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      Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid?

      British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

      Cannabidiol, pharmacology, Cannabinoids, Humans, Huntington Disease, drug therapy, Ischemia, Neurodegenerative Diseases

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid with therapeutic properties for numerous disorders exerted through molecular mechanisms that are yet to be completely identified. CBD acts in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-oxidant, anti-emetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent, and is therefore a potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia, respectively. The neuroprotective potential of CBD, based on the combination of its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, is of particular interest and is presently under intense preclinical research in numerous neurodegenerative disorders. In fact, CBD combined with Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol is already under clinical evaluation in patients with Huntington's disease to determine its potential as a disease-modifying therapy. The neuroprotective properties of CBD do not appear to be exerted by the activation of key targets within the endocannabinoid system for plant-derived cannabinoids like Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, i.e. CB(1) and CB(2) receptors, as CBD has negligible activity at these cannabinoid receptors, although certain activity at the CB(2) receptor has been documented in specific pathological conditions (i.e. damage of immature brain). Within the endocannabinoid system, CBD has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on the inactivation of endocannabinoids (i.e. inhibition of FAAH enzyme), thereby enhancing the action of these endogenous molecules on cannabinoid receptors, which is also noted in certain pathological conditions. CBD acts not only through the endocannabinoid system, but also causes direct or indirect activation of metabotropic receptors for serotonin or adenosine, and can target nuclear receptors of the PPAR family and also ion channels. © 2012 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.

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          Most cited references 105

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          The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and delta9-tetrahydrocannabivarin.

           R Pertwee (2008)
          Cannabis sativa is the source of a unique set of compounds known collectively as plant cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids. This review focuses on the manner with which three of these compounds, (-)-trans-delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC), (-)-cannabidiol (CBD) and (-)-trans-delta9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (delta9-THCV), interact with cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors. Delta9-THC, the main psychotropic constituent of cannabis, is a CB1 and CB2 receptor partial agonist and in line with classical pharmacology, the responses it elicits appear to be strongly influenced both by the expression level and signalling efficiency of cannabinoid receptors and by ongoing endogenous cannabinoid release. CBD displays unexpectedly high potency as an antagonist of CB1/CB2 receptor agonists in CB1- and CB2-expressing cells or tissues, the manner with which it interacts with CB2 receptors providing a possible explanation for its ability to inhibit evoked immune cell migration. Delta9-THCV behaves as a potent CB2 receptor partial agonist in vitro. In contrast, it antagonizes cannabinoid receptor agonists in CB1-expressing tissues. This it does with relatively high potency and in a manner that is both tissue and ligand dependent. Delta9-THCV also interacts with CB1 receptors when administered in vivo, behaving either as a CB1 antagonist or, at higher doses, as a CB1 receptor agonist. Brief mention is also made in this review, first of the production by delta9-THC of pharmacodynamic tolerance, second of current knowledge about the extent to which delta9-THC, CBD and delta9-THCV interact with pharmacological targets other than CB1 or CB2 receptors, and third of actual and potential therapeutic applications for each of these cannabinoids.
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            International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. LXXIX. Cannabinoid receptors and their ligands: beyond CB₁ and CB₂.

            There are at least two types of cannabinoid receptors (CB(1) and CB(2)). Ligands activating these G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) include the phytocannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, numerous synthetic compounds, and endogenous compounds known as endocannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptor antagonists have also been developed. Some of these ligands activate or block one type of cannabinoid receptor more potently than the other type. This review summarizes current data indicating the extent to which cannabinoid receptor ligands undergo orthosteric or allosteric interactions with non-CB(1), non-CB(2) established GPCRs, deorphanized receptors such as GPR55, ligand-gated ion channels, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, and other ion channels or peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptors. From these data, it is clear that some ligands that interact similarly with CB(1) and/or CB(2) receptors are likely to display significantly different pharmacological profiles. The review also lists some criteria that any novel "CB(3)" cannabinoid receptor or channel should fulfil and concludes that these criteria are not currently met by any non-CB(1), non-CB(2) pharmacological receptor or channel. However, it does identify certain pharmacological targets that should be investigated further as potential CB(3) receptors or channels. These include TRP vanilloid 1, which possibly functions as an ionotropic cannabinoid receptor under physiological and/or pathological conditions, and some deorphanized GPCRs. Also discussed are 1) the ability of CB(1) receptors to form heteromeric complexes with certain other GPCRs, 2) phylogenetic relationships that exist between CB(1)/CB(2) receptors and other GPCRs, 3) evidence for the existence of several as-yet-uncharacterized non-CB(1), non-CB(2) cannabinoid receptors; and 4) current cannabinoid receptor nomenclature.
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              Molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutical targets in Huntington's disease.

              Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the gene encoding for huntingtin protein. A lot has been learned about this disease since its first description in 1872 and the identification of its causative gene and mutation in 1993. We now know that the disease is characterized by several molecular and cellular abnormalities whose precise timing and relative roles in pathogenesis have yet to be understood. HD is triggered by the mutant protein, and both gain-of-function (of the mutant protein) and loss-of-function (of the normal protein) mechanisms are involved. Here we review the data that describe the emergence of the ancient huntingtin gene and of the polyglutamine trait during the last 800 million years of evolution. We focus on the known functions of wild-type huntingtin that are fundamental for the survival and functioning of the brain neurons that predominantly degenerate in HD. We summarize data indicating how the loss of these beneficial activities reduces the ability of these neurons to survive. We also review the different mechanisms by which the mutation in huntingtin causes toxicity. This may arise both from cell-autonomous processes and dysfunction of neuronal circuitries. We then focus on novel therapeutical targets and pathways and on the attractive option to counteract HD at its primary source, i.e., by blocking the production of the mutant protein. Strategies and technologies used to screen for candidate HD biomarkers and their potential application are presented. Furthermore, we discuss the opportunities offered by intracerebral cell transplantation and the likely need for these multiple routes into therapies to converge at some point as, ideally, one would wish to stop the disease process and, at the same time, possibly replace the damaged neurons.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                22625422
                10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04341.x
                3579248

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