IMR Press / FBL / Volume 21 / Issue 7 / DOI: 10.2741/4468

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Endocannabinoids signaling: Molecular mechanisms of liver regulation and diseases

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1 Institute of Liver Diseases, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2016, 21(7), 1488–1501;
Published: 1 June 2016

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) includes endocannabinoids (eCBs), cannabinoid (CB) receptors and the enzymes that are responsible for endocannabinoid production and metabolism. The ECS has been reported to be present in both brain and peripheral tissues. Recent studies have indicated that eCBs and their receptors are involved in the development of various liver diseases. They were found to be altered in response to many danger factors. It is generally accepted that eCB may exert a protective action via CB2 receptors in different liver diseases. However, eCBs have also been demonstrated to have pathogenic role via their CB1 receptors. Although the therapeutic potential of CB1 receptor blockade in liver diseases is limited by its neuropsychiatric side effects, many studies have been conducted to search for novel, peripherally restricted CB1 antagonists or CB2 agonists, which may minimize their neuropsychiatric side effects in clinical use. This review summarizes the current understanding of the ECS in liver diseases and provides evidence for the potential to develop new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of these liver diseases.

Cannabinoid receptor 1
Cannabinoid Receptor 2
Liver Fibrosis
Liver Cirrhosis
Cirrhosis Complications
Alcoholic Fatty Liver
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