Functional Relevance of Endocannabinoid-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in the Central Nervous System

Shana M. Augustin and David M. Lovinger  (February 2018)

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The endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling system plays a key role in short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity in brain regions involved in various neural functions ranging from action selection to appetite control. This review will explore the role of eCBs in shaping neural circuit function to regulate behaviors. In particular, we will discuss the behavioral consequences of eCB mediated long-term synaptic plasticity in different brain regions. This review brings together evidence from in vitro and ex vivo studies and points out the need for more in vivo studies.

Use of Topical Cannabinomimetic Palmitoylethanolamide in Ocular Surface Disease Associated with Antiglaucoma Medications

Di Zazzo Antonio, Roberti Gloria, Mashaghi Alireza, Abud Tulio Batista, Pavese Daniela and Bonini Stefano  (November 2017)
Chronic use of topical hypotensive therapies in glaucoma patients leads to chronic inflammation of the ocular surface, which decreases the success rate of long-term glaucoma management. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of topical palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) (Defluxa©), a well-known anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent, in suppressing the ocular surface inflammation associated with the use of hypotensive eye drops. Our data suggests that topical PEA (Defluxa) is a safe, effective, and generally well-tolerated treatment to prevent or suppress ocular surface inflammation attributable to chronic glaucoma treatment.

Neuroprotection by (endo)cannabinoids in glaucoma and retinal neurodegenerative diseases.

C. Rapino, D. Tortolani, L. Scipioni, M. Maccarrone  (July 2017)

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Emerging neuroprotective strategies are being explored to preserve the retina from degeneration, that occurs in eye pathologies like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa. Incidentally, neuroprotection of retina is a defending mechanism designed to prevent or delay neuronal cell death, and to maintain neural function following an initial insult, thus avoiding loss of vision. Numerous studies have investigated potential neuroprotective properties of plant-derived phytocannabinoids, as well as of their endogenous counterparts collectively termed endocannabinoids (eCBs), in several degenerative diseases of the retina.

Targeting the endocannabinoid system: future therapeutic strategies

Oier Aizpurua-OlaizolaIzaskun ElezgaraiIrantzu Rico-BarrioIratxe ZarandonaNestor EtxebarriaAresatz Usobiaga  (August 2016)

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The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in many physiological regulation pathways in the human body, which makes this system the target of many drugs and therapies. In this review, we highlight the latest studies regarding the role of the ECS and the drugs that target it, with a particular focus on the basis for the discovery of new cannabinoid-based drugs. In addition, we propose some key steps, such as the creation of a cannabinoid–receptor interaction matrix (CRIM) and the use of metabolomics, toward the development of improved and more specific drugs for each relevant disease.

Potential roles of (endo)cannabinoids in the treatment of glaucoma: from intraocular pressure control to neuroprotection

Nucci C, Bari M, Spanò A, Corasaniti M, Bagetta G, Maccarrone M, Morrone LA.  (October 2008)

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Experimental findings indicate that the endocannabinoid system contributes to the control of intraocular pressure (IOP), by modulating both production and drainage of aqueous humor. There is also a growing body of evidence of the involvement of this system in mechanisms leading to the death of retinal ganglion cells, which is the end result of glaucoma. Molecules capable of interfering with the ocular endocannabinoid system could offer valid alternatives to the treatment of this disease, based not only on the reduction of IOP but also on neuroprotection.