Increasing evidence supports the idea of a beneficial effect of cannabinoid compounds for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, most experimental data come from animal models of MS. We investigated the status of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme in brain tissue samples obtained from MS patients. Areas of demyelination were identified and classified as active, chronic, and inactive plaques. CB1 and CB2 receptors and FAAH densities and cellular sites of expression were examined using immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. In MS samples, cannabinoid CB1 receptors were expressed by cortical neurons, oligodendrocytes, and also oligodendrocyte precursor cells, demonstrated using double immunofluorescence with antibodies against the CB1 receptor with antibodies against type 2 microtubule-associated protein, myelin basic protein, and the platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha, respectively. CB1 receptors were also present in macrophages and infiltrated T-lymphocytes. Conversely, CB2 receptors were present in T-lymphocytes, astrocytes, and perivascular and reactive microglia (major histocompatibility complex class-II positive) in MS plaques. Specifically, CB2-positive microglial cells were evenly distributed within active plaques but were located in the periphery of chronic active plaques. FAAH expression was restricted to neurons and hypertrophic astrocytes. As seen for other neuroinflammatory conditions, selective glial expression of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and FAAH enzyme is induced in MS, thus supporting a role for the endocannabinoid system in the pathogenesis and/or evolution of this disease.
"This effect was also observed when the endogenous levels of the eCB AEA are elevated by pharmacological intervention [161-163]. Microglial cells are possible targets for immunomodulatory activities of eCBs, a hypothesis that is supported by the presence of cannabinoid receptors and the enzymes responsible for their synthesis and degradation    . The endogenous ligands AEA and 2-AG are also synthesized by microglial cells which produce approximately 20-fold more eCBs than neurons and astrocytes . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The central nervous system (CNS) innate immune response includes an arsenal of molecules and receptors expressed by professional phagocytes, glial cells and neurons that is involved in host defence and clearance of toxic and dangerous cell debris. However, any uncontrolled innate immune responses within the CNS are widely recognized as playing a major role in the development of autoimmune disorders and neurodegeneration, with multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) being primary examples. Hence, it is important to identify the key regulatory mechanisms involved in the control of CNS innate immunity and which could be harnessed to explore novel therapeutic avenues. Neuroimmune regulatory proteins (NIReg) such as CD95L, CD200, CD47, sialic acid, complement regulatory proteins (CD55, CD46, fH, C3a), HMGB1, may control the adverse immune responses in health and diseases. In the absence of these regulators, when neurons die by apoptosis, become infected or damaged, microglia and infiltrating immune cells are free to cause injury as well as an adverse inflammatory response in acute and chronic settings. We will herein provide new emphasis on the role of the pair CD200-CD200R in MS and its experimental models: experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and Theiler's virus induced demyelinating disease (TMEV-IDD). The interest of the cannabinoid system as inhibitor of inflammation prompt us to introduce our findings about the role of endocannabinoids (eCBs) in promoting CD200-CD200 receptor (CD200R) interaction and the benefits caused in TMEV-IDD. Finally, we also review the current data on CD200-CD200R interaction in AD, as well as, in the aging brain.
Current pharmaceutical design 01/2014; 20(29). DOI:10.2174/1381612820666140130202911 · 3.45 Impact Factor
"Scientific researchers have demonstrated that activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors reduces the intensity of deficits such as spasticity, tremor or neuropathic pain; CB2 receptors activation, in addition, regulates the disease progression connected with the inflammatory process (20). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
"Recent interest has therefore focused on the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB 2 ), which is primarily expressed in non-neuronal immune cells (Facci et al., 1995; Maresz et al., 2005). CB 2 expression is induced in many tissues and cells, including the CNS (Benito et al., 2007), under inflammatory conditions and has therefore been implicated as a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory disorders including chronic pain. CB 2 -selective agonists should have an excellent safety profile like THC, while lacking its psychoactive effects. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The widespread plant volatile beta-caryophyllene (BCP) was recently identified as a natural selective agonist of the peripherally expressed cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). It is found in relatively high concentrations in many spices and food plants. A number of studies have shown that CB2 is critically involved in the modulation of inflammatory and neuropathic pain responses. In this study, we have investigated the analgesic effects of BCP in animal models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. We demonstrate that orally administered BCP reduced inflammatory (late phase) pain responses in the formalin test in a CB2 receptor-dependent manner, while it had no effect on acute (early phase) responses. In a neuropathic pain model the chronic oral administration of BCP attenuated thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia, and reduced spinal neuroinflammation. Importantly, we found no signs of tolerance to the anti-hyperalgesic effects of BCP after prolonged treatment. Oral BCP was more effective than the subcutaneously injected synthetic CB2 agonist JWH-133. Thus, the natural plant product BCP may be highly effective in the treatment of long lasting, debilitating pain states. Our results have important implications for the role of dietary factors in the development and modulation of chronic pain conditions.
European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2013; 24(4). DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2013.10.008 · 4.37 Impact Factor
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