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Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2007 Mar;11(3):403-9.

Cannabinoid receptors as new targets of antifibrosing strategies during chronic liver diseases.

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INSERM, Unité 841, Institut Mondor de Recherche Biomédicale, Université Paris XII-Val de Marne, Créteil, F-94000, France.


Chronic liver injury exposes the patient to liver fibrosis and its end stage, cirrhosis, is a major public health problem worldwide. In western countries, prevailing causes of cirrhosis include chronic alcohol consumption, hepatitis C virus infection and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Current treatment of hepatic fibrosis is limited to withdrawal of the noxious agent. Nevertheless, suppression of the cause of hepatic injury is not always feasible and numerous efforts are directed at the development of liver-specific antifibrotic therapies. Along these lines, the authors recently demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system shows promise as a novel target for antifibrotic therapy during chronic liver injury. Indeed, cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 promote dual pro- and antifibrogenic effects, respectively. Therefore, endocannabinoid-based therapies, combining CB2 agonists and CB1 antagonists may open novel therapeutic perspectives for the treatment of chronic liver diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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