Meliha Karsak, Evelyn Gaffal, Rahul Date, Lihua Wang-Eckhardt, Jennifer Rehnelt, Stefania Petrosino, Katarzyna Starowicz, Regina Steuder, Eberhard Schlicker, Benjamin Cravatt, Raphael Mechoulam, Reinhard Buettner, Sabine Werner, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Thomas Tüting, Andreas Zimmer

Published in Science

8 June 2007



Allergic contact dermatitis affects about 5% of men and 11% of women in industrialized countries and is one of the leading causes for occupational diseases. In an animal model for cutaneous contact hypersensitivity, we show that mice lacking both known cannabinoid receptors display exacerbated allergic inflammation. In contrast, fatty acid amide hydrolase-deficient mice, which have increased levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide, displayed reduced allergic responses in the skin. Cannabinoid receptor antagonists exacerbated allergic inflammation, whereas receptor agonists attenuated inflammation. These results demonstrate a protective role of the endocannabinoid system in contact allergy in the skin and suggest a target for therapeutic intervention.


DOI: 10.1126/science.1142265



Karsak M, Gaffal E, Date R, et al. Attenuation of Allergic Contact Dermatitis Through the Endocannabinoid System. Science (80- ). 2007;316(5830):1494-1497. doi:10.1126/science.1142265