Figure 1

Figure 1. From: Cannabinoids cool the intestine.

Cellular source and proposed targets of anti-inflammatory endocannabinoids in IBD. (a) Cross-section of inflamed bowel with leukocyte infiltration (polymorphonuclear, lymphocytes, macrophages, mast cells). (b) In macrophages, LPS induces the production of TNFα and chemokines (such as MIP-2 and CXCL-8) as well as anandamide. Anandamide is released to act as an autocrine mediator to inhibit TNFα and chemokine production via CB1 or CB2 receptors or both. Activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors may similarly inhibit TNFα production in mast cells, with these effects resulting in decreased leukocyte infiltration and inflammation. Paracrine activation of CB1 receptors on extrinsic and intrinsic enteric neurons inhibits acetylcholine and tachykinin release, respectively, resulting in inhibition of gut motility. These effects are amplified by treatment with a FAAH inhibitor, which prevents the breakdown of anandamide.

George Kunos, et al. Nat Med. ;10(7):678-679.

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