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Special Issue "Research on the Cannabinoid Receptors Pharmacology"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Capasso
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultiral Science, Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: pharmacology; natural products; neurotransmission; behavioral pharmacology; experimental pharmacology; preclinical pharmacology; CB1 receptor; PPARs; cannabinoids; endocannabinoids; CB2 receptor
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interest in the use of cannabinoids in medicine has increased in recent years, as the many advances in basic science and clinical achievements using cannabis or cannabinoids have shown excellent results. Cannabinoids are the general term used to indicate: (i) Compounds derived from cannabis (i.e., fitocannabinoids); (ii) endocannabinoids, endogenous neurotransmitters, which act on the cannabinoid receptors and/or other actors of the endocannabinoid system; (iii) synthetic cannabinoids, structurally analogous to phytocannabinoids and/or endocannabinoids.

The activation of cannabinoid receptors determines many pharmacological actions with numerous beneficial therapeutic effects.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to publish original research papers and/or relevant updates of literature data, on the beneficial effects of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors in many pathologic conditions, sustaining the use of cannabinoids for medical purposes.

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Capasso
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Cannabinoids receptors
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabis sativa
  • Phytocannabinoids
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Medical cannabis

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Capsaicin Causes Vasorelaxation of Rat Aorta through Blocking of L-type Ca2+ Channels and Activation of CB1 Receptors
Molecules 2020, 25(17), 3957; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25173957 - 30 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
The aim of this work was to determine whether Capsaicin may exert a vascular regulation through the activation of CB1 and/or CB2 receptors causing vasorelaxation in the rat aorta. Our results show the location of TRPV1 mainly in the endothelial and [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to determine whether Capsaicin may exert a vascular regulation through the activation of CB1 and/or CB2 receptors causing vasorelaxation in the rat aorta. Our results show the location of TRPV1 mainly in the endothelial and smooth muscle cells membrane. Nevertheless, Capsaicin caused vasorelaxation of this artery through a mechanism independent of TRPV1, since the specific antagonists Capsazepine and SB-366791 did not block the effect of Capsaicin. Because the significant expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors has been previously reported in the rat aorta, we used antagonists for these two receptors prior to the addition of Capsaicin. In these experiments, we found that the inhibition of CB1 using AM281, decreases the vasorelaxant effect caused by Capsaicin. On the other hand, the vasorelaxant effect is not altered in the presence of the CB2 receptor antagonist AM630. Furthermore, a partial decrease of the effect of Capsaicin was also seen when L-type calcium channels are blocked. A complete block of Capsaicin-induced vasorelaxation was achieved using a combination of Verapamil and AM281. In accordance to our results, Capsaicin-induced vasorelaxation of the rat aorta is neither dependent of TRPV1 or CB2 receptors, but rather it is strongly suggested that a tandem mechanism between inactivation of L-type calcium channels and the direct activation of CB1 receptors is involved. These findings are supported by CB1 docking simulation which predicted a binding site on CB1 receptors for Capsaicin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Cannabinoid Receptors Pharmacology)
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Article
Exacerbated LPS/GalN-Induced Liver Injury in the Stress-Sensitive Wistar Kyoto Rat Is Associated with Changes in the Endocannabinoid System
Molecules 2020, 25(17), 3834; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25173834 - 23 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 887
Abstract
Acute liver injury (ALI) is a highly destructive and potentially life-threatening condition, exacerbated by physical and psychological stress. The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in modulating stress and hepatic function. The aim of this study was to examine the development of acute [...] Read more.
Acute liver injury (ALI) is a highly destructive and potentially life-threatening condition, exacerbated by physical and psychological stress. The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in modulating stress and hepatic function. The aim of this study was to examine the development of acute liver injury in the genetically susceptible stress-sensitive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat compared with normo-stress-sensitive Sprague Dawley (SD) rats, and associated changes in the endocannabinoid system. Administration of the hepatotoxin lipopolysaccharide/D-Galactosamine (LPS/GalN) resulted in marked liver injury in WKY, but not SD rats, with increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH) plasma levels, significant histopathological changes, increased hepatic pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and caspase-3 activity and expression and reduced Glutathione (GSH) activity. Furthermore, compared to SD controls, WKY rats display increased anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol levels concurrent with decreased expression of their metabolic enzymes and a decrease in cannabinoid (CB)1 receptor expression following LPS/GalN. CB1 antagonism with AM6545 or CB2 agonism with JWH133 did not alter LPS/GalN-induced liver injury in SD or WKY rats. These findings demonstrate exacerbation of acute liver injury induced by LPS/GalN in a stress-sensitive rat strain, with effects associated with alterations in the hepatic endocannabinoid system. Further studies are required to determine if the endocannabinoid system mediates or modulates the exacerbation of liver injury in this stress-sensitive rat strain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Cannabinoid Receptors Pharmacology)
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Article
A Novel Alternative in the Treatment of Detrusor Overactivity? In Vivo Activity of O-1602, the Newly Synthesized Agonist of GPR55 and GPR18 Cannabinoid Receptors
Molecules 2020, 25(6), 1384; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25061384 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1123
Abstract
The aim of the research was to assess the impact of O-1602—novel GPR55 and GPR18 agonist—in the rat model of detrusor overactivity (DO). Additionally, its effect on the level of specific biomarkers was examined. To stimulate DO, 0.75% retinyl acetate (RA) was administered [...] Read more.
The aim of the research was to assess the impact of O-1602—novel GPR55 and GPR18 agonist—in the rat model of detrusor overactivity (DO). Additionally, its effect on the level of specific biomarkers was examined. To stimulate DO, 0.75% retinyl acetate (RA) was administered to female rats’ bladders. O-1602, at a single dose of 0.25 mg/kg, was injected intra-arterially during conscious cystometry. Furthermore, heart rate, blood pressure, and urine production were monitored for 24 h, and the impact of O-1602 on the levels of specific biomarkers was evaluated. An exposure of the urothelium to RA changed cystometric parameters and enhanced the biomarker levels. O-1602 did not affect any of the examined cystometric parameters or levels of biomarkers in control rats. However, the O-1602 injection into animals with RA-induced DO ameliorated the symptoms of DO and caused a reversal in the described changes in the concentration of CGRP, OCT3, BDNF, and NGF to the levels observed in the control, while the values of ERK1/2 and VAChT were significantly lowered compared with the RA-induced DO group, but were still statistically higher than in the control. O-1602 can improve DO, and may serve as a promising novel substance for the pharmacotherapy of bladder diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Cannabinoid Receptors Pharmacology)
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Article
CB1 Receptor-Dependent and Independent Induction of Lipolysis in Primary Rat Adipocytes by the Inverse Agonist Rimonabant (SR141716A)
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 896; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25040896 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
(1) Background: Acute administration of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) inverse agonist Rimonabant (SR141716A) to fed Wistar rats was shown to elicit a rapid and short-lasting elevation of serum free fatty acids. (2) Methods: The effect of Rimonabant on lipolysis in isolated primary [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Acute administration of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) inverse agonist Rimonabant (SR141716A) to fed Wistar rats was shown to elicit a rapid and short-lasting elevation of serum free fatty acids. (2) Methods: The effect of Rimonabant on lipolysis in isolated primary rat adipocytes was studied to raise the possibility for direct mechanisms not involving the (hypothalamic) CB1R. (3) Results: Incubation of these cells with Rimonabant-stimulated lipolysis to up to 25% of the maximal isoproterenol effect, which was based on both CB1R-dependent and independent mechanisms. The CB1R-dependent one was already effective at Rimonabant concentrations of less than 1 µM and after short-term incubation, partially additive to β-adrenergic agonists and blocked by insulin and, in part, by adenosine deaminase, but not by propranolol. It was accompanied by protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated association of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) with lipid droplets (LD) and dissociation of perilipin-1 from LD. The CB1R-independent stimulation of lipolysis was observed only at Rimonabant concentrations above 1 µM and after long-term incubation and was not affected by insulin. It was recapitulated by a cell-free system reconstituted with rat adipocyte LD and HSL. Rimonabant-induced cell-free lipolysis was not affected by PKA-mediated phosphorylation of LD and HSL, but abrogated by phospholipase digestion or emulsification of the LD. Furthermore, LD isolated from adipocytes and then treated with Rimonabant (>1 µM) were more efficient substrates for exogenously added HSL compared to control LD. The CB1R-independent lipolysis was also demonstrated in primary adipocytes from fed rats which had been treated with a single dose of Rimonabant (30 mg/kg). (4) Conclusions: These data argue for interaction of Rimonabant (at high concentrations) with both the LD surface and the CB1R of primary rat adipocytes, each leading to increased access of HSL to LD in phosphorylation-independent and dependent fashion, respectively. Both mechanisms may lead to direct and acute stimulation of lipolysis at peripheral tissues upon Rimonabant administration and represent targets for future obesity therapy which do not encompass the hypothalamic CB1R. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Cannabinoid Receptors Pharmacology)
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Review

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Review
Terpenoids, Cannabimimetic Ligands, beyond the Cannabis Plant
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1567; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25071567 - 29 Mar 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4796
Abstract
Medicinal use of Cannabis sativa L. has an extensive history and it was essential in the discovery of phytocannabinoids, including the Cannabis major psychoactive compound—Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)—as well as the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CBR), named cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2R), [...] Read more.
Medicinal use of Cannabis sativa L. has an extensive history and it was essential in the discovery of phytocannabinoids, including the Cannabis major psychoactive compound—Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)—as well as the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CBR), named cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2R), both part of the now known endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids is a vast term that defines several compounds that have been characterized in three categories: (i) endogenous, (ii) synthetic, and (iii) phytocannabinoids, and are able to modulate the CBR and ECS. Particularly, phytocannabinoids are natural terpenoids or phenolic compounds derived from Cannabis sativa. However, these terpenoids and phenolic compounds can also be derived from other plants (non-cannabinoids) and still induce cannabinoid-like properties. Cannabimimetic ligands, beyond the Cannabis plant, can act as CBR agonists or antagonists, or ECS enzyme inhibitors, besides being able of playing a role in immune-mediated inflammatory and infectious diseases, neuroinflammatory, neurological, and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as in cancer, and autoimmunity by itself. In this review, we summarize and critically highlight past, present, and future progress on the understanding of the role of cannabinoid-like molecules, mainly terpenes, as prospective therapeutics for different pathological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Cannabinoid Receptors Pharmacology)
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Review
Endocannabinoid System in the Airways
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4626; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules24244626 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1742
Abstract
Cannabinoids and the mammalian endocannabinoid system is an important research area of interest and attracted many researchers because of their widespread biological effects. The significant immune-modulatory role of cannabinoids has suggested their therapeutic use in several inflammatory conditions. Airways are prone to environmental [...] Read more.
Cannabinoids and the mammalian endocannabinoid system is an important research area of interest and attracted many researchers because of their widespread biological effects. The significant immune-modulatory role of cannabinoids has suggested their therapeutic use in several inflammatory conditions. Airways are prone to environmental irritants and stimulants, and increased inflammation is an important process in most of the respiratory diseases. Therefore, the main strategies for treating airway diseases are suppression of inflammation and producing bronchodilation. The ability of cannabinoids to induce bronchodilation and modify inflammation indicates their importance for airway physiology and pathologies. In this review, the contribution of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system in the airways are discussed, and the existing data for their therapeutic use in airway diseases are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Cannabinoid Receptors Pharmacology)
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