Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Aug;30(8):411-20. Epub 2009 Jul 14.
The Endocannabinoid System of the Skin in Health and Disease: Novel Perspectives and Therapeutic Opportunities.
Bíró T, Tóth BI, Haskó G, Paus R, Pacher P.
Department of Physiology, University of Debrecen, Research Center for Molecular Medicine, Debrecen 4032, Hungary.
The newly discovered endocannabinoid system (ECS; comprising the endogenous lipid mediators endocannabinoids present in virtually all tissues, their G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, biosynthetic pathways and metabolizing enzymes) has been implicated in multiple regulatory functions both in health and disease. Recent studies have intriguingly suggested the existence of a functional ECS in the skin and implicated it in various biological processes (e.g. proliferation, growth, differentiation, apoptosis and cytokine, mediator or hormone production of various cell types of the skin and appendages, such as the hair follicle and sebaceous gland). It seems that the main physiological function of the cutaneous ECS is to constitutively control the proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells. The disruption of this delicate balance might facilitate the development of multiple pathological conditions and diseases of the skin (e.g. acne, seborrhea, allergic dermatitis, itch and pain, psoriasis, hair growth disorders, systemic sclerosis and cancer).
PMID: PMC2757311, PMID: 19608284 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2008 Oct;4(5):847-53.
Cannabinoids in the Management of Spasticity Associated with Multiple Sclerosis.
Malfitano AM, Proto MC, Bifulco M.
Dipartimento di Scienze, Farmaceutiche, Università degli Studi di Salerno.
The endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid-based treatments have been involved in a wide number of diseases. In particular, several studies suggest that cannabinoids and endocannabinoids may have a key role in the pathogenesis and therapy of multiple sclerosis (MS). In this study we highlight the main findings reported in literature about the relevance of cannabinoid drugs in the management and treatment of MS. An increasing body of evidence suggests that cannabinoids have beneficial effects on the symptoms of MS, including spasticity and pain. In this report we focus on the effects of cannabinoids in the relief of spasticity describing the main findings in vivo, in the mouse experimental allergic encephalomyelitis model of MS. We report on the current treatments used to control MS symptoms and the most recent clinical studies based on cannabinoid treatments, although long-term studies are required to establish whether cannabinoids may have a role beyond symptom amelioration in MS.
PMID: PMC2626929, PMID: 19183777 [PubMed - in process]
Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2008 Sep;8(3):159-72.
Cannabinoids as Therapeutic Agents for Ablating Neuroinflammatory Disease.
Cabral GA, Griffin-Thomas L.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine, 1101 E. Marshall Street, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0678 USA.
Cannabinoids have been reported to alter the activities of immune cells in vitro and in vivo. These compounds may serve as ideal agents for adjunct treatment of pathological processes that have a neuroinflammatory component. As highly lipophilic molecules, they readily access the brain. Furthermore, they have relatively low toxicity and can be engineered to selectively target cannabinoid receptors. To date, two cannabinoid receptors have been identified, characterized and designated CB(1) and CB(2). CB(1) appears to be constitutively expressed within the CNS while CB(2) apparently is induced during inflammation. The inducible nature of expression of CB(2) extends to microglia, the resident macrophages of the brain that play a critical role during early stages of inflammation in that compartment. Thus, the cannabinoid-cannabinoid receptor system may prove therapeutically manageable in ablating neuropathogenic disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, HIV encephalitis, closed head injury, and granulomatous amebic encephalitis.
PMID: PMC2750822, PMID: 18782012 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]