Endocannabinoid signaling in Alzheimer's disease: Current knowledge and future directions

C. D'Addario, A. Di Francesco, L. Trabace, A. Finazzi Agrò, V. Cuomo, Mauro Maccarrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The importance of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the modulation functions of the central nervous system has been extensively investigated during the last few years. In particular, accumulated evidence has implicated ECS in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), that is a progressive, degenerative, and irreversible disorder characterized by the accumulation in the brain of β-amyloid fragments forming insoluble plaques, and of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (NTFs) associated with synaptic and neuronal loss. In all the processes involved in the formation of both plaques and NFTs, the key-role played by the ECS has been documented. Here, we review current knowledge and future directions of ECS modulation both in animal models of AD and in human tissues, underlying the role of endocannabinoid signaling in the development of AD hallmarks. Overall, the available data suggest that next generation therapeutics might target distinct ECS elements, for instance CB 2 receptor or fatty acid amide hydrolase, as a promising approach to halt or at least to slow down disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number2 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Endocannabinoid
  • Inflammation
  • Lipoxygenase
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Cancer Research


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