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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2008 Jan;294(1):G9-G12. Epub 2007 Nov 1.

Endocannabinoids and liver disease. I. Endocannabinoids and their receptors in the liver.

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INSERM, U 841, Institut Mondor de recherche Biomédicale Hôpital Henri Mondor 94010 Créteil, France.


Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) have recently emerged as novel mediators of liver diseases. Endogenous activation of CB1 receptors promotes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and progression of liver fibrosis associated with chronic liver injury; in addition, CB1 receptors contribute to the pathogenesis of portal hypertension and cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. CB2 receptor-dependent effects are also increasingly characterized, including antifibrogenic effects and regulation of liver inflammation during ischemia-reperfusion and NAFLD. It is likely that the next few years will allow us to delineate whether molecules targeting CB1 and CB2 receptors are useful therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic liver diseases.

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