Cannabinoids are a group of compounds present in Cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa L.). They mediate their physiological and behavioral effects by activating specific cannabinoid receptors. With the recent discovery of the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and the endocannabinoid system, research in this field has expanded exponentially.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a severe immune mediated chronic liver disease with a prevalence range between 50 and 200 cases per million in Western Europe and North America and mortality rates of up to 80% in untreated patients. The induction of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors during liver injury and the potential involvement of endocannabinoids in the regulation of this process have sparked significant interest in further evaluating the role of cannabinoid systems during hepatic disease. Cannabinoids have been shown to possess significant immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cannabinoids have emerged as powerful drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases due to their immunosuppressive properties. Significant clinical and experimental data on the use of cannabinoids as anti-inflammatory agents exist in many autoimmune disease settings, but virtually no studies have been undertaken on their potential role in transplant rejection. Here we suggest a theoretical role for the use of cannabinoids in preventing allograft rejection.
BACKGROUND: With a traditional medical use for treatment of various ailments, herbal preparations of Echinacea are now popularly used to improve immune responses. One likely mode of action is that alkamides from Echinacea bind to cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors and induce a transient increase in intracellular Ca2+. Here, we show that unidentified compounds from Echinacea purpurea induce cytosolic Ca2+ elevation in non-immune-related cells, which lack CB2 receptors and that the Ca2+ elevation is not influenced by alkamides.
Cannabinoid receptor activation by agents such as Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known to trigger immune suppression. Here, we show that administration of THC in mice leads to rapid and massive expansion of CD11b(+)Gr-1(+) myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) expressing functional arginase and exhibiting potent immunosuppressive properties both in vitro and in vivo. The induction of MDSC by THC was associated with a significant increase in granulocyte CSF. Moreover, administration of anti-granulocyte CSF Ab inhibited the induction of MDSC by THC.
The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is widely used to treat patients with life-threatening malignant and nonmalignant hematological diseases. However, allogeneic HCT often is accompanied by severe and lethal complications from graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), in which activated donor T cells recognize histocompatibility antigenic mismatches and cause significant toxicity in the recipient. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that activation of cannabinoid receptors on donor-derived T cells may prevent GVHD.
Neuroinflammation and traumatic brain injury involve activation of inflammatory cells and production of local pro-inflammatory mediators that can amplify tissue damage. Using LC-UV-MS-MS-based lipidomics in tandem with functional screening at the single-cell level in microfluidic chambers, we identified a series of novel bioactive oxygenated docosahexaenoyl ethanolamide- (DHEA) derived products that regulated leukocyte motility.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic intestinal inflammation caused by hyperactivated effector immune cells that produce pro-inflammatory cytokines. Recent studies have shown that the cannabinoid system may play a critical role in mediating protection against intestinal inflammation. However, the effect of cannabinoid receptor induction after chronic colitis progression has not been investigated. Here, we investigate the effect of cannabinoid receptor-2 (CB2) agonist, JWH-133, after chronic colitis in IL-10(-/-) mice.
Originally used in Asia for the treatment of pain, spasms, nausea and insomnia, marijuana is the most consumed psychotropic drug worldwide. The interest of medical cannabis has been reconsidered recently, leading to many scientific researches and commercialization of these drugs. Natural and synthetic cannabinoids display beneficial antiemetic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in numerous diseases, however accompanied with undesirable effects due to the CB1 receptor.
BACKGROUND: Electroacupuncture (EA) can produce analgesia by increasing the β-endorphin level and activation of peripheral μ-opioid receptors in inflamed tissues. Endogenous cannabinoids and peripheral cannabinoid CB2 receptors (CB2Rs) are also involved in the antinociceptive effect of EA on inflammatory pain. However, little is known about how peripheral CB2Rs interact with the endogenous opioid system at the inflammatory site and how this interaction contributes to the antinociceptive effect of EA on inflammatory pain.