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Giorgia Macedonio, Azzurra Stefanucci, Cristina Maccallini, Sako Mirzaie, Ettore Novellino, Adriano Mollica
The endocannabinoid system is activated by the binding of natural arachidonic acid derivatives (endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids) as lipophilic messengers to cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. The endocannabinoid system comprises also many hydrolytic enzymes responsible for the endocannabinoids cleavage, such as FAAH and MAGL. These two enzymes are possible therapeutic targets for the development of new drugs as indirect cannabinoid agonists. Recently a new family of endocannabinoid modulators was discovered; the lead of this family is the nonapeptide hemopressin produced from enzymatic cleavage of the α-chain of hemoglobin and acting as negative allosteric modulator of CB1...
October 7, 2016: Protein and Peptide Letters
Stephen Sidney
Marijuana is used by millions of people, with use likely to increase in the USA because of the trend towards increased decriminalization and legalization. Obesity and diabetes mellitus (DM) rates have increased dramatically in the USA over the past 30 years, with a recent estimate of 29 million individuals with DM. Because there is a plausible link between marijuana use and diabetes due to the known effects of cannabinoids on adipose tissue and glucose/insulin metabolism, it is important to study and understand how marijuana use is related to obesity and diabetes...
November 2016: Current Diabetes Reports
Eric Murillo-Rodríguez, Sergio Machado, Nuno Barbosa Rocha, Henning Budde, Ti-Fei Yuan, Oscar Arias-Carrión
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...
October 13, 2016: Neuroscience
Luara A Batista, Andrea S Haibara, Luiz C Schenberg, Fabricio A Moreira
Selective stimulation of carotid chemoreceptors by intravenous infusion of low doses of potassium cyanide (KCN) produces short-lasting escape responses that have been proposed as a model of panic attack. In turn, preclinical studies suggest that facilitation of the endocannabinoid system attenuate panic-like responses. Here, we compared the effects of cannabinoid-related compounds to those of alprazolam, a clinically effective panicolytic, on the duration of the escape reaction induced by intravenous infusion of KCN (80μg) in rats...
October 10, 2016: Behavioural Brain Research
Ermelinda Lomazzo, Florian König, Leila Abassi, Ruth Jelinek, Beat Lutz
Persistent stress triggers a variety of mechanisms, which may ultimately lead to the occurrence of anxiety- and depression-related disorders. Epigenetic modifications represent a mechanism by which chronic stress mediates long-term effects. Here, we analyzed brain tissue from mice exposed to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS), which induced impaired emotional and nociceptive behaviors. As endocannabinoid (eCB) and neuropeptide-Y (Npy) systems modulate emotional processes, we hypothesized that CUS may affect these systems through epigenetic mechanisms...
October 10, 2016: Neuropharmacology
Simonnet A, Zamberletti E, Cador M, Rubino T, Caillé S
The role of the endocannabinoid system in nicotine addiction is being increasingly acknowledged. Acute inhibition of anandamide (AEA) degradation efficiently reduces nicotine withdrawal-induced affective symptoms in rats and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the degradation enzyme of AEA, has been proposed as a possible treatment against nicotine addiction. However, it is unclear whether chronic inhibition of AEA during nicotine abstinence will have beneficial or deleterious affective side-effects. Using a rat model of nicotine addiction, we found that, during abstinence, rats injected daily with a FAAH inhibitor (URB597) developed a depressive-like phenotype...
October 10, 2016: Neuropharmacology
Rocio Saravia, África Flores, Ainhoa Plaza-Zabala, Arnau Busquets-Garcia, Antoni Pastor, Rafael de la Torre, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Giovanni Marsicano, Andrés Ozaita, Rafael Maldonado, Fernando Berrendero
BACKGROUND: Tobacco withdrawal is associated with deficits in cognitive function, including attention, working memory, and episodic memory. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms involved in these effects is crucial because cognitive deficits during nicotine withdrawal may predict relapse in humans. METHODS: We investigated in mice the role of CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) in memory impairment and spine density changes induced by nicotine withdrawal precipitated by the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine...
July 16, 2016: Biological Psychiatry
Mikuláš Pura, Peter Vaňuga
Recent studies suggest an important role for the skeletal endocannabinoid system in the regulation of bone mass in both physiological and pathological conditions. Both major endocannabinoids (anandamid and 2-arachidonoylglycerol), endocannabinoid receptors - CB1-receptor (CB1R) a CB2-receptor (CB2R) and the endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes are present or expressed in osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Previous studies identified multiple risk and protective variants of CNR2 gene dealing with the relationship to bone density and/or osteoporosis...
2016: Vnitr̆ní Lékar̆ství
Manuel Luis Wolfson, Julieta Aisemberg, Fernando Correa, Ana María Franchi
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Maternal infections with Gram-negative bacteria are associated with miscarriage and are one of the most common complications during pregnancy. Previous studies from our group have shown that lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated infiltrating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) into decidual tissue play an important role on the establishment of a local inflammatory process that result in embryo cytotoxicity and early embryo resorption. Moreover, we have also shown that an increased endocannabinoid tone mediates LPS-induced deleterious effects during early pregnancy loss...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Cellular Physiology
E Carlino, A Piedimonte, F Benedetti
Placebos have long been considered a nuisance in clinical research, for they have always been used as comparators for the validation of new treatments. By contrast, today they represent an active field of research, and, due to the involvement of many mechanisms, the study of the placebo effect can actually be viewed as a melting pot of concepts and ideas for neuroscience. There is not a single placebo effect, but many, with different mechanisms across different medical conditions and therapeutic interventions...
2017: Handbook of Clinical Neurology
Katalin Solymosi, Attila Köfalvi
Cannabis is one of the earliest cultivated plants. Cannabis of industrial utility and culinary value is generally termed as hemp. Conversely, cannabis that is bred for medical, spiritual and recreational purposes is called marijuana. The female marijuana plant produces a significant quantity of bio- and psychoactive phytocannabinoids, which regained the spotlight with the discovery of the endocannabinoid system of the animals in the early 90's. Nevertheless, marijuana is surrounded by controversies, debates and misconceptions related to its taxonomic classification, forensic identification, medical potential, legalization and its long-term health consequences...
October 4, 2016: Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry
Carmen Rodríguez-Cueto, Mariluz Hernández-Gálvez, Cecilia J Hillard, Patricia Maciel, Luis García-García, Sara Valdeolivas, Miguel A Pozo, José A Ramos, María Gómez-Ruiz, Javier Fernández-Ruiz
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...
October 4, 2016: Neuroscience
Primavera A Spagnolo, Vijay A Ramchandani, Melanie L Schwandt, Laura E Kwako, David T George, Leah M Mayo, Cecilia J Hillard, Markus Heilig
BACKGROUND: A common single nucleotide polymorphism (C385A) in the human fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) gene has been associated with decreased distress responses in healthy volunteers, but its role in psychiatric disorders remains unknown. Here, we obtained genotypes and carried out a secondary analysis of subjects from a trial of comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol dependence (AD). We evaluated the effects of C385A variation on behavioral and biochemical biomarkers of distress responses...
September 26, 2016: Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
Muneer Ahamed, Daisy van Veghel, Christoph Ullmer, Koen Van Laere, Alfons Verbruggen, Guy M Bormans
The type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2) is a member of the endocannabinoid system and is known for its important role in (neuro)inflammation. A PET-imaging agent that allows in vivo visualization of CB2 expression may thus allow quantification of neuroinflammation. In this paper, we report the synthesis, radiosynthesis, biodistribution and in vitro evaluation of a carbon-11 ([(11)C]MA2) and a fluorine-18 ([(18)F]MA3) labeled analog of a highly potent N-arylamide oxadiazole CB2 agonist (EC50 = 0.015 nM). MA2 and MA3 behaved as potent CB2 agonist (EC50: 3 nM and 0...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Natalie E Zlebnik, Joseph F Cheer
The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has emerged as one of the most important mediators of physiological and pathological reward-related synaptic plasticity. eCBs are retrograde messengers that provide feedback inhibition, resulting in the suppression of neurotransmitter release at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses, and they serve a critical role in the spatiotemporal regulation of both short- and long-term synaptic plasticity that supports adaptive learning of reward-motivated behaviors. However, mechanisms of eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity in reward areas of the brain are impaired following exposure to drugs of abuse...
October 5, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Muhammad Jaffar Khan, Konstantinos Gerasimidis, Christine Ann Edwards, M Guftar Shaikh
The aetiology of obesity has been attributed to several factors (environmental, dietary, lifestyle, host, and genetic factors); however none of these fully explain the increase in the prevalence of obesity worldwide. Gut microbiota located at the interface of host and environment in the gut are a new area of research being explored to explain the excess accumulation of energy in obese individuals and may be a potential target for therapeutic manipulation to reduce host energy storage. Several mechanisms have been suggested to explain the role of gut microbiota in the aetiology of obesity such as short chain fatty acid production, stimulation of hormones, chronic low-grade inflammation, lipoprotein and bile acid metabolism, and increased endocannabinoid receptor system tone...
2016: Journal of Obesity
M D Lange, T Daldrup, F Remmers, H J Szkudlarek, J Lesting, S Guggenhuber, S Ruehle, K Jüngling, T Seidenbecher, B Lutz, H C Pape
The brain circuits underlying behavioral fear have been extensively studied over the last decades. Although the vast majority of experimental studies assess fear as a transient state of apprehension in response to a discrete threat, such phasic states of fear can shift to a sustained anxious apprehension, particularly in face of diffuse cues with unpredictable environmental contingencies. Unpredictability, in turn, is considered an important variable contributing to anxiety disorders. The networks of the extended amygdala have been suggested keys to the control of phasic and sustained states of fear, although the underlying synaptic pathways and mechanisms remain poorly understood...
October 4, 2016: Molecular Psychiatry
Klaudyna Fidyt, Anna Fiedorowicz, Leon Strządała, Antoni Szumny
Natural bicyclic sesquiterpenes, β-caryophyllene (BCP) and β-caryophyllene oxide (BCPO), are present in a large number of plants worldwide. Both BCP and BCPO (BCP(O)) possess significant anticancer activities, affecting growth and proliferation of numerous cancer cells. Nevertheless, their antineoplastic effects have hardly been investigated in vivo. In addition, both compounds potentiate the classical drug efficacy by augmenting their concentrations inside the cells. The mechanisms underlying the anticancer activities of these sesquiterpenes are poorly described...
September 30, 2016: Cancer Medicine
Stephen T Schultz, Georgianna G Gould
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and restrictive behavior, interests, and activities. Our previous case-control study showed that use of acetaminophen at age 12-18 months is associated with increased likelihood for ASD (OR 8.37, 95% CI 2.08-33.7). In this study, we again show that acetaminophen use is associated with ASD (p = 0.013). Because these children are older than in our first study, the association is reversed; fewer children with ASD vs...
April 2016: Autism-open Access
Caroline Turcotte, Marie-Renée Blanchet, Michel Laviolette, Nicolas Flamand
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...
2016: Frontiers in Pharmacology
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