A new study published this week by the U.S. National Institute of Health, as well as the British Journal of Pharmacology, has found that activation of the brain’s cannabinoid receptors – something which cannabis does naturally – provides neuroprotective effects that can reverse impaired neurogenesis caused by HIV-related dementia.
According to researchers; “HIV-1 glycoprotein Gp120 induces apoptosis in rodent and human neurons in vitro and in vivo. HIV-1/Gp120 is involved in the pathogenesis of HIV-associated dementia (HAD) and inhibits proliferation of adult neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in GFAP/Gp120 transgenic (Tg) mice.”
They state that; “Since cannabinoids exert neuroprotective effects in several model systems, we examined the protective effects of CB2 agonist AM1241 on Gp120-mediated insults on neurogenesis.”
In doing so, the researchers found that cannabinoid receptor activation “resulted in enhanced in vivo neurogenesis in the hippocampus as indicated by increase in neuroblasts, neuronal cells, BrdU+ cells and PCNA+ cells.” They continue; “Further, a significant decrease in astrogliosis and gliogenesis was observed in GFAP/Gp120 Tg mice treated with AM1241 as compared to those treated with vehicle control.”
They conclude that; “CB2 agonist rescued impaired neurogenesis caused by HIV-1/Gp120 insult. Thus, CB2 agonists may act as neuroprotective agents for rescuing impaired neurogenesis in HAD patients.”
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Division of Experimental Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, can be found by clicking here.