CP47,497-C8 and JWH073, commonly found in 'Spice' herbal blends, are potent and efficacious CB(1) cannabinoid receptor agonists.
ABSTRACT 'Spice' is an herbal blend that has been reported to produce cannabis-like effects when smoked and is marketed as an alternative to marijuana. Synthetic additives have been identified in numerous 'Spice' preparations from different sources. Common among many of the preparations were the compounds JWH018 and a dimethyloctyl variant of CP47,497 (CP47,497-C8) and, more recently JWH073. The synaptic effects of each of these compounds were uncharacterized. We previously reported that JWH018 is a potent and efficacious CB(1) cannabinoid receptor agonist. In this study we have examined the abilities of CP47,497-C8 and JWH073 to inhibit neurotransmission in cultured autaptic hippocampal neurons. Each inhibited EPSCs with an efficacy and potency similar to JWH018. We also analyzed these compounds' effects on promoting internalization of CB(1) receptors in HEK293 cells stably expressing CB(1) receptors. Similar to our neurotransmission data, CP47,497-C8 internalized CB(1) in a fashion indistinguishable from JWH018. However, JWH073 was less potent and produced slower internalization than JWH018 and CP47,497-C8. It appears that 'Spice' contains a number of cannabinoid receptor agonists that activate CB(1) receptors to inhibit synaptic transmission with similar potencies and efficacies. It is highly probable that the cannabis-like effects of 'Spice' are due to the presence of these and analogous synthetic additives acting on CB(1) receptors.
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ABSTRACT: The rat peripheral cannabinoid receptor (rCB2) was cloned from a Sprague-Dawley rat spleen cDNA library and when translated, encodes a protein of 410 amino acids. Alignment of rCB2 with mouse (mCB2) and human (hCB2) peripheral cannabinoid receptors reveals a high degree of homology except in the carboxy terminus where rCB2 is 50 and 63 residues longer than hCB2 and mCB2, respectively. PCR screening and sequencing of rat genomic DNA showed that rCB2 is encoded by three exons interrupted by two introns, one of which is polymorphic and contains a 209 base pair B2 (SINE) element. By Northern hybridization and ribonuclease protection assay (RPA), rCB2 mRNA was detected in rat spleen, testis, thymus and lung but not in rat brain, heart, kidney or liver. Like hCB2 and mCB2 receptors, rCB2 activates mitogen-activated protein kinase when it is stably expressed in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells. The importance of the carboxy terminus in regulating CB2 receptor desensitization and internalization is well-established. Thus, the profound differences identified in this region of the CB2 receptor between species mandates caution when extrapolating experimental results from non-human models to the effects of chronic CB2 receptor stimulation in humans.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 08/2002; 1576(3):255-64. · 4.66 Impact Factor