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Vitam Horm. 2017;103:193-279. doi: 10.1016/bs.vh.2016.09.006. Epub 2016 Nov 2.

The Endocannabinoid System and Anxiety.

Author information

1
Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil; Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Applied Neurosciences (NAPNA), University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. Electronic address: sa_lisboa@hotmail.com.
2
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.
3
Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil; Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Applied Neurosciences (NAPNA), University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.
4
Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
5
Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil; Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Applied Neurosciences (NAPNA), University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. Electronic address: fsguimar@fmrp.usp.br.

Abstract

The medical properties of Cannabis sativa is known for centuries. Since the discovery and characterization of the endogenous cannabinoid system, several studies have evaluated how cannabinoid compounds and, particularly, how the modulation of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system influences a wide range of functions, from metabolic to mental disorders. Cannabinoids and eCB system often exert opposite effects on several functions, such as anxiety. Although the mechanisms are not completely understood, evidence points to different factors influencing those effects. In this chapter, the recent advances in research about the relationship between eCB system and anxiety disorders in humans, as well as in animal models, will be discussed. The recent data addressing modulation of the eCBs in specific brain areas, such as the medial prefrontal cortex, amygdaloid complex, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, hippocampus, and dorsal periaqueductal gray, will be summarized. Finally, data from animal models addressing the mechanisms through which the eCB system modulates anxiety-related behavior dependent on stressful situations, such as the involvement of different receptors, distinct eCBs, modulation of neurotransmitters release, HPA axis and immune system activation, and plastic mechanisms, will also be discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Amygdala; Animal models; Anxiety; Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis; Endocannabinoids; Hippocampus; Medial prefrontal cortex; Periaqueductal gray

PMID:
28061971
DOI:
10.1016/bs.vh.2016.09.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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