The endocannabinoid system: An overview

Natalia Battista, Monia Di Tommaso, Monica Bari, Mauro Maccarrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Upon the identification of anandamide (AEA) in the porcine brain, numerous studies contributed to the current state of knowledge regarding all elements that form the "endocannabinoid system (ECS)". How this complex system of receptors, ligands and enzymes is integrated in helping to regulate fundamental processes at level of central nervous and peripheral systems and how its regulation and dysregulation might counteract disturbances of such functions, is nowadays still under investigation. However, the most recent advances on the physiological distribution and functional role of ECS allowed the progress of various research tools aimed at the therapeutic exploitation of endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling, as well as the development of novel drugs with pharmacological advantages. Here, we shall briefly overview the metabolic and signal transduction pathways of the main eCBs representatives, AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and we will discuss the therapeutic potential of new ECS-oriented drugs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue numberFEBRUARY 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 2012

Keywords

  • 2-arachidonoylglycerol
  • Anandamide
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Metabolic pathways
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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