Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drugs related to cannabis have pain-relieving potential for osteoarthritis

Date:
January 7, 2014
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Chemical compounds synthesized in the laboratory, similar to those found in cannabis, could be developed as potential drugs to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis.

Chemical compounds synthesized in the laboratory, similar to those found in cannabis, could be developed as potential drugs to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis.

Related Articles


These compounds could also reduce joint inflammation, according to new research carried out at the Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre at The University of Nottingham.

Cannabis contains a number of natural chemicals called cannabinoids and the brain has the ability to respond to such compounds. Cannabis and synthetically manufactured cannabinoid compounds can relieve pain in animal models of arthritis, but their use has been limited because of undesirable psychological side-effects.

Now a team of researchers led by Professor Victoria Chapman at the Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre at The University of Nottingham have shown that selectively targeting one of the molecules involved in the body's natural pain-sensing pathways, called cannabinoid receptor2 (CB2) can also reduce pain in animal models of osteoarthritis. This works in part through the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). The compound used in this study, called JWH133, is a synthetic cannabinoid molecule manufactured in a laboratory and is not derived from the cannabis plant.

When the research was extended to humans, studies of the human spinal cord tissue showed for the first time the presence of this receptor and, interestingly, that the amount of receptor was related to the severity of the osteoarthritis. This provides evidence from patients that this drug target may have clinical relevance to osteoarthritis pain.

Cannabinoids are known to have anti-inflammatory effects, and the team have demonstrated that JWH133 reduced the levels of inflammation in their studies of osteoarthritis. Thus, cannabinoid CB2 targeted drugs may have a dual beneficial effect for people with osteoarthritis by providing pain relief as well as reducing inflammation in the joint.

Their findings are published online in the journal PLOS One.

Victoria Chapman, Professor of Neuropharmacology, said: "This finding is significant, as spinal and brain pain signalling pathways are known to make a major contribution to pain associated with osteoarthritis. These new data support the further evaluation of the selective cannabinoid-based interventions for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain."

Professor Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, added: "Millions of people are living with the severe, debilitating pain caused by osteoarthritis, and better pain relief is urgently needed. This research does not support the use of recreational cannabis use. What it does suggest is that there is potential to develop a synthetic drug that mimics the behavior of cannabinoid receptors without causing serious side effects."

Osteoarthritis affects eight million people the UK and occurs when the cartilage at the ends of bones wears away, causing joint pain and stiffness, and is a major cause of pain and disability. Current treatment is limited to pain relief, exercise, physiotherapy weight-loss and joint replacement. There are currently no drugs that slow down its progression, and more effective treatment is urgently needed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James J. Burston, Devi Rani Sagar, Pin Shao, Mingfeng Bai, Emma King, Louis Brailsford, Jenna M. Turner, Gareth J. Hathway, Andrew J. Bennett, David A. Walsh, David A. Kendall, Aron Lichtman, Victoria Chapman. Cannabinoid CB2 Receptors Regulate Central Sensitization and Pain Responses Associated with Osteoarthritis of the Knee Joint. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (11): e80440 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080440

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Drugs related to cannabis have pain-relieving potential for osteoarthritis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140107092825.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2014, January 7). Drugs related to cannabis have pain-relieving potential for osteoarthritis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140107092825.htm
University of Nottingham. "Drugs related to cannabis have pain-relieving potential for osteoarthritis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140107092825.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins