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The Cannabinergic System as a Target for Anti-inflammatory Therapies

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Habitual cannabis use has been shown to affect the human immune system, and recent advances in endocannabinoid research provide a basis for understanding these immunomodulatory effects. Cell-based experiments or in vivo animal testing suggest that regulation of the endocannabinoid circuitry can impact almost every major function associated with the immune system. These studies were assisted by the development of numerous novel molecules that exert their biological effects through the endocannabinoid system. Several of these compounds were tested for their effects on immune function, and the results suggest therapeutic opportunities for a variety of inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerosis, allergic asthma, and autoimmune diabetes through modulation of the endocannabinoid system.

Keywords: Cannabinoid; anti-inflammation; endocannabinoid system; immune modulation; inflammatory pain

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Drug Discovery,Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, 116 Mugar Hall, Boston,MA, 02115, USA.

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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