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Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 833; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030833
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 11 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases)
The biological effects of cannabinoids, the major constituents of the ancient medicinal plant Cannabis sativa (marijuana) are mediated by two members of the G-protein coupled receptor family, cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1R) and 2. The CB1R is the prominent subtype in the central nervous system (CNS) and has drawn great attention as a potential therapeutic avenue in several pathological conditions, including neuropsychological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, cannabinoids also modulate signal transduction pathways and exert profound effects at peripheral sites. Although cannabinoids have therapeutic potential, their psychoactive effects have largely limited their use in clinical practice. In this review, we briefly summarized our knowledge of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, focusing on the CB1R and the CNS, with emphasis on recent breakthroughs in the field. We aim to define several potential roles of cannabinoid receptors in the modulation of signaling pathways and in association with several pathophysiological conditions. We believe that the therapeutic significance of cannabinoids is masked by the adverse effects and here alternative strategies are discussed to take therapeutic advantage of cannabinoids. View Full-Text
Keywords: cannabinoid; endocannabinoid; receptor; signaling; central nervous system cannabinoid; endocannabinoid; receptor; signaling; central nervous system
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zou, S.; Kumar, U. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 833.

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