Uncovering the psychoactivity of a cannabinoid from liverworts associated with a legal high.

Chicca, Andrea; Schafroth, M A; Reynoso, Ines del Carmen; Erni, R; Petrucci, Vanessa; Carreira, E M; Gertsch, Jürg (2018). Uncovering the psychoactivity of a cannabinoid from liverworts associated with a legal high. Science Advances, 4(10), eaat2166. American Association for the Advancement of Science 10.1126/sciadv.aat2166

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Phytochemical studies on the liverwort genus have previously identified the bibenzyl (-)--perrottetinene (-PET), which structurally resembles (-)-Δ--tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ--THC) from L. preparations are sold as cannabinoid-like legal high on the internet, even though pharmacological data are lacking. Herein, we describe a versatile total synthesis of (-)--PET and its (-)- diastereoisomer and demonstrate that both molecules readily penetrate the brain and induce hypothermia, catalepsy, hypolocomotion, and analgesia in a CB1 receptor-dependent manner in mice. The natural product (-)--PET was profiled on major brain receptors, showing a selective cannabinoid pharmacology. This study also uncovers pharmacological differences between Δ-THC and PET diastereoisomers. Most notably, (-)--PET and (-)--PET significantly reduced basal brain prostaglandin levels associated with Δ--THC side effects in a CB1 receptor-dependent manner, thus mimicking the action of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol. Therefore, the natural product (-)--PET is a psychoactive cannabinoid from bryophytes, illustrating the existence of convergent evolution of bioactive cannabinoids in the plant kingdom. Our findings may have implications for bioprospecting and drug discovery and provide a molecular rationale for the reported effects upon consumption of certain preparations as moderately active legal highs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Other Institutions > NCCR TransCure

UniBE Contributor:

Chicca, Andrea; Reynoso, Ines del Carmen; Petrucci, Vanessa and Gertsch, Jürg

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

2375-2548

Publisher:

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Barbara Järmann-Bangerter

Date Deposited:

07 Mar 2019 09:47

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2019 02:36

Publisher DOI:

10.1126/sciadv.aat2166

PubMed ID:

30397641

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.125038

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/125038

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