The role of the endocannabinoid/endovanilloid (EC/EV) system in bone metabolism has recently received attention. Current literature evidences the modulation of osteoclasts and osteoblasts through the activation or inhibition of cannabinoid receptors in various pathological conditions with secondary involvement of bone tissue. However, this role is still unclear in primary bone diseases. Paget’s disease of the bone (PDB) could be considered a disease model for analyzing the role of the EC/EV system on osteoclasts (OCs), speculating the potential use of specific agents targeting this system for managing metabolic bone disorders. The aim of the study is to analyze OCs expression of EC/EV system in patients with PDB and to compare OCs activity between this population and healthy people. Finally, we investigate whether specific agents targeting EC/EV systems are able to modulate OCs activity in this metabolic bone disorder. We found a significant increase in cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) protein expression in patients with PDB, compared to healthy controls. Moreover, we found a significant reduction in multi-nucleated tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive OCs and resorption areas after treatment with JWH-133. CB2 could be a molecular target for reducing the activity of OCs in PDB, opening new therapeutic scenarios for the management of this condition.
Keywords: Paget’s disease of the bone, bone diseases, cannabinoid receptor type 2, endocannabinoid/endovanilloid system, metabolic, pain