Sunday, February 9, 2014

Endocannabinoids And Cannabis Are Neuroprotective

Before I look into the technicals let me cut to the chase. Endocannabinoids relieve pain and reduce brain swelling. Something well known anecdotally. We now have the science (experimental evidence). Endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonylglycerol Protects Primary Cultured Neurons Against LPS-Induced Impairments in Rat Caudate Nucleus.

Inflammation plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of many diseases in the central nervous system. Caudate nucleus (CN), the largest nucleus in the brain, is also implicated in many neurological disorders. 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), the most abundant endogenous cannabinoid and the true natural ligand for CB1 receptors, has been shown to exhibit neuroprotective effects through its anti-inflammatory action from proinflammatory stimuli in hippocampus. However, it is still not clear whether 2-AG is also able to protect CN neurons from proinflammation stimuli. In the present study, we discovered that 2-AG significantly protects CN neurons in culture against lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory response. 2-AG is capable of suppressing elevation of LPS-induced cyclooxygenase-2 expression associated with ERK/p38MAPK/NF-κB signaling pathway in CB1 receptor-dependant manner in primary cultured CN neurons. Moreover, 2-AG inhibits LPS-induced increase in voltage-gated sodium channel currents and hyperpolarizing shift of activation curves through CB1 receptor-dependant pathway. Our study suggests the therapeutic potential of 2-AG for the treatment of some inflammation-induced neurological disorders and pain.