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Front Pharmacol. 2017 May 23;8:269. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00269. eCollection 2017.

Plastic and Neuroprotective Mechanisms Involved in the Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol in Psychiatric Disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Applied Neurosciences (NAPNA), School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São PauloRibeirão Preto, Brazil.
2
Department of Physical and Chemical, School of Pharmaceutical Science of Ribeirão Preto, University of São PauloRibeirão Preto, Brazil.
3
Department of Neuroscience, University of PittsburghPittsburgh, PA, United States.
4
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I, School of Biology, Complutense UniversityMadrid, Spain.
5
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas, Instituto de Universitario de Investigación en Neuroquímica and Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación SanitariaMadrid, Spain.

Abstract

Beneficial effects of cannabidiol (CBD) have been described for a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, psychosis, and depression. The mechanisms responsible for these effects, however, are still poorly understood. Similar to clinical antidepressant or atypical antipsychotic drugs, recent findings clearly indicate that CBD, either acutely or repeatedly administered, induces plastic changes. For example, CBD attenuates the decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis and dendrite spines density induced by chronic stress and prevents microglia activation and the decrease in the number of parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons in a pharmacological model of schizophrenia. More recently, it was found that CBD modulates cell fate regulatory pathways such as autophagy and others critical pathways for neuronal survival in neurodegenerative experimental models, suggesting the potential benefit of CBD treatment for psychiatric/cognitive symptoms associated with neurodegeneration. These changes and their possible association with CBD beneficial effects in psychiatric disorders are reviewed here.

KEYWORDS:

anxiety; autophagy; cannabinoids; depression; neurogenesis; schizophrenia; synaptic remodeling

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