ThePineapple - Journal Club #38: Psychedelics | Arteries | Oligodendroglia | Kidneys

Journal Club #38: Psychedelics, Arteries, Oligodendroglia, Kidneys

Week of 04-17-22

Welcome to journal club. A weekly curation of scientific research papers in the field of cannabis science. Fair warning, these are unedited, freshly destilled scientifc publications. In other words, this post is for the cannabis scientists among you, who are likely going to spent at least one day this week eating free pizza and discussing new publications in your respective biomedical graduate departments. So, if you are a graduate student, feel free to save yourself some time and pick one of these :)

Also, if you feel we missed a particularly juicy paper, then leave a comment with the doi: number or pubmed ID ! We'll update the "journal club" as the week goes on.

Associations between classic psychedelics and opioid use disorder in a nationally-representative U.S. adult sample.

Jones G, Ricard JA, Lipson J, Nock MK.

Sci Rep. 2022 Apr 7;12(1):4099.

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a major source of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and there is a pressing need to identify additional treatments for the disorder. Classic psychedelics (psilocybin, peyote, mescaline, LSD) have been linked to the alleviation of various substance use disorders and may hold promise as potential treatments for OUD. The aim of this study was to assess whether the aforementioned classic psychedelic substances conferred lowered odds of OUD. Furthermore, this study aimed to replicate and extend findings from Pisano et al. (2017) who found classic psychedelic use to be linked to lowered odds of OUD in a nationally representative sample. We used recent data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2015-2019) (N = 214,505) and multivariable logistic regression to test whether lifetime use (yes/no) of classic psychedelics was associated with lowered odds of OUD. Lifetime psilocybin use was associated with lowered odds of OUD (aOR: 0.70; 95% CI [0.60, 0.83]). No other substances, including other classic psychedelics, were associated with lowered odds of OUD. Additionally, sensitivity analyses revealed psilocybin use to be associated with lowered odds of seven of the 11 DSM-IV criteria for OUD (aOR range: 0.66-0.83). Future clinical trials and longitudinal studies are needed to determine whether these associations are causal.

doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-08085-4. PMID: 35393455; PMCID: PMC8990065.

Cannabis Use is Associated with Prevalent Coronary Artery Disease.

Skipina TM, Patel N, Upadhya B, Soliman EZ. 

Am J Med Sci. 2022 Apr 12:S0002-9629(22)00153-7. 

Cannabis is associated with risk of acute coronary syndrome in observational studies. However, its association with prevalent coronary artery disease (CAD) remains unclear. We hypothesized that cannabis use is associated with prevalent CAD. This analysis included 12,543 participants (age 39.3 ± 11.6 years, 48.8% male, 35.3% Caucasians) from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Cannabis use was self-reported. Prevalent CAD was defined by physician diagnosis. The association between cannabis use and CAD was tested for using multivariable logistic regression. About 53.1% (n = 6,650) of participants were ever cannabis users and 1.1% (n = 137) had prevalent CAD. Ever (versus never) cannabis users had 90% increased odds of CAD [OR (95% CI): 1.90 (1.24 - 2.93), p = 0.003]. Those who had used cannabis at least once per month for at least one year had 68% increased odds of CAD [OR (95% CI): 1.68 (1.02-2.77), p = 0.04]. Current cannabis users had near 98% increased odds of CAD [OR (95% CI): 1.98 (1.11 - 3.54), p = 0.02]. Similar results were seen with heavy cannabis users [OR (95% CI): 1.99 (1.02 - 3.89), p = 0.045]. These results were consistent in subgroups stratified by race, gender, hypertension, obesity, COPD, hyperlipidemia, tobacco smoking status, and diabetes.

Conclusions:  Cannabis use is associated with prevalent CAD. This finding emphasizes the potential harmful effects of cannabis use on cardiovascular health and highlights the need for further research as it becomes more accepted at both a national and global level.

doi: 10.1016/j.amjms.2022.04.005. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35427587.

Endocannabinoid signaling in oligodendroglia.

Molina-Holgado E, Esteban PF, Arevalo-Martin Á, Moreno-Luna R, Molina-Holgado F, Garcia-Ovejero D.

Glia. 2022 Apr 12. 

In the central nervous system, oligodendrocytes synthesize the myelin, a specialized membrane to wrap axons in a discontinuous way allowing a rapid saltatory nerve impulse conduction. Oligodendrocytes express a number of growth factors and neurotransmitters receptors that allow them to sense the environment and interact with neurons and other glial cells. Depending on the cell cycle stage, oligodendrocytes may respond to these signals by regulating their survival, proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Among these signals are the endocannabinoids, lipidic molecules synthesized from phospholipids in the plasma membrane in response to cell activation. Here, we discuss the evidence showing that oligodendrocytes express a full endocannabinoid signaling machinery involved in physiological oligodendrocyte functions that can be therapeutically exploited to promote remyelination in central nervous system pathologies.

doi: 10.1002/glia.24180. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35411970.

Acute and long-term effects of cannabinoids on hypertension and kidney injury.

Golosova D, Levchenko V, Kravtsova O, Palygin O, Staruschenko A.

Sci Rep. 2022 Apr 12;12(1):6080.

Cannabinoids and their endogenous and synthetic analogs impact blood pressure and contribute to the incidence of hypertension. It was previously reported that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in developing hypertension; however, it was also shown that cannabinoids elicit profound hypotension associated with hemorrhagic, cardiogenic, and endotoxic shock. This study aimed to test acute and chronic effects of an endogenous ligand of cannabinoid receptor anandamide (AEA) on blood pressure and kidney injury in vivo in conscious Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rats. We demonstrated that acute i.v. bolus administration of a low or a high doses (0.05 or 3 mg/kg) of AEA did not affect blood pressure for 2 h after the injection in Dahl SS rats fed a normal salt diet (0.4% NaCl). Neither low nor high doses of AEA had any beneficial effects on blood pressure or kidney function. Furthermore, hypertensive rats fed a HS diet (8% NaCl) and chronically treated with 3 mg/kg of AEA exhibited a significant increase in blood pressure accompanied by increased renal interstitial fibrosis and glomerular damage at the late stage of hypertension. Western blot analyses revealed increased expression of Smad3 protein levels in the kidney cortex in response to chronic treatment with a high AEA dose. Therefore, TGF-β1/Smad3 signaling pathway may play a crucial role in kidney injury in SS hypertension during chronic treatment with AEA. Collectively, these data indicate that prolonged stimulation of cannabinoid receptors may result in aggravation of hypertension and kidney damage.

doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-09902-6. PMID: 35413977; PMCID: PMC9005691.