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Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2013 Apr;17(4):363-77. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2013.754426. Epub 2013 Jan 8.

Evidence for the involvement of cannabinoid receptors' polymorphisms in the pathophysiology of human diseases.

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First Department of Pathology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 75, Mikras Asias street, GR11527, Goudi, Athens, Greece.



Considerable progress has been made, over the last years, in understanding the role of the endocannabinoid system (ES) in regard to its role in a variety of physiological processes including nociception (pain-sensation), appetite, lipid metabolism, gastrointestinal motility, cardiovascular modulation, motor activity, and memory. Furthermore, ES is strongly associated with human behavior and the skeletal ES is of major importance. ES is comprised of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) and proteins responsible for their metabolism.


To summarize and present all the existing literature that associate CB receptors' polymorphisms with behavior and disease in different populations, as well as its possible therapeutic perspectives. A literature review presenting the most recent data in terms of ES and the latest knowledge regarding the involvement of genetic polymorphisms of cannabinoid receptors in a variety of human diseases and psychiatric and neurological disorders.


The ES is an emerging target for drug discovery, because it is involved in the regulation of many cellular and physiological functions. The modulation of the ES by selective agonists or antagonists may hold tremendous therapeutic potential in various conditions mentioned in this review. However, further information is still required before the ES is completely comprehended.

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