About this Research Topic
The cannabinoid receptors, their endocannanbinoid ligands and their synthesizing and degrading enzymes together form the endocannabinoid system. This evolutionarily conserved lipid-signaling network is implicated in the etiology of different chronic neurological diseases, such as chronic pain, neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation.
A recently published study revealed that not only external factors, like diet can influence the endocannabinoid levels, but also changes in cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) activity can modify their production. The complexity of modulatory properties of the endocannabinoid system, involves the specificity of distribution of endocannabinoid receptors. For example, the CB1 is expressed in neurons of the central nervous system (CNS), and CB2 is primarily expressed in non-neuronal tissues, including phagocytes (monocytes/macrophages, microglial cells), B cells, natural killer cells and T cells.
The orchestration of the endocannabinoid system in multiple diseases has become a focus of study in the development of new therapeutic approaches. The rapid advances in the development of drugs targeting endocannabinoid system and the growing understanding of endocannabinoid dysregulation in neurological diseases raise the realistic prospect of novel therapeutic strategies towards unmet medical needs.
The goal of this Research Topic is to provide a structured overview over these important developments. To this end, experts in the field will review relevant disease areas and mechanisms and evaluate the progress.
Keywords: Neuroinflammation, Neurodegeneration, Endocannabinoids, Cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists