage via lipogenesis and reduce energy expenditure. The endocannabinoid system appears to be overactive in obesity and may serve to maintain fat mass and underlies some of the metabolic consequences of obesity. Inhibition of the cannabinoid type-1 receptor ameliorates the effects of endocannabinoids on food intake and energy metabolism; lipogenesis is inhibited, lipolysis, fatty acid oxidation and glucose uptake increase.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Expression of the endocannabinoid system in fibroblasts and myofascial tissues.

    PubMed

    McPartland, John M

    2008-04-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system, like the better-known endorphin system, consists of cell membrane receptors, endogenous ligands and ligand-metabolizing enzymes. Two cannabinoid receptors are known: CB(1) is principally located in the nervous system, whereas CB(2) is primarily associated with the immune system. Two eCB ligands, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), are mimicked by cannabis plant compounds. The first purpose of this paper was to review the eCB system in detail, highlighting aspects of interest to bodyworkers, especially eCB modulation of pain and inflammation. Evidence suggests the eCB system may help resolve myofascial trigger points and relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, expression of the eCB system in myofascial tissues has not been established. The second purpose of this paper was to investigate the eCB system in fibroblasts and other fascia-related cells. The investigation used a bioinformatics approach, obtaining microarray data via the GEO database (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/). GEO data mining revealed that fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, chondrocytes and synoviocytes expressed CB(1), CB(2) and eCB ligand-metabolizing enzymes. Fibroblast CB(1) levels nearly equalled levels expressed by adipocytes. CB(1) levels upregulated after exposure to inflammatory cytokines and equiaxial stretching of fibroblasts. The eCB system affects fibroblast remodeling through lipid rafts associated with focal adhesions and dampens cartilage destruction by decreasing fibroblast-secreted metalloproteinase enzymes. In conclusion, the eCB system helps shape biodynamic embryological development, diminishes nociception and pain, reduces inflammation in myofascial tissues and plays a role in fascial reorganization. Practitioners wield several tools that upregulate eCB activity, including myofascial manipulation, diet and lifestyle modifications, and pharmaceutical approaches.

  9. [The endocannabinoid system and its possible role in neurobiology of psychiatric disorders].

    PubMed

    Caroti, Eleonora; Cuoco, Valentina; Marconi, Michela; Ratti, Flavia; Bersani, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    In the last years, numerous researches led to identify endocannabinoid system, a sophisticated short-range signaling system which is located both in Central Nervous System (CNS) and in whole organism. Because of its flexibility of expression, it plays a modulatory role in controlling the answers to stimuli which disturb homeostasis. On one hand it lets them occur whilst on the other it limits them in order to protect organism from consequences due to excessive reaction. In the CNS, endocannabinoid system is able to control the release of several neurotransmitters thanks to its retrograde signaling, modulating synaptic activity. Analysing this property during preclinical studies, it came out that the endocannabinoid system is involved in numerous physiologic processes, such as neuroendocrine axes, food consumption, brain reward and satisfaction mechanisms, memories storing and extinction, emotions and neurodevelopment regulation. Such discoveries have led researchers to suppose and investigate an alteration of this system in the physiopathology of some psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorder, depression, eating disorders, addiction and schizophrenia. Results of such studies on animal models show a possible involvement of this system and were quickly followed by clinical studies which seem to confirm it. These findings might open new scenarios for understanding the pathogenesis of several psychiatric disorders and, at same time, they show new prospects for their treatment.

  10. The endocannabinoid system in the basal ganglia and in the mesolimbic reward system: implications for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    van der Stelt, Mario; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2003-11-07

    To date, N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are the best studied endocannabinoids and are thought to act as retrograde messengers in the central nervous system (CNS). By activating presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors, they can reduce glutamate release in dorsal and ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens) and alter synaptic plasticity, thereby modulating neurotransmission in the basal ganglia and in the mesolimbic reward system. In this review, we will focus on the role of the endocannabinoid system within these neuronal pathways and describe its effect on dopaminergic transmission and vice versa. The endocannabinoid system is unlikely to directly affect dopamine release, but can modify dopamine transmission trough trans-synaptic mechanisms, involving gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic and glutamatergic synapses, as well as by converging signal transduction cascades of the cannabinoid and dopamine receptors. The dopamine and endocannabinoid systems exert a mutual control on each other. Cannabinergic signalling may lead to release of dopamine, which can act via dopamine D1-like receptors as a negative feedback mechanism to counteract the effects of activation of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. On the other hand, dopaminergic signalling via dopamine D2-like receptors may lead to up-regulation of cannabinergic signalling, which is likely to represent a negative feedback on dopaminergic signalling. The consequences of these interactions become evident in pathological conditions in which one of the two systems is likely to be malfunctioning. We will discuss neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, drug addiction and schizophrenia. Furthermore, the possible role of the endocannabinoid system in disorders not necessarily depending on the dopaminergic system, such as eating disorders and anxiety, will be described.

  11. 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.

  12. Endocannabinoid system overactivity and the metabolic syndrome: prospects for treatment.

    PubMed

    Perkins, Jennifer M; Davis, Stephen N

    2008-02-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a physiologic role in modulating energy balance, feeding behavior, lipoprotein metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and glucose homeostasis, which when dysregulated can all contribute to cardiometabolic risk. Evidence has suggested that the ECS is overactive in human obesity and in animal models of genetic and diet-induced obesity. ECS stimulation centrally and peripherally drives metabolic processes that mimic the metabolic syndrome. These findings have led to the development of potential novel therapeutic targets, including the drug rimonabant, a selective CB1 receptor antagonist, which has been shown to promote weight loss, reduce inflammation, improve dyslipidemia, and improve glucose homeostasis.

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

    PubMed Central

    Viveros, Maria-Paz; Bermúdez-Silva, Francisco-Javier; Lopez-Rodriguez, Ana-Belén; Wagner, Edward J.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ito, Yuki; Tomizawa, Motohiro; Suzuki, Himiko; Okamura, Ai; Ohtani, Katsumi; Nunome, Mari; Noro, Yuki; Wang, Dong; Nakajima, Tamie; Kamijima, Michihiro

    2014-09-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Trautmann, Samantha M; Sharkey, Keith A

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Role of the endocannabinoid system in abdominal obesity and the implications for cardiovascular risk.

    PubMed

    Rosenson, Robert S

    2009-01-01

    Several cardiometabolic factors present in obese and insulin-resistant individuals represent a continuum of increasing risk for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The importance of abdominal obesity as an independent risk factor is underscored by its association with adverse endocrine function. Recent evidence from animal and human studies has shown a role for the endocannabinoid system in maintaining energy balance and glucose and lipoprotein metabolism, with overactivity linked to aberrant glycemic and lipoprotein control, and a link to adiposity. Modulation of this system through endocannabinoid-receptor blockade has resulted in an improvement in a number of important risk factors in clinical trials, including visceral and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia and measures of inflammation. These findings may have significant implications for the management of patients at risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic disease; however, the occurrence of psychiatric adverse events with rimonabant may preclude further development of centrally active endocannabinoid receptor antagonists for the treatment of cardiometabolic disorders. Future research is needed to explore the role of selective peripheral CB(1) receptor antagonists in the treatment of patients at high cardiometabolic risk.

  17. Endocannabinoid system modulates relapse to methamphetamine seeking: possible mediation by the arachidonic acid cascade.

    PubMed

    Anggadiredja, Kusnandar; Nakamichi, Masanori; Hiranita, Takato; Tanaka, Hiroyuki; Shoyama, Yukihiro; Watanabe, Shigenori; Yamamoto, Tsuneyuki

    2004-08-01

    We clarified the modulating action of the endocannabinoid system, and its possible mediation by the arachidonic acid cascade, on the reinstatement of methamphetamine (METH)-seeking behavior, using the intravenous self-administration paradigm in rats. Following 12 days of self-administration of METH, the replacement of METH with saline resulted in a gradual decrease in lever press responses (extinction). Under extinction conditions, METH-priming or re-exposure to cues previously paired with METH infusion markedly increased the responses (reinstatement of drug-seeking). The cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist, SR141716A, blocked this behavior. Although the cannabinoid agonist, Delta8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), had no effects by itself, coadministration of the agonist and METH at small doses reinstated the drug-seeking behavior. THC attenuated the effects of the reinstatement-inducing dose of METH, but enhanced the effect of cues. Either given repeatedly during the extinction or singly, 24 h before the first METH-priming or cues challenge, THC suppressed the reinstatement. In another set of experiments, we found that diclofenac, a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, also attenuated the reinstatement induced by exposure to cues or drug-priming. These results suggest that the endocannabinoid system, through possible mediation by the arachidonic acid cascade, serves as a modulator of the reinstating effects of METH-priming and cues. Extending the current view on the treatment of drug dependence, these results indicate that endocannabinoid-activating substances as well as cyclooxygenase inhibitors may be promising as antirelapse agents.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Modulation of cellular redox homeostasis by the endocannabinoid system

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) constitute two key cellular signalling systems that participate in the modulation of diverse cellular functions. Importantly, growing evidence suggests that cross-talk between these two prominent signalling systems acts to modulate functionality of the ECS as well as redox homeostasis in different cell types. Herein, we review and discuss evidence pertaining to ECS-induced regulation of ROS generating and scavenging mechanisms, as well as highlighting emerging work that supports redox modulation of ECS function. Functionally, the studies outlined reveal that interactions between the ECS and ROS signalling systems can be both stimulatory and inhibitory in nature, depending on cell stimulus, the source of ROS species and cell context. Importantly, such cross-talk may act to maintain cell function, whereas abnormalities in either system may propagate and undermine the stability of both systems, thereby contributing to various pathologies associated with their dysregulation. PMID:27248801

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. The endocannabinoid system as a link between homoeostatic and hedonic pathways involved in energy balance regulation.

    PubMed

    Di Marzo, V; Ligresti, A; Cristino, L

    2009-06-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) and, in particular, cannabinoid CB(1) receptors, their endogenous agonists (the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) and enzymes for the biosynthesis and degradation of the latter mediators are emerging as key players in the control of all aspects of food intake and energy balance. The ECS is involved in stimulating both the homoeostatic (that is, the sensing of deficient energy balance and gastrointestinal load) and the hedonic (that is, the sensing of the salience and the incentive/motivational value of nutrients) aspects of food intake. The orexigenic effects of endocannabinoids are exerted in the brain by CB(1)-mediated stimulatory and inhibitory effects on hypothalamic orexigenic and anorectic neuropeptides, respectively; by facilitatory actions on dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens shell; and by regulating the activity of sensory and vagal fibres in brainstem-duodenum neural connections. In turn, the levels of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol and/or CB(1) receptors in the brain are under the control of leptin, ghrelin and glucocorticoids in the hypothalamus, under that of dopamine in the limbic forebrain and under that of cholecystokinin and ghrelin in the brainstem. These bi-directional communications between the ECS and other key players in energy balance ensure local mediators such as the endocannabinoids to act in a way coordinated in both 'space' and 'time' to enhance food intake, particularly after a few hours of food deprivation. Alterations of such communications are, however, also among the underlying causes of overactivity of the ECS in hyperphagia and obesity, a phenomenon that provided the rationale for the development of anti-obesity drugs from CB(1) receptor antagonists.

  4. The endocannabinoid system: a new approach to control cardiovascular disease.

    PubMed

    Cannon, Christopher P

    2005-01-01

    The endocannabinoid (EC) system consists of 2 types of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors--cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2)--and their natural ligands. The EC system plays a key role in the regulation of food intake and fat accumulation, as well as glucose and lipid metabolism. When overactivated, the EC system triggers dyslipidemia, thrombotic and inflammatory states, and insulin resistance. Blocking CB1 receptors centrally and peripherally in adipose tissue can help normalize an overactivated EC system. CB1 blockade helps regulate food intake and adipose tissue metabolism, contributing to improved insulin sensitivity and other features of the metabolic syndrome. Visceral adipose tissue is most closely associated with the metabolic syndrome, which is a constellation of conditions that place people at high risk for coronary artery disease. Targeting the EC system represents a new approach to treating visceral obesity and reducing cardiovascular risk factors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  6. Role of the endocannabinoid system in depression and suicide.

    PubMed

    Vinod, K Yaragudri; Hungund, Basalingappa L

    2006-10-01

    Depression is one of the most prevalent forms of neuropsychiatric disorder and is a major cause of suicide worldwide. The prefrontal cortex is a crucial brain region that is thought to be involved in the regulation of mood, aggression and/or impulsivity and decision making, which are altered in suicidality. Evidence of the role of the endocannabinoid (EC) system in the neurobiology of neuropsychiatric disorders is beginning to emerge. The behavioral effects of ECs are believed to be mediated through the central cannabinoid CB1 receptor. Alterations in the levels of ECs, and in the density and coupling efficacy of CB1 receptors, have been reported in the prefrontal cortex of depressed and alcoholic suicide victims. These findings support our hypothesis that altered EC function contributes to the pathophysiological aspects of suicidal behavior. Here, we provide a brief overview of the role of the EC system in alcoholism, depression and suicide, and discuss possible therapeutic interventions and directions for future research.

  7. 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

  8. The endocannabinoid system: a promising novel mechanistic pathway in the cardiometabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Al-Jaghbeer, Eshraq; Khraisat, Ahmad; Singh, Sant P

    2008-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a neuroendocrine system that modulates several cardiometabolic processes. An overactive ECS is implicated as a significant contributor to the cardiometabolic syndrome and obesity, in addition to a large number of other physiologic processes. Endocannabinoid receptors have been detected centrally and peripherally, regulating appetite, food intake, metabolism, and storage. ECS blockade is thought to be a promising new pharmacologic modality of improving the unfavorable metabolic risk profile in patients with the cardiometabolic syndrome and obesity.

  9. Multiple roles for the endocannabinoid system during the earliest stages of life: pre- and postnatal development.

    PubMed

    Fride, E

    2008-05-01

    The endocannabinoid system, including its receptors (CB(1) and CB(2)), endogenous ligands ('endocannabinoids'), synthesising and degrading enzymes, as well as transporter molecules, has been detected from the earliest stages of embryonic development and throughout pre- and postnatal development. In addition, the endocannabinoids, notably 2-arachidonyl glycerol, are also present in maternal milk. During three distinct developmental stages (i.e. embryonic implantation, prenatal brain development and postnatal suckling), the endocannabinoid system appears to play an essential role for development and survival. Thus, during early pregnancy, successful embryonic passage through the oviduct and implantation into the uterus both require critical enzymatic control of optimal anandamide levels at the appropriate times and sites. During foetal life, the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor plays a major role in brain development, regulating neural progenitor differentiation into neurones and glia and guiding axonal migration and synaptogenesis. Postnatally, CB(1) receptor blockade interferes with the initiation of milk suckling in mouse pups, by inducing oral motor weakness, which exposes a critical role for CB(1) receptors in the initiation of milk suckling by neonates, possibly by interfering with innervation of the tongue muscles. Manipulating the endocannabinoid system by pre- and/or postnatal administration of cannabinoids or maternal marijuana consumption, has significant, yet subtle effects on the offspring. Thus, alterations in the dopamine, GABA and endocannabinoid systems have been reported while enhanced drug seeking behaviour and impaired executive (prefrontal cortical) function have also been observed. The relatively mild nature of the disruptive effects of prenatal cannabinoids may be understood in the framework of the intricate timing requirements and frequently biphasic effects of the (endo)cannabinoids. In conclusion, the endocannabinoid system plays several key roles

  10. Endocannabinoids in liver disease.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    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 it is present in both brain and peripheral tissues, including the liver. The hepatic ECS is activated in various liver diseases and contributes to the underlying pathologies. In patients with cirrhosis of various etiologies, the activation of vascular and cardiac CB(1) receptors by macrophage-derived and platelet-derived endocannabinoids contributes to the vasodilated state and cardiomyopathy, which can be reversed by CB(1) blockade. In mouse models of liver fibrosis, the activation of CB(1) receptors on hepatic stellate cells is fibrogenic, and CB(1) blockade slows the progression of fibrosis. Fatty liver induced by a high-fat diet or chronic alcohol feeding depends on the activation of peripheral receptors, including hepatic CB(1) receptors, which also contribute to insulin resistance and dyslipidemias. Although the documented therapeutic potential of CB(1) blockade is limited by neuropsychiatric side effects, these may be mitigated by using novel, peripherally restricted CB(1) antagonists.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. The endocannabinoid system links gut microbiota to adipogenesis.

    PubMed

    Muccioli, Giulio G; Naslain, Damien; Bäckhed, Fredrik; Reigstad, Christopher S; Lambert, Didier M; Delzenne, Nathalie M; Cani, Patrice D

    2010-07-01

    Obesity is characterised by altered gut microbiota, low-grade inflammation and increased endocannabinoid (eCB) system tone; however, a clear connection between gut microbiota and eCB signalling has yet to be confirmed. Here, we report that gut microbiota modulate the intestinal eCB system tone, which in turn regulates gut permeability and plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels. The impact of the increased plasma LPS levels and eCB system tone found in obesity on adipose tissue metabolism (e.g. differentiation and lipogenesis) remains unknown. By interfering with the eCB system using CB(1) agonist and antagonist in lean and obese mouse models, we found that the eCB system controls gut permeability and adipogenesis. We also show that LPS acts as a master switch to control adipose tissue metabolism both in vivo and ex vivo by blocking cannabinoid-driven adipogenesis. These data indicate that gut microbiota determine adipose tissue physiology through LPS-eCB system regulatory loops and may have critical functions in adipose tissue plasticity during obesity.

  14. 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

  15. [The endocannabinoid system: a new paradigm in the metabolic syndrome treatment].

    PubMed

    de Godoy-Matos, Amélio F; Guedes, Erika Paniago; de Souza, Luciana Lopes; Valério, Cynthia Melissa

    2006-04-01

    Energetic balance is a fundamental homeostasis mechanism, which contributes to the species' survival. The endocannabinoid system is a new and important component among such mechanisms. Its receptors and endogenous agonists are expressed in central nervous system (CNS) and at various peripheral organs, establishing a CNS-periphery net communication. A relevant aspect is its expression in the adipose tissue, where it regulates lipogenesis and increases the expression of influent genes on lipids and carbohydrate metabolism. Interestingly, it seems to be upregulated in human and animal obesity, although it is activated on demand and rapidly deactivated. Its activation increases food intake and promotes weight gain, contributing to Metabolic Syndrome (MS). Rimonabant is a specific antagonist to the main endocannabinoid receptor (CB1). In animal models of obesity and MS, as well as in humans, Rimonabant has demonstrated to be a useful tool in controlling weight and metabolic aspects. Indeed, some new human trials suggest a possible role for this substance in controlling cardiovascular risk factors related to MS.

  16. The endocannabinoid system in obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Di Marzo, V

    2008-08-01

    Endocannabinoids (ECs) are defined as endogenous agonists of cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2). ECs, EC anabolic and catabolic enzymes and cannabinoid receptors constitute the EC signalling system. This system participates in the control of lipid and glucose metabolism at several levels, with the possible endpoint of the accumulation of energy as fat. Following unbalanced energy intake, however, the EC system becomes dysregulated, and in most cases overactive, in several organs participating in energy homeostasis, particularly, in intra-abdominal adipose tissue. This dysregulation might contribute to excessive visceral fat accumulation and reduced adiponectin release from this tissue, and to the onset of several cardiometabolic risk factors that are associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. This phenomenon might form the basis of the mechanism of action of CB1 antagonists/inverse agonists, recently developed by several pharmaceutical companies as adjuvants to lifestyle modification for weight reduction, glycaemic control and dyslipidaemia in obese and type 2 diabetes patients. It also helps to explain why some of the beneficial actions of these new therapeutics appear to be partly independent from weight loss.

  17. 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.

  18. Mitochondria: a possible nexus for the regulation of energy homeostasis by the endocannabinoid system?

    PubMed

    Lipina, Christopher; Irving, Andrew J; Hundal, Harinder S

    2014-07-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates numerous cellular and physiological processes through the activation of receptors targeted by endogenously produced ligands called endocannabinoids. Importantly, this signaling system is known to play an important role in modulating energy balance and glucose homeostasis. For example, current evidence indicates that the ECS becomes overactive during obesity whereby its central and peripheral stimulation drives metabolic processes that mimic the metabolic syndrome. Herein, we examine the role of the ECS in modulating the function of mitochondria, which play a pivotal role in maintaining cellular and systemic energy homeostasis, in large part due to their ability to tightly coordinate glucose and lipid utilization. Because of this, mitochondrial dysfunction is often associated with peripheral insulin resistance and glucose intolerance as well as the manifestation of excess lipid accumulation in the obese state. This review aims to highlight the different ways through which the ECS may impact upon mitochondrial abundance and/or oxidative capacity and, where possible, relate these findings to obesity-induced perturbations in metabolic function. Furthermore, we explore the potential implications of these findings in terms of the pathogenesis of metabolic disorders and how these may be used to strategically develop therapies targeting the ECS.

  19. 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

  20. The endocannabinoid system as a target for obesity treatment.

    PubMed

    Aronne, Louis J; Pagotto, Uberto; Foster, Gary D; Davis, Stephen N

    2008-01-01

    Overweight and obesity are major factors contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). In addition to the many physical and metabolic consequences of obesity, there are also mental health consequences, in particular, the risk for depression. Depression can lead to poor self-care, poor treatment compliance, and possible increased morbidity and mortality from such illnesses as type 2 DM and CVD. Lifestyle modification for the treatment of overweight and obesity is rarely successful over the long term, and use of surgery is limited by eligibility criteria; therefore, researchers and clinicians continue to explore pharmacotherapy, with intense efforts being directed toward the development of agents that, optimally, will reduce weight and simultaneously reduce or eliminate modifiable cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. Among the promising new agents are the CB(1) receptor antagonists. These agents target receptors of the endocannabinoid system, a neuromodulatory system recently found to influence energy balance, eating behavior, and metabolic homeostasis via central and peripheral mechanisms. In animal and clinical studies, antagonism of CB(1) receptors has resulted in meaningful weight loss and improvement of lipid and glycemic profiles. Thus, these agents may provide a rational and effective approach for the management of not only overweight and obesity but also their metabolic and cardiovascular sequelae.

  1. An endocannabinoid system is present in the mouse olfactory epithelium but does not modulate olfaction

    PubMed Central

    Hutch, Chelsea; Hillard, Cecilia J.; Jia, Cuihong; Hegg, Colleen C.

    2015-01-01

    Endocannabinoids modulate a diverse array of functions including progenitor cell proliferation in the central nervous system, and odorant detection and food intake in the mammalian central olfactory system and larval Xenopus laevis peripheral olfactory system. However, the presence and role of endocannabinoids in the peripheral olfactory epithelium has not been examined in mammals. We found the presence of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor protein and mRNA in the olfactory epithelium. Using either immunohistochemistry or calcium imaging we localized CB1 receptors on neurons, glia like sustentacular cells, microvillous cells and progenitor-like basal cells. To examine the role of endocannabinoids, CB1 and CB2 receptor deficient (CB1−/−/CB2−/−) mice were used. The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) was present at high levels in both C57BL/6 wildtype and CB1−/−/CB2−/− mice. 2-AG synthetic and degradative enzymes are expressed in wildtype mice. A small but significant decrease in basal cell and olfactory sensory neuron numbers was observed in CB1−/−/CB2−/− mice compared to wildtype mice. The decrease in olfactory sensory neurons did not translate to impairment in olfactory-mediated behaviors assessed by the buried food test and habituation/dishabituation test. Collectively, these data indicate the presence of an endocannabinoid system in the mouse olfactory epithelium. However, unlike in tadpoles, endocannabinoids do not modulate olfaction. Further investigation on the role of endocannabinoids in progenitor cell function in the olfactory epithelium is warranted. PMID:26037800

  2. Endocannabinoids in the central nervous system: from neuronal networks to behavior.

    PubMed

    Fride, Ester

    2005-12-01

    Retrograde synaptic signaling influences both short-term and long-term plasticity of the brain, in both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. During the last few years it has become apparent that the endogenous ligands for the cannabinoid CB1 receptor, the "endocannabinoids", fulfill an essential role in the brain as retrograde synaptic messengers, in a number of structures including the hippocampus, cerebellum and the limbic and mesocortical systems. This seminal discovery provides a cellular basis for the well known ubiquitous role of the endocannabinoids and their receptors (together, the "ECBR" system) in virtually all brain functions studied. This review will relate the anatomical distribution of the endocannabinoids and their CB1 receptors to functions of the ECBR system, as much as possible in light of the endocannabinoids as retrograde synaptic messengers. Functional implications of the high rates of co-localization with cholecystokinin (CCK), will also be considered. The most obvious function to be profoundly affected by the retrograde synaptic role of the endocannabinoids is memory. However, additional functions and dysfunctions such as reward and addiction, motor coordination, pain perception, feeding and appetite, coping with stress, schizophrenia and epilepsy will also be reviewed. Finally, the widespread presence of the ECBR system in the brain also lends a scientific basis for the development of cannabinoid-based medicines. The same ubiquity of the ECBR system however, should also be taken into consideration with respect to possible adverse side effects and addictive potential of such pharmaceutical developments.

  3. No more pain upon Gq-protein-coupled receptor activation: role of endocannabinoids.

    PubMed

    2016-04-01

    The above article from European Journal of Neuroscience, published online on 4 February 2014 in Wiley Online Library (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.12475/full), has been retracted by agreement between the Editors-in-Chief, Paul Bolam and John Foxe, the authors and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The retraction has been agreed as the above article has been found to overlap substantially with the article 'Chiou, L.-C., Hu, S. S.-J., and Ho, Y.-C. (2013), Targeting the cannabinoid system for pain relief? Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica, Volume 51, Issue 4: 161 - 170. doi: 10.1016/j.aat.2013.10.004', which was submitted after the European Journal of Neuroscience article but was published first. Reference Hu, S.S.-J., Ho, Y.-C. & Chiou, L.-C. (2014) No more pain upon Gq-protein-coupled receptor activation: role of endocannabinoids.

  4. The role of the endocannabinoid system in skeletal muscle and metabolic adaptations to exercise: potential implications for the treatment of obesity.

    PubMed

    Heyman, E; Gamelin, F-X; Aucouturier, J; Di Marzo, V

    2012-12-01

    The results of recent studies add the endocannabinoid system, and more specifically CB1 receptor signalling, to the complex mechanisms that negatively modulate insulin sensitivity and substrate oxidation in skeletal muscle. CB1 receptors might become overactive in the skeletal muscle during obesity due to increased levels of endocannabinoids. However, quite surprisingly, one of the most studied endocannabinoids, anandamide, when administered in a sufficient dose, was shown to improve muscle glucose uptake and activate some key molecules of insulin signalling and mitochondrial biogenesis. This is probably because anandamide is only a partial agonist at CB1 receptors and interacts with other receptors (PPARγ, TRPV1), which may trigger positive metabolic effects. This putative beneficial role of anandamide is worth considering because increased plasma anandamide levels were recently reported after intense exercise. Whether the endocannabinoid system is involved in the positive exercise effects on mitochondrial biogenesis and glucose fatty acid oxidation remains to be confirmed. Noteworthy, when exercise becomes chronic, a decrease in CB1 receptor expression in obese metabolically deregulated tissues occurs. It is then tempting to hypothesize that physical activity would represent a complementary alternative approach for the clinical management of endocannabinoid system deregulation in obesity, without the side effects occurring with CB1 receptor antagonists.

  5. Cannabinoid Receptor Activation Modifies NMDA Receptor Mediated Release of Intracellular Calcium: Implications for Endocannabinoid Control of Hippocampal Neural Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hampson, Robert E.; Miller, Frances; Palchik, Guillermo; Deadwyler, Sam A.

    2011-01-01

    Chronic activation or inhibition of cannabinoid receptors (CB1) leads to continuous suppression of neuronal plasticity in hippocampus and other brain regions, suggesting that endocannabinoids may have a functional role in synaptic processes that produce state-dependent transient modulation of hippocampal cell activity. In support of this, it has previously been shown in vitro that cannabinoid CB1 receptors modulate second messenger systems in hippocampal neurons that can modulate intracellular ion channels, including channels which release calcium from intracellular stores. Here we demonstrate in hippocampal slices a similar endocannabinoid action on excitatory glutamatergic synapses via modulation of NMDA-receptor mediated intracellular calcium levels in confocal imaged neurons. Calcium entry through glutamatergic NMDA-mediated ion channels increases intracellular calcium concentrations via modulation of release from ryanodine-sensitive channels in endoplasmic reticulum. The studies reported here show that NMDA-elicited increases in Calcium Green fluorescence are enhanced by CB1 receptor antagonists (i.e. rimonabant), and inhibited by CB1 agonists (i.e. WIN 55,212-2). Suppression of endocannabinoid breakdown by either reuptake inhibition (AM404) or fatty-acid amide hydrolase inhibition (URB597) produced suppression of NMDA elicited calcium increases comparable to WIN 55,212-2, while enhancement of calcium release provoked by endocannabinoid receptor antagonists (Rimonabant) was shown to depend on the blockade of CB1 receptor mediated de-phosphorylation of Ryanodine receptors. Such CB1 receptor modulation of NMDA elicited increases in intracellular calcium may account for the respective disruption and enhancement by CB1 agents of trial-specific hippocampal neuron ensemble firing patterns during performance of a short-term memory task, reported previously from this laboratory. PMID:21288475

  6. Peripheral effects of the endocannabinoid system in energy homeostasis: adipose tissue, liver and skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Silvestri, Cristoforo; Ligresti, Alessia; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2011-09-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is composed of lipid signalling ligands, their G-protein coupled receptors and the enzymes involved in ligand generation and metabolism. Increasingly, the ECS is emerging as a critical agent of energy metabolism regulation through its ability to modulate caloric intake centrally as well as nutrient transport, cellular metabolism and energy storage peripherally. Visceral obesity has been associated with an upregulation of ECS activity in several systems and inhibition of the ECS, either pharmacologically or genetically, results in decreased energy intake and increased metabolic output. This review aims to summarize the recent advances that have been made regarding our understanding of the role the ECS plays in crucial peripheral systems pertaining to energy homeostasis: adipose tissues, the liver and skeletal muscle.

  7. A role for the endocannabinoid system in exercise-induced spatial memory enhancement in mice.

    PubMed

    Ferreira-Vieira, Talita H; Bastos, Cristiane P; Pereira, Grace S; Moreira, Fabricio A; Massensini, André R

    2014-01-01

    It is well known that physical exercise has positive effects on cognitive functions and hippocampal plasticity. However, the underlying mechanisms have remained to be further investigated. Here we investigated the hypothesis that the memory-enhancement promoted by physical exercise relies on facilitation of the endocannabinoid system. We observed that the spatial memory tested in the object location paradigm did not persist in sedentary mice, but could be improved by 1 week of treadmill running. In addition, exercise up-regulated CB1 receptor and BDNF expression in the hippocampus. To verify if these changes required CB1 activation, we treated the mice with the selective antagonist, AM251, before each period of physical activity. In line with our hypothesis, this drug prevented the exercise-induced memory enhancement and BDNF expression. Furthermore, AM251 reduced CB1 expression. To test if facilitating the endocannabinoid system signaling would mimic the alterations observed after exercise, we treated sedentary animals during 1 week with the anandamide-hydrolysis inhibitor, URB597. Mice treated with this drug recognized the object in a new location and have increased levels of CB1 and BDNF expression in the hippocampus, showing that potentiating the endocanabinoid system equally benefits memory. In conclusion, the favorable effects of exercise upon spatial memory and BDNF expression depend on facilitation of CB1 receptor signaling, which can be mimic by inhibition of anandamide hydrolysis in sedentary animals. Our results suggest that, at least in part, the promnesic effect of the exercise is dependent of CB1 receptor activation and is mediated by BDNF.

  8. Endocannabinoids in nervous system health and disease: the big picture in a nutshell.

    PubMed

    Skaper, Stephen D; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2012-12-05

    The psychoactive component of the cannabis resin and flowers, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was first isolated in 1964, and at least 70 other structurally related 'phytocannabinoid' compounds have since been identified. The serendipitous identification of a G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptor at which THC is active in the brain heralded an explosion in cannabinoid research. Elements of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprise the cannabinoid receptors, a family of nascent lipid ligands, the 'endocannabinoids' and the machinery for their biosynthesis and metabolism. The function of the ECS is thus defined by modulation of these receptors, in particular, by two of the best-described ligands, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol and anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide). Research on the ECS has recently aroused enormous interest not only for the physiological functions, but also for the promising therapeutic potentials of drugs interfering with the activity of cannabinoid receptors. Many of the former relate to stress-recovery systems and to the maintenance of homeostatic balance. Among other functions, the ECS is involved in neuroprotection, modulation of nociception, regulation of motor activity, neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity and the control of certain phases of memory processing. In addition, the ECS acts to modulate the immune and inflammatory responses and to maintain a positive energy balance. This theme issue aims to provide the reader with an overview of ECS pharmacology, followed by discussions on the pivotal role of this system in the modulation of neurogenesis in the developing and adult organism, memory processes and synaptic plasticity, as well as in pathological pain and brain ageing. The volume will conclude with discussions that address the proposed therapeutic applications of targeting the ECS for the treatment of neurodegeneration, pain and mental illness.

  9. Study the Effect of Endocannabinoid System on Rat Behavior in Elevated Plus-Maze

    PubMed Central

    Komaki, Alireza; Hashemi-Firouzi, Nasrin; Shojaei, Shiva; Souri, Zobin; Heidari, Somayeh; Shahidi, Siamak

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Previous studies have shown that cannabinoidergic system is involved in anxiety. However, there are controversial reports in the experimental studies. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of pharmacological stimulation or blocking of CB1 receptors and inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation in anxiety like behavior in elevated plus-maze (EPM) test in rat. The EPM is one of the most widely used animal models of anxiety. Methods: Male Wistar rats were randomly allocated to ten groups. Different groups of animals intraperitoneally received Win-55212 (0.3, 1 and 5 mg/kg) as CB1 receptor agonist, AM-251 (0.3, 1 and 5 mg/kg) as CB1 receptor antagonist, URB-597 (0.03, 0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg) as endocannabinoid breakdown inhibitor or saline (as control group) 30 min before submitting into EPM test. Results: The results showed that compared to the control group, Win-55212 (1 and 5 mg/kg) and URB-597 (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg) significantly increased both of the time and percentage of entries into open arms. AM-251 (1 and 5 mg/kg) significantly decreased the time and percentage of entries into open arms in the EPM test. These substances have no effects on the total distance covered by animals and number of closed arm entries. Discussion: It is concluded that activation of cannabinoid receptor exert anxiolytic effect while blocking of cannabinoid receptor resulted in anxiety behavior. The locomotor activity was not significantly changed by cannabinoid system. It is suggested that potentiation of cannabinoid system may be therapeutic strategy for the anxiety behavior. PMID:26904171

  10. 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 CB1 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 CB1 receptor-dependent mechanism, may be involved in morphine/dextromethorphan -induced amnesia.

  11. Unconventional endocannabinoid signaling governs sperm activation via the sex hormone progesterone.

    PubMed

    Miller, Melissa R; Mannowetz, Nadja; Iavarone, Anthony T; Safavi, Rojin; Gracheva, Elena O; Smith, James F; Hill, Rose Z; Bautista, Diana M; Kirichok, Yuriy; Lishko, Polina V

    2016-04-29

    Steroids regulate cell proliferation, tissue development, and cell signaling via two pathways: a nuclear receptor mechanism and genome-independent signaling. Sperm activation, egg maturation, and steroid-induced anesthesia are executed via the latter pathway, the key components of which remain unknown. Here, we present characterization of the human sperm progesterone receptor that is conveyed by the orphan enzyme α/β hydrolase domain-containing protein 2 (ABHD2). We show that ABHD2 is highly expressed in spermatozoa, binds progesterone, and acts as a progesterone-dependent lipid hydrolase by depleting the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) from plasma membrane. The 2AG inhibits the sperm calcium channel (CatSper), and its removal leads to calcium influx via CatSper and ensures sperm activation. This study reveals that progesterone-activated endocannabinoid depletion by ABHD2 is a general mechanism by which progesterone exerts its genome-independent action and primes sperm for fertilization.

  12. The role of the endocannabinoid system in eating disorders: neurochemical and behavioural preclinical evidence.

    PubMed

    Scherma, Maria; Fattore, Liana; Castelli, Maria Paola; Fratta, Walter; Fadda, Paola

    2014-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has long been known as a modulator of several physiological functions, among which the homeostatic and hedonic aspects of eating. CB1 receptors are widely expressed in brain regions that control food intake, reward and energy balance. Animal and human studies indicate that CB1 receptor agonists possess orexigenic effects enhancing appetite and increasing the rewarding value of food. Conversely, CB1 antagonists have been shown to inhibit the intake of food. Eating disorders include a range of chronic and disabling related pathological illnesses that are characterized by aberrant patterns of feeding behaviour and weight regulation, and by abnormal attitudes and perceptions toward body shape image. The psychological and biological factors underlying eating disorders are complex and not yet completely understood. However in the last decades, converging evidence have led to hypothesise a link between defects in the endocannabinoid system and eating disorders, including obesity. Here we review the neurochemical and behavioural preclinical evidence supporting the role of the endocannabinoid system in eating disorders to offer the reader an update regarding the state of the art. Despite the recent withdrawal from the market of rimonabant for treating obesity and overweight individuals with metabolic complications due to its psychiatric side effects, preclinical findings support the rationale for the clinical development of drug which modulate the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of eating disorders.

  13. 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…

  14. The endocannabinoid system, eating behavior and energy homeostasis: the end or a new beginning?

    PubMed

    Bermudez-Silva, F J; Viveros, M P; McPartland, J M; Rodriguez de Fonseca, F

    2010-06-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of two receptors (CB(1) and CB(2)), several endogenous ligands (primarily anandamide and 2-AG), and over a dozen ligand-metabolizing enzymes. The ECS regulates many aspects of embryological development and homeostasis, including neuroprotection and neural plasticity, immunity and inflammation, apoptosis and carcinogenesis, pain and emotional memory, and the focus of this review: hunger, feeding, and metabolism. This mini-review summarizes the main findings that supported the clinical use of CB1 antagonists/inverse agonists, the clinical concerns that have emerged, and the possible future of cannabinoid-based therapy of obesity and related diseases. The ECS controls energy balance and lipid metabolism centrally (in the hypothalamus and mesolimbic pathways) and peripherally (in adipocytes, liver, skeletal muscle and pancreatic islet cells), acting through numerous anorexigenic and orexigenic pathways. Obese people seem to display an increased endocannabinoid tone, driving CB(1) receptor in a feed-forward dysfunction. Several CB(1) antagonists/inverse agonists have been developed for the treatment of obesity. Although these drugs were found to be efficacious at reducing food intake as well as abdominal adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors, they resulted in adverse psychiatric effects that limited their use and finally led to the end of the clinical use of systemic CB(1) ligands with significant inverse agonist activity for complicated obesity. However, the existence of alternatives such as CB(1) partial agonists, neutral antagonists, antagonists restricted to the periphery, allosteric modulators and other potential targets within the ECS indicate that a cannabinoid-based therapy for the management of obesity and its associated cardiometabolic sequelae should remain open for consideration.

  15. Peripheral metabolic effects of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptor blockade.

    PubMed

    Engeli, Stefan

    2008-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system consists of endogenous arachidonic acid derivates that activate cannabinoid receptors. The two most prominent endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol. In obesity, increased concentrations of circulating and tissue endocannabinoid levels have been described, suggesting increased activity of the endocannabinoid system. Increased availability of endocannabinoids in obesity may over-stimulate cannabinoid receptors. Blockade of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors was the only successful clinical development of an anti-obesity drug during the last decade. Whereas blockade of CB1 receptors acutely reduces food intake, the long-term effects on metabolic regulation are more likely mediated by peripheral actions in liver, skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and the pancreas. Lipogenic effects of CB1 receptor signalling in liver and adipose tissue may contribute to regional adipose tissue expansion and insulin resistance in the fatty liver. The association of circulating 2-arachidonoyl glycerol levels with decreased insulin sensitivity strongly suggests further exploration of the role of endocannabinoid signalling for insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue. A few studies have suggested a specific role for the regulation of adiponectin secretion from adipocytes by endocannabinoids, but that has to be confirmed by more experiments. Also, the potential role of CB1 receptor blockade for the stimulation of energy expenditure needs to be studied in the future. Despite the current discussion of safety issues of cannabinoid receptor blockade, these findings open a new and exciting perspective on endocannabinoids as regulators of body weight and metabolism.

  16. Does modulation of the endocannabinoid system have potential therapeutic utility in cerebellar ataxia?

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Cerebellar ataxias represent a spectrum of disorders which are, however, linked by common symptoms of motor incoordination and typically associated with deficiency in Purkinje cell firing activity and, often, degeneration. Cerebellar ataxias currently lack a curative agent. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system includes eCB compounds and their associated metabolic enzymes, together with cannabinoid receptors, predominantly the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) in the cerebellum; activation of this system in the cerebellar cortex is associated with deficits in motor coordination characteristic of ataxia, effects which can be prevented by CB1R antagonists. Of further interest are various findings that CB1R deficits may also induce a progressive ataxic phenotype. Together these studies suggest that motor coordination is reliant on maintaining the correct balance in eCB system signalling. Recent work also demonstrates deficient cannabinoid signalling in the mouse ‘ducky2J’ model of ataxia. In light of these points, the potential mechanisms whereby cannabinoids may modulate the eCB system to ameliorate dysfunction associated with cerebellar ataxias are considered. PMID:26970080

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

    PubMed

    Mouslech, Zadalla; Valla, Vasiliki

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Moderate-Vigorous Physical Activity across Body Mass Index in Females: Moderating Effect of Endocannabinoids and Temperament

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Aranda, Fernando; Sauchelli, Sarah; Pastor, Antoni; Gonzalez, Marcela L.; de la Torre, Rafael; Granero, Roser; Jiménez-Murcia, Susana; Baños, Rosa; Botella, Cristina; Fernández-Real, Jose M.; Fernández-García, Jose C.; Frühbeck, Gema; Gómez-Ambrosi, Javier; Rodríguez, Roser; Tinahones, Francisco J.; Arcelus, Jon; Fagundo, Ana B.; Agüera, Zaida; Miró, Jordi; Casanueva, Felipe F.

    2014-01-01

    Background Endocannabinoids and temperament traits have been linked to both physical activity and body mass index (BMI) however no study has explored how these factors interact in females. The aims of this cross-sectional study were to 1) examine differences among distinct BMI groups on daytime physical activity and time spent in moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), temperament traits and plasma endocannabinoid concentrations; and 2) explore the association and interaction between MVPA, temperament, endocannabinoids and BMI. Methods Physical activity was measured with the wrist-worn accelerometer Actiwatch AW7, in a sample of 189 female participants (43 morbid obese, 30 obese, and 116 healthy-weight controls). The Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised questionnaire was used to assess personality traits. BMI was calculated by bioelectrical impedance analysis via the TANITA digital scale. Blood analyses were conducted to measure levels of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-related compounds. Path-analysis was performed to examine the association between predictive variables and MVPA. Results Obese groups showed lower MVPA and dysfunctional temperament traits compared to healthy-weight controls. Plasma concentrations of 2-arachidonoylglyceryl (2-AG) were greater in obese groups. Path-analysis identified a direct effect between greater MVPA and low BMI (b = −0.13, p = .039) and high MVPA levels were associated with elevated anandamide (AEA) levels (b = 0.16, p = .049) and N-oleylethanolamide (OEA) levels (b = 0.22, p = .004), as well as high Novelty seeking (b = 0.18, p<.001) and low Harm avoidance (b = −0.16, p<.001). Conclusions Obese individuals showed a distinct temperament profile and circulating endocannabinoids compared to controls. Temperament and endocannabinoids may act as moderators of the low MVPA in obesity. PMID:25101961

  19. 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.

  20. The endocannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kyrou, Ioannis; Valsamakis, George; Tsigos, Constantine

    2006-11-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid system is a novel, remarkably elaborate physiological signaling system, comprising the recently identified endogenous cannabinoid ligands, their corresponding selective receptors, and the machinery of proteins and enzymes that is involved in their biosynthesis, release, transport, and degradation. This system extends widely in both the central nervous system (CNS) and the periphery and exhibits a variety of actions implicated in vital functions (e.g., behavioral, antinociceptive, neuroprotective, immunosuppressive, cardiovascular, and metabolic). Particular interest has been focused on the apparent participation of endocannabinoids in metabolic homeostasis by modulating the activity of CNS circuits that control food intake and energy expenditure, the neuroendocrine response of the stress system, and the metabolic functions of crucial peripheral tissues, such as the adipose tissue, the gastrointestinal tract, the liver, and the skeletal muscles. These effects are predominantly CB(1) receptor mediated and, thus, selective antagonists of this receptor subtype are being vigorously investigated as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of various metabolic derangements (e.g., obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome). The first selective CB(1) receptor antagonist, rimonabant, has already successfully completed phase III clinical trials as adjunctive obesity treatment, with significant improvements in several associated metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors that led to the recent approval of its clinical use by the Food and Drug Administration.

  1. New insights on the role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of energy balance.

    PubMed

    Gatta-Cherifi, B; Cota, D

    2016-02-01

    Within the past 15 years, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has emerged as a lipid signaling system critically involved in the regulation of energy balance, as it exerts a regulatory control on every aspect related to the search, the intake, the metabolism and the storage of calories. An overactive endocannabinoid cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor signaling promotes the development of obesity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, representing a valuable pharmacotherapeutic target for obesity and metabolic disorders. However, because of the psychiatric side effects, the first generation of brain-penetrant CB1 receptor blockers developed as antiobesity treatment were removed from the European market in late 2008. Since then, recent studies have identified new mechanisms of action of the ECS in energy balance and metabolism, as well as novel ways of targeting the system that may be efficacious for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders. These aspects will be especially highlighted in this review.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Fitzgibbon, Marie; Finn, David P; Roche, Michelle

    2015-09-05

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. An Endocannabinoid Signaling System Modulates Anxiety-like Behavior in Male Syrian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Moise, Anna M.; Eisenstein, Sarah A.; Astarita, Giuseppe; Piomelli, Daniele; Hohmann, Andrea G.

    2009-01-01

    Rationale An endocannabinoid signaling system has not been identified in hamsters. Objective We examined the existence of an endocannabinioid signaling system in Syrian hamsters using neuroanatomical, biochemical and behavioral pharmacological approaches. Method The distribution of cannabinoid receptors was mapped and membrane fatty-acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) activity and levels of fatty-acid amides were measured in hamster brain. The impact of cannabinoid CB1 receptor blockade and inhibition of FAAH was evaluated in the elevated plus maze, rota-rod test and models of unconditioned and conditioned social defeat. Results A characteristic heterogeneous distribution of cannabinoid receptors was detected in hamster brain using [3H]CP55,940 binding and autoradiography. The FAAH inhibitor URB597 inhibited FAAH activity (IC50 = 12.8 nM) and elevated levels of fatty-acid amides (N-palmitoyl ethanolamine (PEA) and N-oleoyl ethanolamine (OEA)) in hamster brain. Anandamide levels were not reliably altered. The cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2 (1– 10 mg/kg i.p.) induced CB1-mediated motor ataxia. Blockade of CB1 with rimonabant (5 mg/kg i.p.) induced anxiogenic-like behavior in the elevated plus maze. URB597 (0.1–0.3 mg/kg i.p.) induced CB1-mediated anxiolytic-like effects in elevated plus maze, similar to the benzodiazepine diazepam (2 mg/kg i.p.). Diazepam (2–6 mg/kg i.p.) suppressed the expression, but not the acquisition, of conditioned defeat. By contrast, neither URB597 (0.3–3.0 mg/kg i.p.) nor rimonabant (5 mg/kg i.p.) altered unconditioned or conditioned social defeat or rota-rod performance. Conclusions Endocannabinoids engage functional CB1 receptors in hamster brain to suppress anxiety-like behavior and undergo enzymatic hydrolysis catalyzed by FAAH. Our results further suggest that neither unconditioned nor conditioned social defeat in the Syrian hamster is dependent upon cannabinoid CB1 receptor activation. PMID:18545985

  7. The role of endocannabinoids system in fatty liver disease and therapeutic potentials.

    PubMed

    Alswat, Khalid A

    2013-01-01

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major cause of liver morbidity and mortality with no proven effective therapy as of yet. Its prevalence is increasing globally in parallel with obesity and metabolic syndrome pandemic. The endocannabinoid (EC) system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including fatty liver diseases. This system refers to the cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2), with both their endogenous ligands and machinery dedicated to EC synthesis and degradation. There is accumulating evidence on the role CB1 as a key mediator of insulin resistance and liver lipogenesis in both animals and humans. On the other hand, CB2 receptors have been shown to promote inflammation with anti-fibrogenic properties. The pharmacological modulation of the EC system activity for the treatment of metabolic syndrome and NAFLD are promising yet premature. The initial limited success due to deleterious central nervous system side-effects are likely to be bypassed with the use of peripherally restricted drugs.

  8. Dysregulated peripheral endocannabinoid system signaling is associated with cognitive deficits in first-episode psychosis.

    PubMed

    Bioque, Miquel; Cabrera, Bibiana; García-Bueno, Borja; Mac-Dowell, Karina S; Torrent, Carla; Saiz, Pilar A; Parellada, Mara; González-Pinto, Ana; Lobo, Antonio; Leza, Juan C; Bernardo, Miguel

    2016-04-01

    Among etiological explanations for psychosis, several hypotheses involving alterations on the immune/inflammatory system have been proposed. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an endogenous neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory system that modulates cognitive processes. Its altered expression has been associated with psychotic disorders. 73 patients with a first episode of psychoses (FEP) and 67 healthy controls were recruited in 5 university centers in Spain. The protein expression of the main peripheral ECS components was determined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The cognition function was assessed following the MATRICS consensus. After controlling for potential confounding factors, working memory statistically correlated to the peripheral N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase expression (p = 0.039). The short-term verbal memory correlated to the Diacylglycerol lipase (p = 0.043) and the fatty acid amide hydrolase (p = 0.026) expression. Finally, attention measures correlated to the Monoacylglycerol lipase expression, by means of the CPT-II commissions (p = 0.036) and detectability (p = 0.026) scores. The ECS may regulate the activation of key mediators in immune and inflammatory responses that may be involved in the primary neuronal stress phenomenon that occurs from the onset of psychotic illness. This study points a relationship between the ECS and the cognitive function in early psychosis and suggests the use of some of the ECS elements as biomarkers and/or pharmacological targets for FEP.

  9. Mechanism of platelet activation induced by endocannabinoids in blood and plasma.

    PubMed

    Brantl, S Annette; Khandoga, Anna L; Siess, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    Platelets play a central role in atherosclerosis and atherothrombosis, and circulating endocannabinoids might modulate platelet function. Previous studies concerning effects of anandamide (N-arachidonylethanolamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) on platelets, mainly performed on isolated cells, provided conflicting results. We therefore investigated the action of three main endocannabinoids [anandamide, 2-AG and virodhamine (arachidonoylethanolamine)] on human platelets in blood and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). 2-AG and virodhamine induced platelet aggregation in blood, and shape change, aggregation and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) secretion in PRP. The EC50 of 2-AG and virodhamine for platelet aggregation in blood was 97 and 160 µM, respectively. Lower concentrations of 2-AG (20 µM) and virodhamine (50 µM) synergistically induced aggregation with other platelet stimuli. Platelet activation induced by 2-AG and virodhamine resembled arachidonic acid (AA)-induced aggregation: shape change, the first platelet response, ATP secretion and aggregation induced by 2-AG and virodhamine were all blocked by acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or the specific thromboxane A2 (TXA2) antagonist daltroban. In addition, platelet activation induced by 2-AG and virodhamine in blood and PRP were inhibited by JZL184, a selective inhibitor of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). In contrast to 2-AG and virodhamine, anandamide, a substrate of fatty acid amidohydrolase, was inactive. Synthetic cannabinoid receptor subtype 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) agonists lacked stimulatory as well as inhibitory platelet activity. We conclude that 2-AG and virodhamine stimulate platelets in blood and PRP by a MAGL-triggered mechanism leading to free AA and its metabolism by platelet cyclooxygenase-1/thromboxane synthase to TXA2. CB1, CB2 or non-CB1/CB2 receptors are not involved. Our results imply that ASA and MAGL inhibitors will protect platelets from activation by high endocannabinoid levels, and that

  10. Dysregulation of the peripheral and adipose tissue endocannabinoid system in human abdominal obesity.

    PubMed

    Blüher, Matthias; Engeli, Stefan; Klöting, Nora; Berndt, Janin; Fasshauer, Mathias; Bátkai, Sándor; Pacher, Pál; Schön, Michael R; Jordan, Jens; Stumvoll, Michael

    2006-11-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been suspected to contribute to the association of visceral fat accumulation with metabolic diseases. We determined whether circulating endocannabinoids are related to visceral adipose tissue mass in lean, subcutaneous obese, and visceral obese subjects (10 men and 10 women in each group). We further measured expression of the cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptor and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) genes in paired samples of subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue in all 60 subjects. Circulating 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) was significantly correlated with body fat (r = 0.45, P = 0.03), visceral fat mass (r = 0.44, P = 0.003), and fasting plasma insulin concentrations (r = 0.41, P = 0.001) but negatively correlated to glucose infusion rate during clamp (r = 0.39, P = 0.009). In visceral adipose tissue, CB(1) mRNA expression was negatively correlated with visceral fat mass (r = 0.32, P = 0.01), fasting insulin (r = 0.48, P < 0.001), and circulating 2-AG (r = 0.5, P < 0.001), whereas FAAH gene expression was negatively correlated with visceral fat mass (r = 0.39, P = 0.01) and circulating 2-AG (r = 0.77, P < 0.001). Our findings suggest that abdominal fat accumulation is a critical correlate of the dysregulation of the peripheral endocannabinoid system in human obesity. Thus, the endocannabinoid system may represent a primary target for the treatment of abdominal obesity and associated metabolic changes.

  11. THC and endocannabinoids differentially regulate neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in the subchronic PCP model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, David D; Giuffrida, Andrea; Lodge, Daniel J

    2016-02-01

    Cannabis use has been associated with an increased risk to develop schizophrenia as well as symptom exacerbation in patients. In contrast, clinical studies have revealed an inverse relationship between the cerebrospinal fluid levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide and symptom severity, suggesting a therapeutic potential for endocannabinoid-enhancing drugs. Indeed, preclinical studies have shown that these drugs can reverse distinct behavioral deficits in a rodent model of schizophrenia. The mechanisms underlying the differences between exogenous and endogenous cannabinoid administration are currently unknown. Using the phencyclidine (PCP) rat model of schizophrenia, we compared the effects on neuronal activity of systematic administration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with the fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor URB597. Specifically, we found that the inhibitory response in the prefrontal cortex to THC administration was absent in PCP-treated rats. In contrast, an augmented response to endocannabinoid upregulation was observed in the prefrontal cortex of PCP-treated rats. Interestingly, differential effects were also observed at the neuronal population level, as endocannabinoid upregulation induced opposite effects on coordinated activity when compared with THC. Such information is important for understanding why marijuana and synthetic cannabinoid use may be contraindicated in schizophrenia patients while endocannabinoid enhancement may provide a novel therapeutic approach.

  12. Perturbations of the endocannabinoid system in mantle cell lymphoma: correlations to clinical and pathological features

    PubMed Central

    Wasik, Agata M.; Nygren, Lina; Almestrand, Stefan; Zong, Fang; Flygare, Jenny; Wennerholm, Stefanie Baumgartner; Saft, Leonie; Andersson, Patrik; Kimby, Eva; Wahlin, Björn E.; Christensson, Birger; Sander, Birgitta

    2014-01-01

    The cannabinoid receptors are upregulated in many types of cancers, including mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and have been suggested to constitute novel therapeutic targets. The expression pattern of the key members of the endocannabinoid system was analyzed in a well-characterized MCL patient cohort and correlated to biological features. 107 tumor tissues were analyzed for the mRNA levels of cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CNR1 and CNR2) and the two main enzymes regulating the endocannabinoid anandamide levels in tissue: NAPEPLD and FAAH (participating in synthesis and degradation, respectively). NAPEPLD, CNR1 and CNR2 were overexpressed while FAAH expression was reduced in MCL compared to non-malignant B-cells. Both low CNR1 and high FAAH levels correlated with lymphocytosis (p=0.016 and p=0.022, respectively) and with leukocytosis (p=0.0018 and p=0.047). Weak to moderate CNR1 levels were a feature of SOX11 negative MCL (p=0.006). Both high CNR2 and high FAAH levels correlated to anemia (p=0.0006 and p=0.038, respectively). In conclusion, the relative expression of the anandamide synthesizing and metabolizing enzymes in MCL is heavily perturbed. This finding, together with high expression of cannabinoid receptors, could favor enhanced anandamide signaling and suggest that targeting the endocannabinoid system might be considered as part of lymphoma therapy. PMID:25594062

  13. Understanding metabolic homeostasis and imbalance: what is the role of the endocannabinoid system?

    PubMed

    Kunos, George

    2007-09-01

    Endogenous endocannabinoids (ECs) (anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol) are part of the leptin-regulated neural circuitry involved in appetite regulation. One of the sites of the orexigenic action of ECs involves activation of cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptors in the lateral hypothalamus, from which neurons involved in mediating food reward project into the limbic system. In animal models of obesity, pharmacologic blockade or genetic ablation of CB1 receptors causes a transient reduction in food intake accompanied by sustained weight loss, reduced adiposity, and reversal of hormonal/metabolic changes, such as elevated levels of plasma leptin, insulin, glucose, and triglyceride, and reduced levels of plasma adiponectin (Acrp30). However, the beneficial effects of CB1 blockade on weight and metabolism cannot be explained by appetite suppression alone. Animal studies suggest that CB1 blockade exerts a direct peripheral as well as a central effect on fat metabolism. CB1 receptor blockade with rimonabant has been shown to not only reduce weight and adiposity but also to directly modulate fat metabolism at peripheral sites in skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and the liver. Preclinical animal studies suggest that CB1 blockade acts on adipocytes to increase Acrp30 expression, on hepatocytes to decrease de novo lipogenesis and increase fatty acid oxidation, and on skeletal muscle to reduce blood glucose and insulin levels. Extrapolating from animal studies to the clinic, CB1 receptor blockade offers a promising strategy not only for reducing weight and abdominal adiposity but also for preventing and reversing its metabolic consequences.

  14. Endocannabinoids in nervous system health and disease: the big picture in a nutshell

    PubMed Central

    Skaper, Stephen D.; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2012-01-01

    The psychoactive component of the cannabis resin and flowers, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was first isolated in 1964, and at least 70 other structurally related ‘phytocannabinoid’ compounds have since been identified. The serendipitous identification of a G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptor at which THC is active in the brain heralded an explosion in cannabinoid research. Elements of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprise the cannabinoid receptors, a family of nascent lipid ligands, the ‘endocannabinoids’ and the machinery for their biosynthesis and metabolism. The function of the ECS is thus defined by modulation of these receptors, in particular, by two of the best-described ligands, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol and anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide). Research on the ECS has recently aroused enormous interest not only for the physiological functions, but also for the promising therapeutic potentials of drugs interfering with the activity of cannabinoid receptors. Many of the former relate to stress-recovery systems and to the maintenance of homeostatic balance. Among other functions, the ECS is involved in neuroprotection, modulation of nociception, regulation of motor activity, neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity and the control of certain phases of memory processing. In addition, the ECS acts to modulate the immune and inflammatory responses and to maintain a positive energy balance. This theme issue aims to provide the reader with an overview of ECS pharmacology, followed by discussions on the pivotal role of this system in the modulation of neurogenesis in the developing and adult organism, memory processes and synaptic plasticity, as well as in pathological pain and brain ageing. The volume will conclude with discussions that address the proposed therapeutic applications of targeting the ECS for the treatment of neurodegeneration, pain and mental illness. PMID:23108539

  15. Comparison of protective effect of ascorbic acid on redox and endocannabinoid systems interactions in in vitro cultured human skin fibroblasts exposed to UV radiation and hydrogen peroxide.

    PubMed

    Gęgotek, Agnieszka; Bielawska, Katarzyna; Biernacki, Michał; Zaręba, Ilona; Surażyński, Arkadiusz; Skrzydlewska, Elżbieta

    2017-03-11

    The mechanisms of biological activity of commonly used natural compounds are constantly examined. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare ascorbic acid efficacy in counteracting the consequences of UV and hydrogen peroxide treatment on lipid mediators and their regulative action on antioxidant abilities. Skin fibroblasts exposed to UVA and UVB irradiation, treated with hydrogen peroxide and ascorbic acid. The redox system was estimated through reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation (electron spin resonance spectrometer) and antioxidants level/activity (HPLC/spectrometry) which activity was evaluated by the level of phospholipid metabolites: 4-hydroxynonenal, malondialdehyde, 8-isoprostanes and endocannabinoids (GC/LC-MS) in the human skin fibroblasts. Protein and DNA oxidative modifications were also determined (LC). The expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), its activators and inhibitors as well as pro/anti-apoptotic proteins and endocannabinoid receptors was examined (Western blot) and collagen metabolism was evaluated by collagen biosynthesis and prolidase activity (spectrometry). UVA and UVB irradiation and hydrogen peroxide treatment enhanced activity of xanthine and NADPH oxidases resulting in ROS generation as well as diminution of antioxidant phospholipid protection (glutathione peroxidase-glutathione-vitamin E), what led to increased lipid peroxidation and decreased endocannabinoids level. Dysregulation of cannabinoid receptors expression and environment of transcription factor Nrf2 caused apoptosis induction. Ascorbic acid partially prevented ROS generation, antioxidant capacity diminution and endocannabinoid systems disturbances but only slightly protected macromolecules such as phospholipid, protein and DNA against oxidative modifications. However, ascorbic acid significantly prevented decrease in collagen type I biosynthesis. Ascorbic acid in similar degree prevents UV (UVA and UVB) and hydrogen peroxide

  16. Endocannabinoid signaling system and brain reward: emphasis on dopamine.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Eliot L

    2005-06-01

    The brain's reward circuitry consists of an "in series" circuit of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), nucleus accumbens (Acb), and that portion of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) which links the VTA and Acb. Drugs which enhance brain reward (and have derivative addictive potential) have common actions on this core DA reward system and on animal behaviors relating to its function. Such drugs enhance electrical brain-stimulation reward in this reward system; enhance neural firing and DA tone within it; produce conditioned place preference (CPP), a behavioral model of incentive motivation; are self-administered; and trigger reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior in animals extinguished from drug self-administration. Cannabinoids were long considered different from other reward-enhancing drugs in reward efficacy and in underlying neurobiological substrates activated. However, it is now clear that cannabinoids activate these brain reward processes and reward-related behaviors in similar fashion to other reward-enhancing drugs. This brief review discusses the roles that endogenous cannabinoids (especially activation of the CB1 receptor) may play within the core reward system, and concludes that while cannabinoids activate the reward pathways in a manner consistent with other reward-enhancing drugs, the neural mechanisms by which this occurs may differ.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Activation of spinal microglia contributes to aberrant pain responses associated with neuropathic pain states. Endocannabinoids (ECs) are present in the spinal cord, and inhibit nociceptive processing; levels of ECs may be altered by microglia which modulate the turnover of endocannabinoids in vitro. Here, we investigate the effect of minocycline, an inhibitor of activated microglia, on levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and the related compound N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA), in neuropathic spinal cord. Selective spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats resulted in mechanical allodynia and the presence of activated microglia in the ipsilateral spinal cord. Chronic daily treatment with minocycline (30 mg/kg, ip for 14 days) significantly reduced the development of mechanical allodynia at days 5, 10 and 14 post-SNL surgery, compared to vehicle-treated SNL rats (P < 0.001). Minocycline treatment also significantly attenuated OX-42 immunoreactivity, a marker of activated microglia, in the ipsilateral (P < 0.001) and contralateral (P < 0.01) spinal cord of SNL rats, compared to vehicle controls. Minocycline treatment significantly (P < 0.01) decreased levels of 2-AG and significantly (P < 0.01) increased levels of PEA in the ipsilateral spinal cord of SNL rats, compared to the contralateral spinal cord. Thus, activation of microglia affects spinal levels of endocannabinoids and related compounds in neuropathic pain states. PMID:19570201

  19. Endocannabinoids: some like it fat (and sweet too).

    PubMed

    Matias, I; Cristino, L; Di Marzo, V

    2008-05-01

    There is growing interest in the commercialisation of the CB(1) receptor antagonist Rimonabant in Europe for the treatment of obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Clinical trials have shown that CB(1) receptor blockers are able to reduce not only food intake but also abdominal adiposity and its metabolic sequelae. Accordingly, CB(1) receptors, and tissue concentrations of endocannabinoids sufficient to activate them, are present in all brain and peripheral organs involved in the control of energy balance, including the hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, pancreas, adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and liver. At the central level, the endocannabinoid system seems to play a dual role in the regulation of food intake by hedonic and homeostatic energy regulation. At the peripheral level, the endocannabinoid system seems to behave as a system that reduces energy expenditure and directs energy balance towards energy storage into fat. The emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in energy balance at both central and peripheral levels will be discussed in this review.

  20. Alterations in the hippocampal endocannabinoid system in diet-induced obese mice.

    PubMed

    Massa, Federico; Mancini, Giacomo; Schmidt, Helmut; Steindel, Frauke; Mackie, Ken; Angioni, Carlo; Oliet, Stéphane H R; Geisslinger, Gerd; Lutz, Beat

    2010-05-05

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system plays central roles in the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. Its alteration in activity contributes to the development and maintenance of obesity. Stimulation of the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB(1) receptor) increases feeding, enhances reward aspects of eating, and promotes lipogenesis, whereas its blockade decreases appetite, sustains weight loss, increases insulin sensitivity, and alleviates dysregulation of lipid metabolism. The hypothesis has been put forward that the eCB system is overactive in obesity. Hippocampal circuits are not directly involved in the neuronal control of food intake and appetite, but they play important roles in hedonic aspects of eating. We investigated the possibility whether or not diet-induced obesity (DIO) alters the functioning of the hippocampal eCB system. We found that levels of the two eCBs, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) and anandamide, were increased in the hippocampus from DIO mice, with a concomitant increase of the 2-AG synthesizing enzyme diacylglycerol lipase-alpha and increased CB(1) receptor immunoreactivity in CA1 and CA3 regions, whereas CB(1) receptor agonist-induced [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding was unchanged. eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity was changed in the CA1 region, as depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition and long-term depression of inhibitory synapses were enhanced. Functionality of CB(1) receptors in GABAergic neurons was furthermore revealed, as mice specifically lacking CB(1) receptors on this neuronal population were partly resistant to DIO. Our results show that DIO-induced changes in the eCB system affect not only tissues directly involved in the metabolic regulation but also brain regions mediating hedonic aspects of eating and influencing cognitive processes.

  1. Cannabinoid drugs and enhancement of endocannabinoid responses: strategies for a wide array of disease states.

    PubMed

    Karanian, David A; Bahr, Ben A

    2006-09-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid system has revealed potential avenues to treat many disease states. Medicinal indications of cannabinoid drugs including compounds that result in enhanced endocannabinoid responses (EER) have expanded markedly in recent years. The wide range of indications covers chemotherapy complications, tumor growth, addiction, pain, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, inflammation, eating disorders, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, as well as epileptic seizures, traumatic brain injury, cerebral ischemia, and other excitotoxic insults. Indeed, a great effort has led to the discovery of agents that selectively activate the cannabinoid system or that enhance the endogenous pathways of cannabinergic signaling. The endocannabinoid system is comprised of three primary components: (i) cannabinoid receptors, (ii) endocannabinoid transport system, and (iii) hydrolysis enzymes that break down the endogenous ligands. Two known endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), are lipid molecules that are greatly elevated in response to a variety of pathological events. This increase in endocannabinoid levels is suggested to be part of an on-demand compensatory response. Furthermore, activation of signaling pathways mediated by the endogenous cannabinoid system promotes repair and cell survival. Similar cell maintenance effects are elicited by EER through inhibitors of the endocannabinoid deactivation processes (i.e., internalization and hydrolysis). The therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system has yet to be fully determined, and the number of medical maladies that may be treated will likely continue to grow. This review will underline studies that demonstrate medicinal applications for agents that influence the endocannabinoid system.

  2. Sapap3 deletion anomalously activates short-term endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Meng; Wan, Yehong; Ade, Kristen; Ting, Jonathan; Feng, Guoping; Calakos, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Retrograde synaptic signaling by endocannabinoids is a widespread mechanism for activity-dependent inhibition of synaptic strength in the brain. Although prevalent, the conditions for eliciting endocannabinoid (eCB)-mediated synaptic depression vary among brain circuits. As yet, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying this variation, although the initial signaling events are likely dictated by postsynaptic proteins. SAPAPs are a family of postsynaptic proteins unique to excitatory synapses. Using Sapap3 knock-out (KO) mice, we find that, in the absence of SAPAP3, striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN) excitatory synapses exhibit eCB-mediated synaptic depression under conditions that do not normally activate this process. The anomalous synaptic plasticity requires type 5 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5), which are dysregulated in Sapap3 KO MSNs. Both surface expression and activity of mGluR5 are increased in Sapap3 KO MSNs, suggesting that enhanced mGluR5 activity may drive the anomalous synaptic plasticity. In direct support of this possibility, we find that, in wildtype (WT) MSNs, pharmacological enhancement of mGluR5 by a positive allosteric modulator is sufficient to reproduce the increased synaptic depression seen in Sapap3 KO MSNs. The same pharmacologic treatment, however, fails to elicit further depression in KO MSNs. Under conditions that are sufficient to engage eCB-mediated synaptic depression in WT MSNs, Sapap3 deletion does not alter the magnitude of the response. These results identify a role for SAPAP3 in the regulation of postsynaptic mGluRs and eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. SAPAPs, through their effect on mGluR activity, may serve as regulatory molecules gating the threshold for inducing eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. PMID:21715621

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  6. Turning Down the Thermostat: Modulating the Endocannabinoid System in Ocular Inflammation and Pain.

    PubMed

    Toguri, James T; Caldwell, Meggie; Kelly, Melanie E M

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has emerged as an important regulator of both physiological and pathological processes. Notably, this endogenous system plays a key role in the modulation of pain and inflammation in a number of tissues. The components of the ECS, including endocannabinoids, their cognate enzymes and cannabinoid receptors, are localized in the eye, and evidence indicates that ECS modulation plays a role in ocular disease states. Of these diseases, ocular inflammation presents a significant medical problem, given that current clinical treatments can be ineffective or are associated with intolerable side-effects. Furthermore, a prominent comorbidity of ocular inflammation is pain, including neuropathic pain, for which therapeutic options remain limited. Recent evidence supports the use of drugs targeting the ECS for the treatment of ocular inflammation and pain in animal models; however, the potential for therapeutic use of cannabinoid drugs in the eye has not been thoroughly investigated at this time. This review will highlight evidence from experimental studies identifying components of the ocular ECS and discuss the functional role of the ECS during different ocular inflammatory disease states, including uveitis and corneal keratitis. Candidate ECS targeted therapies will be discussed, drawing on experimental results obtained from both ocular and non-ocular tissue(s), together with their potential application for the treatment of ocular inflammation and pain.

  7. The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Bíró, Tamás; Tóth, Balázs I.; Haskó, György; Paus, Ralf; Pacher, Pál

    2009-01-01

    The newly discovered endocannabinoid system (ECS; comprising the endogenous lipid mediators endocannabinoids present in virtually all tissues, their G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, biosynthetic pathways and metabolizing enzymes) has been implicated in multiple regulatory functions both in health and disease. Recent studies have intriguingly suggested the existence of a functional ECS in the skin and implicated it in various biological processes (e.g. proliferation, growth, differentiation, apoptosis and cytokine, mediator or hormone production of various cell types of the skin and appendages, such as the hair follicle and sebaceous gland). It seems that the main physiological function of the cutaneous ECS is to constitutively control the proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells. The disruption of this delicate balance might facilitate the development of multiple pathological conditions and diseases of the skin (e.g. acne, seborrhea, allergic dermatitis, itch and pain, psoriasis, hair growth disorders, systemic sclerosis and cancer). PMID:19608284

  8. Turning Down the Thermostat: Modulating the Endocannabinoid System in Ocular Inflammation and Pain

    PubMed Central

    Toguri, James T.; Caldwell, Meggie; Kelly, Melanie E. M.

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has emerged as an important regulator of both physiological and pathological processes. Notably, this endogenous system plays a key role in the modulation of pain and inflammation in a number of tissues. The components of the ECS, including endocannabinoids, their cognate enzymes and cannabinoid receptors, are localized in the eye, and evidence indicates that ECS modulation plays a role in ocular disease states. Of these diseases, ocular inflammation presents a significant medical problem, given that current clinical treatments can be ineffective or are associated with intolerable side-effects. Furthermore, a prominent comorbidity of ocular inflammation is pain, including neuropathic pain, for which therapeutic options remain limited. Recent evidence supports the use of drugs targeting the ECS for the treatment of ocular inflammation and pain in animal models; however, the potential for therapeutic use of cannabinoid drugs in the eye has not been thoroughly investigated at this time. This review will highlight evidence from experimental studies identifying components of the ocular ECS and discuss the functional role of the ECS during different ocular inflammatory disease states, including uveitis and corneal keratitis. Candidate ECS targeted therapies will be discussed, drawing on experimental results obtained from both ocular and non-ocular tissue(s), together with their potential application for the treatment of ocular inflammation and pain. PMID:27695415

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Seillier, Alexandre; Giuffrida, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26706691

  11. Endocannabinoids and liver disease. IV. Endocannabinoid involvement in obesity and hepatic steatosis.

    PubMed

    Kunos, George; Osei-Hyiaman, Douglas

    2008-05-01

    Endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid mediators that interact with the same receptors as plant-derived cannabinoids to produce similar biological effects. The well-known appetitive effect of smoking marijuana has prompted inquiries into the possible role of endocannabinoids in the control of food intake and body weight. This brief review surveys recent evidence that endocannabinoids and their receptors are involved at multiple levels in the control of energy homeostasis. Endocannabinoids are orexigenic mediators and are part of the leptin-regulated central neural circuitry that controls energy intake. In addition, they act at multiple peripheral sites including adipose tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle to promote lipogenesis and limit fat elimination. Their complex actions could be viewed as anabolic, increasing energy intake and storage and decreasing energy expenditure, as components of an evolutionarily conserved system that has insured survival under conditions of starvation. In the era of plentiful food and limited physical activity, pharmacological inhibition of endocannabinoid activity offers benefits in the treatment of obesity and its hormonal/metabolic consequences.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Endocannabinoid Modulation of Dopaminergic Motor Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Morera-Herreras, Teresa; Miguelez, Cristina; Aristieta, Asier; Ruiz-Ortega, José Ángel; Ugedo, Luisa

    2012-01-01

    There is substantial evidence supporting a role for the endocannabinoid system as a modulator of the dopaminergic activity in the basal ganglia, a forebrain system that integrates cortical information to coordinate motor activity regulating signals. In fact, the administration of plant-derived, synthetic or endogenous cannabinoids produces several effects on motor function. These effects are mediated primarily through the CB1 receptors that are densely located in the dopamine-enriched basal ganglia networks, suggesting that the motor effects of endocannabinoids are due, at least in part, to modulation of dopaminergic transmission. On the other hand, there are profound changes in CB1 receptor cannabinoid signaling in the basal ganglia circuits after dopamine depletion (as happens in Parkinson’s disease) and following l-DOPA replacement therapy. Therefore, it has been suggested that endocannabinoid system modulation may constitute an important component in new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of motor disturbances. In this article we will review studies supporting the endocannabinoid modulation of dopaminergic motor circuits. PMID:22701427

  16. 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.

  17. Role of the endocannabinoid system in energy balance regulation and obesity.

    PubMed

    Cota, Daniela

    2008-01-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) is a neuromodulatory system recently recognized to have a role in the regulation of various aspects of eating behavior and energy balance through central and peripheral mechanisms. In the central nervous system, cannabinoid type 1 receptors and their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids, are involved in modulating food intake and motivation to consume palatable food. Moreover, the ECS is present in peripheral organs, such as liver, white adipose tissue, muscle, and pancreas, where it seems to be involved in the regulation of lipid and glucose homeostasis. Dysregulation of the ECS has been associated with the development of obesity and its sequelae, such as dyslipidemia and diabetes. Conversely, recent clinical trials have shown that cannabinoid type 1 receptor blockade may ameliorate these metabolic abnormalities. Although further investigation is needed to better define the actual mechanisms of action, pharmacologic approaches targeting the ECS may provide a novel, effective option for the management of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  18. 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 (CB1 and CB2 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 CB1 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 CB1 cannabinoid receptor, FAAH and AMT, modulate the sleep homeostasis after prolonged waking.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Impact of Embedded Endocannabinoids and Their Oxygenation by Lipoxygenase on Membrane Properties

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    N-Arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are the best characterized endocannabinoids. Their biological activity is subjected to metabolic control whereby a dynamic equilibrium among biosynthetic, catabolic, and oxidative pathways drives their intracellular concentrations. In particular, lipoxygenases can generate hydroperoxy derivatives of endocannabinoids, endowed with distinct activities within cells. The in vivo interaction between lipoxygenases and endocannabinoids is likely to occur within cell membranes; thus, we sought to ascertain whether a prototypical enzyme like soybean (Glycine max) 15-lipoxygenase-1 is able to oxygenate endocannabinoids embedded in synthetic vesicles and how these substances could affect the binding ability of the enzyme to different lipid bilayers. We show that (i) embedded endocannabinoids increase membrane fluidity; (ii) 15-lipoxygenase-1 preferentially binds to endocannabinoid-containing bilayers; and that (iii) 15-lipoxygenase-1 oxidizes embedded endocannabinoids and thus reduces fluidity and local hydration of membrane lipids. Together, the present findings reveal further complexity in the regulation of endocannabinoid signaling within the central nervous system, disclosing novel control by oxidative pathways. PMID:22860207

  2. Endocannabinoids and obesity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Guoxun; Pang, Zhen

    2013-01-01

    A safe and effective antiobesity drug is needed to combat the global obesity epidemic. The discovery of cannabinoids from medicinal herbs has revealed the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in animals and humans, which regulates various physiological activities such as feeding, thermogenesis, and body weight (BW). Although cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) antagonists have shown antiobesity efficacies in animal models and in the clinic, they failed to establish as a treatment due to their psychological side effects. Recent studies indicate that CB1 in various peripheral tissues may mediate some of the therapeutic effects of CB1 antagonists, such as improved lipid and glucose homeostasis. It rationalizes the development of compounds with limited brain penetration, for minimizing the side effects while retaining the therapeutic efficacies. A survey of the literature has revealed some controversies about how the ECS affects obesity. This review summarizes the research progresses and discusses some future perspectives.

  3. Potential Therapeutical Contributions of the Endocannabinoid System towards Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Bonnet, Amandine E; Marchalant, Yannick

    2015-01-01

    Aging can lead to decline in cognition, notably due to neurodegenerative processes overwhelming the brain over time. As people live longer, numerous concerns are rightfully raised toward long-term slowly incapacitating diseases with no cure, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Since the early 2000’s, the role of neuroinflammation has been scrutinized for its potential role in the development of diverse neurodegenerative diseases notably because of its slow onset and chronic nature in aging. Despite the lack of success yet, treatment of chronic neuroinflammation could help alleviate process implicated in neurodegenerative disease. A growing number of studies including our own have aimed at the endocannabinoid system and unfolded unique effects of this system on neuroinflammation, neurogenesis and hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease and made it a reasonable target in the context of normal and pathological brain aging. PMID:26425394

  4. Activation of the Nlrp3 inflammasome in infiltrating macrophages by endocannabinoids mediates beta cell loss in type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Jourdan, Tony; Godlewski, Grzegorz; Cinar, Resat; Bertola, Adeline; Szanda, Gergő; Liu, Jie; Tam, Joseph; Han, Tiffany; Mukhopadhyay, Bani; Skarulis, Monica C; Ju, Cynthia; Aouadi, Myriam; Czech, Michael P; Kunos, George

    2013-09-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) progresses from compensated insulin resistance to beta cell failure resulting in uncompensated hyperglycemia, a process replicated in the Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rat. The Nlrp3 inflammasome has been implicated in obesity-induced insulin resistance and beta cell failure. Endocannabinoids contribute to insulin resistance through activation of peripheral CB1 receptors (CB₁Rs) and also promote beta cell failure. Here we show that beta cell failure in adult ZDF rats is not associated with CB₁R signaling in beta cells, but rather in M1 macrophages infiltrating into pancreatic islets, and that this leads to activation of the Nlrp3-ASC inflammasome in the macrophages. These effects are replicated in vitro by incubating wild-type human or rodent macrophages, but not macrophages from CB₁R-deficient (Cnr1(-/-)) or Nlrp3(-/-) mice, with the endocannabinoid anandamide. Peripheral CB₁R blockade, in vivo depletion of macrophages or macrophage-specific knockdown of CB₁R reverses or prevents these changes and restores normoglycemia and glucose-induced insulin secretion. These findings implicate endocannabinoids and inflammasome activation in beta cell failure and identify macrophage-expressed CB₁R as a therapeutic target in T2DM.

  5. Endocannabinoids in the Gut

    PubMed Central

    DiPatrizio, Nicholas V.

    2016-01-01

    Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries to treat a variety of disorders, including those associated with the gastrointestinal tract. The discovery of our bodies’ own “cannabis-like molecules” and associated receptors and metabolic machinery – collectively called the endocannabinoid system – enabled investigations into the physiological relevance for the system, and provided the field with evidence of a critical function for this endogenous signaling pathway in health and disease. Recent investigations yield insight into a significant participation for the endocannabinoid system in the normal physiology of gastrointestinal function, and its possible dysfunction in gastrointestinal pathology. Many gaps, however, remain in our understanding of the precise neural and molecular mechanisms across tissue departments that are under the regulatory control of the endocannabinoid system. This review highlights research that reveals an important – and at times surprising – role for the endocannabinoid system in the control of a variety of gastrointestinal functions, including motility, gut-brain mediated fat intake and hunger signaling, inflammation and gut permeability, and dynamic interactions with gut microbiota. PMID:27413788

  6. Interaction between Lysophosphatidic Acid, Prostaglandins and the Endocannabinoid System during the Window of Implantation in the Rat Uterus

    PubMed Central

    Sordelli, Micaela S.; Beltrame, Jimena S.; Cella, Maximiliano; Gervasi, María Gracia; Perez Martinez, Silvina; Burdet, Juliana; Zotta, Elsa; Franchi, Ana M.; Ribeiro, María Laura

    2012-01-01

    Bioactive lipid molecules as lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), prostaglandins (PG) and endocannabinoids are important mediators of embryo implantation. Based on previous published data we became interested in studying the interaction between these three groups of lipid derivatives in the rat uterus during the window of implantation. Thus, we adopted a pharmacological approach in vitro using LPA, DGPP (a selective antagonist of LPA3, an LPA receptor), endocannabinoids’ receptor selective antagonists (AM251 and AM630) and non selective (indomethacin) and selective (NS-398) inhibitors of cyclooxygenase-1 and 2 enzymes. Cyclooxygenase isoforms participate in prostaglandins’ synthesis. The incubation of the uterus from rats pregnant on day 5 of gestation (implantation window) with LPA augmented the activity and the expression of fatty acid amide hydrolase, the main enzyme involved in the degradation of endocannabinoids in the rodent uteri, suggesting that LPA decreased endocannabinoids’ levels during embryo implantation. It has been reported that high endocannabinoids are deleterious for implantation. Also, LPA increased PGE2 production and cyclooxygenase-2 expression. The incubation of LPA with indomethacin or NS-398 reversed the increment in PGE2 production, suggesting that cyclooxygenase-2 was the isoform involved in LPA effect. PGs are important mediators of decidualization and vascularization at the implantation sites. All these effects were mediated by LPA3, as the incubation with DGPP completely reversed LPA stimulatory actions. Besides, we also observed that endocannabinoids mediated the stimulatory effect of LPA on cyclooxygenase-2 derived PGE2 production, as the incubation of LPA with AM251 or AM630 completely reversed LPA effect. Also, LPA augmented via LPA3 decidualization and vascularization markers. Overall, the results presented here demonstrate the participation of LPA3 in the process of implantation through the interaction with other groups of lipid

  7. The challenge of treating obesity: the endocannabinoid system as a potential target.

    PubMed

    Isoldi, Kathy Keenan; Aronne, Louis J

    2008-05-01

    Obesity and cardiometabolic risk, or the metabolic syndrome, continue to be major public health concerns. To date, treatment with lifestyle and pharmacotherapy interventions has resulted in limited efficacy in reversing the upward trend in this present-day health crisis. Research reveals that a modest 5% to 10% weight loss results in substantial improvement in health. While obtaining modest weight loss is often achievable, maintaining lost weight is challenging. Research has recently improved our understanding of several endogenous pathways that influence body weight regulation and disease risk. The endocannabinoid system has been found to regulate appetite and energy expenditure, as well as lipid and glucose metabolism. Interest in blocking stimulation of this pathway to aid weight loss and reduce cardiometabolic risk factor development is an area of interest and research. This article reviews the mechanisms by which the endocannabinoid system is believed to influence body weight regulation and cardiometabolic risk factors, as well as the results of clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of a selective cannabinoid-1 receptor antagonist (rimonabant). Clinical trials investigating rimonabant treatment resulted in substantial reductions in body weight and markers for cardiometabolic risk in study participants. However, increases in adverse events were reported in the drug-treated group. Data regarding long-term benefit and adverse events from rimonabant treatment are being collected in several ongoing clinical trials. Rimonabant is currently available in 42 countries, but has not received United States Food and Drug Administration approval. Food and nutrition professionals play a pivotal role in tackling the current obesity crisis; it is essential that they understand the many physiological mechanisms regulating body weight. Emerging research data reveals pathways that influence appetite and energy metabolism, and this knowledge may form the foundation

  8. Sativex(®) (tetrahydrocannabinol + cannabidiol), an endocannabinoid system modulator: basic features and main clinical data.

    PubMed

    Vermersch, Patrick

    2011-04-01

    Sativex(®) (nabiximols, USAN name) oromucosal spray contains the two main active constituents of Cannabis sativa, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in a 1:1 molecular ratio, and acts as an endocannabinoid system modulator. Randomized, controlled clinical trials of Sativex as add-on therapy provide conclusive evidence of its efficacy in the treatment of more than 1500 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS)-related resistant spasticity. The primary end point in clinical trials was the mean change from baseline in the 0-10 numerical rating scale (NRS) spasticity score. The first pivotal clinical trial included 189 patients treated for 6 weeks with Sativex (n = 124) or placebo (n = 65). At study end, there was a significant reduction from baseline in patient-recorded NRS spasticity scores with Sativex compared with placebo (-1.18 vs -0.63; p = 0.048). In the second pivotal trial, 337 patients with MS-related resistant spasticity received Sativex (n = 167) or placebo (n = 170) over a 15-week period. In the per-protocol analysis (79% of the patient population), mean baseline NRS spasticity score was reduced significantly in patients receiving Sativex compared with placebo: -1.3 versus -0.8 points (p = 0.035). The third pivotal clinical trial, evaluating the sustained efficacy of Sativex, had a two-phase study design: in phase A (n = 572), 47% of patients were initial responders (improvement ≥ 20%) after 4 weeks of single-blind Sativex treatment who then entered phase B, a randomized, double-blind, 12-week placebo comparison. At the end of phase B, the change in NRS spasticity score improved by a further 0.04 units in initial responders treated with Sativex, but decreased by 0.81 units in placebo recipients (p = 0.0002). Significant improvements in quality-of-life measures from baseline to week 16 were also observed in patients receiving Sativex. The most common treatment-related adverse events with Sativex were mild-to moderate and transient episodes of dizziness

  9. Endocannabinoid signaling in midbrain dopamine neurons: more than physiology?

    PubMed

    Melis, M; Pistis, M

    2007-12-01

    Different classes of neurons in the CNS utilize endogenous cannabinoids as retrograde messengers to shape afferent activity in a short- and long-lasting fashion. Transient suppression of excitation and inhibition as well as long-term depression or potentiation in many brain regions require endocannabinoids to be released by the postsynaptic neurons and activate presynaptic CB1 receptors. Memory consolidation and/or extinction and habit forming have been suggested as the potential behavioral consequences of endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. HOWEVER, ENDOCANNABINOIDS HAVE A DUAL ROLE: beyond a physiological modulation of synaptic functions, they have been demonstrated to participate in the mechanisms of neuronal protection under circumstances involving excessive excitatory drive, glutamate excitotoxicity, hypoxia-ischemia, which are key features of several neurodegenerative disorders. In this framework, the recent discovery that the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol is released by midbrain dopaminergic neurons, under both physiological synaptic activity to modulate afferent inputs and pathological conditions such as ischemia, is particularly interesting for the possible implication of these molecules in brain functions and dysfunctions. Since dopamine dysfunctions underlie diverse neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, psychoses, and drug addiction, the importance of better understanding the correlation between an unbalanced endocannabinoid signal and the dopamine system is even greater. Additionally, we will review the evidence of the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, where neuroprotective actions of cannabinoid-acting compounds may prove beneficial.The modulation of the endocannabinoid system by pharmacological agents is a valuable target in protection of dopamine neurons against functional abnormalities as well as against their neurodegeneration.

  10. [The role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of endocrine function and in the control of energy balance in humans].

    PubMed

    Komorowski, Jan; Stepień, Henryk

    2007-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been recently recognized as an important modulatory system in the function of brain, endocrine, and immune tissues. It appears to play a very important regulatory role in the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions and response to stress. The important elements of this system are: endocannabinoid receptors (types CB1 and CB2), their endogenous ligands (N-arachidonoylethanolamide, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol), enzymes involved in their synthesis and degradation, as well as cannabinoid antagonists. In humans this system also controls energy homeostasis and mainly influences the function of the food intake centers of the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract activity. The endocannabinoid system regulates not only the central and peripheral mechanisms of food intake, but also lipids synthesis and turnover in the liver and adipose tissue as well as glucose metabolism in muscle cells. Rimonabant, a new and selective central and peripheral cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1) blocker, has been shown to reduce body weight and improve cardiovascular risk factor (metabolic syndrome) in obese patients by increasing HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin blood levels as well as decreasing LDL-cholesterol, leptin, and C-reactive protein (a proinflammatory marker) concentrations. It is therefore possible to speculate about a future clinical use of CB1 antagonists, as a means of improving gonadotrophin pulsatility and fertilization capacity as well as the prevention of cardiovasculary disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Drugs acting as agonists of CB1 receptors (Dronabinol, Dexanabinol) are currently proposed for evaluation as drugs to treat neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases), epilepsy, anxiety, and stroke.

  11. 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

  12. Endocannabinoids: friends and foes of reproduction.

    PubMed

    Maccarrone, Mauro

    2009-11-01

    Endocannabinoids are fatty acid amides like anandamide (AEA), and monoacylglycerols like 2-arachidonoylglycerol, that bind to cannabinoid, vanilloid and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. Their biological actions are controlled through not yet fully characterized cellular mechanisms. These compounds, together with their related enzymes, that include key proteins for the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid receptors, and purported membrane transporter(s), form the "endocannabinoid system (ECS)". In the past few years AEA and related ECS elements have emerged as essential players in various aspects of human reproduction, both for males and females. Here, the key features of the ECS and the potential of its components to direct human fertility towards a positive or negative end will be reviewed. In particular, the involvement of AEA and related ECS elements in regulating embryo oviductal transport, blastocyst implantation and placental development (in females), and sperm survival, motility, capacitation and acrosome reaction (in males) will be addressed, as well as the role of endocannabinoids in sperm-oviduct interactions. Additionally, the possibility that blood AEA and its hydrolase FAAH may represent reliable diagnostic markers of natural and assisted reproduction in humans will be discussed, along with the therapeutic exploitation of ECS-oriented drugs as useful fertility enhancers.

  13. The biological networks in studying cell signal transduction complexity: The examples of sperm capacitation and of endocannabinoid system

    PubMed Central

    Bernabò, Nicola; Barboni, Barbara; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2014-01-01

    Cellular signal transduction is a complex phenomenon, which plays a central role in cell surviving and adaptation. The great amount of molecular data to date present in literature, together with the adoption of high throughput technologies, on the one hand, made available to scientists an enormous quantity of information, on the other hand, failed to provide a parallel increase in the understanding of biological events. In this context, a new discipline arose, the systems biology, aimed to manage the information with a computational modeling-based approach. In particular, the use of biological networks has allowed the making of huge progress in this field. Here we discuss two possible application of the use of biological networks to explore cell signaling: the study of the architecture of signaling systems that cooperate in determining the acquisition of a complex cellular function (as it is the case of the process of activation of spermatozoa) and the organization of a single specific signaling systems expressed by different cells in different tissues (i.e. the endocannabinoid system). In both the cases we have found that the networks follow a scale free and small world topology, likely due to the evolutionary advantage of robustness against random damages, fastness and specific of information processing, and easy navigability. PMID:25379139

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The role of the endocannabinoid system in eating disorders: pharmacological implications.

    PubMed

    Marco, Eva M; Romero-Zerbo, Silvana Y; Viveros, María-Paz; Bermudez-Silva, Francisco J

    2012-09-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is a widespread intercellular signalling mechanism that plays a critical role in body homoeostasis. It is located in key points involved in food intake and energy expenditure, coordinating all the players involved in energy balance. As such, it has come to be seen as an interesting target for the management of diseases characterized by an imbalanced energy homoeostasis, such as obesity and eating disorders. The aetiology of eating disorders and the molecular systems involved are still largely a mystery. Research has focused on brain circuits where the eCB system plays an important role, such as those related to feeding behaviour and the rewarding properties of food. Accordingly, recent findings have suggested a deregulation of the eCB system in eating disorders. At present, cannabinoid agonists are safe and effective tools in the management of diseases in which weight gain is needed, for example cachexia in AIDS patients. However, studies on the potential therapeutic validity of cannabinoids in eating disorders are scarce and inconclusive. Taken together, all these considerations warrant more preclinical and clinical investigations in the role of the eCB system in eating disorders. Eventually, they may provide novel pharmacological approaches for the treatment of these diseases.

  17. Effect of Pharmacological Modulation of the Endocannabinoid System on Opiate Withdrawal: A Review of the Preclinical Animal Literature.

    PubMed

    Wills, Kiri L; Parker, Linda A

    2016-01-01

    Over the years, animal studies have revealed a role for the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of multiple aspects of opiate addiction. The current review provides an overview of this literature in regards to opiate withdrawal. The opiate withdrawal syndrome, hypothesized to act as a negative reinforcer in mediating continued drug use, can be characterized by the emergence of spontaneous or precipitated aversive somatic and affective states following the termination of drug use. The behaviors measured to quantify somatic opiate withdrawal and the paradigms employed to assess affective opiate withdrawal (e.g., conditioned place aversion) in both acutely and chronically dependent animals are discussed in relation to the ability of the endocannabinoid system to modulate these behaviors. Additionally, the brain regions mediating somatic and affective opiate withdrawal are elucidated with respect to their modulation by the endocannabinoid system. Ultimately, a review of these findings reveals dissociations between the brain regions mediating somatic and affective opiate withdrawal, and the ability of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor agonism/antagonism to interfere with opiate withdrawal within different brain sub regions.

  18. Effect of Pharmacological Modulation of the Endocannabinoid System on Opiate Withdrawal: A Review of the Preclinical Animal Literature

    PubMed Central

    Wills, Kiri L.; Parker, Linda A.

    2016-01-01

    Over the years, animal studies have revealed a role for the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of multiple aspects of opiate addiction. The current review provides an overview of this literature in regards to opiate withdrawal. The opiate withdrawal syndrome, hypothesized to act as a negative reinforcer in mediating continued drug use, can be characterized by the emergence of spontaneous or precipitated aversive somatic and affective states following the termination of drug use. The behaviors measured to quantify somatic opiate withdrawal and the paradigms employed to assess affective opiate withdrawal (e.g., conditioned place aversion) in both acutely and chronically dependent animals are discussed in relation to the ability of the endocannabinoid system to modulate these behaviors. Additionally, the brain regions mediating somatic and affective opiate withdrawal are elucidated with respect to their modulation by the endocannabinoid system. Ultimately, a review of these findings reveals dissociations between the brain regions mediating somatic and affective opiate withdrawal, and the ability of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor agonism/antagonism to interfere with opiate withdrawal within different brain sub regions. PMID:27445822

  19. A Comparative Analysis of the Endocannabinoid System in the Retina of Mice, Tree Shrews, and Monkeys.

    PubMed

    Bouskila, Joseph; Javadi, Pasha; Elkrief, Laurent; Casanova, Christian; Bouchard, Jean-François; Ptito, Maurice

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is widely expressed in various parts of the central nervous system, including the retina. The localization of the key eCB receptors, particularly CB1R and CB2R, has been recently reported in rodent and primate retinas with striking interspecies differences. Little is known about the distribution of the enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of these eCBs. We therefore examined the expression and localization of the main components of the eCB system in the retina of mice, tree shrews, and monkeys. We found that CB1R and FAAH distributions are well-preserved among these species. However, expression of NAPE-PLD is circumscribed to the photoreceptor layer only in monkeys. In contrast, CB2R expression is variable across these species; in mice, CB2R is found in retinal neurons but not in glial cells; in tree shrews, CB2R is expressed in Müller cell processes of the outer retina and in retinal neurons of the inner retina; in monkeys, CB2R is restricted to Müller cells. Finally, the expression patterns of MAGL and DAGLα are differently expressed across species. Overall, these results provide evidence that the eCB system is differently expressed in the retina of these mammals and suggest a distinctive role of eCBs in visual processing.

  20. A Comparative Analysis of the Endocannabinoid System in the Retina of Mice, Tree Shrews, and Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Bouskila, Joseph; Javadi, Pasha; Elkrief, Laurent; Casanova, Christian; Bouchard, Jean-François; Ptito, Maurice

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is widely expressed in various parts of the central nervous system, including the retina. The localization of the key eCB receptors, particularly CB1R and CB2R, has been recently reported in rodent and primate retinas with striking interspecies differences. Little is known about the distribution of the enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of these eCBs. We therefore examined the expression and localization of the main components of the eCB system in the retina of mice, tree shrews, and monkeys. We found that CB1R and FAAH distributions are well-preserved among these species. However, expression of NAPE-PLD is circumscribed to the photoreceptor layer only in monkeys. In contrast, CB2R expression is variable across these species; in mice, CB2R is found in retinal neurons but not in glial cells; in tree shrews, CB2R is expressed in Müller cell processes of the outer retina and in retinal neurons of the inner retina; in monkeys, CB2R is restricted to Müller cells. Finally, the expression patterns of MAGL and DAGLα are differently expressed across species. Overall, these results provide evidence that the eCB system is differently expressed in the retina of these mammals and suggest a distinctive role of eCBs in visual processing. PMID:26977322

  1. Drug discovery strategies that focus on the endocannabinoid signaling system in psychiatric disease

    PubMed Central

    Wyrofsky, Ryan; McGonigle, Paul; Van Bockstaele, Elisabeth J.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The endocannabinoid (eCB) system plays an important role in the control of mood, and its dysregulation has been implicated in several psychiatric disorders. Targeting the eCB system appears to represent an attractive and novel approach to the treatment of depression and other mood disorders. However, several failed clinical trials have diminished enthusiasm for the continued development of eCB-targeted therapeutics for psychiatric disorders, despite of the encouraging preclinical data and promising preliminary results obtained with the synthetic cannabinoid nabilone for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Areas covered This review describes the eCB system’s role in modulating cell signaling within the brain. There is a specific focus on eCB’s regulation of monoamine neurotransmission and the stress axis, as well as how dysfunction of this interaction can contribute to the development of psychiatric disorders. Additionally, the review provides discussion on compounds and drugs that target this system and might prove to be successful for the treatment of mood-related psychiatric disorders. Expert opinion The discovery of increasingly selective modulators of CB receptors should enable the identification of optimal therapeutic strategies. It should also maximize the likelihood of developing safe and effective treatments for debilitating psychiatric disorders. PMID:25488672

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  3. Targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists: pharmacological strategies and therapeutic possibilities.

    PubMed

    Pertwee, Roger G

    2012-12-05

    Human tissues express cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors that can be activated by endogenously released 'endocannabinoids' or exogenously administered compounds in a manner that reduces the symptoms or opposes the underlying causes of several disorders in need of effective therapy. Three medicines that activate cannabinoid CB(1)/CB(2) receptors are now in the clinic: Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC)) and Sativex (Δ(9)-THC with cannabidiol). These can be prescribed for the amelioration of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Cesamet and Marinol), stimulation of appetite (Marinol) and symptomatic relief of cancer pain and/or management of neuropathic pain and spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis (Sativex). This review mentions several possible additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists. These include other kinds of pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, cancer, drug dependence, glaucoma, autoimmune uveitis, osteoporosis, sepsis, and hepatic, renal, intestinal and cardiovascular disorders. It also describes potential strategies for improving the efficacy and/or benefit-to-risk ratio of these agonists in the clinic. These are strategies that involve (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier, (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue, (iii) targeting upregulated cannabinoid receptors, (iv) selectively targeting cannabinoid CB(2) receptors, and/or (v) adjunctive 'multi-targeting'.

  4. THC and endocannabinoids differentially regulate neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in the sub-chronic PCP model of schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar, David D; Giuffrida, Andrea; Lodge, Daniel J

    2017-01-01

    Cannabis use has been associated with an increased risk to develop schizophrenia as well as symptom exacerbation in patients. In contrast, clinical studies have revealed an inverse relationship between the CSF levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide and symptom severity, suggesting a therapeutic potential for endocannabinoid enhancing drugs. Indeed, preclinical studies have shown that these drugs can reverse distinct behavioral deficits in a rodent model of schizophrenia. The mechanisms underlying the differences between exogenous and endogenous cannabinoid administration are currently unknown. Using the phencyclidine (PCP) rat model of schizophrenia, we compared the effects on neuronal activity of systematic administration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with the fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor URB597. Specifically, we found that the inhibitory response in the prefrontal cortex to THC administration was absent in PCP-treated rats. In contrast, an augmented response to endocannabinoid upregulation was observed in the prefrontal cortex of PCP-treated rats. Interestingly, differential effects were also observed at the neuronal population level, as endocannabinoid upregulation induced opposite effects on coordinated activity when compared to THC. Such information is important for understanding why marijuana and synthetic cannabinoid use may be contraindicated in schizophrenia patients while endocannabinoid enhancement may provide a novel therapeutic approach. PMID:26510449

  5. Endocannabinoid system in sexual motivational processes: Is it a novel therapeutic horizon?

    PubMed

    Androvicova, Renata; Horacek, Jiri; Stark, Tibor; Drago, Filippo; Micale, Vincenzo

    2017-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is composed of the cannabinoid receptors types 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) for marijuana's psychoactive ingredient Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC), the endogenous ligands (AEA and 2-AG) and the enzymatic systems involved in their biosynthesis and degradation, recently emerged as important modulator of emotional and non-emotional behaviors. For centuries, in addition to its recreational actions, several contradictory claims regarding the effects of Cannabis use in sexual functioning and behavior (e.g. aphrodisiac vs anti-aphrodisiac) of both sexes have been accumulated. The identification of Δ(9)-THC and later on, the discovery of the ECS have opened a potential therapeutic target for sexual dysfunctions, given the partial efficacy of current pharmacological treatment. In agreement with the bidirectional modulation induced by cannabinoids on several behavioral responses, the endogenous cannabinoid AEA elicited biphasic effects on sexual behavior as well. The present article reviews current available knowledge on herbal, synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids with respect to the modulation of several aspects of sexuality in preclinical and human studies, highlighting their therapeutic potential.

  6. 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.

  7. Modulation of neuropathic-pain-related behaviour by the spinal endocannabinoid/endovanilloid system

    PubMed Central

    Starowicz, Katarzyna; Przewlocka, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    Neuropathic pain refers to chronic pain that results from injury to the nervous system. The mechanisms involved in neuropathic pain are complex and involve both peripheral and central phenomena. Although numerous pharmacological agents are available for the treatment of neuropathic pain, definitive drug therapy has remained elusive. Recent drug discovery efforts have identified an original neurobiological approach to the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain. The development of innovative pharmacological strategies has led to the identification of new promising pharmacological targets, including glutamate antagonists, microglia inhibitors and, interestingly, endogenous ligands of cannabinoids and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1). Endocannabinoids (ECs), endovanilloids and the enzymes that regulate their metabolism represent promising pharmacological targets for the development of a successful pain treatment. This review is an update of the relationship between cannabinoid receptors (CB1) and TRPV1 channels and their possible implications for neuropathic pain. The data are focused on endogenous spinal mechanisms of pain control by anandamide, and the current and emerging pharmacotherapeutic approaches that benefit from the pharmacological modulation of spinal EC and/or endovanilloid systems under chronic pain conditions will be discussed. PMID:23108547

  8. The endocannabinoid system and rimonabant: a new drug with a novel mechanism of action involving cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonism--or inverse agonism--as potential obesity treatment and other therapeutic use.

    PubMed

    Xie, S; Furjanic, M A; Ferrara, J J; McAndrew, N R; Ardino, E L; Ngondara, A; Bernstein, Y; Thomas, K J; Kim, E; Walker, J M; Nagar, S; Ward, S J; Raffa, R B

    2007-06-01

    There is considerable evidence that the endocannabinoid (endogenous cannabinoid) system plays a significant role in appetitive drive and associated behaviours. It is therefore reasonable to hypothesize that the attenuation of the activity of this system would have therapeutic benefit in treating disorders that might have a component of excess appetitive drive or over-activity of the endocannabinoid system, such as obesity, ethanol and other drug abuse, and a variety of central nervous system and other disorders. Towards this end, antagonists of cannabinoid receptors have been designed through rational drug discovery efforts. Devoid of the abuse concerns that confound and impede the use of cannabinoid receptor agonists for legitimate medical purposes, investigation of the use of cannabinoid receptor antagonists as possible pharmacotherapeutic agents is currently being actively investigated. The compound furthest along this pathway is rimonabant, a selective CB(1) (cannabinoid receptor subtype 1) antagonist, or inverse agonist, approved in the European Union and under regulatory review in the United States for the treatment of obesity. This article summarizes the basic science of the endocannabinoid system and the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid receptor antagonists, with emphasis on the treatment of obesity.

  9. The endocannabinoid system as a key mediator during liver diseases: new insights and therapeutic openings

    PubMed Central

    Mallat, A; Teixeira-Clerc, F; Deveaux, V; Manin, S; Lotersztajn, S

    2011-01-01

    Chronic liver diseases represent a major health problem due to cirrhosis and its complications. During the last decade, endocannabinoids and their receptors have emerged as major regulators of several pathophysiological aspects associated with chronic liver disease progression. Hence, hepatic cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) receptors display beneficial effects on alcoholic fatty liver, hepatic inflammation, liver injury, regeneration and fibrosis. Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) receptors have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several lesions such as alcoholic and metabolic steatosis, liver fibrogenesis, or circulatory failure associated with cirrhosis. Although the development of CB1 antagonists has recently been suspended due to the high incidence of central side effects, preliminary preclinical data obtained with peripherally restricted CB1 antagonists give real hopes in the development of active CB1 molecules devoid of central adverse effects. CB2-selective molecules may also offer novel perspectives for the treatment of liver diseases, and their clinical development is clearly awaited. Whether combined treatment with a peripherally restricted CB1 antagonist and a CB2 agonist might result in an increased therapeutic potential will warrant further investigation. 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:21457226

  10. 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

  11. Docosahexaenoic acid attenuates in endocannabinoid synthesis in RAW 264.7 macrophages activated with benzo(a)pyrene and lipopolysaccharide.

    PubMed

    Gdula-Argasińska, Joanna; Bystrowska, Beata

    2016-09-06

    Endocannabinoids are synthetized as a results of demand from membrane phospholipids. The formation and actions of these lipid mediators depend to a great extent on the prevalence of precursor fatty acid (FA), and can be influenced by diet or supplementation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the interactive effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) in RAW 264.7 cells supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). After LPS and/or BaP treatment in macrophages pre-incubated with DHA, a significant decrease in the amount of fatty acid was observed. The highest content of monounsaturated fatty acids was detected in RAW 264.7 cells co-treated with LPS and BaP. Significant interactions between LPS and BaP co-treatment in terms of endocannabinoid levels were observed in RAW 264.7 cells after DHA supplementation. The highest amount of endocannabinoids was detected in macrophages supplemented with DHA and co-treated with BaP and LPS: arachidonoyl ethanolamine AEA (5.9μg/mL), docosahexaenoyl ethanolamide DHEA (10.6μg/mL) and nervonoyl ethanolamide NEA (16.5μg/mL). The highest expression of cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) was noted in macrophages supplemented with DHA and activated with LPS and BaP. Our data suggested a novel, CB2 receptor-dependent, environmental stress reaction in macrophages co-treated with LPS and BaP after supplementation with DHA. Despite the synergistic LPS and BaP action DHA potentiates the anti-inflammatory response in RAW 264.7 cells.

  12. 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 CB2 receptors. By contrast, CB1 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.

  13. The endocannabinoid system in energy homeostasis and the etiopathology of metabolic disorders.

    PubMed

    Silvestri, Cristoforo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2013-04-02

    Endocannabinoids and cannabinoid CB1 receptors are known to play a generalized role in energy homeostasis. However, clinical trials with the first generation of CB1 blockers, now discontinued due to psychiatric side effects, were originally designed to reduce food intake and body weight rather than the metabolic risk factors associated with obesity. In this review, we discuss how, in addition to promoting energy intake, endocannabinoids control lipid and glucose metabolism in several peripheral organs, particularly the liver and adipose tissue. Direct actions in skeletal muscle and pancreas are also emerging. This knowledge may help in the design of future therapies for the metabolic syndrome.

  14. The endocannabinoid system in renal cells: regulation of Na+ transport by CB1 receptors through distinct cell signalling pathways

    PubMed Central

    Sampaio, L S; Taveira Da Silva, R; Lima, D; Sampaio, C L C; Iannotti, F A; Mazzarella, E; Di Marzo, V; Vieyra, A; Reis, R A M; Einicker-Lamas, M

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose The function of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in renal tissue is not completely understood. Kidney function is closely related to ion reabsorption in the proximal tubule, the nephron segment responsible for the re-absorption of 70–80% of the filtrate. We studied the effect of compounds modulating the activity of cannabinoid (CB) receptors on the active re-absorption of Na+ in LLC-PK1 cells. Experimental Approach Changes in Na+/K+-ATPase activity were assessed after treatment with WIN55,212-2 (WIN), a non-selective lipid agonist, and haemopressin (HP), an inverse peptide agonist at CB1 receptors. Pharmacological tools were used to investigate the signalling pathways involved in the modulation of Na+ transport. Key Results In addition to CB1 and CB2 receptors and TRPV1 channels, the mRNAs encoding for enzymes of the ECS were also expressed in LLC-PK1. WIN (10−7 M) and HP (10−6 M) altered Na+ re-absorption in LLC-PK1 in a dual manner. They both acutely (after 1 min) increased Na+/K+-ATPase activity in a TRPV1 antagonist-sensitive way. WIN's stimulating effect persisted for 30 min, and this effect was partially blocked by a CB1 antagonist or a PKC inhibitor. In contrast, HP inhibited Na+/K+-ATPase after 30 min incubation, and this effect was attenuated by a CB1 antagonist or a PKA inhibitor. Conclusion and Implications The ECS is expressed in LLC-PK1 cells. Both CB1 receptors and TRPV1 channels regulate Na+/K+-ATPase activity in these cells, and are modulated by lipid and peptide CB1 receptor ligands, which act via different signalling pathways. PMID:25537261

  15. Endocannabinoid involvement in endometriosis

    PubMed Central

    Dmitrieva, Natalia; Nagabukuro, Hiroshi; Resuehr, David; Zhang, Guohua; McAllister, Stacy L.; McGinty, Kristina A.; Mackie, Ken; Berkley, Karen J.

    2010-01-01

    Endometriosis is a disease common in women that is defined by abnormal extrauteral growths of uterine endometrial tissue and associated with severe pain. Partly because how the abnormal growths become associated with pain is poorly understood, the pain is difficult to alleviate without resorting to hormones or surgery, which often produce intolerable side effects or fail to help. Recent studies in a rat model and women showed that sensory and sympathetic nerve fibers sprout branches to innervate the abnormal growths. This situation, together with knowledge that the endocannabinoid system is involved in uterine function and dysfunction and that exogenous cannabinoids were once used to alleviate endometriosis-associated pain, suggests that the endocannabinoid system is involved in both endometriosis and its associated pain. Here, using a rat model, we found that CB1 cannabinoid receptors are expressed on both the somata and fibers of both the sensory and sympathetic neurons that innervate endometriosis’s abnormal growths. We further found that CB1 receptor agonists decrease, whereas CB1 receptor antagonists increase, endometriosis-associated hyperalgesia. Together these findings suggest that the endocannabinoid system contributes to mechanisms underlying both the peripheral innervation of the abnormal growths and the pain associated with endometriosis, thereby providing a novel approach for the development of badly-needed new treatments. PMID:20833475

  16. The implication of CNR1 gene's polymorphisms in the modulation of endocannabinoid system effects.

    PubMed

    Dinu, I R; Popa, Simona; Bîcu, Mihaela; Moţa, E; Moţa, Maria

    2009-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) represents one of the most important physiologic systems involved in organism homeostasis, having various implications upon individual behavior and metabolic phenotype. It is composed of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, and their genes (CNR1 and CNR2), their endogenous ligands and the enzymes which mediate endogenous ligands' biosynthesis and degradation. Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are two endogenous agonists of the cannabinoid receptors. It is considered that ECS connects physical and emotional response to stress with appetite and energy balance, functioning like an after stress recovery system which remains inactive in repose physiologic conditions. It is involved in several physiologic processes like nociception, motor control, memory, learning, appetite, food intake and energy balance. This review analyzes the implication of 11 polymorphisms of CNR1 gene in the modulation of the ECS metabolic and central effects. A lot of studies show that rs12720071, rs1049353, rs806381, rs10485170, rs6454674, rs2023239 polymorphisms are associated with metabolic effects. From them rs12720071, rs104935, rs6454674, rs2023239 polymorphisms are also associated with central effects of ECS (substance addiction, impulsivity, resistance to antidepressive treatment). Other studies indicate that rs806368, rs1535255, (AAT)9,(AAT)12 and (AAT)n are correlated only with central effects (schizophrenia, substance addiction, impulsivity, Parkinson syndrome). The discovery of ECS and its signaling pathways opens a door towards the understanding of several important physiologic processes regarding appetite, food intake, metabolism, weight gain, motor control, memory, learning, drug addiction and nociception. The detailed analysis and validation of the ECS functioning can bring us very close to the discovery of new diagnosis and treatment methods for obesity, drugs abuse and numerous psychic diseases.

  17. Endocannabinoids and synaptic function in the CNS.

    PubMed

    Hashimotodani, Yuki; Ohno-Shosaku, Takako; Kano, Masanobu

    2007-04-01

    Marijuana affects neural functions through the binding of its active component (Delta(9)-THC) to cannabinoid receptors in the CNS. Recent studies have elucidated that endogenous ligands for cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, serve as retrograde messengers at central synapses. Endocannabinoids are produced on demand in activity-dependent manners and released from postsynaptic neurons. The released endocannabinoids travel backward across the synapse, activate presynaptic CB1 cannabinoid receptors, and modulate presynaptic functions. Retrograde endocannabinoid signaling is crucial for certain forms of short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity at excitatory or inhibitory synapses in many brain regions, and thereby contributes to various aspects of brain function including learning and memory. Molecular identities of the CB1 receptor and enzymes involved in production and degradation of endocannabinoids have been elucidated. Anatomical studies have demonstrated unique distributions of these molecules around synapses, which provide morphological bases for the roles of endocannabinoids as retrograde messengers. CB1-knockout mice exhibit various behavioral abnormalities and multiple defects in synaptic plasticity, supporting the notion that endocannabinoid signaling is involved in various aspects of neural function. In this review article, the authors describe molecular mechanisms of the endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation and its possible physiological significance.

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

    PubMed

    Grant, Igor; Cahn, B Rael

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Orexin-A and Endocannabinoid Activation of the Descending Antinociceptive Pathway Underlies Altered Pain Perception in Leptin Signaling Deficiency.

    PubMed

    Cristino, Luigia; Luongo, Livio; Imperatore, Roberta; Boccella, Serena; Becker, Thorsten; Morello, Giovanna; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Busetto, Giuseppe; Maione, Sabatino; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    Pain perception can become altered in individuals with eating disorders and obesity for reasons that have not been fully elucidated. We show that leptin deficiency in ob/ob mice, or leptin insensitivity in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus in mice with high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity, are accompanied by elevated orexin-A (OX-A) levels and orexin receptor-1 (OX1-R)-dependent elevation of the levels of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), in the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG). In ob/ob mice, these alterations result in the following: (i) increased excitability of OX1-R-expressing vlPAG output neurons and subsequent increased OFF and decreased ON cell activity in the rostral ventromedial medulla, as assessed by patch clamp and in vivo electrophysiology; and (ii) analgesia, in both healthy and neuropathic mice. In HFD mice, instead, analgesia is only unmasked following leptin receptor antagonism. We propose that OX-A/endocannabinoid cross talk in the descending antinociceptive pathway might partly underlie increased pain thresholds in conditions associated with impaired leptin signaling.

  20. Investigations of the endocannabinoid system in adipose tissue: effects of obesity/ weight loss and treatment options.

    PubMed

    Bennetzen, Marianne Faurholt

    2011-04-01

    Obesity is a world wide epidemic; it is becoming more usual to be overweight or obese than to be normal weight. Obesity increases the risk of an extensive range of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, depression and some types of cancer. Adipose tissue is more than a storage organ for surplus energy - it is also a setting for complex metabolic processes and adipose tissue releases substances that interact with other parts of the body to influence several systems including food intake and energy metabolism. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the signalling systems that control feeding behaviour. The ECS is implicated in many functions, such as pain, memory, addiction, inflammation, and feeding, and could be considered a stress recovery system. It also seems to integrate nutrient intake, metabolism and storage maintaining homeostatic balance. The ECS is a recently discovered system, and research indicates hyperactivity in obesity. The aim of this thesis is to elaborate on the relationships of this widespread system and its elements in adipose tissue in obesity. Study I is a 4 weeks rat intervention study to investigate whether weight independent effect of Rimonabant treatment exists. We found that food intake-tolerance development could be circumvented by cyclic administration of Rimonabant and implications of weight independent effects of treatment. Study II is a cross-sectional study to establish the expression of cannabinoid receptor 1 from various adipose tissue depots of lean and obese persons. In this study we conclude, that the subcutaneous adipose tissue express more CBR1 than the visceral depot in lean, but comparable levels in obese. Study III is a 10 weeks human intervention study to asses the effects on the ECS of 10% weight loss. We found reduction in the ECS in obesity that normalised with weight loss. Our results clearly show the presence of all the components of the ECS in human adipose tissue, and

  1. PUFA-derived endocannabinoids: an overview.

    PubMed

    Cascio, Maria Grazia

    2013-11-01

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

  2. Medullary Endocannabinoids Contribute to the Differential Resting Baroreflex Sensitivity in Rats with Altered Brain Renin-Angiotensin System Expression

    PubMed Central

    Schaich, Chris L.; Grabenauer, Megan; Thomas, Brian F.; Shaltout, Hossam A.; Gallagher, Patricia E.; Howlett, Allyn C.; Diz, Debra I.

    2016-01-01

    CB1 cannabinoid receptors are expressed on vagal afferent fibers and neurons within the solitary tract nucleus (NTS), providing anatomical evidence for their role in arterial baroreflex modulation. To better understand the relationship between the brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and endocannabinoid expression within the NTS, we measured dorsal medullary endocannabinoid tissue content and the effects of CB1 receptor blockade at this brain site on cardiac baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) in ASrAOGEN rats with low glial angiotensinogen, normal Sprague-Dawley rats and (mRen2)27 rats with upregulated brain RAS expression. Mass spectrometry revealed higher levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol in (mRen2)27 compared to ASrAOGEN rats (2.70 ± 0.28 vs. 1.17 ± 0.09 ng/mg tissue; P < 0.01), while Sprague-Dawley rats had intermediate content (1.85 ± 0.27 ng/mg tissue). Microinjection of the CB1receptor antagonist SR141716A (36 pmol) into the NTS did not change cardiac BRS in anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats (1.04 ± 0.05 ms/mmHg baseline vs. 1.17 ± 0.11 ms/mmHg after 10 min). However, SR141716A in (mRen2)27 rats dose-dependently improved BRS in this strain: 0.36 pmol of SR141716A increased BRS from 0.43 ± 0.03 to 0.71 ± 0.04 ms/mmHg (P < 0.001), and 36 pmol of SR141716A increased BRS from 0.47 ± 0.02 to 0.94 ± 0.10 ms/mmHg (P < 0.01). In contrast, 0.36 pmol (1.50 ± 0.12 vs. 0.86 ± 0.08 ms/mmHg; P < 0.05) and 36 pmol (1.38 ± 0.16 vs. 0.46 ± 0.003 ms/mmHg; P < 0.01) of SR141716A significantly reduced BRS in ASrAOGEN rats. These observations reveal differential dose-related effects of the brain endocannabinoid system that influence cardiovagal BRS in animals with genetic alterations in the brain RAS. PMID:27375489

  3. Endocannabinoid system and proopiomelanocortin gene expression in peripartal bovine liver in response to prepartal plane of nutrition.

    PubMed

    Khan, M J; Graugnard, D E; Loor, J J

    2012-10-01

    Endocannabinoids are fatty acid amides (FAE; oleoylethanolamide and anandamide) which have orexigenic, anorexigenic or anti-inflammatory properties. We examined mRNA expression via qPCR of endocannabinoid receptors (CNR1 and CNR2), enzymes that synthesize FAE (HRASLS5 and N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D), enzymes that degrade FAE [fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), N-acylethanolamine acid amidase (NAAA) and monoglyceride lipase (MGLL)], and the hormone precursor proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in liver at -14, 7, 14 and 30 days around parturition from cows fed with a control (CON; NE(L) = 1.34 Mcal/kg) or moderate-energy (OVER; NE(L) = 1.62 Mcal/kg) diet during the dry period. Expression of CNR2 and POMC was greater at 7 days in cows fed with OVER because of a decrease in expression between -14 and 7 days in cows fed with CON. Cows fed with CON had an increase in expression of FAAH, HRASLS5, NAA, MGLL and POMC between 7 and 14 days; for FAAH and HRASLS5, such response led to greater expression at 14 days vs. cows fed with OVER. Cows fed with OVER vs. CON had a approximately twofold increase in expression of MGLL between -14 and 7 days followed by a gradual decrease through 30 days at which point expression was still greater in OVER vs. CON. FAAH, MGLL and HRASLS5 were the most abundant genes measured. Expression of the hepatic endocannabinoid system and POMC was altered by plane of dietary energy prepartum particularly during the first 2-week postpartum. Such responses may play a role in the physiological adaptations to the onset of lactation, including energy balance and feed intake.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Transient increases in nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine concentration are observed when animals are presented with motivationally salient stimuli and are theorized to energize reward seeking. They arise from high frequency firing of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which also results in the release of endocannabinoids from dopamine cell bodies. In this context, endocannabinoids are thought to regulate reward seeking by modulating dopamine signaling, although a direct link has never been demonstrated. To test this, we pharmacologically manipulated endocannabinoid neurotransmission in the VTA while measuring transient changes in dopamine concentration in the NAc during reward seeking. Disrupting endocannabinoid signaling dramatically reduced, whereas augmenting levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) increased, cue-evoked dopamine concentrations and reward seeking. These data suggest that 2AG in the VTA regulates reward seeking by sculpting ethologically relevant patterns of dopamine release during reward-directed behavior. PMID:22284189

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. To Act or Not to Act: Endocannabinoid/Dopamine Interactions in Decision-Making

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Giovanni; Cheer, Joseph F.

    2015-01-01

    Decision-making is an ethologically adaptive construct that is impaired in multiple psychiatric disorders. Activity within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system has been traditionally associated with decision-making. The endocannabinoid system through its actions on inhibitory and excitatory synapses modulates dopamine activity and decision-making. The aim of this brief review is to present a synopsis of available data obtained when the endocannabinoid system is manipulated and dopamine activity recorded. To this end, we review research using different behavioral paradigms to provide further insight into how this ubiquitous signaling system biases dopamine-related behaviors to regulate decision-making. PMID:26733830

  8. Hub and switches: endocannabinoid signalling in midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Melis, Miriam; Pistis, Marco

    2012-12-05

    The last decade has provided a wealth of experimental data on the role played by lipids belonging to the endocannabinoid family in several facets of physiopathology of dopamine neurons. We currently suggest that these molecules, being intimately connected with diverse metabolic and signalling pathways, might differently affect various functions of dopamine neurons through activation not only of surface receptors, but also of nuclear receptors. It is now emerging how dopamine neurons can regulate their constituent biomolecules to compensate for changes in either internal functions or external conditions. Consequently, dopamine neurons use these lipid molecules as metabolic and homeostatic signal detectors, which can dynamically impact cell function and fitness. Because dysfunctions of the dopamine system underlie diverse neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and drug addiction, the importance of better understanding the correlation between an unbalanced endocannabinoid signal and the dopamine system is even greater. Particularly, because dopamine neurons are critical in controlling incentive-motivated behaviours, the involvement of endocannabinoid molecules in fine-tuning dopamine cell activity opened new avenues in both understanding and treating drug addiction. Here, we review recent advances that have shed new light on the understanding of differential roles of endocannabinoids and their cognate molecules in the regulation of the reward circuit, and discuss their anti-addicting properties, particularly with a focus on their potential engagement in the prevention of relapse.

  9. Critical role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of food intake and energy metabolism, with phylogenetic, developmental, and pathophysiological implications.

    PubMed

    Viveros, M P; de Fonseca, F Rodriguez; Bermudez-Silva, F J; McPartland, J M

    2008-09-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of two receptors (CB(1) and CB(2)), several endogenous ligands (primarily anandamide and 2-AG), and over a dozen ligand-metabolizing enzymes. The ECS has deep phylogenetic roots and regulates many aspects of embryological development and homeostasis, including neuroprotection and neural plasticity, immunity and inflammation, apoptosis and carcinogenesis, pain and emotional memory, and the focus of this review: hunger, feeding, and metabolism. The ECS controls energy balance and lipid metabolism centrally (in the hypothalamus and mesolimbic pathways) and peripherally (in adipocytes and pancreatic islet cells), acting through numerous anorexigenic and orexigenic pathways (e.g., ghrelin, leptin, orexin, adiponectin, endogenous opioids, and corticotropin-releasing hormone). Obesity leads to excessive endocannabinoid production by adipocytes, which drives CB(1) in a feed-forward dysfunction. Phylogenetic research suggests the genes for endocannabinoid enzymes, especially DAGLalpha and NAPE-PLD, may harbor mildly deleterious alleles that express disease-related phenotypes. Several CB(1) inverse agonists have been developed for the treatment of obesity, including rimonabant, taranabant, and surinabant. These drugs are efficacious at reducing food intake as well as abdominal adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors. However, given the myriad beneficial roles of the ECS, it should be no surprise that systemic CB(1) blockade induces various adverse effects. Alternatives to systemic blockade include CB(1) partial agonists, pleiotropic drugs, peripherally restricted antagonists, allosteric antagonists, and endocannabinoid ligand modulation. The ECS offers several discrete targets for the management of obesity and its associated cardiometabolic sequelae.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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 maymore » 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.« less

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Fatty acid amidohydrolase in human neocortex-activity in epileptic and non-epileptic brain tissue and inhibition by putative endocannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Steffens, Marc; Schulze-Bonhage, Andreas; Surges, Rainer; Feuerstein, Thomas J

    2005-09-02

    Increased levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) have been observed in connection with neuronal disorders like epilepsy. In order to investigate whether an impaired enzymatic AEA hydrolysis contributes to this phenomenon, the present study determined the activity of fatty acid amidohydrolase (FAAH) in epileptic and non-epileptic human neocortical brain tissue. Additionally, we investigated whether other putative endocannabinoids (2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), noladin ether, virodhamine) may also interact with FAAH. AEA hydrolysis was measured by the formation of the product [(3)H]-ethanolamine after separation from the substrate using activated charcoal. FAAH activity was found to be similar in epileptic and non-epileptic human neocortex (0.29 and 0.37 nmol ethanolamine/mg protein/min, respectively). FAAH activity was about 55% higher in rat neocortex. While in human, neocortex noladin ether did not influence AEA hydrolysis, FAAH activity was concentration-dependently inhibited by AEA, 2-AG and virodhamine (IC(50) values 3.3, 3.5 and 13.8 microM, respectively). Our results suggest that, in the course of epilepsy, increased AEA levels are likely due to enhanced formation and not due to decreased hydrolysis. To further increase endocannabinoid activity, the application of FAAH inhibitors might be therapeutically useful in the treatment of neuronal hyperexcitability. Whereas noladin ether did not interact with AEA hydrolysis, this compound, 2-AG and virodhamine may share common enzymatic inactivation mechanisms in human neocortex.

  14. Opposing local effects of endocannabinoids on the activity of noradrenergic neurons and release of noradrenaline: relevance for their role in depression and in the actions of CB(1) receptor antagonists.

    PubMed

    Kirilly, E; Hunyady, L; Bagdy, G

    2013-01-01

    There is strong evidence that endocannabinoids modulate signaling of serotonin and noradrenaline, which play key roles in the pathophysiology and treatment of anxiety and depression. Most pharmacological and genetic, human and rodent studies suggest that the presence of under-functioning endocannabinoid type-1 (CB(1)) receptors is associated with increased anxiety and elevated extracellular serotonin concentration. In contrast, noradrenaline is presumably implicated in the mediation of depression-type symptoms of CB(1) receptor antagonists. Evidence shows that most CB(1) receptors located on axons and terminals of GABA-ergic, serotonergic or glutamatergic neurons stimulate the activity of noradrenergic neurons. In contrast, those located on noradrenergic axons and terminals inhibit noradrenaline release efficiently. In this latter process, excitatory ionotropic or G protein-coupled receptors, such as the NMDA, alpha1 and beta1 adrenergic receptors, activate local endocannabinoid synthesis at postsynaptic sites and stimulate retrograde endocannabinoid neurotransmission acting on CB(1) receptors of noradrenergic terminals. The underlying mechanisms include calcium signal generation, which activates enzymes that increase the synthesis of both anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, while G(q/11) protein activation also increases the formation of 2-arachidonoylglycerol from diacylglycerol during the signaling process. In addition, other non-CB(1) receptor endocannabinoid targets such as CB(2), transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha and possibly GPR55 can also mediate some of the endocannabinoid effects. In conclusion, both neuronal activation and neurotransmitter release depend on the in situ synthesized endocannabinoids and thus, local endocannabinoid concentrations in different brain areas may be crucial in the net effect, namely in the regulation of neurons located postsynaptically to the noradrenergic synapse.

  15. Endocannabinoid modulation in the olfactory epithelium.

    PubMed

    Breunig, Esther; Czesnik, Dirk; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Manzini, Ivan; Schild, Detlev

    2010-01-01

    Appetite, food intake, and energy balance are closely linked to the endocannabinoid system in the central nervous system. Now, endocannabinoid modulation has been discovered in the peripheral olfactory system of larval Xenopus laevis. The endocannabinoid 2-AG has been shown to influence odorant-detection thresholds according to the hunger state of the animal. Hungry animals have increased 2-AG levels due to enhanced synthesis of 2-AG in sustentacular supporting cells. This renders olfactory receptor neurons, exhibiting CB1 receptors, more sensitive at detecting lower odorant concentrations, which probably helps the animal to locate food. Since taste and vision are also influenced by endocannabinoids, this kind of modulation might boost sensory inputs of food in hungry animals.

  16. Impairment of endocannabinoids activity in the dorsolateral striatum delays extinction of behavior in a procedural memory task in rats.

    PubMed

    Rueda-Orozco, Pavel E; Montes-Rodriguez, Corinne J; Soria-Gomez, Edgar; Méndez-Díaz, Mónica; Prospéro-García, Oscar

    2008-07-01

    The dorsolateral striatum (DLS) has been implicated in the learning of habits and procedural memories. Extinction of this kind of memories has been poorly studied. The DLS expresses high levels of the cannabinergic receptor one (CB1), and, lately, it has been suggested that the activation of CB1 in this structure is indispensable for long-term depression (LTD) development. We performed experiments in a T-maze and evaluated the effects of intrastriatal and intrahipocampal administration of the CB1 antagonist AM251 on extinction and on c-Fos expression. We also administered anandamide to evaluate if an artificial increase of endocannabinoids facilitates extinction. Our results indicate clearly a dose-response blockade of extinction induced by AM251 injected into the striatum but a facilitation of extinction when administered into the hippocampus. Anandamide did not induce any observable changes. AM251 effects were accompanied by an increase in c-Fos immunoreactivity in the DLS and its decrease in the hippocampal region, suggesting that the activation of CB1 in the striatum is necessary for the extinction of procedural memories. These findings could be important in some neurological conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder in which striatal activity seems to be abnormal.

  17. Surfing the (endo)cannabinoids wave.

    PubMed

    Finazzi Agrò, Alessandro; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2013-05-01

    The discovery of the receptors for the most active compound of cannabis/marihuana opened the chase for the intrinsic, physiological ligands, which are collectively termed endocannabinoids. In just a few years, it has become difficult even for the followers of this field to keep up with the endocannabinoids literature, thus we thought it useful to offer the reader at least a compass to navigate such a mare magnum.

  18. The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol on chronically stressed mice depends on hippocampal neurogenesis: involvement of the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Campos, Alline C; Ortega, Zaira; Palazuelos, Javier; Fogaça, Manoela V; Aguiar, Daniele C; Díaz-Alonso, Javier; Ortega-Gutiérrez, Silvia; Vázquez-Villa, Henar; Moreira, Fabricio A; Guzmán, Manuel; Galve-Roperh, Ismael; Guimarães, Francisco S

    2013-07-01

    Cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychotomimetic component of the plant Cannabis sativa, exerts therapeutically promising effects on human mental health such as inhibition of psychosis, anxiety and depression. However, the mechanistic bases of CBD action are unclear. Here we investigate the potential involvement of hippocampal neurogenesis in the anxiolytic effect of CBD in mice subjected to 14 d chronic unpredictable stress (CUS). Repeated administration of CBD (30 mg/kg i.p., 2 h after each daily stressor) increased hippocampal progenitor proliferation and neurogenesis in wild-type mice. Ganciclovir administration to GFAP-thymidine kinase (GFAP-TK) transgenic mice, which express thymidine kinase in adult neural progenitor cells, abrogated CBD-induced hippocampal neurogenesis. CBD administration prevented the anxiogenic effect of CUS in wild type but not in GFAP-TK mice as evidenced in the novelty suppressed feeding test and the elevated plus maze. This anxiolytic effect of CBD involved the participation of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, as CBD administration increased hippocampal anandamide levels and administration of the CB1-selective antagonist AM251 prevented CBD actions. Studies conducted with hippocampal progenitor cells in culture showed that CBD promotes progenitor proliferation and cell cycle progression and mimics the proliferative effect of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor activation. Moreover, antagonists of these two receptors or endocannabinoid depletion by fatty acid amide hydrolase overexpression prevented CBD-induced cell proliferation. These findings support that the anxiolytic effect of chronic CBD administration in stressed mice depends on its proneurogenic action in the adult hippocampus by facilitating endocannabinoid-mediated signalling.

  19. Corticosteroid-endocannabinoid loop supports decrease of fear-conditioned response in rats.

    PubMed

    Bitencourt, R M; Pamplona, F A; Takahashi, R N

    2014-07-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) and glucocorticoid systems contribute to the modulation of emotional states. Noteworthy, glucocorticoid hormones are released by adrenal glands during stressful events and endocannabinoids are released in the brain during fear-conditioned responses. Since it was already suggested that glucocorticoids may trigger the release of endocannabinoids in the brain, our objective was to investigate whether the interaction between these neuromodulatory systems contributes to the decrease of conditioned freezing behavior over successive 9-min exposures to the conditioning context. Present results suggest a bidirectional interdependence between glucocorticoid and endocannabinoid systems. CB1 receptors blockade prevents glucocorticoid-induced facilitation of conditioned freezing decrease and inhibition of glucocorticoid synthesis renders boosting of endocannabinoid signaling innocuous, while preserving the efficacy of direct CB1 receptors activation by an exogenous cannabinoid agonist. This suggests that CB1 receptors are somehow "downstream" to glucocorticoid release, which in its turn, is reduced by CB1 activation, contributing to the persistent reduction of conditioned freezing responses.

  20. Effects of chronic exercise on the endocannabinoid system in Wistar rats with high-fat diet-induced obesity.

    PubMed

    Gamelin, François-Xavier; Aucouturier, Julien; Iannotti, Fabio Arturo; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Mazzarella, Enrico; Aveta, Teresa; Leriche, Melissa; Dupont, Erwan; Cieniewski-Bernard, Caroline; Montel, Valérie; Bastide, Bruno; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Heyman, Elsa

    2016-06-01

    The endocannabinoid system is dysregulated during obesity in tissues involved in the control of food intake and energy metabolism. We examined the effect of chronic exercise on the tissue levels of endocannabinoids (eCBs) and on the expression of genes coding for cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) (Cnr1 and Cnr2, respectively) in the subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral adipose tissues and in the soleus and extensor digitorim longus (EDL) muscles, in rats fed with standard or high-fat diet. Twenty-eight male Wistar rats were placed on high-fat diet or standard diet (HFD and Ctl groups, respectively) during 12 weeks whereafter half of each group was submitted to an exercise training period of 12 weeks (HFD + training and Ctl + training). Tissue levels of eCBs were measured by LC-MS while expressions of genes coding for CB1 and CB2 receptors were investigated by qPCR. High-fat diet induced an increase in anandamide (AEA) levels in soleus and EDL (p < 0.02). In soleus of the HFD group, these changes were accompanied by elevated Cnr1 messenger RNA (mRNA) levels (p < 0.05). In EDL, exercise training allowed to reduce significantly this diet-induced AEA increase (p < 0.005). 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) levels were decreased and increased by high-fat diet in SAT and EDL, respectively (p < 0.04), but not affected by exercise training. Unlike the HFD + training group, 2-AG levels in soleus were also decreased in the HFD group compared to Ctl (p < 0.04). The levels of eCBs and Cnr1 expression are altered in a tissue-specific manner following a high-fat diet, and chronic exercise reverses some of these alterations.

  1. Activation of Both CB1 and CB2 Endocannabinoid Receptors Is Critical for Masculinization of the Developing Medial Amygdala and Juvenile Social Play Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Falvo, David J; Whitaker, Allison R

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Juvenile social play behavior is a shared trait across a wide variety of mammalian species. When play is characterized by the frequency or duration of physical contact, males usually display more play relative to females. The endocannabinoid system contributes to the development of the sex difference in social play behavior in rats. Treating newborn pups with a nonspecific endocannabinoid agonist, WIN55,212-2, masculinizes subsequent juvenile rough-and-tumble play behavior by females. Here we use specific drugs to target signaling through either the CB1 or CB2 endocannabinoid receptor (CB1R or CB2R) to determine which modulates the development of sex differences in play. Our data reveal that signaling through both CB1R and CB2R must be altered neonatally to modify development of neural circuitry regulating sex differences in play. Neonatal co-agonism of CB1R and CB2R masculinized play by females, whereas co-antagonism of these receptors feminized rates of male play. Because of a known role for the medial amygdala in the sexual differentiation of play, we reconstructed Golgi-impregnated neurons in the juvenile medial amygdala and used factor analysis to identify morphological parameters that were sexually differentiated and responsive to dual agonism of CB1R and CB2R during the early postnatal period. Our results suggest that sex differences in the medial amygdala are modulated by the endocannabinoid system during early development. Sex differences in play behavior are loosely correlated with differences in neuronal morphology. PMID:28144625

  2. Region-dependent changes in endocannabinoid transmission in the brain of morphine-dependent rats.

    PubMed

    González, Sara; Schmid, Patricia C; Fernández-Ruiz, Javier; Krebsbach, Randy; Schmid, Harald H O; Ramos, José A

    2003-06-01

    It has been suggested recently that the endocannabinoid system might be a component of the brain reward circuitry and thus play a role not only in cannabinoid tolerance/dependence, but also in dependence/withdrawal to other drugs of abuse. Here we have examined the changes in endocannabinoid ligands and their receptors in different brain regions, with particular attention to those areas related to reinforcement processes, during dependence on the powerful addictive drug, morphine. Thus, we analysed the brain contents of N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA), the first discovered endocannabinoid, in rats subjected to daily injections of increasing doses of morphine, according to a schedule designed to render the animals opiate-dependent. Although evidence of physical dependence was assured by the appearance of somatic and neurovegetative responses in these animals after an acute challenge with naloxone, there were no changes in the contents of this endocannabinoid in any of the brain regions analysed. By contrast, we observed a significant decrease in the specific binding for CB(1) receptors in the midbrain and the cerebral cortex of morphine-dependent rats, with no changes in the other regions. The decrease in the cerebral cortex was, however, accompanied by a rise in the activation of signalling mechanisms by CB(1) receptor agonists, as revealed by WIN-55,212-2-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding, whereas a reduction in this parameter was measured in the brainstem of morphine-dependent rats. In summary, the present data are indicative of the existence of an alteration of the endocannabinoid transmission during morphine dependence in rats, although the changes observed were region-dependent and affected exclusively CB(1) receptors with no changes in endocannabinoid levels. Because the changes occurred in regions of the midbrain, the cerebral cortex and the brainstem, which have been implicated in drug dependence, our data suggest that pharmacological

  3. Endocannabinoids and Metabolic Disorders.

    PubMed

    Gatta-Cherifi, Blandine; Cota, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is known to exert regulatory control on essentially every aspect related to the search for, and the intake, metabolism and storage of calories, and consequently it represents a potential pharmacotherapeutic target for obesity, diabetes and eating disorders. While the clinical use of the first generation of cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptor blockers has been halted due to the psychiatric side effects that their use occasioned, recent research in animals and humans has provided new knowledge on the mechanisms of actions of the ECS in the regulation of eating behavior, energy balance, and metabolism. In this review, we discuss these recent advances and how they may allow targeting the ECS in a more specific and selective manner for the future development of therapies against obesity, metabolic syndrome, and eating disorders.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Jourdan, T.; Godlewski, G.; Kunos, G.

    2016-01-01

    Visceral obesity is amajor 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 (CB1R) system, as indicated by the therapeutic effects of CB1R antagonists. Similar beneficial effects of CB1R antagonists with limited brain penetrance indicate the important role of CB1R 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. PMID:26880114

  6. Endocannabinoids, FOXO and the metabolic syndrome: redox, function and tipping point--the view from two systems.

    PubMed

    Nunn, Alistair V W; Guy, Geoffrey W; Bell, Jimmy D

    2010-08-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was only 'discovered' in the 1990s. Since then, many new ligands have been identified, as well as many new intracellular targets--ranging from the PPARs, to mitochondria, to lipid rafts. It was thought that blocking the CB-1 receptor might reverse obesity and the metabolic syndrome. This was based on the idea that the ECS was dysfunctional in these conditions. This has met with limited success. The reason may be that the ECS is a homeostatic system, which integrates energy seeking and storage behaviour with resistance to oxidative stress. It could be viewed as having thrifty actions. Thriftiness is an innate property of life, which is programmed to a set point by both environment and genetics, resulting in an epigenotype perfectly adapted to its environment. This thrifty set point can be modulated by hormetic stimuli, such as exercise, cold and plant micronutrients. We have proposed that the physiological and protective insulin resistance that underlies thriftiness encapsulates something called 'redox thriftiness', whereby insulin resistance is determined by the ability to resist oxidative stress. Modern man has removed most hormetic stimuli and replaced them with a calorific sedentary lifestyle, leading to increased risk of metabolic inflexibility. We suggest that there is a tipping point where lipotoxicity in adipose and hepatic cells induces mild inflammation, which switches thrifty insulin resistance to inflammation-driven insulin resistance. To understand this, we propose that the metabolic syndrome could be seen from the viewpoint of the ECS, the mitochondrion and the FOXO group of transcription factors. FOXO has many thrifty actions, including increasing insulin resistance and appetite, suppressing oxidative stress and shifting the organism towards using fatty acids. In concert with factors such as PGC-1, they also modify mitochondrial function and biogenesis. Hence, the ECS and FOXO may interact at many points; one of which

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  8. The endocannabinoid/endovanilloid N-arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA) and synthetic cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 abate the inflammatory activation of human endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Wilhelmsen, Kevin; Khakpour, Samira; Tran, Alphonso; Sheehan, Kayla; Schumacher, Mark; Xu, Fengyun; Hellman, Judith

    2014-05-09

    Although cannabinoids, such as Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, have been studied extensively for their psychoactive effects, it has become apparent that certain cannabinoids possess immunomodulatory activity. Endothelial cells (ECs) are centrally involved in the pathogenesis of organ injury in acute inflammatory disorders, such as sepsis, because they express cytokines and chemokines, which facilitate the trafficking of leukocytes to organs, and they modulate vascular barrier function. In this study, we find that primary human ECs from multiple organs express the cannabinoid receptors CB1R, GPR18, and GPR55, as well as the ion channel transient receptor potential cation channel vanilloid type 1. In contrast to leukocytes, CB2R is only minimally expressed in some EC populations. Furthermore, we show that ECs express all of the known endocannabinoid (eCB) metabolic enzymes. Examining a panel of cannabinoids, we demonstrate that the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 and the eCB N-arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA), but neither anandamide nor 2-arachidonoylglycerol, reduce EC inflammatory responses induced by bacterial lipopeptide, LPS, and TNFα. We find that endothelial CB1R/CB2R are necessary for the effects of NADA, but not those of WIN55,212-2. Furthermore, transient receptor potential cation channel vanilloid type 1 appears to counter the anti-inflammatory properties of WIN55,212-2 and NADA, but conversely, in the absence of these cannabinoids, its inhibition exacerbates the inflammatory response in ECs activated with LPS. These data indicate that the eCB system can modulate inflammatory activation of the endothelium and may have important implications for a variety of acute inflammatory disorders that are characterized by EC activation.

  9. Metabolic Interplay between Astrocytes and Neurons Regulates Endocannabinoid Action

    PubMed Central

    Viader, Andreu; Blankman, Jacqueline L.; Zhong, Peng; Liu, Xiaojie; Schlosburg, Joel E.; Joslyn, Christopher M.; Liu, Qing-Song; Tomarchio, Aaron J.; Lichtman, Aron H.; Selley, Dana E.; Sim-Selley, Laura J.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is a retrograde lipid messenger that modulates synaptic function, neurophysiology, and behavior. 2-AG signaling is terminated by enzymatic hydrolysis—a reaction that is principally performed by monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). MAGL is broadly expressed throughout the nervous system, and the contributions of different brain cell types to regulating 2-AG activity have remained unclear. Here, we genetically dissect the cellular anatomy of MAGL-mediated 2-AG metabolism in the brain and show that neurons and astrocytes coordinately regulate 2-AG content and endocannabinoid-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity and behavior. We also find that astrocytic MAGL is mainly responsible for converting 2-AG to neuroinflammatory prostaglandins via a mechanism that may involve transcellular shuttling of lipid substrates. Astrocytic-neuronal interplay thus provides distributed oversight of 2-AG metabolism and function, and, through doing so, protects the nervous system from excessive CB1 receptor activation and promotes endocannabinoid crosstalk with other lipid transmitter systems. PMID:26212325

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity is common in the pathogenesis of many neurological diseases. A pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) exerts therapeutic effects on the nervous system, but its specific mechanism associated with excitotoxicity is still unknown. We investigated the role of PEMF exposure in regulating glutamate-induced excitotoxicity through the endocannabinoid (eCB) system. PEMF exposure improved viability of HT22 cells after excitotoxicity and reduced lactate dehydrogenase release and cell death. An eCB receptor 1 (CB1R) specific inhibitor suppressed the protective effects of PEMF exposure, even though changes in CB1R expression were not observed. Elevation of N-arachidonylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) following PEMF exposure indicated that the neuroprotective effects of PEMF were related to modulation of the eCB metabolic system. Furthermore, CB1R/ERK signaling was shown to be an important downstream pathway of PEMF in regulating excitotoxicity. These results suggest that PEMF exposure leads to neuroprotective effects against excitotoxicity by facilitating the eCB/CB1R/ERK signaling pathway. Therefore, PEMF may be a potential physical therapeutic technique for preventing and treating neurological diseases. PMID:28220060

  11. Endocannabinoid signaling and food addiction.

    PubMed

    D'Addario, C; Micioni Di Bonaventura, M V; Pucci, M; Romano, A; Gaetani, S; Ciccocioppo, R; Cifani, C; Maccarrone, M

    2014-11-01

    Overeating, frequently linked to an increasing incidence of overweight and obesity, has become epidemic and one of the leading global health problems. To explain the development of this eating behavior, new hypotheses involve the concept that many people might be addicted to food by losing control over their ability to regulate food intake. Among the different neurotransmitter networks that partake in the reward circuitry within the brain, a large body of evidence supports the involvement of the endocannabinoid system. Indeed, its dysfunctions might contribute to food addiction, by regulating appetite and food preference through central and peripheral mechanisms. Here, we review and discuss the role of endocannabinoid signaling in the reward circuitry, and the possible therapeutic exploitation of strategies based on its fine regulation.

  12. 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 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 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 CB1Rs with the peripherally-restricted neutral cannabinoid CB1 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 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 endocannabinoid

  13. 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

  14. Lack of association of genetic variants in genes of the endocannabinoid system with anorexia nervosa

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Timo Dirk; Reichwald, Kathrin; Brönner, Günter; Kirschner, Jeanette; Nguyen, Thuy Trang; Scherag, André; Herzog, Wolfgang; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Lichtner, Peter; Meitinger, Thomas; Platzer, Matthias; Schäfer, Helmut; Hebebrand, Johannes; Hinney, Anke

    2008-01-01

    Background Several lines of evidence indicate that the central cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) as well as the major endocannabinoid degrading enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase (NAAA) and monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) are implicated in mediating the orexigenic effects of cannabinoids. The aim of this study was to analyse whether nucleotide sequence variations in the CNR1, FAAH, NAAA and MGLL genes are associated with anorexia nervosa (AN). Methods We analysed the association of a previously described (AAT)n repeat in the 3' flanking region of CNR1 as well as a total of 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) representative of regions with restricted haplotype diversity in CNR1, FAAH, NAAA or MGLL in up to 91 German AN trios (patient with AN and both biological parents) using the transmission-disequilibrium-test (TDT). One SNP was additionally analysed in an independent case-control study comprising 113 patients with AN and 178 normal weight controls. Genotyping was performed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, ARMS-PCR or using 3730xl capillary sequencers. Results The TDT revealed no evidence for association for any of the SNPs or the (AAT)n repeat with AN (all two-sided uncorrected p-values > 0.05). The lowest p-value of 0.11 was detected for the A-allele of the CNR1 SNP rs1049353 for which the transmission rate was 59% (95% confidence interval 47%...70%). Further genotyping of rs1049353 in 113 additional independent patients with AN and 178 normal weight controls could not substantiate the initial trend for association (p = 1.00). Conclusion As we found no evidence for an association of genetic variation in CNR1, FAAH, NAAA and MGLL with AN, we conclude that genetic variations in these genes do not play a major role in the etiology of AN in our study groups. PMID:19014633

  15. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. Cholecystokinin exerts an effect via the endocannabinoid system to inhibit GABAergic transmission in midbrain periaqueductal gray.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Vanessa A; Jeong, Hyo-Jin; Drew, Geoffrey M; Vaughan, Christopher W

    2011-08-01

    Cholecystokinin modulates pain and anxiety via its functions within brain regions such as the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG). The aim of this study was to examine the cellular actions of cholecystokinin on PAG neurons. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were made from rat midbrain PAG slices in vitro to examine the postsynaptic effects of cholecystokinin and its effects on synaptic transmission. Sulfated cholecystokinin-(26-33) (CCK-S, 100-300 nM), but not non-sulfated cholecystokinin-(26-33) (CCK-NS, 100-300 nM) produced an inward current in a sub-population of opioid sensitive and insensitive PAG neurons, which did not reverse over a range of membrane potentials. The CCK-S-induced current was abolished by the CCK1 selective antagonist devazepide (100 nM), but not by the CCK2 selective antagonists CI988 (100 nM, 1 μM) and LY225910 (1 μM). CCK-S, but not CCK-NS produced a reduction in the amplitude of evoked GABA(A)-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) and an increase in the evoked IPSC paired-pulse ratio. By contrast, CCK-S had little effect on the rate and amplitude of TTX-resistant miniature IPSCs under basal conditions and when external K(+) was elevated. The CCK-S-induced inhibition of evoked IPSCs was abolished by the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 (3 μM), the mGluR5 antagonist MPEP (10 μM) and the 1, 2-diacylglycerol lipase (DAGLα) inhibitor tetrahydrolipstatin (10 μM). In addition, CCK-S produced an increase in the rate of spontaneous non-NMDA-mediated, TTX-dependent excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). These results suggest that cholecystokinin produces direct neuronal depolarisation via CCK1 receptors and inhibits GABAergic synaptic transmission via action potential-dependent release of glutamate and mGluR5-induced endocannabinoid signaling. Thus, cholecystokinin has cellular actions within the PAG that can both oppose and reinforce opioid and cannabinoid modulation of pain and anxiety within this

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  20. Exposure to Allergen Causes Changes in NTS Neural Activities after Intratracheal Capsaicin Application, in Endocannabinoid Levels and in the Glia Morphology of NTS

    PubMed Central

    Spaziano, Giuseppe; Petrosino, Stefania; Matteis, Maria; Palazzo, Enza; Sullo, Nikol; de Novellis, Vito; Rossi, Francesco; Maione, Sabatino; D'Agostino, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Allergen exposure may induce changes in the brainstem secondary neurons, with neural sensitization of the nucleus solitary tract (NTS), which in turn can be considered one of the causes of the airway hyperresponsiveness, a characteristic feature of asthma. We evaluated neurofunctional, morphological, and biochemical changes in the NTS of naive or sensitized rats. To evaluate the cell firing activity of NTS, in vivo electrophysiological experiments were performed before and after capsaicin challenge in sensitized or naive rats. Immunohistochemical studies, endocannabinoid, and palmitoylethanolamide quantification in the NTS were also performed. This study provides evidence that allergen sensitization in the NTS induced: (1) increase in the neural firing response to intratracheal capsaicin application, (2) increase of endocannabinoid anandamide and palmitoylethanolamide, a reduction of 2-arachidonoylglycerol levels in the NTS, (3) glial cell activation, and (4) prevention by a Group III metabotropic glutamate receptor activation of neural firing response to intratracheal application of capsaicin in both naïve and sensitized rats. Therefore, normalization of ovalbumin-induced NTS neural sensitization could open up the prospect of new treatments based on the recovery of specific brain nuclei function and for extensive studies on acute or long-term efficacy of selective mGlu ligand, in models of bronchial hyperreactivity. PMID:25866824

  1. Endocannabinoids and sleep.

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  2. In vivo pharmacology of endocannabinoids and their metabolic inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Giuffrida, Andrea; McMahon, Lance R.

    2009-01-01

    This review focuses on the behavioral pharmacology of endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) and indirect-acting cannabinoid agonists that elevate endocannabinoid tone by inhibiting the activity of metabolic enzymes. Similarities and differences between prototype cannabinoid agonists, endocannabinoids and inhibitors of endocannabinoid metabolism are discussed in the context of endocannabinoid pharmacokinetics in vivo. The distribution and function of cannabinoid and non-CB1/CB2 receptors are also covered, with emphasis on their role in disorders characterized by dopamine dysfunction, such as drug abuse and Parkinson’s disease. Finally, evidence is presented to suggest that FAAH inhibitors lack the abuse liability associated with CB1 agonists, although they may modify the addictive properties of other drugs, such as alcohol. PMID:19523530

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Talani, Giuseppe; Lovinger, David M

    2015-12-01

    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. Ethanol did not potentiate sIPSCs during inhibition of adenylyl cyclase while still exerting its effect during inhibition of 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.

  5. Behavioural, biochemical and molecular changes induced by chronic crack-cocaine inhalation in mice: The role of dopaminergic and endocannabinoid systems in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Areal, Lorena B; Rodrigues, Livia C M; Andrich, Filipe; Moraes, Livia S; Cicilini, Maria A; Mendonça, Josideia B; Pelição, Fabricio S; Nakamura-Palacios, Ester M; Martins-Silva, Cristina; Pires, Rita G W

    2015-09-01

    Crack-cocaine addiction has increasingly become a public health problem worldwide, especially in developing countries. However, no studies have focused on neurobiological mechanisms underlying the severe addiction produced by this drug, which seems to differ from powder cocaine in many aspects. This study investigated behavioural, biochemical and molecular changes in mice inhaling crack-cocaine, focusing on dopaminergic and endocannabinoid systems in the prefrontal cortex. Mice were submitted to two inhalation sessions of crack-cocaine a day (crack-cocaine group) during 11 days, meanwhile the control group had no access to the drug. We found that the crack-cocaine group exhibited hyperlocomotion and a peculiar jumping behaviour ("escape jumping"). Blood collected right after the last inhalation session revealed that the anhydroecgonine methyl ester (AEME), a specific metabolite of cocaine pyrolysis, was much more concentrated than cocaine itself in the crack-cocaine group. Most genes related to the endocannabinoid system, CB1 receptor and cannabinoid degradation enzymes were downregulated after 11-day crack-cocaine exposition. These changes may have decreased dopamine and its metabolites levels, which in turn may be related with the extreme upregulation of dopamine receptors and tyrosine hydroxylase observed in the prefrontal cortex of these animals. Our data suggest that after 11 days of crack-cocaine exposure, neuroadaptive changes towards downregulation of reinforcing mechanisms may have taken place as a result of neurochemical changes observed on dopaminergic and endocannabinoid systems. Successive changes like these have never been described in cocaine hydrochloride models before, probably because AEME is only produced by cocaine pyrolysis and this metabolite may underlie the more aggressive pattern of addiction induced by crack-cocaine.

  6. The endocannabinoid system in advanced liver cirrhosis: pathophysiological implication and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Baldassarre, Maurizio; Giannone, Ferdinando A; Napoli, Lucia; Tovoli, Alessandra; Ricci, Carmen S; Tufoni, Manuel; Caraceni, Paolo

    2013-10-01

    Endogenous cannabinoids (EC) are ubiquitous lipid signalling molecules providing different central and peripheral effects that are mediated mostly by the specific receptors CB1 and CB2. The EC system is highly upregulated during chronic liver disease and consistent experimental and clinical findings indicate that it plays a role in the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis and fatty liver disease associated with obesity, alcohol abuse and hepatitis C. Furthermore, a considerable number of studies have shown that EC and their receptors contribute to the pathogenesis of the cardio-circulatory disturbances occurring in advanced cirrhosis, such as portal hypertension, hyperdynamic circulatory syndrome and cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. More recently, the EC system has been implicated in the development of ascites, hepatic encephalopathy and the inflammatory response related to bacterial infection. Rimonabant, a selective CB1 antagonist, was the first drug acting on the EC system approved for the treatment of obesity. Unfortunately, it has been withdrawn from the market because of its neuropsychiatric side effects. Compounds able to target selectively the peripheral CB1 receptors are under evaluation. In addition, molecules stimulating CB2 receptor or modulating the activity of enzymes implicated in EC metabolism are promising areas of pharmacological research. Liver cirrhosis and the related complications represent an important target for the clinical application of these compounds.

  7. The role of cannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoid system in mantle cell lymphoma and other non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

    PubMed

    Wasik, Agata M; Christensson, Birger; Sander, Birgitta

    2011-11-01

    The initiating oncogenic event in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is the translocation of cyclin D1, t(11;14)(q13;q32). However, other genetic aberrations are necessary for an overt lymphoma to arise. Like other B cell lymphomas, MCL at some points during the oncogenesis is dependent on interactions with other cells and factors in the microenvironment. The G protein coupled receptors cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) are expressed at low levels on non-malignant lymphocytes and at higher levels in MCL and other lymphoma subtypes. In this review we give an overview of what is known on the role of the cannabinoid receptors and their ligands in lymphoma as compared to non-malignant T and B lymphocytes. In MCL cannabinoids mainly reduce cell proliferation and induce cell death. Importantly, our recent findings demonstrate that cannabinoids may induce either apoptosis or another type of programmed cell death, cytoplasmic vacuolation/paraptosis in MCL. The signalling to death has been partly characterized. Even though cannabinoid receptors seem to be expressed in many other types of B cell lymphoma, the functional role of cannabinoid receptor targeting is yet largely unknown. In non-malignant B and T lymphocytes, cannabinoid receptors are up-regulated in response to antigen receptor signalling or CD40. For T lymphocytes IL-4 has also a crucial role in transcriptional regulation of CB1. In lymphocytes, cannabinoid act in several ways - by affecting cell migration, cytokine response, at high doses inhibit cell proliferation and inducing cell death. The possible role for the endocannabinoid system in the immune microenvironment of lymphoma is discussed.

  8. Insulin differentially modulates the peripheral endocannabinoid system in human subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue from lean and obese individuals.

    PubMed

    Murdolo, G; Kempf, K; Hammarstedt, A; Herder, C; Smith, U; Jansson, P-A

    2007-09-01

    Human obesity has been associated with a dysregulation of the peripheral and adipose tissue (AT) endocannabinoid system (ES). The aim of this study was to elucidate the acute in vivo effects of insulin on gene expression of the cannabinoid type 1 (CB-1) and type 2 (CB-2) receptors, as well as of the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) in the sc abdominal adipose tissue (SCAAT). Nine lean (L) and 9 obese (OB), but otherwise healthy males were studied in the fasting state and during a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp (40 mU/m2 * min(-1)). SCAAT biopsies were obtained at baseline and after 270 min of i.v. maintained hyperinsulinemia. The basal SCAAT gene expression pattern revealed an upregulation of the FAAH in the OB (p=0.03 vs L), whereas similar CB-1 and CB-2 mRNA levels were seen. Following hyperinsulinemia, the FAAH mRNA levels significantly increased approximately 2-fold in the L (p=0.01 vs baseline) but not in the OB. In contrast, insulin failed to significantly change both the adipose CB-1 and CB-2 gene expression. Finally, the FAAH gene expression positively correlated with the fasting serum insulin concentration (r 0.66; p=0.01), whereas an inverse association with the whole-body glucose disposal (r -0.58; p<0.05) was seen. Taken together, these first time observations demonstrate that the ES-related genes in the SCAAT differentially respond to hyperinsulinemia in lean/insulin-sensitive and in obese/insulin-resistant individuals. We suggest that insulin may play a key role in the obesity-linked dysregulation of the adipose ES at the gene level.

  9. Mechanisms of CB1 receptor signaling: endocannabinoid modulation of synaptic strength.

    PubMed

    Mackie, K

    2006-04-01

    The CB1 cannabinoid receptor has attracted much recent interest because of the observation that CB1 receptor antagonists have efficacy in treating metabolic syndrome and obesity. CB1 receptors also mediate most of the psychotropic effects of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9THC), the principal psychoactive component of cannabis. In addition, they are one component of an interesting and widespread paracrine signaling system, the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is comprised of cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoids, and the metabolic pathways responsible for their synthesis and degradation. The details of the endocannabinoid system have been most thoroughly studied in the brain. Here it has been shown to be intimately involved in several forms of neuronal plasticity. That is, activation of CB1 receptors by endocannabinoids produces either short- or long-term changes in the efficacy of synaptic transmission. The behavioral consequences of these changes are many, but some of the most striking and relevant to the current symposium are those associated with endogenous reward and consumptive behavior.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-04

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

  11. 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.

  12. Endocannabinoid Modulation of Predator Stress-Induced Long-Term Anxiety in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Lim, James; Igarashi, Miki; Jung, Kwang-Mook; Butini, Stefania; Campiani, Giuseppe; Piomelli, Daniele

    2016-01-01

    Individuals who experience life-threatening psychological trauma are at risk of developing a series of chronic neuropsychiatric pathologies that include generalized anxiety, depression, and drug addiction. The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the modulation of these responses by regulating the activity of the amygdala and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. However, the relevance of this signaling complex to the long-term consequences of traumatic events is unclear. Here we use an animal model of predatory stress-induced anxiety-like behavior to investigate the role of the endocannabinoid system in the development of persistent anxiety states. Our main finding is that rats exposed to the fox pheromone 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT), a life-threatening stimulus for rodents, display a marked and selective increase in the mobilization of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG), in the amygdala. This effect lasts for at least 14 days after the stress has occurred. In addition, systemic or local pharmacological inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL)—a lipid hydrolase that degrades 2-AG in presynaptic nerve terminals—elevates 2-AG levels and suppresses the anxiety-like behavior elicited by exposure to TMT. The results suggest that predator threat triggers long-term changes in 2-AG-mediated endocannabinoid signaling in the amygdala, and that pharmacological interventions targeting MGL might provide a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of chronic brain disorders initiated by trauma. PMID:26361059

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-10

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

  14. 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

  15. Endocannabinoids modulate cortical development by configuring Slit2/Robo1 signaling

    PubMed Central

    Alpár, Alán; Tortoriello, Giuseppe; Calvigioni, Daniela; Niphakis, Micah J; Milenkovic, Ivan; Bakker, Joanne; Cameron, Gary A; Hanics, János; Morris, Claudia V; Fuzik, János; Kovacs, Gabor G; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Parnavelas, John G; Andrews, William D; Hurd, Yasmin L; Keimpema, Erik; Harkany, Tibor

    2014-01-01

    Local environmental cues are indispensable for axonal growth and guidance during brain circuit formation. Here, we combine genetic and pharmacological tools, as well as systems neuroanatomy in human fetuses and mouse models, to study the role of endocannabinoid and Slit/Robo signaling in axonal growth. We show that excess 2-arachidonoylglycerol, an endocannabinoid affecting directional axonal growth, triggers corpus callosum enlargement due to errant CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R)-containing corticofugal axon spreading. This phenotype mechanistically relies on the premature differentiation and end-feet proliferation of CB2R-expressing oligodendrocytes. We further show the dependence of both axonal Robo1 positioning and oligodendroglial Slit2 production on cell-type specific cannabinoid receptor activation. Accordingly, Robo1 and/or Slit2 manipulation limits endocannabinoid modulation of axon guidance. We conclude that endocannabinoids can configure focal Slit2/Robo1 signaling to modulate directional axonal growth, which may provide a basis for understanding impaired brain wiring associated with metabolic deficits and prenatal drug exposure. PMID:25030704

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-01

    WIN55,212-2, but not its stereoisomer WIN55,212-3 or the phytocannabinoids ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), significantly enhanced...THC (the primary active psychoactive constituent present in marijuana), cannabidiol (CBD: a marijuana-derived cannabinoid that lacks psychomimetic...conducted to evaluate receptor-mediated growth inhibition by Win2, THC, cannabidiol (CBD) and nabilone in p53 wild-type MCF-7 breast tumor cell line at

  17. Individual differences and vulnerability to drug addiction: a focus on the endocannabinoid system.

    PubMed

    Sagheddu, Claudia; Melis, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    Vulnerability to drug addiction depends upon the interactions between the biological makeup of the individual, the environment, and age. These interactions are complex and difficult to tease apart. Since dopamine is involved in the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse, it is postulated that innate differences in mesocorticolimbic pathway can influence the response to drug exposure. In particular, higher and lower expression of dopamine D2 receptors in the ventral striatum (i.e. a marker of dopamine function) has been considered a putative protective and a risk factor, respectively, that can influence one's susceptibility to continued drug abuse as well as the transition to addiction. This phenomenon, which is phylogenetically preserved, appears to be a compensatory change to increased impulse activity of midbrain dopamine neurons. Hence, dopamine neuronal excitability plays a fundamental role in the diverse stages of the drug addiction cycle. In this review, a framework for the evidence that modulation of dopamine neuronal activity plays in the context of vulnerability to drug addiction will be presented. Furthermore, since endogenous cannabinoids serve as retrograde messengers to shape afferent neuronal activity in a short- and long-lasting fashion, their role in individual differences and vulnerability to drug addiction will be discussed.

  18. Endocannabinoids as Guardians of Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Tegeder, Irmgard

    2016-01-01

    Endocannabinoids including anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are involved in cancer pathophysiology in several ways, including tumor growth and progression, peritumoral inflammation, nausea and cancer pain. Recently we showed that the endocannabinoid profiles are deranged during cancer to an extent that this manifests in alterations of plasma endocannabinoids in cancer patients, which was mimicked by similar changes in rodent models of local and metastatic cancer. The present topical review summarizes the complexity of endocannabinoid signaling in the context of tumor growth and metastasis. PMID:26875980

  19. Involvement of the Endocannabinoid System in the Development and Treatment of Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-02-01

    the involvement of members of the PPAR receptor system, known to be reactive to WIN55,212-2. TRPV1 is reported to be sensitive to some cannabinoids...currently used in the treatment of diabetes (O’Sullivan 2007). Additionally, we considered the cation channel vanilloid receptor 1 ( TRPV1 ) as a...PCR confirmed the expression of message for PPARγ and TRPV1 . Figure 2B/C indicates that the antagonist capsazapine ( TRPV1 ) and GW-9662 (PPARγ) did

  20. 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

  1. Targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists: pharmacological strategies and therapeutic possibilities

    PubMed Central

    Pertwee, Roger G.

    2012-01-01

    Human tissues express cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors that can be activated by endogenously released ‘endocannabinoids’ or exogenously administered compounds in a manner that reduces the symptoms or opposes the underlying causes of several disorders in need of effective therapy. Three medicines that activate cannabinoid CB1/CB2 receptors are now in the clinic: Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)) and Sativex (Δ9-THC with cannabidiol). These can be prescribed for the amelioration of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Cesamet and Marinol), stimulation of appetite (Marinol) and symptomatic relief of cancer pain and/or management of neuropathic pain and spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis (Sativex). This review mentions several possible additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists. These include other kinds of pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, cancer, drug dependence, glaucoma, autoimmune uveitis, osteoporosis, sepsis, and hepatic, renal, intestinal and cardiovascular disorders. It also describes potential strategies for improving the efficacy and/or benefit-to-risk ratio of these agonists in the clinic. These are strategies that involve (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier, (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue, (iii) targeting upregulated cannabinoid receptors, (iv) selectively targeting cannabinoid CB2 receptors, and/or (v) adjunctive ‘multi-targeting’. PMID:23108552

  2. Endocannabinoids: A Promising Impact for Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Schurman, Lesley D; Lichtman, Aron H

    2017-01-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system regulates a diverse array of physiological processes and unsurprisingly possesses considerable potential targets for the potential treatment of numerous disease states, including two receptors (i.e., CB1 and CB2 receptors) and enzymes regulating their endogenous ligands N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG). Increases in brain levels of endocannabinoids to pathogenic events suggest this system plays a role in compensatory repair mechanisms. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) pathology remains mostly refractory to currently available drugs, perhaps due to its heterogeneous nature in etiology, clinical presentation, and severity. Here, we review pre-clinical studies assessing the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and manipulations of the endocannabinoid system to ameliorate TBI pathology. Specifically, manipulations of endocannabinoid degradative enzymes (e.g., fatty acid amide hydrolase, monoacylglycerol lipase, and α/β-hydrolase domain-6), CB1 and CB2 receptors, and their endogenous ligands have shown promise in modulating cellular and molecular hallmarks of TBI pathology such as; cell death, excitotoxicity, neuroinflammation, cerebrovascular breakdown, and cell structure and remodeling. TBI-induced behavioral deficits, such as learning and memory, neurological motor impairments, post-traumatic convulsions or seizures, and anxiety also respond to manipulations of the endocannabinoid system. As such, the endocannabinoid system possesses potential drugable receptor and enzyme targets for the treatment of diverse TBI pathology. Yet, full characterization of TBI-induced changes in endocannabinoid ligands, enzymes, and receptor populations will be important to understand that role this system plays in TBI pathology. Promising classes of compounds, such as the plant-derived phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids, and endocannabinoids, as well as their non-cannabinoid receptor

  3. Endocannabinoids: A Promising Impact for Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Schurman, Lesley D.; Lichtman, Aron H.

    2017-01-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system regulates a diverse array of physiological processes and unsurprisingly possesses considerable potential targets for the potential treatment of numerous disease states, including two receptors (i.e., CB1 and CB2 receptors) and enzymes regulating their endogenous ligands N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG). Increases in brain levels of endocannabinoids to pathogenic events suggest this system plays a role in compensatory repair mechanisms. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) pathology remains mostly refractory to currently available drugs, perhaps due to its heterogeneous nature in etiology, clinical presentation, and severity. Here, we review pre-clinical studies assessing the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and manipulations of the endocannabinoid system to ameliorate TBI pathology. Specifically, manipulations of endocannabinoid degradative enzymes (e.g., fatty acid amide hydrolase, monoacylglycerol lipase, and α/β-hydrolase domain-6), CB1 and CB2 receptors, and their endogenous ligands have shown promise in modulating cellular and molecular hallmarks of TBI pathology such as; cell death, excitotoxicity, neuroinflammation, cerebrovascular breakdown, and cell structure and remodeling. TBI-induced behavioral deficits, such as learning and memory, neurological motor impairments, post-traumatic convulsions or seizures, and anxiety also respond to manipulations of the endocannabinoid system. As such, the endocannabinoid system possesses potential drugable receptor and enzyme targets for the treatment of diverse TBI pathology. Yet, full characterization of TBI-induced changes in endocannabinoid ligands, enzymes, and receptor populations will be important to understand that role this system plays in TBI pathology. Promising classes of compounds, such as the plant-derived phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids, and endocannabinoids, as well as their non-cannabinoid receptor

  4. Are cannabidiol and Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabivarin negative modulators of the endocannabinoid system? A systematic review.

    PubMed

    McPartland, John M; Duncan, Marnie; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Pertwee, Roger G

    2015-02-01

    Based upon evidence that the therapeutic properties of Cannabis preparations are not solely dependent upon the presence of Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), pharmacological studies have been recently carried out with other plant cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids), particularly cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Results from some of these studies have fostered the view that CBD and THCV modulate the effects of THC via direct blockade of cannabinoid CB1 receptors, thus behaving like first-generation CB1 receptor inverse agonists, such as rimonabant. Here, we review in vitro and ex vivo mechanistic studies of CBD and THCV, and synthesize data from these studies in a meta-analysis. Synthesized data regarding mechanisms are then used to interpret results from recent pre-clinical animal studies and clinical trials. The evidence indicates that CBD and THCV are not rimonabant-like in their action and thus appear very unlikely to produce unwanted CNS effects. They exhibit markedly disparate pharmacological profiles particularly at CB1 receptors: CBD is a very low-affinity CB1 ligand that can nevertheless affect CB1 receptor activity in vivo in an indirect manner, while THCV is a high-affinity CB1 receptor ligand and potent antagonist in vitro and yet only occasionally produces effects in vivo resulting from CB1 receptor antagonism. THCV has also high affinity for CB2 receptors and signals as a partial agonist, differing from both CBD and rimonabant. These cannabinoids illustrate how in vitro mechanistic studies do not always predict in vivo pharmacology and underlie the necessity of testing compounds in vivo before drawing any conclusion on their functional activity at a given target.

  5. Are cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin negative modulators of the endocannabinoid system? A systematic review

    PubMed Central

    McPartland, John M; Duncan, Marnie; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Pertwee, Roger G

    2015-01-01

    Based upon evidence that the therapeutic properties of Cannabis preparations are not solely dependent upon the presence of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), pharmacological studies have been recently carried out with other plant cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids), particularly cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Results from some of these studies have fostered the view that CBD and THCV modulate the effects of THC via direct blockade of cannabinoid CB1 receptors, thus behaving like first-generation CB1 receptor inverse agonists, such as rimonabant. Here, we review in vitro and ex vivo mechanistic studies of CBD and THCV, and synthesize data from these studies in a meta-analysis. Synthesized data regarding mechanisms are then used to interpret results from recent pre-clinical animal studies and clinical trials. The evidence indicates that CBD and THCV are not rimonabant-like in their action and thus appear very unlikely to produce unwanted CNS effects. They exhibit markedly disparate pharmacological profiles particularly at CB1 receptors: CBD is a very low-affinity CB1 ligand that can nevertheless affect CB1 receptor activity in vivo in an indirect manner, while THCV is a high-affinity CB1 receptor ligand and potent antagonist in vitro and yet only occasionally produces effects in vivo resulting from CB1 receptor antagonism. THCV has also high affinity for CB2 receptors and signals as a partial agonist, differing from both CBD and rimonabant. These cannabinoids illustrate how in vitro mechanistic studies do not always predict in vivo pharmacology and underlie the necessity of testing compounds in vivo before drawing any conclusion on their functional activity at a given target. PMID:25257544

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    Cocaine is an addictive substance with a potential to cause deleterious effects in the brain. The strategies for treating its neurotoxicity, however, are limited. Evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system exerts neuroprotective functions against various stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the main enzyme responsible for terminating the actions of the endocannabinoid anandamide, reduces seizures and cell death in the hippocampus in a model of cocaine intoxication. Male Swiss mice received injections of endocannabinoid-related compounds followed by the lowest dose of cocaine that induces seizures, electroencephalographic activity and cell death in the hippocampus. The molecular mechanisms were studied in primary cell culture of this structure. The FAAH inhibitor, URB597, reduced cocaine-induced seizures and epileptiform electroencephalographic activity. The cannabinoid CB1 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 CB1 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.

  7. 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

  8. Endocannabinoids in appetite control and the treatment of obesity.

    PubMed

    Kirkham, T C; Tucci, S A

    2006-06-01

    Research into the endocannabinoid 'system' has grown exponentially in recent years, with the discovery of cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Important advances have been made in our understanding of endocannabinoid transduction mechanisms, their metabolic pathways, and of the biological processes in which they are implicated. A decade of endocannabinoid studies has promoted new insights into neural regulation and mammalian physiology that are as revolutionary as those arising from the discovery of the endogenous opioid peptides in the 1970s. Thus, endocannabinoids have been found to act as retrograde signals: released by postsynaptic neurons, they bind to presynaptic heteroceptors to modulate the release of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters through multiple G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-linked effector mechanisms. The metabolic pathways of anandamide and 2-AG have now been been characterised in great detail, and we can anticipate that these pathways -- together with endocannabinoid uptake mechanisms -- will complement cannabinoid receptors as targets for the pharmacological analysis of the physiological functions of these substances. Specific insights into the potential role of endocannabinoid-CB1 receptor systems in central appetite control, peripheral metabolism and body weight regulation herald the clinical application of CB1 receptor antagonists in the management of obesity and its associated disorders.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2016-12-20

    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 CB1 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 CB1 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.

  11. Endocannabinoid signalling in innate and adaptive immunity

    PubMed Central

    Chiurchiù, Valerio; Battistini, Luca; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2015-01-01

    The immune system can be modulated and regulated not only by foreign antigens but also by other humoral factors and metabolic products, which are able to affect several quantitative and qualitative aspects of immunity. Among these, endocannabinoids are a group of bioactive lipids that might serve as secondary modulators, which when mobilized coincident with or shortly after first-line immune modulators, increase or decrease many immune functions. Most immune cells express these bioactive lipids, together with their set of receptors and of enzymes regulating their synthesis and degradation. In this review, a synopsis of the manifold immunomodulatory effects of endocannabinoids and their signalling in the different cell populations of innate and adaptive immunity is appointed, with a particular distinction between mice and human immune system compartments. PMID:25585882

  12. Endocannabinoids and energy homeostasis: an update.

    PubMed

    Cristino, Luigia; Becker, Thorsten; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a widespread intercellular signaling system that plays a critical role in energy homeostasis, meant as the precise matching of caloric intake with energy expenditure which normally keeps body weight stable over time. Complex interactions between environmental and neurohormonal systems directly contribute to the balance of energy homeostasis. This review highlights established and more recent data on the brain circuits in which the ECS plays an important regulatory role, with focus on the hypothalamus, a region where numerous interacting systems regulating feeding, satiety, stress, and other motivational states coexist. Although not meant as an exhaustive review of the field, this article will discuss how endocannabinoid tone, in addition to reinforcing reward circuitries and modulating food intake and the salience of food, controls lipid and glucose metabolism in several peripheral organs, particularly the liver and adipose tissue. Direct actions in the skeletal muscle and pancreas are also emerging and are briefly discussed. This review provides new perspectives into endocannabinoid control of the neurochemical causes and consequences of energy homeostasis imbalance, a knowledge that might lead to new potential treatments for obesity and related morbidities.

  13. Alterations of endocannabinoids in cerebrospinal fluid of dogs with epileptic seizure disorder

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological disorders in dogs characterized by recurrent seizures. The endocannabinoid (EC) system plays a central role in suppressing pathologic neuronal excitability and in controlling the spread of activity in an epileptic network. Endocannabinoids are released on demand and their dysregulation has been described in several pathological conditions. Recurrent seizures may lead to an adverse reorganization of the EC system and impairment of its protective effect. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2AG) are altered in epileptic dogs. Concentrations of AEA and total AG (sum of 2AG and 1AG) were measured in 40 dogs with idiopathic epilepsy and in 16 unaffected, healthy control dogs using liquid chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry. Results AEA and total AG were measured at 4.94 (3.18 – 9.17) pM and 1.43 (0.90 – 1.92) nM in epileptic dogs and at 3.19 (2.04 – 4.28) pM and 1.76 (1.08 – 2.69) nM in the control group, respectively (median, 25 – 75% percentiles in brackets). The AEA difference between epileptic and healthy dogs was statistically significant (p < 0.05). Values correlated with seizure severity and duration of seizure activity. Dogs with cluster seizures and/or status epilepticus and with seizure activity for more than six months displayed the highest EC concentrations. Conclusion In conclusion, we present the first endocannabinoid measurements in canine CSF and confirm the hypothesis that the EC system is altered in canine idiopathic epilepsy. PMID:24370333

  14. Endocannabinoid regulation of nausea is mediated by 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the rat visceral insular cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sticht, Martin A.; Limebeer, Cheryl L.; Rafla, Benjamin R.; Abdullah, Rehab A.; Poklis, Justin L.; Ho, Winnie; Niphakis, Micah J.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Sharkey, Keith A.; Lichtman, Aron H.; Parker, Linda A.

    2015-01-01

    Cannabinoid (CB) agonists suppress nausea in humans and animal models; yet, their underlying neural substrates remain largely unknown. Evidence suggests that the visceral insular cortex (VIC) plays a critical role in nausea. Given the expression of CB1 receptors and the presence of endocannabinoids in this brain region, we hypothesized that the VIC endocannabinoid system regulates nausea. In the present study, we assessed whether inhibiting the primary endocannabinoid hydrolytic enzymes in the VIC reduces acute lithium chloride (LiCl)-induced conditioned gaping, a rat model of nausea. We also quantified endocannabinoid levels during an episode of nausea, and assessed VIC neuronal activation using the marker, c-Fos. Local inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the main hydrolytic enzyme of 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), reduced acute nausea through a CB1 receptor mechanism, whereas inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the primary catabolic enzyme of anandamide (AEA), was without effect. Levels of 2-AG were also selectively elevated in the VIC during an episode of nausea. Inhibition of MAGL robustly increased 2-AG in the VIC, while FAAH inhibition had no effect on AEA. Finally, we demonstrated that inhibition of MAGL reduced VIC Fos immunoreactivity in response to LiCl treatment. Taken together, these findings provide compelling evidence that acute nausea selectively increases 2-AG in the VIC, and suggests that 2-AG signaling within the VIC regulates nausea by reducing neuronal activity in this forebrain region. PMID:26541329

  15. Endocannabinoids mediate bidirectional striatal spike-timing-dependent plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Yihui; Paillé, Vincent; Xu, Hao; Genet, Stéphane; Delord, Bruno; Fino, Elodie; Berry, Hugues; Venance, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Key points Although learning can arise from few or even a single trial, synaptic plasticity is commonly assessed under prolonged activation. Here, we explored the existence of rapid responsiveness of synaptic plasticity at corticostriatal synapses in a major synaptic learning rule, spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). We found that spike-timing-dependent depression (tLTD) progressively disappears when the number of paired stimulations (below 50 pairings) is decreased whereas spike-timing-dependent potentiation (tLTP) displays a biphasic profile: tLTP is observed for 75–100 pairings, is absent for 25–50 pairings and re-emerges for 5–10 pairings. This tLTP induced by low numbers of pairings (5–10) depends on activation of the endocannabinoid system, type-1 cannabinoid receptor and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1. Endocannabinoid-tLTP may represent a physiological mechanism operating during the rapid learning of new associative memories and behavioural rules characterizing the flexible behaviour of mammals or during the initial stages of habit learning. Abstract Synaptic plasticity, a main substrate for learning and memory, is commonly assessed with prolonged stimulations. Since learning can arise from few or even a single trial, synaptic strength is expected to adapt rapidly. However, whether synaptic plasticity occurs in response to limited event occurrences remains elusive. To answer this question, we investigated whether a low number of paired stimulations can induce plasticity in a major synaptic learning rule, spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). It is known that 100 pairings induce bidirectional STDP, i.e. spike-timing-dependent potentiation (tLTP) and depression (tLTD) at most central synapses. In rodent striatum, we found that tLTD progressively disappears when the number of paired stimulations is decreased (below 50 pairings) whereas tLTP displays a biphasic profile: tLTP is observed for 75–100 pairings, absent for 25

  16. Fat to treat fat: emerging relationship between dietary PUFA, endocannabinoids, and obesity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jeffrey; Li, Yong; Watkins, Bruce A

    2013-01-01

    Obesity incidence continues to escalate as a global nutrition and health problem. Scientists and clinicians are engaged in numerous research approaches that include behavior, education, applied nutrition studies and clinical therapies to prevent, control and reverse obesity. The common goal is to identify areas of basic and clinical research to understand aspects of human biology that contribute to obesity. In these approaches recent discoveries in biology and advancing technologies are tools employed to prevent and reverse obesity. The purpose of this review article is to present the current knowledge of key components of the endocannabinoid system that contribute to eating, influence systemic energy metabolism, and dietary factors that alter the responses of ligand binding and activation of cannabinoid receptors. Herein the objectives are to (1) describe the relationship between dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and obesity, (2) explain the role of this signaling system in obesity, and (3) present areas of consequential future research with dietary long chain PUFA. There are several gaps in the knowledge of the role dietary PUFA play in the tone of the endocannabinoid signaling system involving ligands and receptors. Elucidating the PUFA relationship to signaling tone may explain the presumed overstimulation of signaling believed to contribute to over eating, fat accretion and inflammation. Future research in this endeavor must be hypothesis driven utilizing appropriate models for investigations on dietary PUFA, endocannabinoids and obesity.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Evaluation of NHS Carbamates as a Potent and Selective Class of Endocannabinoid Hydrolase Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is a principal metabolic enzyme responsible for hydrolyzing the endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Selective inhibitors of MAGL offer valuable probes to further understand the enzyme’s function in biological systems and may lead to drugs for treating a variety of diseases, including psychiatric disorders, neuroinflammation, and pain. N-Hydroxysuccinimidyl (NHS) carbamates have recently been identified as a promising class of serine hydrolase inhibitors that shows minimal cross-reactivity with other proteins in the proteome. Here, we explore NHS carbamates more broadly and demonstrate their potential as inhibitors of endocannabinoid hydrolases and additional enzymes from the serine hydrolase class. We extensively characterize an NHS carbamate 1a (MJN110) as a potent, selective, and in-vivo-active MAGL inhibitor. Finally, we demonstrate that MJN110 alleviates mechanical allodynia in a rat model of diabetic neuropathy, marking NHS carbamates as a promising class of MAGL inhibitors. PMID:23731016

  20. Cross-sensitization and cross-tolerance between exogenous cannabinoid antinociception and endocannabinoid-mediated stress-induced analgesia

    PubMed Central

    Suplita, Richard L.; Eisenstein, Sarah A.; Neely, Mark H.; Moise, Anna M.; Hohmann, Andrea G.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Footshock stress induces both endocannabinoid mobilization and antinociception. The present studies investigated behavioral plasticity in cannabinoid antinociceptive mechanisms following repeated activation using the tail-flick test. A secondary objective was to ascertain whether blockade of stress antinociception by the CB1 antagonist rimonabant could be attributed to changes in locomotor activity. The cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2 induced hypoactivity in the open field relative to vehicle-treated controls. By contrast, rimonabant, administered at a dose that virtually eliminated endocannabinoid-mediated stress antinociception, failed to alter locomotor behavior (i.e. time resting, ambulatory counts, distance traveled) in rats subjected to the same stressor. Rats exposed acutely to footshock were hypersensitive to the antinociceptive effects of WIN55,212-2 and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC). The converse was also true; acute Δ9-THC and WIN55,212-2 administration potentiated stress antinociception, suggesting a bidirectional sensitization between endocannabinoid-mediated stress antinociception and exogenous cannabinoid antinociception. Stress antinociception was also attenuated following chronic relative to acute treatment with WIN55,212-2 or Δ9-THC. Repeated exposure to footshock (3 min/day for 15 days), however, failed to attenuate antinociception induced by either footshock stress or WIN55,212-2. Our results demonstrate that endocannabinoid-mediated stress antinociception cannot be attributed to motor suppression. Our results further identify a functional plasticity of the cannabinoid system in response to repeated activation. The existence of cross-sensitization between endocannabinoid-mediated stress antinociception and exogenous cannabinoid antinociception suggests that these phenomena are mediated by a common mechanism. The observation of stress-induced hypersensitivity to effects of exogenous cannabinoids may have clinical implications for

  1. Endocannabinoid signaling and energy metabolism: a target for dietary intervention.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jeffrey; Li, Yong; Watkins, Bruce A

    2011-06-01

    The endocannabinoid (EC) signaling (ECS) system involves the activation of receptors targeted by endogenously produced ligands called endocannabinoids that trigger specific physiologic events in various organs and tissues throughout the body. ECs are lipid mediators that bind to specific receptors and elicit cell signaling. The focus of this review is to discuss the responses that direct pathways of systemic energy metabolism. Recent findings have indicated that an imbalance of the ECS contributes to visceral fat accumulation and disrupts energy homeostasis, which are characteristics of the metabolic syndrome. Constant activation of ECS has been linked to metabolic processes that are associated with the hypothalamus and peripheral tissues of obese patients. In contrast, inhibition of ECS results in weight loss in animal and human subjects. Despite these findings, the mechanism involved in the dysregulation of ECS is unclear. Interestingly, the level of endogenous ligands, derived from arachidonic acid, can be directly manipulated by nutrient intervention, in that a diet rich in long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids will decrease the production of ligands to modulate the activation of target receptors. In contrast, a diet that is high in ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids will cause an increase in ECS activation and stimulate tissue specific activities that decrease insulin sensitivity in muscle and promote fat accumulation in the adipose tissue. The purpose of this review is to explain the components of ECS, its role in adipose and muscle energy metabolism, and how nutritional approaches with dietary ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may reverse the dysregulation of this system to improve insulin sensitivity and control body fat.

  2. Endocannabinoid modulation of cortical up-states and NREM sleep.

    PubMed

    Pava, Matthew J; den Hartog, Carolina R; Blanco-Centurion, Carlos; Shiromani, Priyattam J; Woodward, John J

    2014-01-01

    Up-/down-state transitions are a form of network activity observed when sensory input into the cortex is diminished such as during non-REM sleep. Up-states emerge from coordinated signaling between glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses and are modulated by systems that affect the balance between inhibition and excitation. We hypothesized that the endocannabinoid (EC) system, a neuromodulatory system intrinsic to the cortical microcircuitry, is an important regulator of up-states and sleep. To test this hypothesis, up-states were recorded from layer V/VI pyramidal neurons in organotypic cultures of wild-type or CB1R knockout (KO) mouse prefrontal cortex. Activation of the cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1) with exogenous agonists or by blocking metabolism of endocannabinoids, anandamide or 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, increased up-state amplitude and facilitated action potential discharge during up-states. The CB1 agonist also produced a layer II/III-selective reduction in synaptic GABAergic signaling that may underlie its effects on up-state amplitude and spiking. Application of CB1 antagonists revealed that an endogenous EC tone regulates up-state duration. Paradoxically, the duration of up-states in CB1 KO cultures was increased suggesting that chronic absence of EC signaling alters cortical activity. Consistent with increased cortical excitability, CB1 KO mice exhibited increased wakefulness as a result of reduced NREM sleep and NREM bout duration. Under baseline conditions, NREM delta (0.5-4 Hz) power was not different in CB1 KO mice, but during recovery from forced sleep deprivation, KO mice had reduced NREM delta power and increased sleep fragmentation. Overall, these findings demonstrate that the EC system actively regulates cortical up-states and important features of NREM sleep such as its duration and low frequency cortical oscillations.

  3. Endocannabinoid release from midbrain dopamine neurons: a potential substrate for cannabinoid receptor antagonist treatment of addiction.

    PubMed

    Lupica, Carl R; Riegel, Arthur C

    2005-06-01

    Substantial evidence suggests that all commonly abused drugs act upon the brain reward circuitry to ultimately increase extracellular concentrations of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens and other forebrain areas. Many drugs of abuse appear to increase dopamine levels by dramatically increase the firing and bursting rates of dopamine neurons located in the ventral mesencephalon. Recent clinical evidence in humans and behavioral evidence in animals indicate that cannabinoid receptor antagonists such as SR141716A (Rimonabant) can reduce the self-administration of, and craving for, several commonly addictive drugs. However, the mechanism of this potentially beneficial effect has not yet been identified. We propose, on the basis of recent studies in our laboratory and others, that these antagonists may act by blocking the effects of endogenously released cannabinoid molecules (endocannabinoids) that are released in an activity- and calcium-dependent manner from mesencephalic dopamine neurons. It is hypothesized that, through the antagonism of cannabinoid CB1 receptors located on inhibitory and excitatory axon terminals targeting the midbrain dopamine neurons, the effects of the endocannabinoids are occluded. The data from these studies therefore suggest that the endocannabinoid system and the CB1 receptors located in the ventral mesencephalon may play an important role in regulating drug reward processes, and that this substrate is recruited whenever dopamine neuron activity is increased.

  4. Experience salience gates endocannabinoid signaling at hypothalamic synapses.

    PubMed

    Wamsteeker Cusulin, Jaclyn I; Senst, Laura; Teskey, G Campbell; Bains, Jaideep S

    2014-04-30

    Alterations in synaptic endocannabinoid signaling are a widespread neurobiological consequence of many in vivo experiences, including stress. Here, we report that stressor salience is critical for bidirectionally modifying presynaptic CB-1 receptor (CB1R) function at hypothalamic GABA synapses controlling the neuroendocrine stress axis in male rats. While repetitive, predictable stressor exposure impairs presynaptic CB1R function, these changes are rapidly reversed upon exposure to a high salience experience such as novel stress or by manipulations that enhance neural activity levels in vivo or in vitro. Together these data demonstrate that experience salience, through alterations in afferent synaptic activity, induces rapid changes in endocannabinoid signaling.

  5. Endocannabinoid Catabolic Enzymes Play Differential Roles in Thermal Homeostasis in Response to Environmental or Immune Challenge.

    PubMed

    Nass, Sara R; Long, Jonathan Z; Schlosburg, Joel E; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Lichtman, Aron H; Kinsey, Steven G

    2015-06-01

    Cannabinoid receptor agonists, such as Δ(9)-THC, the primary active constituent of Cannabis sativa, have anti-pyrogenic effects in a variety of assays. Recently, attention has turned to the endogenous cannabinoid system and how endocannabinoids, including 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide, regulate multiple homeostatic processes, including thermoregulation. Inhibiting endocannabinoid catabolic enzymes, monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) or fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), elevates levels of 2-AG or anandamide in vivo, respectively. The purpose of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that endocannabinoid catabolic enzymes function to maintain thermal homeostasis in response to hypothermic challenge. In separate experiments, male C57BL/6J mice were administered a MAGL or FAAH inhibitor, and then challenged with the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 2 mg/kg ip) or a cold (4 °C) ambient environment. Systemic LPS administration caused a significant decrease in core body temperature after 6 h, and this hypothermia persisted for at least 12 h. Similarly, cold environment induced mild hypothermia that resolved within 30 min. JZL184 exacerbated hypothermia induced by either LPS or cold challenge, both of which effects were blocked by rimonabant, but not SR144528, indicating a CB1 cannabinoid receptor mechanism of action. In contrast, the FAAH inhibitor, PF-3845, had no effect on either LPS-induced or cold-induced hypothermia. These data indicate that unlike direct acting cannabinoid receptor agonists, which elicit profound hypothermic responses on their own, neither MAGL nor FAAH inhibitors affect normal body temperature. However, these endocannabinoid catabolic enzymes play distinct roles in thermoregulation following hypothermic challenges.

  6. Differential expression of endocannabinoid system-related genes in the dorsal hippocampus following expression and reinstatement of morphine conditioned place preference in mice.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Zhang, Cong-Li; Qiu, Zheng-Guo

    2017-03-16

    The endocannabinoid signaling plays a critical role in mediating rewarding effects to morphine. The relative stability for the expression and reinstatement of morphine conditioned place preference (CPP) suggests the involvement of differential neuroadaptations in learned associations between environmental cues and morphine. Changes in gene expression in hippocampus through the endogenous cannabinoid system (eCB) may accompany and mediate the development of such neuroadaptations to repeated morphine stimulation. To test this possibility, we systematically compared the expression of eCB-related genes in the dorsal hippocampus following the expression, extinction, and reinstatement of morphine CPP using quantitative RT-PCR analyses. We found that expression of morphine CPP was associated with significant increases in mRNA expression for the primary clearance routes for anandamide (AEA) and 2-AG (fatty acid amide hydrolase [FAAH] and monoacylglycerol lipase [MAGL], respectively), but with reductions in cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1R) and CB2R in dorsal hippocampus following the expression of CPP. However, our results indicated that decreased in MAGL and increased CB1R mRNA levels were accompanied with morphine CPP reinstatement. No significant changes in mRNA expression for enzymes involved in AEA and 2-AG biosynthesis (N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D [NAPEPLD] and diacylglycerol lipase-α/β [DAGLα/β], respectively) were found in all conditions. These results suggest that differential regulation of the synthesis and/or degradation of the eCB system contribute to the expression and reinstatement of morphine CPP.

  7. Minireview: Endocannabinoids and their receptors as targets for obesity therapy.

    PubMed

    de Kloet, Annette D; Woods, Stephen C

    2009-06-01

    As the incidence of obesity continues to increase, the development of effective therapies is a high priority. The endocannabinoid system has emerged as an important influence on the regulation of energy homeostasis. The endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol act on cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1) in the brain and many peripheral tissues causing a net anabolic action. This includes increasing food intake, and causing increased lipogenesis and fat storage in adipose tissue and liver. The endocannabinoid system is hyperactive in obese humans and animals, and treating them with CB1 antagonists causes weight loss and improved lipid and glucose profiles. Although clinical trials with CB1 antagonists have yielded beneficial metabolic effects, concerns about negative affect have limited the therapeutic potential of the first class of CB1 antagonists available.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Endocannabinoids in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jian-Yi; Chen, Chu

    2014-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are endogenous lipid mediators involved in a variety of physiological, pharmacological, and pathological processes. While activation of the eCB system primarily induces inhibitory effects on both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity through acting on presynaptically-expressed CB1 receptors in the brain, accumulated information suggests that eCB signaling is also capable of facilitating or potentiating excitatory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. Recent studies show that a long-lasting potentiation of excitatory synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral (SC)-CA1 synapses is induced by spatiotemporally primed inputs, accompanying with a long-term depression of inhibitory synaptic transmission (I-LTD) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. This input-timing-dependent long-lasting synaptic potentiation at SC-CA1 synapses is mediated by 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) signaling triggered by activation of postsynaptic NMDA receptors, group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), and a concurrent rise in intracellular Ca2+. Emerging evidence now also indicates that 2-AG is an important signaling mediator keeping brain homeostasis by exerting its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in response to harmful insults through CB1/2 receptor-dependent and/or independent mechanisms. Activation of the nuclear receptor protein peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) apparently is one of the important mechanisms in resolving neuroinflammation and protecting neurons produced by 2-AG signaling. Thus, the information summarized in this review suggests that the role of eCB signaling in maintaining integrity of brain function is greater than what we thought previously. PMID:24571856

  10. The endocannabinoid, endovanilloid and nitrergic systems could interact in the rat dorsolateral periaqueductal gray matter to control anxiety-like behaviors.

    PubMed

    Batista, Priscila A; Fogaça, Manoela V; Guimarães, Francisco S

    2015-10-15

    Cannabinoid compounds usually produce biphasic effects in the modulation of emotional responses. Low doses of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) injected into the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray matter (dlPAG) induce anxiolytic-like effects via CB1 receptors activation. However, at higher doses the drug loses this effect, in part by activating Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Type 1 (TRPV1). Activation of these latter receptors could induce the formation of nitric oxide (NO). Thus, the present study tested the hypothesis that at high doses AEA loses it anxiolytic-like effect by facilitating, probably via TRPV1 receptor activation, the formation of NO. Male Wistar rats received combined injections into the dlPAG of vehicle, the TRPV1 receptor antagonist 6-iodo-nordihydrocapsaicin or the NO scavenger carboxy-PTIO (c-PTIO), followed by vehicle or AEA, and were submitted to the elevated plus maze (EPM) or the Vogel conflict test (VCT). A low dose (5pmol) of AEA produced an anxiolytic-like effect that disappeared at higher doses (50 and 200pmol). The anxiolytic-like effects of these latter doses, however, were restored after pre-treatment with a low and ineffective dose of c-PTIO in both animal models. In addition, the combined administration of ineffective doses of 6-iodo-nordihydrocapsaicin (1nmol) and c-PTIO (0.3nmol) produced an anxiolytic-like response. Therefore, these results support the hypothesis that intra-dlPAG injections of high doses of AEA lose their anxiolytic effects by favoring TRPV1 receptors activity and consequent NO formation, which in turn could facilitate defensive responses.

  11. Endocannabinoid signalling in reward and addiction.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Loren H; Hurd, Yasmin L

    2015-10-01

    Brain endocannabinoid (eCB) signalling 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 eCB signalling that may derive from pre-existing genetic factors or from prolonged drug exposure. Impaired eCB signalling contributes to dysregulated synaptic plasticity, increased stress responsivity, negative emotional states and cravings that propel addiction. Understanding the contributions of eCB disruptions to behavioural and physiological traits provides insight into the eCB influence on addiction vulnerability.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rubio, Marina; Villain, Hélène; Docagne, Fabian; Roussel, Benoit D; Ramos, José Antonio; Vivien, Denis; Fernandez-Ruiz, Javier; Ali, Carine

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Keimpema, Erik; Calvigioni, Daniela; Harkany, Tibor

    2013-12-01

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

  15. The role of endocannabinoid transmission in cocaine addiction.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Jonathon C

    2005-06-01

    Research is beginning to outline a role for the endocannabinoid system in cocaine addiction. Human and animal studies indicate that exogenous cannabinoids modulate the acute rewarding effects of cocaine. These studies, however, cannot directly investigate the necessity of endocannabinoid transmission in cocaine addiction. Studies that do offer a direct assessment show that neither pharmacological antagonism nor deletion of the CB1 receptor alters the acute rewarding effects of cocaine. In contrast, CB1 receptors appear to be involved in the association of cocaine reward with environmental cues and reinstatement of cocaine self-administration. Together, these results point to CB1 receptor antagonists as potential anti-craving compounds in the treatment of cocaine addiction. Given the limitations of human population studies, animal research may be useful in discerning causal inferences between cannabis and cocaine use. While animal research suggests cannabis use may precipitate cocaine relapse, cross-sensitization between cannabinoids and cocaine has not been demonstrated and CB1 receptors do not mediate behavioral sensitization to cocaine. The effect of acute or chronic cocaine on endocannabinoid transmission in reward-related areas of the brain is relatively under-researched. Acute cocaine administration increases anandamide levels in the striatum, an effect that is mediated by dopamine D2-like receptors. Conversely, chronic cocaine exposure has no effect on anandamide, but decreases 2-arachidonylglycerol levels in the limbic forebrain. This review highlights research indicating that the endocannabinoid system may subserve certain aspects of cocaine addiction and suggests avenues for future investigation.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Endocannabinoids--at the crossroads between the gut microbiota and host metabolism.

    PubMed

    Cani, Patrice D; Plovier, Hubert; Van Hul, Matthias; Geurts, Lucie; Delzenne, Nathalie M; Druart, Céline; Everard, Amandine

    2016-03-01

    Various metabolic disorders are associated with changes in inflammatory tone. Among the latest advances in the metabolism field, the discovery that gut microorganisms have a major role in host metabolism has revealed the possibility of a plethora of associations between gut bacteria and numerous diseases. However, to date, few mechanisms have been clearly established. Accumulating evidence indicates that the endocannabinoid system and related bioactive lipids strongly contribute to several physiological processes and are a characteristic of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and inflammation. In this Review, we briefly define the gut microbiota as well as the endocannabinoid system and associated bioactive lipids. We discuss existing literature regarding interactions between gut microorganisms and the endocannabinoid system, focusing specifically on the triad of adipose tissue, gut bacteria and the endocannabinoid system in the context of obesity and the development of fat mass. We highlight gut-barrier function by discussing the role of specific factors considered to be putative 'gate keepers' or 'gate openers', and their role in the gut microbiota-endocannabinoid system axis. Finally, we briefly discuss data related to the different pharmacological strategies currently used to target the endocannabinoid system, in the context of cardiometabolic disorders and intestinal inflammation.

  20. Identification of the sites of 2-arachidonoylglycerol synthesis and action imply retrograde endocannabinoid signaling at both GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Mátyás, Ferenc; Urbán, Gabriella M; Watanabe, Masahiko; Mackie, Ken; Zimmer, Andreas; Freund, Tamás F; Katona, István

    2008-01-01

    Intact endogenous cannabinoid signaling is involved in several aspects of drug addiction. Most importantly, endocannabinoids exert pronounced influence on primary rewarding effects of abused drugs, including exogenous cannabis itself, through the regulation of drug-induced increase in bursting activity of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Previous electrophysiological studies have proposed that these dopaminergic neurons may release endocannabinoids in an activity-dependent manner to regulate their various synaptic inputs; however, the underlying molecular and anatomical substrates have so far been elusive. To facilitate understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms involving endocannabinoid signaling in drug addiction, we carried out detailed analysis of the molecular architecture of the endocannabinoid system in the VTA. In situ hybridization for sn-1-diacylglycerol lipase-alpha (DGL-alpha), the biosynthetic enzyme of the most abundant endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), revealed that DGL-alpha was expressed at moderate to high levels by most neurons of the VTA. Immunostaining for DGL-alpha resulted in a widespread punctate pattern at the light microscopic level, whereas high-resolution electron microscopic analysis demonstrated that this pattern is due to accumulation of the enzyme adjacent to postsynaptic specializations of several distinct morphological types of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. These axon terminal types carried presynaptic CB(1) cannabinoid receptors on the opposite side of DGL-alpha-containing synapses and double immunostaining confirmed that DGL-alpha is present on the plasma membrane of both tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive (dopaminergic) and TH-negative dendrites. These findings indicate that retrograde synaptic signaling mediated by 2-AG via CB(1) may influence the drug-reward circuitry at multiple types of synapses in the VTA.

  1. 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

  2. Contributions of endocannabinoid signaling to psychiatric disorders in humans: Genetic and biochemical evidence

    PubMed Central

    Hillard, Cecilia J.; Weinlander, Kenneth M.; Stuhr, Kara L.

    2011-01-01

    The endocannabinoid signaling system is a widespread, neuromodulatory system in brain and is also widely utilized in the periphery to modulate metabolic functions and the immune system. Preclinical data demonstrate that endocannabinoid signaling is an important stress buffer and modulates emotional and cognitive functions. These data suggest the hypothesis that endocannabinoid signaling could be dysfunctional in a number of mental disorders. Genetic polymorphisms in the human genes for two important proteins of the endocannabinoid signaling system, the CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), have been explored in the context of normal and pathological conditions. In the case the gene for FAAH, the mechanistic relationships among the common genetic polymorphism, the expression of the FAAH protein and its likely impact on endocannabinoid signaling are understood. However, multiple polymorphisms in the gene for the CB1R occur and are associated with human phenotypic differences without an understanding of the functional relationships among the gene, mRNA, protein and protein function. The endocannabinoid ligands are found in the circulation and several studies have identified changes in their concentrations under various conditions. These data are reviewed for the purpose of generating hypotheses and to encourage further studies in this very interesting and important area. PMID:22123166

  3. N-Docosahexaenoyl Dopamine, an Endocannabinoid-like Conjugate of Dopamine and the n-3 Fatty Acid Docosahexaenoic Acid, Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Activation of Microglia and Macrophages via COX-2.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ya; Plastina, Pierluigi; Vincken, Jean-Paul; Jansen, Renate; Balvers, Michiel; Ten Klooster, Jean Paul; Gruppen, Harry; Witkamp, Renger; Meijerink, Jocelijn

    2017-03-15

    Several studies indicate that the n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) contributes to an attenuated inflammatory status in the development of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. To explain these effects, different mechanisms are being proposed, including those involving endocannabinoids and related signaling molecules. Many of these compounds belong to the fatty acid amides, conjugates of fatty acids with biogenic amines. Conjugates of DHA with ethanolamine or serotonin have previously been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and potentially neuroprotective properties. Here, we synthesized another amine conjugate of DHA, N-docosahexaenoyl dopamine (DHDA), and tested its immune-modulatory properties in both RAW 264.7 macrophages and BV-2 microglial cells. N-Docosahexaenoyl dopamine significantly suppressed the production of nitric oxide (NO), the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), and the chemokines macrophage-inflammatory protein-3α (CCL20) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), whereas its parent compounds, dopamine and DHA, were ineffective. Further exploration of potential effects of DHDA on key inflammatory mediators revealed that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mRNA level and production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were concentration-dependently inhibited in macrophages. In activated BV-2 cells, PGE2 production was also reduced, without changes in COX-2 mRNA levels. In addition, DHDA did not affect NF-kB activity in a reporter cell line. Finally, the immune-modulatory activities of DHDA were compared with those of N-arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA) and similar potencies were found in both cell types. Taken together, our data suggest that DHDA, a potentially endogenous endocannabinoid, may be an additional member of the group of immune-modulating n-3 fatty acid-derived lipid mediators.

  4. 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.

  5. Ultrastructural evidence for synaptic contacts between cortical noradrenergic afferents and endocannabinoid-synthesizing post-synaptic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Reyes, Beverly A. S.; Heldt, Nathan A.; Mackie, Ken; Van Bockstaele, Elisabeth J.

    2015-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are involved in a myriad of physiological processes that are mediated through the activation of cannabinoid receptors, which are ubiquitously distributed within the nervous system. One neurochemical target at which cannabinoids interact to have global effects on behavior is brain noradrenergic circuitry. We, and others, have previously shown that CB type 1 receptors (CB1r) are positioned to pre-synaptically modulate norepinephrine (NE) release in the rat frontal cortex (FC). Diacylglycerol lipase (DGL) is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). While DGL-α is expressed in the FC in the rat brain, it is not known whether noradrenergic afferents target neurons expressing synthesizing enzymes for the endocannabinoid, 2-AG. In the present study, we employed high-resolution neuroanatomical approaches to better define cellular sites for interactions between noradrenergic afferents and FC neurons expressing DGL-α. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed close appositions between processes containing the norepinephrine transporter (NET) or dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH) and cortical neurons expressing DGL-α-immunoreactivity. Ultrastructural analysis using immunogold-silver labeling for DGL-α and immunoperoxidase labeling for NET or DβH confirmed that NET-labeled axon terminals were directly apposed to FC somata and dendritic processes that exhibited DGL-α-immunoreactivity. Finally, tissue sections were processed for immunohistochemical detection of DGL-α , CB1r and DβH. Triple label immunofluorescence revealed that CB1r and DβH were co-localized in common cellular profiles and these were in close association with DGL-α. Taken together, these data provide anatomical evidence for direct synaptic associations between noradrenergic afferents and cortical neurons exhibiting endocannabinoid synthesizing machinery. PMID:26162236

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-11

    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.

  7. Energy balance regulation by endocannabinoids at central and peripheral levels.

    PubMed

    Quarta, Carmelo; Mazza, Roberta; Obici, Silvana; Pasquali, Renato; Pagotto, Uberto

    2011-09-01

    Dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a universal and, perhaps, causative feature of obesity. Central nervous system (CNS) circuits that regulate food intake were initially believed to be the targets for dysregulation. However, it is increasingly evident that endocannabinoids affect food intake, energy expenditure and substrate metabolism by acting on peripheral sites. Cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1r) antagonists can effectively treat obesity and associated metabolic alterations but, unfortunately, cause and exacerbate mood disorders. Drugs restricted to act on peripheral CB1rs might be safer and more effective, retaining the anti-obesity effects but lacking the adverse neurodepressive reactions. This review summarizes the emerging roles of the ECS in energy balance and discusses future pharmacological approaches for developing peripherally restricted CB1r antagonists.

  8. Endocannabinoid dynamics gate spike-timing dependent depression and potentiation

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Yihui; Prokin, Ilya; Xu, Hao; Delord, Bruno; Genet, Stephane; Venance, Laurent; Berry, Hugues

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is a cardinal cellular mechanism for learning and memory. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has emerged as a pivotal pathway for synaptic plasticity because of its widely characterized ability to depress synaptic transmission on short- and long-term scales. Recent reports indicate that eCBs also mediate potentiation of the synapse. However, it is not known how eCB signaling may support bidirectionality. Here, we combined electrophysiology experiments with mathematical modeling to question the mechanisms of eCB bidirectionality in spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) at corticostriatal synapses. We demonstrate that STDP outcome is controlled by eCB levels and dynamics: prolonged and moderate levels of eCB lead to eCB-mediated long-term depression (eCB-tLTD) while short and large eCB transients produce eCB-mediated long-term potentiation (eCB-tLTP). Moreover, we show that eCB-tLTD requires active calcineurin whereas eCB-tLTP necessitates the activity of presynaptic PKA. Therefore, just like glutamate or GABA, eCB form a bidirectional system to encode learning and memory. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13185.001 PMID:26920222

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are amphiphilic molecules that play crucial neurophysiological functions acting as lipid messengers. Antagonists and knockdown of the classical CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors do not completely abolish many endocannabinoid activities, supporting the idea of a mechanism independent of receptors whose mode of action remains unclear. Here we combine gramicidin A (gA) single channel recordings and membrane capacitance measurements to investigate the lipid bilayer-modifying activity of endocannabinoids. Single channel recordings show that the incorporation of endocannabinoids into lipid bilayers reduces the free energy necessary for gramicidin channels to transit from the monomeric to the dimeric conformation. Membrane capacitance demonstrates that the endocannabinoid anandamide has limited effects on the overall structure of the lipid bilayers. Our results associated with the theory of membrane elastic deformation reveal that the action of endocannabinoids on membrane proteins can involve local adjustments of the lipid/protein hydrophobic interface. The current findings shed new light on the receptor-independent mode of action of endocannabinoids on membrane proteins, with important implications towards their neurobiological function. PMID:28128290

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Since the identification of cannabinoid receptors in the 1990s, a research field has been dedicated to exploring the role of the cannabinoid system in immunity and the inflammatory response in human tissues and animal models. Although the cannabinoid system is present and crucial in many human tissues, studying the impact of cannabinoids on the lungs is particularly relevant because of their contact with exogenous cannabinoids in the context of marijuana consumption. In the past two decades, the scientific community has gathered a large body of evidence supporting that the activation of the cannabinoid system alleviates pain and reduces inflammation. In the context of lung inflammation, exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids have shown therapeutic potential because of their inhibitory effects on immune cell recruitment and functions. On the other hand, cannabinoids were shown to be deleterious to lung function and to impact respiratory pathogen clearance. In this review, we present the existing data on the regulation of lung immunity and inflammation by phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids and endocannabinoids. PMID:27695418

  13. Peltatoside Isolated from Annona crassiflora Induces Peripheral Antinociception by Activation of the Cannabinoid System.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Cristina da Costa; Veloso, Clarice de Carvalho; Ferreira, Renata Cristina Mendes; Lage, Gisele Avelar; Pimenta, Lúcia Pinheiro Santos; Duarte, Igor Dimitri Gama; Romero, Thiago Roberto Lima; Perez, Andrea de Castro

    2017-02-01

    Peltatoside is a natural compound isolated from leaves of Annona crassiflora Mart., a plant widely used in folk medicine. This substance is an analogue of quercetin, a flavonoid extensively studied because of its diverse biological activities, including analgesic effects. Besides, a previous study suggested, by computer structure analyses, a possible quercetin-CB1 cannabinoid receptor interaction. Thus, the aim of this work was to assess the antinociceptive effect of peltatoside and analyze the cannabinoid system involvement in this action. The mouse paw pressure test was used and hyperalgesia was induced by intraplantar injection of carrageenan (200 µg/paw). All used drugs were administered by intraplantar administration in Swiss male mice (n = 6). Peltatoside (100 µg/paw) elicited a local inhibition of hyperalgesia. The peripheral antinociceptive action of peltatoside was antagonized by the CB1 cannabinoid antagonist AM251 (160 µg/paw), but not by CB2 cannabinoid antagonist AM630 (100 µg/paw). In order to assess the role of endocannabinoids in this peripheral antinociceptive effect, we used (i) [5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z]-5,8,11,14-eicosatetraenyl-methyl ester phosphonofluoridic acid, an inhibitor of anandamide amidase; (ii) JZL184, an inhibitor for monoacylglycerol lipase, the primary enzyme responsible for degrading the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol; and (iii) VDM11, an endocannabinoid reuptake inhibitor. MAFP, JZL184, and VDM11 did not induce antinociception, respectively, at the doses 0.5, 3.8, and 2.5 µg/paw, however, these three drugs were able to potentiate the peripheral antinociceptive effect of peltatoside at an intermediary dose (50 µg/paw). Our results suggest that this natural substance is capable of inducing analgesia through the activation of peripheral CB1 receptors, involving endocannabinoids in this process.

  14. Exercise-induced endocannabinoid signaling is modulated by intensity.

    PubMed

    Raichlen, David A; Foster, Adam D; Seillier, Alexandre; Giuffrida, Andrea; Gerdeman, Gregory L

    2013-04-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCB) are endogenous ligands for cannabinoid receptors that are densely expressed in brain networks responsible for reward. Recent work shows that exercise activates the eCB system in humans and other mammals, suggesting eCBs are partly responsible for the reported improvements in mood and affect following aerobic exercise in humans. However, exercise-induced psychological changes reported by runners are known to be dependent on exercise intensity, suggesting that any underlying molecular mechanism should also change with varying levels of exercise intensity. Here, we examine circulating levels of eCBs following aerobic exercise (treadmill running) in recreationally fit human runners at four different intensities. We show that eCB signaling is indeed intensity dependent, with significant changes in circulating eCBs observed following moderate intensities only (very high and very low intensity exercises do not significantly alter circulating eCB levels). Our results are consistent with intensity-dependent psychological state changes with exercise and therefore support the hypothesis that eCB activity is related to neurobiological effects of exercise. Thus, future studies examining the role of exercise-induced eCB signaling on neurobiology or physiology must take exercise intensity into account.

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

    PubMed Central

    Basavarajappa, Balapal S.

    2015-01-01

    One of the unique features of prenatal alcohol exposure in humans is impaired cognitive and behavioral function resulting from damage to the central nervous system (CNS), which leads to a spectrum of impairments referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Human FASD phenotypes can be reproduced in the rodent CNS following prenatal ethanol exposure. Several mechanisms are expected to contribute to the detrimental effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing fetus, particularly in the developing CNS. These mechanisms may act simultaneously or consecutively and differ among a variety of cell types at specific developmental stages in particular brain regions. Studies have identified numerous potential mechanisms through which alcohol can act on the fetus. Among these mechanisms are increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage, interference with the activity of growth factors, glia cells, cell adhesion molecules, gene expression during CNS development and impaired function of signaling molecules involved in neuronal communication and circuit formation. These alcohol-induced deficits result in long-lasting abnormalities in neuronal plasticity and learning and memory and can explain many of the neurobehavioral abnormalities found in FASD. In this review, the author discusses the mechanisms that are associated with FASD and provides a current status on the endocannabinoid system in the development of FASD. PMID:26529026

  16. Endocannabinoid Regulation in Human Endometrium Across the Menstrual Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Scotchie, Jessica G.; Savaris, Ricardo F.; Martin, Caitlin E.

    2015-01-01

    Humans produce endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), a group of molecules that activate the same receptors as tetrahydrocannabinol. Endocannabinoids play important roles in reproduction in multiple species, but data in human endometrium are limited. Because endocannabinoids such as anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) often act within tissues as paracrine factors, their effects can be modulated by changes in expression of locally produced synthetic and degradative/oxidative enzymes. The objective of this study was to localize and quantify expression of these key synthetic and degradative/oxidative enzymes for AEA and 2-AG in human endometrium throughout the menstrual cycle. Key synthetic enzymes include N-arachidonyl-phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase-D (NAPE-PLD), diacylglycerol-lipase a (DAGL-α, and DAGL-β. Key degradative enzymes include fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL); cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) is an oxidative enzyme. Endometrial samples were collected in 49 regularly cycling, normal women. Protein localization and expression were achieved by immunohistochemistry and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. No significant cycle-dependent mRNA expression was observed except that of COX2 (P = .002), which demonstrated maximum expression in the proliferative phase. During the secretory phase, NAPE-PLD protein had increased expression in luminal (P = .001), stromal (P = .007), and glandular (P = .04) epithelia, while FAAH had increased glandular (P = .009) and luminal (P = .01) expression. Increased expression in glandular epithelia was identified for MAGL (P = .03). The COX2 had increased luminal expression during the early secretory phase (P < .0001). In conclusion, maximal expression of degradatory/oxidative enzymes in the secretory phase may foster decreased endocannabinoid tone during implantation. PMID:24819878

  17. Levels of endocannabinoids and palmitoylethanolamide and their pharmacological manipulation in chronic granulomatous inflammation in rats.

    PubMed

    De Filippis, D; D'Amico, A; Cipriano, M; Petrosino, S; Orlando, P; Di Marzo, V; Iuvone, T

    2010-04-01

    The endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, and the anandamide-congener, palmitoylethanolamide, are all substrates for the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase, and are endowed with anti-inflammatory actions exerted via cannabinoid receptors or, in the case of palmitoylethanolamide, also via other targets. We investigated the role of the endocannabinoid system during granuloma formation, a model of chronic inflammation sustained by neoangiogenesis, in rats. Granuloma was induced by subcutaneous lambda-carrageenin-soaked sponge implants on the back of male Wistar rats. After 96h, granulomas were detached and tissue formation was evaluated as wet weight; the endocannabinoid system was evaluated by the measurement of endocannabinoid levels, by LC-MS, and of cannabinoid receptor expression, by western blot analysis. Moreover, angiogenesis was evaluated by the measurement of both hemoglobin content and CD31 protein expression. Arachidonoylserotonin (AA-5-HT, 12.5-50mug/ml), an inhibitor of FAAH, and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA, 200-800mug/ml) were given locally only once at the time of implantation. Granuloma formation was accompanied by a significant decrease in endocannabinoid and palmitoylethanolamide levels paralleled by increased levels of the fatty acid amide hydrolase, responsible for their breakdown. Moreover, an increase of cannabinoid receptor expression was also observed. Pharmacological elevation of endocannabinoids and palmitoylethanolamide, obtained separately by arachidonoylserotonin and exogenous palmitoylethanolamide treatment, dose-dependently reduced inflammatory hallmarks including tumor necrosis factor-alpha as well as granuloma-dependent angiogenesis. The effect of arachidonoylserotonin was accompanied by near-normalization of 2-arachidonoylglycerol and palmitoylethanolamide levels in the tissue. These findings suggest that chronic inflammation might develop also because of endocannabinoid and palmitoylethanolamide tissue concentration

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  19. Dual-Acting Compounds Targeting Endocannabinoid and Endovanilloid Systems—A Novel Treatment Option for Chronic Pain Management

    PubMed Central

    Malek, Natalia; Starowicz, Katarzyna

    2016-01-01

    Compared with acute pain that arises suddenly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable, chronic pain persists over time, and is often resistant to medical treatment. Because of the heterogeneity of chronic pain origins, satisfactory therapies for its treatment are lacking, leading to an urgent need for the development of new treatments. The leading approach in drug design is selective compounds, though they are often less effective and require chronic dosing with many side effects. Herein, we review novel approaches to drug design for the treatment of chronic pain represented by dual-acting compounds, which operate at more than one biological target. A number of studies suggest the involvement of the cannabinoid and vanilloid receptors in pain. Interestingly cannabinoid system is in interrelation with other systems that comprise lipid mediators: prostaglandins, produced by COX enzyme. Therefore, in the present review, we summarize the role of dual-acting molecules (FAAH/TRPV1 and FAAH/COX-2 inhibitors) that interact with endocannabinoid and endovanillinoid systems and act as analgesics by elevating the endogenously produced endocannabinoids and dampening the production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins. The plasticity of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the ability of a single chemical entity to exert an activity on two receptor systems has been developed and extensively investigated. Here, we review up-to-date pharmacological studies on compounds interacting with FAAH enzyme together with TRPV1 receptor or COX-2 enzyme respectively. Multi-target pharmacological intervention for treating pain may lead to the development of original and efficient treatments. PMID:27582708

  20. Endocannabinoids decrease neuropathic pain-related behavior in mice through the activation of one or both peripheral CB₁ and CB₂ receptors.

    PubMed

    Desroches, Julie; Charron, Sophie; Bouchard, Jean-François; Beaulieu, Pierre

    2014-02-01

    The two most studied endocannabinoids are anandamide (AEA), principally catalyzed by fatty-acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), mainly hydrolyzed by monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL). Inhibitors targeting these two enzymes have been described, including URB597 and URB602, respectively. Several recent studies examining the contribution of CB₁ and/or CB₂ receptors on the peripheral antinociceptive effects of AEA, 2-AG, URB597 and URB602 in neuropathic pain conditions using either pharmacological tools or transgenic mice separately have been reported, but the exact mechanism is still uncertain. Mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia were evaluated in 436 male C57BL/6, cnr1KO and cnr2KO mice in the presence or absence of cannabinoid CB₁ (AM251) or CB₂ (AM630) receptor antagonists in a mouse model of neuropathic pain. Peripheral subcutaneous injections of AEA, 2-AG, WIN55,212-2 (WIN; a CB₁/CB₂ synthetic agonist), URB597 and URB602 significantly decreased mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia. These effects were inhibited by both cannabinoid antagonists AM251 and AM630 for treatments with 2-AG, WIN and URB602 but only by AM251 for treatments with AEA and URB597 in C57BL/6 mice. Furthermore, the antinociceptive effects for AEA and URB597 were observed in cnr2KO mice but absent in cnr1KO mice, whereas the effects of 2-AG, WIN and URB602 were altered in both of these transgenic mice. Complementary genetic and pharmacological approaches revealed that the anti-hyperalgesic effects of 2-AG and URB602 required both CB₁ and CB₂ receptors, but only CB₂ receptors mediated its anti-allodynic actions. The antinociceptive properties of AEA and URB597 were mediated only by CB₁ receptors.

  1. 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

  2. Development and Optimization of Piperidyl-1,2,3-Triazole Ureas as Selective Chemical Probes of Endocannabinoid Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Ku-Lung; Tsuboi, Katsunori; Whitby, Landon R.; Speers, Anna E.; Pugh, Holly; Inloes, Jordon; Cravatt, Benjamin F.

    2014-01-01

    We have previously shown that 1,2,3-triazole ureas (1,2,3-TUs) act as versatile class of irreversible serine hydrolase inhibitors that can be tuned to create selective probes for diverse members of this large enzyme class, including diacylglycerol lipase-β (DAGLβ), a principal biosynthetic enzyme for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Here, we provide a detailed account of the discovery, synthesis, and structure-activity relationship (SAR) of (2-substituted)-piperidyl-1,2,3-TUs that selectively inactivate DAGLβ in living systems. Key to success was the use of activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) with broad-spectrum and tailored activity-based probes to guide our medicinal chemistry efforts. We also describe an expanded repertoire of DAGL-tailored activity-based probes that includes biotinylated and alkyne agents for enzyme enrichment coupled with mass spectrometry-based proteomics and assessment of proteome-wide selectivity. Our findings highlight the broad utility of 1,2,3-TUs for serine hydrolase inhibitor development and their application to create selective probes of endocannabinoid biosynthetic pathways. PMID:24152245

  3. Adaptations in endocannabinoid signaling in response to repeated homotypic stress: a novel mechanism for stress habituation.

    PubMed

    Patel, Sachin; Hillard, Cecilia J

    2008-06-01

    Daily life stressors are a major environmental factor contributing to precipitation and exacerbation of mental illness. Animal models using repeated homotypic stress induce anxious and depressive phenotypes and are used to study the pathophysiology of affective disorders. Here we discuss data demonstrating that repeated homotypic stress produces temporally and anatomically distinct changes in endocannabinoid signaling components within stress-responsive brain regions. We also present evidence describing the neural and behavioral correlates of these adaptations in endocannabinoid signaling. These data support a role for endocannabinoid signaling in the central nervous system response to chronic, homotypic stress, and specifically in the process of stress-response habituation. The clinical implications of these findings for the pathophysiology and treatment of affective disorders are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

    Itoga, Christy A.; Fisher, Marc O.; Solomonow, Jonathan; Roltsch, Emily A.; Gilpin, Nicholas W.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Endocannabinoid concentrations in plasma associated with feed efficiency and carcass composition on crossbreed steers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Endocannabinoids, including anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), are a class of endogenous lipid mediators that activate cannabinoids receptors and may be involved in the control of feed intake and energy metabolism. The objective of this study was to quantify AEA and 2-AG in plasma a...

  6. Endocannabinoids concentrations in plasma associated with feed efficiency and carcass composition of beef steers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Endocannabinoids, including anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), are a class of endogenous lipid mediators that activate cannabinoids receptors and may be involved in the control of feed intake and energy metabolism. The objective of this study was to quantify AEA and 2-AG in plasma a...

  7. 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

    2016-09-14

    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.

  8. Endocannabinoids, through opioids and prostaglandins, contribute to fever induced by key pyrogenic mediators.

    PubMed

    Fraga, Daniel; Zanoni, Cristiane I S; Zampronio, Aleksander R; Parada, Carlos A; Rae, Giles A; Souza, Glória E P

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to explore the contribution of endocannabinoids on the cascade of mediators involved in LPS-induced fever and to verify the participation of prostaglandins and endogenous opioids in fever induced by anandamide (AEA). Body temperature (Tc) of male Wistar rats was recorded over 6h, using a thermistor probe. Cerebrospinal fluid concentration of PGE2 and β-endorphin were measured by ELISA after the administration of AEA. Intracerebroventricular administration of the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 (5μg, i.c.v.), reduced the fever induced by IL-1β (3ng, i.c.v.), TNF-α (250ng, i.c.v.), IL-6 (300ng, i.c.v.), corticotrophin release factor (CRH; 2.5μg, i.c.v.) and endothelin (ET)-1 (1pmol, i.c.v.), but not the fever induced by PGE2 (250ng, i.c.v.) or PGF2α (250ng, i.c.v.). Systemic administration of indomethacin (2mgkg(-1), i.p.) or celecoxib (5mgkg(-1), p.o.) reduced the fever induced by AEA (1μg, i.c.v.), while naloxone (1mgkg(-1), s.c.) abolished it. The increases of PGE2 and β-endorphin concentration in the CSF induced by AEA were abolished by the pretreatment of rats with AM251. These results suggest that endocannabinoids are intrinsically involved in the pyretic activity of cytokines (IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6), CRH and ET-1 but not the PGE2 or PGF2α induced fevers. However, anandamide via CB1 receptor activation induces fever that is dependent on the synthesis of prostaglandin and opioids.

  9. Rimonabant: endocannabinoid inhibition for the metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Wierzbicki, A S

    2006-12-01

    Rimonabant is the first drug to target the endocannabinoid (CB) pathway by inhibiting the actions of anandamide and 2-archidonyl-glycerol on CB1 receptors. This review gives an overview of rimonabant and the CB system and how this system relates to obesity. Rimonabant blocks the central effects of this neurotransmitter pathway involved in obesity and weight control and also blocks the direct effects of CBs on adipocyte and hepatocyte metabolism. Blockade of CB1 receptors leads to a decrease in appetite and also has direct actions in adipose tissue and the liver to improve glucose, fat and cholesterol metabolism so improving insulin resistance, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and in some patients, blood pressure. The Rimonabant in Obesity (RIO) trials have shown that rimonabant induces weight loss > 5% in 30-40% of patients and > 10% in 10-20% above both a dietary run-in and long-term hypocaloric management over a 2 year period with a low level of drug-related side effects. Rimonabant therapy is associated with an extra 8-10% increase in HDL-C and a 10-30% reduction in triglycerides and improvements in insulin resistance, glycaemic control in patients with diabetes and also adipokines and cytokines including C-reactive protein over hypocaloric diet therapy. In addition rimonabant abolishes the weight gain associated with smoking cessation and improves the chances of quitting smoking. Thus rimonabant has major effects on both the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors thus has the potential to reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease associated with the cardiometabolic phenotype.

  10. 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

  11. Expression of the Endocannabinoid Receptors in Human Fascial Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Fede, C.; Albertin, G.; Petrelli, L.; Sfriso, M.M.; Biz, C.; Caro, R. De; Stecco, C.

    2016-01-01

    Cannabinoid receptors have been localized in the central and peripheral nervous system as well as on cells of the immune system, but recent studies on animal tissue gave evidence for the presence of cannabinoid receptors in different types of tissues. Their presence was supposed also in myofascial tissue, suggesting that the endocannabinoid system may help resolve myofascial trigger points and relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, until now the expression of CB1 (cannabinoid receptor 1) and CB2 (cannabinoid receptor 2) in fasciae has not yet been established. Small samples of fascia were collected from volunteers patients during orthopedic surgery. For each sample were done a cell isolation, immunohistochemical investigation (CB1 and CB2 antibodies) and real time RT-PCR to detect the expression of CB1 and CB2. Both cannabinoid receptors are expressed in human fascia and in human fascial fibroblasts culture cells, although to a lesser extent than the control gene. We can assume that the expression of mRNA and protein of CB1 and CB2 receptors in fascial tissue are concentrated into the fibroblasts. This is the first demonstration that the fibroblasts of the muscular fasciae express CB1 and CB2. The presence of these receptors could help to provide a description of cannabinoid receptors distribution and to better explain the role of fasciae as pain generator and the efficacy of some fascial treatments. Indeed the endocannabinoid receptors of fascial fibroblasts can contribute to modulate the fascial fibrosis and inflammation. PMID:27349320

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-24

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

  13. 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 Central

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

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Cisplatin, a platinum-derived chemotherapeutic agent, produces mechanical and cold allodynia reminiscent of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy in humans. The endocannabinoid system represents a novel target for analgesic drug development. The endocannabinoid consists of endocannabinoids (e.g. anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)), cannabinoid receptors (e.g. CB1 and CB2) 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 CB1 (AM251 3 mg/kg), CB2 (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 (CB1, CB2, 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 neuropathy while amitriptyline, administered acutely, was ineffective. CB1 or CB2 antagonist

  14. 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.

  15. Metamizol, a non-opioid analgesic, acts via endocannabinoids in the PAG-RVM axis during inflammation in rats.

    PubMed

    Escobar, W; Ramirez, K; Avila, C; Limongi, R; Vanegas, H; Vazquez, E

    2012-05-01

    The most commonly used drugs against pain act by inhibiting the cyclooxygenases (COXs). Metamizol (dipyrone) inhibits the COXs and is widely used in Europe and Latin America as a non-opioid analgesic. One target of metamizol and other non-opioid analgesics is the periaqueductal grey matter (PAG), where they trigger descending inhibition of spinal nociceptive transmission. Also, cannabinoids exert an analgesic action at several structures in the peripheral and central nervous system, including the PAG. The present study investigates whether the antinociceptive action of metamizol in the lateral-ventrolateral (LVL) PAG during inflammation is related to endocannabinoids. In anaesthetized rats, unitary action potentials were recorded from spinal nociceptive neurons with receptive fields in the ipsilateral hind paw. Inflammation of the paw induced neuronal hyperexcitability, which was attenuated by intra-LVL-PAG microinjection of metamizol either at the beginning of inflammation or when hyperexcitability was fully established. In both cases, the antinociceptive effect of metamizol was reduced by a microinjection of AM251, an antagonist at the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, either into the LVL-PAG or into the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM). The RVM is a downstream structure that funnels PAG-derived descending inhibition into the spinal cord. These results show that endocannabinoids and their CB1 receptor (1) contribute at the LVL-PAG to the antinociceptive effects of metamizol, and possibly other non-opioid analgesics; and (2) participate in the PAG-derived activation of RVM descending antinociceptive influences.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Proapoptotic effect of endocannabinoids in prostate cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    ORELLANA-SERRADELL, O.; POBLETE, C.E.; SANCHEZ, C.; CASTELLÓN, E.A.; GALLEGOS, I.; HUIDOBRO, C.; LLANOS, M.N.; CONTRERAS, H.R.

    2015-01-01

    In the early stages, prostate cancer is androgen- dependent; therefore, medical castration has shown significant results during the initial stages of this pathology. Despite this early effect, advanced prostate cancer is resilient to such treatment. Recent evidence shows that derivatives of Cannabis sativa and its analogs may exert a protective effect against different types of oncologic pathologies. The purpose of the present study was to detect the presence of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) on cancer cells with a prostatic origin and to evaluate the effect of the in vitro use of synthetic analogs. In order to do this, we used a commercial cell line and primary cultures derived from prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia. The presence of the CB1 and CB2 receptors was determined by immunohistochemistry where we showed a higher expression of these receptors in later stages of the disease (samples with a high Gleason score). Later, treatments were conducted using anandamide, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol and a synthetic analog of anandamide, methanandamide. Using the MTT assay, we proved that the treatments produced a cell growth inhibitory effect on all the different prostate cancer cultures. This effect was demonstrated to be dose-dependent. The use of a specific CB1 receptor blocker (SR141716) confirmed that this effect was produced primarily from the activation of the CB1 receptor. In order to understand the MTT assay results, we determined cell cycle distribution by flow cytometry, which showed no variation at the different cell cycle stages in all the cultures after treatment. Treatment with endocannabinoids resulted in an increase in the percentage of apoptotic cells as determined by Annexin V assays and caused an increase in the levels of activated caspase-3 and a reduction in the levels of Bcl-2 confirming that the reduction in cell viability noted in the MTT assay was caused by the activation of the apoptotic pathway. Finally, we observed that

  19. Cross-validated stable-isotope dilution GC-MS and LC-MS/MS assays for monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) activity by measuring arachidonic acid released from the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol.

    PubMed

    Kayacelebi, Arslan Arinc; Schauerte, Celina; Kling, Katharina; Herbers, Jan; Beckmann, Bibiana; Engeli, Stefan; Jordan, Jens; Zoerner, Alexander A; Tsikas, Dimitrios

    2017-03-15

    2-Arachidonoyl glycerol (2AG) is an endocannabinoid that activates cannabinoid (CB) receptors CB1 and CB2. Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inactivates 2AG through hydrolysis to arachidonic acid (AA) and glycerol, thus modulating the activity at CB receptors. In the brain, AA released from 2AG by the action of MAGL serves as a substrate for cyclooxygenases which produce pro-inflammatory prostaglandins. Here we report stable-isotope GC-MS and LC-MS/MS assays for the reliable measurement of MAGL activity. The assays utilize deuterium-labeled 2AG (d8-2AG; 10μM) as the MAGL substrate and measure deuterium-labeled AA (d8-AA; range 0-1μM) as the MAGL product. Unlabelled AA (d0-AA, 1μM) serves as the internal standard. d8-AA and d0-AA are extracted from the aqueous buffered incubation mixtures by ethyl acetate. Upon solvent evaporation the residue is reconstituted in the mobile phase prior to LC-MS/MS analysis or in anhydrous acetonitrile for GC-MS analysis. LC-MS/MS analysis is performed in the negative electrospray ionization mode by selected-reaction monitoring the mass transitions [M-H](-)→[M-H - CO2](-), i.e., m/z 311→m/z 267 for d8-AA and m/z 303→m/z 259 for d0-AA. Prior to GC-MS analysis d8-AA and d0-AA were converted to their pentafluorobenzyl (PFB) esters by means of PFB-Br. GC-MS analysis is performed in the electron-capture negative-ion chemical ionization mode by selected-ion monitoring the ions [M-PFB](-), i.e., m/z 311 for d8-AA and m/z 303 for d0-AA. The GC-MS and LC-MS/MS assays were cross-validated. Linear regression analysis between the concentration (range, 0-1μM) of d8-AA measured by LC-MS/MS (y) and that by GC-MS (x) revealed a straight line (r(2)=0.9848) with the regression equation y=0.003+0.898x, indicating a good agreement. In dog liver, we detected MAGL activity that was inhibitable by the MAGL inhibitor JZL-184. Exogenous eicosatetraynoic acid is suitable as internal standard for the quantitative determination of d8-AA produced from d8

  20. [Endocannabinoids--the new option in the treatment of metabolic syndrome and in smoking cessation].

    PubMed

    Kvasnicka, T

    2005-01-01

    Development of the metabolic syndrome results from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Metabolic syndrome together with smoking represents risk factors for the development of cardiovascular complications. They may result from the hyperstimulation of the endocannabinoid system. The CB1 receptor has been assumed to play an important role in the endocannabionoid system. It is abundantly expressed in the brain, and in other parts of human body such as in the fat tissue. Rimonabant is a selective blocker of cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptors and participates in the regulation of impaired endocannabinoid system. In the overweight humans, it stimulates sustained reduction of the body weight, girth size and it improves lipid and glucose metabolism. Rimonabant also reduces nicotine self-administration and may be effective not only as an aid for smoking cessation but also in the prevention of body weight increase related to the smoking cessation as it was documented in Rio-Lipids and Stratus-us studies.

  1. Reduction in endocannabinoid tone is a homeostatic mechanism for specific inhibitory synapses.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jimok; Alger, Bradley E

    2010-05-01

    When chronic alterations in neuronal activity occur, network gain is maintained by global homeostatic scaling of synaptic strength, but the stability of microcircuits can be controlled by unique adaptations that differ from the global changes. It is not understood how specificity of synaptic tuning is achieved. We found that, although a large population of inhibitory synapses was homeostatically scaled down after chronic inactivity, decreased endocannabinoid tone specifically strengthened a subset of GABAergic synapses that express cannabinoid receptors. In rat hippocampal slice cultures, a 3-5-d blockade of neuronal firing facilitated uptake and degradation of anandamide. The consequent reduction in basal stimulation of cannabinoid receptors augmented GABA release probability, fostering rapid depression of synaptic inhibition and on-demand disinhibition. This regulatory mechanism, mediated by activity-dependent changes in tonic endocannabinoid level, permits selective local tuning of inhibitory synapses in hippocampal networks.

  2. Active optical zoom system

    DOEpatents

    Wick, David V.

    2005-12-20

    An active optical zoom system changes the magnification (or effective focal length) of an optical imaging system by utilizing two or more active optics in a conventional optical system. The system can create relatively large changes in system magnification with very small changes in the focal lengths of individual active elements by leveraging the optical power of the conventional optical elements (e.g., passive lenses and mirrors) surrounding the active optics. The active optics serve primarily as variable focal-length lenses or mirrors, although adding other aberrations enables increased utility. The active optics can either be LC SLMs, used in a transmissive optical zoom system, or DMs, used in a reflective optical zoom system. By appropriately designing the optical system, the variable focal-length lenses or mirrors can provide the flexibility necessary to change the overall system focal length (i.e., effective focal length), and therefore magnification, that is normally accomplished with mechanical motion in conventional zoom lenses. The active optics can provide additional flexibility by allowing magnification to occur anywhere within the FOV of the system, not just on-axis as in a conventional system.

  3. Involvement of endocannabinoids in alcohol “binge” drinking: studies of mice with human fatty acid amide hydrolase genetic variation and after CB1 receptor antagonists

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Background The endocannabinoid system has been found to play an important role in modulating alcohol intake. Inhibition or genetic deletion of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH, a key catabolic enzyme for endocannabinoids) leads to increased alcohol consumption and preference in rodent models. A common human single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; C385A, rs324420) in the FAAH gene is associated with decreased enzymatic activity of FAAH, resulting in increased anandamide levels in both humans and FAAH C385A knock-in mice. Methods As this FAAH SNP has been reported to be associated with altered alcohol abuse, the present study used these genetic knock-in mice containing the human SNP C385A to determine the impact of variant FAAH gene on alcohol “binge” drinking in the drinking-in-the-dark (DID) model. Results We found that the FAAHA/A mice had greater alcohol intake and preference than the wild-type FAAHC/C mice, suggesting that increased endocannabinoid signaling in FAAHA/A mice led to increased alcohol “binge” consumption. The specificity on alcohol vulnerability was suggested by the lack of any FAAH genotype difference on sucrose or saccharin intake. Using the “binge” DID model, we confirmed that selective CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 reduced alcohol intake in the wild-type mice. Conclusions These data suggest that there is direct and selective involvement of the human FAAH C385A SNP and CB1 receptors in alcohol “binge” drinking. PMID:26857901

  4. TRPV1 and Endocannabinoids: Emerging Molecular Signals that Modulate Mammalian Vision

    PubMed Central

    Ryskamp, Daniel A.; Redmon, Sarah; Jo, Andrew O.; Križaj, David

    2014-01-01

    Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) subunits form a polymodal cation channel responsive to capsaicin, heat, acidity and endogenous metabolites of polyunsaturated fatty acids. While originally reported to serve as a pain and heat detector in the peripheral nervous system, TRPV1 has been implicated in the modulation of blood flow and osmoregulation but also neurotransmission, postsynaptic neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity within the central nervous system. In addition to its central role in nociception, evidence is accumulating that TRPV1 contributes to stimulus transduction and/or processing in other sensory modalities, including thermosensation, mechanotransduction and vision. For example, TRPV1, in conjunction with intrinsic cannabinoid signaling, might contribute to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axonal transport and excitability, cytokine release from microglial cells and regulation of retinal vasculature. While excessive TRPV1 activity was proposed to induce RGC excitotoxicity, physiological TRPV1 activity might serve a neuroprotective function within the complex context of retinal endocannabinoid signaling. In this review we evaluate the current evidence for localization and function of TRPV1 channels within the mammalian retina and explore the potential interaction of this intriguing nociceptor with endogenous agonists and modulators. PMID:25222270

  5. Crystallographic study of FABP5 as an intracellular endocannabinoid transporter

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Shonesy, Brian C.; Bluett, Rebecca J.; Ramikie, Teniel S.; Báldi, Rita; Hermanson, Daniel J.; Kingsley, Philip J.; Marnett, Lawrence J.; Winder, Danny G.; Colbran, Roger J.; Patel, Sachin

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling has been heavily implicated in the modulation of anxiety, depressive behaviors and emotional learning. However, the role of the most abundant endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the physiological regulation of affective behaviors is not well understood. Here we show that genetic deletion of the 2-AG synthetic enzyme diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGLα) in mice reduces brain, but not circulating, 2-AG levels. DAGLα deletion also results in anxiety-like and sex-specific anhedonic phenotypes associated with impaired activity-dependent eCB retrograde signaling at amygdala glutamatergic synapses. Importantly, acute pharmacological normalization of 2-AG levels reverses both phenotypes of DAGLα deficient mice. These data suggest 2-AG deficiency could contribute to the pathogenesis of affective disorders and that pharmacological normalization of 2-AG signaling could represent a novel approach for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. PMID:25466252

  7. 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

  8. Metabotyping human endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinoma reveals an implication of endocannabinoid metabolism.

    PubMed

    Jové, Mariona; Gatius, Sònia; Yeramian, Andree; Portero-Otin, Manuel; Eritja, Núria; Santacana, Maria; Colas, Eva; Ruiz, Maria; Pamplona, Reinald; Matias-Guiu, Xavier

    2016-08-09

    Metabolomics, an essential technique in precision medicine, contributes to the molecular fingerprinting of tumours, further helping to understand their pathogenesis. In this work, using a LC-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS platform, we demonstrated the existence of a specific metabolomic signature which could define endometrioid endometrial carcinoma (EEC), arising the endocannabinoid system as a potential pathway involved in EC pathogenesis. Metabolomics could also shed light in the processes involved in myometrial invasion, proposing new targets for possible therapeutic intervention. Consequently, we also described a different metabolomic profile in surface endometrioid carcinoma and myometrial invasive front. We validated pathways disclosed by metabolomics by immunohistochemistry. Specifically, endocannabinoid and purine metabolism could be involved in tumor myometrial invasion.

  9. Metabotyping human endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinoma reveals an implication of endocannabinoid metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Yeramian, Andree; Portero-Otin, Manuel; Eritja, Núria; Santacana, Maria; Colas, Eva; Ruiz, Maria; Pamplona, Reinald; Matias-Guiu, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Metabolomics, an essential technique in precision medicine, contributes to the molecular fingerprinting of tumours, further helping to understand their pathogenesis. In this work, using a LC-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS platform, we demonstrated the existence of a specific metabolomic signature which could define endometrioid endometrial carcinoma (EEC), arising the endocannabinoid system as a potential pathway involved in EC pathogenesis. Metabolomics could also shed light in the processes involved in myometrial invasion, proposing new targets for possible therapeutic intervention. Consequently, we also described a different metabolomic profile in surface endometrioid carcinoma and myometrial invasive front. We validated pathways disclosed by metabolomics by immunohistochemistry. Specifically, endocannabinoid and purine metabolism could be involved in tumor myometrial invasion. PMID:27429042

  10. [Pain relief with cannabinoids-- the importance of endocannabinoids and cannabinoids for pain therapy].

    PubMed

    Karst, Matthias; Bernateck, Michael

    2008-07-01

    The endocannabinoid system reduces sensitization processes. Low doses of cannabinoids may enhance the potency of opioid-drugs and reduce the risk of tolerance to opioids. So far no cannabinoid has been approved for the treatment of acute pain due to lack of consistent data. In contrast, a Cannabis Based Medicine spray consisting of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol has been approved for the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with multiple sclerosis. The adjunct of cannabidiol and the oromucosal formulation increase the therapeutic index of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol. The differentiation of analgetic effects and cannabimimetic effects may be increased while compounds--such as ajulemic acid--are used which preferentially act on peripheral cannabinoid receptors and exert receptor independent effects. A further approach in this direction is the use of enzymes which metabolize endocannabinoids.

  11. Endocannabinoid signaling in the brain.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Rachel I; Nicoll, Roger A

    2002-04-26

    The primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC), affects the brain mainly by activating a specific receptor (CB1). CB1 is expressed at high levels in many brain regions, and several endogenous brain lipids have been identified as CB1 ligands. In contrast to classical neurotransmitters, endogenous cannabinoids can function as retrograde synaptic messengers: They are released from postsynaptic neurons and travel backward across synapses, activating CB1 on presynaptic axons and suppressing neurotransmitter release. Cannabinoids may affect memory, cognition, and pain perception by means of this cellular mechanism.

  12. Monoglyceride lipase deficiency modulates endocannabinoid signaling and improves plaque stability in ApoE-knockout mice

    PubMed Central

    Vujic, Nemanja; Schlager, Stefanie; Eichmann, Thomas O.; Madreiter-Sokolowski, Corina T.; Goeritzer, Madeleine; Rainer, Silvia; Schauer, Silvia; Rosenberger, Angelika; Woelfler, Albert; Doddapattar, Prakash; Zimmermann, Robert; Hoefler, Gerald; Lass, Achim; Graier, Wolfgang F.; Radovic, Branislav; Kratky, Dagmar

    2016-01-01

    Background and aims Monoglyceride lipase (MGL) catalyzes the final step of lipolysis by degrading monoglyceride (MG) to glycerol and fatty acid. MGL also hydrolyzes and thereby deactivates 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), the most abundant endocannabinoid in the mammalian system. 2-AG acts as full agonist on cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) and CB2R, which are mainly expressed in brain and immune cells, respectively. Thus, we speculated that in the absence of MGL, increased 2-AG concentrations mediate CB2R signaling in immune cells to modulate inflammatory responses, thereby affecting the development of atherosclerosis. Methods and results We generated apolipoprotein E (ApoE)/MGL double-knockout (DKO) mice and challenged them with Western-type diet for 9 weeks. Despite systemically increased 2-AG concentrations in DKO mice, CB2R-mediated signaling remains fully functional, arguing against CB2R desensitization. We found increased plaque formation in both en face aortae (1.3-fold, p = 0.028) and aortic valve sections (1.5-fold, p = 0.0010) in DKO mice. Interestingly, DKO mice also presented reduced lipid (12%, p = 0.031) and macrophage content (18%, p = 0.061), elevated intraplaque smooth muscle staining (1.4-fold, p = 0.016) and thicker fibrous caps (1.8-fold, p = 0.0032), together with a higher ratio of collagen to necrotic core area (2.5-fold, p = 0.0003) and expanded collagen content (1.6-fold, p = 0.0007), which suggest formation of less vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques. Treatment with a CB2R inverse agonist prevents these effects in DKO mice, demonstrating that the observed plaque phenotype in DKO mice originates from CB2R activation. Conclusion Loss of MGL modulates endocannabinoid signaling in CB2R-expressing cells, which concomitantly affects the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. We conclude that despite larger lesion size loss of MGL improves atherosclerotic plaque stability. Thus, pharmacological MGL inhibition may be a novel intervention to reduce

  13. Endocannabinoids concentrations in plasma associated with feed efficiency and carcass composition of beef steers.

    PubMed

    Artegoitia, V M; Foote, A P; Lewis, R M; King, D A; Shackelford, S D; Wheeler, T L; Freetly, H C

    2016-12-01

    Endocannabinoids, including anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), are a class of endogenous lipid mediators that activate cannabinoids receptors and may be involved in the control of feed intake and energy metabolism. The objective of this study was to quantify AEA and 2-AG in plasma and identify possible associations with production traits and carcass composition in finishing beef steers. Individual DMI and BW gain were measured on 140 Angus-sired steers for 105 d on a finishing ration. Blood samples were collected on d 84 of the experiment, which was 40 d before slaughter. Variables were analyzed using Pearson CORR procedure of SAS. Mean endocannabinoid concentrations in plasma were 4.48 ± 1.82 ng/mL and 0.44 ± 0.24 ng/mL for AEA and 2-AG, respectively. The AEA concentration was positively correlated with G:F ratio ( = 0.20; = 0.02), indicating that more efficient animals had greater AEA plasma concentrations. In addition, AEA concentration tended to be negatively correlated with the 12th rib fat thickness ( = -0.17; = 0.07); but no correlation was found with USDA-calculated yield grade ( = -0.14; = 0.11), or marbling score ( = 0.05; = 0.54). The concentration of 2-AG was positively correlated with AEA ( = 0.21; = 0.01); however, 2-AG concentration was not correlated with parameters of feed efficiency or carcass composition. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report plasma concentration of endocannabinoids in steers. These results provide evidence that plasma concentration of a key endocannabinoid, AEA, was favorably correlated with feed efficiency and fat thickness in finishing steers.

  14. Endocannabinoids and fatty acid amides in cancer, inflammation and related disorders.

    PubMed

    De Petrocellis, L; Melck, D; Bisogno, T; Di Marzo, V

    2000-11-01

    The long history of the medicinal use of Cannabis sativa and, more recently, of its chemical constituents, the cannabinoids, suggests that also the endogenous ligands of cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoids, and, particularly, their derivatives may be used as therapeutic agents. Studies aimed at correlating the tissue and body fluid levels of endogenous cannabinoid-like molecules with pathological conditions have been started and may lead to identify those diseases that can be alleviated by drugs that either mimic or antagonize the action of these substances, or modulate their biosynthesis and degradation. Hints for the therapeutic applications of endocannabinoids, however, can be obtained also from our previous knowledge of marijuana medicinal properties. In this article, we discuss the anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory activity of: (1) the endocannabinoids anandamide (arachidonoylethanolamide) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol; (2) the bioactive fatty acid amides palmitoylethanolamide and oleamide; and (3) some synthetic derivatives of these compounds, such as the N-acyl-vanillyl-amines. Furthermore, the possible role of cannabimimetic fatty acid derivatives in the pathological consequences of cancer and inflammation, such as cachexia, wasting syndrome, chronic pain and local vasodilation, will be examined.

  15. Orexin-A represses satiety-inducing POMC neurons and contributes to obesity via stimulation of endocannabinoid signaling.

    PubMed

    Morello, Giovanna; Imperatore, Roberta; Palomba, Letizia; Finelli, Carmine; Labruna, Giuseppe; Pasanisi, Fabrizio; Sacchetti, Lucia; Buono, Lorena; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Orlando, Pierangelo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Cristino, Luigia

    2016-04-26

    In the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC), proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons and the POMC-derived peptide α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) promote satiety. POMC neurons receive orexin-A (OX-A)-expressing inputs and express both OX-A receptor type 1 (OX-1R) and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) on the plasma membrane. OX-A is crucial for the control of wakefulness and energy homeostasis and promotes, in OX-1R-expressing cells, the biosynthesis of the endogenous counterpart of marijuana's psychotropic and appetite-inducing component Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, i.e., the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), which acts at CB1R. We report that OX-A/OX-1R signaling at POMC neurons promotes 2-AG biosynthesis, hyperphagia, and weight gain by blunting α-MSH production via CB1R-induced and extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2 activation- and STAT3 inhibition-mediated suppression of Pomc gene transcription. Because the systemic pharmacological blockade of OX-1R by SB334867 caused anorectic effects by reducing food intake and body weight, our results unravel a previously unsuspected role for OX-A in endocannabinoid-mediated promotion of appetite by combining OX-induced alertness with food seeking. Notably, increased OX-A trafficking was found in the fibers projecting to the ARC of obese mice (ob/ob and high-fat diet fed) concurrently with elevation of OX-A release in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood of mice. Furthermore, a negative correlation between OX-A and α-MSH serum levels was found in obese mice as well as in human obese subjects (body mass index > 40), in combination with elevation of alanine aminotransferase and γ-glutamyl transferase, two markers of fatty liver disease. These alterations were counteracted by antagonism of OX-1R, thus providing the basis for a therapeutic treatment of these diseases.

  16. Population sequencing of two endocannabinoid metabolic genes identifies rare and common regulatory variants associated with extreme obesity and metabolite level

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Targeted re-sequencing of candidate genes in individuals at the extremes of a quantitative phenotype distribution is a method of choice to gain information on the contribution of rare variants to disease susceptibility. The endocannabinoid system mediates signaling in the brain and peripheral tissues involved in the regulation of energy balance, is highly active in obese patients, and represents a strong candidate pathway to examine for genetic association with body mass index (BMI). Results We sequenced two intervals (covering 188 kb) encoding the endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes fatty-acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) in 147 normal controls and 142 extremely obese cases. After applying quality filters, we called 1,393 high quality single nucleotide variants, 55% of which are rare, and 143 indels. Using single marker tests and collapsed marker tests, we identified four intervals associated with BMI: the FAAH promoter, the MGLL promoter, MGLL intron 2, and MGLL intron 3. Two of these intervals are composed of rare variants and the majority of the associated variants are located in promoter sequences or in predicted transcriptional enhancers, suggesting a regulatory role. The set of rare variants in the FAAH promoter associated with BMI is also associated with increased level of FAAH substrate anandamide, further implicating a functional role in obesity. Conclusions Our study, which is one of the first reports of a sequence-based association study using next-generation sequencing of candidate genes, provides insights into study design and analysis approaches and demonstrates the importance of examining regulatory elements rather than exclusively focusing on exon sequences. PMID:21118518

  17. Modulation of the Endocannabinoids N-Arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) on Executive Functions in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Fagundo, Ana B.; de la Torre, Rafael; Jiménez-Murcia, Susana; Agüera, Zaida; Pastor, Antoni; Casanueva, Felipe F.; Granero, Roser; Baños, Rosa; Botella, Cristina; del Pino-Gutierrez, Amparo; Fernández-Real, Jose M.; Fernández-García, Jose C.; Frühbeck, Gema; Gómez-Ambrosi, Javier; Menchón, José M.; Moragrega, Inés; Rodríguez, Roser; Tárrega, Salomé; Tinahones, Francisco J.; Fernández-Aranda, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Animal studies point to an implication of the endocannabinoid system on executive functions. In humans, several studies have suggested an association between acute or chronic use of exogenous cannabinoids (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and executive impairments. However, to date, no published reports establish the relationship between endocannabinoids, as biomarkers of the cannabinoid neurotransmission system, and executive functioning in humans. The aim of the present study was to explore the association between circulating levels of plasma endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and executive functions (decision making, response inhibition and cognitive flexibility) in healthy subjects. One hundred and fifty seven subjects were included and assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; Stroop Color and Word Test; and Iowa Gambling Task. All participants were female, aged between 18 and 60 years and spoke Spanish as their first language. Results showed a negative correlation between 2-AG and cognitive flexibility performance (r = −.37; p<.05). A positive correlation was found between AEA concentrations and both cognitive flexibility (r = .59; p<.05) and decision making performance (r = .23; P<.05). There was no significant correlation between either 2-AG (r = −.17) or AEA (r = −.08) concentrations and inhibition response. These results show, in humans, a relevant modulation of the endocannabinoid system on prefrontal-dependent cognitive functioning. The present study might have significant implications for the underlying executive alterations described in some psychiatric disorders currently associated with endocannabinoids deregulation (namely drug abuse/dependence, depression, obesity and eating disorders). Understanding the neurobiology of their dysexecutive profile might certainly contribute to the development of new treatments and pharmacological approaches. PMID:23840456

  18. Don't Worry, Be Happy: Endocannabinoids and Cannabis at the Intersection of Stress and Reward.

    PubMed

    Volkow, Nora D; Hampson, Aidan J; Baler, Ruben D

    2017-01-06

    Cannabis enables and enhances the subjective sense of well-being by stimulating the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a key role in modulating the response to stress, reward, and their interactions. However, over time, repeated activation of the ECS by cannabis can trigger neuroadaptations that may impair the sensitivity to stress and reward. This effect, in vulnerable individuals, can lead to addiction and other adverse consequences. The recent shift toward legalization of medical or recreational cannabis has renewed interest in investigating the physiological role of the ECS as well as the potential health effects, both adverse and beneficial, of cannabis. Here we review our current understanding of the ECS and its complex physiological roles. We discuss the implications of this understanding vis-á-vis the ECS's modulation of stress and reward and its relevance to mental disorders in which these processes are disrupted (i.e., addiction, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia), along with the therapeutic potential of strategies to manipulate the ECS for these conditions.

  19. Computational search for hypotheses concerning the endocannabinoid contribution to the extinction of fear conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Anastasio, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    Fear conditioning, in which a cue is conditioned to elicit a fear response, and extinction, in which a previously conditioned cue no longer elicits a fear response, depend on neural plasticity occurring within the amygdala. Projection neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) learn to respond to the cue during fear conditioning, and they mediate fear responding by transferring cue signals to the output stage of the amygdala. Some BLA projection neurons retain their cue responses after extinction. Recent work shows that activation of the endocannabinoid system is necessary for extinction, and it leads to long-term depression (LTD) of the GABAergic synapses that inhibitory interneurons make onto BLA projection neurons. Such GABAergic LTD would enhance the responses of the BLA projection neurons that mediate fear responding, so it would seem to oppose, rather than promote, extinction. To address this paradox, a computational analysis of two well-known conceptual models of amygdaloid plasticity was undertaken. The analysis employed exhaustive state-space search conducted within a declarative programming environment. The analysis reveals that GABAergic LTD actually increases the number of synaptic strength configurations that achieve extinction while preserving the cue responses of some BLA projection neurons in both models. The results suggest that GABAergic LTD helps the amygdala retain cue memory during extinction even as the amygdala learns to suppress the previously conditioned response. The analysis also reveals which features of both models are essential for their ability to achieve extinction with some cue memory preservation, and suggests experimental tests of those features. PMID:23761759

  20. 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.

  1. Active optical zoom system.

    PubMed

    Wang, Di; Wang, Qiong-Hua; Shen, Chuan; Zhou, Xin; Liu, Chun-Mei

    2014-11-01

    In this work, we propose an active optical zoom system. The zoom module of the system is formed by a liquid lens and a spatial light modulator (SLM). By controlling the focal lengths of the liquid lens and the encoded digital lens on the SLM panel, we can change the magnification of an image without mechanical moving parts and keep the output plane stationary. The magnification can change from 1/3 to 3/2 as the focal length of the encoded lens on the SLM changes from infinity to 24 cm. The proposed active zoom system is simple and flexible, and has widespread application in optical communications, imaging systems, and displays.

  2. Imaging nervous system activity.

    PubMed

    Fields, Douglas R; Shneider, Neil; Mentis, George Z; O'Donovan, Michael J

    2009-10-01

    This unit describes methods for loading ion- and voltage-sensitive dyes into neurons, with a particular focus on the spinal cord as a model system. In addition, we describe the use of these dyes to visualize neural activity. Although the protocols described here concern spinal networks in culture or an intact in vitro preparation, they can be, and have been, widely used in other parts of the nervous system.

  3. Endocannabinoids: Multi-scaled, Global Homeostatic Regulators of Cells and Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melamede, Robert

    Living systems are far from equilibrium open systems that exhibit many scales of emergent behavior. They may be abstractly viewed as a complex weave of dissipative structures that maintain organization by passing electrons from reduced hydrocarbons to oxygen. Free radicals are unavoidable byproducts of biological electron flow. Due to their highly reactive chemical properties, free radicals modify all classes of biological molecules (carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins). As a result, free radicals are destructive. The generally disruptive nature of free radicals makes them the "friction of life." As such, they are believed to be the etiological agents behind age related illnesses such as cardiovascular, immunological, and neurological diseases, cancer, and ageing itself. Free radicals also play a critical constructive role in living systems. From a thermodynamic perspective, life can only exist if a living system takes in sufficient negative entropy from its environment to overcome the obligatory increase in entropy that would result if the system could not appropriately exchange mass, energy and information with its environment. Free radicals are generated in response to perturbations in the relationship between a living system and its environment. However, evolution has selected for biological response systems to free radicals so that the cellular biochemistry can adapt to environmental perturbations by modifying cellular gene expression and biochemistry. Endocannabinoids are marijuana-like compounds that have their origins hundreds of millions of years in the evolutionary past. They serve as fundamental modulators of energy homeostasis in all vertebrates. Their widespread biological activities may often be attributed to their ability to minimize the negative consequences of free radicals.

  4. Active control system trends

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yore, E. E.; Gunderson, D. C.

    1976-01-01

    The active control concepts which achieve the benefit of improved mission performance and lower cost and generate system trends towards improved dynamic performance, more integration, and digital fly by wire mechanization are described. Analytical issues and implementation requirements and tools and approaches developed to address the analytical and implementation issues are briefly discussed.

  5. Production Systems. Laboratory Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallaway, Ann, Ed.

    This production systems guide provides teachers with learning activities for secondary students. Introductory materials include an instructional planning outline and worksheet, an outline of essential elements, domains and objectives, a course description, and a content outline. The guide contains 30 modules on the following topics: production…

  6. Communication Systems. Laboratory Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutherland, Barbara, Ed.

    This communication systems guide provides teachers with learning activities for secondary students. Introductory materials include an instructional planning outline and worksheet, an outline of essential elements, a list of objectives, a course description, and a content outline. The guide contains 32 modules on the following topics: story…

  7. Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Stress Response of Male and Female Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Dickens, Molly J.; Vecchiarelli, Haley A.; Hill, Matthew N.

    2015-01-01

    Endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling plays an important role in the stress response pathways of the mammalian brain, yet its role in the avian stress response has not been described. Understanding eCB signaling in avian species (such as the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris) allows a model system that exhibits natural attenuation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responsiveness to stressors. Specifically, seasonally breeding birds exhibit the highest HPA activity during the breeding season and subsequently exhibit a robust HPA down-regulation during molt. Because eCB signaling in mammals has an overall inhibitory effect on HPA activity, we expected shifts in eCB signaling to regulate the seasonal HPA down-regulation during molt. However, our data did not support a role for eCB signaling in the molt-related suppression of HPA activity. For example, injection of the cannabinoid receptor (CB1) antagonist, AM251, did not potentiate molt-suppressed HPA activity. Instead, our data suggest eCB regulation of HPA plasticity as birds transition from breeding to molt. In support of this hypothesis, birds in the late breeding season demonstrated a more dynamic response at the level of avian amygdala eCB content in response to acute stress. The response and directionality of this effect match that seen in mammals. Overall, our data suggest that eCB signaling may allow for a dynamic range in HPA responsiveness (eg, breeding), but the signaling pathway's role may be limited when the HPA response is restrained (eg, molt). This first characterization of eCB signaling in the avian stress response also emphasizes that although the system functions similarly to other species, its exact role may be species specific. PMID:26431225

  8. The thrifty lipids: endocannabinoids and the neural control of energy conservation.

    PubMed

    DiPatrizio, Nicholas V; Piomelli, Daniele

    2012-07-01

    The 'thrifty gene hypothesis' posits that evolution preferentially selects physiological mechanisms that optimize energy storage to increase survival under alternating conditions of abundance and scarcity of food. Recent experiments suggest that endocannabinoids - a class of lipid-derived mediators that activate cannabinoid receptors in many cells of the body - are key agents of energy conservation. The new evidence indicates that these compounds increase energy intake and decrease energy expenditure by controlling the activity of peripheral and central neural pathways involved in the sensing and hedonic processing of sweet and fatty foods, as well as in the storage of their energy content for future use.

  9. 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

  10. ADASY (Active Daylighting System)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vázquez-Moliní, Daniel; González-Montes, Mario; Fernández-Balbuena, Antonio Á.; Bernabéu, Eusebio; García-Botella, Ángel; García-Rodríguez, Lucas; Pohl, Wilfried

    2009-08-01

    The main objective of ADASY (Active Daylighting System) work is to design a façade static daylighting system oriented to office applications, mainly. The goal of the project is to save energy by guiding daylight into a building for lighting purpose. With this approach we can reduce the electrical load for artificial lighting, completing it with sustainable energy. The collector of the system is integrated on a vertical façade and its distribution guide is always horizontal inside of the false ceiling. ADASY is designed with a specific patent pending caption system, a modular light-guide and light extractor luminaire system. Special care has been put on the final cost of the system and its building integration purpose. The current ADASY configuration is able to illuminate 40 m2 area with a 300lx-400lx level in the mid time work hours; furthermore it has a good enough spatial uniformity distribution and a controlled glare. The data presented in this study are the result of simulation models and have been confirmed by a physical scaled prototype. ADASY's main advantages over regular illumination systems are: -Low maintenance; it has not mobile pieces and therefore it lasts for a long time and require little attention once installed. - No energy consumption; solar light continue working even if there has been a power outage. - High quality of light: the colour rendering of light is very high - Psychological benefits: People working with daylight get less stress and more comfort, increasing productivity. - Health benefits

  11. 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

  12. GABA and Endocannabinoids Mediate Depotentiation of Schaffer Collateral Synapses Induced by Stimulation of Temperoammonic Inputs.

    PubMed

    Izumi, Yukitoshi; Zorumski, Charles F

    2016-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of Schaffer collateral (SC) synapses in the hippocampus is thought to play a key role in episodic memory formation. Because the hippocampus is a shorter-term, limited capacity storage system, repeated bouts of learning and synaptic plasticity require that SC synapses reset to baseline at some point following LTP. We previously showed that repeated low frequency activation of temperoammonic (TA) inputs to the CA1 region depotentiates SC LTP without persistently altering basal transmission. This heterosynaptic depotentiation involves adenosine A1 receptors but not N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, metabotropic glutamate receptors or L-type calcium channels. In the present study, we used rat hippocampal slices to explore other messengers contributing to TA-induced SC depotentiation, and provide evidence for the involvement of cannabinoid-1 and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type-A receptors as more proximal signaling events leading to synaptic resetting, with A1 receptor activation serving as a downstream event. Surprisingly, we found that TA-induced SC depotentiation is independent of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)/kainate glutamate receptors. We also examined the involvement of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and found a role for extracellular-signal related kinase 1/2 and p38 MAPK, but not c-Jun-N-terminal kinase. These results indicate that low frequency stimulation of TA inputs to CA1 activates a complex signaling network that instructs SC synaptic resetting. The involvement of GABA and endocannabinoids suggest mechanisms that could contribute to cognitive dysfunction associated with substance abuse and neuropsychiatric disorders.

  13. Dietary DHA reduces downstream endocannabinoid and inflammatory gene expression and epididymal fat mass while improving aspects of glucose use in muscle in C57BL/6J mice

    PubMed Central

    Kim, J; Carlson, M E; Kuchel, G A; Newman, J W; Watkins, B A

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Endocannabinoid system (ECS) overactivation is associated with increased adiposity and likely contributes to type 2 diabetes risk. Elevated tissue cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and circulating endocannabinoids (ECs) derived from the n-6 polyunsaturated acid (PUFA) arachidonic acid (AA) occur in obese and diabetic patients. Here we investigate whether the n-3 PUFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the diet can reduce ECS overactivation (that is, action of ligands, receptors and enzymes of EC synthesis and degradation) to influence glycemic control. This study targets the ECS tonal regulation of circulating glucose uptake by skeletal muscle as its primary end point. Design: Male C57BL/6J mice were fed a semipurified diet containing DHA or the control lipid. Serum, skeletal muscle, epididymal fat pads and liver were collected after 62 and 118 days of feeding. Metabolites, genes and gene products associated with the ECS, glucose uptake and metabolism and inflammatory status were measured. Results: Dietary DHA enrichment reduced epididymal fat pad mass and increased ECS-related genes, whereas it reduced downstream ECS activation markers, indicating that ECS activation was diminished. The mRNA of glucose-related genes and proteins elevated in mice fed the DHA diet with increases in DHA-derived and reductions in AA-derived EC and EC-like compounds. In addition, DHA feeding reduced plasma levels of various inflammatory cytokines, 5-lipoxygenase-dependent inflammatory mediators and the vasoconstrictive 20-HETE. Conclusions: This study provides evidence that DHA feeding altered ECS gene expression to reduce CB1 activation and reduce fat accretion. Furthermore, the DHA diet led to higher expression of genes associated with glucose use by muscle in mice, and reduced those associated with systemic inflammatory status. PMID:26219414

  14. Reductions in circulating endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol levels in healthy human subjects exposed to chronic stressors.

    PubMed

    Yi, Buqing; Nichiporuk, Igor; Nicolas, Michel; Schneider, Stefan; Feuerecker, Matthias; Vassilieva, Galina; Thieme, Detlef; Schelling, Gustav; Choukèr, Alexander

    2016-06-03

    Increasing evidence indicates that chronic stress, such as social isolation, plays an important role in the development of a variety of psychiatric and somatic disorders. Meanwhile, chronic stress imposed by prolonged isolation and confinement in the spacecraft is also one of the major concerns for the health of future interplanetary space travelers. Preclinical studies suggest that the peripheral endocannabinoid (eCB) system is involved in the regulation of the stress response and eCB signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of stress-related diseases. However, there are only few human studies addressing this topic, of which most focusing on patients who have already developed a certain type of disorder. It remains unknown whether chronic stress may affect eCB signaling in healthy humans. A 520-d isolation and confinement study simulating a flight to Mars provided an extraordinary chance to study the effects of prolonged stress in healthy humans. During the study period, the participants lived in confinement and could not meet their families, friends, or strangers for more than 500 days. We examined the impact of chronic exposure to isolation and confinement through monitoring their psychological state, brain cortical activity, sympathetic adrenal-medullary system response and eCB signaling response. We observed reduced positive emotion ratings, decreased brain cortical activities and high levels of catecholamine release, indicating that prolonged exposure to isolation and confinement stressors may bring about changes both psychologically and physiologically. Importantly, for eCB signaling response, blood concentrations of eCB 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), but not anandamide (AEA), were significantly reduced (p<0.001), suggesting that dysregulation of 2-AG signaling might be specifically implicated in the response to chronic stressors.

  15. Endocannabinoid control of glutamate NMDA receptors: the therapeutic potential and consequences of dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Muñoz, María; Sánchez-Blázquez, Pilar; Merlos, Manuel; Garzón-Niño, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Glutamate is probably the most important excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. The glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is a calcium-gated channel that coordinates with G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to establish the efficiency of the synaptic transmission. Cross-regulation between these receptors requires the concerted activity of the histidine triad nucleotide-binding protein 1 (HINT1) and of the sigma receptor type 1 (σ1R). Essential brain functions like learning, memory formation and consolidation, mood and behavioral responses to exogenous stimuli depend on the activity of NMDARs. In this biological context, endocannabinoids are released to retain NMDAR activity within physiological limits. The efficacy of such control depends on HINT1/σ1R assisting in the physical coupling between cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1Rs) and NMDARs to dampen their activity. Subsequently, the calcium-regulated HINT1/σ1R protein tandem uncouples CB1Rs to prevent NMDAR hypofunction. Thus, early recruitment or a disproportionate cannabinoid induced response can bring about excess dampening of NMDAR activity, impeding its adequate integration with GPCR signaling. Alternatively, this control circuit can apparently be overridden in situations where bursts of NMDAR overactivity provoke convulsive syndromes. In this review we will discuss the possible relevance of the HINT1/σ1R tandem and its use by endocannabinoids to diminish NMDAR activity and their implications in psychosis/schizophrenia, as well as in NMDAR-mediated convulsive episodes. PMID:27323834

  16. 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.

  17. Imaging nervous system activity.

    PubMed

    Fields, R D; O'Donovan, M J

    2001-05-01

    Optical imaging methods rely upon visualization of three types of signals: (1) intrinsic optical signals, including light scattering and reflectance, birefringence, and spectroscopic changes of intrinsic molecules, such as NADH or oxyhemoglobin; (2) changes in fluorescence or absorbance of voltage-sensitive membrane dyes; and (3) changes in fluorescence or absorbance of calcium-sensitive indicator dyes. Of these, the most widely used approach is fluorescent microscopy of calcium-sensitive dyes. This unit describes protocols for the use of calcium-sensitive dyes and voltage-dependent dyes for studies of neuronal activity in culture, tissue slices, and en-bloc preparations of the central nervous system.

  18. Neutron activation analysis system

    DOEpatents

    Taylor, M.C.; Rhodes, J.R.

    1973-12-25

    A neutron activation analysis system for monitoring a generally fluid media, such as slurries, solutions, and fluidized powders, including two separate conduit loops for circulating fluid samples within the range of radiation sources and detectors is described. Associated with the first loop is a neutron source that emits s high flux of slow and thermal neutrons. The second loop employs a fast neutron source, the flux from which is substantially free of thermal neutrons. Adjacent to both loops are gamma counters for spectrographic determination of the fluid constituents. Other gsmma sources and detectors are arranged across a portion of each loop for deterMining the fluid density. (Official Gazette)

  19. Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Excites Firing and Increases GABAergic Miniature Postsynaptic Currents (mPSCs) in Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Neurons of the Male Mice via Activation of Nitric Oxide (NO) and Suppression of Endocannabinoid Signaling Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Farkas, Imre; Vastagh, Csaba; Farkas, Erzsébet; Bálint, Flóra; Skrapits, Katalin; Hrabovszky, Erik; Fekete, Csaba; Liposits, Zsolt

    2016-01-01

    Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a metabolic signal molecule, regulates reproduction, although, the involved molecular mechanisms have not been elucidated, yet. Therefore, responsiveness of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons to the GLP-1 analog Exendin-4 and elucidation of molecular pathways acting downstream to the GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) have been challenged. Loose patch-clamp recordings revealed that Exendin-4 (100 nM–5 μM) elevated firing rate in hypothalamic GnRH-GFP neurons of male mice via activation of GLP-1R. Whole-cell patch-clamp measurements demonstrated increased excitatory GABAergic miniature postsynaptic currents (mPSCs) frequency after Exendin-4 administration, which was eliminated by the GLP-1R antagonist Exendin-3(9–39) (1 μM). Intracellular application of the G-protein inhibitor GDP-β-S (2 mM) impeded action of Exendin-4 on mPSCs, suggesting direct excitatory action of GLP-1 on GnRH neurons. Blockade of nitric-oxide (NO) synthesis by Nω-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME; 100 μM) or N5-[Imino(propylamino)methyl]-L-ornithine hydrochloride (NPLA; 1 μM) or intracellular scavenging of NO by 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (CPTIO; 1 mM) partially attenuated the excitatory effect of Exendin-4. Similar partial inhibition was achieved by hindering endocannabinoid pathway using cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1) inverse-agonist 1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-4-methyl-N-(1-piperidyl) pyrazole-3-carboxamide (AM251; 1 μM). Simultaneous blockade of NO and endocannabinoid signaling mechanisms eliminated action of Exendin-4 suggesting involvement of both retrograde machineries. Intracellular application of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1)-antagonist 2E-N-(2, 3-Dihydro-1,4-benzodioxin-6-yl)-3-[4-(1, 1-dimethylethyl)phenyl]-2-Propenamide (AMG9810; 10 μM) or the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH)-inhibitor PF3845 (5 μM) impeded the GLP-1-triggered endocannabinoid

  20. Evidence for Bidirectional Endocannabinoid Transport across Cell Membranes*

    PubMed Central

    Chicca, Andrea; Marazzi, Janine; Nicolussi, Simon; Gertsch, Jürg

    2012-01-01

    Despite extensive research on the trafficking of anandamide (AEA) across cell membranes, little is known about the membrane transport of other endocannabinoids, such as 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Previous studies have provided data both in favor and against a cell membrane carrier-mediated transport of endocannabinoids, using different methodological approaches. Because AEA and 2-AG undergo rapid and almost complete intracellular hydrolysis, we employed a combination of radioligand assays and absolute quantification of cellular and extracellular endocannabinoid levels. In human U937 leukemia cells, 100 nm AEA and 1 μm 2-AG were taken up through a fast and saturable process, reaching a plateau after 5 min. Employing differential pharmacological blockage of endocannabinoid uptake, breakdown, and interaction with intracellular binding proteins, we show that eicosanoid endocannabinoids harboring an arachidonoyl chain compete for a common membrane target that regulates their transport, whereas other N-acylethanolamines did not interfere with AEA and 2-AG uptake. By combining fatty acid amide hydrolase or monoacyl glycerol lipase inhibitors with hydrolase-inactive concentrations of the AEA transport inhibitors UCM707 (1 μm) and OMDM-2 (5 μm), a functional synergism on cellular AEA and 2-AG uptake was observed. Intriguingly, structurally unrelated AEA uptake inhibitors also blocked the cellular release of AEA and 2-AG. We show, for the first time, that UCM707 and OMDM-2 inhibit the bidirectional movement of AEA and 2-AG across cell membranes. Our findings suggest that a putative endocannabinoid cell membrane transporter controls the cellular AEA and 2-AG trafficking and metabolism. PMID:22879589

  1. Endocannabinoid signaling enhances visual responses through modulation of intracellular chloride levels in retinal ganglion cells

    PubMed Central

    Miraucourt, Loïs S; Tsui, Jennifer; Gobert, Delphine; Desjardins, Jean-François; Schohl, Anne; Sild, Mari; Spratt, Perry; Castonguay, Annie; De Koninck, Yves; Marsh-Armstrong, Nicholas; Wiseman, Paul W; Ruthazer, Edward S

    2016-01-01

    Type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) are widely expressed in the vertebrate retina, but the role of endocannabinoids in vision is not fully understood. Here, we identified a novel mechanism underlying a CB1R-mediated increase in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) intrinsic excitability acting through AMPK-dependent inhibition of NKCC1 activity. Clomeleon imaging and patch clamp recordings revealed that inhibition of NKCC1 downstream of CB1R activation reduces intracellular Cl− levels in RGCs, hyperpolarizing the resting membrane potential. We confirmed that such hyperpolarization enhances RGC action potential firing in response to subsequent depolarization, consistent with the increased intrinsic excitability of RGCs observed with CB1R activation. Using a dot avoidance assay in freely swimming Xenopus tadpoles, we demonstrate that CB1R activation markedly improves visual contrast sensitivity under low-light conditions. These results highlight a role for endocannabinoids in vision and present a novel mechanism for cannabinoid modulation of neuronal activity through Cl− regulation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15932.001 PMID:27501334

  2. Inhibiting endocannabinoid biosynthesis: a novel approach to the treatment of constipation

    PubMed Central

    Bashashati, M; Nasser, Y; Keenan, C M; Ho, W; Piscitelli, F; Nalli, M; Mackie, K; Storr, M A; Di Marzo, V; Sharkey, K A

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Endocannabinoids are a family of lipid mediators involved in the regulation of gastrointestinal (GI) motility. The expression, localization and function of their biosynthetic enzymes in the GI tract are not well understood. Here, we examined the expression, localization and function of the enzyme diacylglycerol lipase-α (DAGLα), which is involved in biosynthesis of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Experimental Approach Cannabinoid CB1 receptor-deficient, wild-type control and C3H/HeJ mice, a genetically constipated strain, were used. The distribution of DAGLα in the enteric nervous system was examined by immunohistochemistry. Effects of the DAGL inhibitors, orlistat and OMDM-188 on pharmacologically induced GI hypomotility were assessed by measuring intestinal contractility in vitro and whole gut transit or faecal output in vivo. Endocannabinoid levels were measured by mass spectrometry. Key Results DAGLα was expressed throughout the GI tract. In the intestine, unlike DAGLβ, DAGLα immunoreactivity was prominently expressed in the enteric nervous system. In the myenteric plexus, it was colocalized with the vesicular acetylcholine transporter in cholinergic nerves. In normal mice, inhibiting DAGL reversed both pharmacologically reduced intestinal contractility and pharmacologically prolonged whole gut transit. Moreover, inhibiting DAGL normalized faecal output in constipated C3H/HeJ mice. In colons incubated with scopolamine, 2-AG was elevated while inhibiting DAGL normalized 2-AG levels. Conclusions and Implications DAGLα was expressed in the enteric nervous system of mice and its inhibition reversed slowed GI motility, intestinal contractility and constipation through 2-AG and CB1 receptor-mediated mechanisms. Our data suggest that DAGLα inhibitors may be promising candidates for the treatment of constipation. PMID:25684407

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

    PubMed Central

    Glanowska, Katarzyna M.

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Endocannabinoid-mediated modulation of Gq/11 protein-coupled receptor signaling-induced vasoconstriction and hypertension.

    PubMed

    Szekeres, Mária; Nádasy, György L; Turu, Gábor; Soltész-Katona, Eszter; Benyó, Zoltán; Offermanns, Stefan; Ruisanchez, Éva; Szabó, Eszter; Takáts, Zoltán; Bátkai, Sándor; Tóth, Zsuzsanna E; Hunyady, László

    2015-03-05

    Activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) can induce vasoconstriction via calcium signal-mediated and Rho-dependent pathways. Earlier reports have shown that diacylglycerol produced during calcium signal generation can be converted to an endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Our aim was to provide evidence that GPCR signaling-induced 2-AG production and activation of vascular type1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1R) is capable of reducing agonist-induced vasoconstriction and hypertension. Rat and mouse aortic rings were examined by myography. Vascular expression of CB1R was demonstrated with immunohistochemistry. Rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) were cultured for calcium measurements and 2-AG-determination. Inhibition or genetic loss of CB1Rs enhanced vasoconstriction induced by angiotensin II (AngII) or phenylephrine (Phe), but not by prostaglandin(PG)F2α. AngII-induced vasoconstriction was augmented by inhibition of diacylglycerol lipase (tetrahydrolipstatin) and was attenuated by inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (JZL184) suggesting a functionally relevant role for endogenously produced 2-AG. In Gαq/11-deficient mice vasoconstriction was absent to AngII or Phe, which activate Gq/11-coupled receptors, but was maintained in response to PGF2α. In VSMCs, AngII-stimulated 2-AG-formation was inhibited by tetrahydrolipstatin and potentiated by JZL184. CB1R inhibition increased the sustained phase of AngII-induced calcium signal. Pharmacological or genetic loss of CB1R function augmented AngII-induced blood pressure rise in mice. These data demonstrate that vasoconstrictor effect of GPCR agonists is attenuated via Gq/11-mediated vascular endocannabinoid formation. Agonist-induced endocannabinoid-mediated CB1R activation is a significant physiological modulator of vascular tone. Thus, the selective modulation of GPCR signaling-induced endocannabinoid release has a therapeutic potential in case of increased vascular tone and hypertension.

  5. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor expression in relation to visceral adipose depots, endocannabinoid levels, microvascular damage, and the presence of the Cnr1 A3813G variant in humans.

    PubMed

    Bordicchia, Marica; Battistoni, Ilaria; Mancinelli, Lucia; Giannini, Elena; Refi, Giada; Minardi, Daniele; Muzzonigro, Giovanni; Mazzucchelli, Roberta; Montironi, Rodolfo; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Petrosino, Stefania; Dessì-Fulgheri, Paolo; Rappelli, Alessandro; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Sarzani, Riccardo

    2010-05-01

    Dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system in the visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is associated with metabolic and cardiovascular complications of obesity. We studied perirenal VAT CB1 receptor expression in relation to anthropometry, VAT area and endocannabinoid levels, kidney microvascular damage (MVDa), and the presence of the CB1 gene A3813G variant, the frequency of which was also evaluated in a large population of obese-hypertensive (OH) patients with or without the metabolic syndrome (MetS). Perirenal VAT and kidney samples were obtained from 30 patients undergoing renal surgery. Total and perirenal VAT areas were determined by computed tomography. CB1 messenger RNA expression and endocannabinoid levels in perirenal VAT were determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, respectively. The MVDa was evaluated in healthy portions of kidney cortex. The A3813G alleles were identified by genotyping in these patients and in 280 nondiabetic OH patients (age endocannabinoid anandamide. A 2-fold higher CB1 expression was associated with MVDa. The OH patients with the A3813G allele had lower prevalence of MetS in both unadjusted and adjusted models. Genetics influence perirenal VAT CB1 expression and the prevalence of MetS in OH. Increased VAT is associated with increased perirenal VAT endocannabinoid tone, which in turn correlates with increased MVDa. Endocannabinoid overactivity might be involved in human visceral obesity and its renal complications.

  6. Evidence for a Role of Adolescent Endocannabinoid Signaling in Regulating HPA Axis Stress Responsivity and Emotional Behavior Development.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tiffany T-Y; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2015-01-01

    Adolescence is a period characterized by many distinct physical, behavioral, and neural changes during the transition from child- to adulthood. In particular, adolescent neural changes often confer greater plasticity and flexibility, yet with this comes the potential for heightened vulnerability to external perturbations such as stress exposure or recreational drug use. There is substantial evidence to suggest that factors such as adolescent stress exposure have longer lasting and sometimes more deleterious effects on an organism than stress exposure during adulthood. Moreover, the adolescent neuroendocrine response to stress exposure is different from that of adults, suggesting that further maturation of the adolescent hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is required. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is a potential candidate underlying these age-dependent differences given that it is an important regulator of the adult HPA axis and neuronal development. Therefore, this review will focus on (1) the functionality of the adolescent HPA axis, (2) eCB regulation of the adult HPA axis, (3) dynamic changes in eCB signaling during the adolescent period, (4) the effects of adolescent stress exposure on the eCB system, and (5) modulation of HPA axis activity and emotional behavior by adolescent cannabinoid treatment. Collectively, the emerging picture suggests that the eCB system mediates interactions between HPA axis stress responsivity, emotionality, and maturational stage. These findings may be particularly relevant to our understanding of the development of affective disorders and the risks of adolescent cannabis consumption on emotional health and stress responsivity.

  7. Endocannabinoid-mediated improvement on a test of aversive memory in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Qin, Mei; Zeidler, Zachary; Moulton, Kristen; Krych, Leland; Xia, Zengyan; Smith, Carolyn B

    2015-09-15

    Silencing the gene FMR1 in fragile X syndrome (FXS) with consequent loss of its protein product, FMRP, results in intellectual disability, hyperactivity, anxiety, seizure disorders, and autism-like behavior. In a mouse model (Fmr1 knockout (KO)) of FXS, a deficit in performance on the passive avoidance test of learning and memory is a robust phenotype. We report that drugs acting on the endocannabinoid (eCB) system can improve performance on this test. We present three lines of evidence: (1) Propofol (reported to inhibit fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) activity) administered 30 min after training on the passive avoidance test improved performance in Fmr1 KO mice but had no effect on wild type (WT). FAAH catalyzes the metabolism of the eCB, anandamide, so its inhibition should result in increased anandamide levels. (2) The effect of propofol was blocked by prior administration of the cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonist AM-251. (3) Treatment with the FAAH inhibitor, URB-597, administered 30 min after training on the passive avoidance test also improved performance in Fmr1 KO mice but had no effect on WT. Our results indicate that the eCB system is involved in FXS and suggest that the eCB system is a promising target for treatment of FXS.

  8. Endocannabinoid-mediated improvement on a test of aversive memory in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Mei; Zeidler, Zachary; Moulton, Kristen; Krych, Leland; Xia, Zengyan; Smith, Carolyn B.

    2016-01-01

    Silencing the gene FMR1 in fragile X syndrome (FXS) with consequent loss of its protein product, FMRP, results in intellectual disability, hyperactivity, anxiety, seizure disorders, and autism-like behavior. In a mouse model (Fmr1 knockout (KO)) of FXS, a deficit in performance on the passive avoidance test of learning and memory is a robust phenotype. We report that drugs acting on the endocannabinoid (eCB) system can improve performance on this test. We present three lines of evidence: (1) Propofol (reported to inhibit fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) activity) administered 30 min after training on the passive avoidance test improved performance in Fmr1 KO mice but had no effect on wild type (WT). FAAH catalyzes the metabolism of the eCB, anandamide, so its inhibition should result in increased anandamide levels. (2) The effect of propofol was blocked by prior administration of the cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonist AM-251. (3) Treatment with the FAAH inhibitor, URB-597, administered 30 min after training on the passive avoidance test also improved performance in Fmr1 KO mice but had no effect on WT. Our results indicate that the eCB system is involved in FXS and suggest that the eCB system is a promising target for treatment of FXS. PMID:25979787

  9. The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol dysregulates the synthesis of proteins by the human syncytiotrophoblast.

    PubMed

    Costa, M A; Fonseca, B M; Mendes, A; Braga, J; Teixeira, N A; Correia-da-Silva, G

    2016-03-01

    In recent years, endocannabinoids emerged as new players in various reproductive events. Recently, we demonstrated the involvement of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in human cytotrophoblast apoptosis and syncytialization. However, 2-AG impact in hormone production by the syncytiotrophoblast (hST) was never studied. In this work, we demonstrate that 2-AG activates cannabinoid (CB) receptors, exerting an inhibitory action on cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 pathways, and enhancing ERK 1/2 phosphorylation. Furthermore, 2-AG affects the synthesis of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), leptin, aromatase, 3-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3-β-HSD), and placental protein 13 (PP13). These 2-AG effects are mediated by the activation of CB receptors, in a mechanism that may involve p38, ERK 1/2 and cAMP/PKA pathways, which participate in the regulation of placental proteins expression. To our knowledge, this is the first study that associates the endocannabinoid signalling and endocrine placental function, shedding light on a role for 2-AG in the complex network of molecules that orchestrate the production of placental proteins essential for the gestational success.

  10. Acute ethanol suppresses glutamatergic neurotransmission through endocannabinoids in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Basavarajappa, Balapal S; Ninan, Ipe; Arancio, Ottavio

    2008-11-01

    Ethanol exposure during fetal development is a leading cause of long-term cognitive impairments. Studies suggest that ethanol exposure have deleterious effects on the hippocampus, a brain region that is important for learning and memory. Ethanol exerts its effects, in part, via alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission, which is critical for the maturation of neuronal circuits during development. The current literature strongly supports the growing evidence that ethanol inhibits glutamate release in the neonatal CA1 hippocampal region. However, the exact molecular mechanism responsible for this effect is not well understood. In this study, we show that ethanol enhances endocannabinoid (EC) levels in cultured hippocampal neurons, possibly through calcium pathways. Acute ethanol depresses miniature post-synaptic current (mEPSC) frequencies without affecting their amplitude. This suggests that ethanol inhibits glutamate release. The CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) present on pre-synaptic neurons are not altered by acute ethanol. The CB1R antagonist SR 141716A reverses ethanol-induced depression of mEPSC frequency. Drugs that are known to enhance the in vivo function of ECs occlude ethanol effects on mEPSC frequency. Chelation of post-synaptic calcium by EGTA antagonizes ethanol-induced depression of mEPSC frequency. The activation of CB1R with the selective agonist WIN55,212-2 also suppresses the mEPSC frequency. This WIN55,212-2 effect is similar to the ethanol effects and is reversed by SR141716A. In addition, tetani-induced excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) are depressed by acute ethanol. SR141716A significantly reverses ethanol effects on evoked EPSC amplitude in a dual recording preparation. These observations, taken together, suggest the participation of ECs as retrograde messengers in the ethanol-induced depression of synaptic activities.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  12. Endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression of afferent excitatory synapses in hippocampal pyramidal cells and GABAergic interneurons.

    PubMed

    Péterfi, Zoltán; Urbán, Gabriella M; Papp, Orsolya I; Németh, Beáta; Monyer, Hannah; Szabó, Gábor; Erdélyi, Ferenc; Mackie, Ken; Freund, Tamás F; Hájos, Norbert; Katona, István

    2012-10-10

    Although endocannabinoids have emerged as essential retrograde messengers in several forms of synaptic plasticity, it remains controversial whether they mediate long-term depression (LTD) of glutamatergic synapses onto excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the hippocampus. Here, we show that parvalbumin- and somatostatin/metabotropic glutamate receptor 1(a) (mGlu(1a))-positive GABAergic interneurons express diacylglycerol lipase-α (DGL-α), a synthesizing enzyme of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), albeit at lower levels than principal cells. Moreover, this lipase accumulates postsynaptically around afferent excitatory synapses in all three cell types. To address the role of retrograde 2-AG signaling in LTD, we investigated two forms: (1) produced by postsynaptic spiking paired with subsequent presynaptic stimulation or (2) induced by group I mGlu activation by (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG). Neither form of LTD was evoked in the presence of the mGlu(5) antagonist MPEP [2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine], the DGL inhibitor THL [N-formyl-l-leucine (1S)-1-[[(2S,3S)-3-hexyl-4-oxo-2-oxetanyl]methyl]dodecyl ester], or the intracellularly applied Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA in CA1 pyramidal cells, fast-spiking interneurons (representing parvalbumin-containing cells) and interneurons projecting to stratum lacunosum-moleculare (representing somatostatin/mGlu(1a)-expressing interneurons). Both forms of LTD were completely absent in CB(1) cannabinoid receptor knock-out mice, whereas pharmacological blockade of CB(1) led to inconsistent results. Notably, in accordance with their lower DGL-α level, a higher stimulation frequency or higher DHPG concentration was required for LTD induction in interneurons compared with pyramidal cells. These findings demonstrate that hippocampal principal cells and interneurons produce endocannabinoids to mediate LTD in a qualitatively similar, but quantitatively different manner. The shifted induction threshold implies that

  13. Individual differences in response to positive and negative stimuli: endocannabinoid-based insight on approach and avoidance behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Laricchiuta, Daniela; Petrosini, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Approach and avoidance behaviors—the primary responses to the environmental stimuli of danger, novelty and reward—are associated with the brain structures that mediate cognitive functionality, reward sensitivity and emotional expression. Individual differences in approach and avoidance behaviors are modulated by the functioning of amygdaloid-hypothalamic-striatal and striatal-cerebellar networks implicated in action and reaction to salient stimuli. The nodes of these networks are strongly interconnected and by acting on them the endocannabinoid and dopaminergic systems increase the intensity of appetitive or defensive motivation. This review analyzes the approach and avoidance behaviors in humans and rodents, addresses neurobiological and neurochemical aspects of these behaviors, and proposes a possible synaptic plasticity mechanism, related to endocannabinoid-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression that allows responding to salient positive and negative stimuli. PMID:25565991

  14. Is lipid signaling through cannabinoid 2 receptors part of a protective system?

    PubMed Central

    Pacher, P.; Mechoulam, R.

    2011-01-01

    The mammalian body has a highly developed immune system which guards against continuous invading protein attacks and aims at preventing, attenuating or repairing the inflicted damage. It is conceivable that through evolution analogous biological protective systems have been evolved against non-protein attacks. There is emerging evidence that lipid endocannabinoid signaling through cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors may represent an example/part of such a protective system/armamentarium. Inflammation/tissue injury triggers rapid elevations in local endocannabinoid levels, which in turn regulate signaling responses in immune and other cells modulating their critical functions. Changes in endocannabinoid levels and/or CB2 receptor expressions have been reported in almost all diseases affecting humans, ranging from cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, liver, kidney, neurodegenerative, psychiatric, bone, skin, auto-immune, lung disorders to pain and cancer, and modulating CB2 receptor activity holds tremendous therapeutic potential in these pathologies. While CB2 receptor activation in general mediates immunosuppressive effects, which limit inflammation and associated tissue injury in large number of pathological conditions, in some disease states activation of the CB2 receptor may enhance or even trigger tissue damage, which will also be discussed alongside the protective actions of the CB2 receptor stimulation with endocannabinoids or synthetic agonists, and the possible biological mechanisms involved in these effects. PMID:21295074

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

    PubMed

    Pavón, Francisco Javier; Marco, Eva María; Vázquez, Mariam; Sánchez, Laura; Rivera, Patricia; Gavito, Ana; Mela, Virginia; Alén, Francisco; Decara, Juan; Suárez, Juan; Giné, Elena; López-Moreno, José Antonio; Chowen, Julie; Rodríguez-de-Fonseca, Fernando; Serrano, Antonia; Viveros, María Paz

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez, Mariam; Sánchez, Laura; Rivera, Patricia; Gavito, Ana; Mela, Virginia; Alén, Francisco; Decara, Juan; Suárez, Juan; Giné, Elena; López-Moreno, José Antonio; Chowen, Julie; Rodríguez-de-Fonseca, Fernando; Serrano, Antonia; Viveros, María Paz

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Therapeutic potential of targeting the endocannabinoids: implications for the treatment of obesity, metabolic syndrome, drug abuse and smoking cessation.

    PubMed

    Tucci, S A; Halford, J C G; Harrold, J A; Kirkham, T C

    2006-01-01

    Rimonabant (SR141716, Acomplia) has been described as an antagonist/inverse agonist at the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1). It has been widely used as a tool to evaluate the mechanisms by which cannabinoid agonists produce their pharmacological effects and to elucidate the respective physiological or pathophysiological roles of the CB1 receptor. It has become increasingly clear that rimonabant can exert its own intrinsic actions. These may be viewed as evidence of either the inverse agonist nature of rimonabant or of tonic activity of the endocannabinoid system. To date, data obtained from clinical trials (RIO North America, RIO Europe and RIO Lipid) indicate that rimonabant may have clinical benefits in relation to its anti-obesity properties and as a novel candidate for the treatment of metabolic and cardiovascular disorders associated with overweight and obesity. Other clinical trials, such as the STRATUS study, have also shown that rimonabant may be effective in smoking cessation, and that the drug has a reasonable safety profile. Recently, it has been shown that rimonabant prevents indomethacin-induced intestinal injury by decreasing the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha), thus indicating that CB1 receptor antagonists might exhibit potential anti-inflammatory activity in acute and chronic diseases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Endocannabinoid and ceramide levels are altered in patients with colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ling; Chen, Huixia; Li, Yanting; Li, Lei; Qiu, Yan; Ren, Jie

    2015-07-01

    Endocannabinoids and ceramides have demonstrated growth inhibition, cell death induction and pro-apoptotic activity in cancer research. In the present study, we describe the profiles of two major endocannabinoids, ceramides, free fatty acids and relevant metabolic enzymes in 47 pairs of human colorectal cancer tissues and adjacent non-tumor tissues. Among them, anandamide (AEA) and its metabolite, arachidonic acid (AA), were markedly upregulated in cancer tissues particularly in those with lymphatic metastasis. The levels of C16 and C24 ceramides were significantly elevated in the colorectal tumor tissues, while levels of C18 and C20 ceramides showed opposite trends. Levels of two enzymes participating in the biosynthesis and degradation of AEA, N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-hydrolyzing phospholipase D (NPLD) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), together with the most abundant ceramide synthases (CerS1, CerS2, CerS5 and CerS6) in the colon were also determined. Quantitative-PCR analysis indicated that the mRNA levels of these enzymes were overexpressed in the tumor tissues. The activities of NPLD and FAAH were also upregulated. In addition, both gene and protein expression levels of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) were elevated but not of CB2. Elevation of AEA and alteration of ceramides (C16, C24, C18, C20) may qualify as potential endogenous biomarkers and novel drug targets for colorectal cancer.

  1. Technology Systems. Laboratory Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brame, Ray; And Others

    This guide contains 43 modules of laboratory activities for technology education courses. Each module includes an instructor's resource sheet and the student laboratory activity. Instructor's resource sheets include some or all of the following elements: module number, course title, activity topic, estimated time, essential elements, objectives,…

  2. Uremic Pruritus Is Not Associated with Endocannabinoid Receptor 1 Gene Polymorphisms

    PubMed Central

    Heisig, Monika; Łaczmański, Łukasz; Reich, Adam; Lwow, Felicja

    2016-01-01

    Uremic pruritus (UP) is a frequent and bothersome symptom in hemodialysis patients. Its etiology is not fully understood and that is why there is no specific treatment. The endocannabinoid system plays a role in many pathological conditions. There is reliable evidence on the association between cannabinoid system and pruritus. In our study, we aimed to evaluate whether genetic variations in the endocannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) gene can affect UP. The rs12720071, rs806368, rs1049353, rs806381, rs10485170, rs6454674, and rs2023239 polymorphisms of the CNR1 gene were genotyped in 159 hemodialysis patients and 150 healthy controls using two multiplex polymerase chain reactions and the minisequencing technique. No statistically significant relationship was found in any of the evaluated genotypes between patients with and without UP, even after excluding patients with diabetes and dyslipidemia. There were no differences between patients with UP and the control group. However, in the group of all HD patients, a significantly higher incidence of GA genotype and lower incidence in GG genotype in the polymorphism rs806381s were revealed versus the control group (p = 0.04). It seems that polymorphisms of the CNR1 gene are not associated with uremic pruritus. PMID:27034934

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

    PubMed

    Costentin, Jean

    2014-03-01

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

  4. Effects of the novel endocannabinoid uptake inhibitor, LY2183240, on fear-potentiated startle and alcohol-seeking behaviors in mice selectively bred for high alcohol preference

    PubMed Central

    Powers, Matthew S.; Barrenha, Gustavo D.; Mlinac, Nate S.; Barker, Eric L.; Chester, Julia A.

    2010-01-01

    Rationale Alcohol-use disorders often occur together with anxiety disorders in humans which may be partly due to common inherited genetic factors. Evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of individuals with anxiety and/or alcohol-use disorders. Objectives The present study assessed the effects of a novel endocannabinoid uptake inhibitor, LY2183240, on anxiety- and alcohol-seeking behaviors in a unique animal model that may represent increased genetic risk to develop comorbid anxiety and alcohol-use disorders in humans. Mice selectively bred for high alcohol preference (HAP) show greater fear-potentiated startle (FPS) than mice selectively bred for low alcohol preference (LAP). We examined the effects of LY2183240 on the expression of FPS in HAP and LAP mice and on alcohol-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) and limited-access alcohol drinking behavior in HAP mice. Results Repeated administration of LY2183240 (30 mg/kg) reduced the expression of FPS in HAP but not LAP mice when given prior to a second FPS test 48 h after fear conditioning. Both the 10 and 30 mg/kg doses of LY2183240 enhanced the expression of alcohol-induced CPP and this effect persisted in the absence of the drug. LY2183240 did not alter limited-access alcohol drinking behavior, unconditioned startle responding, or locomotor activity. Conclusions These findings suggest that ECS modulation influences both conditioned fear and conditioned alcohol reward behavior. LY2183240 may be an effective pharmacotherapy for individuals with anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, but may not be appropriate for individuals with co-morbid anxiety and alcohol-use disorders. PMID:20838777

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Cannabinoid compounds may influence both emotional and cognitive processes depending on the level of environmental aversiveness at the time of drug administration. However, the mechanisms responsible for these responses remain to be elucidated. The present experiments investigated the effects induced by the endocanna