Cannabinoid CB(2) receptors in health and disease.
ABSTRACT Marijuana has been used for thousands of years to affect human health. Dissecting the peripheral effects from the central psychotropic effects has revealed a complex interplay between cannabinoids, endocannabinoids and their receptors. This review examines recent advances in understanding the expression, regulation and utilization of the CB(2) receptor. Here we highlight the molecular aspects of the CB(2) receptor, CB(2) receptor signaling and new ligands for this receptor. We focus in the rest of the review on recent findings in the immune system, the gastrointestinal tract and liver, the brain and the cardiovascular system and airways as examples of areas where new developments in our understanding of the CB(2) receptor have occurred. Early studies focused on expression of this receptor under baseline physiologic conditions; however, perturbations such as those that occur during inflammation, ischemia/reperfusion injury and cancer are revealing a critical role for the CB(2) receptor in regulating these disease processes amongst others. As a result, the CB(2) receptor is an appealing therapeutic target as well as a useful tool for shedding new light on physiological regulatory processes throughout the body.
- SourceAvailable from: Claudio Sette[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neural stem cells (NSCs) are self-renewing cells that can differentiate into multiple neural lineages and repopulate regions of the brain after injury. We have investigated the role of endocannabinoids (eCBs), endogenous cues that modulate neuronal functions including neurogenesis, and their receptors CB(1) and CB(2) in mouse NSCs. Real-time PCR and Western blot analyses indicated that CB(1) is present at higher levels than CB(2) in NSCs. The eCB anandamide (AEA) or the CB(1)-specific agonist ACEA enhanced NSC differentiation into neurons, but not astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, whereas the CB(2)-specific agonist JWH133 was ineffective. Conversely, the effect of AEA was inhibited by CB(1), but not CB(2), antagonist, corroborating the specificity of the response. CB(1) activation also enhanced maturation of neurons, as indicated by morphometric analysis of neurites. CB(1) stimulation caused long-term inhibition of the ERK1/2 pathway. Consistently, pharmacological inhibition of the ERK1/2 pathway recapitulated the effects exerted by CB(1) activation on neuronal differentiation and maturation. Lastly, gene array profiling showed that CB(1) activation augmented the expression of genes involved in neuronal differentiation while decreasing that of stemness genes. These results highlight the role of CB(1) in the regulation of NSC fate and suggest that its activation may represent a pro-neuronal differentiation signal.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e54271. · 3.73 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The field of cannabinoid (CB) drug research is experiencing a challenge as the CB(1) antagonist Rimonabant, launched in 2006 as an anorectic/anti-obesity drug, was withdrawn from the European market due to the complications of suicide and depression as side effects. There is interest in developing CB(2) drugs without CB(1) psychotropic side effects for drug-abuse treatment and therapeutic medication. The CB(1) receptor was discovered predominantly in the brain, whereas the CB(2) is mainly expressed in peripheral cells and tissues, and is involved in immune signal transduction. Conversely, the CB(2) receptor was recently detected in the CNS, for example, in the microglial cells and the neurons. While the CB(2) neurons activity remains controversial, the CB(2) receptor is an attractive therapeutic target for neuropathic pain, immune system, cancer and osteoporosis without psychoactivity. This review addresses CB drug abuse and therapeutic potential with a focus on the most recent advances on new CB(2) ligands from the literature as well as patents.Future medicinal chemistry 02/2012; 4(2):187-204. · 3.31 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In recent years, a growing interest has been dedicated to the study of the endocannabinoid system. The isolation of Cannabis sativa main psychotropic compound, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has led to the discovery of an atypical neurotransmission system that modulates the release of other neurotransmitters and participates in many biological processes, including the cascade of inflammatory responses. In this context, cannabinoids have been studied for their possible therapeutic properties in neuroinflammatory diseases. In this review, historic and biochemical aspects of cannabinoids are discussed, as well as their function as modulators of inflammatory processes and therapeutic perspectives for neurodegenerative disorders, particularly, multiple sclerosis.DNA research: an international journal for rapid publication of reports on genes and genomes 06/2012; 10(2):159-66. · 1.73 Impact Factor