Cannabinoids, the biologically active constituents of Cannabis, have potent neuronal and immunological effects. However, the basic and medical research dedicated to medical cannabis and cannabinoids is limited. The influence of these treatments on hematologic reconstitution and on the development of graft versus host disease (GVHD) after bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is largely unknown. In this research, we compared the influence of D9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) on lymphocyte activation in vitro and in murine BMT models. Our in vitro results demonstrate that these treatments decrease activated lymphocyte proliferation and affect cytokine secretion. We also discovered that CBD and THC utilize different receptors to mediate these effects. In vivo, in a syngeneic transplantation model, we demonstrate that all treatments inhibit lymphocyte reconstitution and show the inhibitory role of the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) on lymphocyte recovery. Although pure cannabinoids exhibited a superior effect in vitro, in an allogeneic (C57BL/6 to BALB/c) BMT mouse model, THC-high and CBD-high cannabis extracts treatment reduced the severity of GVHD and improved survival significantly better than the pure cannabinoids. Our results highlights the complexity of using cannabinoids-based treatments and the need for additional comparative scientific results.
Oleoyl serine (OS), an endogenous fatty acyl amide (FAA) found in bone, has been shown to have an anti-osteoporotic effect. OS, being an amide, can be hydrolyzed in the body by amidases. Hindering its amide bond by introducing adjacent substituents has been demonstrated as a successful method for prolonging its skeletal activity. Here, we tested the therapeutic efficacy of two methylated OS derivatives, oleoyl $\alpha$-methyl serine (HU-671) and 2-methyl-oleoyl serine (HU-681), in an ovariectomized mouse model for osteoporosis by utilizing combined micro-computed tomography, histomorphometry, and cell culture analyses. Our findings indicate that daily treatment for 6 weeks with OS or HU-671 completely rescues bone loss, whereas HU-681 has only a partial effect. The increased bone density was primarily due to enhanced trabecular thickness and number. Moreover, the most effective dose of HU-671 was 0.5 mg/kg/day, an order of magnitude lower than with OS. The reversal of bone loss resulted from increased bone formation and decreased bone resorption, as well as reversal of bone marrow adiposity. These results were further confirmed by determining the serum levels of osteocalcin and type 1 collagen C-terminal crosslinks, as well as demonstrating the enhanced antiadipogenic effect of HU-671. Taken together, these data suggest that methylation interferes with OS's metabolism, thus enhancing its effects by extending its availability to its target cells.