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Mediators Inflamm. 2012;2012:824093. doi: 10.1155/2012/824093. Epub 2012 Apr 5.

Update on the role of cannabinoid receptors after ischemic stroke.

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Laboratory of Hemodynamics and Cardiovascular Technology, Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, BM 5125, Station 17, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Cannabinoids are considered as key mediators in the pathophysiology of inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis. In particular, they have been shown to reduce the ischemic injury after acute cardiovascular events, such as acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. These protective and anti-inflammatory properties on peripheral tissues and circulating inflammatory have been demonstrated to involve their binding with both selective cannabinoid type 1 (CB₁ and type 2 (CB₂) transmembrane receptors. On the other hands, the recent discoveries of novel different classes of cannabinoids and receptors have increased the complexity of this system in atherosclerosis. Although only preliminary data have been reported on the activities of novel cannabinoid receptors, several studies have already investigated the role of CB₁ and CB₂ receptors in ischemic stroke. While CB₁ receptor activation has been shown to directly reduce atherosclerotic plaque inflammation, controversial data have been shown on neurotransmission and neuroprotection after stroke. Given its potent anti-inflammatory activities on circulating leukocytes, the CB₂ activation has been proven to produce protective effects against acute poststroke inflammation. In this paper, we will update evidence on different cannabinoid-triggered avenues to reduce inflammation and neuronal injury in acute ischemic stroke.

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