Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Prog Lipid Res. 2011 Apr;50(2):193-211. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2011.01.001. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

Is lipid signaling through cannabinoid 2 receptors part of a protective system?

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Physiologic Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-9413, USA. Pacher@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

The mammalian body has a highly developed immune system which guards against continuous invading protein attacks and aims at preventing, attenuating or repairing the inflicted damage. It is conceivable that through evolution analogous biological protective systems have been evolved against non-protein attacks. There is emerging evidence that lipid endocannabinoid signaling through cannabinoid 2 (CB₂) receptors may represent an example/part of such a protective system/armamentarium. Inflammation/tissue injury triggers rapid elevations in local endocannabinoid levels, which in turn regulate signaling responses in immune and other cells modulating their critical functions. Changes in endocannabinoid levels and/or CB₂ receptor expressions have been reported in almost all diseases affecting humans, ranging from cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, liver, kidney, neurodegenerative, psychiatric, bone, skin, autoimmune, lung disorders to pain and cancer, and modulating CB₂ receptor activity holds tremendous therapeutic potential in these pathologies. While CB₂ receptor activation in general mediates immunosuppressive effects, which limit inflammation and associated tissue injury in large number of pathological conditions, in some disease states activation of the CB₂ receptor may enhance or even trigger tissue damage, which will also be discussed alongside the protective actions of the CB₂ receptor stimulation with endocannabinoids or synthetic agonists, and the possible biological mechanisms involved in these effects.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.

PMID:
21295074
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3062638
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk