Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents a major cause of morbidity and disability and is a risk factor for developing neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, no effective therapies are currently available for TBI-induced AD-like disease. Endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid mediators involved in a variety of physiological and pathological processes. The compound 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is the most abundant endocannabinoid with profound anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative disease, is characterized by progressive cognitive impairment. The deposition of amyloid beta (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau is considered the hallmark of AD pathology. Many therapeutic approaches such as Food and Drug Administration-approved cholinesterase inhibitors and N–methyl–D–aspartate receptor antagonists have been used to intervene in AD pathology. However, current therapies only provide limited symptomatic relief and are ineffective in preventing AD progression. Cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid devoid of psychoactive responses, provides neuroprotective effects through both cannabinoid and noncannabinoid receptors. Recent studies using an AD mouse model have suggested that CBD can reverse cognitive deficits along with Aβ-induced neuroinflammatory, oxidative responses, and neuronal death.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) employs a huge network of molecules (receptors, ligands, and enzymatic machinery molecules) whose interactions with other cellular networks have still not been fully elucidated. Endogenous cannabinoids are molecules with the primary function of control of multiple metabolic pathways. Maintenance of tissue and cellular homeostasis by functional fine-tuning of essential metabolic pathways is one of the key characteristics of the ECS. It is implicated in a variety of physiological and pathological states and an attractive pharmacological target yet to reach its full potential. This review will focus on the involvement of ECS in glucose and lipid metabolism, food intake regulation, immune homeostasis, respiratory health, inflammation, cancer and other physiological and pathological states will be substantiated using freely available data from open-access databases, experimental data and literature review.
Authors: Beat Lutz, PhD Published in DIALOGUES IN CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCE 2020 Abstract The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a highly versatile signaling system within the nervous system. Despite its widespread localization, its functions within the context of distinct neural processes are very well discernable and specific. This is remarkable, and the question remains as to how…