PubMed: Phytocannabinoids in neuromodulation: from omics to epigenetics

PubMed: Phytocannabinoids in neuromodulation: from omics to epigenetics

J Ethnopharmacol. 2024 Apr 25:118201. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2024.118201. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Recent developments in metabolomics, transcriptomic and epigenetics open up new horizons regarding the pharmacological understanding of phytocannabinoids as neuromodulators in treating anxiety, depression, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and autism.

METHODS: The present review is an extensive search in public databases, such as Google Scholar, Scopus, the Web of Science, and PubMed, to collect all the literature about the neurobiological roles of cannabis extract, cannabidiol, 9-tetrahydrocannabinol specially focused on metabolomics, transcriptomic, epigenetic, mechanism of action, in different cell lines, induced animal models and clinical trials. We used bioinformatics, network pharmacology and enrichment analysis to understand the effect of phytocannabinoids in neuromodulation.

RESULTS: Cannabidomics studies show wide variability of metabolites across different strains and varieties, which determine their medicinal and abusive usage, which is very important for its quality control and regulation. CB receptors interact with other compounds besides cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, like cannabinol and Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol. Phytocannabinoids interact with cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid receptors (GPCR, ion channels, and PPAR) to improve various neurodegenerative diseases. However, its abuse because of THC is also a problem found across different epigenetic and transcriptomic studies. Network enrichment analysis shows CNR1 expression in the brain and its interacting genes involve different pathways such as Rap1 signalling, dopaminergic synapse, and relaxin signalling. CBD protects against diseases like epilepsy, depression, and Parkinson’s by modifying DNA and mitochondrial DNA in the hippocampus. Network pharmacology analysis of 8 phytocannabinoids revealed an interaction with 10 (out of 60) targets related to neurodegenerative diseases, with enrichment of ErbB and PI3K-Akt signalling pathways which helps in ameliorating neuro-inflammation in various neurodegenerative diseases. The effects of phytocannabinoids vary across sex, disease state, and age which suggests the importance of a personalized medicine approach for better success.

CONCLUSIONS: Phytocannabinoids present a range of promising neuromodulatory effects. It holds promise if utilized in a strategic way towards personalized neuropsychiatric treatment. However, just like any drug irrational usage may lead to unforeseen negative effects. Exploring neuro-epigenetics and systems pharmacology of major and minor phytocannabinoid combinations can lead to success.

PMID:38677573 | DOI:10.1016/j.jep.2024.118201 April 27, 2024 10:00 am